Friday, February 27, 2009

A week of oddities - last of February 2009

What a week this has been! My sister and I both had the opportunity to substitute in teaching primary classes last Sunday. It was interesting to me to see what marvelous ideas she had for teaching about prophets. She put in hours of work and had created a game with cards sort of like baseball cards of the prophets with their pictures on one side and a key quote or commandment they emphasized. My students were younger and not yet readers, so I had selected and printed up pictures as clues about commandments and then displayed our past and present Relief Society/Melchizedek Priesthood manuals with the pictures of the prophets on them plus an Ensign with Our present 1st presidency on the cover. Sis and I are both experienced teachers and it was fun to see what different ideas we were inspired with. Daddy B.J. visited primary sharing time and was invited to speak to the children.
We finished the Sabbath with a baptism for Jennifer, who recently married Matt Mginnis, who David had in his teacher’s quorum when they first moved back to Bremerton. Matt’s father had visited David’s clinic for a foot problem. He told David that Matt and Jennifer had just moved into Bremerton. When the dad learned that Daddy B.J. was the bishop in his son’s new ward, he gave Matt’s name address and phone number to David, who immediately passed them on to us. I gave Jennifer a phone call and said we would love to see them at church. The missionaries just happened (Ha, there is no such thing as a coincidence – only tender mercies of the Lord.) to track into them that week. They started teaching Jennifer and she asked to be baptized. Daddy B.J. met Matt and interviewed him for worthiness, so he was able to baptize his wife. David came to the baptism too and bore his testimony. Daddy B.J. speaks at every baptism to welcome the new members into our ward.
Monday Sis and Cliff had invited us to dinner along with the four missionaries from our ward. Patrick Leyerle, who was still living with us also went. A feast of pasta with parmesan cheese, asparagus, creamed spinach, green salad, apple pie and ice cream was prepared. Lavina fixed a chicken breast especially for me. A member of our church from Texas has called us Saturday and given us her sister, Judy Lange’s, name and number. Though she has been in our ward for some time, her records are not here yet. Judy has been diagnosed with breast cancer and the Texan wanted her to receive a priesthood blessing. The missionaries just happened (Ha, there is no such thing as a coincidence – only tender mercies of the Lord.) to bump into Judy’s daughter that week. Are we seeing a pattern form here? Judy lives only a couple of blocks from Sis and Cliff’s, so are that sumptuous dinner we were able to visit her and Daddy B.J. and the missionaries administered to her. The Texan sister phoned to thank us and asked for someone to take Judy to her doctor’s appointment Tuesday because her initial chemotherapy treatment last week had left her too sick to drive. I drove Judy on Tuesday.
Leah made arrangements for Patrick to move in with Daniel Kennedy. Since their apartment is within a stone’s throw of the Bishop’s storehouse and cannery, that will be a blessing for Patrick. It also frees up a lot of time for me. Since any houseguest is a bit of a strain, I takes some pressure from Daddy B.J. too. Tuesday evening we helped Patrick move and then Daddy B.J. went to visit a sister in the Forest Ridge nursing home. The doctors expect her to pass away shortly and though she is comatose B.J. made a bishop’s visit.
I had been working all week trying to get postcard invitations ready for our new member get-together coming Sunday. I ended up with forty and had them almost stamped and ready to mail Wednesday when Daddy B.J. called. Derek Wentz, who is 2nd counselor in the bishopric, had received a call from his wife saying their toddler had a seizure and para-meds were on the way. Derek was driving back from Bainbridge Island and wanted Daddy B.J. to go to his home till he could get there. Of course daddy did. At Harrison Memorial Medical Center they decided that since the boy had aspirated some vomit, they would med-evac him to Seattle’s children’s hospital by helicopter. I was needed to stay with the four-year-old daughter Marina so both parents could follow her brother to Seattle by car. Marina has had a bad cold and they didn’t feel good about asking another family to take her into their home. I actually arrived at the Wentz home before they got there. I had a lovely evening with Marina but needed to pass the baton the next morning. I called Crystal Sutton explained the situation and she arrived to take over at 9:00 AM.
I then rushed home to meet Daddy B.J. and drive him to Poulsbo, where the oral surgeon, whom Dr. Redd recommended, removed six of daddy’s teeth. This is in preparation to getting a denture for the top and a special new partial plate for the bottom – once his gums have healed satisfactorily. He said he had to have the extractions that day since the doctor was headed out of town for an extended vacation I had to watch a 20-minute video about caring for the patient and then watch him break all the rules they laid down. He had a seminar scheduled for that evening, so he did the presentation. He got up and went to the office this morning and worked for several hours. Does he feel pretty awful? You bet!
Michael Pierson has missed far more days of school this year than he attended, but once a lad it taller, stronger, and more determined than his mother, what can she really do? Since he is high-end autistic, the schools make all kinds of allowances from him. It reached the point where he was called into juvenile court. That appearance was this afternoon and Leah asked me to go with them. He was offered some options but picked returning to Bremerton High and working toward graduation. The judge has ordered him to be in school each and every period of each and every day this coming week or face seven days in juvenile detention. Michael committed to being at school.
At various locations during the week I have been reading “Playing for Time”, which is the account of a famous French singer’s experience in the Birkenau extermination camp adjacent to Auschwitz Concentration camp during the Holocast. Fania was with the orchestra and that preserved her life. It really was an unimaginable time and place and truly the truth is far stranger than fiction could be.Work has been progressing nicely on filling the washout in the front yard.Dennis Durban, who is in charge of the fill said it was 8 or 9 of that huge shooter truck’s loads to fill in over the new culvert. A sort of conveyer belt blower tele-scopes out of the back of the truck and sand spewsout like water from a hose. This big backhoe is still here so perhaps a little more remains to be done. We love you!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Patrick Leyerle and yard clean up

February 19, 2009
A week ago Patrick moved here from Leah Pierson’s home. He received his Bremerton High School diploma that day. He was called to go on a six month service mission to the Bishop’s Storehouse and the cannery. We hope he can be called on a full-time mission after the six months. President Anderson said that LDS Social Services can test him to determine what his capabilities really are and that will help fitting him the proper mission for him. He is just a little slow about things. After I made a map and talked him through the route as we drove to the storehouse a couple of days, he was confident enough to ride his bicycle home yesterday.
Monday was President’s day, a federal holiday, and the sun was shinning brightly. True, it was only in the 40’s but I decided to tackle the clean up of the back yard. It looked horrible after the wind and snowstorms brought down some big branches as well as the usual small stuff. In addition to that the lower third of the yard was never raked after the leaves fell last autumn. I raked for three days several hours a day. Patrick joined me for a lot of the time when he wasn’t at the storehouse. We raked up a couple dozen wheelbarrows full of windfall. There are still some piles near the watercraft but I have some other projects to attend to before I can return to playing around.
One day last week I returned to find a big yellow backhoe next to the washout from the Dec. 2007 flooding. About a week before that Daddy B.J. started at the open end of the culvert near the tire swing and crawled up with a flashlight to try to see the problem. He saw where the old culvert had collapsed - like the top of a paper cup you have pinched - at the end of one section. The pipe was large enough where he made the discovery that he was able to turn around to make his way out. I’m glad I didn’t know he did any of that till I heard him talking to our landlord, Mr. Rostad, has hired a contractor, who will work here when time permits. Unfortunately with the downturn in the economy, he may have more time sooner than he would like. He also would prefer to work on weekends when he feels fewer officials might turn up for impromptu inspections. Mr. Rostad also bought a couple more four- foot diameter culvert to serve as part of the repair materials and they are at the top of the circle drive.
By the way March the 1st if our 15th anniversary of living here. We actually moved in about a week before that, but the lease agreement says March 1, 1994. We love it here and would like to stay a whole lot longer.
I had an email from Uncle Buck’s daughter Tina. She plans to be here when her son Brian returns from Iraq in July. She said she hasn’t seen David in about fifteen years and looks forward to meeting his wife and daughters as well as seeing him.
I had an email from Aunt Linda. Jorgen is engaged and his fiancée is another Amy! Linda said she is a perfect match for Jorgen and that they really like her. Their wedding will come sometime between April and August.
Daddy B.J. just finished reading a library copy of John Grisham’s latest novel “The Associate”. I am reading it now. But to tell the truth I don’t have a whole lot of time for reading. I am delighted to say that I am in a faithful pattern of reading from the Book of Mormon and Doctrine & Covenants at breakfast each morning. That reading led me to form family home evening around section 123 and tie it to why hunting down Adolf Eichmann and putting him on public trial was so important. I can’t imagine stronger language than Joseph Smith uses in section 123 in condemning the activities of and indeed the persons, who persecuted the Saints in Missouri.
Today is Tim Sutton's birthday. For a present we pray he passed the Nevada bar exam.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

12 Feb 2009 Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day! We love you. I found a box of Harry Potter Valentines at Vinnie’s and have given out valentines to my visiting teaching companions and the sisters we visit this month as well as David and Fatima’s family. I have one saved for Daddy B.J. on Saturday too. Today I will be doing my last VT route with my sister. This year I have four companions and visit with two sisters on each route. I have been able to do some extra things besides a monthly visit for several of them and that really makes me feel like I truly representing the love of Jesus Christ to them as a visiting teacher.
One of my companions is LaVon Willey. She is legally blind and tripped one night giving herself a black eye and some very sore ribs. I took her and her husband chef salads to add a little variety to their diet. Her husbands parents were the stake missionaries, who taught my family the gospel in 1957. Her husband, Kay, has one of the very slow progressing forms of leukemia. They both are stalwarts in the gospel and keep simply coming our to church on Sundays as their chief goal for each week. LaVon and I visit Debbie Burge, who is our ward primary president, at work at the Miller-Woodlawn funeral home’s social hall in the basement. Whenever I turn up in primary as a substitute – as I did last Sunday helping with the nursery – I consider that a gift for Debbie. LaVon and I also visit 82-year-old Carol Wamsley. She said she would like to get out of her home more often, so I am taking her to the monthly book club Relief Society activity group at Crystal Sutton’s home.
Diana Purdy and I visit Leah Pierson and Dolly Wheeler. Leah phoned last week asking me if I could watch her son Joshua Friday, since a non-school day had taken her by surprise. I gave him a haircut while he was here.
Tina Wood and her husband have been approved for section 8 government housing, so although we don’t know where they will move nor therefore how long she will be able to remain my companion, I take her packing boxes frequently (5 or 6 times so far). I pick them up from the back of the Red Apple grocery store, where they are free to customers. One of the sisters we visit is Tina Portune and I pick her up for choir practice each week. Our other sister is Imogene Newbrey, who is also on my activities committee. When she recently had heart surgery Tina and I visited her at the hospital.
My sister and I visit Tricia Sandbeck-Marshall. Daddy B.J. baptized her husband in December. They have been called to teach primary and I substituted for them one Sunday. Daddy B.J. and I plan to take them to the temple tomorrow night to do baptisms for the dead. Did you know that is a church goal for new members to do that about six weeks after baptism? Those who achieve that goal are more active to remain active in the church.
Anyway, you can see that being a visiting teacher really is a large part of my church activity. On the activities committee calling we have an Adult Dessert Auction and Dance coming Saturday night. I’ll tell you more about that after it occurs.
Ruth called and told me about the Pahrump Youth Conference held last weekend. She said 100 youth participated. Will set up the sound system, Kathryn and her brother prepared power point presentations Joseph, who planned to talk once for about 5 minutes ended up teaching a mini-class five times for 20 minutes each time and Ruth shared the whole event with the young women from her ward. It was very successful and with all that input from our wonderful family how could it have been otherwise?
Debbie called and we talked about the help mothers give their children. I was working on the FAFSA web application for Nathan Gent when the call came and that brought up the topic. Debbie helped Nicholas in his application to participate in a training program offered at his school for Juniors and Seniors looking forward to become firemen. He is excited about it and looks very official in all the gear. Debbie’s son Nathan is continuing his enthusiastic involvement in surfing and Debbie drives his out to the ocean early of a morning to join the kids with whom he practices. Now that sounds like a physically stimulating way to start the day.
Nathan called last night and today he is flying to Boston for the convention for college representatives from across the nation for the J Reuben Clark Law Society. Nathan is the president of his college’s student chapter. Meetings run through Saturday. Nathan was going to room with a fellow who’s wife had a baby at an unexpected time. Nathan sought other housing contacting the convention leaders and was disheartened to learn he might have to bear the expense of a costly hotel room. He started praying and it is working out better than he even originally planned. Hurrah for the answers to prayers. When we chatted I pointed out that this would be the last time I would be completing a FAFSA application for him. He hadn’t stopped to think about it and was very pleased to realize he is getting nearer the end of his college road.
I talked to Michael yesterday and he will be leaving for Houston, San Antonio, and Austin, Texas, flying out early Monday and returning late Friday. He has lots of stops on his agenda and will work like crazy. He’s just happy he doesn’t have to be away from his “girls” longer or miss a Sunday. He said that during the last week of January and the first week of February his company did 75% as much business as following the huge destruction after Hurricane Katrina hit the New Orleans and gulf coast area. This time the work was the result of an ice storm in Arkansas, where power lines had ice accumulations as big as soda pop cans down their lengths, which snapped crossbars like toothpicks. Mike said in on place it took out every crossbar for 2 miles.
Mike said his and Jenna’s daily delights from Anna Kate include her excitement for pictures of temples and Jesus Christ and her insistence on saying prayers before naps as well as meals and bedtime. Mike said as fantastic a wife as Jenna is she is even a better mother.
David drove down Tuesday night to help Daddy B.J. give me a blessing on account of a tooth that was bothering me. I am most grateful for the priesthood and for Melaleuca and yes I am well on the way to healing. David said he had been talking to my sister and Cliff and that Fatima and he and the girls are now hoping to visit them in Salt Lake City for the 24th of July celebration this year. Fatima really wants to see that. Adryann recently won an award for the best penmanship in her class. David and Fatima are planning to hire a medical administrator for their office. It will lift a great burden from them both and should streamline the entire operation of the office.
In Benjamin’s last letter he told me how much he in enjoying the visits from Jernon and David’s family. They are currently the sunshine in his life. Grace and Dorian give him hugs and make him feel like a million bucks. Thank you, Kelly family.
I sent out an email to our kids yesterday letting them know that we cancelled the second phone number we had kept into out house for a couple of decades. Goodbye 479-8115. We simply don’t need it anymore. That is true not only because of Daddy B.J.’s cell phone but even more so because we don’t have kids at home to tie up our phone. Mike praised me saying it was a good way to economize.
I just read “Hunting Eichmann: How a Band of Survivors and a Young Spy Agency Chased down the World's Most Notorious Nazi” by Neal Bascomb. I had previously listened to the audio book, “The Perfect Mile” about the breaking of the 4-minute mile record also by Bascomb. Both books were meticulously researched and amazing in the detail they included. It is wonderful when non-fiction can be as exciting as novels. For pure fun the Aunt Dimity books by Nancy Atherton are excellent. One of them was on the list of books for the monthly Relief Society book activity class at Crystal Sutton’s. At the first meeting I attended Crystal asked to suggestions from the group. Diana Purdy suggested “Veil of Roses” by Laura Fitzgerald. It is about a woman coming to the US from Iran and reveals the horrible repression faced by women there. It really made me appreciate this months Visiting Teaching theme “Understand the Divine Roles of Women” and the understanding the gospel of Jesus Christ gives us of the valued place of women in Heavenly Father’s plan. See if you can find any of these books in libraries. You would enjoy them.
All our love to all of YOU!

Friday, February 6, 2009

February 6, 2009

I met with Virginia Anderson, our accountant yesterday morning about our 2008 taxes. Since it takes many many hours to gather the information needed for that meeting, it was nice to have it done. But, the wonderful thing about these annual meetings is that I love taking with Virginia. She and her husband Bill were just newlyweds in our ward when we moved back to Bremerton after your birth.
The Andersons have four children. The youngest is a girl born the same month as you and Adam the same year as Adam. She, like Nathan, is in her second year of law school. One son was devastated by a divorce. Well, a few of our children can identify with that. One son was buffeted because of poor choices, but has now returned to his parents’ home, has a job and is getting his feet under him and straightening out his life. Daddy B.J. and I look forward to having that in common with them this summer concerning Benjamin.
For some years the Andersons have provided housing for a few members of the Blue Jacket Baseball team. You may recall that that is a semi-pro team that you brother David’s Foot and Ankle Clinic helps sponsor. The young players are required to live gospel standards inside the Anderson home. However many times the Andersons have arrived home to find not guest their tenants but many of the players gathered. They love the safe environment – only G or PG rated movies, no unhealthy drinks or drugs, no bad language allowed. You see the picture. Actually I suppose they feel the “spirit” in the home. One of the players, who has lived with them three years, had his parents come to visit for New Years. That father is involved in the financial world and knowing the Andersons were Mormon asked, “ Is the financial distress the US is in the reason your church tells you to have a year’s supply?” Virginia explained to him that our church has always taught principles of provident living. The man asked if leaders actually talked to members about it as a religious topic. Virginia replied, that it was often a theme for lessons or talks. He asked how that was part of a religion. She explained that a man cannot be spiritually at peace if he does not know where his family’s next meal is coming from – that to the Lord no commandment is just temporal – they are all spiritual.
Virginia feels she and her husband are “letting their light shine” not just to the players but also their families. There certainly are lots of ways to do missionary work.
Virginia further said that it is sad to look around her meetings on Sunday and know that many members are out of work and families are facing financial upheaval.
Adam’s birthday was last Saturday, the 31st of January. All our Nevada children and their families gathered in Pahrump to give him a wonderful celebration. He and we are continually amazed at the great memories loved ones pool their talents and resources to supply. Speaking of that, Ruth and Tim are planning a trip for a few days to visit Debbie & Jay’s family in California. The occasion is Tim’s birthday, which will be on the 19th. They plan to play a bit between the beach and Disneyland. And Debbie is giving Ruth and Tim a night away from their parenting responsibilities as a present. Since Daddy B.J. and I have most of our time just for us two at home, we can testify that no enjoyment surpasses what a couple can experience being together. I have some visiting teaching to do this evening. Since it will soon be Valentine’s Day, we are bearing a special message of love. We want you to know how much we love you, too. Here is a bit of loving advise.