Sunday, May 29, 2022

 Dear Kids,

What a busy and crazy and fun week we’ve had!  Well, actually, most of the craziness was on Friday.  It was Dad’s and Dallin’s birthdays, and Del’s and Ben’s graduations.  Ben’s ceremony was at 7 pm, though, which would have gotten us home around 10, so we went to his seminary graduation last Sunday night instead.  It was really nice, and they called on him to bear his testimony, along with some other kids.  Hey, it worked.  And then Friday morning early we drove to Ogden for Del’s graduation, which started at 8 am.  We met Allen and Jen and Nora there, and it was a great ceremony.  And guess whose name was called out first?  It helps to be an Ackerson!  (If there aren’t any Abbots in your group.)

Dad and I got home just in time for him to go meet John at the airport and help him put his glider together.  John had a great flight.  He went all the way to Evanston.  Meanwhile I was at the cabin trying to finish up my fire pit remodel.  I was all ready to put down the perma sand when I read the directions, which said it shouldn’t be rained on for at least 24 hours, and it shouldn’t be subject to freezing temperatures for 2 days.  Both of those things were forecasted to happen, so I covered it all with a tarp and went home.  We’ve planned hot dogs for the little kids at our anniversary party Wednesday, but there’s other ways to cook them.  

Dad hasn’t had a birthday cake yet, so Donna’s bringing one to our house tonight.  Thanks, Donna!  You’re all welcome to come help celebrate.  Dallin had his party yesterday, I think.

And then Wednesday is our anniversary party, and we’ll start eating at 5 pm.  I already ordered the food from Bam Bams, and it should taste fabulous.  Just like last summer.  The cabin is up for it!  We’re not sending out formal invitations, but if you’re reading this, you’re invited.  I’m expecting us all to have a great time.  Sharon and Monica are flying in, so all you 9 kids will be there together.

And then two weeks from today, on the 12th, is our family book club.  I’m already reading The BFG.  It’s scrumdiddilyicious.  The story moves fast, so you’ve all got plenty of time.

Allen broke his tailbone skydiving.  He’ll have to tell you the details.  There’s no stoppin’ the fun!

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 22, 2022

 Dear Kids,

I’m excited for Super Sunday this afternoon, especially since we’re going to honor the high school graduates: Aaron, Ben, Sarah, Emma, and Del.  I’m not sure if all of them will be there, and I’m not exactly sure what the agenda is, but I know it will be fun.  Nora has done way more than her share of the planning, so thanks, Nora.  Be there or be square.  4 pm, Nora’s house.

Thursday night Dad and I went to Aaron and Emma’s graduation in Heber.  It was loud and crazy and fun.  The names of the graduates were read off in alphabetical order, so Aaron and Emma were first and second, out of more than 500 kids.  I was very proud of them.

We’re also incredibly proud of Sharon, whose graduation was the very same day.  Too bad we couldn’t have been there, too!  Sharon can now add some more initials after her name: RN and BSN.  Her courses and practicums were tough, but she made it, and we’re sure she’ll have a wonderful career as a nurse.

Oh, yes, and we’re also very proud of Julie and Spencer for graduating from UVU.  But their graduation ceremony was a drive-through, because of covid, you know, so we weren’t part of that.  We congratulate them, anyway!

Last week I wrote that the dinner time for our anniversary party on June 1 would probably be around 6, but we’ve had to change that to 5.  If you can’t make it by then, just come when you can.  I’m hoping we’ll have plenty of food, and I’m trying to calculate everything as well as possible.  Kim suggested that we get hot dogs for the little kids since they might not appreciate Bam Bam barbecue, and I think that’s a good idea.  If I can finish the fire pit remodel, they can roast them outside.  If not, we’ll just cook them.   

I know there’s still a lot on your calendars, but don’t forget our next family book club will  be on June 12 at our house.  We’re reading The BFG by Roald Dahl.  It’s a great book, although there’s one scary part.  Well, maybe there are a lot of scary parts, but if the kids can handle it, I can.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, May 15, 2022

 Dear Kids,

Changes, changes.  We’ve had to change the location of Super Sunday next week, and also of our anniversary party on June 1.  First, Super Sunday: we’ve moved it to Nora’s house so their family can participate, and then do Ben’s Seminary graduation at 6pm.  So we’ll meet at Nora’s at 4:00.  There will be something special to honor the high school graduates, although I don’t know what.  Nora and Donna are in charge of that.  Otherwise, bring your normal dinner contributions.  It’s always a great meal–no matter that it’s so random.

Then, our anniversary party: since we changed the date, we can’t have it at Francis Park, because somebody else already reserved it for that day.  So I guess the cabin will be the next best place?  Or does somebody have a better idea.  Let me know if you can think of something else, because it’s coming up fast.  We’ll probably eat around 6 pm, but you can come lots earlier if you want to hang out or hike.  This is the best time of the year to enjoy the cabin, because it’s so green.  And it stays light until about 9pm.  So it will be a lot of fun.  If you’re reading this, you’re invited. 

We had a great discussion for our family book club last Sunday.  Everybody liked Chocolate Fever.   For June, Donna’s family is in charge (although it will still be at our house) and Dallin has chosen  The BFG by Roald Dahl.  I love that book! (Although there’s at least one disturbing part.)  I’m pretty sure there are plenty of copies at all the libraries.  Our club meeting will be June 12.

On Friday afternoon Dad and I went to the Heber airport so Dad could help John launch his glider.  I was planning to check the freezer for maybe another dead cat, but the freezer door was open and the refrigerator was turned off.  It’s still the beginning of the season for glider pilots, so I’m sure they’ll turn everything on eventually so they can keep their drinking water cold.   But I don’t expect to ever find another surprise like that cat.  John and Dad spent a long time setting up the glider, because it was John’s first flight of the year.  But once John got up, he said the conditions were fabulous.

Just like our family.  Fabulous.  I’m lucky to be the matriarch of such a group!

Love, Mom

Sunday, May 8, 2022

 Dear Kids,

It still snows at least once a week, but our grass is green and spring is here.  The cats have been rolling in the dirt.  Dad needs to get out the lawn mower and rev it up.  He’s been working on putting a new gas tank on the yerf dog, which takes him to the cabin two or three times a week.

Our family book club meets today at 5 at our house.  I’m excited to talk about Chocolate Fever.  Everybody is invited, even if you haven’t read it.  We’ll have brownies and pumpkin cookies for dessert, plus anything that anybody else brings.  It’ll be fun.

And Super Sunday will be two weeks from today, on the 22nd.  Allen can’t host after all, since he’s in charge of the police barbecue that day.  Humm.  I sort of remember the same thing happening last year.  So Donna’s turn is next, and Al will be in charge for June.  Donna, I’ve kept forgetting to ask you.  How about it, for the 22nd?

And our anniversary party on June 1 is coming up fast.  I keep forgetting to call the city to change the park to that day, (city hours are very short), but the party will go ahead no matter what.  I’m excited to have all you grown kids here, plus some of your spouses and children.  I never imagined being married 50 years.  On Friday Dad and I went to the Provo temple to do a session, and seeing  the flowers and the green grass and the fountains brought it all back to me.  Back then the temple was brand new, and now they’re already planning to rebuild it.  When we got out of the session we drove down to see the Vineyard temple that’s under construction.  That’s where we’ll go when the Provo temple is down. 

I have to give a talk about Mothers in church today.  How’s that for having a great Mothers Day?  Actually, I like talking in church.  But it’s still a little stressful and I’ll be glad when it’s over.

Lots of love to all of you.  Mom

Sunday, May 1, 2022

 Dear Kids,

I think most of you have gotten the message that our 50th anniversary party has been changed to Wednesday, June 1.  That’s because Sarah’s graduation in Pocatello is June 2 at 3pm. Thanks to Sharon for contacting everybody and arranging for the new date.  I’m really glad that everyone can make it, even Monica.  We’ll have to get a good picture of Dad, myself, and you nine kids.  I haven’t contacted the city yet about reserving the park for the 1st, but if it isn’t available, we’ll meet somewhere else.  This party will happen!

And next Sunday will be the second meeting of our family book club, talking about Chocolate Fever.  I realize it’s Mothers Day, too, but hopefully that won’t get in our way.  5pm, our house.  Be there or be square.  I think reading together is one of the best things a family can do, and I’m grateful to Nora for getting this ball rolling.  

Last Monday I had my CT scan, and Thursday I met with Dr. Lewis, my oncologist. He was really excited to show me how my tumors have shrunk.  The main one we’re watching, the “canary in the coal mine,” had shrunk from 1.8 to 1.5 centimeters, which might not sound like much, but it’s 20%.  And that’s just the diameter.  If you think of it in 3D and do the math, (4/3 π r-cubed) the volume shrank by 42%, which is spectacular.  Besides that, some of the tumors looked like doughnuts, because they were dying from the inside.  Needless to say I’m really happy.  I’ll be off of chemo now until the first of July, so I’m planning to do lots of plain, ordinary things like hiking and working at the cabin.  

Paul and Stefanie and their kids stayed over here Friday night because they had an appointment at John’s office Saturday morning.  It was really fun to get out my toys for the kids.  (One tote at a time, of course.)   Paul and Josh got out the legos and put together a little car with a man.  Paul wanted to take it home, so I said he could.  Some things never change, and I guess fascination with legos is one of those.  

I hope you’re all doing great and enjoying this pleasant spring weather.  Yeah, we had snow this week, but it melted within an hour.  There’s no stopping summer!  It’s coming! (Sharon’s family has had warm weather for weeks, but we won’t stew about that.)

Lots of love, Mom