Saturday, November 29, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Thanks to all of you who came to the cabin for Thanksgiving, because you made it such a wonderful day. And those of you who weren’t there . . . we hope you had a great time, too. We missed you. The food was better than ever. Especially the 16 lb. turkey that Donna got free. It wasn’t tough! And everybody made their specialties, so it was all good. We even got to hike the loop (big loop for the big kids, little loop for the little kids), and we didn’t even care that it got dark before we got back to the cabin. Coming down the hill, we saw the cabin glowing in the dark, because the greenhouse lights were on. It looked magical.
      And it was magical the next morning when there was snow on the ground! It was only two or three inches, but the kids were able to go sledding. The hill became a combination of grass, snow, and mud, but at least the sleds went down! We’re looking forward to a lot more snow and a lot more fun this winter.
      And Christmas is coming up fast! Nora is planning the kids’ exchange Christmas party on Friday, December 19th, at 5:30 pm (although if you get there later, there will still be plenty of fun.) The exchange list is on Kim’s blog. For the adult exchange, I think Nora’s working it out. Sharon says that it always rotates the same way.
      The day after Christmas, I’m planning the sledding party at the cabin. I realize that a lot of people will be in a lot of different places that day, but if you can come, we’ll have our usual chili or sloppy jo’s, or something warm and comfy. I’ll invite Dad’s cousins. They said they always want to have our get-together at the cabin now, so it will be an all-in-one.
      Here’s some good news: Jake and Dierdre had twin boys on November 15th, named Dallin and Logan, I believe. They were in the process of moving from North Carolina back to Green River, Wyoming, so the babies were born in Ogden. Evidently everything went well. Tom said, “They’re up with us, now!” (Because that makes 3 kids for them. I’m not sure if Izzy is even three yet.)
      Life is good! Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Dear Kids,
      Holy Cow! Allen and Bevan both turned 30 this week! Are we getting old or what? I still think of all you guys as little kids!
      Thanksgiving is coming up fast. Most of you who are coming have your food assignments. I’m getting excited for the good meal, and for seeing everybody, and for hiking the loop, if the weather is OK. It’s been dry and clear for a couple of weeks now, and I’m still riding my bike everywhere, but all that is supposed to change. Probably around Thanksgiving day. Either way, it will be good. Either we have nice weather and do some good hiking, or it will snow and we can stare at the mountains and hope the snow is piling up (like Tom used to do when he was a student at Granger High. He said he used to get distracted looking out the windows and wondering how much snow was up there.)
      My piano recital last Saturday was the best show ever! All my students did their songs nearly perfectly, and all Robyn’s, too. (Nora’s friend, Robyn Noel. We’ve been having our duet recitals together for three or four years now.) The grand finale was Tyler and Sam McGettigan and Adam and Jeffrey Fulton playing “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.” It was really spectacular. We’ve gotten into the tradition of a really grand trio or quartet for the finale, so if any of you want to come and play next year (usually the third Saturday in November,) let me know.
      So, all my big projects are over with now: My mission reunion, our trips to Albuquerque (half-way) and Michigan, the Relief Society auction, printing my ancestor book (twice), the election, speaking in church, giving a Relief Society lesson, and my duet recital. What do I worry about now? Nothing. My life is really boring. Just Dad and me and the cats and the bird. Good thing the holidays are coming up.
      Love, Mom

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Dear Kids,
      My piano recital is this afternoon, and then I’ll be done with all the stressful events in my life, at least for now. Our Relief Society auction Tuesday night was a big success, although there weren’t as many ladies there as we’d hoped for. Our stake musical had a rehearsal, and some of them were there. Other people? I don’t know, but lots of ladies donated services, even when they knew they couldn’t come. And for us that were there, we won lots of great prizes. I offered my snowboarding lesson again, and Jennifer Longhurst Halling bought it. Only problem is, she has little feet. So I have to get a pair of boots a size smaller than the smallest ones I have now. But the grandkids are getting up to snowboarding age, so I’ll need every possible size.
      Some of you have been asking how Monica’s doing with her MS, so I asked her, last time we talked on the phone. She’s giving herself injections every Thursday night, (I think the drug is Avonex) and then she has to take ibuprofin to get through the night. On Fridays, she feels a little hung over, and after that she’s OK. I also asked about Ramona. She has a new middle name: Hussein. And she knows it.
      Oreo is now a fine, big cat--bigger than Rat Cat, but not obese like Xena. You know how every cat has its own food cravings, like Scarlett with her peanut butter? Well, Oreo loves milk. If he hears you getting yourself some cereal, he comes running, and when you pour the milk he goes berserk. You have to toss him out while you eat it, or he’ll have his nose in the bowl. It’s supposed to be traditional that cats like milk, but I’ve never seen a cat so totally obsessed with it before.
      Thanksgiving is coming up fast! We’ll probably have dinner about 1:00 pm, like we usually do. If the weather is good, we can hike the loop afterwards to work it off. Let me know if you’re coming, and tell me what you want to bring.
      And Christmas is right around the corner. The toy catalogs are pouring in.
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Dear Kids,
      We had a big snowstorm yesterday morning while Oreo was inside taking a nap on the couch. When the weather cleared up, I tossed him out. I knew he’d never seen snow before, so I watched to see what he’d do. He started pawing it like sand, piling it up in a little heap. Then he just stared at it. I guess he thought it was the coldest, wettest, whitest sand he had ever played with.
      Donna had an adventure of a different kind in the snowstorm. She was leaving the Sinclair station at the junction of I-80 and Highway 40, driving under the underpass while a snowplow came from the other direction, up on the overpass, on that curve that turns toward Salt Lake. The snowplow was going fast, pushing snow to the side and over the edge. You guessed it: a big pile of snow and ice fell down onto Donna’s windshield and shattered it. It’s lucky it wasn’t worse. Donna’s windshield is broken into thousands of pieces, but it didn’t cave in on her. Now she’s trying to get it replaced, but her Honda was made in Canada, which seems to be a problem. Meanwhile, she called UDOT, and they’re sending her some claim forms. I hope it all turns out OK.
      I had fun working at the election on Tuesday. I’m still a voting machine tech, and they assigned me to Valley Jr. High. We were out in the science building, in back of the school, so we didn’t have hordes of kids coming through, like at Granger last time. We did have lots of voters, though, especially when we first opened at 7 a.m. And, we got to have school lunch! I had the best sub I’ve eaten in a long time.
      Did you guys know that Allen is a college student again? He’s going to Columbia College, working on a degree in criminal justice. Columbia College is down near the University of Phoenix, another of those mostly-night schools that cater to working people. Al says he doesn’t want to be the only person in the family without at least a bachelor’s degree. Go, Al!
      Paul has signed a contract to work for APEX Security again next summer. I hope he does at least as well as he did this year! He probably doesn’t want me to give a report of his earnings, but it’s pretty impressive. (Call him for details.) He also says he might change his major to Environmental Engineering, from Civil. They work with contaminated soil, waste water--all that interesting stuff. Go, Paul!
      I’m fixing dinner this Sunday, November 9th. We’ll be eating at 5:00 pm. Let me know if you plan to come. Also, it isn’t to soon to be planning Thanksgiving! Dad and I will definitely be at the cabin. I’ll cook turkey, dressing, potatoes, gravy, and pies. Volunteers for other foods are welcome.
      I love you all! Mom