Dear Elder Schenewark,
Happy Father's Day! Your father loves you. One of his fondest fatherhood memories is you being born on July 4th, at a whopping ten and a half pounds, and THICK black hair. He and we are all getting excited! Down to forty days! This will be like riding the ark. There's so much to do between now and then, like feeding the animals, or cleaning the stalls, the time will fly.
To your questions, yes, I'm getting your photos. You should be seeing them in your emails. Do you get the blog posts? Porter needs everything you needed, so just bring home what's worth sending back out.
Sawyer, Cooper and your father spent the week on a scout camp type adventure. They opted this year to go on a canoe trip instead, powering ten miles down the Brazos River. Their trip also included a rock wall and a power boat. The only downside was their sunburns. Sawyer had some purple looking thighs. Cooper has blisters all over the top of his feet, his shins, and upper arms. They came home Thursday morning a little darker, a little tired, and a lot grumpy, but they've had me laughing with their stories ever since. The beast of a canoe we own, that can seat all nine of us, was too heavy and big, but it went. Dad and Sawyer struggled carrying it over low river areas; were always lagging behind, and apparently attracted an alligator. They saw a large water moccasin hanging in one of the trees, that then slithered into the water. All six feet long. And all this in high 90 degree weather. Your father brought an umbrella and under proper wind conditions, used it as a sail and got a bit of lift down the river. Cooper was in a kayak. Look forward to those pictures.
The rest of us went to some baseball practices and games while the scouters were away. Porter kept the kids entertained with trips to bowl, see Cars III, Sonic slushees...he's the man!
More exciting news is the fact we bought a new car, a 2008 Toyota 4 Runner. Dad let me pick. Probably the same color of "Attitude Black as Tanner and AnneMarie's new car, purchased the same day, same manufacturer, but a Camry. Ours has 104K, theirs 70K. They needed a second car, as AnneMarie's been riding the bus when Tanner goes off to work. Our old van is old, getting older. We'll hang on to it for around town, and boys to drive, but driving to work it can no longer do safely.
One more thought. Your brothers opted to play all star baseball, letting their coaches all know they would only play on Saturday to help them get a better seed or preliminary ranking in the bracket.Getting a higher seed means fewer games to reach the championship round, and easier teams to play to get there. Yesterday's games where both their teams were down by two, ended with them both at bat, and both responsible for the win. Miller felt the pressure going up to bat, with bases loaded, two outs and down by two, and swung at an incredibly high pitch, surprising the catcher enough that the pitch was not caught, and rolled to the backstop. The runners came in. Not how you want to be remembered, but it worked. Sawyer went up to bat, two outs, bases loaded, and down by two, and was told by the coach to take it easy, and let those balls go by. He smacked the first pitch to the fence. It was a beautiful hit. They both did their jobs in getting their teams to a 2-0 record for the day, and having a bye at the first rounds of games today. I hope they know how many people are watching them, are impressed with their decisions, and know having them on Saturday is better than not having them at all.
Your brother will be truly celebrating father's day next year. Your father had a long nap, came home from church early, enjoyed his children, and made a few phone calls. Life is great. He sends his love. He's humbled not only by your service. but by your ability to pay for your two years in Brazil. He's so proud.
Be safe. We can hardly wait.