Thursday, June 1, 2006

Dear Kids,
      The big news, of course, is that Paul will be coming home tomorrow morning, and by the time you get this letter, he’ll already be here. The big question is, will he be his old normal self, or will he keep up the super missionary image? We’ll see.
      Here’s some more news: Monica is officially engaged! She has a ring that’s a topaz will two little diamonds on each side. She says the wedding will probably be next summer, possibly in August. Congratulations, Monica and Neal!! Monica’s other news is that she wrecked her truck, in the parking lot of Walmart. Luckily it was the other guy’s fault, so she’s driving a rental car, courtesy of his insurance.
      Sharon and Charlie came late last night, on a Frontier Airlines flight that arrived at 11:15 pm. Donna went to get them. They didn’t get home until nearly 2:00 am, because one of Sharon’s bags didn’t arrive, and Donna was calling around, trying to get some help. Hopefully the bag will get here today. Sharon thought Frontier would apologize, or at least act sorry that her luggage was lost, but they were very nonchalant about it.
      Vanessa reports that their retaining wall has finally been built! The rocks were dropped off last fall, but it was hard finding somebody to actually do the work. The crew that came did a really good job, but Sterling called them pirates. He said, “Mom, pirates are building our wall!” They didn’t wear shirts, had rags tied around their heads, and were chain smoking. Sterling was totally enthralled. He’s very much into pirates right now. Trent started his football season as a coach, to Vanessa’s great relief, but now he’s back out on the field, because his brother Troy sprained his ankle. Somebody had to take his place! Go, Trent! Vanessa sent some new pictures of Meg, and I’m going to put them up on today, if I have time.
      Jake and Dierdre had a baby girl on May 20th. Her name is Isabelle Mae, and she weighed 8 lbs. 7 oz.. They sent a picture with the birth announcement, but it’s hard to tell if she looks more like Jake or Dierdre. Hopefully Dierdre.
      We had a fun birthday party for Dad and Grandma Allen at the cabin last Saturday, only it was so cold, we were mostly inside, crouched around the fire. My pneumonia was still pretty bad, and I thought I was going to die that afternoon. Just stop breathing and give up the ghost. Later, in the evening, Dad and I went on a Yerf Dog ride, and it was cool and misty. I breathed in and out, really deep, and I started feeling better. Monday and Tuesday I was climbing up and down the scaffolding, like a monkey, all day, and that really helped. Who knows why? We got quite a few more pieces of siding put up, and you can see it on Tom’s photo gallery, on It’s the slide show called “Updated!!! Cabin work.” You can tell which siding we just did, because it’s lighter. Al and Missy and their kids were there from Sunday night until Tuesday morning, and Al helped Dad put up the third layer of scaffolding. So we were standing 18 feet off the ground. Which doesn’t sound very high, until you’re up there. Any, it was a lot of fun. And I feel a lot better than I did last week.
      Can you stand any more news about Jasmine? Rat Cat has shown her how to go out to the field, and she’s been hanging out with him on Bunker Hill. She came streaking into the yard yesterday, clutching a little mouse in her teeth. (It was still squeaking.) Xena came running to help with the kill. I just looked the other way.
      Does anybody want to feel old? We’ve received high school graduation announcements from Austin James, David Tregaskis, and Matt Allen. It doesn’t seem that long ago when they were all blessed on the same Sunday, wearing their little matching baseball outfits. How did they grow up so soon?
      I love you all! Mom