Friday, July 29, 2011

Dear Kids,
       By now most of you have probably heard of the birth of Jackson Oliver Prendergast, born July 26 at about 3 pm, weighing 8 lbs. 4 oz, 21 inches long. Monica says he has some hair, and it’s blonde. Congratulations, Monica and Neil!! We’re really happy for them. They’re in the process of moving to Wisconsin, and Neil’s leaving early next week, so things will be hectic for them.
       We’re looking forward to the family reunion in two weeks! Thanks, Tom, for all the information. If any of you have any more questions, call Tom and Kim. The cabin is ready for the influx of people! I even got a screen for the bunkhouse, so people can sleep out there without bugs bothering them too much. BTW, there’s never been such a year for bugs, so be prepared. I’ve already pulled two ticks off of my skin. They look like a big blood blister, or a big dried scab, but when you pick it off, you see the little legs wiggling.
       Dad and I are rebuilding the balcony at the cabin, and we’re working on the railing now. It will be a lot safer when we’re done, but it’s not too safe now.
       Dad just left for his last (for now) Webelos Day camp. He was released last Sunday. I think he’s a little sad about giving up Webelos, but life moves on. Last Sunday, after church in Francis Second ward, he said he’d never been in a ward with so many farmers. He also says it’s probably the wealthiest ward we’ve ever been in. Interesting!
       Nora and I and Addie and Isaac are leaving for Burley later this morning, for the Spudman Triathalon. Vanessa will be there, too. I hope nobody drowns this time!
       Lots of love, Mom

Friday, July 22, 2011

Dear Kids,
       We’re waiting for good news from Monica and Neil about the birth of their son. It could happen any time, now. Any hour. We’re always excited about the arrival of a new grandchild! Donna and Anna flew to Tucson last night, and they’re staying three days. Hopefully little Jack will arrive while they’re there.
       Thanks, Tom, for the e-mail about the family reunion. If any of you didn’t get it, please let Tom know. It looks like a great schedule. Dad and I are willing to help with any meal, so let us know. I’m looking forward to riding the Heber Creeper, and eating at the Dairy Keen, and all the other activities. Should some of us bring tents for Friday night? Counting the bunkhouse, there are beds for 21 people, but that won’t be enough. Or are we all supposed to sleep in tents? Please let us know. We’re up for anything.
       Paul was here last Sunday night and Monday. He’s been studying for the GRE (not to be confused with the GED) which he’s taking tomorrow. He has a box of vocabulary words which he’s been memorizing. I’m really impressed! If he doesn’t pass the test, at least he’ll have a great vocabulary. Go, Paul!
       Dad and I are enjoying our Sunday meetings in Francis Second Ward. I’ve been shopping for dresses and skirts at the DI, because the ladies my age all wear clothes from the nineties. It’s quite a change from the Spanish Branch, where they all wore short skirts and heels. I’m suffering from major culture shock, too, hearing the talks and lessons in English. Everything sounds so bland!
       Wednesday, in chess club, I suddenly got a terrible cramp in my stomach. Dad and I had just eaten in the cafeteria, so of course I blamed the food. (They had a special buffet, to make up for a bad meal they had served a couple of weeks ago. It was supposed to be the best food that could possibly be served up! It was barely worth the $2.50 each that Dad and I paid for it.) Anyway, this cramp was killing me, until I looked at the chess board and saw I had a winning move. All of a sudden I felt a lot better! Our chess club is having an all-night chess marathon at the cabin August 26-27. Any of you who want to play chess all night are welcome to join us!
       Life is good! Love, Mom

Friday, July 15, 2011

Dear Kids,
       I just got back from a bike ride on the Jordan River trail. The water has gone down two or three feet, but it has left behind lots of bugs and bad smells. There are lots of stagnant pools and marshy places. I had fun, though. You can pretty much get anywhere on the trail now. My new route to the river goes along the West Valley Trax line, and there were lots of trax cars going back and forth. It’s supposed to open in a week or two.
       Our first official Sunday dinner at the cabin was a great success. Nobody from Nora’s family or Allen’s family complained about the long drive. I’ll let you know from month to month whether it will be here or there. For August, the second Sunday comes at the end of our family reunion weekend, so I think I’ll put off Sunday dinner until the third week. Dad and I don’t have any commitments yet in our new ward (and we might not have any for a long time!) so we’re really free. By the way, we’re really enjoying Francis Second Ward. Everybody has a good opinion of us already because of you wonderful kids who paved the way.
        I bought Dad a Nook Color for his late Birthday-Anniversary-Fathers Day present. He was having so much fun with it that I made him buy me one for an early birthday present. My idea was that we wouldn’t have to haul our scriptures to church, plus Gospel Principles and the Ensign. Also, I thought Dad would be totally cutting-edge in the Frances Second Ward, with his up-to-date technology. Little did I know. In Sunday School, an old lady behind us was zipping around on her Kindle, and the man two seats down was doing the same. Meanwhile, Dad and I were fumbling around, trying to look up scriptures. It takes some practice. But it’s so much fun! I discovered how to download books, and it turns out that every single classic you’ve ever heard of is free. I downloaded about 30 of them onto my Nook, and you can’t even see that they’ve taken up any space.
       Summer is going by so fast! We’re waiting for good news from Monica (hoping little Jack comes early) and we’re also looking forward to the family reunion in just four weeks!
       Love you all! Mom

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Dear Kids,
        We’ll be having Sunday dinner at the cabin on the 10th (this Sunday). We’ll probably eat around 4:30 or 5:00, depending on when people get there. I’m making King Ranch Chicken, rolls, and cupcakes, and Nora’s bringing a salad. It should be good. Plus, how can it NOT be fun, having Sunday dinner at the cabin? I plan to alternate every month, back and forth between the cabin and our house. Dad and I are going to become members of the Francis Second Ward, but we have to wait until the end of the month to transfer our memberships, because Dad is going to Webelos day camp on the 28tth. After that, it’s curtains for us and Fifth Ward.
        Dad and I had a great time in Idaho last weekend. Saturday we drove to Newdale, and we went to the Rexburg Temple with Harpers. Bruce Harper always has a whole pile of family names to do, and after the session, we sealed some of his people. He’s friends with all the sealers, so he just grabs somebody, and they do it right then. One of the sealers was a kid from my high school, Jerry Jex, who’s Katie’s age. It was fun to see him all white-haired and pleasant and dignified.
       Sunday morning we drove to Pocatello so we could go to church with Trent and Vanessa and their kids. Since it was July 3rd, they sang all the patriotic songs, and I didn’t realize how much I’ve missed them. (The Spanish hymn book doesn’t have any of them, since they use it all over the world.) Naturally I was a basket case trying to sing those songs. That night we went to a band concert in the park, and it was patriotic songs all over again. I think I cried during all of them. Maybe that’s just part of getting old.
        Monday morning we went to the Pocatello parade, and there weren’t any bands or floats, but they threw out candy. Later, Ruth Sutton told us the parade in Inkom was a lot better. I guess you have to know where to go. That afternoon, Vanessa and Trent had a barbecue for Trent’s birthday, and it was fun to talk to all their family and friends. The back yard looked like a Eric Dowdle puzzle: people playing badminton, basketball, cowboy golf, whiffle ball, frisbee, etc. Dad and I had to leave early, but it was great.
       Did anybody leave a very deep air mattress here? It’s about twice as deep as an ordinary air mattress, and if two people try to sleep on it, they just roll into the center. It has its own pump! Come and get it!
       Looking forward to seeing lots of you on Sunday, love, Mom