Monday, May 26, 2014

Dear Kids,
          First off, here’s the information about Meg’s baptism and McKay’s blessing: The baptism is Saturday at 10 a.m. at Troy and Kara’s church in Pocatello (their son Tyson is being baptized, too.) The address is 225 Oakwood Drive, in the older part of town. With GPS you’ll be fine. The after-party will be at Vanessa and Trent’s house. If you want a food assignment, call Vanessa. The baby blessing is Sunday at 12:50 pm at Nora and James’s church, 2050 North Main in Centerville. Nora said she’ll be calling around to invite people and see what you want to bring. If anybody wants to stay in Brigham City Saturday night, rather than drive all the way home and all the way back to Centerville the next day, Andy says you’re welcome. Just let him know.  My siblings will be having a party there Saturday night, just by coincidence. I hope I can keep my food assignments straight.
          Stefanie had her appointment with the neurologist on Thursday. According to a text Paul sent me, the doctor showed them the MRI and discussed how her Chiari isn’t severe enough for surgery. That’s good news and bad news, because when you have a medical problem, you always want something to be done about it. At any rate, Stefanie seems to be doing a little better. I’m in the same boat with my neck pain. It’s been off and on for several weeks now. I saw the neck doctor who did my surgery in 2000, and he sent me for an x-ray, nothing more. It didn’t show anything. But they never do, unless you’ve broken a bone or swallowed a paper clip. Since my neck pain isn’t getting any worse, he said to wait two or three months, and then if it’s still bugging me, I should have a MRI. So I’ll wait and hope it gets better.
          Last Sunday night we had a reunion with our old study group–remember when we always went to study group one Sunday night a month? We were so regular, and we kept it going for nearly 30 years. But then we started to slack off, because everybody was so busy with their families and other things. When Mark Ulrich was made a bishop, we stopped totally. Now he and Laura have been called to Manchester, England, where he’ll be the mission president. So Diane Smith planned a farewell party, and we met at Spencer’s house in South Jordan. It was fun seeing everybody again, but of course there was way too much news to remember it all. Dad and I spent the night at Spencers, since my neck appointment was the next morning. We got to stay in Chris’s old bedroom, which is decorated really nicely now. That’s the first time we’ve stayed overnight in Salt Lake in more than a year, and my lungs didn’t like it at all. So I’ll have to plan more carefully in the future. But we sure had fun.
          Love, as always, Mom

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Dear Kids,
          Ten new houses are being started in our neighborhood. They dug all the foundations this week. They’re those government-mortgage sweat-equity homes, where you commit to doing hundreds of hours of work, and you save about $10,000, according to Tom. Tom and Kim looked into that program when they were house hunting, and they decided it wasn’t a very good deal. So did Donna and Bevan, which makes me wonder, where did they find ten families that would go for it? Especially here in Kamas Valley, where there isn’t much growth. Maybe they’re just starting the houses and hoping somebody will be interested in them. They’re sort of cracker-box types with no basements. Well, at least our neighborhood is filling up.
          Yesterday Donna came to give us more help with our sprinkler system. The hardest part is the beginning, where you have an anti-backflow valve and a blowout valve and the sprinkler valves. We’re just doing what Donna tells us to do. It’s lots of fun. We’ve dug out lots of rocks. Dad and I are also still working on our window wells. The second one is almost done. While I was laying block, the wind kicked up, and I got a piece of grit in my eye. It didn’t bother me much until my mortar was gone and Dad was cleaning off my tools. Then I realized it really hurt. I called John and he said to come in right away. He was still in his office, just finishing up for the day. He put some dye in my eye, which highlighted the grit, and he got it out very easily. He said it had scratched my eye. In third world countries, he said, people sometimes go blind from something as simple as that. I’m glad for our good medical care, and for John’s great service to our family.
          Remember the baptism on the 31st and the baby blessing on June 1st! I’ll put addresses and times in my letter next week. Also, we got an update from Barbara about the Allen family reunion on June 28th. She would like all the families to dress in the same color. We’re blue. She said it doesn’t have to be a solid color, and the clothes can be any version of that color. I think we have the easiest color because we’re the biggest family. Mark and Kate have Teal, and Jane and Joe have orange/peach. So we’re lucky.
          So much fun coming up! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Dear Kids,
          Another snow storm this morning! We’ve had one right after another, which is great for the water levels, but sort of discouraging if you’ve already started working in your yard, and you want to keep going. We’re part way into our sprinkler system, and we have a footing for our second window well, but this week has been a bust for outdoor work. Hopefully we’ll be able to do more in the coming week.
          Meg turned eight yesterday, and she’ll be baptized on Saturday morning, May 31st. There will be an after-party, but I’m not sure where. Meg’s cousin Tyson is being baptized too, so all the Suttons will be involved, of course. I’ll have more details of time and place later on. Then, the next morning, McKay will be blessed at Nora and James’s ward in Centerville. Their sacrament meeting starts at 12:50 am. Since it’s a long drive from here to Pocatello, and also from here to Centerville, Dad and I will be staying over Saturday night at Andy and Renae’s in Brigham City. I checked with Andy, and he said there’s room for lots of people in his house, so if any of you Heber Valley people don’t want to make the long drive home, and then back to Centerville Sunday morning, you’re welcome to stay at Andy’s, too. My brothers and sisters will be having a party there that night, and I’m sure you’ll be welcome to crash it.
          Dad and I ought to have our heads examined, but we went on another senior citizen bus trip to Wendover, mostly because we wanted to explore the Army air field there. It’s a great place! There’s a control tower you can climb up, six stories tall, on thin metal stairs. The view from the top is the same as the bottom: all desert. There’s an old transport plane you can climb into. There’s a museum with lots of photos and World War II memorabilia. There are broken down barracks and other buildings you can climb around in, but you have to be careful. During the height of the war, there were 20,000 people stationed there. Now it’s really desolate. I’m glad we went, but we won’t be going back again, ever. There’s cigarette smoke everywhere in Wendover, even outside. (I didn’t even go into the casino for the buffet.) There are cars and trucks and busses pumping out noxious fumes. It’s not a lung-friendly town. Nuff said.
          Bonnie sent out the following reminder about the Allen family reunion this summer:  The date is June 28, at the park we always go (to Riverwoods.) Bring your own lunches, and if you have ideas for games or activities, contact Barbara. We have the park reserved from 9-3, but most start arriving at 10:00. Love, Bonnie
          It’s hard to believe June is coming up so soon, but we’re looking forward to the upcoming fun! Love, Mom