4 July 1983
Monday Night

Dear Mom & Dad,

You should get this letter soon. Michael plans to mail it Tuesday night from Philadelphia. He will probably have already called you by now. This should prove to be an interesting 5 days with him being gone. I tried to talk him into letting us go with him, but it's just not practical.

I can't ever remember what I wrote in the previous letter so I never know where to begin.

Friday, 1 July, Steven had a major breakthrough in swim class. About halfway through class he relaxed and really started enjoying himself instead of crying. He was kicking so big and laughing really loud. He'd jump off the edge of the pool and come up to me and laugh. He had to show our neighbor's boys how he could kick. He was so proud. When we finally got out of the pool, he'd go up to everyone on the side and tell them "I kicked" or "I kicked big" with the proudest smile on his face. He hasn't stopped talking about it yet.

Angelique is still doing well. She's beginning to maneuver some without the swimmies on. She's trying so hard.

Friday night we picked up the last of the cabinets we'll be getting. The kitchen is pretty functional now - as much as it will ever be. Maybe this week while Michael is gone I can unload a couple more boxes of odds 'n ends since we have some more storage space now.

Saturday Michael & the kids and I drove down to Sorrento. It's further down there than I thought. It took us 2 hours to get there. The next time it probably won't take as long, though. We got held up in traffic in a town in between here and there and we made a couple of wrong turns. We finally got there about 11:00 AM and left about 4:30. We finally picked out a dining table, 6 chairs and a china cabinet. We didn't find exactly what we wanted, but I'm sure we'll enjoy this suite. Since I left my china in storage, I told Michael we'd have to buy some more to put in this cabinet. HaHa They should deliver the furniture in about 3-4 weeks. They will put the final coat of polyurethane on the wood in that time plus I asked them to change the fabric in the back walls of the cabinet to match the upholstered chairs. The set has an inlaid wood pattern of beige, gold and almost orange flowers. The wood is walnut. It's pretty, but more elaborate than what I wanted. It's awfully showy, but it will be unique in the States, because very few people can afford them since they cost over twice as much to buy them in the States.

The kids slept all the way back home so we took our time driving back. We drove by the ruins in Pompei. We could see just enough to make us want to go back. Recreational Services (Navy) is taking a tour there & to Mt. Vesuvius 26 July. If we can find a babysitter for that day, Michael and I will try to go. We've been told there is just too much walking on rough terrain to take small kids and keep them happy.

Sunday night we had a singing and supper at the home of one of the couples from church. We ended up staying till 10:30 PM. The kids enjoyed playing and we enjoyed visiting.

Today has been a very nice day. The kids didn't get up until 8:00 AM so we all got to sleep late. At noon we all went to Carney Park (owned by NATO) for "Festa Americana." We ate hamburgers and tacos, cotton candy & snow cones. They had a small carnival there so the kids got to ride a few rides. Steven and Angelique enjoyed "driving" the little cars on one of the rides.

About 2:00 PM we had done about all we wanted to do and it was beginning to get hot, so we all came home and took a nap. We were all behind on our sleep. Steven slept for almost 3 hours.

After supper we had our 1st Italian watermelon. It was not one of the oblong ones like Daddy used to grow, but one of the round ones. It was a pale red and not as good as I remember Arkansas watermelons being, but it was better than nothing for the 4th of July. I had bought it Sunday for about $3.00. Maybe I just picked out a bad one.

I finally got a letter from Alisa. Michael will try to call them also while he's in Philadelphia.

We're eager to get the tape you started. Finish it soon. Maybe we'll get one done soon.

Mother, do you have as many helpers at work as you do during the Fall & Spring? Things seem to get just as dirty no matter how many people are around.

We ended up getting 4 different wardrobes. We have two 3-door wardrobes in our bedroom. Angelique has a 4-door one and Steven has a 2-door one. We'll use some of Angelique's space for storage. We also got 2 overhead bins that set on top of my wardrobe and Steven's. They'll help a lot.

I imagine taking Laura to work with you was exciting. Did she want to play on the computers? When is Angelique's turn?

Italian numbers are similar to Spanish numbers, but not the same. Quattro anni means 4 years old. Due anni means 2 years old.

Angelique is asking for a bike with training wheels for her birthday. Michael is going to try to find her a Slinky in Philadelphia. I wanted him to get a Viewmaster Set also, but it would probably be too big to put in a suitcase. I guess we can order one from Sears for Christmas.

Faye & I are going to try to take the kids to the zoo this week while Michael is gone - maybe Friday. Steven just loves their 5-year-old son Jason, and has to hug him every time he sees him. Jason tolerates it. They also have an 8-year-old son named Jeremy. Angelique enjoys them, too.

It's 11:20 PM and I have to get up at 4:00 AM to leave here by 5:00 to get Michael to the airport at 6:00 to catch his plane that leaves at 7:00 AM. So I'd better get to bed. Write soon.



P.S. The kids enjoy their letters.

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