You've been on my heart all week. I was so sad to think you didn't get my letter. I know you survived. It just made me sad to know maybe just a little bit of you felt less loved. But I did send one. I don't know where in cyberspace it might have disappeared. Perhaps when you open your mail this morning, you'll have two messages of love waiting for you.
**Please send me your password for your mail account. For some reason it's not on your list you left me, and I will always check to make sure you get it before you're on the computer Monday morning. If it's not there, I'll resend it in an email format.
Today Breyer came running to me and asked me if she could open a "rest-ner-nant" in my kitchen. She found the leftovers from the ward Christmas party, a basket of mandarin oranges, a basket of gingersnap cookies, and a basket of candy canes, and wanted to serve those who would sit at the table to be her customers. Dad's currently pouring her milk. "And it's not a tea party!"
The boys decided to make stress balls out of my leftover balloons. Cooper's idea ;-) Then they attached them to their G.I. Joe parachutes.
Sawyer was missing you yesterday. He asked me if I ever thought he'd have a best friend. Then, he said he missed you. You played his kind of stuff with him. He loves you dearly.
Last night those same three baskets were carried by the wise men in our nativity program. I helped the youth in the ward act out the Christmas story to music, no speaking. They did a wonderful job. I had identical twins portray Mary, one pregnant, one not. Cooper carried the cookies. Sawyer and Miller were shepherds. Porter was Joseph, but his three day basketball tournament was an unknown variable, and his win on Friday night determined late that he'd be playing in a game Saturday evening. Good thing we had a back-up plan, and practiced Wednesday with plan B Joseph.
I thought it would be pretty smooth sailing, but the stars did not align. It was more like they were colliding. I had seven people cancel on me during the day, not counting Porter. I had the missionaries on stand-by but didn't have to use them. Sawyer showed the shepherds how to herd, Cooper showed the wise men how to follow the star. The adult wise men, that were to hand out the goodies to the children, were replaced by the youth wise men already in costume.
The most painful portion of the evening came when I was blowing up a white balloon, with a built-in light. It exploded into my eye. I thought my eye popped. I'm still not sure it's not injured, but it's not leaking, it isn't as swollen, and I can see. Now. My brilliant idea was to have the lighted balloon carried, representing the "new star." The girl was dressed in white and did a beautiful job. The wise men followed her, the shepherds looked up to her, and she glowed above the nativity at the end. I had brought a back-up balloon just in case something like that happened, only it fell out of my pocket. So I thought. Breyer had actually pulled it out of my pocket without my notice. So while everybody else was dining on prime rib, I was driving to the nearest store to buy more white balloons. I was the weeping, in pain, hungry and grumpy director. But, I got my neighbor across the street to come with us. And she said it was okay if she stayed after with us to clean up. She's a sweetie!
But it's all good. Nothing like getting your spleen removed, which is what Grampy went through Friday afternoon. Hopefully having the spleen not gobble up his blood product will help him not be so tired, will boost his blood numbers, and improve his quality of life.
What else in the news? The International Monetary Fund has officially designated the Chinese yuan a global reserve currency. That means that it joins an elite group of currencies — the dollar, the yen, the euro and the pound — in the Special Drawing Rights (SDR) basket.
This year marks the 150th year since the end of the Civil War. This quote was on a pamphlet from Andersonville, the prison where your great grandfather was incarcerated: "At last the glory and the triumph is theirs, theirs forever. The cause for which they died is enthroned; the temple they defended, preserved. Slavery is dead. Freedom lives."
Porter made the news, introducing the varsity basketball team: The Pirates include Kellen Ellison, Ethan Gonzalez, Michael Horne, Dalton Kennington, Brendan King, Jordan King, Eric Kirchner, Hayden Kostman, Kade Phillips, Porter Schenewark, Cade Timmons, and Chevie Van Patten. Head coach David Breazeale is assisted by Steve Weeks, Stephen Hodge, Jason Shahan, and athletic trainer Andy Rankin. After this weekend's tournament they're 2-5.
And probably most surprising, The University of Virginia has hired BYU’s Bronco Mendenhall as its next head coach, the school announced Friday. Mendenhall has been there since 2005 and has amassed a 99-42 overall record, including five straight seasons with at least eight wins. Mendenhall led the Cougars to a bowl game in all 11 seasons with the program. And, The University of Utah Utes will play the Brigham Young University Cougars in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl December 19th.The match-up marks the first time in history the two rivals will meet in a bowl game.
News in the family? Did Tanner tell you he's spending his summer in San Diego? Same job.And he'll not be alone ;-) We've actually talked to Porter about working with him, to earn money for his mission. They'll talk more over the Christmas break. Tanner and AnneMarie are flying in on the 24th, so excited to be here for your call!
Yesterday morning officially began the basketball season for Miller and Sawyer. And they were both at the same time. Dad went to Sawyer's game and I went with Miller. He did great. They played against a one-man team, who was very good. My favorite moment of the game was when the other team had the ball, passing it, and Miller ran from the back, jumped in the air to intercept it, and dribbled left-handed to the hoop for an underhand left-handed lay-up. He probably scored seven of the 19 points, against their 14. His main job that game was to prevent their player from scoring. Once he was put on him, they pulled ahead. And, he had to sit the second inning, their opponent's choice.
Sawyer didn't have to sit, the second quarter, which made us all smile, so his 4-2 lead blossomed with their best player sitting on the bench. He finished the game ahead 30-9. He'll enjoy having Dad sit on the sidelines, as he's the assistant coach. Right? Dad in basketball? He agreed at the end of last season, so Sawyer could be drafted onto a different team. I forgot the camera this week,
Thursday evening Dad and I were called into the stake president's office for a get-to-know-you interview they're conducting with high priests and their wives throughout the stake. We had a great time. Lots of laughter and love. They loved your father's conversion story. Sawyer was picked up by a neighbor, and handled cub scouts for me. He taught them how to hook together craft sticks, and also make a boomerang, all which "explode" when thrown. The videos on "exploding craft sticks" are fun to watch.
The Bachs pulled away Tuesday morning. They had a few more temples to visit on their way home. It was a fun visit that might have ended in Indiana. They told us late last night their car had broken down, and they're stranded there until they can get their car in Monday morning. That's where our car broke down when we were traveling between stops on our honeymoon. The Hoosiers were wonderful to us too. They helped us get to church and transport us here and there.
I think that's about it. I mailed a box this week stuffed full of love. Sis. Swick's mother, Helen McCoy passed away last week, the day before Thanksgiving. It was sudden and unexpected, I just wanted you to be aware.
Dad's reading George Q. Cannon's The Missionary Years book for you. He loves you dearly, and hopes you would let him know if he can help you in any way.
I found this quote on a program when I was playing the piano: "Baptism is the critical priesthood ordinance which opens the door to eternal life for each one of us. It is the benchmark from which we count our many blessings because this is when our accountability to follow Jesus Christ and live his Gospel begins." Elaine Jack
Know of our love for you. I hope you can feel our prayers. Every day by every one.