Saturday, November 27, 2010

Dear Kids,
      In my last letter, I mistakenly put Luke’s baby blessing as December 15th. Somehow my finger slipped an extra 1 in there, because it’s on the 5th, and I knew it. So it’s a week from tomorrow. Isaac’s and Buttercup’s (oops, I mean Anna’s) blessings will probably be together, on January 2nd in Nora and James’s ward. I think their new schedule is 11 to 2. More events: the Messiah in Heber, where Tom will sing and Heather will play the clarinet, is Sunday night, the 12th. The big party at Nora’s, where the cousins exchange presents, is Friday night, the 17th. If there are any more events, I’ll try to post them, and get the dates accurate. Oh, make sure you look at the cousins’ exchange list, which is just under this letter on my blog. I put it in as an extra post. I know there’s also a schedule of which of you kids give to each other, but I’m out of the loop on that one.
      So, on to the great events of the week. You’ve all heard about Anna’s exciting arrival into the world, just as the blizzard was pulling out of the area. (There were about 18 other babies born at the Death Star the same night, same reason.) Donna had come to Salt Lake the day before to put money down on their house in Midway, and to help with my piano class. She had also planned to stay the night here, because we all knew the storm was coming in. I don’t think she planned to go into labor. Early in the evening she got pretty uncomfortable, and even Cary Grant movies didn’t distract her much. We were both watching to see how the storm was doing, and commuterlink to see how the roads were. Both were bad, but it stopped snowing about 11 pm, so we headed to the hospital. (IHC in Murray, not Park City, like they had planned.) Bevan was back at the cabin, sleeping comfortably in bed, and Donna didn’t call him until 3 am, when we could see that traffic was going down Parley’s again. He got there in plenty of time for the delivery at 7:25. It was very exciting. I wasn’t expecting Anna to have dark hair!! Of course she’s very pretty. Beverly and Lloyd came right to the hospital after Bevan called them, and they were absolutely delighted with her.
      When I got home from the hospital, I had to quickly pack up our stuff for Thanksgiving at the cabin. Luckily I had done most of my cooking the day before. When Dad and Paul and I got there, a full-scale party was in progress, with just Nora’s and Tom’s families. Vanessa and Trent and their kids arrived the next day, in time for dinner, and they stayed the night. John’s family came on Friday, just as Donna and Bevan were arriving home with the baby. It was all very exciting. We missed everybody who wasn’t there, however. Allen was on call, and they couldn’t go that far from home. I just read in the news about a family in Florida that always has about 45 people for Thanksgiving, and I thought, that’s news??? At Grandma and Grandpa Allen’s, there were always at least 50 people, minimum. Remember those fun times?
      Life is good. I love you all! Mom

Monday, November 22, 2010

Ackerson Cousins Christmas Exchange List

Julie ➝ Ben
Jacob ➝ Meg
Aaron ➝ Emma
Aubrey ➝ Charlie
Addie ➝ Macy
Ben ➝ Ali
Paige ➝ Julie
Stu ➝ Ellie
Isaac ➝ Lucy
Sterling ➝ Abby
Sarah ➝ Jacob
Meg ➝ Buttercup
Macy ➝ Matthew
Luke ➝ Addie
Bentley ➝ Aaron
Emma ➝ Sterling
Ali ➝ Stu
Abby ➝ Luke
Carson ➝ Paige
Ellie ➝ Aubrey
Buttercup ➝ Isaac
Charlie ➝ Sarah
Matthew ➝ Bentley
Lucy ➝ Carson

Friday, November 19, 2010

Dear Kids,
      Dad and I are getting serious about buying a minivan, and I just called Incredible Motors in North Salt Lake. They have the best deals on Toyota Siennas, but those cars don’t sit on their lot. They go directly from the auction to the people who have requested them. For that, you save a couple of thousand dollars. If that doesn’t work for us, we’ll just go the regular dealer route. We’re still doing OK with just the truck. It took us to Jackson and to Pocatello, and it’s made innumerable trips to the cabin. It’s going to need it’s chains before long, though, to get up the hill. That’s when I’ll be really eager for the minivan (with Blizzak tires, of course).
      We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving in just 6 days. If there isn’t much snow, I’ll want to hike the loop after dinner. If there’s more snow, we can go sledding. It will be fun either way!
      You might have heard that Donna and Bevan were very interested in a house in Midway, and after a couple of tries, the bank has accepted their offer! They’re scheduled to close on December 15. Dad and I and Kim and her mom did a walk-through a couple of weeks ago, and I was very impressed. It’s a quality house. (It’s located at 95 South Center, if you want to look it up on Google Earth.) Donna and Buttercup will be doing a lot of work in the yard, of course, and there are some potential inside projects, but that’s the fun of life. I would hate to live in a house that had nothing to work on.
      Vanessa and Trent are planning on blessing Luke on December 15th. They have afternoon church (I think it’s 1:30 to 4:30) which makes it easier to get there on time. Dad and I were joking that even if it were 9:00 am, we could still make it easily. We’d just get up at 4:20 like we do every day anyway. If Dad and I have our minivan by then, we could take passengers.
      My piano class in the Spanish Branch is still going really well. My most advanced student, Judianni, played the opening song in Relief Society last Sunday. It was the easiest song in the easiest hymn book (Hazme andar en la luz) but who cares? It was actually one of them playing and not a gringo from the outside world. My next project is to get a key to the chapel (I already have one to the outside) so we can practice on the organ.
      More piano news: Last night Robyn Noel and I had our joint duet recital, and Addie played “Bingo” with Ian Noel. She did really well! Nora has been teaching her. I’m really proud of them both.
      Lots of love, Mom

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Dear Kids,
      By now you’ve all heard about the arrival of Isaac Mair, born Tuesday afternoon at 3:56 pm. You also know what a tanker he is, at 9 lbs. 1 oz. You may not also have known that, at the same time, James’s mother was hovering between life and death, and Nora just now called to say that she passed away. She had a stroke about a week and a half ago, and then she got pneumonia, and she went downhill pretty fast from there. Last night when we visited Nora and James and the baby at the hospital, James said it wouldn’t be long, and he was right. The funeral will probably be Monday. Nora said it was pretty sad, but if she had a choice, the babies would live, and older people would pass on. I think I can agree. James’s mom lived a really good life.
      Dad and I had a great trip to Pocatello last weekend. Yep, we stayed at Motel 6. The thermostat didn’t work, so the heat was either on or off, and I had to get up a couple of times during the night to turn it one way or the other. Except for that, we had no complaints, especially since it only cost $44.95. We had a lot of fun with Vanessa and Trent and the kids! Baby Luke is really cute. He looks a lot like Sterling, and has the same expressions on his face. We raked pine needles in the yard, ate at Craigos and McDonalds, and partied in general. Dad especially liked their big TV. I liked teasing Kita Cat with catnip. He always remembers me, even if he hasn’t seen me for a year or two, and sticks his long needle nose into my purse, looking for the drugs. So in general, we had a great time.
      Paul has been called as a Gospel Doctrine teacher in his ward. I wish we could attend his lessons! I bet they’re interesting. They’ve got that same Old Testament manual that’s been around for about 20 years, but I bet Paul can make it interesting. He says he only wishes there were a podium he could stand behind, instead of just a table, so he wouldn’t look so tall. I’m guessing that makes him look all the more impressive.
      Thanksgiving is only two weeks away! So far, Nora’s and Vanessa’s families will be having dinner with us. The rest of you, please let me know your plans! The cabin is anxious to host as many people as possible. Donna will probably be off having Buttercup, but that will be fun, too.
      I love you all! Mom

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Dear Kids,
      Today I had an appointment with the surgeon who took out my gall bladder, but all he did was look at my incisions and say they would probably hurt for a little longer. I asked him questions about my gallstones, so he handed me the lab report and said I could read it myself. There were “multiple” gallstones up to .7 cm, and some of them were embedded in the “cystic duct.” Naturally I needed the help of Wikipedia to figure it all out at home. No wonder it hurt so much! I’m really grateful to have it behind me.
      I had an appointment with a pulmonary doctor about my breathing, but after waiting for more than an hour in her waiting room, and finding out there were still two people ahead of me, and that she expected to spend an hour on me, besides, I realized I didn’t have time. They said they would call me and reschedule, but they didn’t. Right now I’m breathing a lot better than I was, so maybe I don’t need a lung doctor after all. If it gets bad again, we’ll just move to the cabin.
      Instead of a regular Sunday dinner this month, I’m going to wait until Thanksgiving. It’s only three weeks away! We’ll have our usual fantastic Thanksgiving dinner at the cabin, and we’ll probably eat about 1:00 in the afternoon. Let me know if you’re coming, so I can plan enough food, and give you an assignment.
      Tomorrow Dad and I are heading to Pocatello to see Luke Thomas Sutton for the first time. Oh, yes, and the other Suttons, too. Hopefully we’ll be able to help with some yard work or one of their home-improvement projects. We’re going to stay at the Chubbuck Motel 6, because I still need to get the bad taste of the Arlington Hilton out of my mouth. For sure we won’t have to pay for parking!
      My piano class for the Hispanics is still going great. Marie Searle had to quit helping us teach, but I found somebody new: Donna! (I should say 2 new teachers–Donna and Buttercup.) I’m bribing them with gas money to come and help us every week. The first time worked out great.
      I need to give away all our games, since I need that cupboard to store boxes of toner cartridges and family history stuff. Anyway, Dad and I don’t play games, except chess, and we have every possible game at the cabin. So if you want to take any of the games in the cupboard, help yourself the next time you come by here.
      Life is good! Love, Mom