Hi there. We are having a youth fireside tonight. I am trying to write this letter while Dana is gone visiting teaching and before eating lunch.
I had a giant project. I had to finish a book chapter and it was hard to get started. I ended up writing a pretty chapter. Dana has finished a paper from her dissertation that she is having proof reading this week.
We found out on Thursday that LSU is undergoing some reorganizing. For example, the math department has been in the college of Arts and Sciences, where English is, but it is moving to the College of science. Then Arts and Science will be getting the department of economics and some other things and then it becomes the college of Humanities and Social Sciences. The college of Education has been a small college with two pretty large departments and will now had several schools and other departments and be the College of Education and Human Professions. Anyway, many things are up in the air. We don’t even know if our dean will stay the same. It is a little confusing. We don’t know what that will mean for Dana’s job. Many things are up in the air.
We had a nice talk with Amelia last Sunday. It was nice to hear from her. We have been trying to make the little camera work. Well, the camera kind of works, but our sound quality is bad. Sometimes, the connection also goes out. It is fun to see Miriam and Evie. Okay, it is good to see Amelia and Raymond as well.
We love hearing from everyone else as well. Abbey is good at keeping in touch too. I also found that if I write Walker a separate letter, he writes me back. Have any of you found that to be true as well? We also heard from Sophia this week. It is going to be fun to have them here. We are looking forward to the whole event.
We had some major landscaping done this week. The plants grow like crazy. We had them trim some trees, clear out some over grown flower beds, cut back tropical plants, and clean up a lot of dead fall. We celebrated by planting some flower yesterday. We went to the temple in the morning and then browsed some plant stores. We had to find stuff that will stand the heat, grow in the shade, and still stay in bloom all summer. We planted some caladiums and some impatiens. The caladiums are a bulb that grow like crazy during the spring and summer and then die back. We never saw them in Utah. They would actually grow inside there. I don’t think I have ever grown impatiens either. We have another flower bed to plant next week. We hope these do well so that we can plant some more. We also cleaned out two planters along our patio in the back. Stay tuned you might get some pictures.
Speaking of pictures, I only got one comment, from Amelia, who wanted a picture of our owl. Well, it is an owl and they are unpredictable. I will try to get a picture of “our” owl. The picture on our blog does look exactly like ours, but ours is cooler because it is ours! More comments on the great pictures please.
We now have blinds, some curtains, flowers and we also hung a picture. It looks like we are moving in. Who knows by the time Curtis and Sophia get here we might have even a couple of more pictures throughout the house.
Conference is next week. I have been looking forward to it. I hope all of you are also getting ready for a great week end. Those of you in Utah might even start to hope for descent weather.
Well the most important event of the week was Dana’s talk. This is the month of the Relief Society birthday and they had the Relief Society presidency speak. They spoke about charity and they did a great job. Dana made the point that being charitable is a state being. So, it is trait that you develop line upon line. Last Sunday, I had a toothache start. I have never had one of those toothaches that is incapacitating. I know people that had them and I now believe everything they say. I didn’t sleep much Tuesday and Wednesday nights. I went to the dentist Thursday and the sad part is that the pain was going away. So, I had the whole check up and everything else was okay. He tapped around the teeth in that area. I could tell the difference, but the real pain had subsided. He told me to wait and if the pain came back I needed to go to a specialist. He said that these kinds of dentists were experts at finding and exaggerating pain in order to narrow down the location. It sounds horrible. My tooth is still sensitive and so I need to decide if I need the specialist. The dentist said the pain could come from a sinus infection or grinding my teeth while sleeping. We finally went golfing. We went during July when Mitch was here. The weather is so good, it is sad that we haven’t been golfing more. The only thing that was sadder was how I played. We think that we are going to take a few days to golf during our spring break. For the young men and young women’s activity we went and did baptisms for the dead. They do that quite often around here, at least once a quarter. The hard part is that we need seven adult males to do the baptisms and the confirmations all at the same time. This time we had three boys and three girls. We had four adult males so we did the baptisms and then we went to do the confirmations. If you do it that way, the youth have to wait for everyone to finish with the baptisms. Our blinds final arrived. We are just about moved into the modern world. We will no longer need to depend on the early morning sun and the songs of birds to wake us up. There are so many birds here that it is hard to believe. We have a new bird friend that has been hanging around the front yard. It is a large barred owl. I will post a picture on the blog. It is a big owl that we have seen sitting in one of the front yard trees and then swooping down to eat a snake or a lizard. If it ate squirrels it would never go hungry around here. I am also getting excited for conference. We have appreciated the church here. We have found some friends and we have been able to feel supported and cared for. I think we have a real opportunity to prepare to listen to the announcement of the new apostle. Today in church we talked about the organization of the church in 1830 with six members. In reality, we have the same chance to listen for the confirmation of the spirit as back then. We can know for ourselves that this announcement is approved of the Lord. We love you. Take care of each other. Love Dad and Dana
Hi there. I know that you don’t want to hear it, but it was another busy and productive week. I finished completely a paper for the English Journal. I also finished a paper with two other colleagues that we sent out Friday. Our spring break starts on April 6th and that means we have three weeks to finish two large projects. I have a paper for a book chapter due by March 25th and one more large paper due that my graduate student and I are trying to finish by the break. One of Dana’s professors from Georgia was here for an evaluation. While she was here she asked her to help write a book. It will be about programs how principals manage all the programs in schools like athletics and special ed. In the meanwhile, we also have church responsibilities with the young men and relief society, trying to hang the new drapers, organize some yard work, and get ready for Deacon’s big visit. We had a small scout court of honor, one scout earned one advancement. The young women dressed up and attended. We have a temple trip this week and a fireside in two weeks. Dana was in charge of the big relief society party this week. Really, she had the first counselor do most of the work and Mary sent pins for the party, but she did conduct. I also helped out in nursery for the big relief society dinner. They had about 45 women attend. I went with one of the young men; I will do almost anything for free food. Yesterday, we took a drive to some places we haven’t been before. There is a pretty big historical black college, Southern University http://web.subr.edu/index.php?id=69 . The university has been there a long time. It looked to us that it is mainly a residential campus. It has a great view of a gigantic bend of the Mississippi River. They have a very active athletic program and a large ROTC program. I am interested in finding out their education department. We are trying to put together all of our taxes. We realize that moving, remodeling, and starting a new job makes it a little more difficult to track of the stuff we need to prep for our taxes. Wow! We have just about figured all out. Walker sounds like he is doing really well. He does not, however, count my family letter and update a communication to him. I think all of you should write more, that way maybe my large weekly letter will count. I am trying to send a small message to him independently each week. Sometimes I miss, but according to the rumors, I do better than most of you. We have had great weather recently. We have had a little bit of rain during the last week and then Saturday we had a lot. The temperature dropped as the rain fell. For example, Thursday was in the low 80s, Friday was in the low 70s, and on Saturday fell to low 60s. Now, today it is in the 70s again. They say around here that if you don’t like the weather wait a day or two and it will be something else. You love you take care of each other.
Hi there! Look at this—a letter on time again. We just had a chat with Amelia. We tried to do video chat, but it seems to click on and off quite a bit. We don’t know if it is bad internet connection on our part or on their part. We moved around a few controls and managed to get the voice on their end to come through a little better. I had a small paper accepted in the English Journal. This is a big deal in my field of English Education and very good exposure. They have a column on mentoring in each issue. I rewrote the opening story in my dissertation for the column. They asked me to rewrite the ending and send it back. I did and they accepted it and it should appear in a couple of months. I am also now featured online as one of the new editors of The ALAN Review. After March 15 any new article submitted to the journal comes to us. If you want to check out the pictures and the bios go to: http://www.alan-ya.org/2009/03/meet-the-new-editors-of-the-alan-review/. We are excited to get started, but we realize that it will be a lot of work. Dana and I have finished the major rewrites on a paper. We had to do quite a bit of work on it. We might have a few edits to finish in the bibliography in the next day or two. We should have it out to the editor by the middle of the week. Hurrah! For me, lots of projects have been coming due at the same time. This is a good thing; nevertheless, it makes the days and the weeks very busy. For example, I have to meet with my students tomorrow in order to have their grades current by midterm. I also need to have part of group paper due by Wednesday. If I work very hard from now through the first week of April, I should be caught up with all of the pressing projects. You should remember that the nature of this work is that there is always something to be working on. I think that if you just plod along things get done. It would be nice if I could figure out how to end projects in some kind of monthly rotation. I spent Saturday morning at a Stake Volleyball tournament. We only had four young men so we teamed with another ward that only had four as well. They managed to win the whole affair. I was there from about 8:00 until 12:00. After that I went to the local library to pick up some books I need for a project. Dana spent the morning delivering food and dealing with some of the challenges of the sisters in the ward. I then did some yard work and worked on cleaning some of the house while Dana went to teach her occasional Saturday class in the afternoon. She didn’t get back until about 6:30. We watched a little bit of television, before going to bed. We forgot to set the clock ahead but I still got up in time to get to my meetings before sacrament. We did not see any movies this week. We almost went to a baseball game but decided against it this week. Now, that the boys’ basketball team has taken the SEC regular session championship, there is a lot of pressure on the boys’ baseball. They have been very good over the last 12 years and are projected to do well again this year. They better do well; the university just built a brand new stadium for boys’ baseball and another one for girls’ softball. The spring weather and the spring sports here are fantastic. We are hoping to try to get to at least one of everything. Put on the shorts and the sunglasses and enjoy the action and the weather. I know I talk about the weather, but it is unbelievable. We have flowers everywhere. We saw a frog and a gecko on the patio door window last night. We still have squirrels everywhere. I am thinking about getting a bird feeder to encourage a few more birds. We also have a swing arbor with a flowering vine over it without a swing. I am thinking about getting a swing before Deacon gets here. I am hoping that I can spend some time reading outside in the shade. We had a great sacrament meeting at church today. I was able to feel the spirit several times. Dana is doing a great job as the relief society president. It is always a surprise to see some of the challenges that people are dealing with in their lives. We really don’t know how blessed we all are. We visited a couple’s home to assess their needs, which were many. Wow! It is important to learn to feel the spirit and then respond to the promptings. The gospel provides the answers to consistent happiness and productivity. It isn’t always easy, but it can be worth it. We love you and encourage you to take care of each other. Nurture each other in the gospel. Read the scriptures, pray, and start a year supply. I feel that prompting every time I open the cupboard. Love Dad and Dana.