Sunday, November 25, 2012

Dear Kids,
          Thanksgiving was a blast, even with only three families of kids here. There were only ten children, but it seemed like enough. They went sledding on the hill, even though it’s only half covered with snow . The other half is mud, ice, and grass. There were injuries, but everyone had fun. Wednesday night, there were nine people sleeping in the bunkhouse, and all the bunks were filled. We stayed plenty warm with the heater going. Our dinner on Thursday was fantastic, and most of us ate too much. We hiked the little loop three or four times, but we never did the big one. Some of the people who couldn’t have Thanksgiving dinner with us came by later. John dropped in Thursday night, to get away from the noisy kids at his house, but he only exchanged one group for another. On Friday, Donna and Bevan brought Anna, and we had a little birthday party for her. On Saturday Allen’s family came. Remember, on Conference weekend, when Allen was talking about the weight-loss competition in his department? Well, he won the $400.00. You don’t want to know how, but he did it. He’s only gained back a few pounds since then.
          Nora says that the cousins’ Christmas party will be Saturday, December 22, at her house. We’re going ice skating at the Kearns Oval again. I’m very excited about that, because I love skating. Dad and I had plans to keep doing it last winter, but then I moved to the cabin. Anyway, you can all mark your calendars for December 22. I’m sure Nora will give us more details later on.
          I can’t think of any other news. This week went by so fast, and it was all Thanksgiving!
          I love you all! Mom

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Dear Kids,
          I scheduled the Golden Corral on 35th South for Dad’s retirement party, on January 4th, at 6:30 pm. When the guy asked me "One tab or separate tabs," I said, "One tab!" Dad’s retirement bonus will pay for everything. We’re hoping most of our family and best friends will come. (Sharon and Conrad are even planning to come for the event.) If you’re reading this post, you’re invited! We hope you’ll be willing to share your memories of "Dad driving his bus."
          We’re looking forward to Thanksgiving this week, and to having lots of fun with those of you who come. And, of course, Christmas is breathing down our necks. Sunday, Dec. 9, at 7:00 pm, is the Kamas Community Christmas program, at our stake center in Marion. Dad and I are in the choir, and we’ll be singing the Hallelujah Chorus, among other things. If you want to come, we’ll have treats at the cabin afterwards. Then, I’m pretty sure Nora will be hosting the cousins’ Christmas party for the kids again, but I haven’t heard of a date yet. As for Christmas itself, Dad and I will be here at the cabin. I’m going to buy a fake Christmas tree and set it up in the corner. Christmas Eve is a Monday night, and we’re planning to do the hike up Memorial Hill in Midway again, or Ensign Peak, whichever you guys prefer. Christmas Day Dad and I will drive around and visit some of you. We’ll probably mooch Christmas dinner somewhere. Wednesday, the day after, will be our sledding party here at the cabin. Be there or be square!
          Yesterday Dad and I went to a session in the Provo Temple. It was very busy. Lots of 19 and 20-year-old girls are getting endowed so they can leave on missions. There were four of them in our session! Later, Dad and I drove to Orem to visit Grandpa Allen. He seems to be doing about the same. He always seems to know who we are, which is nice, and he always asks Dad several times if he’s still driving a bus. Now we can say he’s retiring, so that’s something different. Bonnie came by and filled us in on the latest news. Adrien Webb is expecting twins. Jamie and Andrea are moving back to their house in Provo, and Katie Brooke and Kevin are moving in to take care of Grandpa. Katie has her CNA and does home health care, so they figure they’re up to it. My hat’s off to them! While we were visiting, we got to see Jamie and Andrea’s new baby boy, Jack. He’s long and lanky, with gigantic hands. His hair and eyes are dark, and his forehead is always creased with a worried look.
          Xena has been shipped back to our West Valley house because she was pooping in all the wrong places. She seems to be glad she’s home, although she’ll be alone a lot. Oreo is glad she’s gone. I ordered a super expensive automated cat feeder to try out. Xena has the bad habit of eating all her food in one day and starving the rest of the week. I’m eager to see how the cat feeder works.
          Life is good! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Dear Kids,
          Big news! Dad and I are expecting again! (No, not that!!) We’re expecting grandchild  #29! Little baby Hawkins is due June 2nd. Dad noted that it will be the tiebreaker. (14 boys and 14 girls so far.) Congratulations to Donna and Bevan!
          As of Thursday afternoon, we were still having delightful fall weather. Donna came by to borrow the air compressor and the staple gun, but she had to wait while I did the finishing touches on my deck project. She pruned the top of the tall pine tree while she waited, and Anna watched in wonder. We knew it was our last good day of fall! By Friday morning it was raining, and by Friday afternoon, I was already shoveling snow off the brand new deck. It’s weird to finish a deck one day, and shovel snow off it the next.
          Since then, we’ve had a ton of snow! There were 16 inches by yesterday noon, and we’ve had more since then. Yesterday afternoon Donna and Bevan brought us lunch, and then Donna tromped out the sledding hill with snowshoes. We all (including Anna) took a few runs. Then John arrived with his kids, and they all went sledding, too. Besides that, the kids had a lot of fun running around the yard and throwing themselves into the snow. I had forgotten, that for kids, snow is something you PLAY in. It’s not just something you have to shovel.
         11 more days till Thanksgiving! Please call me for a food assignment if you’re going to eat with us. It looks like we might not be hiking the big loop, but we’ll have a lot of fun sledding and playing games and eating. (And there will be midnight shopping at the outlet stores, too, I’m sure.)
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Dear Kids,
          Thanksgiving is only 2 1/2 weeks away! We’ll be having dinner here about 1:00 pm, so people can get to other places afterwards, if they want to. We’ll have pie sometime in the early evening, after some of us have hiked the big loop (if there isn’t too much snow.) If you’re reading this letter, you’re invited. I’ll be cooking turkey, dressing, gravy, and pies, at least. If any of you want to volunteer for rolls, mashed potatoes, yams, veggies, or anything else, let me know.
          John and his family spent last night here, and they just left so they could get home for church. Since today is the day we "fall" back an hour, we all thought we’d be well-rested. Now I can hardly keep my eyes open. I’ll have to drink a pepsi on our way to church. I always have a problem staying awake while I’m playing the piano in Primary. Once, back in 5th Ward, I fell asleep playing "Book of Mormon Stories." I woke up a few seconds later, and I was still playing, at the right spot. So it’s no joke that I can play some of the songs in my sleep. But I don’t want to do that every week.
          Tuesday morning I was outside loading up the car for my trip home, about 4:00 am, when a herd of elk came stampeding through our field. You hear about "a thundering herd," and you think it’s a figure of speech, but they shook the ground. The cats were huddled inside the greenhouse. There’s a little pine tree they destroyed about 5 years ago, (they go berserk during mating season) and I had replanted it and kept a cage around it ever since. This year it was busting out of the cage, so I took it off. So guess what tree the elk destroyed. Next year I’ll have to get another tree and a bigger cage.
          Last Tuesday afternoon, when I was home in West Valley, I decided to ride my bike to the library, probably for the very last time. The temperature was 70, the sky was blue, a light breeze was blowing, and it was absolutely beautiful. I was thinking, "so why exactly do we have to move?" But during my ride I got several lungfuls of bad emissions from cars and trucks that passed me, and I remembered why I don’t live there anymore.
          My phone is broken after being dropped too many times. I can still dial calls, and I can still read the outside screen, sometimes. But the inside screen is always black. So if you call me and I don’t pick up, I can’t see that you called. I check my messages several times a day, though, so leave a message, if you can. I guess I have to get a new phone.
        So many big changes! But I’m still doin’ great and lovin’ it, and I hope you all are, too.
          Love, Mom