Sunday, July 26, 2015

Dear Kids,
          I’m excited for the family reunion! It’s nearly here. Thanks, Nora, for sending out the e-mail with the schedule. Thanks, Donna and Vanessa, for helping with the plans. With great food, lots of people, and a beautiful campground, it can’t help but be wonderful. I’ve checked the 10-day weather report, and although it’s supposed to be cool tomorrow and Tuesday, it will warm up for the weekend, which will be great for those of us sleeping in tents. 
           We’ve had a great week working in our yard! Dad and John put up the pergola, with extra help at the last minute from Donna and Bevan. I’m still raking dirt and rocks. My goal all summer has been to plant at least three sections of grass by August 1. I’m not going to make it, but I hope I won’t be too far behind my goal. The hardest thing has been planting trees and shrubs, because for every hole I dig, I pull out a pile of rocks bigger than the hole is deep. I have to put in lots of topsoil and peat moss to give my shrubs at least half a chance. But it’s all starting to look pretty good. 
           On Wednesday, Nora showed up at piano class driving a 12-passenger van with 10 children in it. Her kids were having "cousins week" with Vanessa’s, while Vanessa and Trent were off in the mountains hiking and camping and backpacking and fishing. Nora had borrowed the van from a neighbor. Thursday night, Nora and James came by our house with all the kids, on their way to the cabin. I wondered if they needed anything to eat, and Nora said any snacks would be welcome. So I pulled out flavor ices and gummi bears and cookies and snack cakes and ice cream, and they devoured almost everything. Nora said it would hold them off until dinner, because they needed time to get the fire pit going. I’m sure they all had a good time. Dad went over for breakfast Friday morning, but I was still raking dirt and rocks.
           I’m excited to take a break from all that for the reunion! See you soon!
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Dear Kids,
          We had a record crowd for Sunday dinner at the cabin last week. Seth and Charlie and Matthew were the guests of honor, and there were about 40 more people besides, thanks to Tom and Kim’s friends, the Bradshaws, and, of course, to all the rest of you who came. I’m proud that my gigantic pot of spaghetti held up! And thanks to all the rest of you who brought food. Even a really big dinner is easy with so many people helping. 
          Our next big get-together will be the family reunion, of course. Donna will be sending out a schedule really soon. I think the fun is starting Thursday night, July 30, at the same campground we had last year. Wasatch Mountain State Park? I think that’s the name. Anyway, it will be on the schedule. I’m looking forward to all the fun! 
          Because the family reunion is coming up so soon, Dad and I aren’t planning anything in particular for the 24th, which is next Friday. With luck, we’ll be putting up the pergola on our newly-finished patio, with John’s help. The patio turned out really well, thanks to Donna’s advice, and the loan of another compactor, from her work, this time. And of course we had the help of the neighborhood muscleman to get it off and truck. And back on again. While we had the compactor, Dad used the extra road base from our patio project to finish out the parking area for his truck, on the side of our driveway. It looks very professional now, and the truck is happy.
          Dad and I will be going to a party tomorrow night with my brothers and sisters at Richard’s cabin at Tibble Fork. If any of you want to find out anything about the family, let me know. All the sources of information will be there.
          BTW, this letter today is the 500th one I’ve posted since I started doing this. Time flies!
          Hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Dear Kids,
          We’re looking forward to Sunday dinner at the cabin this evening, and to seeing Seth and the boys. We’re also looking forward to a record number of people eating dinner there. Tom and Kim are bringing their former neighbors (and friends,) the Bradshaws, who are going to be staying with them at the cabin for a couple of days. Along with the rest of you that are coming, there might be as many as 40 people eating. But there will be plenty of food! I’m making my famous spaghetti, and I used 10 pounds of hamburger to make 148 meatballs. (Dad helped me.) I will be cooking 4 pounds of spaghetti. There will be at least 2 desserts and 2 salads. The cabin loves a crowd, and we’ll have a good time. 
           Dad and I have been working really hard outside. We’re making a small patio out in the center of the large open area, and we’re going to put up a pergola on it. Donna told us to excavate down far enough to put in 4 or 5 inches of road base, and then we should rent a plate compactor to tamp it down. After that we needed an inch of sand, which we needed to level, before we put down the pavers. So we had Leavitt trucking deliver the road base, and we used our his ‘n hers matching wheelbarrows to haul it out to our pit. So far so good. Then I sent Dad to Diamond Rental for the compactor, and that thing is heavy! We got it off the truck and over to the pit with our hand truck, and Dad had fun running it around over the road base, but when we were done, we had no idea how to get it back up onto the truck. It must have weighed 200 pounds. We were rigging up a ramp of 2x4's, and we were going to try running the compactor up the ramp, but it wasn’t going very well. Just then, the neighborhood bodybuilder happened by. He practically lifted it with one hand. (Dad helped, too.) We thanked him, and our guardian angel, too. Later we went to the Heber Pit with our truck to get the sand. A convenient thunderstorm dumped tons of water on us when while we waited, and we drove around pools of water to the pile of sand. A loader with a bucket bigger than our truck dumped in our paltry 1/2 yard. We got it home fine, but we’re still waiting for the it to dry out, before we can put it down.
          So much adventure! So much fun! I love you all! Mom

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Dear Kids,
          We had a lot of fun helping Paul and Stefanie move. Dad and I left home early Friday morning, driving to St. George. I had thought it was hot here, but of course it got hotter as we drove south. It was well over 100 in St. George. Dad and Paul went to get the moving truck, and I started loaded the back of our Sienna. When we were ready to load the truck, some big black clouds rolled in, and we had a violent rainstorm–a true gully-washer. There was pea-sized hail, and lightening. Lots of drama. The rain filled up Paul and Stefanie’s patio, and I thought it might creep inside. But naturally the storm ended as quickly as it came. And we loaded the truck in plenty of time, with help from a couple of neighbors. Curt and Lynette and Brad and Melissa were there, too, and the ladies helped Stephanie clean. 
           We left fairly early Saturday morning, and had a nice uneventful drive to Ogden. Thanks to all of the family who were there to help unload, especially the young teenagers! That went really well, and then we trooped off to the barbecue at Nora’s. Thanks to Donna and Nora and Kim and everybody for the food! It was very good! The Riebens came too, which was lots of fun. We had almost forgotten it was the 4th of July! 
           Seth and Charlie and Matthew are here in Utah, and they’ll be here at our house next Sunday, the 12th, for Sunday dinner. You are all invited! Please call and let me know if you’re coming, so I can plan the food. I’m guessing we’ll eat around 5 pm. Hopefully some of that St. George rain will make it northward and cool us off here. Our thermometer hit 100 on two different days last week. That’s absolutely unheard-of here. I think the last time it happened was in the 1870's. 
           But life is good. We’re doin’ great and lovin’ it! Mom