Sunday, January 18, 2015

Dear Kids,
          Surprise! If you haven’t heard, Paul and Stefanie are expecting a little Ackerson around August 12. Paul called and told me in a very roundabout way; he asked me when the family reunion was going to be, and after I double-checked it on the calendar, he said they might not be able to make it because they were expecting a baby right about then. What a punk! I’d had a premonition, so I asked Paul about it just before Christmas, and he flat-out denied it! And then they announced it to her family on Christmas Day, with a little bag of baby things hidden behind the tree, and the video camera showing Lynette looking shocked, all that sort of thing. Paul said they would have told us on their way home, if they had come by the sledding party, etc. etc. Same old thing, the in-laws getting preferential treatment. But it’s the first grandchild for the Riebens, and #31 for us, so I guess it’s OK. Anyway, we’re very excited about their announcement, because every new baby is a wonderful gift from God, whether it’s number one or number thirty one.
          A year ago I joined the Spanish Branch here, and I thought it would be a vacation, that I would be cozily watching everything from behind the organ, maybe learning a little more Spanish here and there. I didn’t think I would be thrown to the wolves. But after my year as Primary president, I’ve now been called to teach Relief Society (I think I mentioned that), and play the organ. Today, I’m giving a talk in Sacrament Meeting, playing the organ, playing the piano in Relief Society, playing for choir practice after church, and then going visiting teaching (in Spanish.) Next week I’ll be teaching my first Relief Society lesson. It’s all good. I don’t have time to regret bailing out on Francis Second Ward. And I’m making a lot of really good friends.
          Our basement is now totally framed, we’ve made more progress on the heat ducts, and Dad has started nailing up electrical boxes. There’s no hurry, except that we’d like to have more room for guests, but it’s a very exciting project nevertheless. I commented to Dad that if we were still on Stillwater Way, with a house full of little kids, some of them would already be sleeping in the basement. Dad said we would already have installed a toilet in the unfinished bathroom. True. We ought to put it in right now, just for old times’ sake.
          Lots of love, Mom