Another year is almost over, and a lot has happened in our household...
We traveled south (pulling our RV) to
warm weather family and friends in late February. First stop was Las Vegas where we enjoyed a week with Dusty, Aleah, Karise and Dresden. We had a delightful visit, swimming, playing a little golf, and just enjoying being with our adorable grandchildren! It was a bittersweet parting - Dusty left a few weeks later for his second deployment to Afghanistan – this time for a 4-5 month tour. We said our good byes, but the one consolation was knowing we would be spending Easter with Aleah, Karise and Dres who were planning on meeting us over in California for several days after Dusty left.
We went on to Escondido (visiting my dad and his wife, Jackie), Huntington Beach (visiting Dennis’s mom) and Palm Desert (vacationing!), finally landing on the Central Coast to spend time with Jaime and Jake – we were excited to be seeing Jaime very pregnant for the first time! We pulled into San Luis Obispo in time for a beautiful baby shower that was given by good friends for Jaime and Jacob and the newest member of our family.
While we were in California, we were also given the opportunity to work again with the Brighten A Corner non-profit. They happened to be doing an extreme home makeover for a family dealing with ALS, so Dennis and I gladly jumped right in and remodeled/decorated one of the rooms in the home. I don’t know who was more blessed – the homeowners or our team!
We enjoyed visiting with lots of friends during our stay, and loved having the family all together (with the exception of Dusty) for our annual Easter celebration at Judi and Ed’s in Nipomo. We also celebrated Aleah’s graduation from Beauty College – after a year of hard work and sacrifice she was finally done! We ended our trip with very successful Remnants of the Past Vintage Show, the bi-annual vintage show I participate in. Then we said our good byes and took off for home.
On May 10, about one week after we returned home, we got the call we had been waiting for...Corban Sebastian Lewis had arrived! We had planned all along that I would come back down to help Jaime and Jacob, so as soon as I could I flew back to California to meet my adorable new grandson – I stayed about 10 days and enjoyed every moment
cuddling taking some of the burden off the new parents.
We had a busy summer – Dennis did a lot of fishing, still loving long afternoons in his boat on the lake. We went on some fun bike trips and I continued to work on my jewelry. (Kriste, my friend and sales rep extraordinaire still keeps me busy – still schlepping my jewelry from store to store) We did another vintage show (up here in Idaho) where we both sold our wares (we’re still carnies after all these years!) and Dennis connected with a local store who asked him to design and build furniture for them. Dennis has created the most wonderful line of furniture ~ all built from new materials but cleverly “aged” to look like it’s been around for 100 years. (What retirement?) I worked on my new website Pammy’s Attic, getting ready to launch it in the fall.
I also began a new routine of walking – a neighborhood friend, Dorene, who is struggling with breast cancer (that had moved into her lungs) was told she needed to walk every day. I needed to shed a few lbs. so I asked her if I could call her to invite her to walk with me. From June until our recent first snowfall we walked every day, and now that winter has settled in, and it is getting increasingly uncomfortable for her to walk, I realize that Dorene and our walking routine had become a very important part of my daily life. The fight against this wretched disease and the toll it takes on families has become very real to me. In August, I joined three other friends (one of them a survivor herself) to walk in our local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in honor of our friend. (We named our team “Lady Ta Ta”!) I was overwhelmed by how many folks this cancer has touched.
We continue to enjoy our Sunday night neighborhood bible study. Dorene and her husband Matt have joined us, as well as a couple of other neighbors - we have grown! We enjoy great food and a rich study, as well as a time of devoted prayer for each other. During this year of hardship, illness and loss for so many loved ones, this has become an important part of our week.
Over the summer we decided it was time we got more involved at church. We began serving more regularly on the creative arts team, building sets and props for the weekly services. I was asked to join in the weekly creative team meetings and have really enjoyed being back in the saddle again! We work alongside many amazingly gifted artists, and have really enjoyed being a part of that creative process again. I’m even back singing on the worship team every now and then which I thoroughly enjoy!
In October Dennis decided to join me on my annual trek down to California and the fall Remnants of the Past show – he was chomping at the bit to meet his new grandson! Dusty had recently returned home from his deployment, so he and the family drove over and we were all together for one day! (as you can see in our family picture, Corban decided it was naptime right before the camera came out) Dennis loved getting to know Corban, and our time together was lovely, even if it was brief ~ Karise had just started Kindergarten(!!!) and Aleah had just started a new job at a salon, so Dust and his family needed to get back home . But their big news - Dusty has just informed us that in May 2011 they will be stationed in London for 4 years!!! They are very excited and as much as we will miss having them “close” (in the same time zone anyway...) we are thrilled for this opportunity for them – and we are saving our pennies for a trip to England! Dust will return to working on jets on a base just outside of London.
In the fall my website was launched, (http://www.pammysattic.net/) and besides the California show (which was another record breaker for us!) we took on a huge show in Spokane, Washington – Dennis created the most amazing booth for us – we filled it with both his furniture and my jewelry. It was a smashing success, and we connected with so many fabulous artists and craftsmen (and women) who we hope to see as we travel from show to show – we carnies have to stick together....
Jaime and Jacob are enjoying their new roles as mommy and daddy. Jaime has a great blog where she writes honestly (and beautifully) about the highs and lows of parenting ( http://higherhighslowerlows.com/ ). She is also busy with her freelance writing for the food/wine/travel industry and Jacob is still working with Trust Automation - thankfully not traveling quite as much. Oh yes, and their beloved Murphy was on Animal Planet this fall chosen as one of America’s Cutest Dogs!
As you can see from our card, we have been blessed beyond measure, and we thank God every day for good health, a roof over our heads, food on the table and family and friends like all of you. We know this has been a tough year for many, as loved ones struggle with illness, loss and with finding/losing jobs - yet we celebrate the One who can heal the brokenhearted and give strength to the weary.
We celebrate this season because it is...
Christ, who is our Hope.
Christ, who was born the Son of God.
Christ, who was born a King.
Christ who took on the sin of the world that we may have Life everlasting.
10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.
Merry Christmas to all and a Blessed year to come!