Thursday, March 27, 2008

Dear Kids,
      I thought I was done snowboarding for the year, but we had a pretty good storm early this morning, so I went to Snowbird with Bekah Davis, and we had a great time on the bunny hill. Of course I wished it could have been Brighton, and after today Bekah is definitely ready for a bigger hill, but that will probably be next year. Still, it was a great day. Bekah also likes to golf, and she asked me if I wanted to start, but I remember how Tom said that golfers are often angry and unhappy. They’re mad about their last round or their last drive or their last putt. But you never see unhappy snowboarders. Everybody has fun. So I think I’ll hold off on golf.
      Dad and I are looking forward to the weekend, the Saturday party at Allen and Missy’s, and our trip to Pocatello for Macie’s baby blessing. Hopefully we’ll have Grandma and Grandpa Allen with us at both events. I don’t know how many of you have noticed that Grandpa seems really confused sometimes–it seems to come and go. My brother Mark sent out this e-mail, and he wanted us to pass it on to our kids. So here it is: “I'm going to spare you the technical details and give it to you straight, Les has a moderate to severe case of a condition known as "vascular dementia." The bad news is that there isn't any effective way to stop its progression. If it follows its normal course, it's very likely that within 1-2 years from now he'll have a hard time recognizing even close family. I hope I'm wrong, but I think you should know this isn't just wild speculation on my part. As of now, his cognitive abilities fluctuate quite a bit, which is unfortunately a bad sign, because it most likely means that his brain has poor perfusion (blood circulation) in addition to his corroded blood vessels, and so his mental abilities fluctuate with changes in his blood pressure. We've got to start thinking about the ramifications of this now.”
      So there you have it. Grandpa and Grandma have moved back into their house, so it’ll be a challenge for them to keep things going normally. As always, Bonnie is coordinating everything for them.
      I just saw the news in the paper that Ryan Thomas is stepping down as president of CEU, after seven years. They quoted Brad King as saying that everybody was waiting with great anticipation for the announcement of the new president. He said, “I don't even know what kind of president they'll be looking for. Thomas has definitely left the woodpile higher.” What do you guys think? Who’s probably the best qualified person to be the new president of CEU? I’m putting my money on Brad.
      Speaking of which, I think we’ve pretty well decided what kind of student we want to sponser at CEU, somebody with good high school grades, who might not have done spectacularly well on the ACT. I haven’t talked to all of you, but most of you seem to agree we don’t want a super scholar, since they get taken care of anyway. I need to e-mail Brad about our preferences, and then I’ll let you know when our money needs to be in. I’m excited that all our family has done so well, that we’re finally in a position to help someone else. I told Jana McGettigan about our plan, and she’s hoping Tyler will go to CEU. Maybe we’ll be sponsoring him one of these years! That would be cool.
      I love you all! See you soon! Love, Mom

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Dear Kids,
      I finally got a new phone! My good old brick never turned up, so I went to the T-Mobile store and got a cute little Nokia that takes pictures, plays MP3's, records audio, has a FM receiver, and oh yes, it’s also a phone. I haven’t figured everything out yet, but at least I’m connected with the world again.
      Events coming up: There’s an Easter egg hunt at the Seville this Saturday, March 22nd, at 2:30 pm. Kids are supposed to bring their own baskets. Any kids or grandkids or great-grandkids of the residents are invited. Then, of course, the following Saturday (the 29th we’ll be having our Easter picnic at Allen and Missy’s, at 1:00 pm, with an Easter egg hunt. If you call Al or Missy, I’m sure they’ll have ideas of what you can bring. And the day after that is Maci Sutton’s baby blessing in Pocatello. Dad and I will probably drive there Saturday evening, straight from Allen and Missy’s house. We might even have Grandpa and Grandma Allen with us. Trent and Vanessa’s Sunday block is from 11:00 to 2:00, and I’m pretty sure their sacrament meeting is first.
      The next weekend is Conference, and Dad and I will be at the cabin from Friday night on. I’ll be cooking Sunday dinner there, and we’ll eat about 12:30, between the sessions. So if you’re coming, let me know, so I can make enough food. There might still be snow on the ground! We can go sledding. (Although I think everybody’s getting tired of winter.)
      This morning I visited Grandma and Grandpa at the Seville, probably for the last time. They’re moving back to their house next week, and they’re pretty excited. There’s new paint and carpet, so they wanted me to drive them over to see it today. When we walked through it, Grandma was exclaiming about all the room, and two bathrooms! And all those closets! They’ve been sort of cramped at the Seville, so they’re looking forward to spreading out again. I told them not to fill it up too fast. When they first moved to the Seville, they were both lots worse off than now, so they didn’t mind. But now they’re both doing so much better, they can almost live on their own again. Bonnie’s going to be helping them a lot.
      Kara McGettigan has been asking me when we’re going to get a new kitten, and I finally caved. I told her May, because that’s when the selection is best. (I know any time I go to the shelter, I’ll come out with a cat, so the selection has to be good.) Kara’s going to come with me and help pick it out. And help me name it, and come over often to help take care of it. I tried to tell her that a kitten will grow up, and get fat and lazy like Xena and Rat Cat, but she doesn’t believe it.
      Life is good! Spring is coming! I love you all! Mom

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Allen and Missy are going to host an Easter picnic on Saturday, March 29th, at their house (or that cool park by their house). Yes, I know it will be a week after Easter, but Easter is soooo early this year, and there are conflicts Easter weekend, so we might as well celebrate together the next week. We’ll even have an Easter egg hunt! Yay! The party starts at 1:00 pm, and you should probably call Al or Missy to let them know you’re coming, and see what you should bring. Maybe it will even be spring by then? We can hope. Al and Missy went to San Diego last weekend, using up Missy’s last Jet Blue credits, and we got to tend their cat, Tiger. She’s your basic gumbie cat, tiger stripes and leopard spots, and she likes to hide in weird places. Kara McGettitgan had a lot of fun playing with her, and asked if we could please buy her from Allen and Missy. I told her Tiger already has a home.
      A few days ago I had a nice conversation on the phone with Brad King. I’ve always wanted to start an Ackerson Family scholarship at CEU, where we would sponser one student each year (tuition and fees,) and now that we’re not helping Paul with tuition any more (because he’s enjoying the magic of the Sable), it’s time to start. So I talked to Brad about what kind of a student we want to find. Some of you kids have suggested somebody who’s below 25 on the ACT. Or has a B average. All good ideas. Brad said the really great students are taken care of anyway, but there are lots of students who don’t test well. His own sister had a 19 on the ACT, but she became valedictorian at CEU. I’d love to sponser a student like her!! Let me know your ideas. Tuition and fees are about $1300 a semester, and I figure you can all pay what you want: make out the checks to CEU, so you’ll get the tax deduction, but send them to us, and then Dad and I will write out a check for the rest and send everything in together. So let us know what kind of a student we want, OK? I asked Brad, what if our student flunks out? He said, “Well, that happens.”
      Mike and Moka Allen had their baby on Monday. Her name is Bentley Clarise Allen, she weighed 6 lbs 1 oz, and has dark red hair with Allen feet. There are pictures on Megan’s and Melissa’s blogs. ( or
      My cell phone has been missing for several days so I guess I’ll have to go get a new one. Sigh. I’m going to miss my good old “brick.” But I’ve gotta stay connected.
      Sunday dinner last week was lots of fun. Thanks to all of you who came. Next month I’ll be doing Sunday dinner at the cabin on April 6th, conference weekend. Should be a blast, like always.
      Love you all, Mom

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Dear Kids,
      There’s a picture of Maci (or is it Macy?) Marilyn Sutton on Nora’s blog. She’s really cute! I think the baby blessing is going to be March 30th.
      Before I forget, I received an invitation to a bridal shower for Carly Benham, Gary Allen’s bride-to-be. The invitation was from Andrea, and she asked if I would let all you girls know (daughters and daughters-in-law), since she was only mailing invitations to the “aunts.” The shower is Thursday night, March 13th, at 7:00 pm, at Cindy Gilbert’s house in Orem. (That’s Renae’s siste-in-law). I’m going for sure, so anybody is welcome to ride with me. I know we haven’t kept up very well with all the showers for the nieces and nieces-in-law, but it’s always fun to see who’s there, and catch up on the gossip.
      Also, don’t forget I’m fixing Sunday dinner this coming Sunday, on the 9th. Let me know if you’re going to come, so I’ll be sure to fix enough food, and get out enough tables and resin chairs.
      I talked to Monica a few days ago, and she has an appointment at the Mayo clinic in Phoenix. I know the Mayo clinic has always been a last-ditch stop for people with weird and incurable diseases, but they also treat regular illnesses, and do a lot of experimental studies. Maybe Monica can get into a free trial of some miraculous new M.S. drug and be on the cutting edge of some breakthrough treatment. It would be a great scenario. I’m sure she’ll let us know how her appointment turns out.
      I think I had my last snowboarding jaunt of the season, yesterday. I went to Brighton by myself, because there had been a few inches of new snow, and it had been plenty cold. What I didn’t know is that a little new snow over frozen slush can be pretty treacherous. So I fell down a lot. Besides that, it was snowing and blowing on and off. And I was coming down with the flu. I kept going inside the A-frame and taking naps. Finally I went home. Meanwhile, Nora and Robyn were having a wonderful time, skiing at Deer Valley. Nora says she can’t wait to go again. Me, I’m ready to start digging in the garden. I’m ready for spring.
      If you haven’t checked the “Cat Gallery” lately, on, you’ll notice that I’ve added pictures of Xena and Rat Cat. That’s because Kara McGettigan kept bugging me to get the pictures up to date. So naturally, she’s featured with both cats. If any of our real grandkids loved cats as much as Kara does, I’d feature them, too. Kara spends an hour or so here every Monday and Tuesday morning, because Jana is doing radiation. She doesn’t know if it will help, but she’s willing to give it a try.
      I asked Paul if the Sable was working magic in his life, and he wasn’t sure, but he drove a group of kids to Crystal Hot Springs. He said he always wanted to go there, but nobody else ever wanted to drive. Ah, the freedom of a car! And the hassles. He’s bringing it home for a brake job this weekend.
      Lots of love, Mom