Iíd like to get a short letter written tonight, although there hasnít
been much in the way of news. Daniel is back at JHU, and although no one would
describe him as noisy or talkative, for some reason the house is always a good
bit more quiet with him gone. At least we have not done nearly as much running
around to doctorís offices, etc. Peter did get bands put on his upper teeth
this past week, so weíll be seeing the orthodontist more often Ė
fortunately, thatís only a few minuteís drive.
The best non-news we have to report is that no one has come down with flu. I
was at a meeting this past week with about a dozen other staff from The Masterís
Academy and I was the only one whose family had not been touched by the flu.
David started feeling under the weather on his way back from Hopkins, and spent
the rest of the weekend lounging in bed or on the sofa, but it never turned into
flu. The rest of us have been completely fine. I am very grateful.
Of course the highlight of our lives has been the snowfall. We went to bed
one night with a weather forecast of "possible flurries" and woke up
to find 7 -9 inches of snow had fallen! The boys ended up with two snow days
because I didnít have the heart to make them do school when the entire
neighborhood was outside playing. They made a fort, which took about ten pairs
of gloves each. I was kept busy exchanging wet things for dry, and making hot
chocolate. I took the day off from school to do baking Ė some for the Lehigh
study, some for the French teacher whose father died, and some for us.
The week prior to the snowfall had been bitterly cold, and I was about to
concoct some excuse to return to Hawaii. But now that we have the snow, the cold
seems more bearable because snow softens the landscape with its beauty. Benjamin
just loves it. Last Sunday I took the boys (as well as Gabe and Sarah, friends
of Peterís from church) to Quiet Valley for sledding. This was before we got
the large snowfall, and the snow, left over from Tuesdayís snowfall, was a bit
soft for the best sledding. However, it was better than any sledding here in
Bethlehem, and it was a great way to spend the afternoon. I was worried that I
would have to entertain Ben in the van when he got cold (the Oilers were away)
but all the older children got cold and tired before he did. He just wanted to
keep on sledding down the mountain. He only surrendered when he sailed right
into a stickerbush and I had difficulty getting him out. Then we all went over
to Alice Wicksís for supper and to play dominoes. For the rest of the week Ben
asked to go back to the mountain. (In this most recent snowstorm, David took him
over to Nitschman.)
Cold, I guess, is the theme of this letter. (Even the book I am currently
enjoying is titled Cold Sassy Tree) My brother David showed up one
night because the furnace in his apartment gave out, and he had neither heat nor
water. Since he had a big exam the next day, he needed a good nightís sleep.
So of course I said he could have Danielís bed, although I neglected to
mention that Peter is quite a snorer. Iím not sure what kind of sleep he got,
but at least the house was warm and he had a hot shower! Ben thought it was
great that Uncle David was here, and was disappointed to find him gone in the
morning. Heís been asking for him ever since.
Another cold outing was our visit to the skating practice of two Russian
skaters who use the Bethlehem rink to prepare for international competitions. As
Iíve mentioned before, our family takes a weekly skating class (in which
everyone except me has made major progress) and the director invited us to watch
her professional students practice. It was viciously cold, and I felt sorry for
them with their thin outfits and bare hands. We were miserable huddled under
multiple layers of jackets and blankets. It was fascinating to watch the
skating, though. The thing that impressed us the most was hearing that they came
here because our little town of Bethlehem has a better rink than the entire
country of Uzbekistan.
We had a family party to celebrate Christopherís 13th birthday
just before Daniel left. Then he invited four friends over for an evening party
last Saturday night. I tried to record highlights of this affair on the video
camera given to us at Xmas. Later, I learned that I filmed it all sideways Ė
in the Feaver tradition. Christopher discovered that being the host of a party
is an tiring job, especially when your three brothers keep trying to steal the
show (and the presents, in Benjaminís case)!
I should go now and put Ben to bed and prepare my history lesson on
Gutenberg. Just wanted to keep in touch!