Friday, April 24, 2009

Work on Will and Mindie's Rental and our yard

24 April 2009
Will and Mindie’s house on Vena fell vacant and we have been working to set it to rights. Daddy B.J. cleaned the basement, where the hot water heater spread a lot of water and created a mud mess on the central cement floor from the surrounding open dirt areas. He also did touch up painting. I hired Leah Pierson at the beginning of the month to do the initial inside cleaning including shampooing the carpet. I could have done that but her home health care employer has cut her hours to fifteen per week, which a hardship for her.
I started the major project of making curtains for the fifteen windows. When a friend commented that the renters would want to decorate according to their own tastes, I realized she was right. Then I hit Value Village on two successive 99¢ tag sale days and was blessed to find curtains for eight windows. In the middle of one night it came to me that I had unopened lace curtains, which I purchased at a similar sale about a year ago. They worked for four more windows. I had already sewn the curtains for the master bedroom. When pondering about the expense of curtain rods, which were needed for all windows, I was inspired to think of teacup hooks and bamboo from our yard . The holes for former rods, which had been removed, were receptacles for the hooks. I wrapped the ends of the bamboo with white masking tape, which made them more attractive. On pieces to support lace, which revealed the bamboo, I wrapped the middle with plain gray duct tape. By fiddling with the strings and patiently bandaging together breaks in vinyl slats with white duct tape, and splinting one broken bottom rail with bamboo I got the mini-blinds to at least hang approximately even. Last Saturday we spent several hours doing general clean-up and hanging curtains. It worked out very well.
I have a great exercise plan to recommend – yard work. Monday for Family Home Evening Daddy B.J and I headed out to Vena. He used the weed-eater, shovel and broom to clean up sidewalks and flowerbeds. I mowed. Then we made a sandwich board for “for Rent” signs and Daddy B.J. called in an ad to the Sun newspaper.
Tuesday I mowed our own lawn and noticed how very much larger it is than Vena's. That night I started weeding the strawberries. I put in a lot of hours yesterday to finish that and take out the dandelions that had formed a border beneath the cedar hedge along our driveway. I accumulated two wheelbarrows of weeds. Daddy B.J. said the place is starting to look like someone lives here.
My sister is having foot surgery today. Dr. David Gent is removing a bunion and putting in a pin to straighter her big toe for that foot. Sis and I talked a couple of days ago and she had exciting news about Korb and his family. The company he used to work for back in Minnesota is opening business in Europe. They asked him to return to work for them and when they agreed to all his requests he agreed. He will be taking his family there for a year starting this summer. Naturally Cliff and Sis will try to visit them sometime - for about a month. They were there when Cliff was in the Navy and look forward to both visiting family in that setting and doing sight-seeing.
Sis and Cliff were very pleased that Joseph & Kathryn stopped both ways on their trip to visit Kathryn’s family in Montana. Salt Lake City, Utah is half way between Pahrump, Nevada and Bozeman, Montana. Kathryn made some new blog entries including one about their trip. What magnificent scenery and how fun to be with so many in her family.
Last Friday David and his girls plus three of their school girl friends, who were spending the night, came for a visit to borrow a tent to put up in their family room. At the Easter Egg Hunt Adryann and BrynneƩ noticed that I had a tent and stored the memory. While here they played in the back yard. David offered to take them on a canoe ride. When I saw five wiggly squirmy girls in life jackets in the canoe I asked David if he really thought he could keep them sitting still enough to avoid tipping the canoe. He doubted it, so we pulled out the rowboat and I got out a set of oars. They spent about a half-hour on the lake and had a marvelous time. Since sound carries so well I could hear their laughter.
David and Fatima had a business appointment in Seattle one day this week. They took advantage of being close and went to a session at the temple. David said the peace he felt was a tremendous blessing. Peace is a very rare commodity at this time for them.
Nathan called yesterday. We talked and he counted blessings. Debbie and Jay’s generosity to him during his visit in California headed his list. Nathan can see Heavenly Father’s hand in his life as a response to his actions related to their generosity.
Jay’s birthday was last Monday. I complained about having only one photo of him from the previous year – too little on which to expend my creative efforts in making a birthday card for him. He promised and Debbie promised too to sent more pictures this next year. T.J.'s school put on their musical last weekend. Debbie hoped they would make a video of it available. I hope so too. T.J. was in the chorus and had a great time singing and dancing.
Benjamin was so taken with a baby picture of Anna Kate that he asked a friend to do a portrait of her from it. He sent it to Mike and Jenna and hopes we will get to see it there. Mike and Jenna can hardly believe Anna Kate is going on two – June 13th. Jenna added some great pictures of Anna Kate to her blog. They were taken over Easter and while visiting with Jenna’s parents.
Sunday, April 19, 2009 Ruth added to her blog out of the mouth of babes - "We’ve been trying to teach our children the concept of the spirit’s promptings and satan’s enticing. So for family home evening/scripture study Tim whispered things into the children’s ears like “be nice to your sister” or “make fun of your brother” and then asked who they thought would be saying what. Last night after we were done reading scriptures Gent leaned over and whispered into my ear, “satan says be mean to your husband.” He leaned back from me and smiled and then he leaned into my ear again and whispered “the holy ghost says give cotton candy to your son.”
Last week I was caught short on time when I wanted to get a letter off to Benjamin so I didn’t post to my blog. I just dashed off a note. I think I told him how very much Ruth’s family enjoyed their trip to Debbie & Jay's to celebrate Tim’s completing his Nevada law bar examination. They especially enjoyed going to Disneyland and Debbie took care of Zion so Ruth and Tim could be one-on-one with Ellie and Gent.
Skagit the dog disappeared after four days at our house. Easy come easy go.
We love all of you. Have a wonderful week.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Mike and Adam's visit and General Conference

We don’t know how much of general conference you were able to listen to. We set up/ took down the projector for the broadcast both days in our chapel. So we were able to soak it all up.
Last Friday night was a ward temple night for me. It was the first time in ages that I was just a back seat passenger and not the driver. I napped on the way and it was the best temple worship I have had in a long, long time. It really helps to be rested. Sister Judy Kerman, with whom I worked in cub scouting for years several years ago, sat beside me during the sessiion and afterwards we talked. Her husband had been on kidney dialysis for seven years and was drawing very close to death when a donor kidney was found for him last October. He is a new man in that one part but seems a new man all round. Judy was so happy.
Adam arrived in Bellingham that evening. Michael picked him up and drove him to Bremerton after the Saturday morning session of conference. Daddy B.J., David, Adam, Michael and Patrick attended the Priesthood session together. What a treat!
All the talks both days were wonderful. Jeffrey Holland’s tearful remarks impressed me, ”…that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required; indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of humankind—us, all of us—would feel when we did commit such sins. For His Atonement to be infinite and eternal, He had to feel what it was like to die not only physically but spiritually, to sense what it was like to have the divine Spirit withdraw, leaving one feeling totally, abjectly, hopelessly alone.” This rings true to me.
During the week he was in town Adam did a lot of visiting with our family and David’s and at Bremerton High School among former teachers and coaches and with friends from his high school days. Nate Gillam, who was a close friend of Joe Gent, is now the head football coach for Bremerton HS. Imagine Adam’s surprise to walk into the coach’s classroom and find a large picture of himself with the UNLV head football coach on the bulletin board at the front of the room. Adam knew that Coach Sanford mailed out copies of his players to their former high schools and junior colleges, but Adam didn’t know it would end up being displayed so prominently. Mr. Gillam said it was to encourage his high school players, letting them see that former BHS students could make it onto outstanding college teams.
From the wrestling coach’s library of past year’s video tapes Adam gleaned several to borrow. He used them to make a DVD of his own matches. He shared some of the DVD with us. It was a lot more casual to watch a nice movie than it was to watch a match in person! This morning I hopped on the Internet to pre-purchase a ticket for him with his credit card to catch the AmTrak train from Seattle to Bellingham this evening. Michael will pick him up and enjoy him for another night and get him to the airport tomorrow evening for his flight to Las Vegas.
I checked back with Nathan about his Sri Lanka guests and he was able to give a Book of Mormon in English to Shamir before he flew home. Nathan said that since they were bedding down in the living room and since the TV is in that room too, they heard a good bit of General Conference while Nathan watched it there. He was sowing seeds.
Nathan applied for a summer internship in Pahrump, but the county would have to find funds to pay for it, so the chances are pretty small. He may just stay in Las Vegas over the summer and ask Adam’s help in getting work. Nathan’s second year of law school will finish up in less than a month now. It’s not all fun -that is for sure. But, working hard and not just fun makes time fly fast.
Debbie emailed me a cute picture of Amy. Debbie looked through the house for her daughter and found her in the toy closet ready to make an imaginary meal.
Last Monday Fatima almost hit a dog in the middle of the highway near the Red Apple Grocery. She opened her car door to call to the dog to get him to get off the road and he jumped in her car. Adryann, who has a really soft heart for dogs took a real shine to “Scrambles” as she nick-named him but Daja, their big old pit bull, did not. So we brought the newly found dog home, posted a picture of him at the Red Apple and called in for a free pet found ad in the Sun newspaper. Patrick feels much like Adryann when it comes to dogs. When the dog ran away up the road a couple of times Patrick tracked him down. The owner caught sight of Patrick as he looked. She offered the dog to him saying they were going to take him to the humane society anyway because they simply didn’t have time for him. Well, with his wonder-lust I don’t know how long this canine will be around but for now Skagit is here. It is interesting that the nick-name Adryann picked isn’t all that different from the county he is named after.
Happy Easter!

Friday, April 3, 2009

April egins

Family and Friends,
David phoned April Fool's day to say it was snowing. It wasn't a joke, unless you this the weather this year has been laughable. I learned late the day before that the last day of March was the deadlline for removing studded snow tires. Not wanting a $124 ticket - surely with all the noise they make you couldn't avoid getting one - I was sort of happy to sit in the tire waiting room till 8:15 PM to make the switch.
Ruth's 30th birthday was March 30th and she celebrated for a full week. The Thursday before Debbie drove up with her daughters and over the weekend Adam and Nathan came out too. Of course the family from right in Pahrump joined in and they had a party all weekend long. Ruth's young women then gave a party for her on April Fool's day. So ended the best birthday of her life.
While Debbie was in Pahrump Jay send her the largest floral arrangement she had every seen and she generously shared that with Ruth too. Well it gladdened everyone's hearts.
The woman, who invited my family to investigate The Church fifty years ago, called me last week. She moved to Missouri several years ago. Through the last couple of years she lost track of contact information for her other friends in Bremerton. She was inspired to try my phone number. Since it hasn’t changed in the last fifteen years, it worked. It was great to talk to Mary Louise Peck Fulton again and I was able to help her.
Mary recently made a short distance move to within .3 mile of her daughter and son-in law’s Brian and Kristin O’Loughlin. It was an inspired move because shortly afterwards her six-year-old grand-daughter, Mary Grace, was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The child first complained of leg pain but within four weeks she had lost bowel and bladder control.
It is a brain cancer but fortunately it formed not in her brain but in her spine. Consequently the doctors give her a 90% chance of recovery. She is several hours away from home at the St. Jude’s Cancer Research Center in Memphis, Tennessee. It was founded by Danny Thomas St. Jude is the only pediatric cancer research center where families never pay for treatment not covered by insurance. Kristin naturally needed to go with her. Her ten-year-old sister insisted on going too. Their mom is “home-schooling” them there. Living so close now, Mary is able to help the dad and the eight and thirteen-year-old sons, who need to remain at home. Mary said the bright side is that many neighbors and acquaintances have been touched by the peace that radiates from the family in spite of the calamity. I think you call that passive missionary work.
Speaking of missionary work, Nathan is hosting three students from Sir Lanka. They are attending a week long International Client Counseling Competition being held at Nathan’s college. Chithral, Shamir, and Charuka are of diverse religious backgrounds – Muslim, Buddhist, and Catholic. They see pictures of Jesus on the walls of Nathan’s apartment. Nathan takes them through the institute building after driving them to campus. They are impressed by the fact that food items available in the institute building are sold at cost and a simple box is beside the food for payment. Nathan says they are “blown away” by it’s being on the honor system. Nathan has ordered copies of the Book of Mormon in their language and hopes they arrive in time for him to present them before they leave Tuesday.
We are excited that Adam is flying into Bellingham tonight. Michael will pick him up and they will watch the first session of General Conference Saturday morning with Jenna and Anna Kate. Then Mike and Adam will drive down here to attend the Priesthood session with Daddy B.J. and David. Michael will return to Bellingham Sunday but Adam doesn’t return till Friday to catch his flight home. What fun we can have around here!.
Daddy B.J. flew with President Anderson to Kansas early Wednesday morning. They attended a training for Aviva along with Will in Topeka. Daddy B.J. returned late last night but President Anderson stayed at their layover point in Salt Lake City where he will attend General Conference. He will ride home with his parents.
While he was away I worked at his office so Brenda Holmes wouldn’t be alone there. I made a small dent in a huge project making curtains for Will and Mindie’s Vena house.
I will be heading over to the temple tonight since it is our ward’s temple day. Daddy B.J. was going too till he saw that an appointment had been scheduled with a client, who has been upset that it has been taking so long. I told Ruth I would put Tim’s name on the prayer roll as the graders still might be checking over his Nevada Bar Exam. He has the job he wanted as a prosecuting attorney IF he passes the Bar. He will.