Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Sharon has some interesting news from Thackerland. If you check her blog, you can see ultrasound pictures from her doctor visit. It looks very much like a girl. Sharon’s having another ultrasound in three weeks, and they’ll know for sure, then. (She gets lots of ultrasounds because she’s participating in yet another study. I guess it’s part of university life.)
      The Allen family reunion last Saturday was a blast. I hope to get a copy of the mob picture and put it on our blog. There’s one on Carly’s blog, but it doesn’t enlarge very much. Maybe someone else will put up a link to a really good copy. Anyway, it was great to see all of you who were there, and we missed the rest of you. It was also great to see a gazillion neices and nephews and cousins and kids. I think Grandma and Grandpa Allen are going on 85 great grandchildren now. What a family!
      Meanwhile, we’re gearing up for our own wonderful 2nd annual Ackerson family reunion starting this Friday evening. All the details are in my last Mom letter. I’m sure it will be just as much fun as last year. And for next year, we’re hearing rumors of The Tetons. Wahoo!
      The Windstar died in disgrace in front of the Lighthouse Church on Sunday, but thanks to a towing to Bill and Randy’s, it’s up and running again. It was the fuel pump. So I was sidelined at home for a couple of days, when I was anxious to be at the cabin, working on the bunkhouse. Most of the outside is finished, including the windows and a door, but we need to have the metal roof done. (It’s too steep to tackle ourselves. Ask Dad. Ask him about the bruises and scrapes on his legs!)(I have a picture of him smiling and waving his hammer from the top of the roof, just before his fatal slide. But luckily he was able to catch himself before he fell all the way to the ground).
      I went out bike riding again this morning, for the first time in about a month. Wow, you can get out of shape really fast! Lots of training doesn’t do you much good if you quit for a month (even for something as exciting as a bunkhouse.) The river is really low now, and the ducks are gone. Maybe the DWR rounded them up. Maybe they’ve been served at a Chinese restaurant. Who knows? I had a fun ride, but I’m looking forward to cooler weather. The Great Utah Ride is still on. Charley and Richard and Andy are training hard. Let me know if you plan to be part of it. I’m starting Friday morning, Sept. 4th. Dad will join up that night. We’ll be home the evening of the 8th. There’s talk now of doing the ride in disconnected segments, and it might include a sleepover at Charley’s house in St. George.
      So much fun! So much family! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Dear Kids,
      I’ve been at the cabin all week working on the agricultural shed, and it’s coming along great. Bevan helped me a lot on Friday, except that he kept getting distracted whenever a magpie flew into the field. He had to grab the pellet gun each time and get off a shot or two. He didn’t have any luck that morning, but overall he’s shot five of them. The main flock has moved on now, however, so I won’t be paying out as much bounty now.
      Next Saturday morning is the Allen family reunion at the Riverwoods Park in Provo, same park as always, (except for the year we accidentally got the Riverside Park) . We have the pavilion reserved from 8:30 am until 2:30 pm. There will be a big “mob” family picture at 11:30 am, so be there!! Bring your own lunch, like always, and maybe a dessert to share. There will be a waterslide for everybody, and a fish pond for the kiddies. Bonnie says there will be a record number of people there–all of Katie’s family, and Nancy’s, and Barbara’s, and lots of everybody else. Directions? It’s hard to find, I know. From the interstate you take the Orem Center Street exit, and then go all the way across Orem, nearly to the University Parkway. But if you cross the Provo River, you’ve gone too far. The GPS coordinates are 40°17'41.47" N, 110° 39' 48.75" W. Or, call me on my cell if you get lost.
      Then, the following weekend is the second annual Ackerson family reunion! Here’s the agenda, courtesy of John and Heather (I have preserved John’s original spelling):
July 31st
6:00-9:00 PM Weenie Roast with buffet fixings (food and fire will be provided)
Badmitton, horseshoes, and other lawn games will be avaliable.
8:00PM Graham Cracker S'mores. Moms famous chocolate coated graham crackers will be provided. Camping in tents around the campfire for anyone who wants to. Bring your own tent and bags.
August 1st
7:00-8:00 AM John's famous pancake breakfast at the cabin (food provided)
8:30 Leave for park City Alpine slide
9:00 Alpine Slide and other local activities
11:30 Sneak tour of the old Sweat Water Condo and pool area!
12:00 PM Lunch at Park City City Park with provided Pizza and drinks. (food provided)
1:30 Kamas Pool Swimming with mandatory waterslide participation.
4:30 Official adjournment with optional Movies/outlet shopping or just going home. Dinner is on your own for Saturday evening.
Food cost will be $25 per family for 3 meals.
Alpine slide is around $10 per person. Google it for more information.
     (This is Mom again) It all sounds like a lot of fun. If anybody can’t afford the food charge, you can apply to me for a waiver.
      Dad and I went to David Tregaskis’s homecoming this morning in Orem. It sounded like he had a great mission! Matt Allen’s homecoming is next week, and here’s a message from Richard: “Hey everybody if you are not tired of missionary home comings by now you can come to Matt’s on Sunday the 26th at 11 am at our old chapel in South Jordan 2600 West 9800 South. We will have lunch afterwards.”
      So much going on! So much fun!! Love, Mom

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I just came home from Austin James’s homecoming in Orem. You can tell Austin was a really great missionary, and he gave a wonderful talk. I had fun gossiping with my brothers and sisters at Bonnie’s house afterwards. David Tregaskis’s homecoming is next Sunday at 9:00 a.m. at Nancy’s ward, 800 E. 600 North, in Orem. There’s a brunch afterwards. Matt Allen’s homecoming is the following week at Rich and Jeanne’s old ward in South Jordan, at 11:00 am. Such fun! It doesn’t seem that long ago that those three boy cousins were blessed on the same day, in Grandma and Grandpa’s ward in Orem. Remember? They had little matching outfits.
      I had lots of fun at the cabin this week, working on the bunkhouse. Donna and Bevan helped me a lot, and Dad came Friday night. All the walls are up, and most of the rafters for the roof. This coming week I hope we’ll finish the roof and start nailing down waferboard. I’m not going back until Wednesday afternoon, though, because I need to rest up and recover from my injuries. I have sunburned ears, a split lip, lots of injuries on my hands, including one from the nail gun, and black toes on my left foot. (From spraining my ankle two weeks ago.) My neck hurts and my head, too, from bonking it on boards and scaffolding. So I need a few days to recuperate.
      It’s strange now at the cabin, not having the internet. I can’t check the weather hour by hour, and I don’t keep up on the news. It’s kind of nice. We miss Tom and Kim and their kids, however. I miss Bentley following me around asking questions about what I’m doing. I miss Kim calling me in for lunch. I miss Tom and the little girls. It’s weird. But down in Heber, they’ve been invited to three block parties, and they’ve already been visited by the bishopric and the primary presidency. There are advantages to living in town. Except that you can’t shoot magpies.
      Bevan shot another one Thursday morning. He’s a good shot, of course, but he has more to shoot at, since there’s now a whole flock of them, maybe ten or fifteen, and they all come around at once. They startle pretty easily, but the younger ones are stupid, and they just sit there, waiting to be taken out. Bevan put the dead magpie on the wood pile, and the others came back and danced around it and squawked. Bevan shot several more times, but they were moving around too much.
      What else? Nora and her family were at the cabin Friday night and Saturday, because Nora and her friend Amber were doing the Echo Triathlon. What, you never heard of the Echo? Triathlons are springing up all over the place, and great athletes like Nora and Amber are having lots of fun doing them. Nora was 21st in her age group.
      I’m still loving the Spanish branch. Today they asked me to give the closing prayer in sacrament meeting. You can bet it was short! Kathy Newton (Kenny’s sister-in-law) asked me to play the piano for her in Primary the week after next. There are no hispanics at all in that branch who play the piano or the organ–I had no idea. More fun for me!
      I love you all! Mom

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I just got home from a 3-day stay at the cabin, where we did a ton of work on the bunkhouse/aka shed. Not only did we do the floor joists, the floor, insulation, and power, but we also framed two walls! They looked very impressive, standing there, as we drove away this afternoon. I’ll be going back on Monday to work some more.
      As you all know, Tom and Kim moved to Heber last weekend. Their house is very nice! There are lots of friends for Bentley, Emma, and Ali, so everybody’s happy. The magpies at the cabin were especially happy, and Sunday night they were doing a victory dance on the east lawn. Bevan grabbed the pellet rifle and raced up to the balcony in Moose, where he took aim and shot one dead. Thursday night, he shot another one! I’ve been offering a bounty of $5.00 per magpie carcass, and this is the first time I’ve had to pay out! (Tom shot one last year, but that was before my magpie promo.) John says he might come to the cabin and shoot magpies to help pay for his gliding hobby. You’d think the magpies might clear out now that they’ve had fatalities, but all they do is squawk.
      I won’t be cooking Sunday dinner at all in July, because the three missionary cousins are all having their homecomings, one after another. Austen James is already home, and his homecoming is on the 12th, at Bonnie’s church on 900 West and 1200 North in Orem, at 1:00 pm. They will have lunch after Sacrament Meeting at their house. David Tregaskis’s is the following week, at their church in Orem, and Matt Allen’s the week after that, in their old ward in West Jordan. That will be the day after the Allen Family reunion (July 25), same park, same time as every year. The week after that is our Ackerson reunion (August 1) and I’ll put more details in my next letter. Is all that clear?
      Paul is still doing great in Nova Scotia, and he’s actually ahead on his number of installs, compared with this time last year. Of course last year he had some bang-up weeks late in July, which isn’t so likely with the more uptight Canadians. Paul says that APEX had some bad press, which has made people less likely to buy their systems–sort of like missionary areas getting flooded with anti-Mormon literature. Go, Paul!
      I’m excited to be seeing so many of you so soon! Love, Mom