Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Jake's news

Jake has learned to ride his bike with no training wheels!
If you were here he would tell you himself as he annouces it to everyone! I will try to get a picture of him on the bike to post.

OH, and he would like all of you to count down that he is starts kindergarten on Aug. 6th. If you were here he would tell you himself as he announces this to everyone also. ("everyone" includes target clerks, the animal control person who came to capture the bats outside our door, neighbors, neighbors' dogs, teachers, cars driving by, etc and now you.)

I think he like this new development because it has granted him some new freedom he hasn't had before and signifies to him that he is officially a BIG BOY!

I realized that this new development means that 1. I am old 2. My little boy is a BIG BOY and 3. I am old.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

March 23, 2012

Elder and Sister Blattman’s Missionary Weekly Journal
March 24, 2012 - Catching up

Last week we started a new class at the Pennypack Ward chapel. Pennypack is a northern area of Philadelphia that has the advantage of being accessible by bus from the inner city. ‘Pennypack’ is an Anglicized Indian word for the slow moving creek in that area. We hope that will be helpful to students who want to attend but don’t have cars. The class we were teaching that night was assumed by someone called by the stake to free us up to start this new class.
We have had news that another missionary couple will be arriving in mid-May to take over. We are pleased to know that the institute classes will continue. We don’t know for sure if the stake will support the summer seminary program again or not. The word is that the couple who are coming are very dynamic and even somewhat famous. Nancy jokes that it will take some pretty big feet to fill our shoes. –more on that perhaps later.
Meanwhile here are some of the happenings:
Chudi, Felix, Dionco, and James singing karoke at the Susquehanna Singles Branch dinner:

The Senior Missionaries in the mission gather for dinner and Family Home Evening once a month at the mission home. We are at the top of the stairs followed by the Rodgers, Houses, Dones, Johnsons, Ross’s, Baileys, Ashby’s and President & Sister Schaefermeyer. The second photo is from the senior’s outing to Constitution Hall downtown.

We go along with the Elders when they need backup when they have appointments with single women. Here is one of the narrow streets in North Philly where we decided our car was too wide to make it. You can see that these neighborhoods can be pretty bleak

March 23, 2012 Continued some more

It looks like it is all fun and games from the photos. Here we are at the Philadelphia Flower Show, looking at the displays and watching the dancers from the Polynesian Cultural Center. The Philly Flower Show is like a county fair and gardening extravaganza. This year’s theme was Hawaii. Milton Kaka, the boy from the family we knew in Australia is in the lower right of the photo with the dancers.

While out inspecting missionary apartments last week we came upon some particularly beautiful flowering Magnolia trees in an old Italian cemetary so we decided to stop and take a photo. Cemeterys abound in this old city and sometimes doubles as a sort of reverent park area.

There is an old Quaker Meeting house from the early 1800’s along a path we often walk for exercise in the mornings. The old homes and some of the very old meeting places were very small and it looks like the benches would have gotten hard for sitting after long gatherings

March 23, 2012 continued

Spring sprang quickly in Philadelphia. Unusually warm weather coaxed the trees to blossom a week or two earlier than expected. Lawns have become carpets of buttercups, daffodils, crocuses, and several kinds of blue flowers. The yellow forsythia is brightly blooming, cherry trees are blossoming, and the magnolias are magnificent. A couple of the following photos are of our ‘street’ with the trees so close we can almost reach out an take “a handful and make a treat, a popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.”

Here is a house a few blocks from our apartment that Nancy likes.