Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious
time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of
his choice and another traditional "do we have to read this"
Christmas letter to send to you.
So, let's start with last Christmas and the return of Stephanie to the
U.S. after spending 4 months studying abroad in Italy. We gathered
many family and friends to greet her when she arrived, very worn out 1
must say, on terra ferma USA. We managed to embarrass her properly and
life went on. She was glad to be home and to re-acclimate herself to
life in the U.S. And yes, she did have to do some of that. Since she
didn't drive the whole of her stay in Italy it took her a number of
weeks before she felt comfortable driving here. Stephanie noticed
things that had taken place during her absence, even minor ones like
her favorite radio station having disappeared!
She had one more semester of college and graduated in May 05. She now
runs the small restaurant in a little shop called Tarlton cafe in
Andrea is now a senior in college (where does the time go?) she is a
Social Work major/Sociology minor and loves her field. This year began
her internship which she does at the Presbyterian night shelter in the
Women/children division. She is there two days a week and now has 3
clients she works with. She also has classes two days a week and so
spends the rest of the time writing her research papers and studying
(at least that's what she tells us) We catch glimpses of her on
occasion. She plans on graduating this coming summer at the earliest
or December at the latest. After that, graduate school and I am afraid
that might take her away from us here in Texas so I won't think about
that right now.
This summer we took another family road trip and headed our ship (ok,
our Toyota, geesh do you have to be so literal?) to Branson, MO. And
then down to Arkansas to a beautiful lake to spend some quite time
boating and tubing. (oh and ganging up on Mom playing UNO) It's funny,
but even after all these years and with our girls being 23 and 21 (oh
yeah, did I mention that Andrea turned 21 this year also... sigh and
gasp!) for some strange reason, they still like taking the family road
trips. Their friends don't get it, but that's just cause they haven't
experienced anything quite like it. And maybe that's a good thing?
Paul is still working at Lockheed Martin, this is his 22"d year
there. He is also still working on the remodeling. I know you keep
hearing about it, but it is a rather large undertaking and he has been
doing it mostly on his own contracting out only what he really cant
do. He hopes to have it finally finished here in the next couple of
months. This final phase is our bedroom/bath. We have now seen the
completion of 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms from the ground up.
Me, I am still out at TCU in the department of Religion. I love it and
enjoy what I do and being surrounded by the students. Thank goodness
they like my eccentric personality too! (nice way to phrase that don't
you think?) I continue to work out vigorously and now that I hit a
mile stone age
Oh, I didn't mention that one? Yes, I did turn a particular age and my
family decided to throw me a birthday party. My sister Martha and
Stephanie went all out and planned the most amazing party/ roast! Yes,
I said roast. You know, when people gather and say all sorts of
wonderful things about you.... Ah, good times, good times.
We also acquired a new member to our family.... Jack. He is a kitten
(3 mos.) a brother to our other cat Robie (3 yrs). He is the exact
twin, a mix of tabby and rag doll sort of a blue point Siamese look
with striking blue eyes. Like you really care
Anyway, the rest of my family Mom, Dad, Bob and Chris, Martha, Jeff
and Barbara Marie, Barb and Trish are all doing well.
I will close with a quote that I think says it all for me right now.
"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of
a happy family all wrapped up in each other. " -Unknown