Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dear Kids,
          We’re off to Ogden for baby Josh’s blessing in a few minutes. I hope I’ve remembered everything I need to take.
          Here’s the plan for this coming weekend, for conference: Saturday, during the day, dad and I will be watching the sessions here at our house. Anybody who wants to come and watch it with us is welcome. We’ll have dinner for everybody around 5 pm, (soup and rolls.) Just before 6:00, the guys will drive over to our church for the priesthood session. Afterwards, we’ll meet at the cabin, for ice cream and churros, which Tom will make on our new camp stove. Sunday we’ll watch the conference sessions at the cabin, with dinner in between. I think Nora and Kim will be doing the café rio menu. If not, we’ll have the makings for sandwiches for everybody. I’m not doing my usual conference Sunday dinner because I’m in charge of the food for my mission reunion that night, and I’ll have a lot to do. However it turns out, it will be a great weekend.
          The McGettigans are visiting us right now. They came yesterday afternoon, and we sat around our half-finished playground and talked. Then we drove up to Wolf Creek pass and went for a walk at the summit, where you’re on top of the world, looking down on both sides. The yellow aspens were gorgeous, and the air was clean as crystal. Later, back at our house, we watched movies and had dinner out in the pergola, while the sun was going down. We always have fun with McGettigans. I only wished our guest bedroom in the basement had been finished, but we’ll be getting to that really soon now, when winter sets in.
           I hope you’re all doing great! Love, Mom

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Dear Kids,
           Next Sunday morning, Joshua Paul Ackerson will be blessed in Paul and Stefanie’s ward in Ogden, and the address is 770 15th Street. The meeting starts at 9 am, and right afterward, there’s going to be a brunch--I think at a nearby park. Paul and Stefanie are sending out announcements, which will have more details. If you want to help with the food, give them a call. I always get excited about baby blessings and baptisms, and the fun of seeing so many of you.
          Stuart turned 8 a couple of weeks ago, and he’ll be baptized on October 10. I’m sure Nora will be giving us the details when it gets closer.
             And general conference is coming up in two weeks! We’ll have our usual get-together at the cabin, but I have a different plan for the food. Besides Sunday dinner, we’ll have soup at our house on Saturday night, before the Priesthood session, and ice cream afterwards. I’ll have more details next week.
          Dad and I always have some exciting new project, and right now we’re assembling the Lifetime adventure tower on our playground. It arrived Tuesday afternoon, in a crate that was 8 feet long. It weighed 810 pounds. The delivery man dumped it out onto our driveway, and right about then, that big storm hit. We had hail and then pounding rain, almost a hurricane. (It swept across my tender new grass and tore up a lot of it.) So the crate sat there in the storm, and later, when we unpacked things, I found the directions in a pool of water. We laid out all the pages (about 100 of them) on the dining room table to dry them out. Then Dad started assembling. I think he’s at about page 31. Some kids came by on bikes and stopped to watch. I told them they could come back in a few days and play on it when it’s finished. It might as well be a public playground. We’re right here on the corner, and everybody has seen what we’re doing. When the playground is finished, we’ll have the big swings, the airplane teeter-totter, the sand digger, and the adventure tower, with its slide and kiddie swings. We’ll be ready for anything.
           Life is good. Love to all, Mom

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Dear Kids,
          On Monday, John invited us to come "soaring" with him at the Heber airport. There was a bigger glider there than he normally flies, and it was more stable. (Less nausea, especially if you take dramamine first.) Tom came along, with his video cameras. He hadn’t ever been up before. I got to go up first, then Dad, then Tom. (I think Tom’s video is on You Tube now.) It was a great day, and lots of fun. Thanks, John!
          Richard Tregaskis had called me the day before to see if he could get the digital version of the Allen/Murphy family histories, to put them up on Family Search. I said the best thing was for him to come to our house and copy them off my hard drive. He and Dedra and their girls arrived just after we got home. We had fun talking to them while the girls played. They had already come by once, before we got home, and the girls said they had been out on our playground. (Kids always run for the playground!) That reminded me that I really want to get it finished, and now that our grass is planted, we’re up for it! Besides the big swings and airplane-teeter-totter we already have, and the sand digger, which I haven’t put out yet, we need kiddie swings. There’s a nice set that Lifetime makes, with swings, a play tower, and a slide, so we ordered it from Sams Club. We spent yesterday putting railroad ties around the edge of the playground, and now we’ll need a couple of dumptruck loads of sand. Then we’ll be prepared for any and all kids that come! 
            Dad and I hadn’t been on the Jordanelle perimeter trail all summer, but now that we have more freedom, we drove down there on Tuesday and went hiking. I’d forgotten how beautiful it is. If anybody wants a nice hike, for home evening or Saturday morning or anything else, our season pass can get us all in for free! Let us know!
          Fall is in the air!  The leaves are turning red and orange. Life is good!
          Love, Mom

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Oops, here's my letter from last week, which somehow didn't make it past the draft stage:

Dear Kids,
          My grass is planted! But it didn’t come without a lot of extra aggravation. My wonderful pile of topsoil, delivered by Witt Excavation, turned out to be full of rocks. Small rocks they were, mostly under an inch, but it took many extra hours to rake them out and haul them away. I called up and complained that I had ordered "screened" topsoil. Turns out they used a big screen. The owner of the company even came to our house to look at the topsoil and argue with me. He said I had nothing to complain about. He had delivered 200 loads of the stuff to other people (later he said 600-800 loads) and I was the first to complain. I waved my arm at all the new houses being built, and said all those people would ask me where to get topsoil, and I would tell them to absolutely not get it from Witt, because it would be full of rocks. He left without saying anything. But I finished raking and hauling the rocks, and then I planted my grass! Since then, Dad and I have been tweaking the sprinkling system. It’s all lots of fun.
          Dad and I are driving to Ogden after church to visit baby Joshua. He was such a skinny little twig when we saw him three weeks ago, I’m sure he’s changed a lot. He’ll change even more by his blessing day (which I think is the last week in September.) Babies get big and chunky so fast! We’re looking forward to seeing Paul and Stefanie, too. Besides, it’s a beautiful drive from here to Ogden, if you go around the back way, on I-84 past Rockport. 
        A year ago, we bought a Costco membership. They had lots better samples than Sams Club, and it’s supposed to be a classier place. More upscale. But Costco is always so dang crowded! And it seems like they’ve done away with all those samples. And everything I used to buy is more expensive there: gummi bears, cheese, bananas, and raisins. Besides, only at Sams can you buy the boxes of dove dark candy bars that I’ve come to love so much. So, because my boxes of candy bars were running low, we went back to Sams Club and renewed our membership. I felt very comfortable around all the Mexicans and other immigrants in there. If we need something at Costco, we can always tag along with John. As you can see, there’s not much news here. But life is good! Love, Mom

Now here's my letter for today:

Dear Kids,
          Dad just pointed out that our house is two years old, today. We closed on Sept. 6, 2013. Time flies! At least we have part of our yard done, and grass is coming up! All but two lines of our sprinkler system are finished. But I’m looking forward to fall, and inside projects. Like our basement. It’s crying out for our attention. And our cabin, which has also been crying. I never did finish the tile floor completely. We’re hoping to start spending Friday nights there, and doing Saturday projects. 
           Baby Josh will most likely be blessed three weeks from today, on September 27. (Which was the birthday of our house on Stillwater Way.) Paul and Stefanie’s meetings are at 9 am, and they have sacrament meeting first. When we talked with them last week, they were thinking of going to a park right after the blessing and having a brunch-type meal–you know, donuts, cinnamon rolls, juice, that sort of food. Or, I hadn’t thought of this–maybe they’ll make us stay through the block and eat afterwards. They’ll be letting you know, and I’ll put it in my letter, when the plan is more definite.
          October conference is just four weeks from today. I’m thinking of a slightly different meal plan than usual, because I’m going to be in charge of the food for my mission reunion on that Sunday night. I’m thinking maybe I’ll make soup here at our house for Saturday night, before the priesthood session, and then we’ll have ice cream afterwards. Then, maybe for Sunday dinner, Nora and Kim and Donna can do their Café Rio meal. I’ll be calling those of you who are involved to see if that will work. However it turns out, it will be a great weekend. I’ve heard rumors of big things happening during this conference!
          Of course there are always rumors. One thing is sure: Life is good and I love you all.