Friday, December 19, 2014

A Year of New Beginnings

If anyone is in Christ they are a new creation; 
the old has gone, the new has come!
2 Corinthians 5:17

Merry Christmas to your family from the Barbers. We hope this letter finds you anticipating a joyful time with family and friends. This year our family will be spending Christmas in four different states. We are enjoying our memories of times together and believing we will all be together for Christmas in the future. 2014 was a year of New Beginnings for the Barber family. Ron and I would like to share a few of these with you.

My mom, Pat, turned 80 in June. Our granddaughter, Elissa, Mom, and I went on a wonderful trip through Utah to see the breathtaking scenery at all the National Parks. It was as much fun sharing stories in the car as looking out the windows. Cam's family was in New Mexico for a celebration of Mom's birthday and Natalie and her Ryan came down from Colorado to help celebrate.

Ron's mom, Mary, turned 90 in October. We had a wonderful birthday party for her with family and church friends. She was all dolled up and enjoyed catching up with everyone. Holding her sweet great-granddaughter, Amalia, brought the biggest smile.

Cameron's family continues to grow their church in Lakewood, Washington. They were able to find a church location for weekly services this year. Makenzie and Makayla love school, soccer, Duck Dynasty and Ninja Turtles. Timmy began preschool so Brittney found herself with some much deserved alone time for a few hours a week. Kids grow up so quickly. It is heartwarming to witness the sacrifices and joy this family has, as they reach out to share Christ's love through their lives and their ministry.

Dorothy and Hector got married and had our beautiful granddaughter, Amalia, this year. I was so fortunate to get to be at her birth. Elissa continues to enjoy summers with us in Los Alamos.  We are so blessed to continue to have a growing family. 

Our Tanner is still living in southern California. He has had a lot of changes this year from living arrangements to career choices. Recently, he has been building pools for the super rich. We are awed by some of the pictures he sends of the landscaped hillsides these pools compliment. Tanner has always wanted to live where it is warm and sunny. Los Angeles has a bonus that he is so close to Bethany and all the beaches. 

Natalie has had several new beginnings this year. She finished her Desperation Leadership internship on prayer and worship. Last spring, she began nannying for a family with two adorable little girls and she just completed Yoga Instructor training this fall. Her heart has been captured by Ryan Martin who is finishing school in California.  As you can imagine, there has been a lot of travel in her year visiting her guy. 

Ron discovered 'gong rocks' while he was out studying Stone Calendars this year. You will have to Google them if you are curious. His archeo-engineering has got him giving talks and tromping around researching all over the Southwest. Ron has told them at work he will be retiring in a couple months to have more time to spend on this hobby gone wild. So far, he is just talking retirement. We will see!

Working at the middle school is still my thing. It is a gift to be in the lives of young people. There are days when I truly believe this and days when I have to chant it in my head to believe it. My classroom is filled to overflowing with personalities that all need a positive, encouraging touch. I am looking ahead at my next step after retiring in a couple years. God is giving me lots to think  about with ideas of what that might look like. 

Ron and I are enjoying our empty nest. We have been walking in the evenings and really spending time together.  We went to our 40th class reunion this fall and couldn't believe how old all our classmates have become. Each season of life has its blessings. It is wonderful to be spending this season together.

We can't wait to read your cards and letters and catch up with you and yours. Facebook has made staying in touch easier, but I still love going to the mailbox and receiving cards. The ones with newsletters are my favorite. I can hold in my hand your stories and your journeys. 

Once again Merry Christmas,

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