Monday, December 5, 2016

Christmas Letter 2016

It is that time of year when we each share our hearts and our lives with those we love through our Christmas cards and letters. With technology, most of us stay connected throughout the year liking each other's posts and praying when a need arises. I am more than grateful for the connections that online has given us. But I still am thrilled to receive beautiful cards with a recap of the lives of those loved ones in my life. So from Ron and I to you and yours~Merry Christmas and a glorious 2017.

This has been a busy year for Ron and I. I left teaching at the middle school a week before we left for Peru on a mission trip. We were so blessed that our Natalie and Ron's sister, Debbie were able to come along. Her pink hair was a big hit with the locals. This trip opened our eyes to the need for sanitation in the poorest of places. At home we condemn people who litter but littering is the only option when their are no garbage cans and no one to pick up the garbage. There are so many little things we take for granted. We were able to go to Machu Picchu for a couple of days at the end of the trip. What an incredible place!

Our summer was filled with a road trip to see all the kids along the Pacific Coast Highway. We picked up Elissa and started in San Diego visiting Natalie, spent time around the pool with Tanner and Bethany in Los Angeles and ended up just south of Seattle with Cameron and Brittney and their three cuties Makcnzie, Makayla, and Timmy. The highlight of the trip had to be going to the animal park in Washington. We had zebras, yaks, buffalo, deer and even elk eating bread out of our hands. The idea was for us to hand it out the car windows but believe me they stuck their heads inside the car to snatch their treats. I don't think we have ever laughed and screamed more in our lives. Brittney was extremely patient with me as I dropped bread on her seat when I got a bit scared of the massive tongue coming at me. Of course, this meant that buffalo used his tongue to grab the bread off her car seat. Oops!

This fall we checked a couple off our bucket list. We spent a week on a houseboat on Lake Powell and Ron and his brother Paul delivered a 44 foot sailboat from Rhode Island to the Bahamas. The houseboat was the perfect mixture of relaxing, swimming and exploring on jet skis. The guys adventure on the Atlantic was more of a survival trip. From the videos and stories it is clear they learned a lot and had an incredible time.

Ron continues to work part time in retirement at the lab and I started a new journey this fall. I am loving working with the FIT program. Families, Infants and Toddlers. This is a federally funded support program that works with wee ones with developmental, environmental or at risk concerns. My role is to go into homes and encourage and support families as they encourage and support their children. It still feels like I am skipping school as I drive into remote communities singing along to the radio. They are paying me to play with adorable kiddos. I have found the right FIT in this FIT program.

Our prayers are that each of you has a peaceful 2017 and that each of us keeps building connections with those that mean the most to us. Life can be so busy but our family and friends are what truly matter. Guess I had a moment. Ron and I both reached our 60th birthday this year and next June will celebrate our 40th anniversary. More and more we are recognizing how working to stay connected to each of you is our most important gift.

In Him,

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