Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dear Kids,
          Dad and I are totally enjoying having Sharon and her kids here at the cabin. They came Wednesday morning and we picked them up at the airport. By the time we got back to the cabin, the party had already started. Tom cooked dutch oven potatoes, Nora and James barbecued chicken, and after that everybody contributed their specialties, all day long. People kept getting out food, and we kept eating it. There were 41 people here, and I’m sure we ate more food than has ever been consumed at the cabin in one day. 
          Since then, the fun has continued. We went to Heber on Thursday, swimming on Friday, and yesterday we met Tom’s family at Wasatch State Park where the kids went fishing in the pond and fed the ducks. Dad and I are having way more fun and recreation than we’re used to. 
          Here’s a great piece of news: Paul has an engineering job! It’s an internship for Magnus Pacific in Ogden, with long hours and good pay. It sounds ideal. He describes it as "more of a construction civil internship." I’m sure we’ll here more about it. Go, Paul!
          Naturally we’re all looking forward to the family reunion, starting Thursday evening. Here’s the itinerary from Monica:
          Thursday 8/1/2013 Arrive anytime starting at 1PM (this is the earliest official check in time-Coulter Bay Campground, we are in a group site) Set up tents. Dinner by Tom's family (between 5 and 7) Water bottle craft after dinner. Fire, smores, and celebrate Mom's birthday with cake!
          Friday 8/2/2013 Breakfast (between 7 and 9) by Sharon's family. Beach day-leave for String Lake at 10-11AM and plan to spend most of the day there. Please bring all your floatation devices (rafts, boats, canoes, kayaks, inner tubes, anything you want/have). People can also hike to Holli Lake before lunch. Lunch lakeside by Donna's family (between 11 and 1)
         There is a possibility that Lizzette and Theral can do some float trips but I haven't heard back from them. If they can do them then we'll leave for Jackson early and overtake a park in town, which can be a base camp for people both going on a float trip and those who are not. Lunch can be served there.
          Dinner (between 5 and 7) by Vanessa's family. Fire, smores, and the newlyweds game.
          Saturday 8/3/2013 Breakfast (between 7 and 9) by Monica's family. Mid-morning hike-the one mile foot trail that leaves from the back of the museum. Totally doable by kids 3 and older. Put the babies in the back packs and wraps. Ongoing craft put on by Ellie-for before/after/during the hike. Lunch by Allen's family (between 11 and 1) Overtake Jackson Lake Lodge (swimming in the pool and/or walking around the grounds or taking a nap on the couches or playing cards in the lobby) Dinner (between 5 and 7) by Nora's family. Fire, smores, and talent show. Please have your family contribute a song, game, skit, or entertainment segment that lasts 5 minutes or so. Maybe we can end up at the cabin lounge like last time for this.
          Sunday 8/4/2013 Breakfast (between 7 and 9) by Paul and Stephanie Devotional at 9AM-lead by James. Pack and leave by 11AM
          Extras--Mom and Dad are in charge of paper products, fire wood, and garbage detail. For food assignments: Adults 18 and kids 22 (not counting Heather and her kids-allergies) The rate for the Group Tent Sites is $25 non-refundable booking fee, $5.50 per person per night so with everyone coming (45 ppl) our total bill should be $767.50. I think it would be fair to do $2.5 + 3*(5.5*# of kids) but please let me know if you think this is unfair or if you can't afford this amount. If Lizzette can do the float trip I'll let you know the cost and we can decide if we want to do it. I think the possibility is small but I would love to go out on the Snake!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Dear Kids,
          The July 24th party has been moved to the cabin. Nora and James will be bringing all their kids and all the Sutton kids, and that’s a big party in itself. Sharon and her kids are arriving that morning, so Dad and I will bring them back to the cabin. Everybody else and their kids are welcome too. We’ll be eating about 1:00 pm, and Nora was talking about a dutch oven meal. If you want to help, you can call her for a food assignment. In the evening we’ll build a fire in the pit and cook hot dogs and make s’mores. If anybody brings fireworks, you won’t be the only ones setting them off. There are usually a few neighbors who do it. We had a lot of rain last week, so it isn’t very dry. Besides, we have hoses.
          Last week when we were in West Valley, I went with Dad to drive the kids home from our piano class. I usually stay at the Lighthouse Church and have him pick me up afterwards, to avoid sitting in traffic. I’ve also wanted to avoid driving by our old house, because I was afraid there would be cars parked on the lawn, and the grass and shrubs would be dead. So I held my breath as we drove past our circle, but the yard looked great! The lawn was green, and mowed, and the daisies were about four feet high. If anything, it looked better than when we lived there! If you’re going along 4100 South and you look over at the back of our house, you can see they’ve built a roof over the deck, with posts on the corners. And the yard is filled with chairs and picnic tables. I’m sure they’re having great parties there. It’s better than I ever expected.
          You should have seen Dad tooling around on a riding lawn mower last week. He borrowed it from Jim Curtis. We’ll probably buy one next spring. We’ll also have to get a little trailer for it, so we can drive it back and forth from the cabin to the new house. (Assuming we ever buy it and move in.) If the lawn mower has its own trailer, it could easily go to Heber and/or Midway, couldn’t it? It could have a fun Saturday there, mowing everybody’s lawns.
          Life is good. The magpies are still overrunning our yard, but there’s a flock of robins now, competing for territory. Oreo rules them all.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dear Kids,
          I didn’t write a letter last week because it didn’t even occur to me. We were at Dallin’s baby blessing, and there was so much fun and so much good food and so many fun people that I totally forgot that I usually write my letter on Sundays. We all added a lot to the attendance of the Midway 7th Ward, because there were 39 of us there. I think that’s the most people in our own family who have all been in the same church meeting at the same time. Anyway, it was a great day. Thanks to Donna for planning the food, and to Tom and Kim for letting us wreck their house. I wish we could have a baby blessing every Sunday.
          Sharon and her kids will arrive in Utah on the 24 th, which is only 10 days away. Dad and I are picking them up at the airport, and there’s a tentative get-together planned for that afternoon and/or evening at Nora’s house. Nora and James will have all 5 of the Sutton kids, besides their own, so logistically, that’s probably the best plan. We’ve already had cabin get-togethers on Memorial day and the Fourth of July, but of course, the cabin’s always ready for a good party. Anyway, we’re really looking forward to having the Thackers here in Utah for a while.
          Thanks to all of you who have been kind enough to ask about our new house. It’s been an absolute nightmare, and I wouldn’t wish Fieldstone Homes on my worst enemy. Just in the last couple of weeks we’ve dealt with sloppy floor tile (which they finally tore out and re-laid,) mismatched crown molding from Chris & Dick’s, two more broken windows (besides the one that was broken when the windows were installed), kitchen island facing the wrong direction, and, if you can believe this, BLACK appliances, when we ordered white. Every time we drive over to the house, I get a knot in my stomach, wondering what else they’ve screwed up. I don’t care if we never move in. Hopefully I’ll get over that feeling in time.
          We’re really looking forward to the family reunion, starting on the best possible day (assuming it starts on Thursday, August 1.) I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about the plans.
          Lots of love, Mom