Saturday, March 20, 1999

Michael pinning an opponent.

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

The weatherman said that today is the first day of spring, but it has been cool, windy, and rainy. The sun finally came out in the late afternoon but only for a little while. The March winds have really picked up this past week, and it still feels cold to me.

David's baseball season kicked off with opening day ceremonies last weekend. He played two half-games because there are only three teams in the majors division this year. They each played the other two as exhibition games on opening day. David's team (the Cardinals) won one and lost one. They played one team again on Wednesday and lost by one point in an exciting game. Today's game was against the other team, and they won by one point in another exciting game. It looks like the teams are fairly evenly matched. David is playing mostly first base and is doing a good job. He continues to have a lot of homework, but he is doing well getting it all done. Some days are a little overwhelming, though. We had very little planned last weekend, and both boys worked most of the weekend on homework. David will have to work hard all day tomorrow in order to finish his journal for language arts class and a huge science project report.

Michael worked all last weekend on a big project for his seminar class. He was on a team preparing for a debate on whether to clone a nearly extinct turtle from the Galapagos Islands. His team was in favor of cloning, and they worked for a couple of weeks doing research and planning their presentation. They presented their debate on Monday and were awarded a win by the panel of judges (a teacher and a couple of senior debate team members). This last week was a little easier for him as he did not have any major assignments due. He had a chemistry test, however, and did very well, so he was proud of himself. He continues to practice the shot put and discus throwing. Some days he thinks he is doing well, and others he doesn't. He has not felt like he did well at the last two meets. This past week and next week, the meets are at his high school, so David and I went (and will go) to watch Michael perform. Last week was also the spring pops concert at Michael's school, and both the concert band and the jazz band performed. Michael was practicing up to three periods a day for that, and his lips were numb. However, he had several solos and did very well. The concert band performed a variety of tunes including The Marriage of Figaro, Quest for Camelot, Mulan, How the West Was Won, Space Jam, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Hunchback of Notre Dame. The jazz band performed mostly numbers that I was unfamiliar with, but they sounded good. That group has only about a dozen players. The band boosters served baked potatoes and chili beforehand, so I baked fifteen potatoes to take to that.

Steve is doing much better. He and David are still coughing, and Steve's cough is aggravated by allergies. Trees and plants are blooming, and Steve can tell it. Steve has been busy with church business this past week. He had a meeting Thursday to interview the new eighth grade confirmands, and that meeting was followed by a session meeting that didn't end until nearly midnight. He was gone the entire day today to a session retreat. Tomorrow he teaches his yearly Lyceum class. He has eight students coming to the house to do a pre-engineering class with Lego Dacta sets. Michael and I will be gone to an end-of-season wrestling potluck party.

I taught the entire week last week for an eighth grade science class. The teacher was in Yosemite with students, so her classes were small--only about half of each class was there. She also teaches the sixth grade GATE class, so I taught David. He was a little worried about it, but I just told him to tell everyone that they better do what I said because I'm really mean. He said that he told his friends that I may look nice on the outside, but they didn't want to see the inside! Anyway, the week was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed it. I was very tired by the end of the week, though, and I'm not teaching at all next week.

Steven, we're really looking forward to seeing you Friday night. I hope your two finals go well on Monday, that you get your paper written for Wednesday, and that your two finals on Friday go well, too. You can rest at home for a week and visit with a few friends, too. Michael and David are excited about seeing you. They ask about you regularly.

Bennett and Charlie, thank you for sending the items from Great-Grand's house. We have been enjoying the pictures in our kitchen all week. Thanks for Doris' phone number, too. We'll have to try it out on her birthday.

Mother and Daddy, thank you for keeping us up to date on Pud's health and Margaret's recovery. I hope they continue to do well.

Steven, Mrs. Strand had knee replacement surgery on Thursday. It went well, and she expects a complete recovery, but she will be out of school for twelve weeks. Do you still have her email ( I'm sure she would appreciate a message from you.

I can't think of any more noteworthy news. We'll talk to you soon.