Monday, December 9, 2013

With All Our Love

Dear Tanner,

I loved your letter. Can I tell you how much? I must have read it four times in one sitting. It was a tender letter in so many ways. Thanks for taking the time to truly expound. I did have one question, who else is playing the piano (and singing) with you? _____ You said we. Speaking of letters, your letters arrived Thursday. Did you find a page you wrote that wasn't put in the envelope? I feel like we're missing the most important page! You ended one page taking about one person, and concluded with someone different, and nothing in between The boys loved their soccer cards!

I've included an adorable picture of your cousins in New York last week for the Thanksgiving day parade. Thought you could use some cousin time!

Leonardo called tonight - he's doing well. He said he sent you a quick email. Just wanted to say hello!

Matt also contacted us in regards to a trip he's taking to Boston in February. And he offered this wonderful invitation: "And if you or yours are ever in Phoenix for whatever reason (a conference, spring training baseball, etc), you are more than welcome to stay at my parents' house. They have a guest suite with a private entrance that sleeps four, and the only thing my mom likes more than guests is cooking for them."

I mailed your Christmas box this week. I'm sure it will arrive just in time ;-) and you will have plenty to share. I'm hoping they hang onto it to give to you at your Christmas mission gathering. If so, sneak off to a back room, look through it quickly, and pull out stuff you'd like to share with those less fortunate. Not everything in the box will be your favorite. Denae's family put together a small package of stocking stuffers (you still have her stocking from last year?) that you can share with others as well. I'm less confident hers will arrive in time only because her package is not going to be trackable after it leaves the U.S., and my non flat rate package didn't fare so well.

Any thoughts about our Christmas day skype? You have a week or two to plan, and a letter to let us know the details. So exciting! We have ordered and received our Christmas cards, and I threw one in your box...will be working on the letter this week and mail separately.

Tuesday Breyer and I went to Hunter and Porter's quiz bowl meet. The questions were awful. Chinese literature, French architects, Ukraine geography (I just made that one up) remember. They won by seven, still a little disgruntled they're only playing two out of the four sections while others are playing three. We're hoping he's just letting the others play more because they're winning, and during tougher competitions he'll play them more. 

Thursday was the 4th grade play, Annie. We were hoping Sawyer could play the same part as you, but somehow there weren't tryouts for the boys...but he was very cute in the chorus, best friends with the stars, and well loved by those in charge. I was the only member of the family able to watch...lucky me!

Saturday was a very busy day. Wrestling concession stand set-up 7:30 a.m. to 8:40, Miller's basketball game 9 a.m., basketball concessions 10 a.m., Sawyer's game 11 a.m., Cooper's game 12 p.m., basketball concessions 1 p.m. - 2 p.m. We talked to Mr. Sowards about issues in Fairland School district, got home after 3 p.m., and had to make potatoes and salad for the ward Christmas party beginning at 5 p.m. Saturday was also Miller's 7th birthday. I warned him ahead of time that it was a busy day, and we would celebrate a different day, so in the middle of the clean up after the church dinner, he comes over to me with his very long sad face and says, "This is the worst birthday ever!" He was cheered up a little when he got home and got to open his grandmother's presents. All he wants for his birthday is to go bowling, and a few rubber bands, so we'll have to clear the calendar on Monday. 

Our part in the ward Christmas program was to demonstrate a family home evening. I told one lady in charge she had the wrong family. Give me something funny to do! So I told her we would be the Schenewarks, on stage in full chaos, and would get your father maneuvered under the mistletoe for a kiss on stage. He kept asking what we we're going to do, and I told him, "When I yell at Porter to get the two left shoes off of Breyer, you just walk on stage and we'll be done. Pretend you're coming home from work." It was funny. I had to bite your father's lips to keep him from breaking the kiss. Good times on stage.

I did try to make Miller a cake, but the eggs I bought Friday evening are no where to be found. I don't know if they fell out of the cart, because I do remember putting them into the cart myself while I rode the cart down to the car, or got left in the van, which Hunter took early Saturday morning for his last SAT subject test. Speaking of the van, we lost the transmission coming home from the church dinner. It no longer gets out of first gear, which means only ten miles per hour. We had actually taken it in to be checked and serviced on Friday, and knew we had little time left before the transmission died, but didn't know it would be the next day. It went bad quickly!

And I might as well get all the bad news out at once. Ranger might have cancer. He has a couple of tumors on the outside of his legs, and he's lost a lot of weight, and now his stools are bloody. But when we woke up to about five inches of snow this morning, and church cancelled, he was outside with your brothers chasing snowballs, and barking joyously. We'll do our best to provide him with happy days, but those days may be numbered. The boys spent all day in and out of the snow, and found out later at night they have a two hour delay. They all went to bed very excited knowing they don't have to get up. I'll share more pictures later, but Hunter carved out an Abraham Lincoln for the top of his snowman, in honor of your newest cousin, Lincoln Moroni, born to Aunt Alana and Uncle Zach. His letter is coming soon with the details!

We put the tree up this week, and have been gradually adding all the ornaments. A person a day seems to be the operandi moda over here. Breyer enjoys putting them on the tree, and will browse the piles upstairs, find one she loves, and come running downstairs to hang it on the tree. Speaking of Breyer, most of her adventures this week happened in the kitchen. I was blending tomatoes for spaghetti sauce, and she turned the blender on while the lid was off. Red everywhere! Later in the week she turned on the mixer and flung cookie dough. While making pizza, she scooped flour into the jar of sauce. She's a hoot!

Did you get to listen to the Christmas devotional? We gathered around the t.v. to listen, and were visited by the Proctorville missionaries. They couldn't travel all the way to the church due to the conditions of the roads, and traveled to our house instead.

I think that's about all the news fit to print. Just a thought left. One day during seminary preparation this week I was reading about Alma. After Alma's escape from King Noah, he called priests and teachers who were "not to depend upon the people for their support; but for their labor they were to receive the grace of God that they might wax strong in the Spirit, having the knowledge of God ,that they might teach with power and authority from God (Mosiah 18:26)." You are also called to minister, and have this same authority to teach with power and authority from God. Pretty amazing to realize the same pattern for teaching with authority today existed 140 BC, and that authorized servants of our Heavenly Father are given access to his power to bring others unto Christ. It's a good message during this Christmas time. Have a wonderful week!

Lots of love,

Mom and Dad


Aaron H. said...

Nice job on Lincoln, Hunter!

Nellie said...

Happy Birthday to Miller! So sorry to hear about Ranger. Thanks for sharing the letter week by week with everyone.

MarieC said...

Love the FHE role playing story! You're a much better family for that part than we would have been.

shirlgirl said...

Wonderful letter and so full of great news. Always enjoy the letters you send to Tanner. Breyer is a character--guess you have to have eyes in the back of your head with her--especially in the kitchen! She just wants to help, I know. So funny.