Sunday, November 8, 1998

Dear Steven, Pappy, Grandy, Granddaddy, and Grandmother,

I am late writing this week's letter. Since we talked to everyone this afternoon, it seems a little silly to write, but I don't want to get out of the habit.

The boys had a good time at the Black Diamond Coal Mines last weekend, and the Halloween party at the campout was enough fun that they didn't miss trick-or-treating. The patrols brought so much candy that they really didn't miss out on that at all. The mines were really interesting, and although they had a few sprinkles, it wasn't enough to dampen their spirits or their activities. Steve and I had a quiet Halloween and handed out candy to about 40 children while we munched on toasted pumpkin seeds.

Steve had a good trip to Texas and really enjoyed his visit with Ann and Mike. His recruiting at Rice went very well. The team took out last year's summer interns to dinner on Monday night and took out some faculty members on Tuesday night. He worked at Ann's house on Wednesday and helped her with her computer some. He tried to call Jonathan Kalisvaart while he was in Houston but missed him. Steve's trip to Dallas on Thursday was successful, also, and he had a chance to call Carol while he was there. He managed to catch an early flight home, so David and I picked him up at the airport around 4:00 p.m. He is home for awhile now. Hurray!

Cupertino High School Field Show. Michael playing his solo in front.

Michael began wrestling practice this past week and became so sore that he could hardly move. He trained with a student who graduated last year and went to state championships, so he felt that he was getting a lot of good instruction. Steven, Billy Hershey is helping the wrestling team at Cupertino this year. Michael's band practice schedule is cutting back a bit, so that has been helpful since he has wrestling every afternoon until 5:30. Michael is developing a social life at Cupertino High School, too. He has become friends with several of the band members, and they are now on a chat room together. They all went out together after the game Friday night. They went to one's house to watch a movie, and tonight Michael is with one of the girls at some plays at the high school. They are talking about going to a movie Tuesday night since Wednesday is a school holiday. Yesterday Michael had another band competition at Pacific Grove (near Monterrey). He left the house at 6:15 a.m. and returned at 1:00 a.m. this morning. They marched in spite of it being a rainy day and won first place in the parade and third place in the field show. Michael felt good about his solo performance. Today he played with the jazz band at the Dickens Fair at the high school.

Michael in center of picture (second row - partially covered) marching

David is also staying busy. He has wrestling practice after school on Mondays and Wednesdays until 4:30, and he has meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays until 5:30. Fortunately, his soccer coach decided to discontinue practices for the rest of the season and just play the games on Saturdays. David also has his piano lessons on Monday afternoons and is still enjoying them. Both boys have scouts on Monday evenings, and David passed his Board of Review for Tenderfoot last week. Michael is acting as Senior Patrol Leader until December now that the former Senior Patrol Leader has turned eighteen. David's other news is that he lost two teeth in one day last week. He lost another one at science camp, so he has a few gaps in his mouth right now. His soccer game was cancelled yesterday because of the rain, so he stayed in his pajamas all day and worked on a speech that is due on Thursday. Today he went to a birthday party and is eagerly looking forward to his own birthday this Wednesday. He plans to have two friends spend the night Tuesday night and play for part of the day on Wednesday.

I had a substitute teaching job on Monday for Mrs. Strand, Steven. She teaches eighth grade language arts and social studies (core), and I had a lot of fun in her classes. I am teaching for her several more times this fall and am looking forward to that. This week, I teach on Thursday for another eighth grade core teacher. On Tuesday, I took the car in to have the starter replaced and picked it up on Wednesday. It is nice to have the car running reliably again. On Thursday I went hiking with Linda Allen and Lisa Hughes. We went to a place we hadn't been before and took a wrong turn and ended up in a very ritzy gated community up in the foothills above Palo Alto. We saw some gorgeous houses on large land plots with beautiful views. On one signpost we saw the name Packard, so we guessed that it might be a son of the Packard of Hewlett-Packard fame. In any case, we ended up far away from our starting point and had to flag down a police car to find out where we were. We had a wonderful time, though, and eventually got a ride back to our car with some German students who were in America touring for seven weeks and were trying to find their way to another hiking preserve.

Steven, I forgot to ask whether you got the cookies I sent you. I'm glad that you are having so much fun at UCLA and have made so many new friends. I'm glad that your classes are going well, too. It will be fun to go to the basketball games now that they are starting up. You certainly have enjoyed the football games. We are really excited about your coming home this next weekend. It will be good to see you. I'm glad that we will be able to plan your Court of Honor now that it is on the calendar for January 3rd. I'm sorry that Michael won't be here for the first part of your visit since he will be at another band competition down in Pismo Beach.

It was fun talking to everyone today. Have a good week!