Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dear Kids,
      Things are quiet here. The cats are sitting in the sun, on the deck, next to the door. On the internet, there was a picture of a 33 lb. cat in China. It was built like Xena.
      Dad is driving an articulated bus, now–the kind that bends in the middle. He says it’s weird to turn a corner and have the back half of the bus still going straight ahead. So far he’s doing OK. Next year he wants to take a ski run. I’ll be tempted to ride up with him, and pack along my snowboard. I’m addicted now. Yesterday Allen and Missy and I went to Snowbird, and we had a lot of fun. Well, maybe Missy didn’t. She had worked out vigorously the day before, at a gym where she and Allen bought a membership, so she was tired to begin with. And then, you know how the first time, you’re just falling down and getting up, over and over, about 25 times? That was Missy’s first run. But by the bottom of the hill, she was up and going! But then, she was completely tired out. Saturday night Dad and I are going back, and she’s coming with us, while Allen watches the kids. And Allen–how was his first snowboarding excursion? As you might imagine, he fell down a couple of times, (hurt his back pretty hefty, one time) but after that he was carving down the hill like a pro. He said that those plastic snowboards he and Tom used to have taught him to balance. Missy said riding a skateboard, as a kid, gave her a good head start. No wonder it’s taken me so long to learn! I didn’t have either one of those!
      If you know anybody who wants to get married, tell them to move into our ward. I don’t know what’s going on around here. It was pretty incredible that Kent Maxfield (the 3rd Nephite) found a wife, and also Stacy Clement (now Pickering,) who lives in Roubidoux’s house–she got married and has a baby already. We have an older guy, probably in his 50's, who moved in a couple of years ago-- built himself a nice house in the new neighborhood. Never married. Well, Dad and I saw him in the temple Saturday night, where he’s a sealer, and he’s engaged! He said he met his fiancee on He said that will make three couples in our ward who met that way. (They’re all a little older, incidentally.) So if anybody wants to get married, the combination of ldssingles and moving into our ward ought to do it. Paxmans ought to move back. I heard that Casey was looking up Jim Gibbens. He lives with his mother, has his own nice little part of the house, with his own gourmet kitchen where he can cook splendid dishes for himself.
      Nora and James had a fun 3-day weekend at the cabin. They invited different friends for each night. Nora says it’s nice to stay three days, after all the work of packing the stuff and hauling it into the cabin. There’s lots of snow there now, and everybody had fun sledding.
      Sharon says it’s dang cold in Michigan. It went from about 50 degrees, and raining, to about 5 degrees, in just a couple of days. She says that she and Seth and Charlie went to the Ford Museum with Tara and Nick. She sent me some pictures, which I put up on our web page, in the Thacker gallery. Which reminds me, send me your pictures and news! If you don’t send me your news, I might make up something. It might not be accurate. It might embarrass you. So please do it!
      I’m doin’ great and lovin’ it. Hope you all are, too. Mom

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Dear Kids,
      If you check out, it finally has a different look! Tom spent a couple of hours showing me how to upload pictures and make hyperlinks, so I’m finally getting it like I want it. There’s a portrait-type picture for each of you on the main page, with links for each one of you to a picture gallery and a news page. So if each of you would kindly e-mail me a paragraph or two about what you’re doing, I’ll put it on your news page. And you can let me know what you want to have it called: your blog? Your family news page? Whatever. Then you can e-mail me updates of your news, maybe once a month or so, and I’ll add it at the top, like I do with my own blog. This way, everybody’s news will be out there, and I won’t have to worry if I don’t mention somebody often enough in my family letter. And if you could e-mail me a few pictures, I’ll upload them to your picture gallery. Or send me some pictures by snail mail–either way. Dad and I have been real slackers on picture taking this past year, so our photos aren’t up-to-date. Fortunately, Tom has been keeping the picture gallery on updated, so I can transfer some of those if I have to. As you can see, I’m really excited about my newest project!
      I talked to both Amber and Cathy on the phone, and things are going pretty well for them in Buffalo. They’re training for the “White Nights marathon,” which is held in June. The only problem is, it’s a little far away. It’s in St. Petersburg, Russia. It’s called white nights because that time of the year, it doesn’t get dark until at least midnight. So they start the marathon at 5pm, and everybody is still finished before dark. Sounds fun to me. Besides lots of running, Cathy has also joined a ski and snowboarding club, though her work. They go once a week. It’s about a 1 ½ hour drive. She’s been twice, and she says she can actually make turns and stay up. Go, Cathy. Amber is working as a HR person for a group of about 60 restaurants, including some Appleby’s. Both of them teach Sunday School in their ward–Cathy is Gospel Doctrine, and Amber is Gospel Essentials. How can people possibly decide which one to attend?
      Missy and Nora and I were talking about having an Easter egg hunt on Easter Saturday, April 15th. Missy suggested a park by their house, and I think that would be a lot of fun–a new place for us to go. We can also celebrate the little girls’ April birthdays: Ellie on the 7th, Addie on the 12th, and Julie on the 15th. (That very day!) (Hey, Vanessa, if you have your baby early, there will be one more little girl with an April birthday!) Anyway, it’s two months until Easter, but time flies by. So let us know if you can come, and we’ll plan the food and fun.
      So, Paul, you did service at a chicken farm? Now you can answer the question of the century: Do chickens have large talons? Just wondering.
      Lots of Love, Mom

Thursday, February 9, 2006

Dear Kids,
      There doesn’t seem to be much going on here, except for winter sports. I don’t mean the Olympics on TV, either, (which haven’t quite started yet,) I only mean Ackerson-type sports, like skiing and snowboarding. Tom is going gung ho, in spite of his injured rib. Last Saturday he and Jacob met Donna and Bevan at Deer Valley, and I guess the youngsters took the oldsters on quite a ride. Tom said they went down some really steep places, which just about finished off the two of them. Later, on their own, Tom said, they took it easy. Like last year, they both vowed to get into better shape for next time. So, Donna and Bevan, you won the gold on that round.
      And we have another convert to snowboarding: Kim. Yesterday she and Tom and I went to Brighton, and we started her out on the bunny hill with heelside, toeside, all the beginning steps. She did really well. Later on we transferred over to Majestic, and I thought she would be scared to go down that first steep shoulder, but she did just fine. The second time, she and Tom beat me down, all the way to the bottom. I couldn’t keep up. It was a totally gorgeous day, and the snow was perfect. It couldn’t have been better. Kim says she’s stiff and sore today, but she’s eager to go again. Yay! Snowboarding rules. (No offense, Donna & Bevan).
      While we were driving down the canyon from Brighton, we came around a corner where a SUV had just rolled off. People were jumping out of their cars and starting down into the ravine. I read on the KSL website this morning that it was a lady, and she was OK. But they had to go down with ropes to get her out. They said she was extremely lucky.
      Allen had some on-the-job excitement a few days back–he was involved in a high speed chase and got on the news. It started while his cop car was parked at Arby’s, and somebody backed into it. Another officer was doing the accident report, when Allen noticed a suspicious-looking car going through the drive-through at Carls Jr. (It was an 81 Chevette.) He ran the license, and saw that the guy had several warrants. Another officer started after him (Allen’s car was still being written up, after all) but Allen got into the chase later, with his sirens blaring and lights flashing. They ended up in Kayesville, where the guy jumped out of the car and was on the run for about 8 hours. That’s where Allen was on the news, while they were looking for him. If I’d known, I certainly would have turned on the TV, for once. But then, I always miss the good stuff.
      John gave Heather a 3-day vacation last weekend, tending the kids and entertaining them while she took off. He thought she went to Roosevelt, but he said he wasn’t sure where she was. She had told him she didn’t want to even hear the word “Mom” (or is it “mah . . . umm”) for a while. John and the kids were here for a couple of hours on Saturday, making the rounds of interesting places to go. Jacob asked to see the garbage video, and also where they blow up the rocks.
      Well, I hope you are all having lots of fun and excitement. Paul, keep ‘em stirred up in Chilliwick! I love you all!

Thursday, February 2, 2006

Dear Kids,
      As you all can see from Paul’s letter, he’s been transferred–just what he was hoping for. But what kind of a place is Chilliwack? (Like, do they have an annual festival where they whack chilis?) Where do they come up with these names? Well, I guess it doesn’t matter, if there are lots of good people there. By the way Paul, when are you coming home? The Bishop wants to know, so he can schedule your homecoming. I can’t believe your last year is going by so fast! The first year seemed to take forever.
      On Saturday, Nora went to a bridal shower for Shanna Spencer, who’s getting married next month. Tom’s ribs must have mended, because he and Jacob are going skiing at Deer Valley on Saturday. It sounds like they talked Donna out of a couple of the passes she earned by working there during Christmas. Donna said she was originally hoping to use them for a Sisters’ ski trip, but Nora and Vanessa are both pregnant, Sharon is in Michigan, and Monica’s in Arizona. Too bad it didn’t work out this year! Donna’s life in Logan is all about her classes and projects. For fun, she went to the Stake Pinewood Derby, but she said it was so crowded she couldn’t even get close to the track. Now this is a new one on me–student wards and stakes having pinewood derbies. Is it a new craze? I hadn’t heard of it. Donna says her family’s car (home evening family, that is) didn’t do very well.
      Missy has discovered the Centerville DI, that you can find really classy stuff there. I remember I used to go there a lot, and it was always worth the drive. Allen says people come from all over Utah. They hire the Centerville police for security, so I guess Allen knows the place pretty well. I said, “Do people really steal stuff?” He said mostly they get caught switching price tags. I tried to tell him that ought to be legitimate, because retarded people decided on the prices. He said it wasn’t worth the fine, or jail time. Well, I haven’t switched any price tags for a long time. I can just go to Walmart and get it cheaper there.
      Sharon and Seth might be moving into a co-op apartment. You buy into it, so your rent is lower by two or three hundred dollars a month. Then, when you move, you sell out, always for more than you paid to get in. I’ve never heard of that before, but it would make sense, if you’re a student couple living in the same city for several years.
      Xena is in the house now, and I can’t catch her. After pestering the bird, she walked on the piano keys. But when I lunge at her, she gets away. I think she has the winter heebie-jeebies.
      I hope everybody’s happy and well! Love, Mom