Sunday, May 30, 2021

 Dear Kids,

What a great time we all had yesterday, celebrating Dad’s and Dallin’s birthdays, and the 20th anniversary of moving into the cabin, and demolishing the old swingset, all at the same time.  Thanks to all of you who brought food, and especially to Donna, who bought the meat and did the barbequing.  Our get-togethers just keep getting bigger and better.  Thanks to all of you who helped with the demolition.  Dad and I will be getting the new playset from the Lifetime store in another week or so, and Dad will put it together.  It has to be done slowly and carefully, and the directions are about the length of a large telephone directory.  But Dad’s good at that sort of thing.

Thursday we drove to Pocatello for Sterling’s graduation, and we had a great time.  There were no masks and no social distancing, except for the graduates down on the floor of the arena.  It’s crazy, because the graduates lined up and walked in right next to each other, but then their chairs were 6 feet apart.  I’ll be glad when all the hypocrisy and double standards are over with.  Anyway, the graduation was great, and it lasted barely an hour.  The talks were very short and the graduates clipped right through.  Sterling had super high honors, or whatever they called it: A gpa higher than 4.0 with at least 3 AP classes.  We were very proud of him.  After missing all the graduations last year, which were crazy because of covid, it was fun to do something totally normal.  

Rumors I’ve heard: Dallin’s baptism had been postponed.  Adelaide has finished her mission application process, (in the old days we called it turning in the papers, but there’s no paper any more), and sometime soon she ought to have her mission call.  Charlie Thacker went on his first date.  The Provo MTC is opening sometime in July.  All the temples will open in July, too.  Yeah, these are rumors.  I think they’re all true.

I had a good visit with my oncologist on Monday, sooner than I was supposed to, but I’ve been having lots of trouble breathing.  In my mind I imagined the tumors in my lungs had grown really large and were cutting off my air. It turns out that was wrong–my main tumor had only grown l mm in five months, which is wonderfully slow.  But why can’t I breathe?  Dr. Lewis suspected asthma, and sentenced me to using my nebulizer 4 times a day with stronger juice.  I’ve been doing that since Monday, and it hasn’t helped very much.  One other possibility is that there’s a lymph node near the sternum, and my cancer might be affecting it.  If so, I might have to have radiation again, which doesn’t appeal to me at all.  Whatever it is, I sure appreciate all your faith and prayers.  I know I’m going to live much longer than I would otherwise.

Lots of love to everybody!  Mom

Sunday, May 23, 2021

 Dear Kids,

I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of you this afternoon for Super Sunday here at out house.  The fun starts at 3:00 (or sooner) and you can bring whatever you want in the way of food.  If the menu is lopsided, at least none of us will suffer malnutrition from just one meal.  

And this coming Saturday, the 29th, we’ll have the birthday party for Dad and Dallin at the cabin.  Donna and I will call around among you to see who’s coming and make food assignments.  Let’s plan on eating about 1 in the afternoon, and we’ll demolish the decroded playset after that.  I’m going to re-do the firepit soon, so I might have some of you stacking bricks, too.  If you want to go in on a birthday present for Dad, contact me.  I bought it already. 

And then Dallin’s baptism will be the following Saturday, June 5, at Donna and Bevan’s church.  Dallin was having a little trouble committing himself, and I remembered that he was pretty excited when Lucy was baptized in the river.  So I thought if I suggested the river, he would be more excited about the whole deal.  Instead, he was terrified, but when Bevan reminded him that he could be baptized in a nice calm font with warm water, he agreed to it immediately.  So my suggestion helped, but not like I thought.  I’m not sure what time the baptism’s going to be, but I’ll put it in my letter next week.

Last Tuesday when Dad and I were down in West Valley we drove by our old house on Stillwater, and yes, they’ve painted it white.  It looks really different.  I rang the doorbell and a nice young lady invited us in and let us look around.  What memories!  But they’ve changed so much!  There’s laminate on the living room floor, and all the kitchen cabinets are painted white.  The tower is being taken down.  (I don’t mind.  It was getting dangerous.)  I guess the Guatemalans that bought the house from us ran it into the ground, so this young couple bought it as a fixer-upper.  I’m glad we never saw it at its worst.

Our yard here is finally looking better, more like springtime, and we’ve let the meadow grass grow tall.  The horses stick their necks under the fence and try to get it, because their own pasture is nibbled down to the ground.  Sonia and Scout creep through this jungle, and when they meet up, they leap into the air, and Scout chases Sonia across the yard.  Donna tells us that tall meadow grass is prime breeding ground for voles, but that’s ok–more protein for the cats.  

Love to everybody, Mom

Sunday, May 16, 2021

 Dear Kids,

First off, about the next super Sunday–it’s going to be here at our house a week from today.  Yeah, I know we were all expecting to go to Allen’s place, but it turns out he’s in charge of a policemen’s barbecue the same afternoon, and he can’t be in two places at once.  So he’ll take his turn on June 27, and then Donna’s in charge at the cabin on July 25.  All clear?  I know we keep changing things around, but the important thing is that we enjoy being together and eating good food.  So, our house, next Sunday afternoon, 3 pm.  Bring whatever you like.  It’ll be great.

And then, a week from Saturday, we’ll have a demolition party at the cabin to take apart the rotting playset.  Also we’ll celebrate Dad’s and Dallin’s birthdays, and also the 20th birthday party of the cabin.  It’s hard to believe we’ve owned the place that long, but we’ve sure had fun there.  

Julie’s wedding is going to be August 7 at 1:30 pm in the Jordan River Temple with the reception that night at John’s house.  Somehow I thought I’d already put that information in one of my letters, but I see I haven’t.  You’ll all be getting official announcements when it gets closer.  Sharon’s excited that it’s during the time she’ll be here.  I’m excited to have such an important event coming up.  I know John’s family has plenty to do getting ready for it, but I’m sure it will all come off OK.

Last Saturday night Dad and I went to Elise Fulton’s wedding reception in Salt Lake, and we saw a lot of our old ward members there.  Someone told us our house on Stillwater has changed hands again, and that it’s a young couple with a baby.  And they’ve painted the house white!  Dad and I are going to drive by Tuesday when we’re down there.  I can’t imagine, but supposedly it looks really good.

I have quite the reputation among the old ladies around here.  We were at DUP last Wednesday afternoon, and they started talking about all the surgeries they’ve had lately.  Somebody said, “Christy Ackerson had a hip replacement AND  a toe ammputation.”  Somebody else said, “Yes, and she probably did it herself!”  Next toe, maybe I will try it myself.  What will it take?  A Black and Decker saber saw?  Just kidding.

I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, May 9, 2021


Dear Kids,

OK, so I got it wrong last week.  Bentley did not get a mission call to Honduras.  It was Sterling.  We all knew that, but thanks to all of you who corrected me.  It was a good reminder not to write my Mom letter late at night.  Sometimes I write it late on Saturday night so I can upload it first thing Sunday morning, without having to think.  But I guess there’s no substitute for real thinking.  

Congratulations to James for finishing his degree!  (I can’t remember the exact name of it, so you’ll have to ask him.) He finished his last final a week ago Monday.  It’s been a long haul for him, and we’re very proud of what he’s accomplished.  Congratulations to Sharon for nearly finishing her first year of nursing school, except for the finals.  I’m sure she’ll do really well on those.  Congratulations to Sterling for his upcoming graduation from Century High School.  Congratulations to Addie and Julie and everybody else who’s finishing another school year, along with all the high school and junior high and middle school and elementary school students.  We’re really grateful for your opportunities for a good education.  

Paul and Stefanie and Josh and Chloe were here Friday night and part of Saturday, and we really had fun.  Stefanie needed to have John look at her eyes Saturday morning, not late in the day, like the last time she visited his office.  So this worked out really well for all of us.  I had fun watching Josh play on our playground.  Now that we’re looking to replace the swingset at the cabin, I’m paying more attention to how kids play.  Wednesday night Dad and I and all of Donna’s family went to the Lifetime store in Orem, where they have all their playsets set up outside.  My plan was to watch the kids play, and see what they came back to after they had seen everything.  Only it didn’t work that way, because they just kept running from one thing to another.  Finally they started throwing the bark at each other, which is what kids seem to like the best.  The salesgirl said it didn’t matter what we bought.  Kids like everything.  Only Donna and I agreed the one called “Adventure Clubhouse” would work the best at the cabin.  You can see it on the Lifetime web site.  We’re going to add a baby swing and probably the spider web swing to what it comes with.

Dad and I have done several hikes on the Jordanelle Perimeter trail.  It’s part of my plan for rehabilitating my hip, and it’s lots of fun, too.  Each time, we go 100 paces farther than the time before, and we mark our spot with a big root.  We’re only 1 1/4 miles along the trail, so if you do the math you can see it’s going to take us a long time to get to the end.  (13 miles.)  But I really enjoy being out under the blue sky and white clouds, with the beautiful blue water of the Jordanelle.  It’s very quiet and the air is crystal clear.  That’s how I imagine heaven.

Except that all of you will be there, so it won’t be very quiet, but lots of fun.

Love, Mom

Saturday, May 1, 2021


Dear Kids,

The biggest news of the week, of course, was Bentley’s mission call to Honduras.  His departure date is August 17, but we haven’t heard if he’ll do the MTC at home, or face to face.  He might have to spend some time in the USA before he actually goes south, according to his letter.  I know he’ll have a wonderful mission, wherever he serves.  Bentley just passed the nine-month mark for his mission, and they had a baptism.  I’m sure Bentley feels like Texas is the best possible place to serve, unless he actually goes to the Philippines, and then that will be the best place.  Funny how that works out!

We sure enjoyed Super Sunday at John’s house last week.  (We’ve been requested not to call it “super spreader Sunday” any more, and I can certainly respect that.  Anyway, practically everybody has either had covid, or been vaccinated, or both, or they’re kids, so we really aren’t spreading anything.) Anyway, it was great at John’s.  Our next big Sunday event will be at Allen’s place on May 23.  We don’t know if it will be on the grounds of Allen’s condo, or at a park, but I’ll let you know in my letter.  When it’s Donna’s turn, the end of June, they’re probably going to have it at the cabin.  Cut loose!  Be creative!  With this family there’s no stopping the fun.  Oh, yes, and I hope you marked your calendars for Saturday, May 29, the birthday party for Dad and Dallin, and the playset demolition project.  I’ll have more details about that later, too.

While we were at John’s, I talked to Julie and Spencer about their wedding plans.  They’re going to Costa Rica for their honeymoon!  I guess everything is super cheap there.  Spencer said when he heard it would only be $6 a day for a rental car he thought it was a scam, but it was for real!  I’m sure they’ll have a wonderful time.  Meanwhile, John is laying out big bucks to have his yard ready in time for the reception, and I’m sure it will look beautiful.

I hope you’re all enjoying this gorgeous springtime.  Lots of love, Mom