Sunday, July 30, 2023

 Dear Kids,

The family reunion is ending this morning, and it has been spectacular.  Thanks so much, Donna, for planning it so well!  Thanks to all of you who prepared meals (and cleaned them up) and to those of you who helped with activities.  Every reunion we have is better than the one before it, and I expect that will keep happening.  Dad and I especially enjoyed the day at Deer Creek and the hike around Silver Lake.  Dad didn’t especially enjoy the drive home over Guardsman pass, since his brakes smelled like they were burning up and the heat melted one of his hubcaps.  But hubcaps are cheap, and even the brakes seem to have survived.

Bentley’s wedding is practically upon us.  It’s fun being the grandparent of a kid getting married, since you don’t have any work to do, and you can just sit back and enjoy everything.  The wedding is less than two weeks away, and I’m sure that either Bentley or Cambree could tell you the exact number of days.

And two weeks from today is the combined farewell/homecoming of Sarah and Sterling.  The meeting is at 9 am, and the address is 1701 Bartz Drive in Pocatello.  It will mean an early drive for lots of us, but there’s nothing I’d rather get up early for.

Book club is on August 20 (We’re reading Bunnicula) and Super Sunday is on the 27th at John’s house.  Then September will be upon us, with even more fun events.  If I ever act crabby at these family events, it’s only because I get so tired.  I’m always happy to be together with you.

Sonia has put us on notice that she’s tired of the heat.  I want to tell her that we’re tired of it, too.  If we would only spread ourselves out on our backs on the floor, like she does, we could probably tolerate it better.  I’m just glad we live near the mountains where we cool off so well at night.  

Love to all of you, Mom

Sunday, July 23, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Sterling is home!  His plane landed on time Monday night, but his luggage didn’t get there until Tuesday.  Luckily it was delivered to his house.  Vanessa says he talks with a sing-songy accent, like other missionaries who have been speaking Spanish.  I hope he still has his cute accent when we meet for the family reunion!

And the family reunion is upon us!  We’ll see you all Thursday night at 6:30 at Huber Grove, where the family pictures will be taken. We’re supposed to wear neutral colors.  The rest of the agenda is foggy in my mind, because it disappeared off my phone, but Dad and I will keep up with the rest of you.  Well, maybe we won’t go tubing on the Provo River, or play pickle ball, but we’ll be good spectators. 

The next big event after the family reunion is Bentley’s wedding on August 10.  I assume you all have your invitations.  I was going to color my hair pink for the summer, but I’m holding off because it might look too startling in the wedding pictures.  I know grandparents aren’t really the stars of the show, but I don’t want to spoil anything.  

The rest of our events for August are all on Sundays.  On the 13th the action moves to Pocatello, for the combination farewell/homecoming for Sarah and Sterling.  The meeting starts at 9 am, and the address is 1701 Bartz Drive.  It’s not the same church where we’ve met before, but I’m sure your phones can find it.  On the interstate, you can see two churches together near the ISU campus.  Vanessa’s building is the one closest to the interstate.  You can take the same exit we’ve always taken before, though.

The Sunday following, the 20th, will be book club at our house.  We’re reading Bunnicula.  I read it once, long ago, so I need to pull it out again.  I remember that it’s really crazy.  The Sunday after that we’re due for another Super Spreader (oops, Super Sunday), and it’s John’s turn this time.  That will finish out the month, but there’s no stopping the fun. 

Sonia has been complaining of the heat.  She spreads herself out long on the floor, and glares at us when we walk by, as if we could do something about it.  Dad and I know it won’t last, but she thinks it will be forever.  But we all know the summer is winding down fast.

I hope you’re all enjoying it!  Lots of love, Mom 

Sunday, July 16, 2023

 Dear Kids,

Holy cow, Sterling comes home tomorrow!  Too bad it’s so late and far away for most of us!  He lands in Idaho Falls at 9:08 pm.

And this afternoon is Super Sunday at Paul’s at 5 pm.  We’re having it later so there will be more shade in Paul’s back yard, which will be good, since the temperature is supposed to be around 100.  Whatever–there’s no stopping the fun, where this family is concerned.

Speaking of which, Dad and I drove up to Mirror Lake yesterday afternoon to partly get it on the camping trip that Donna organized.  Besides Donna’s family, there were Nora’s and Tom’s families, and Allen besides.  Dad and I had already had a really long day, starting with working on the tile in the cabin’s pantry, so we didn’t stay long, but we ate lunch with Donna’s family and hiked around the lake with Bevan, Donna, and Al.  It was absolutely gorgeous, and cool enough that I had to wear my fleece.  Most of the kids were out on the lake in kayaks and paddle boards, and we waved to them as we walked by.  When we got back to camp we were absolutely worn out, so Dad and I headed home.

Two weeks from today we’ll be winding up the family reunion, and I hope you all received the agenda.  If you have any questions, contact Donna.  Thursday night, after the family pictures, we’ll sing happy birthday to John if he’s good enough to bring those chocolate cakes from Costco.  We’ll sing to him anyway even if he doesn’t, but we all know how much John likes going to Costco.

Other upcoming events to have on your calendar: Bentley’s wedding August 10, Vanessa’s combined meeting August 13, and book club here on August 20.  Nora suggested we read Bunnicula, which is a crazy and fun book about a Dracula bunny.

Looking ahead to school starting this fall–Although Dad and I turned our backs on BYU almost 50 years ago, we’ll have three grandchildren going there: Bentley, Adelaide, and Charlie.  We wish them well, along with all the other college, high school, middle school, elementary, and preschool kids.  What a family!

Love, Mom

Sunday, July 9, 2023

 Dear Kids,

What a summer we’re having!  It’s just one event after another.  Book club is this afternoon at 5, and we’re reading The Sign of the Beaver.  I hope you’ve all had a chance to read it, but I know most of you are in the middle of hectic summer activities.  Anyway, we’ll be discussing it.  Then, next week (the 16th) is Super Sunday at Paul’s.  Before, we’ve always met at the park, when we’ve gone to Layton, but this time we’re meeting in Paul’s back yard.  For that reason, Paul wants us to come at 5 instead of 4, because there’s more shade then.  Also, that will give Donna’s family more time to get there, since they’re on such a late schedule.

On Monday, the 17th Sterling comes home.  He’ll fly into the Idaho Falls airport at 9:08 pm.

Then, the next big event, which I keep forgetting to mention, is the family reunion starting Thursday, July 27.  Donna is working on the agenda, and she’s planning to get it out asap.  Each family reunion seems better than the one before it, and I’m sure this one will be the best of all, so far.  I know we’re having pictures taken Thursday evening, so make sure you don’t wait until Friday morning to show up.  Because it’s so close (Huber Grove), Dad and I will be there the whole time.  I’m really excited about it.

The next big event after the family reunion will be Bentley and Cambree’s wedding on August 10.  I’m sure Tom’s family will give us the whole agenda when it gets closer.  And then, the Sunday after that (August 13) most of us will be driving to Pocatello for the combined homecoming and farewell of Sterling and Sarah.  By the way, Vanessa’s ward meets in a different church now.  The address is 1701 Bartz Drive, and since there are two churches together, it’s the east building.  I’ll keep repeating this information as it gets closer.  The meeting starts at 9 am.

One further item: Josh’s baptism will be Saturday, September 2, so you can put that on your calendar, too. 

I got through my week of chemo OK, and I even felt good enough to help Dad prune trees yesterday.  Then we went to the cabin and he did some good work on the gas tank of the Yerf Dog.  It turned out so well that we were able to take the yerf dog on a good spin.  I know a lot of you have been missing driving it.  That’s all OK now. 

I hope you’re all doin’ great and lovin’ it!  Lots of love, Mom

Sunday, July 2, 2023

 Dear Kids,

I’m sure you’ve all heard about John “landing out” in Bedford, Wyoming.  Dad had been following John's flight on his phone, but when he saw that, all of a sudden, John wasn’t going anywhere, we were afraid of the worst.  Luckily it all turned out OK.  John’s group chose Afton for their fly-in because it’s surrounded by fields, and the field John chose was very soft.   He said it was the softest landing he ever made.  One funny thing–on Sunday John went to church in the Bedford ward, and one lady said, “You look like the guy who landed in our field yesterday!”

Sterling is definitely coming home on the 17th.  That’s only two weeks off!  He’ll be landing in Idaho Falls at 9:08 pm, which makes it nearly impossible for any of us Utahns to be there, but it’s still great that he’s finishing such a successful mission.  The combined sacrament meeting for Sarah and Sterling will be August 13 at 9 am.  Vanessa’s ward meets in a different building now, and I’ll have the address when it gets closer.

Book club is a week from today at 5 pm here at our house.  We’re reading The Sign of the Beaver.  I started reading it a couple of days ago, and I couldn’t put it down.  I had forgotten it was so good!  I’m looking forward to hearing everybody’s comments.  

Paul and Stefanie are in charge of Super Sunday this month, and they’ve chosen to have it on the 16th, just two weeks from now.  I’ll let you know the location in my letter next week, but I’m guessing we’ll meet at the park we’ve gone to before.   The time will probably be the same–4 pm. Like always, you bring what you like, and we’ll put it all together.  BTW, Josh will be getting baptized September 2, so we’ll have that to look forward to.

Dad and I laid the last of the tile in the pantry of the cabin, a job I had put off for ten years.  I wasn’t sure I had enough energy to do it, but I definitely had enough adrenalin.  Dad mixed the mortar for me, and got out the lumps, so all I had to do was spread it and put down the tiles.   Our next job will be doing the grout, and then putting the doors back up, if they still fit after 10 years.  I love projects.  I don’t care if I’m 75!  I don’t care if I have cancer!  If there’s a fun project, I’m going to figure out how to get it done.

Which reminds me–I have chemo again on Monday, but it’s the last of four infusions, and then I have eight weeks of freedom. Onward and upward!  Love, Mom