Dear Elder Schenewark (and Porter, and Tanner, and AnneMarie),
We love you! We miss you! We love your letters. I'll only tell you one thing. Stop eating fruit. Give yourself three weeks, one to halt the degeneration, one to recoup, and one to heal. No fruit shakes unless it's milk and avocados. I surely don't want you to come home ready for dentures and implants.
The big news this week was an earthquake in Italy, the death toll standing now at 247. Thousands of rescuers were there to find survivors.The 6.2-magnitude quake hit on Wednesday 65 miles north-east of Rome. Some tremors after the quake were felt as far away as Rome. Dozens were trapped in ruined mountainous cities in central Italy.
Local news comes out of Proctorville. The former principal, Chad Belville, accepted a new superintendent spot in Fairfield Union, Lancaster, and the previous assistant principal / guidance counselor Tessa Leep has been appointed since graduation in May.
Your father has had to put on his fix-it jeans and genes as owning-your-own-home problems erupted this week. Not literally. More like drips and leaks. The toilet in the big bathroom was leaking behind the tank. Kind of an awkward place for your dad to get to, so using these kind of genes, he instructed Cooper in the repairs. It took a few trips to the hardware store, but the wet towels are now in my jurisdiction. The smaller bathroom toilet's handle disengaged due to a broken part. He fixed that as well. The kitchen sink faucet leaked around the base enough for me to find water underneath the sink, first. That was fixed without needing the faucet replaced. Yeah! We also had a dripping overflow for the air conditioning unit, but we knew what to do after watching last year's repairman. One big puff of air on the PVC pipe to clear the blockage, and we're drip free. Grateful Dad handles the repairs as much as he can. The towel rack in the small bathroom kept coming out of the base, so Sawyer took matter into his own hands and drilled through the metal rod holder, straight into the wall. Not the prettiest solution but definitely solid. Made me think about people you encounter on your mission. Some are more smooth and polished, like Cooper, who study the problem and figure out the system from the inside out. Then there's people like Sawyer, with unabashed enthusiasm, who jumps right in and gets it done. His way. We need all kinds of people in the world. I'm so grateful we're all so different, each our own unique selves, flaws and strengths all our own. (This is a picture of Cooper's work bench he built.)
We've had a lot of rain lately, and with the Texas sun, the combination makes for very fast growing grass. Sometimes I can mow just what needs to be mowed and be done in one day, this week took me three days. You have to wait a day or two after the Texas downpours, and by then the grass is up to your knees. The wind was up this week, drying out the ground, and I came in this week covered head to toe in grass clippings, as mowing in Texas is hot and sweaty work. Breyer wanted to know if I was growing grass.
Miller and Breyer are registered for soccer this fall. Sawyer's team was already full. Miller's very excited. He hasn't played since Ohio. Breyer hasn't been told yet. She's busy assimilating her kindergarten duties. School began this week. Photo above is the second day of school Dad forgot the first day. Breyer handled the change in hours well, until Friday after school. She fell asleep when she got home. And then Saturday, she was kind of fussy. She says she likes it, she tells us each day she made a new friend. I asked her how she makes new friends, and she said, "I first say I like something about them, then they'll play with me." Astute. She loves her eating her lunch. She doesn't want to be picked up, like Miller, on Thursdays or Fridays when I'm off. She likes the bus. She can hardly wait until Miller doesn't have to sit with her. She wears dresses except on gym days. And then she wants to wear skirts. I do her hair on top of her head the night before, and Dad's been handling the rest. We're a good team. He needs to work on making sure she eats breakfast. She'll talk him out of it.
Porter flew out Monday afternoon. I was suppose to meet him and your father at the airport. I didn't make it. Most likely it was a good thing, even holding directions in my hand, headed home instead. I was operating on auto pilot, and panicked when I realized I was driving on the wrong road. It was raining, and there were a lot of flooded roadways, one of which was the airport road. Dad made it because he was in the large van. But he watched smaller cars float off the road.
His flight was delayed by an hour. He sounded a little frazzled by the time he arrived, but I'm guessing it was because he probably didn't pack the snacks I kept asking him to pack. But he packed my hairspray. I went to use it, and my can is gone. I'm wondering if he put it in the right suitcase, the checked luggage, or it might have been thrown away. And he was not able to eat that. Uncle Ben picked him, housed and fed him, and dropped him off at the dorms. So love having family in Utah! What a blessing for all my boys. Porter got to watch Megan play soccer, and help Joy mow grass. He's checked with us by phone a couple of times this week, one time, while waiting for his first ever meal in the Canon Center. Appropriate to think of me while waiting for food.
His phone call today involved a lot of food talk. Things he's eaten in the Canon Center. He's doing well. One of 13, boys ordained Elders, out of the 36. We were laughing over his Family Home Evening ratio: 2 boys to 8 girls. He's already met with the Bishop, who's grateful he's an Elder. He begins classes in the morning. He didn't like orientation very well, so bagged after day one, and hung out with your Hutchins' cousins. Hannah's rooming with Naomi, and going to beauty school. Derek's living with Uncle Ben this semester, to finish up, and get back to his wife in Ohio. Kevin flies in Tuesday and will check into the MTC Wednesday. Greg's out there as well.
Speaking of Uncle Ben, found this beautiful picture of his family, from this month, that you'll love seeing.
Cooper and I spent a good portion of the weekend cleaning out Porter's room, and cleaning out Cooper's portion of the big bedroom. He's very excited, in his nonplussed quiet way, to move into his own bedroom. He's been collecting airplane magazines from the library, and parts to build airplanes, underneath his bed, and has had to thin a good portion of his supplies before he could move in. We hung a few of his larger planes on the wall, as well as an European airshow poster.
I got to watch Cooper play on the JV tennis team. He's moved from 10th on varsity to 9th. One more spot to challenge, and he can travel with varsity. He didn't win his double or singles match, but neither did anyone else on the entire team. His doubles match was close, every game, and he would have won handily with another partner. He plays awesome on the night. His backhand is probably his weakest game. You'll love watching him play.
Cooper helped his BFF Hunter work on his eagle scout project. Hunter is building a flag disposal pit for the local VFW. Working with Hunter has been helping Cooper think more seriously about finishing. Yeah!
Cub scouts began this week. It was the annual skating party at the local rink. I did not break my wrist this year. I did get back on the floor, just for fun. Kind of like climbing back on the horse. I DO NOT remember my skating rink so slippery! This is a wood floor, I think mine was cement. I've been called as a unit commissioner for the stake, over the southern portions of the stake, with a northern counter part. She faithfully attends round table and commissioner meetings each month, and will continue to do so without me. I told her I was in scouting on Thursdays, in the community, and with my children on Tuesdays, because it's Dad's late night class. She wasn't thrilled, until I told her if she helped me with the information, I'd be sure to pass it along to my units. We do the best we can do.
Dad and I went on a date with Breyer to his departmental beginning of the semester party last night. It is good to socialize. A lot of our conversation revolved around our children; a lot of conversation returned to you, being in Brazil, why, the Olympics, etc. It was nice to be able to spend some time talking of and thinking of you. We dearly love you.
I reached a monumental milestone this week.: Thursday was the first school day, in 24 years, I was home alone, without children. Twenty-four years! Consecutive. Straight. Continuous. Did I celebrate? Absolutely. Began with a run, a shower and breakfast. Went to Staples to copy cub scout flyers, went to the bank, went to the laundromat to wash, dry and fold my clothes, divided the 1500 flyers in groups of 10 and drove to the four schools to drop them off. Ate lunch,made a few phone calls, and finished in time to pick up your siblings. It was a good day. Finished with mowing and homework. Motherhood still continues. Busy but wonderful.
This is Becky's MacKenzie. And Grampy. He's probably going into the hospital in the morning to determine the cause of his fever. So he wasn't feeling very well in the picture, but the sweet baby cheered him up. Keep him in your prayers.
I think that's a wrap-up for the week. Remember of our love for you. Your contacts have been ordered and will be here this week. Then the box will be mailed. Full of love. Be safe. Think! Take precautions. Work hard.