from our home to yours...
It seems like I just sat down to write the 2008 Christmas letter ~ does anyone else feel like time is flying by at warp speed??? We had a busy year ~ here are the highlights...
Dusty arrived home from Afghanistan in early February!!! He, Aleah and the kids are still enjoying life in Vegas where he continues to work on the Predator drone. He is being trained on the Reaper now, and unfortunately is getting ready to go back to Afghanistan in early 2010. Aleah began Beauty College in April, so their lives are extremely busy. Dusty is Mr. Mom during the day (works swing shift) while Aleah goes to school (she LOVES it and is doing GREAT!) Karise is four (almost five!) and aspires to live the life of a Princess. Dres just turned two, and loves anything that roars or that has wheels! We are able to *see* them and talk to them through Skype, which makes those months of separation more bearable!
Jaime and Jacob arrived in San Luis Obispo from New Zealand in late March!!! The good news was, they’re back home ~ the bad news was we had to give back our grand~dog Murphy. They had a marvelous six months in New Zealand, Jacob working in the tasting room of a brewery, and Jaime working in the winery there. As much as they loved that leg of their adventure, I think it felt good to be back home in their own bed again. Jacob is back at Trust Automation and Jaime is a freelance writer in the food & wine industry, and has a handful of piano students. But their BIG news is that they are thrilled to be expecting their first child ~ a BOY! ~ in early May! Another grandbaby!!!!! They will be joining us up here for Christmas and we can’t wait to see the *three* of them!
This past winter was another doozie ~ we had more record snows, but we were able to get out of it for a month in our wee trailer. We first went south to Las Vegas where we were able to spend a week or so with Dust, Aleah and the grandkids. From there we traveled to Escondido to see my dad, then on to Hollydale for a visit with Dennis’s mom, and finally north to the Central Coast to spend time with Jaime & Jacob, as well as so many of our old friends and neighbors.’ We spent Easter with all children and grandchildren, and then left to come back home to Idaho. But we had such a great time that as soon as we came home we traded in the trailer for a larger RV ~ one that we can live out on the road in for longer periods of time. So as soon as we can’t stand the cold and snow any longer, we will take off for warmer weather! We made a couple of trial runs in the Spring and Summer ~ just to try it out and work out the kinks ~ first to Washington’s Olympic Peninsula & Victoria, B.C. and then in August we drove north to Banff and Lake Louise in Canada. We also had a fun when Dust, Karise & Dres (unfortunately Aleah had school and couldn’t join us) and Jaime & Jacob came up to visit Oma & Oompa over the 4th of July. We did lots of boating, swimming, tubing, fishing, campfires and biking on the Route of the Hiawatha. Oh yes, and plenty of fireworks ~ of course!
We also got back into the *carnie* world ~ we set up our tent and sold our wares at the Vintage Barn shows up here in Idaho, and I traveled to California for the Remnants of the Past Antique Show. Dennis designed and built custom shelves, window boxes, & cabinets and I sold my jewelry & ornaments. Even though the economy was suffering, we managed to pull off record sales! Some of this may be due to the fact that I dove into the blogging and social networking world, which was a great way to share our work. It has also been a new creative outlet for me that I never expected.
Dennis also got into cutting down old and diseased trees in our area and splitting it for firewood ~ which we are enjoying now since the temperature has dipped! And I joined the Northwest Sacred Music Chorale. Along with our usual concert schedule, we had the opportunity to be the core choir for the local sing-a-long Messiah, accompanied by the Coeur d’Alene Symphony ~ Halleluiah! We are also still enjoying our weekly in-depth neighborhood bible study with some terrific people….it only took us a year and a half to get through the book of John!
All in all it has been a good year, with some highs and some lows. We lost some special friends this year ~ Danny Barabas, Aleah’s father, was one of them. He left this world in April after a long and courageous fight with cancer. In the words of Paul, Danny fought the good fight, he finished the race, he kept the faith.
It has been such a tough year for many folks ~ more than a few friends we know are struggling with illness or have lost loved ones. Some have lost their jobs and are barely hanging onto their homes. But through all of life’s challenges we celebrate the One who never changes ~ the One whose shoulders are strong enough to carry us through both the darkest of times as well as those times of celebration and contentment and it is His Son whose birth we celebrate this season. After all.....
He is the Lord of Lords ~ Mighty God ~ the Prince of Peace!