Monday, December 30, 2013

Dear Kids,
          All of Christmas was fun! The hike up Memorial Hill, Christmas dinner at our house, the sledding party at the cabin–thanks to all of you for making it a great celebration. And thanks again for the beautiful quilt you all went in on. I make our bed as early as possible every morning, just for the fun of spreading it out and seeing how good it looks. 
          Most of you have probably heard Monica’s wonderful announcement, that there’s another little Prendergast on the way. We hope everything goes well. She says they probably won’t be able to come to the family reunion, since her due date is July 20th. We’ll definitely miss them, but we’re glad they’ll have a new little baby, and Jackson will have a sibling. And Ramona, too.
          Last night Dad and I had a couple in our ward over for dinner, and it was odd to set the table for just four people. I realized it was the first time since we were newlyweds that we’d sat down to dinner with just one other couple. But it was fun. Our ward has lots of people about our age, and we need to get to know them better. The husband has been into real estate and property development, and I wanted to play Monopoly, just to see if land developers are any better at it than the rest of us. Dad won! He had incredibly good luck, I have to say. He put four houses each on Park Place and Boardwalk, and we all managed to land on them, while he sat safely in jail. The land developer was the first one to fold! I was second. Congrats to Dad!
          But speaking of Sunday dinners, I want to get back onto a schedule of fixing big dinners where all of you are invited. I’m thinking the first Sunday of each month, since it’s fast Sunday and there aren’t so many meetings. I’m planning the first one on February 2nd. Mark your calendars! We’ll eat either at 4:00 or 5:00 pm, depending on everybody’s new schedules.
          Life is good! I wish you all a Happy New Year! Love, Mom

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Dear Kids,
          I’ve been incredibly busy (but who hasn’t) the last two weeks, so now I’m finally sitting down to write a "Mom" letter. The presents are nearly all wrapped, the tree is up, a few decorations are out, so I can relax. Even though you kids are all grown up and I’m not responsible for making you happy on Christmas, old habits die hard. I still feel a lot of pressure to get Christmas "done."
          We all enjoyed the cousins’ gift exchange last Saturday at the cabin, and I was completely flabbergasted at the present you all went in on: the "midnight bears" quilt. I fell in love with it when I first saw it at BB&B, but it was so dang expensive I knew I could never justify buying it. So many thanks to you all! It looks fabulous on our bed. It looks like it was made especially for our room. Naturally Dad is less excited than I am, but he really enjoyed the macadamia chocolates that he got. 
          Thanks to all of you who came to hear the Messiah in Heber! Now that it’s over with, I can’t wait for next year. It was especially nice singing with Dad and Nora and Tom. Maybe some of the rest of you will be able to join us next year?
          And who can believe that it’s finally Christmas week! Tuesday night (Christmas Eve) we'll  be doing our traditional hike up Memorial Hill in Midway. Let’s meet at the bottom of the hill at 7:00 pm, OK? Afterwards, we can go to Donna and Bevan’s for hot chocolate. And maybe some Christmas stories? Maybe we can give a prize for the best story (and storyteller). That might be something fun to add to our tradition. Even familiar stories like Giant Grummer and Granny Glittens are always worth re-telling. 
          On Christmas day I’m fixing Christmas dinner at our house, and we’re planning to eat about 1 pm, but we could move that back an hour or two if that would help anybody with their scheduling. Afterwards we can play games, so bring anything new you got for Christmas, or anything old, either. I’m willing to break away from chess for at least one day. 
          And of course Thursday will be our sledding party at the cabin. I don’t know who’s coming, but it will be fun. I’ll be making sloppy jo’s, and why don’t you all bring your Christmas leftovers: cookies, candy, other goodies, or even real food, if there’s something you didn’t eat up. There’s plenty of snow on the sledding hill, and the forecast is for mostly sunny with a high of 30 degrees. There will be no stoppin’ the fun!
          What a great life we have! Lot of love, Mom

Monday, December 9, 2013

Dear Kids,
          It’s been very cold here. We hit -9 Thursday morning, but it was -16 at the cabin. Funny how it’s so much colder there, even though it’s the same elevation. People tell us it’s the cold canyon wind. Nora says they’ve been burning lots of wood. Luckily there’s a big stack. When Dad and I were piling it all up last summer, we figured there wouldn’t be anybody at the cabin to burn it. We should have known!
          The cousins’ Christmas gift exchange is this Saturday at noon at the cabin. There will be sledding, of course. For food assignments and other details, call Nora, if you haven’t heard from her. Thanks, Nora, for putting it together!
Dad and Tom and Nora and I have been diligently practicing the Messiah, and our performances are this coming Saturday and Sunday nights. (The 14th and 15th.) Saturday it’s at the Tompanogos Valley Theater bulding, 90 North 100 West in Heber, and Sunday night it’s at the Heber Stake Center, at the corner of 200 North and 200 West, also in Heber, of course. I think both performances are at 7:00 pm. Both of them are sing-alongs, so bring your music, if you have it! We’ll probably have an after-party Sunday night, time and place as yet unknown. Dad and I would be happy to host it here, but Heber or Midway would be more convenient.
          Christmas itself isn’t that far away! Dad and I hope some of you will join us on our Christmas Eve climb up Memorial Hill. (I know, it was always Ensign Peak before, but we’ve relocated the adventure.) I’m sure we’ll have hot chocolate somewhere afterwards. Then, for Christmas Day, I’m not sure what we’re doing. Does anybody want to have Christmas dinner here at our house? That might be fun. Let me know! The day after, of course, will be our sledding party at the cabin. (I know we’ll be sledding on Saturday, but this is the "official" sledding party. Besides, is it possible to have too many sledding parties?) I’ll have more details later.
          So much fun! Such a family! Love, Mom

Monday, December 2, 2013

Dear Kids,
          Thanksgiving is over, and now Christmas is knocking at the door. By the way, thanks to everybody who helped make our Thanksgiving wonderful. Thanks especially for the great food you brought! It was the best of everybody’s cooking. (Even Smith’s.) We were blessed with a beautiful day–a good day for hiking up the hill, or loafing, or whatever. Also, for giving thanks.
          John and Heather are settling into their new house, and it’s absolutely beautiful. It’s also very grand. When they were showing us through it, I kept thinking we’d seen it all, and then we’d come to another part. Their lot is more than an acre, so there’s lots of room for Heather to garden (and for the deer to come and grange on it.) Last night all our Heber Valley and Kamas Valley families were there–sort of an informal house warming–and the cousins were romping around in their usual fun way. Dad and Tom and Nora and I came late, because we were at the Messiah practice in Heber. (Tom persuaded Nora to join up.) By the way, having Nora sit next to me at Messiah practice is the best help I could ever have. She and Tom are both "Mr. Wilson protegees," and they really know the Messiah. The altos also had a lady who used to sing in the Mo Tab, and she really knew it, too. For one practice at least, I had it made. Our performances are on the 14th and the 15th, which brings up the family Christmas party, which will probably be on the 14th, in Heber. Our Messiah dress rehearsal is at 8:30 that morning, and the performance that evening is at 6:30 or 7:00, I think. So, maybe we could make the performance part of the family party, at least for the grown-ups. It’s a sing along, so you can join in! 
          Nora’s kids seem to be settling in at school here. Dad drives Adelaide to the middle school first thing on his route, and then he comes back for the rest of the kids, and takes them down to the bus stop at the bottom of the hill. All the small-town perks are in place. Nora was able to buy a resident family pass to the fitness center because the lady at the desk was one of Paige’s teachers at school, and recognized her. Benjamin’s new friend in his class is our bishop’s son, and takes piano from me. I only wish Nora and James could live here forever, (and all the rest of you, too–we’d be like the old-timers with their big family compounds) but the new house in Centerville is progressing. Sigh.
          But life is good. I love you all. Mom