A few excepts from some of John's letters to Whitney. You can read her letters home here.
"Arnold is still working hard in Africa. We will have to feel her biceps as soon as she gets back before they soften again. She should be pretty buff after all that construction work. It looks like she is having a great time, both working, as well as it looks like she is teaching the other kids some card games.
Gus is going on trek this week. I am looking forward to going up to see her come in with her cart on Saturday. Again, she is so strong that I would like to be a fly on the wall to see her do the women's pull. Hopefully we can get some intell on that. Mom isn't as interested in that, and she thinks I get a little to competitive on things like that and on things like "Likes" on instagram. Dash appears to draw the most likes, although you have done well lately on a few pictures.
Fred is doing well. She is reading all the Harry Potter books again, so she is fairly scarce.
All the little kids are having a great time. We have them in somewhat of a system. We started a program of weed pulling where they each have to pull a bucket full of weeds every day. It will be interesting to see if we can catch up and maintain the garden area based upon that program.
I don't know if I am just really tired, but I can't think of any funny things that have happened this week. Maybe Summer vacations don't provide as much entertainment value.
I got nine ties for Father's day, which is more than I have received in the last fifteen years, so I should be set for a while. I asked Fred if they came with fashion consultation. That is one advantage of wearing the same tie for a year. You know where you're at. You have some confidence in what you're doing. Now who knows? Fred will provide the consultation.
Well, I love you so much. Loaf is going nutso in the next room so I better check. I pray for you always."
"Gus had another horse show last Monday. Mom, Fred, and Arnold went to it, but Arnold came home early with grandma and grandpa. I asked her how she enjoyed the show, and she said, "I love Gus, but I don't love her choice of hobbies." The time I went, fortunately, I had an interesting book and could keep myself occupied between events.
The boys, while they have not been watching world cup soccer, are playing soccer and calling it "world cup". It is good to see all four boys playing together and getting good exercise together. In addition, they are doing some good work. Each boy is in charge of picking a five gallon bucket of weeds per day except on Sundays. Tank is picking three buckets full to make up for some transgressions. They are doing a good job with that. Outside time and work are good for those little people. I have also been taking them, Loaf, Gus, and Fred if they are available to the rec center which has been fun. Loaf is the only one in danger of drowning so it is fairly easy to manage.
The most noteworthy event of the week is that the girls and Mom painted the upstairs. It is a nice gray. We also fixed all the holes, so it looks very nice. Mom also wants to redo the carpeted area in the living room with wood or an engineered product in a Nantucket style. I told her it is OK with me as long we can read Moby Dick as a family after the floor is installed. I think that would be appropriate with the Nantucket theme. Also, if it is OK with you, I would like to postpone the annual summer reading of Jonathon Livingston Seagull until you get home. Would that be OK? Also, you should read that book in Italian sometime--beautiful translation."