Saturday, May 7, 2016

Starting May 2015 to December 25, 2015

Starting May 2015

Dear Jess,

It was great to get your email and photo's. Your on the coast!  That's so wonderful, hope your enjoying the nice weather. Nice job challenging the young gal to baptism. I'm glad your having spiritual experiences. The story about the guy finding a leg bone was weird but you'll probably meet a lot of people like that in San Diego.

 It's been really nice and cool in Provo.  Not for long, the forecast says warmer weather coming soon.
Dad and I drove for about an hour and picked up Julz at Mosida Utah yesterday where you went on your pioneer trek four years ago. The drive was beautiful with all the rain we've been having. Julie had a very good experience and all the youth talked about it today in our Sacrament Meeting.  For some reason we had testimony meeting last week.  Anyway, the talks were great today and church was awesome as always. Julz was in a family with Vanessa Hinckley and her ma and pa were from the 10th ward. Cindy Wright your former principal from Sunset View Elementary was a missionary on the trek with her husband. They helped with the pioneer devotionals and whatever missionaries do out in the middle of no where. We visited with Sister Wright for a little while, she seemed really happy now that she has retired from Provo School District.

Friday Jen and I watched Elder L. Tom Perry's funeral on TV. We saw Peg singing in the choir and then when Elder Eyring started conducting the funeral Peg was almost right behind the pulpit. That was kind of cool. The funeral was very spiritual and inspiring.

The Payson Temple celebrations were at BYU Stadium last night.  There was a big thunder and lightning storm so the program was pushed back an hour. I think I want to go for an endowment session for my birthday on July 3rd.  Speaking of July we got a wedding announcement for Nathan Giles and he's getting married on July 3rd.

Are the new birth control meds working ok?  Has your body adapted to the new environment?  Is your bed comfy?  We hung up all the BYU dance posters around Julz's room.  It's looks great!  I'll try and send you some trek photo's.  A few minutes ago it wouldn't work so I'll try again.

Looking forward to hearing from you on Tuesday!
Love, Mom

June 14, 2015

Hi Jess,

Can you believe another week just went by. Much warmer than the first week of June. Today we went to Randy and Marianne Christiansen's Mission President Farewell.  The spirit was so strong. They truly are an amazing family!! Dads going to really miss Randy but guess what, we might get a lot done around the house.  Speaking of house we had a major water crisis last Tuesday night.  
I had just come home late from a Stake RS Meeting when I noticed dad and Jen were running around like chickens with their heads cut off. Then dad showed me the water that was coming out of the ceiling light right next to the furnace door.  They had also just finished filling up both bathtubs and bathroom sinks because dad had to shut the water off. 
After the water was shut off he proceeded to cut holes out of the ceiling. One in the family room and one in the down stairs hall way. Sure enough there was water every where. At midnight I finally went to bed while dad and Jen tried to look for leaks with their flash lights. In fact Jen missed work the next day because she was soooo tired. They never found the leak that night so dad put fans every where he could to start drying up the wet wood and sheet rock in the walls.
Long story short. We have had no water until yesterday except drinking water I bought at the store and bathtub water for the toilets.  I didn't know this.  If you take a couple of dips in the bathtub with a pitcher you can still flush the toilets.  Jen refused to do a sponge bath so she drove across town to use Jakes shower. The new neighbors to the south let me use their faucet to keep my veggie and flower garden from dying.  Luckily the sprinklers to the lawn still worked!! Anyway I've learned so much about how to live with out running water.  I think it's wild you don't get water for a few hours a week. Hopefully it won't get worse in California. We've already heard that they aren't watering the grass at the LA and Oakland temples. Speaking of grass they just put the grass in at the Provo City Center Temple. It looks great.  The dedication will be March 20th 2016!!
The good part is dad finally found the leak yesterday morning!! The hall way bathroom has been totally torn apart. The leak was from a pipe behind the shower not the toilet like we thought and dad found it going through the wall in the bonus room. So now we have four new holes in our house but I don't care because the water is on!!

Love, mom

June 20, 2015

Dear Jess,

Today I helped dad rip up the floor in the bathroom. Guess what, it was still wet under the linoleum. So now we have fans blowing for a few days. I guess we won't start with the new sub floor until next week.
Last Thursday dad and I celebrated our wedding anniversary with the Ockey's by going out to eat at Cafe Rio and watching the movie Cokeville. The Ockey's anniversary was while they were on trek, so we celebrated together.  I probably already told you that when I sent the photo.  
The movie was about some crazy guy and his wife holding a small elementary school from a small town in Wyoming hostage for two hours with a bomb. I remember hearing it on the news in 1986. It turns out the guy had to go to the bathroom so he tied the bomb to his wife. She accidentally set the bomb off. When the crazy guy came out of the bathroom and saw all the damage and smoke he turned right back an shot himself in the bathroom. The miracle was that all the teachers and about 100 students survived with only minor burns.  The awesome part was when the children told their parents after the blast that angels dressed in white told them to go stand by the windows right before the bomb went off. The kids even said that some of the angels looked like their grandma's that had passed on.  Cool huh.  The main guy in the movie was the cute blue eyed fella from Ephraim's Rescue.  Anyway, it was a pretty good film. I hope I didn't spoil it for you by telling you most of the plot.  Sorry.
Jen and Jake are taking dad to the yummy Brazilian restaurant, Tucanos tonight for Father's Day. I can't go because I'm taking Jewels to Sophia's musical play, Bye Bye Birdie. Last night Julie went with the young women and men to the Manti Pageant. She said the sound system was having problems. They did have fun sleeping in tents for the night and came home this morning.
Did you buy some greens this week?

Your always in my prayers.
Love, mom
PS I might write more on Monday maybe.

June 27, 2015

Dear Jess,

Did more cleaning around the house this week.  Took Pam Schow to the dollar movie Thursday. Friday night dad and I chaperoned a single adult dance with: Richard and Natalie Parke, Denna and Jim Robertson, Jeff and Peg Carter.  It was some kind of a country dance up at a church by Timpview High. Peg told me that Jesse just got transferred for the first time to an Indian Reservation. She said it's very third world country environment where he's serving so she's a little nervous. Apparently the tribe is her step-son Dakota's tribe, which is kind of interesting. Dakota's wife is going to have a baby sometime. I'm not sure when. The Carter's seem a little distant with us especially Peg. Jeff still seems pretty down to earth but Peg was sitting right next to dad and I at the dance last night and when her husband Jeff got up to go some where she got up and moved over one chair. Dad thought it was kind of interesting. Body language says a lot.  I know she is close friends with Kristen Randle who doesn't like dad very well so you can't please everyone, we just love them any way.

Today I went and helped clean nursery toys with with Sandy Crow. I sure love her. Bishop Crow and Sandy remind me of what Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother would be like. They are so kind and full of compassion. I just love being around them.  For the rest of the day I helped dad with the bathroom floor.  He finally got the sub floor in and it was a lot of work!! Mainly dad did most of the work, I just handed him tools.

I'll probably write more Monday. 

Love, Mom

July 2015

Dad is still working on updating the GPS. He's having problems getting it to work the right way.  Do you really need one if you'll be riding bikes soon?  I'll probably just go ahead and mail everything else tomorrow. So expect the package at the end of the week.

I went to Nate Anderson's farewell talk today. Boy he sure is a good kid, and a tall one at that. He seems pretty excited to go to Germany. He already has four years behind him learning the language. His sister Maddie gave a talk as well and mentioned the family is moving to a new house over by Esser's at Saratoga Springs. So there goes another good family away from West Provo.

Peg Carter shared good news in RS today. The Tab choir is going on their first international tour in eighteen years next summer. They are going to Germany, Switzerland, Paris and the Netherlands. I might have missed one more country but they will tour for three weeks. The church pays for everything including meals, room and board and there airplane tickets. She said it took three airplanes this summer for the choirs eastern tour. So it's a pretty big deal when it actually happens. I think she is pretty excited!

I've almost lost five pounds this week and I'm hoping to keep going.  I feel so good when I'm away from carbs, sweets and bread! The stationary bike really is the secret key for me. Pray for me. (privately)

I'm sending three photo's of Julie's room. My favorite photo is the front of the house. Believe it or not Julz is making sushi. Jen made a yummy sushi sauce. I love eating clean!!

Love, mom

August 9, 2015

Dear Jess,

Another great week has gone by. One of the good news is that we now have two bathrooms working!  It's really nice when you have three females in the house. Two, Julz survived her first week of band camp with two days of pretty nice weather.  Three, Jen went to the Salt Lake Temple last night with a women who was baptized in her area last year. Jenny didn't teacher her but the sister missionaries became really close to her. The woman's name is Tara and she has now moved to Utah and lives in Lehi. Tara asked Jen to be her escort, which is way cool.

I got to help at church in nursery today.  The Stephenson twins started today and they are sooooo adorable so I've kind of volunteered myself. Plus they need extra help now that the nursery is getting bigger. Yay!

That was funny to read about the fireworks at Sea World. It would be easy to think the noise was from the military base or something.  I remember when I drove you and your siblings to Disney Land ten years ago. The first night in the hotel I heard loud banging noises and couldn't figure out what was happening. I thought there was a gang war going on outside near our hotel. The second night I figured it must be the fireworks at Disney Land since we witnessed them the night before.

Family History Stuff: Just think, during the Korean War around 1950, your grandfather was stationed for basic training in San Diego. So sixty-five years ago he was there at the age of eighteen training as a marine to go to Korea to fight in the war.

I finally put all your stuff away in storage. It's just been hanging around in the bonus room all this time. (Just exactly how it was in your room).  Only it's been sitting on top of dad's drafting table.  So I put everything in gallon storage bags and put it all in the big storage tubs. Julie said you gave her permission to wear your t-shirts. That would be nice since I have no money for school clothes. Band fees alone is costing $600.00. So I appreciate you donating if she keeps everything in good condition.

I guess Jake is taking your sisters to Lagoon next week. The new ride, Cannon Ball, is now opened so they want to go and make themselves sick.  (Just as long as Julz is physically ok for school on the the 19th of August!) 

Last night I drove Julz to Provo High so she could watch DCI on a big screen with the Provo bandies. Carolina Crowns and Blue Devils were Julz's favorite of course. She said Carolina Crowns were way intense but the Blue Devils was the best!! I guess their show was from the music, "Into the Woods".  Hanna is over at our house right now making rice balls and guess what they are watching? Some how they found Blue Devils on line and I can hear Into the Woods music, only with lots of percussion and band instruments.  It sounds pretty awesome.

Love, mom

August 2015

Dear Jess,

Yesterday I was asked to give the closing prayer after a stake meeting I attended in the morning. Then Bob Manning called and reminded me that I said I would give the opening prayer in Sacrament meeting. Then last night I attended a special RS fireside and was asked to give the opening prayer. I actually wrote the prayer down before the fireside so I could memorize what to say. I get really nervous to pray in front of a large group of people who I don't know very well. All the meetings were very uplifting and spiritual which I'm so thankful to receive each Sunday.

Saturday I helped dad put up a wainscot wall in the bathroom. It took most of the afternoon and into the evening, but it looks really nice. Dad and I are getting older and our bodies suffer more aches and pains when we are doing physical labor. Boy did dad do a good job. He really has a gift when it comes to quality construction. It may take us longer to finish a project, but we don't care because it really looks nice in the end.

Saturday morning I took the SUV to get washed at Provo High. Dad took his car as well and Jenny took her car on Friday. I recognized some of your friends from marching band. I had to turn the car off which turned off the air condition in the 90 degree heat. But I didn't mind the heat so I could get my car washed by a bunch of teenagers.

This last week I started reading Mosiah in the Book of Mormon. I think it's one of my favorite books. King Benjamin's words are so powerful, and the spirit reminds me again and again how we are truly God's children and that he loves us and knows us by name. I also enjoy reading the Sunday School lesson each week since it's about the New Testament which I haven't really studied in a loooong time. Richard Parke and Bruce Barret bring the lessons to life each Sunday which I look forward to. (That's if I don't get called to sub in primary:)

I'm kind of excited to start work again on Wednesday. The kids bring so much joy to my life. But I'm just anxious to get out of debt. This is the year I'm hoping to get the burden off my shoulders and never participate in debt again.


I still can't go to sleep so I thought I would write about today.

 I made a comment in Sunday School today that everyone thought was really funny and I wasn't even trying to be funny. I guess I need to be more aware. I remember my Mission President saying that the elders and sisters need to be careful with humor in that it can invite the spirit away. 

I don't think I invited the spirit away but I was taken by surprise with the laughter in the room. Oh well, maybe someone was having a bad day and I turned it around. I just love going to church!!

Heidi came over on her new bike. Her sister now has a home up by the Provo Temple. So Jen put Heidi's bike in the back of her car and drove her home after dinner.  I thought that was very thoughtful. I love Heidi, she is such a joy. She's a little nervous about starting school tomorrow.  

Jen spent last Friday and Saturday training for her new tutoring job. We even went to BYU Education for one evening on Thursday. It cost $16.00 for four classes. Your sister thought I was sleeping, but I can still hear with my eyes closed.

We have now entered the fast time zone. Everything is moving faster now that everyone in our house hold has many places to be in a day and many things to get done. I will miss the slow pace of summer.

Kathy VanWagoner announced in RS to pray for Michael. He needs strength. Also, Sheffields home on Priest Lake has a serious forest fire near their home so Sarah asked for prayers as well on facebook.  Judy and Kevin are staying with Sarah right now since one side of Priest Lake is on high alert to evacuate!! 

Is there anyone your teaching that you would like us to pray for?
Off to bed. Love, mom


Dear Jess,

Jen and I are watching the "The Great British Baking Show" for FHE. Julz is upstairs practicing her sax and dad is in Colorado scoping out happy hunting grounds for the elk hunt in three weeks. We plan on watching Elder Scotts funeral after our baking show if we can stay awake.

Jenny didn't do very good on her test today because she spent all her time at the Comic Con with Jacob.

​Well, apparently they had a fun time so I hope her grades aren't affected too much. Julie and I went to the Women's Conference at the Stake Center. I really enjoyed Sister Reeves talk. She has 13 children and has many grand children. All the talks were very good I just think Sister Reeves touched my heart the most.

Your cousin Kevin came by last night for dinner and the watching of the Super Blood Moon. Meaning it was an eclipse and a blood moon at the same time. Dad got out his scope and some of the Rubow's and Ockey's came over.  Kevin had a cute friend girl with him as well.
Watching the funeral with Jen now. Bye😊


Dear Jess,

Wasn't conference wonderful!! Jeffrey Holland made me cry. I really liked the ponderizing talk. I'm going to try and save $5.00 every pay check and learn a new scripture phrase either once a week or once a month. There were so many good talks that for right now I can't remember them all. 

After the Sunday afternoon session dad, Jen, and I went with Julie to get her patriarchal blessing. Since Julie is our last in the immediate family I made cookies for Brother Dennis and his wife. What a spiritual high we had yesterday!!

Next fast Sunday our entire stake is fasting and praying for the same thing. Our stake president wants us to fast for someone we can invite to church.  Good missionary tool right?

Dad is out in the garage tonight trying to fix his four wheeler so he can take it on the big elk hunt this Thursday. Mark is taking his two other giant brothers and they will be sleeping in a tent some where in the Colorado mountains for one week. And yes everyone is in there forties and dad turned sixty-one last month. (I hope he survives the cold and the rigorous hiking. Maybe that's why he is fixing the four wheeler)

Speaking of weather, I always check San Diego weather after I check Utah weather for school recess.  Looks like we are finally changing temperatures this month.  We are now in the seventies and you California sisters are in the high eighties and low nineties. Make sure you drink lots of water since your meds require it during warm weather.

Julz's first band competition is this Saturday up in Idaho for the noon show and Logan for the evening show. Provo band will get home after midnight. BYU Rocky Mountain competition is a week from tomorrow night and then Davis High the week after that. Four days after Davis High is the Pleasant Grove one and I think I'll take dad and Jen to that one.  The end of October is the California trip and instead of Disneyland the band is going to Six Flags. Your sister earned all the money for the trip which means she probably will really appreciate the experience.

Sure enjoy your letters and photo's!

Love, mom


Dear Jess,

Tonight it seems like you've been gone for years. I'm looking forward to hearing your voice at Christmas but that's still a few months away. I'll try and stay focused on today and what went on this last week.

I opened your bank statement and noticed you've only spent a whole ten dollars in the past six months on Chic-Fill-A. So when I get paid on Thursday I'm going to deposit twenty dollars in your account so you can spend another $10.00 some where else yummy. Next month on the 15th I plan on depositing $30.00 so you can buy healthy things as well since it seems expensive to eat fresh produce. Why is that?

A cute young man came and cleaned our carpet last Friday. when I was giving him a tour of the house he noticed Jen's missionary badge on the book shelf in her room. He asked about it so I asked him if he went on a mission and he said yes. Apparently he is from Southern California and his name is Jake. His mission was the Salt Lake City Mission and from the looks of it he still misses it.  So I gave him some of my home made cookies when he finished cleaning the carpet.

Dad left for Colorado on Thursday. Your sister's and I are having fun keeping the fort together. Julz was gone all day yesterday with the band. She said they got third place in Idaho and second place in Logan Utah. The band got home last night around midnight exhausted. Your drummer friend Mark Wilson, ( I think that's his name) has had to miss a lot of band practice and activities lately. His mom Gloria told me at work that he is having serious stomach issues and is having test done at the hospital this coming week. She also said it's been really hard on him emotionally as well as physically. I think I'll start praying for him.
Well Jacob just got here!! Got to go. Maybe I'll find more time tomorrow.

Love, mom


Dear Jess,

It's late but I had to share what a wonderful evening we had with Sue and her daughter Michelle who is close to my age. Jen's companion Sister Andrea Shelly drove up from Snow College so she could be with us as well!

Right when we stepped into Temple Square two Sister Missionaries called over to us and volunteered to take us on a tour of the Square. Right when we entered the Tabernacle and you could hear the Tabernacle Choir music going and I immediately got chills. Right after that Michelle commented to me how she just got chills as well.  It was really neat. 

We toured for four and half hours and it only seemed like two at the most. The sisters took us to the Visitor Centers as well and then this handsome elderly man took us on a tour of the Joseph Smith building. At the end we toured the Conference Center and I learned so much about all the different sites we visited. It's crazy when I've lived in Utah most of my life! Jen and her companion were in heaven most of the evening.

Photo's are coming.




It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas in northern Utah! It's been snowing all day and it's supposed to keep going until tomorrow night. We need the snow in the mountains for water this summer!!
I'm going to try and mail you one more small package in the mail some time in the next few days. Jen went and purchased a few more things so hopefully it will get to you sometime early next week.
Can't send any photo's this week. Jen fell asleep with the computer still on and unplugged, I think now it's all messed up.
Julz has been invited to go hear the Tab Choir Christmas Program this Thursday and the family she is going with is going early. I told her to go over to Temple Square and look for Sister Switzerland. I think she is going to try if the mother of the family lets her.

Andrew Giles is going to Taiwan on his mission! he leaves for some MTC on January 27th. That's not very long time to get ready but his mom tells me he is excited!

Love, mom


Dear Jess,

Can't wait to find out where you are living. Tomorrow we are going to try and get dad on the Frontrunner train and head to Temple Square for a FHE activity. Hoping Sister Weidman will be there even though it will be a Monday.

Today was our Christmas program and it went very well. Mathew and Julz's duet sounded great with the choir and congregation. The primary children singing always brings such a sweet spirit. Dad went with me to our first Stake Presidency meeting with President Ouderkirk early this morning. I think he is going to like his stake calling.

Tomorrow I hope to get my cookie baking done and then all I have left is present wrapping and house cleaning. I've started eating sweets since last Thursday with work party and choir dinner party last night. I hope to get back to a cleaner lifestyle tomorrow, I really feel much better cutting out 70% carbs and 90% sweets. We'll see how strong I can be. I'm going to ask Heavenly Father for some extra help!

For this coming week the weather shows snow storms every very day except tomorrow shows rain showers. I guess we better take our umbrella's.

Love, mom


Dear Jess,
It was so nice to visit with you today! I'm glad you are enjoying your mission and that you are happy serving the Lord. I know that our family life has not been perfect and you have been able to experience life outside our Carlson bubble. Your sister Jen has been home for over a year now and is trying to get through school so she can become more independent and serve others as well but in a different way. I feel she would love to be supporting herself and living away from home but she understands it's not possible to be totally comfortable and healthy until she finishes school.

Your dad is starting to lose more of his hearing so he becomes frustrated at times when he can't hear all of the conversation. And yes the TV is turned up louder in our house because he can't hear what the actors are saying. Kind of like what grandpa Carlson has to do. So I appreciate the silence when every one is gone at work or school. But on the whole we are trying to make the best of everything here at home since living can be so repetitive and expensive. Your dad works very hard and has given up hobbies so you and your siblings can experience life in a very rich and fulfilling way. He really does sacrifice a lot so he can support you every month until you come home. I know he loves you very, very much.

I'm so grateful I got to serve a mission because the things I learned during those eighteen months I know has helped me in so many ways throughout my life. I know we only get to skype one more time for Mothers Day so please ask your Mission President if you and your companion who ever that might be in five months can talk to your families at different times. When your companion was talking to her family it was a bit distracting being right next to each other. If the rule is you have to be together can't the families talk at separate times?  I don't think dad was able to hear half what was going on but he was a very good sport about it. We were just happy to see your face and hear your voice because we really do miss having you around.
Did you get two Christmas packages first and then a envelope kind of package later with the journal, stamps and Walmart card?  The first two packages just had clothes and treats in them. We really liked your package with all the wonderful surprises dad's going to try and find a frame for the awesome San Diego Temple photo.

Have a great weekend.

Love, mom