Sunday, August 28, 2016

Dear Kids,
         Great news! Tom and Kim are going to have another little Ackerson, due in March. That will be grandchild #33 for us, and a wonderful addition to their family. We’re very excited for them.
           Other news? Probably the second most interesting thing is the marathon Bevan ran yesterday morning. Originally, he had signed up for the High Uintas marathon, coming down from Mirror Lake to Kamas, but it was cancelled. Donna scrambled to find something else, since he was all prepped to run, and she came up with the Mid Mountain Marathon, on the same date. They start at Deer Valley, at the top of Deer Crest, and run up and down mountain trails, around the far side of Park City to the Canyons. Who knew that it’s, "like, the hardest marathon out there!" There were world-class runners. Bevan was 40th out of about 300 runners, with a time of 4:22. He only fell down once. Some of the runners had several falls, and crossed the finish line all skinned up. Dad and I waited with Donna and the kids at the finish line. It was a beautiful morning, and we enjoyed the gorgeous scenery. We were so proud of Bevan, finishing, and with such a good time.
          My face almost looks normal now–just a little dark on the left side, where it was bruised. I still have tooth pain and bronchitis. My right hand has been hurting me for a long time, (since we moved in 2013, and I used a tape gun non-stop) and I had a cortisone injection in January that helped for a while. But the joint (below my thumb) is so bad that the doctor can’t even get a needle in there any more. I’ve decided to have the surgery where they fuse the area. Sometimes it leaves you with a short-looking thumb, but I don’t care–I only want to get rid of the pain. Funny thing–the morning I had my appointment with the hand doctor, I woke up with my left thumb feeling the same pain. I didn’t think that could happen, since I’m right-handed, but the doctor said anything can happen. I’m having a hard time doing anything, with both my hands hurting, but things should get better down the road. Or maybe I’ll have to wait for the resurrection to get everything put back together again. Either way, life is very pleasant, especially with the wonderful family we have!
           Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Dear Kids,
          It was fun helping Paul and Stefanie move yesterday. They’ve gotten really good at packing and boxing, and everything was ready when we got to their house in Ogden. There was lots of help, too: James was there, and Donna and Bevan, and Stefanie’s brothers, and help from their ward. Donna and I loaded our vans and took off early for their new place in Woods Cross. I hadn’t even been sure where Woods Cross is! Now I know. They live just off Redwood Road, a couple of miles north of Missy’s house on Longleaf. It’s easy to get to, and closer to Paul’s work. Anyway, the move went really well. Dad drove the big moving van, and everybody else brought their separate cars, loaded with stuff. Later on, Nora fed us all at her house. It was great fun. Paul’s new address is: 1830 West 2280 South, Woods Cross, 84087.
           I’m recovering a little more each day from my accident. Last Sunday I didn’t have substitutes for any of the things I was lined up to do, so I went to Church. I had a little trouble playing the organ, because my left eye was swollen partly shut, and my right eye has a close-up lens. But I did OK. I had to accompany a musical number, but I knew the song really well. In Primary, all the kids wanted to know what had happened to me. One kid asked, "Did you get in a fight?" I couldn’t even start them singing until I had told them the whole story. Then they were fine with it. My face still looks pretty bruised. They say trouble comes in threes. Just before I had the accident, I’d had a root canal, and it wasn’t pleasant. It’s still bothering me. Three days after, I came down with probably the worst bronchitis I’ve ever had. My lungs are still full of snot. But every day is a little better. At least I’ve had my full "3's" of trouble, so things should be pretty good now.
         We were driving through Heber Monday, on our way to John’s office, and I saw the same display of metal animals that has captivated me before. I just wanted to stop and look at the deer. (The ones we put on our corner have become a landmark.) There was a doe lying down, and a fawn that went with her. I couldn’t resist. We’ll put them on the other side of our house. Then, at Home Depot, I saw the exact concrete blocks I want to use for our fire pit, and we had to buy them, while they were still there. Meanwhile, we’re starting on our deck. There’s no end to the projects, or the fun.
           Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Dear Kids,
         My motto used to be, "Look up, not down." That was when we first moved into our house here, and I was tired of all the dirt and rocks, so I looked up at the beautiful view. But my motto brought me grief last Wednesday, as most of you have heard. I was walking across the plaza by the West Valley Trax station, looking up and admiring all the great changes they’ve made, (it used to be a ghetto there!) when I tripped on a short curb and fell and hit my head on one of those round cement spheres that keep people from driving onto the Trax lines. I wouldn’t have attracted much notice, but my head was spurting blood, because I had nicked an artery. I was right by the police station, so there was lots of help nearby. They brought an ambulance, but I had Dad drive me to the hospital instead, where they put in a stitch to stop the bleeding and did a cat scan to be sure I didn’t have a fracture. Since then I’ve been hurting all over from the fall, and my face is a mess. (I uploaded a picture to facebook, so I would get lots of sympathy.) I had a ton of blood in my hair, which our new cat Tina was very interested in, when we got home. She sniffed all around my head, and licked in my ears, where the blood had dried. The next morning I washed it all out. Long story short: my new motto is, "Look down, not up."
          Speaking of our new cat, Tina, she’s been banished to the garage now. Dad and I were agonizing over how to do it, because she’s so delicate and aristocratic, but she bit Dad in the hand, deep enough to draw blood, and she was tossed into the garage immediately. She’s doing fine there, getting along OK with Xena, and we let her in sometimes at night, so she can walk on us in bed.
          Last Monday Richard and Jeannne came to visit us. Richard rode his bike, 60 miles, from Michael’s house in Draper, over the south mountain into Alpine, up American Fork canyon to the Alpine Loop, all the way over it to Provo Canyon, and then up through Midway and Highway 32 to our house. After he got cleaned up we all went to High Mountain Drug for lunch. He said it tasted very good! (He recognized the place from when he was a scout, coming home from the Uintahs.) We had a great visit!
           Now I’m sorry all the fun is over, the family reunions and parties and get-togethers. We’ll be helping Paul move next Saturday, so that at least is something to look forward to.
          I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it, like we are here. Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Dear Kids,
          That was quite a family reunion yesterday! Grandma and Grandpa Allen would have been proud of us, and especially proud of Charley and Bonnie for planning it so well. Thanks to those of you who came and brought your delightful children! We’ve had so many family events lately that you’d think we might be tired of getting together, but the fun just multiplies!
          I had a wonderful birthday last Monday. Dad and I ate at Subway and then we went to Home Depot to get supplies for starting our deck. My present from Dad arrived in the afternoon–a laminator and laminating pouches, to make stuff for Primary. I had fun printing articles of faith posters and then laminating them. And then, I hadn’t expected such a big party at our house on Monday night! Thanks for the wonderful cake and all the presents, especially the snow groomer. Thanks for just being there! It was a wonderful night to play outside! It might have been the best birthday I’ve ever had!
          The only flaw in this great week has been my tooth troubles. I started having pain on the top right side of my mouth about a week ago, but I was able to ignore it for a few days. Finally, I had to call Dr. Condie. He worked me in on Friday morning, and when he started digging around the tooth, he found out the roots were dead and one was infected. He couldn’t do a root canal right then because of the infection, so he scraped out the roots and packed them with tiny cotton wads of antibiotic and painkiller. But later on, when it all thawed out, it was the worst tooth pain I’ve ever had. Luckily he’d prescribed hard drugs for me, and I took plenty, but it didn’t help as much as I hoped. We went to the party at Richard’s cabin that night, and all my brothers and sisters were there, but I walked around in a daze. Yesterday at the park was sort of the same, but finally, this morning, I’m starting to feel normal again. I’m scheduled for the root canal this Wednesday. It shouldn’t be so bad.
           I’m pretty sure Paul and Stefanie are still planning to move on the 20th. Paul will let us know what to do.
          I used to have a play Noah’s ark with some animals that I used for Primary singing time. Did I lend it out to anybody?
          I love you all to pieces! Mom

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Once again, Paul is the top story of the week. Or Paul’s appendix. He had gut pain Wednesday afternoon, and he texted me about any remedies I knew. He had already tried gas relief and tums, but the pain kept coming back. I suggested one more remedy, and then the ER. He drove himself to the hospital, and they checked everything out and said they were taking out his appendix. All that took time, of course, so his surgery wasn’t until 2 am. And he was out of the hospital before noon! He’ll show you the three scars on his abdomen, from the laporoscopy. He’s supposed to start his new job tomorrow, and his new insurance, but they’ve worked that all out. Things always work out for Paul! He and Stefanie are going to be moving to Woods Cross, most likely August 20, and they can use all our help, because it will be too soon for Paul to lift things. Nora will be hosting an after-party barbecue at her house. I love how our family pulls together.
           Josh’s birthday party (and mine!) last night was a lot of fun. It was the same park as we went to after Josh’s baby blessing, which seemed like it barely happened. The food was good and the kids had fun on the playground. Josh seemed to enjoy the attention, along with the other babies there, Drew and Josh’s new cousin, Lydia. We kept passing them around. Thanks to Paul and Stefanie for planning it all!
          Al and Carson finished their trek on the Highline Trail in good time–just six days, (and 15 minutes) for about 84 miles. Dad and I drove Al’s car up to the west trailhead on Monday, so it would be there for them. As long as we were there, we decided to hike out for a mile or so. We passed several people on their last leg home, and they all looked like death warmed over. They all carried gigantic packs, and they even had saddle bags on their dogs. (The dogs didn’t look all that tired.) Anyway, it’s a beautiful area, and I envied Al and Carson for the time they spent up there.
           Here’s one more reminder of the Allen Family reunion, this coming Saturday, August 6, at 9:00 a.m. at the park at 4620 N. 300 West by the Provo River. Bonnie’s message said: We hope you can all come! Charley planned this and he promises it will be fun! Bring your own lunch, desserts to share, sunscreen, and one or two favorite pictures of your family over the years. There will be door prizes (for those who show up on time,) a square dance demonstration, games, and crafts for the little kids (7 and under). 
          So the fun goes on! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Paul has a job! The company is called Stantec, and they’re located in Salt Lake. They do water systems. He’ll be starting on August 1, Josh’s birthday! He’ll be earning more than before! It couldn’t be better! We’re very happy for him! Like Grandma Allen used to say, "Things always work out for Paul."
          And speaking of Josh, his birthday party is this coming Saturday night, August 30, at 6 pm at the West Stadium Pavilion, 643 Canyon Road, in Ogden. They’re having dinner, plus cake and ice cream. The invitation says to bring an appetizer or side dish, and to RSVP to Paul at 435 764 4569. Be there or be square!
          Our new cat, Tina, is walking on my fingers while I’m trying to type this. At night, we have to close our bedroom door to keep her from annoying us. She likes to stick her whiskers in my nose, or her behind in my face. She’s supposed to become a garage cat, but we haven’t gotten around to that yet. Meanwhile, she gives us endless entertainment.
           Allen and Carson are hiking the Highline Trail in the Uintas this week. Dad drove with them to the trailhead (east of Vernal) on Thursday morning, so he could bring their car back and take it to the west end, up by Mirror Lake. Naturally Dad brought back pictures on his phone, and I was envious when I saw the beautiful scenery. Dad also took a video of Al and Carson setting off on the trail. I sure wish I were up there!
           Tom shot a mouse under their bookshelves. It was around midnight last Friday night, after they came home from Wizard of Oz. Their kids had been chasing the mouse, and Tom had tried swatting it, but it kept getting away, just like in a cartoon. So Tom got a pellet rifle and reached the muzzle under the shelves where the mouse was crouching. He fired at pretty much point blank range, and the mouse dropped over sideways. It was all very exciting.
          Our summer is slipping away fast, but there’s still plenty of fun coming up! We hope to see lots of you at Josh’s party and at the Allen family reunion on August 6.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dear Kids,
         Sharon and her kids packed up and left for Nora’s yesterday afternoon, and we won’t be seeing them again before they leave for home. But it’s been a month of non-stop fun. Thanks to everybody who made our family reunion such a success, especially Paul and Stefanie. We loved the hiking, the food, the reservoir, and mostly, the fun of being surrounded by family. What a gang! Dad and I are extremely blessed.
           Friday night Dad and went to "The Wizard of Oz" at the field in Midway where they put on such good musicals every summer. The tickets were courtesy of Donna and Bevan (Dad’s birthday present) and we had a great time. The singing and costumes and acting were all great. We ran into Tom and Kim during the intermission. It was long, and we drove home late, but it was a wonderful evening.
         Yesterday Dad and I tended Sharon’s kids while she and Donna hiked Timp. It was Sharon’s first time, and they made it to the top, of course. Here at home, things went OK. We discovered the delights of peanut butter and nutella sandwiches. We watched "Land Before Time." Our only mishap was that while Dad was asleep, lying on his back on the bottom bunk, somebody dumped toys, beanie cats, puzzle pieces, and stuffed animals in a pile on his face. He didn’t even wake up. We never found out who did it, since nobody confessed.
          The Allen family reunion is less than 3 weeks away! Here’s the latest information from Bonnie: We will gather at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday August 6th at the Riverside Park (4620 N. 300 W.) Provo UT. We hope you can all come! Charley planned this and he promises it will be fun! Bring your own lunch, desserts to share, sunscreen, and one or two favorite pictures of your family over the years. There will be door prizes (for those who show up on time,) a square dance demonstration, games, and crafts for the little kids (7 and under).
         So that’s it. Summer won’t have a chance to get dull. 
         Lots of love, Mom