Monday, January 4, 2016

With All My Love

Dear Elder Schenewark,

Miller wrote a note to Santa, in school, and said, "I have missed you. How is your family?" I too have missed you, and hope you and your companion, your family, are well. He also asked for a bow and arrows, but I'll pass on offering you weapons other than those of a spiritual kind ;-)

I should mention that Sawyer was looking for something to shoot with the arrows, and I offered him disposable styrofoam cups, which he then promptly nailed to the old wood playhouse in the backyard, and had target practice.

Cooper offered to cut down a tree branch, with his machete and a saw, which is helpful, as the backyard tree needs a little trimming. He then spent the whole day making his own fishing pole, Cooper's always, always, always needing to make something.



Don't your brothers make you laugh? They do me. So, so busy, but lots of fun. dad's still fishing. Caught a monster this week.


Not so much fun for Tanner Monday morning. He had a teeth cleaning, and an old cavity that needed to be filled. I kept him company in the parking lot. The weather wasn't very sunny, but we tried to frisbee golf it at the local course...too cold!

Porter left early in the morning for an out of town basketball tournament, and came home Tuesday evening. His team won two, and lost two, but he got in. His poor coach got food poisoning, and was keeping the toilet busy, while throwing up in the bath tub. Never even made it to the second day's games he was so miserable. He also had the bus pull over for him when he needed to throw up. Thankfully that virus stayed away from us.

Wednesday we drove to the Fort Worth zoo. What a treat. Breyer was SO excited to see the animals. Every time we'd announce "rhino," or "elephant, or "zebra, and she'd see the animal, she'd gasp. Loudly. And her eyes would get huge, and she'd smile so happily. She's talked about the animals non stop, and keeps asking to go back. If you asked her what her favorite animal was she'd say the otters. They were swimming and bending and twisting and very fun to watch. Your father would say the monkey that put on a great gymnastics show on his bars and trees. for sure AnneMarie would pick the baby gorilla that had just been born. I loved the harpy eagle. That bird is huge! The face is about the size of a large dinner plate! Well wait to go again until you're back. Then she'll be just as excited. Miller and Sawyer, never having gone to a zoo either, were just as enthralled, but not as cute as your sister.



Unfortunately, Tanner and AnneMarie flew out Thursday morning. Because this was New Years Eve, we ate our traditional Chinese food the evening before, after returning home from the zoo. such a yummy treat! We'll miss having them in the house. AnneMarie taught us a new game, Golf, because you want to keep your score low. It's a great game, and it will be fun to teach you.

Cooper, Porter and Dad went to a youth dance at the stake center on New Year's Eve. Not much was said about the decorations, or the music, or their dance companions, but the steak tips were the hit of the night. Apparently the stake had a little extra money to use in 2015, and the food was wonderful.

What else? Sawyer made first chair in clarinet his last week in school, out of fifteen other clarinetists, which position is normally only held for a week, until they retest on Friday. Because he achieved this before the break, he's enjoyed his status for two extra weeks.


Your Aunt in Tyler had English toffee for us to eat, almost every meal. She'd whip up a batch, and kept us all crunching happily. Sawyer loved it so much he asked to make his own batch Monday morning. He did a great job, poured it in my glass 9x13, and put it in the fridge. It exploded. Good thing the door was shut. We spent quite a while cleaning out the fridge. At least it wasn't clean. His second batch, today, he doubled, because I no longer have a 9x13, so he used an edged cookie sheet. But he didn't cook it long enough, so it became caramels.

Saturday Dad spent almost four hours with the missionaries, traveling to one house and back. I played at a baptism for an 8 year old boy, and then we both went across the street to our neighbor's house with the missionaries, and joined them in their discussion. We'll be going back. And your father saved the night with some of his answers from personal experience.

Other news?Chick-fil-A is known for its strict policy of always being closed on Sundays, but some north Texas locations opened their doors last Sunday to provide free food for people whose homes were ravaged by tornadoes that killed at least 11 over the weekend.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon activated the National Guard on Tuesday to support emergency personnel and protect communities from historic winter floods. The flood, fueled by more than 10 inches of rain over a three-day period that began last weekend, is blamed for 22 deaths. Searchers were still looking for four missing people. Record and near-record crest predictions of the Mississippi River and levee breaks threatened homes in rural southern Missouri and Illinois. Two more levees succumbed Friday, bringing to at least 11 the number of levee failures.

This Sunday I was responsible for the lesson in RS. I chose to use President Uchtdorf's On Being Genuine. As usual, I'm sure I benefited much more than those in close hearing. One of my favorite quotes, "The Church is not an automobile showroom - a place to put ourselves on display...it is more like a service center, where vehicles in need of repair come for maintenance and rehabilitation. And are we not, all of us, in need of repair, maintenance and rehabilitation? We come to church not to hide our problems but to heal them."

I definitely need lots of maintenance and repair ;-). We hope you have a most wonderful week. Know of our love for you! So excited to hear from you!

Love,

Mom

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