Monday, October 21, 2013

With All Our Love

Dear Tanner!

Hello! How was your week? I hope it was productive, pretty, and positive. I want you to know I heard through the grapevine you might be getting a package from someone who loves you. And it's not the one sitting on my counter I just taped up. I hope you love your birthday box. It's crammed full of sweetness and love. And your check for your drivers license renewal fee is enclosed.

_____ Per your request in last week's letter, I cannot find out how to contact Elder Doan's parents. She's not on the email list or Facebook page. You can send me her email, or give her mine. In fact, there are many elders whose mothers don't know about the website. I only found out because you gave Elder Cummings' mother my email. Please share our email with every elder, and have their mothers contact me so they can be included! There's only forty mothers on, and I know there's at least 160 that should be on as well. In my searching for him I found a comment from an elder that's already gone home, Levi Jones, in which he wrote, "Elder Doan hasn't received a letter from anyone this whole time. Not one." I'll be sure to write him though.

There's a few tidbits of news that I thought you might enjoy hearing about. In perusing the weekly paper this week I found a story worthy of October. In Cumberland, Maryland, near the pass we drive through when we head east, a psychiatric hospital staffer was stabbed in the head with a spike during a confrontation with a patient. Happy Halloween! I will never drive through the Cumberland pass without remembering this scary story!

This was too good from Greg not to share: "I think we almost got kicked out of a few houses, got yelled at, called servants of the devil, and stepped in more than one pile of dog poop. But I have to say despite all of this I think this week was the best week of my mission so far. It was just an adventure."

I so enjoyed your companion's letter where he wrote about what he was going to miss about Brasil. He said, "The country has a flavor and feeling that other places just don't have. For example, I went to get my haircut last week. Some dude cut it for me and didn't ask me what I wanted done, he just knew and did it. Then after he said, "Stick around, I´ll play you guys some guitar." So the guy comes out with a nice classical guitar and starts to wail on it. We just sat there watching him play classical music and then out of nowhere some other guy walks in the front door, grabs the guitar and starts to sing Willie Nelson, the Temptations and other classic greats from America. How many times have you gone to cut your hair and every one puts everything on hold to just sit down and play and sing a little? The people here are great, comfortable with themselves and willing to have a good time. That's true Brazil."

Sometimes I type these letters and wonder what you think of my mother musings. My thoughts are so random, and usually are based on what activity we participated in through the week. But your siblings always make me smile. This week Miller came home with his tissue box guitar they made in music class. He brought in an empty doctor glove box (see below), and was given a paint stir stick for the neck, and six LARGE rubber bands for the strings. But when he came home, he ripped the bands and stick off the box, threw it in the trash, and chased Sawyer all over the yard with his stick and rubber bands. All I could do was smile. Every girl in that class will probably save her guitar until she graduates. Miller's is destroyed in five minutes, and the pieces became a weapon in a game.

This week we grew our last tomato. Breyer and I took some time on a beautiful fall day and pulled up our tomato plants. There were probably twenty or so red tomatoes we picked, and one plant with a few green tomatoes was left. I put them on my back deck to mow, and when I finished, found that Breyer had stomped the tomatoes with her rain boots until they were just skins. Naughty! Today she sprayed my aerosol hair spray all over the second floor bedrooms and bathrooms. Wait until tomorrow morning when Cooper puts on his Croc. It's very sticky!

Monday after school the boys played ultimate frisbee, although everyone forgot the frisbee they changed it to touch football. And because sometimes your father has good ideas, tomorrow might be on the upper field at Ohio University Southern, Proctorville. They could get in more playing time, less traveling, and have more visibility in Proctorville, including the football team practicing on the lower field.

We invited my cub scout mother, boyfriend and scout over for family home evening. The missionaries had a few lessons left to teach him so they said, "Sis. Schenewark, we're going to teach him about the law of tithing, and the word of wisdom, could you teach him the law of chastity?" Really? That was a total dump! I had to have the talk with those guys. There was NO way I was having the birds and bee talk with somebody else's child, and offend them by saying things they'd rather say. But it was a good lesson by us all ;-) We carved pumpkins, roasted marshmallows in the fire pit, ate apple pie, and had a great time.

Tuesday Cooper visited the hand doctor, and his stitches came out. Breyer's very adept at waiting for the valet parking men to bring our van back. 

For scouts I had them ride the city bus for their Traveler activity badge. We drove over the bridge into Huntington, parked at St. Mary's hospital parking lot, and waited at the bus stop. Fifteen boys holding their dollar, flagging down every car, oblivious to commuter stares and smiles - what's not to smile about? 

The bus driver LOVED them! 

Most parents opted to meet us at our destination, which was the Pottery Place, where I had made arrangements for them to glaze Christmas ornaments and tour the kiln room. 

I left early with my cub scout and his mother to attend a baptism at the church. They wanted to know what to expect. It was another classmate of Sawyer, and it was a good thing for us to be there as well.

Thursday morning Miller woke up and said, "Mom, I can't hear out of this ear, and I don't feel well." I assumed it was an ear infection, and was able to get a doctor appointment after lunch. Imagine my surprise when Dr. Naegele says, "Mrs. Schenewark, what is it with ears and your children?" Huh? Miller, while laying on a beanbag, apparently had a small, round styrofoam ball enter his ear. It sat there for a while, was covered in wax, and caused an ear infection behind the ball. It was irrigated out with water, and he's on antibiotics. All I could do was shake my head.

Dad's football team made the paper after Friday night's game. "Fairland Dragons beat Coal Grove Hornets 44-27 to take over sole possession of first place in an Ohio Valley Conference showdown. Now 5-3 overall and 3-0, the new head coach said Fairland not only wants to win the league, but qualify for the playoffs...," first time in 20 years they'd be the sole winners of the league, first win over Coal Grove in five years, twenty years since they won the OVC and were in the play offs. All good stuff for Dad. But the rest of the story is better. Dad's kicker, in which he had making field goals after one practice (Phillip Beaty) tore his ACL. He's out for the season. So this week, he did it again. He taught another player how to kick, and the coach was not as confident in his abilities, and went for the two point conversion, three times, and missed all three! Finally he told Dad to put the kicker in, and he made all his extra point kicks. And a field goal. Dad had people coming out of the stand after the game to shake his hand. The fans were chanting the kicker's name after he kicked, they were so excited for the team. Dad even heard one assistant ask the head coach, after his player messed up at corner, if Dad could teach his player how to play corner. Dad comes home from the games with a big smile he can't wipe off his face. It's nice for everybody to have a moment of fame, and Friday nights are good to Dad.

Porter was at the game to take pictures for the yearbook, and captured this shot. Someone using his camera took this picture.

Saturday was the last week of soccer games, and not a parent in sight. Jarrod had Marshall obligations, and I was at a seminary meeting. Sawyer and Miller watched each other's games, and were picked up by Hunter. The boys also got to go to the cub scout camp for an activity day, and thoroughly enjoyed their fall day.

The Duncans came into town. It's always good to see that family. They're some of our dearest friends.  We went to Fat Patty's with them after the Saturday session of stake conference for our date night (YUM!), and fed them at the baptism Sunday afternoon, and at our house Sunday night. They love you, and were excited to hear that their journals are full. I wouldn't be surprised if more arrive in the mail!

Today.What a day! I got up early to finish food for the baptism, went early to play for the stake choir, played three songs under pressure, fed sixty people, prayed and played at a baptism, prepared for seminary, and fed the gang. My lids are droopy, my sink full, my washroom overflowing, but my heart bursting. Stake conference was good, but the baptism was great. This boy has brought two generations of family members back into the church.

The boy sobbed when they presented him with his terminally sick grandfather's scriptures. We all did.

Porter used his fancy camera to take a picture for you. He's SO tall! Imagine how tall I am compared to you. If he has shoes on and I don't, my head fits under his chin. He looked very grown-up today in his suit. He so enjoys being fashionable, and has his own unique style.

Breyer, wearing her pumpkin dress to stake conference, had many admirers. A whole church full of people, and she's the one that stood out. Thanks, Grandma! But she did tire of those who asked her about dressing like a pumpkin. "I'm not a pumpkin! I'm a princess! It should have been so obvious!

In closing, I wanted to share with you what my CES instructor said this weekend. He was telling us of how he joined ten sets of missionaries up on West Virginia University's "Free Speech" plaza, where they had set up a table with books and literature, to speak to students. They were so busy! He said he's been doing this for almost twenty years, and it is not uncommon to have no one stop to talk. This year everyone was busy, there were lots of long chats, and they are teaching eleven, one who is ready to be baptized, and three who are already on the second lesson. He, as well as the Louisville temple president in stake conference today, spoke on how the "hastening of the work of salvation" is not only occurring here on the earth, but beyond as well. The spirit of Elijah, as written in Malachi 4:6, turning "the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers" is in full force as those who are waiting for their work to be done are influencing their posterity to find the gospel. From our own experience in the corner of Proctorville, we too find this to be true. We are living no different from Hutto, or Martinez, or Northboro, or Portales, yet now I feel like I'm on a full time mission.

Well my son, have a wonderful week. Know we love you SO much! We're grateful you chose to be our son.


Mom and Dad


MarieC said...

Wow, I hope Tanner can read fast! So much news packed into one letter. It's got to be a very special joy to be able to share news of a baptism with your missionary!

I think our high school should hire Jarrod to be our head coach. We're 0-7 on the season. ;-)

Wholly Duncan said...

Porter caught our eye this weekend as he looked great! So happy to have seen you this weekend and can't wait till Thanksgiving...I'm sure Jay wants more hugs!

shirlgirl said...

A wonderful newsy letter, and the picture of Breyer is so cute. Loved her comment about the fact that she is a Princess--yes she is!

Jennifer Whitcomb said...

what a great letter.
(...and you have a boyfriend?!?)