Monday, August 31, 2015

With All My Love

Dear Tanner, and Elder Schenewark:

What a week. Having a son leave for a two year mission, and another in the throes of getting ready for a wedding is just a tad bit overwhelming. Oh. Did I forget to mention four of your brothers also began school this week?

All their online forms were filled in, versus mounds of paperwork to return; school supplies purchased and divided; digging out lunchboxes, restocking the shelves with clean laundry, and going to bed. Earlier. And it takes both of us to get everybody out the door, dropped off, picked up, and dropped off again. Do you remember last year's letter when we described Cooper getting off his bus, walking like an old man, because of his athletic work outs? The scene has repeated itself, only this year it's Sawyer. And instead of Cooper's one year tenure, he'll be at that school for three years!

I've been thinking a bit of the difficulties we've encountered getting you on your mission. I should have known back in April, when it took us three days to get your license, it wasn't going to be easy. Multiple visa applications, multiple consulates, more money, more FBI clearances, more fingerprints,..throw in a few car accidents on the way to the airport, two upset stomach deposits, a missed flight, a standby that was too full, arriving at the training center six hours later than everybody is known you are not the ordinary missionary. On both sides of the war you'll be fighting. We were disappointed not to have received the customary picture of your arrival, but your departure from Tanner, and your cousins, was wonderful.

Breyer moved right into her life-without-anybody-else-home routine without blinking. She spent most of this week playing with her plastic frogs,snakes and lizards like they were dolls. They went in her doll house, in her bicycle basket, in the pirate ship, in the bathtub...constant companions. Her reptile library book she brought home completed her foray into this environment completely. For being such a girly girl, I think it's funny. And I am convinced I'll never understand her but I always enjoy her.

Cooper won his first tennis match, six games, 6-0. It was an away day, but most of his will be on the home court.

Porter's football team had their first game Friday night under the lights, and walked off 49-6 in the hole. But your brother looked great, and has a big fan base. Our neighbor up the street asked to be his "grid-iron girl," so she gets to bring him a basket of goodies every game day, as well as wear her "grid iron girl" tee shirt with his name and number. Some players are having to find their own grid iron girls so Porter is fortunate ;-)

Did you know elephants sway side to side trying to touch each other because they're lonely? And when granted wide open spaces they bark, growl, rumble and trumpet as they bump and nudge each other playfully like children. They are good to their mothers and take care of one another and can signal members of their pack from great distances with vibrations and odors that humans can't' hear or smell. Elephants are very intelligent and sensitive and cry. Not that I'm comparing either of you to an elephant. Your nephew baby Ben has that distinction. He was a master communicator with his mother, and he was good to her as well, and had an awesome rumble. But, I like the family aspect of an elephant herd, and neither of you are in our herd at the present time. So while you're bumping others, when you're lonely, and nudging those when you want to play, remember your mother. Write often, call when you can.



P.S. Hunter, just for you to answer:
Tanner's taking the same marketing class he took last semester. It requires an online text that you already purchased so he would like to use the same copy if you could provide me with your login to the myeducator web site. It'd save him $60:)

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Pirate Pride


Pre-Season Pirates

Because he's such a good athlete.
Because he's tall.
Because he has long arms and big hands.
They wanted him.
A wide receiver.
Texas football.
Senior year.
NEVER played football before!
I must be crazy.
Or he is.
Or they are.
He looks good in purple.

Friday, August 28, 2015

Fare Thee Well, Kansas City!

National World War Museum


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Ode to My 10 1/2 Adidas Sneakers - Letter #1

I bought the shoes in 9th grade. I remember that transaction distinctly; $55 at Dick’s Sporting Good’s at the Huntington West Virginia Mall. Since then, I’ve walked over 1000 miles wearing them or the equivalent of Seattle to San Diego; from the top of the west coast to the bottom, and I did most of that walking carrying a 20-30 pound golf bag. I’ve spent countless hours wearing them.

Lately, I’ve had to reglue part of the sole on. I’ve shined them countless times. They’ve conspired with my socks to give me a tan line that should never be shown in public. They were on my feet for my first birdie, my first eagle, and many near hole-in-ones. Basically, they’ve been with me through thick and thin.

(My Utah family ;-)

So, you can now ask, what is important about these old, probably smelly shoes, shoes that I seem to be overly sentimental about? Absolutely nothing. But it does lead to a question.

Why am I willing to forgo playing a sport I dearly love, and have high aspirations for? More importantly, why am I leaving my family whom I love infinitely more than golf? or putting my college education on hold, and leaving great friends to go to a place I’ve never been to or heard of before, speaking a language I don’t even know yet, to dedicate myself completely to people I’ve never met before?

It all comes down to my testimony in Jesus Christ. I am leaving to share his Gospel, and the joy that comes from it. I’ve felt his love so strongly in my life, and am so happy. I want to share that goodness with others. To me, it's worth spending a million years. But two years are a start. I know that the Bible is the word of God, along with the Book of Mormon. I’ve prayed about both, and the Holy Ghost has let me know that they are true. Our lives will be blessed as we implement their teachings into our lives. I know that there is a Prophet on the Earth today, who can help us know what to do, and how to prepare for the times ahead. I am so glad that there are temples on the Earth today, and through the ordinances therein, I know that families can be together through time and all eternity.

I am so glad to have this opportunity to go on a mission.


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

With All My Love

Dear Tanner, 
You might think this picture and my story that goes with it would be the most newsworthy thing that happened to me this week, but think again.

Hunter left this morning. It is not easier the second time around! Glad to get that off my chest. Still crying! He's so excited to be on his way, and to begin his adventure in Brazil via Utah. He has your black case, so be sure to grab it. Also, if you wouldn't mind, feed him lunch! And, if you have a few minutes on the way down, pull off in American Fork and let him meet Sis. Young, and give her a hug for us. She's been on our mind since her husband passed away.

We spent yesterday finishing Hunter's errands. Big bill at the store getting his last minute health and beauty products, medicines, umbrella, etc. He is funny! He took forever picking out a brand of shampoo! I don't think I knew this about Hunter's shopping methods. Ponder, stare, ponder, walk away because he felt crowded, walk back, ponder some more. If he shopped like he ate we could have been home hours sooner ;-)

He was set apart last night at 10:30 p.m. in the Stake President's chapel in Cleburne. Dad didn't finish teaching until 9 p.m., so President Carver left the stake center after his late night meetings and met us there.

We finished packing him up right before we left last night, and discovered he has lots of room! One whole side of his small suitcase is empty, except now it has your case. He travels light! Except for bedding, which is now provided, I'm not sure why he has so much more room than you? Maybe his large suitcase is a little bigger. Anyways, lots of room to pick up an item or two! All those white shirts you shared, and extra pants, and our five gallon bucket of ties, will be shared with a young man leaving on a mission this fall, with no family support. The gifts that keep on giving ;-)

Breyer helped by sitting in his suitcases and tubs, knowing we wanted the air squished out. Hopefully she didn't walk off with something we find later.

The boys' return to school, we're on day three, has a learning curve. Dad's been dropping off Porter at football, then Cooper at seminary, then heading straight to Tarleton by 7 a.m. I've been talking Miller and Sawyer to their schools, leaving at 7:15 a.m., then picking up Cooper from seminary,with a few extras, and dropping them off at the high school and ninth grade center. I get home just after 8 a.m. Now that Hunter's gone, Breyer will be going with us as well.

And that photo up above? Not my picture, as I had no camera, but what I saw coming home from the beach one evening with Breyer, and no camera. Except there were two of them. Hovering above those trees across from the beautiful horse farm. I stopped in the middle of the road, as no one else was around, and stared and stared. I finally drove past them a bit, to pull off into a parking lot, and they left. No sound. Should I have been scared? I wasn't. I was too busy trying to figure out what I was looking at. Dad is still excited, and had to show me the Stephenville UFO story by CNN

That's the update for now...have a wonderful time with your brother!

Lots of love,


Monday, August 24, 2015

With All My Love

Dear Tanner,

Last week you'll be by yourself receiving letters! Hunter will be joining your out-of-the-house rank, but we still have no travel plans, day or time. We do know he won't be going to train in Brazil, instead, Utah, as his VISA problems are still not resolved.

He and I will be packing up his clothes from the summer,and his suitcases, while the rest of your brothers are headed off to the first day of school. Miller and I spent the evening last night at the store with everybody's school supply lists, counting the number of pink erasers we'd need, as well as white board markers, spiral notebooks, etc. Good math review, plus he enjoys pushing the shopping cart.

The air conditioner puckered out yesterday. Friday I noticed a "spot the size of a pillow in the kitchen ceiling I hadn't noticed before, and upon climbing on my counters discovered it was wet. Your father spent Saturday morning with a shop vac sucking water out of the full drain pan, and we delighted in finding out our home warranty purchased for us at closing doesn't expire until the second of September. Hopefully they'll be here tomorrow morning. 100 degrees in the house with no air has been oppressive. All the brothers are on the floor, and Dad's on a cot. We borrowed a fan today.

We helped a family unload their moving truck Saturday morning. Hunter, Cooper, Sawyer and I were the only welcome committee that was invited, so we tried to make quick work of their U-Haul arriving from Florida. He's here to run the juvenile detention center for the county, and is your father's first counselor now.

We had some great thoughts on the sabbath day today. My favorite was being asked how different are we than the people of Israel? They couldn't shop, they had no media, maybe a donkey and a hut. Are we more rebellious than they, in regards to keeping Sunday holy.

Did I mention how hot it is?



Wednesday, August 19, 2015