Wednesday, August 3, 2005

Dear Kids,
     Thanks to all of you who remembered my birthday with phone calls and birthday cards and visits and presents! It’s really fun to be the mother of such a big family when birthday time rolls around! On Sunday, we were invited to Al and Missy’s for a birthday dinner, where we stuffed ourselves with barbecued chicken and other wonderful food, and sat around and talked. Nora and James and Sharon and Seth and their kids were there, too. Then, on Monday, I talked to several of you. And Paul, the phone call from Sister Brooks was great! There were a whole bunch of people, and they all sang Happy Birthday to me. She said you had gone home already, which is good, since it was 10:30 at night! You’ve got great members in your mission!
     It’s weird being home now, after a month at the cabin. Dad and I got a lot done our last week there, but we didn’t get any more logs put up. When we went to pick up our last shipment, I thought some of them looked a little bent, but we took them back to the cabin anyway. We started unloading them, and nearly all of them were bent or twisted or curved. So we returned the whole order and got our money back. I was disappointed, but it was sort of a relief, since we were both so tired. We’re going to try for another load the last week in August, and I hope they give us better logs.
     Amber came and helped us out at the cabin for a couple of days while we were there. What a workaholic she is! She swept out the greenhouse (ugh!) and hauled bark and painted linseed oil under the balcony and did other chores I’ve been putting off. Go, Amber. She left for Virginia on Monday, where she’s meeting up with Cathy (who’s coming home from a few weeks working in Russia) and they’re moving to Buffalo, New York, together. One thing you can say about most Ackersons, we’re adventurous!
     John brought his family up to the cabin on his birthday, along with his present, a re-curve bow. (His other main present was a package of “chocolate stuff,” mostly candy bars, that Julie gave him.) Now the re-curve bow--I’m not sure what that is, either, but John says it’s great. He and Dad were shooting arrows into a target they made out of bales of hay. Would you believe–-Dad hit the bullseye several times! He said that when he was a kid, they had a target in their back yard, and he and Grandpa Ackerson used to shoot arrows for hours at a time. Who would’ve thought!
     Monica’s on the road again. She called from Dodge City, Kansas, on my birthday. It was 106 there that day! She and Neil are on their way to Colorado, to do some hiking, and then to Tucson, Arizona, where Neil is starting school again. He’s going for his doctorate now.
     James has a new calling: High Council! I know, it’s usually old men, but I’m sure James will be great! He’ll give good talks, at least! The only drawback is, he has to be ordained a High Priest. No more fun hanging out with the Elders.
     A week ago Sunday night, I visited Grandpa and Grandma, since I hadn’t been making my usual Wednesday visits. Grandpa has replaced his exercise machine with a rocking chair. He studies Spanish by listening to the “Libro de Mormon” CD’s I gave him, and reading along in English. Ramona sits under the rocking chair, guarding him. She still likes to chase things, especially rubber bands. Grandpa was concerned when she ate one, but it didn’t seem to bother her.
     Well, I’m off to Orem again. Back to my usual schedule. I love you all!