Friday, April 27, 2012

Dear Kids,
        First off, Ellie’s baptism is coming up really quickly! This information is from Allen: The baptism will be Saturday, 5-5-2012, at 10am at the Foxboro Stake Center. It's on 1100 North just west of Redwood Road. (1100 North NSL and 2600 south Woods Cross are the same street). The cousins will sing 3 versus of I Am a Child if God (normal arrangement). A lunch will follow at our house. Hope to see you there. Al.
       Dad and I are also looking forward to seeing lots of you at the baptism. Right now we’re settling back into our Utah life, after lots of fun in Maryland. I don’t miss the humidity, but my hands were really smooth by the end of the week, and the cracks in the ends of my fingers had healed. Now they’re cracking open again, but it’s all good. I started breathing better while we were in Maryland, that I’m still doing pretty well, so life is good.
       Last night Dad and I went to the wedding dinner for Katie James and Kevin Cheesman, which was held at the La Jolla Groves restaurant, near the park where we always have our family reunions. Dad and I sat with Jane and Brendan, a table over from Charley and Suzy and Andy and Renae. Katie and Heather and Zane were here from Boise, and most of the rest of my family was there, except for Grandpa Allen. (I think he’s coming to the temple today, for the sealing.) It was fun to see the Cheesman family, too. I knew Ross, father of the groom, pretty well in high school. We were lab partners in chemistry and we broke lots of test tubes and beakers together. He’s got a lot of brothers that I knew, too. (All of them tall as church steeples!) They’re a great family, and they’re glad to be getting such a sweet daughter-in-law. Bonnie and Curt are glad to be getting such a nice and handsome and talented son-in-law. (Kevin played the guitar and sang a song for Katie at the dinner.) So it was a great occasion. Naturally we all missed Grandma Allen, because she always loved wedding events. I’m sure she’ll be at the temple today, even if we don’t see her.
       Paul is leaving next week for Sacramento, where he’s going to be an installer again. He’ll be here in town for a couple of days before he leaves, so we’ll look forward to visiting with him.
       Love ya all! Mom

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dear Kids,
           Dad and I are winding up our vacation here in Maryland with Sharon and Seth’s charming family. Right now I’m frying hamburger for Tater Tot Casserole, singing with Lucy, and clomping around in some very high bootie-heels I bought at TJ Maxx. (I figure I need to learn how to walk in them before I wear them in public.) TJ Maxx has another name here, Marshalls, but it’s the same funky shopping experience. I was chatting with a very friendly black woman, who was picking through sandals while I was examining these very tall shoes. I said to her, “If you were six feet tall, would you wear these?” She said, “Da thing is, Sista, how tall is yo’ man?” I said my man could handle it OK, and I bought them.
           Meanwhile, my man has been working on Sharon and Seth’s Sienna, entertaining Lucy, and watching lots of episodes of “White Collar” on Netflix. Yesterday he and Seth and Matthew went to the Air & Space Museum to see the space shuttle. It was very exciting for them, but they got stuck in traffic for an hour on the way home. Sharon and I have been to Target and Kohls and Barnes and Noble. We took Conrad to Target for a photo shoot on Wednesday, and the pictures turned out great. (Sharon put up a link on Facebook.) Dad and I have made several trips to Sams Club, the only reasonable place to buy groceries here, and we always stop at Giant (the local grocery) for snack cakes and a carton of ice cream on our way home.
           Sunday morning we attended the Rockville Ward with Seth and the kids. They meet in the stake center next to the DC temple. It’s in a park area, and very beautiful. Their ward is very interesting: lots of DC types and professionals, but since this is Maryland, after all, there are quite a few low-functioning types, not to mention people of every possible ethnic type. Charlie’s school is also an astounding ethnic mix. Dad and I went to his awards assembly on Monday, and as names were called out, we could match them with the nationalities of the kids we saw. There are kids from every part of Asia, India, the Middle East, Africa, South America, Mexico, Russia, and all over Europe. If you tried to make the most diverse possible school, say, as some kind of government project, you couldn’t do better than Candlewood Elementary. I was also surprised to find out that Candlewood is rated 10 in test scores. That’s 10, the highest, not 1, the lowest, as would apply to Hillsdale, Westlake, and Granger High. (But we all know that your school’s rating isn’t the end of the story and doesn’t necessarily determine your success in life.)
           Dad and I are flying back to Utah tomorrow, to take up our old lives again. We’ll miss the Thackers, especially Conrad, who won’t be tiny the next time we see him. We’ll miss playing with the older kids. I’ll miss shopping with Sharon. But we’ll be glad to be home again, and we hope to see most of you at the baptisms coming up.
           Lotsa’ love, Mom

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Dear Kids,
           Of course we’re all thrilled by the birth of Conrad Allen Thacker on Tuesday. Dad and I are especially excited to be flying to Maryland to see all the Thackers. We’re leaving tomorrow morning (Friday, the 13th) and coming home on Saturday, the 21st. We don’t usually lock our house when we’re gone, and we’ve had pretty good luck the last 35 years, but we decided we ought to be more careful. So if you come by our house and need to get in, there’s a key by the carport door, in a magnetic container stuck to the barbecue. The front of the barbecue is towards the house, and the container is down by the controls. Incidentally, if you ever get to the cabin and nobody’s there, and the power is off, you won’t be able to get in through the garage door. (Yes, it really has happened!) There’s a cabin key in a magnetic container, stuck to the backside of the wood crib by the garage. Nuff said.
           Saturday night, when Dad and I got back to the cabin from the party at Nora’s, there was a very sweet, very dead young doe on the ground by the big swing set. I think it was hit somewhere by a car, and wandered to our property to die. When it got dark, Dad loaded it into the wheelbarrow, transferred it to the bed of his truck, and drove it down to Lower River Road, where he left it for pickup. Come to think of it, why do deer always die exactly on the shoulder of the road? I’m thinking now that some of them are transported there dead, by people who find them on their property. What else do you do with a dead deer? BTW, you can see that Dad is becoming a real red-neck.
           I’m still having lots of trouble breathing, but it’s gradually getting better. I saw my lung doctor on Tuesday, and he pulled up my Xrays from Instacare, from the day that I could hardly breathe at all, and said they looked pretty good. Even I could see the streaks of fluid in my lungs. I wanted to say, “So, what does a really bad set of lungs look like, huh?” I guess he was trying to be upbeat, but I really would like a doctor who might say, “Gosh, you’re really having a hard time of it!” I complained so much that he put me on Prednisone for 12 days. So I’m hungry all the time, and I can’t sleep at night, but I seem to be breathing a little better. Maybe.
           But life is good! I love you all! Mom

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Dear Kids,
           I’m off-schedule with my weekly letter because I was sick over the weekend. But I still have time to remind you all of the Baptism-Birthday-Easter party at Nora’s house this coming Saturday. Benjamin’s baptism is at 1:00 pm, at their stake center, located at 8150 South Grizzly Way (5420 West). The after-party at Nora’s will be a lunch, an Easter egg hunt, and a celebration of Ellie’s birthday. I asked Nora what people should bring, and she said, “Bring kids and candy.” If you want a food assignment besides, call Nora. It should be lots of fun.
           Dad and I both got colds last week, and I never thought about what would happen to me now if anything got into my chest. My poor wretched lungs can’t handle anything but pure mountain air, so what would they do with a cold virus? I found out, and it wasn’t nice. By Saturday morning I could barely breathe or talk, so Dad drove me from the cabin to the IHC InstaCare here in West Valley. (I’ve already been misdiagnosed once in the Heber ER, and they only have a limited urgent care clinic there.) We had to wait for a hour, but we got a really good doctor, and he fixed me up with a breathing treatment, a lung x-ray, and prescriptions for albuterol, prednisone, a really hefty cough syrup, and an antibiotic. He said he could “rescue” me, but he couldn’t “save” me, meaning it will probably happen again. But I know what to expect now, and next time I catch a cold, I’ll keep my lungs clear with albuterol so it can’t get that bad again.
           We really enjoyed Conference on Sunday, although the cabin missed all of you! It was crying! It’s remodel is going just fine, though, and we might be done by late June or early July. I’m all ready to start putting down wonderboard now, whenever I get well enough to mix mortar, carry in the wonderboard, and use a drill drive to screw it down. After that is the fun part, laying the tile, and doing the grout. And then of course one things leads to another, so I’ll have to put in new molding and paint and then go wherever that leads me. But you can all start planning your cabin parties for late summer or thereafter.
           Our e-mail just turned up the information that Russell and Kristyn Allen have a new daughter, Heidi Joy, born on March 30 in Sacramento. Congratulations. I imagine we’ll have good news from Sharon and Seth pretty soon. There are still plenty of bets on whether it will be a girl or a boy.
           Lots of love, Mom