Monday, 4 Jul 1983

Dear Mom & Dad,

By the time you get this, I will have talked to you on the phone and probably told you everything written in this letter. Right now I am watching a Walt Disney cartoon on TV with Steven. He just got out of the bathtub and needs his clothes put on. I better stop & do that.

Now Angelique & Jeannie are in here watching a Donald Duck cartoon. It is in English. Steven just said, "Donald Duckie," without anything being said by us before hand. He is starting to talk in a lot of short sentences. After swimming the other day, he said, "I kicked." He says, "I did it," "I see it," "Look!," "What happened?," "I see a chicken," "I want it," "Here," "I get it," "Hold me please," "Tricycle," "Truck," "Car go bye-bye," "Fly go away," "Shoo." If he wants to do something he's told, he says, "OK."

We are now on our 4th Walt Disney cartoon tonight. They are all in English & have us glued to the TV.

The other day a tiny baby bird fell out of the sky and hit Jeannie on the back close to our garage door. Jeannie, Angelique, & Steven were watching it flop around while Jeannie was trying to figure out what to do with it. She looked up to see where it came from and then heard a "crunch." Steven had stepped on it! He's been stepping on bugs lately. After stepping on the bird, he said, "What happened?" Angelique didn't know what to think. She certainly talked about it a lot when I got home.

Jeannie found a shoe store close to our house (less than a mile) and bought the kids some more sandals. They wear out fast, but they aren't too expensive. Angelique's pair are size 24. Steven's are size 23. Angelique weighs 31 pounds and is 36 inches tall. Steven weighs 28 1/2 pounds and is 32 inches tall.

The kids went to swimming classes 4 times last week to make up not going today (holiday). Angelique has finally calmed down and really has fun. She talks like she is an Olympic champion. She even opens her eyes under the water. Steven finally settled down by Friday and was having fun. Before that, he would do everything he was supposed to, but he would scream about it like he was mad that he had to do it. Jeannie and the kids are getting a nice tan.

It is getting hotter, but we still haven't had to use the fan. This afternoon was the hottest it has been since we got here.

I got my car sold Thursday and am now driving the Rabbit. It was nice to get my old car again. It fits in the garage easier, too. The only damage done was to both front tires where part of the rubber had been worn off where it rubbed inside the shipping crate. (Only about 2 or 3 inches square.) It runs fine. It even started right up without any problem the first time. We will probably drive it to church a lot this summer while it's hot since it has an air conditioner.

I'm going to start teaching the adult class on Sunday mornings. Did I tell you that the Italians are meeting early so they can go to the beach after church? We don't start until 9:30 now, till summer is over. Italians are just crazy about going to the beach on weekends. The traffic is unbelievable on the Tangenziale on Sunday mornings heading north.

Friday night we got some more cabinets for the dining room. Now we have plenty of storage space. These were the cabinets we found on Jeannie's birthday, not far from here.

We want to buy a microwave but can't find one. They are presently out of stock and have been for over 2 months. The Italians don't have them.

Saturday, we drove to Sorrento, where Jeannie went by train the week before. We bought a beautiful dining room table with 6 chairs and a china cabinet. They are made of inlaid wood. Of course, they cost a lot of money, but no more than we would have spent on an ordinary table in the States. The chairs were almost $300 a piece. It is supposed to be delivered in about a month.

We ate lunch at a cafeteria in Sorrento. Italian food is not very good served cafeteria style. The receipt is enclosed. The price was outrageous for the quality of the food.

On the way back we drove through the towns of Pompeii and Ercolano, just to say we've been through there. In Pompeii we could actually see a little of the archeological site.

Last night we went to Jim & Lynn Elkins' house. They are members of the church who are going back to the States next month. No one had any tapes, so we sang for a couple of hours, then ate supper.

Today we ate lunch at Carney Park. They have a big fourth of July celebration. There were carnival type rides that the kids enjoyed.

Tonight after supper we ate watermelon that we bought on the side of the road yesterday morning after church. It was pretty good, but we've had better.

Since I have to get up at 4 AM tomorrow, I had better get to bed. My plane leaves at 7 AM and I should be in Philadelphia before supper tomorrow. I'll talk to you then.

Love you,

Michael, Jeannie, Angelique & Steven

P.S. We missed getting a letter from you last week.

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