Thursday, January 24, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Sunday night, Dad and I went to a party for my brothers and sisters at Bonnie’s house, and as we were walking up the front steps, I looked in the side window and saw Mark with Heather, his ex-wife. Only it wasn’t Heather, I saw, as we came in, but a girl who looked a lot like her. They were going over the family list and deciding what number she would be. I said, “You mean you’re engaged?!!” They were. They had been talking on the internet, but just met in person on Thursday. On Saturday they were engaged. She’s a graduate student at USU in psychology and family science, and her name’s Kate Sorensen. Or, I should say, her name used to be Kate Sorensen. Because now they’re married. That happened on Tuesday. I saw Mark at Grandma and Grandpa’s today, and he filled in some details. He said that in the five days before their marriage, they spent 123 hours talking to each other, which was the equivalent of 41 three-hour dates. So now she’s Kate Allen, and she’s #176 in the family. Mark said she fixed him breakfast this morning, which is the only time he’s ever had a wife fix him breakfast. Now Kate’s back in Logan, and Mark was back doing jigsaw puzzles at Grandma and Grandpa’s. They’ll have a commuter marriage until May, when she’s done with school. Can you believe all this?
      Now, on to something more serious. You’ve probably all heard rumors about Monica having M.S. She recently had a lot more tests, including a new MRI and a blood test, and it’s pretty positive. They compared her new MRI with the one she had in 2004, when she was here in Utah, and there are new lesions on her brain. Her vision test showed symptoms of M.S., too. Remember when she moved into the cabin, and she woke up one morning with double vision? John checked her eyes then, and discovered a certain kind of palsy (of course I don’t remember the name) that is usually associated with M.S. The news isn’t all bad, of course. There’s a lot they can do now to slow it down, and there’s a Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, and a good neurology clinic, too. I know we’ll all be remembering Monica in our prayers. I’m glad she finally knows what she’s dealing with. You can face almost anything, when you know what it is.
      If you look on our web site, scroll down to Paul, and click under his name, there are two new pictures, one of him standing inside his igloo, and one outside. They built it on the quad outside their apartment, and Paul has slept in it for at least three nights. He said the newspaper came and took pictures of it, I guess for an article about how much snow they’ve had, but when the article came out, there was a picture of a snowman instead. I would be outraged. Snowmen are a dime a dozen, but an igloo? Especially one that college guys are sleeping in! They could have had a great article about these new “low rent” units. Oh, well.
      Now that it’s so cold, it’s a good time to look forward to our upcoming family reunion on July 28th. I know it’s a Monday, but hopefully there’s enough time that everybody can get the day off and be there. We’re going to Lava Hot Springs, and it’s a zoo on Saturdays. At least on a Monday, we can have a spot for our canopies and blankets and the pool won’t be jammed with people. We’re hoping everybody can drive to Idaho on Sunday afternoon, the 27th, (John’s birthday!) and we’ll do something that night, probably at Vanessa’s house. We’ll keep you posted as it gets closer.
      What a family! I love you all! Mom