Friday, January 30, 2009

Dear Kids,
      I visited Grandma and Grandpa yesterday, and they have another new cat! Uncle Johnny and Aunt Donna were there over the weekend, and they convinced Grandma that two cats are better than one, because they can entertain each other. (Hey, what a great idea for Ramona!) (No, just kidding.) So they trooped over to PetsCo, and there was a van in the parking lot from Sevier, with lots of unwanted cats they were just giving away. Grandma chose a fluffy tortoise shell female, just the size of their other cat, Charlie, and now the two of them race back and forth all day long. Charlie is supposedly not biting any more, but I’ve got new puncture wounds in my hands, just from trying to examine his collar and tag.
      Last Saturday Dad and I drove to Brigham City to see Andy and Renae’s new house. (Hey, gas is cheap now! We’re on the road again!) The house is really, really big! Every bedroom has its own bathroom. I think the master bedroom suite alone is about the size of our main floor. Their garage has a large work area in the back, perfect for Renae to package up her orders, and there’s an office just inside where she can do the business end. In the basement she has a big bright room for her sewing. There’s plenty of room for their married kids and grandkids to stay over, and they said anybody else is welcome stay over any time, too. Renae fed us a great dinner and we had lots of fun talking about people and things and bike riding. Andy’s working out the details of the Great Utah Ride, so check with him if you have any questions.
      Granger High is going to be torn down and rebuilt in Granger Park. Only they’re leaving the old one up until the new one is done. (They did the same thing to Orem High.) I don’t know if you kids feel very sentimental about your old High School, but I don’t want anybody to be shocked when they see it’s gone.
      I’m cooking Sunday dinner on February 8th. We’ll be eating at 5:00. Let me know if you want to come!
      In a few minutes I’m heading up the canyon to go snowboarding. My friend Bekah Davis was going with me, but she burned herself accidentally around the middle, with a steamer (freaky accident) so we rescheduled for next week. Meanwhile, it’s a beautiful day, and I’ve been planning on it all week, so I’m going alone. The sun is shining and there’s plenty of snow up there. Here I come!
      Love, Mom

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Dear Kids,
      First off, some news I would rather not pass on, but here's an e-mail that Amber sent to Sharon and Monica: “I have some sad news that I felt that your family should know about. Please make sure the rest of the family is aware of the situation, if they haven't heard already. My sister Theresa is 9 months pregnant with her 9th child. She is due on the 14th of February. She found out yesterday, the 20th of January, that her husband Jonnie had commited suicide. She is now alone with 9 children. Please keep her in your prayers. There will be a funeral held at the LDS Chapel in Longview, WA(30th street) at 4pm on Saturday the 24th of January. If you have any questions please feel free to write me back at this email address ( or you can contact me on my cell 253 576 4283 or my home number at 253 847 8150. Theresa’s address is: 4306 Ocean Beach Hwy. Longview, WA 98632, 360 425 4555."
      Here’s something more upbeat: Nora and Stu took off this morning for Michigan to spend four days with the Thackersons in Michigan. I drove them to the airport at 5:30 am. Go, Nora! It takes a lot of guts to get on a plane with a baby, a backpack, a car seat, and a large carry-on. Luckily they were flying nonstop. Paige and Ben are here today, playing with toys and watching movies. Addie is at school. A babysitter is lined up for later in the afternoon, and I think James will be taking charge after that.
      I’ve been riding the inside bike every day, training for the Great Utah Ride. I’m up to half an hour a day. John is planning to do some of the ride, from Thursday to Saturday night, with his family tagging along and staying in the motels. I think Justin will be in on it, too. You’re all welcome, of course. Let me know if you want the training schedule. It’s brutal!
      I’m counting down to February 17th. You didn’t know it was an important day? Well, if you have cable or satellite, or a digital TV, it won’t affect you. But all these ads from Comcast and DishNetwork keep warning us that if we don’t convert, we won’t have any TV signal after February 17th. I’m thinking, “Is that a promise?” I would love a world without TV. Right now Dad and I are watching a lot of Perry Mason and Twilight Zone videos from the library, and it’s much better entertainment than anything on TV. I’m hoping Dad won’t notice when our signal disappears. Anyway, he can watch TV at UTA when he gets off work. And there’s always the internet!
      Here’s the info from Brad King about our Ackerson Scholarship student: “His name is David Potter from here in Price. He is a great young man who is trying to decide between Dentistry and Optometry. I thought that would be a good match. You should hear from him in the next couple of weeks. I will have him give you more detail. Because he was not here last semester, the money will stay in your account and will be available in the future. Because David did not go to school before his mission, it is his intent to be here for the two years.” We look forward to hearing from him.
      Life is good. Hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it. Mom

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I just got back from the viewing for Doug Carlson–you know the Carlsons on Hawkeye, parents of Brian, Jennifer, Jeff, and Laurie. (Brian said to say Hi to Allen, and Jeff said to say Hi to Paul). Doug died of heart disease, but he also had kidney failure, and was on dialysis. I guess it was a good time for him to go, but really hard for his family. He’d been in the hospital since he had surgery about three weeks ago, and he never recovered. Dad and I will be going to the funeral tomorrow, and then I’ll be helping with the luncheon too, since I’m in Relief Society now.
      Charley, Andy, and Richard are planning a 5-day bike tour, the Great Utah Ride, from Brigham City to Kanab. It will probably be Labor Day weekend, September 3-8. The five legs of the trip will be Brigham City to Riverton, to Nephi (on the west side of Utah Lake,) to Richfield, to Panguitch, and to Kanab. They’ll start on a Thursday, ride Friday and Saturday, take Sunday off in Richfield, and then finish on Monday and Tuesday. Here’s an e-mail that Richard sent out: “I like the idea of inviting anybody who wants to join us for all or portions of the ride. Those of you who want to ride the entire trip will need to be able to average around 15 mph over 5-7 hours a day. I will set up some training goals that will help prepare anyone who wants to do this. It will require approx 3 rides a week starting in March. Indoor trainers are great and will help you get a jump start on the season You will also need to have the proper gear to ride. Shorts, helmet etc. and your bike needs to be a quality bike to be able to withstand the stress put on it by riding the distances each day. I am also available for consultation (for a nominal fee) for bike and equipment questions. I love the idea and I think it will be a lot of fun especially if we can get a lot of participation from all of our families so pass the word on.”
      Richard worked out a training schedule and sent it to me as an attached file (PDF). Anybody interested? I can forward it to you. I’m planning to do some of the ride, but probably not all, since my idea of training is to ride my bike to the library 2 or 3 times a week, (no shorts), although I did borrow Allen’s contraption that you put under the back wheel of your bike to make it stationary. It gives you a pretty good workout. I went snowboarding yesterday and had a great workout–too bad it uses different muscles.
      Brad King sent me some information about the student who’s using the Ackerson Family scholarship, and I’ll put more in my next letter, since this one is long already. But I just wanted to remind all of you who contributed–make sure you deduct it when you do your taxes, if you itemize.
      Life is great! Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Before I forget, I’ll be cooking Sunday dinner this week, the 11th. We’ll be eating about 5:00, and I’ll be making spaghetti. Let me know if you’re coming! I’ll get to use the new little table and chairs that Nora gave me for Christmas (instead of borrowing hers all the time.)
      Bonnie sent out the following e-mail about the Allen family reunion next summer: Today was the day to reserve the Riverwoods park for the reunion next summer. The first week in August was taken, so I reserved "our pavilion" by the waterslide hill, etc. for Saturday JULY 25th. Richard and Jeanne will be here in Utah, and so will Katie's Idaho girls. Also the missionaries will be home:) So we have the park from 9:00-2:30 and we will have the usual water slide and activities, bring your own food etc. I hope everyone can make this date, and with this much time, you should all be able to plan for it. I know that we will have a great time again as in years past.
      So there’s Bonnie’s message. I know the Spudman triathlon is the same weekend, but I don’t know any of your plans yet. It seems like summer is way far away, with the wind and snow blowing outside.
      I guess the news has gotten around that Nora permed my hair for me. I can’t say she was eager to do it. I had already cut off several inches, so I needed her to even it up for me, and at the same time I had a home perm from Walmart that I bought several weeks ago. I made her use it, and she did the same great job she always used to do, back in the 80's. I ended up with a total 80's look, but then she showed me how to use a hair straightener. So go figure–I got a perm so I could straighten it.
      Uncle John Frederick is living in a motel in Washington State, I presume near to Theresa. He hasn’t really moved to Washington, because his stuff is still in his house back in Arlington, but he says he’s going to fly back to Virginia, pack up everything, and get an agent to sell the house. I know he’s been talking for years about moving to Washington, so it sounds like it might really happen.
      I hope you’re all settled back into real life, after the fun of the holidays. I love you all!