Friday, July 27, 2007

Dear Kids,
      Bonnie sent out an e-mail asking me to remind you about the family reunion-picnic on August 4th. She says: We have the Riverwoods park (this is the much improved nicer version of last year's park) across from the Riverwoods shopping area, (just west of University Avenue) for Sat. August 4th from 8:30 a.m.-2:00p.m. This will be very casual, no program, just bring your own lunch and visit. We will set up a slip and slide on the hill for anyone who wants to get wet, also a wading pool for the little ones. Hopefully we will have nice weather. Jane and Brendan will be here and I'm sure they would love to see as many of you as possible. See you in a couple of weeks!
      So that’s the word from Bonnie. I hope at least some of you can come. Dad and I will be there for sure.
      Our July 24th holiday was lots of fun, since we’re at the cabin this week. Bevan took off on his bike and rode around the Jordanelle Reservoir, 36 miles all together. (Donna had to work. Park City likes to snub its nose at the pioneers.) The rest of us went to the parade in Kamas, which lasted about 15 minutes. The floats are sponsored by the various wards, and they all throw candy. Or otter pops. Behind every float, there are kids on bikes, and moms pushing strollers. Bentley rode his bike behind the Francis 2nd ward float, and Kim pushed Emma and carried Ali in a sling. John’s family was there, too, just for the fun of it, and Heather pushed Aubrey in a stroller while Jacob and Aaron rode their bikes. Now that’s my kind of parade! When it reached the end of town, it turned around and came back. And then we were out of there and on our way home, along with all the pickup trucks and horse trailers. When we got back to the cabin, the Salt Lake parade was on TV, still going, and I felt sorry for the poor suckers standing out in the sun watching it, hour after hour. And they weren’t getting candy and popsicles, either.
      Nora and Paige came to the cabin Tuesday afternoon, while James took Addie and Ben to Lagoon for a “bounce back.” I guess Nora didn’t feel much like bouncing. We sat around and talked and ate and had a good time. Paige thinks she’s so smart, walking around. Emma was wondering why Ali can’t walk yet.
      We’ve had some wild weather this week. Monday, a big black cloud came over the hill, and pretty soon the rain and hail blew in sideways. Resin chairs were flying through the air! We were pounded by rain for about 20 minutes, and then it blew over, leaving the yard looking like a lake. The same thing happens almost every afternoon, now, but not quite so violent. It must be a monsoon pattern. It’s lots better than last week, when we were broiling in the heat every day.
      You know how they’re building Victory Ranch down on the Provo River, just south and west of Francis? They’re also working on the golf course, up on top of the bluff. On Tuesday, Dad and I drove over there, and we convinced a man standing guard to let us in. We drove to the top of the bluff, and watched the big earth movers grading the side of the mountain. That’s going to be one beautiful golf course! You can see Mt. Timpanogos, Deer Crest, Kamas Valley, and up into the Uintas, all at once. It’s almost enough to make me want to get rich and learn to play golf.
      Life is good! I love you all! Mom

Friday, July 20, 2007

Dear Kids,
      I’m up to my ears in books, literally. Grandma and Grandpa Allen are getting ready to move to Summerfield, a nice retirement center, and I volunteered to handle their books. Yesterday we went through everything, and they chose out a few to take with them. The rest are on our dining room table now, and I’m sitting at my laptop making a list of them. And they really are stacked up higher than my ears. I’ll be sending the list to all my brothers and sisters so they can tell me what they want. The rest will be up for grabs by others, probably you kids. Some of them are really nice. I listed a few of them on just for fun, and I’ve sold two already.
      Did all of you notice the cool slideshow of Monca’s wedding that Tom uploaded? It reminded me how much fun it all was. And how nice everything looked. Especially the flowers! And how cute Monica and Neil looked! I showed the pictures to Grandma, and she said Monica looks like Lauren Bacall. (Old-time movie star.) Not all of us are in the pictures, of course. Tom got most of us, but not everybody. Nora’s friend Marissa, the official photographer, probably got everybody. I heard she was supposed to upload the proofs to her web site, but I don’t know anything more. Monica, do you?
      Our Relief Society had our annual retreat at the cabin Friday night. Everybody commented on how clean it was, and when I said we had two married families living there, nobody could believe it. (I guess they could have looked in the closets, but they didn’t.) Anyway, we had a lot of fun. They played a lot of games. There are a lot of serious card sharks in our ward, and they really got going, about 11 at night. Dad and I dragged our mattresses out onto the front deck, and went to sleep. We haven’t tried that before. You can really see a lot of stars, because there’s no roof to block your view. We heard later that the laughing and talking went on until 1:30 or 2:00. I heard some good gossip but I can’t pass it on, since I don’t say anything insensitive on my blog anymore. I’ve changed totally and now I only write nice, uplifting things about people, especially people in our ward.
      Saturday night there was a 50th Wedding Anniversary party for Howard and Karen Condie, at the lighthouse church, where they had their original wedding reception 50 years ago. We had lots of fun talking to all the old timers who showed up. Here are the people who told us to say Hi to all of you: Brent & Delores Anderson, Cal & Maradon Anderson, Bob & Louise Pistorius, Roy & Nancy Pistorius, Bruce & Nelda Brooks, and Jack & Gwen Simpson. They all wanted to know how you kids were doing, and of course I bragged up the fact that we’re going on 19 grandchildren, with 16 of them five-and-under. We also gave lots of run downs on where you all are, and what you’re all doing. These old timers really wanted to know! All the grown-up Condie kids were there, with their families, and they all introduced themselves. President Monson (Howard’s cousin) came, and told lots of old stories, some of them quite startling. But of course, I only send out uplifting stories now. Nobody gets a pass on my blog, even general authorities.
      Sharon and Seth went home Tuesday, so we’re all back to normal now. Paul’s enjoying his work at Mygrant Glass. He drives a F250 pickup and delivers windshields to auto body shops. He says that at least he’s not working outside.
      Lots of love to you all! Mom

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Dear Kids,
      Wasn’t Monica’s wedding spectacular? It seemed like everything turned out perfectly–the food, the tents, the games, the weather–how about that cloud cover that came over just in time for the ceremony? And the two mountain bluebirds that flew up behind the arch just as Monica and Neil were saying “I do.” And Matheny’s goats not bleating–they could have been really obnoxious, if they’d had better timing. It was all good. Thanks to all of you who helped, especially with the clean-up. If any of you Ackerson cousins are reading this, thanks for all your help, too. Thanks for goin’ the distance, or coming the distance–it was great to see you.
      Mike Rogers e-mailed our proofs to us, and I think Dad’s forwarding them on to all of you. Also, you can see them on there’s a link on the home page, right near the top. I listed them by number. They’re all low-resolution jpegs, so people can’t just download them and print them at Walmart. So if you zoom in on them, you don’t see much detail, but at least you can tell if your kids are crying or not. Let me know asap what pictures you want. Mike hasn’t raised his prices in years. (4 wallets: $6.00, 4x5: $4.00, 5x7: $11.00, 8x10: $16.00, 11x14: $53.00, 16x20: $119.00) We’ll pay the first $25 of everybody’s order, plus the sitting fee, if he charges one. Dad and I didn’t look our best–I think we were really stressed. The rest of you looked really good. I think it’s a miracle the big mob scenes turned out as well as they did. Anyway, let me know what you want.
      A couple of days after the wedding I called Patty Paxman, to explain why we didn’t come to Chris’s wedding, which was the same day. She dropped by later that morning to give me a present for Donna, and we sat and talked about all the things that have happened over the years. She said it was hard having Chris get married in the Catholic Church by a priest, but his wife is from a great family, and they’re rich, too! Patty asked me about all you kids, and she admired the grandchildren’s pictures in our kitchen.
      My broken toe is still giving me a lot of trouble, and it’s been two weeks now. Everyone says it takes much longer than that. I was so mad, because the day I broke it, I’d decided to do everything right, since I needed all the blessings I could get. I studied the scriptures that morning, did my visiting teaching, went to the temple with Dad, and paid my tithing. I was just waiting for those blessings to roll in. And what did I do? I walked down the hall in bare feet, and stumbled into the heavy leg of a bar stool. There’s a lesson there. Do all the good things you’re supposed to do, but don’t be stupid.
      Our apricot tree was loaded this year, and luckily, Jana McGettigan wanted to pick them. She said she was going to dry them, and I imagined some fruit dryer churning away in their kitchen. But since it’s been so blazing hot, she just laid them out on card tables, out on their driveway, next to the hot brick on the side of their house. They dried in record time. Dad and I sampled a few, when we were out on our Sunday night bike ride. I was proud they turned out so well. Maybe someday I’ll try that myself.
      Paul is getting a job a Mygrant Glass, where he worked during Christmas. He might be driving a delivery truck. At least, he says, he won’t be outside. The pay isn’t as good as his drilling job, but at this point, he doesn’t seem to care.
      Well, it was great to see all of you last week. I’m so proud of our big wonderful family! Love, Mom