Sunday, December 25, 2022

 Dear Kids,

Merry Christmas, everybody!  I hope you’re all having a wonderful day!  After church, Dad and I are going to drive around Heber valley to visit our three families there.  I hope we’ll see the rest of you on Monday, for our sledding party at the cabin.  It’s supposed to be 41 degrees–warmer than it’s been, so the hill should be nice and slick.   Tom’s fixing his famous pulled pork.  If you all bring your Christmas leftovers, we’ll have quite the feast, and of course it’s always fun to get together one more time.

Jacob received a great early-Christmas present: a new mission call.  He leaves for Alabama again on January 2.  We’re really happy for him and we know he’ll do a great job, just like he was doing before.  Go, Jacob!

If you got the picture of Dad standing in front of a trailer, you know what our new family trailer looks like.  Yes, it’s for everybody to use.  Dad and I went halfsies with John to buy it, and it will be stored at his house, alongside the family truck.  John pointed out how easy it will be for anybody to come and borrow them both at the same time.  The trailer is 6 x 10 feet with sides, so it will be good for hauling almost anything.  We hope it will have many good adventures.

Our next family book club will be two weeks from today on January 8 at 5 pm.  We’re reading Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.  I’ve read it a couple of times, besides listening to the audio, and it’s really good.  Besides that, it’s short.  It will be our tenth selection–can you believe we’ve been going that long?  Hooray for kids who can sit still, even if it’s only for ten or fifteen minutes.  We have a marvelous family.  Our next Super Sunday will be January 22 at Nora’s house.

I’m doing great with my hearing aids now.  I can wear them all day, and I mostly forget I have them on.  My two months of chemo just ended and I have two months of feeling good ahead of me, so my life is wonderful.

I love you all!  Mom

Sunday, December 18, 2022

 Dear Kids,

Thanks so much to Nora and James for hosting the gift-exchange party yesterday!  It was a smashing success.  I took out my hearing aids before we left home, because I was expecting a lot of noise, but it wasn’t half bad.  The fun outweighed the noise, anyway.

And this evening is book club; we’ll be talking about A Christmas Carol.  We’re meeting at 6 pm instead of five because of scheduling complications, but we’ll have just as much fun as ever.  Our actual book discussion usually only lasts about ten minutes, so don’t be afraid to join us.  Next month is my turn, and I’m choosing Fantastic Mr. Fox by Roald Dahl.  It’s short and lots of fun.

And Christmas is nearly upon us.  One more week!  I’m sure all your kids are counting down.  On Christmas eve we’ll be watching Christmas Eve on Sesame Street here at our house, as well as having hot chocolate and pumpkin cookies.  If you want to go somewhere, please come and join us.  We’ll have Donna’s family for sure.  Christmas Day we’ll be out of church before noon, so after we eat, Dad and I will be driving around Heber valley to visit John’s, Tom’s, and Donna’s families.  I don’t think we’ll get any farther afield than that.  Then, on Christmas Monday is our sledding party at the cabin.  Bring your Christmas leftovers!  Tom is going to make pulled pork, and Donna’s bringing mac n’cheese, so we’ll have plenty of real food to eat, besides the goodies.  There’s plenty of snow at the cabin, but I don’t think anybody has packed down the sledding hill yet.  

How does a cowboy dress up for a funeral?  He puts on a vest and bolo tie over his workday levis and cowboy shirt.  We found that out yesterday when we were helping out with a funeral in our ward.  The lady who died was an older cowgirl, just younger than I am, and she died after surgery for colon cancer.  That was really sobering to me.  I’m lucky to still be alive four and a half years after my colon cancer surgery, and I’m definitely beating the odds.  But it isn’t just luck–I’m convinced your prayers for me have a lot to do with it.  Thanks so much for that!  I’m really fortunate to have such a big, wonderful family.  I definitely hit the jackpot.

Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, December 11, 2022

 Dear Kids,

The Messiah is tonight!  I realize Nora and Paige are just getting back from the East Coast (and Vanessa and one or two of her girls, too) but the rest of us can party.  The before-party will be at 5:30.  We have to apologize to Kim for dumping on her, since she might not even be there, but if all our parties waited for a convenient time, we’d never have any.  The Messiah itself is at 7 at Tom’s church.  

Next Saturday is the skating and gift party at Nora’s house: Skating at 2, dinner at 4, and gifts at 5.  How I wish I could still skate!  Unfortunately that part of my life is over, but I’ll think about how much fun the rest of you are having.  Fortunately I can still enjoy book club, and that will be next Sunday at 5 here at our house.  We’re reading A Christmas Carol.  There’s still time if you haven’t gotten to it yet.  It’s a wonderful story.

I twisted Tom’s arm so he’d agree to make us some pulled pork for our sledding party the day after Christmas.  Donna mentioned making mac and cheese, and if the rest of us bring our Christmas leftovers, we’ll have plenty of food.  Heck, we always do.  There’s plenty of snow at the cabin, with the promise of still more.

Yesterday Dad and I drove down to Salt Lake to go to a memorial service for John Graham, a great friend of ours who died a couple of weeks ago.  (He’s the father of Chandra, and grandfather to Carson and Natalie, our honorary grandkids.)  It was nice seeing nearly all of the Graham family.  We’ve been friends since 1977.  (John and Nora used to play with Chandra when we lived on Lake Park Drive.)  After visiting with all of them, we drove out to West Valley to the library since I had some books in.  And since we were so close, we drove by the site of Westlake Jr. High.  You remember it was pretty well destroyed by the earthquake there a few years back.  They totally demolished the old school and now they’re building a brand new junior high which is supposed to be a STEM school.  (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math.)  I guess it’s supposed to be a magnet for really smart kids, but will ambitious  parents really take their kids to West Valley to go to school?  I guess we’ll have to see.  Anyway, the building is going to be really nice, but it may not have the personality of the old school.  It definitely won’t have Miss Strassburg and her pals.  Boy, those were some great musicals you kids were in!

I hope you’re all enjoying this Christmas season.  It’s the most glorious time of the year.

Lots of Love, Mom

Sunday, December 4, 2022

 Dear kids,

What dreary weather we’re having!  I sure would like to see more blue sky.  When we get closer to Christmas, though, everything will be a lot more cheery.  We have some fun events coming up.

A week from tonight is the Messiah at Tom’s church at 7:00 pm.  There will be a before-party at Tom’s house at 5:30–that always seems to work better than an after-party.  If you can come, call Kim for a food assignment.  The Messiah itself should be spectacular.  I wish I were singing in it, but this isn’t my year.  Tom will be our only family member in the choir.

The family Christmas gift-exchange will be Saturday, the 17th.  Skating is at 2 pm, dinner is at 4, and we’ll do gifts at 5.   I’m not sure what the menu will be, but it won’t hurt for each of us to call Nora for a food assignment, and any other details she might have for us.

The very next day, Sunday the 18th, at 5 pm, will be book club at our house.  There’s plenty of time still to read “A Christmas Carol.”  It’s plenty short.  I’ve been through it several times and it gets better and better.  Dickens really understood Christmas. 

And it isn’t too early to start thinking about an after-Christmas sledding party.  Monday or Tuesday, the 26th or 27th–let me know which day is better for you.  There should be plenty of snow at the cabin.  Maybe we can get Tom to make us some pork, and we can all bring our Christmas leftovers.  Hey, it’s a tradition!  We’ve been doing it for more than 20 years now! 

I’m typing this letter with my hearing aids in.  I neglected them for a couple of weeks because I felt so lousy, but now I’m wearing them a few hours every day.  They really take some getting used to!  I can hear the computer keys clicking as I type, which is weird.  

Most of my health problems have improved, except for my poor swollen lip.  None of my doctors have had any suggestions for me.  I’ll be going to the wound clinic again tomorrow, so maybe I can get somebody to take a serious look at it.  Meantime, I sure appreciate all your prayers.  I had chemo this past week, and even though it’s never pleasant, I really feel your love and support.  My life is good because of our big, loving family.

Lots of love to you all, Mom