Sunday, December 28, 2014

Dear Kids,
          There never was such a Christmas! Dad and I have really enjoyed all the get-togethers and dinners and presents and food at everybody’s houses. We really enjoyed having Paul and Stefanie last weekend, and Sharon and Seth and their kids on Christmas Eve and part of Christmas Day. Santa found them here! It was fun having little kids around, opening presents. Adults simply don’t get that excited. Oh, but speaking of excitement, I’m really happy about the Willie Holdman picture! Thanks to all of you who went in on it! It will be perfect on the wall next to my piano. Right now it’s still at Donna’s house, because I haven’t wanted to bring it home in the bed of the truck, but as soon as we can get it here, I’m putting it up. That will inspire me to finish the rest of that room.
          Now that the Christmas fun is over, I have my usual January urge to tear up the house and remodel something. (Remember the great remodel? As soon as the Christmas tree was down, Allen kicked out the wall.) So, Dad and I ordered cabinets for our office, and a new vanity for my side of the master bathroom. Our builder really skimped on our vanities, and each one is just a little too small for the spot that it’s in. So I ordered a really big one for my side of the master bathroom, and we’re moving all the rest of them down the line, ending up in the basement bathroom we haven’t built yet. Yesterday John helped us with the plumbing for the first vanity that we moved. He and Dad only had to make two trips to Ace Hardware, and they were done in record time. I hope the rest of the project goes as well. We’re also hoping to have the framing on our basement started pretty soon, but Scott True is still working on John’s basement, plus, he took a week off for Christmas. But of course there’s always plenty else to do.
          Dad and I had a party with my brothers and sisters at Bonnie and Curt’s new house last night. The house is indescribably elegant. You just have to see it. The yard, which Donna designed, is covered with snow, but Bonnie is really proud of the way it turned out. We’ll have to go back in the spring and see it. The dinner was great. Most of my brothers and sisters were there, except Charley, who got sick on the way, and Jane and Mark, who skyped with us from a restaurant in Massachusetts. We ate a lot and talked a lot. There are new babies on the way! Some of the family think they can catch up with our number of grandchildren, but I don’t think it can happen. Let them try!
          The new year is coming! Can it be as good as 2014? Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Dear Kids,
          Yesterday I drove down to Utah Valley to finish my Christmas shopping. I know there are hundreds of thousands of people in that valley, and at first I thought they were all at Walmart. Then it seemed like they were all at Cabelas. And then, when I got to Costco, there they all were again! I ran into John, just as I was looking for a present for Jacob. He got it for me. I ran into Laurie Jacobson, who works there! I ran into many hundreds of other people I didn’t know, but at least I finished my shopping! It’s a great relief.
          Last night was our first performance of the Messiah, and I’m looking forward to doing it again tonight. For most of the practices I’ve been sitting next to a lady who knows every word and every note perfectly, and she was helping me get it right. Then, yesterday morning at the dress rehearsal, they started moving us around. Since I’m tall I ended up on the back row. (My good angel is short and ended up in front.) But since they put me in the center of the back row, I’m next to Tom now! That’s a big help, because the altos nearly always come in afer the tenors, and Tom is right on with the tenor part. He’s been sick, though, and he had a stash of cough drops in the leg pocket of his cargo pants, and he kept pulling them out. (Hey, Napoleon, gimme some of your tots!) But he was able to sing really well at the performance. The whole thing went pretty well. It would be nice if we had a better orchestra and better direction, but if it were a first-rate production, we would have had to try out, and I wouldn’t be in it. So it’s all good.
          Tuesday morning I had the surgery for trigger finger on my right hand, 4th finger. I just had the middle finger done in February, so I knew what to expect. What I didn’t expect was violent nausea that afternoon, with chills, fever, and a murderous headache. I figured out later that I had probably come down with the flu at the same time. It wasn’t fun, but I’m better now.
          Once more, here’s our Christmas schedule:

1. Monday, December 22, is the cousins’ gift party at Nora’s house.,

2. Wednesday, the 24th, Sharon and Seth will be hosting a Christmas Eve supper at our house. Afterwards we’ll hike Memorial Hill in Midway, and then have hot chocolate and cinnamon rolls at Donna’s house.

3. For Christmas Day, Dad and I don’t have a plan yet. Does anybody want to invite us to Christmas dinner? I’ll bring whatever you want. Or, does anybody want to come to our house for Christmas dinner?

4. Friday, December 26, will be the sledding party at the cabin. I’ll be making sloppy jo’s, and you can bring your Christmas leftovers.
          Life is good! There’s a little snow on the ground now, and Christmas is coming.
          Love, Mom

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Dear Kids,
          We really enjoyed Ali’s baptism yesterday, and the fun time afterwards at Tom and Kim’s house. We all admired the bedrooms Tom has finished in their basement. (Bentley moved into his the minute it was done!) Dad and I have been following Tom’s project for almost a year now, and I was totally inspired to finish our basement myself, every inch of it. But then I saw John’s basement, which has been finished in practically no time, with the help of paid experts. John brought his friend Scott True over to our house to look at our basement. Scott said he could frame it in two days. Not two years. Or 20. I was dumbfounded. I think we’ll hire him!
          Meanwhile, we’ve been moving all the stuff out of our basement, back into our garage, where it started out a year ago. Bevan and Dad moved a lot of the heavy things on Monday, and then on Friday the missionaries came over and moved the rest, for a service project. I found even more things that we need to give away. First, we have all those snowboards and boots. Now that we live so far from Brighton, I don’t think we’ll ever be having those big snowboarding parties again. So I’m offering the boots and boards to all you kids, one of each per family, for the first go-around. (I’ll just keep the two boards and two pairs of boots that Dad and I might use, if we go again.) You’ll have to come to our house to pick them out.  There are too many for us to take them on the road.
          I asked Nora about the cousins’ gift exchange party, and she said they’ve moved it back to Monday, the 22nd. There just isn’t another day that works. Call her for details!
          Sharon and Seth and their kids will be arriving a week from Wednesday. We’re very excited to see them!
          The Messiah is coming up in just one week. I’ve worked really hard to learn the Amen chorus, although I still think Handel was nuts to write it. Sunday night there will be an after-party at Tom’s house, with hot chocolate. Thanks, Kim.
          So, as you can see, life is good! Love, Mom