Sunday, July 31, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Once again, Paul is the top story of the week. Or Paul’s appendix. He had gut pain Wednesday afternoon, and he texted me about any remedies I knew. He had already tried gas relief and tums, but the pain kept coming back. I suggested one more remedy, and then the ER. He drove himself to the hospital, and they checked everything out and said they were taking out his appendix. All that took time, of course, so his surgery wasn’t until 2 am. And he was out of the hospital before noon! He’ll show you the three scars on his abdomen, from the laporoscopy. He’s supposed to start his new job tomorrow, and his new insurance, but they’ve worked that all out. Things always work out for Paul! He and Stefanie are going to be moving to Woods Cross, most likely August 20, and they can use all our help, because it will be too soon for Paul to lift things. Nora will be hosting an after-party barbecue at her house. I love how our family pulls together.
           Josh’s birthday party (and mine!) last night was a lot of fun. It was the same park as we went to after Josh’s baby blessing, which seemed like it barely happened. The food was good and the kids had fun on the playground. Josh seemed to enjoy the attention, along with the other babies there, Drew and Josh’s new cousin, Lydia. We kept passing them around. Thanks to Paul and Stefanie for planning it all!
          Al and Carson finished their trek on the Highline Trail in good time–just six days, (and 15 minutes) for about 84 miles. Dad and I drove Al’s car up to the west trailhead on Monday, so it would be there for them. As long as we were there, we decided to hike out for a mile or so. We passed several people on their last leg home, and they all looked like death warmed over. They all carried gigantic packs, and they even had saddle bags on their dogs. (The dogs didn’t look all that tired.) Anyway, it’s a beautiful area, and I envied Al and Carson for the time they spent up there.
           Here’s one more reminder of the Allen Family reunion, this coming Saturday, August 6, at 9:00 a.m. at the park at 4620 N. 300 West by the Provo River. Bonnie’s message said: We hope you can all come! Charley planned this and he promises it will be fun! Bring your own lunch, desserts to share, sunscreen, and one or two favorite pictures of your family over the years. There will be door prizes (for those who show up on time,) a square dance demonstration, games, and crafts for the little kids (7 and under). 
          So the fun goes on! Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Dear Kids,
          Paul has a job! The company is called Stantec, and they’re located in Salt Lake. They do water systems. He’ll be starting on August 1, Josh’s birthday! He’ll be earning more than before! It couldn’t be better! We’re very happy for him! Like Grandma Allen used to say, "Things always work out for Paul."
          And speaking of Josh, his birthday party is this coming Saturday night, August 30, at 6 pm at the West Stadium Pavilion, 643 Canyon Road, in Ogden. They’re having dinner, plus cake and ice cream. The invitation says to bring an appetizer or side dish, and to RSVP to Paul at 435 764 4569. Be there or be square!
          Our new cat, Tina, is walking on my fingers while I’m trying to type this. At night, we have to close our bedroom door to keep her from annoying us. She likes to stick her whiskers in my nose, or her behind in my face. She’s supposed to become a garage cat, but we haven’t gotten around to that yet. Meanwhile, she gives us endless entertainment.
           Allen and Carson are hiking the Highline Trail in the Uintas this week. Dad drove with them to the trailhead (east of Vernal) on Thursday morning, so he could bring their car back and take it to the west end, up by Mirror Lake. Naturally Dad brought back pictures on his phone, and I was envious when I saw the beautiful scenery. Dad also took a video of Al and Carson setting off on the trail. I sure wish I were up there!
           Tom shot a mouse under their bookshelves. It was around midnight last Friday night, after they came home from Wizard of Oz. Their kids had been chasing the mouse, and Tom had tried swatting it, but it kept getting away, just like in a cartoon. So Tom got a pellet rifle and reached the muzzle under the shelves where the mouse was crouching. He fired at pretty much point blank range, and the mouse dropped over sideways. It was all very exciting.
          Our summer is slipping away fast, but there’s still plenty of fun coming up! We hope to see lots of you at Josh’s party and at the Allen family reunion on August 6.
          Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Dear Kids,
         Sharon and her kids packed up and left for Nora’s yesterday afternoon, and we won’t be seeing them again before they leave for home. But it’s been a month of non-stop fun. Thanks to everybody who made our family reunion such a success, especially Paul and Stefanie. We loved the hiking, the food, the reservoir, and mostly, the fun of being surrounded by family. What a gang! Dad and I are extremely blessed.
           Friday night Dad and went to "The Wizard of Oz" at the field in Midway where they put on such good musicals every summer. The tickets were courtesy of Donna and Bevan (Dad’s birthday present) and we had a great time. The singing and costumes and acting were all great. We ran into Tom and Kim during the intermission. It was long, and we drove home late, but it was a wonderful evening.
         Yesterday Dad and I tended Sharon’s kids while she and Donna hiked Timp. It was Sharon’s first time, and they made it to the top, of course. Here at home, things went OK. We discovered the delights of peanut butter and nutella sandwiches. We watched "Land Before Time." Our only mishap was that while Dad was asleep, lying on his back on the bottom bunk, somebody dumped toys, beanie cats, puzzle pieces, and stuffed animals in a pile on his face. He didn’t even wake up. We never found out who did it, since nobody confessed.
          The Allen family reunion is less than 3 weeks away! Here’s the latest information from Bonnie: We will gather at 9:00 a.m. on Saturday August 6th at the Riverside Park (4620 N. 300 W.) Provo UT. We hope you can all come! Charley planned this and he promises it will be fun! Bring your own lunch, desserts to share, sunscreen, and one or two favorite pictures of your family over the years. There will be door prizes (for those who show up on time,) a square dance demonstration, games, and crafts for the little kids (7 and under).
         So that’s it. Summer won’t have a chance to get dull. 
         Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Dear Kids,
          I’ve just been reading over the itinerary for the family reunion, and it looks like we’re going to have a lot of fun. Paul and Stefanie seem to have planned it very well. It looks like we’ll have a couple of very good hikes, lots of fun in the water (or on the shore, where Dad and I will probably be,) some crafts, games, skits, s’mores–oh, and of course, some very good food. This will be our ninth family reunion, and each one of them has been great.
           Our new cat Tina has been settling in after her own fashion. I’d been wondering how to introduce her to the outside world, and to Xena, when Tom mentioned that his friend Brakke has a Bengal cat, and he takes it walking on a leash. I googled "cat harness," and nearly all the pictures showed Bengal cats! So Dad and I bought a leash and harness at Petco, put it on Tina, tightened everything, and let her go. She turned around backwards, wiggled a little, and slipped right out. So I googled "escape-proof cat harness." I learned there’s a special kind called the H-harness with a strap around the neck fastened to a short back strap fastened to a belly strap. It comes in all kinds of designer patterns and colors. I ordered a set with a cute apple design. When it came, I put it on her, but I didn’t dare tighten the neck strap very much because I didn’t want her to choke. When she tried to wiggle out, the neck strap caught in her mouth, like a bridle, and she flailed around. When I tried to get it out there was a big bloodbath which I thought came from her, but turned out to be gashes on my hand from her hind claws. No matter. I figured out how tight to make it, and she sort of likes it now. We sit on the porch while she cowers under the bench or by the door. Xena greets her and they hiss, but Tina can’t run away. It will all work out eventually.
          We’re still planning our short hike at Wolf Creek pass tomorrow. It looks like it might just be Donna’s family and ourselves, but if you want to come, and I haven’t talked to you, let me know! We’re still unsure about the time. I’m really enjoying my new calling as Primary chorister. Today we’re going to use my balloon-popping machine. It always creates a ruckus. The Primary president has said she wants singing time to be really fun, and that's been my main focus all along.
          See you all on Thursday! Love, Mom