Saturday, December 20, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas at our house!

Our year has been filled with tough challenges and grand adventures. We have been blessed in more ways than we could ever imagine.

Jim traveled all over the world for HP--Japan, China and India. Given that HP has canceled nearly all travel for 2009, these trips will be the last ones for a while. He built another chicken tractor and added four new chicks to his collection. Jim grew a beautiful garden and harvested a bumper crop of apples and carrots. He loves working with the young men at church. One of his greatest achievements was to climb to the top of Mount Borah, the tallest mountain in Idaho at 12,662 ft.

Janene loved having the opportunity to travel to many new places. Her favorite trip was with Jim to Japan. She served as ward camp director with the young women this summer and is now a ward missionary. She really likes being grandma! Her greatest accomplishment this year was to complete 81 hours (accrued over 5 years) of continuing education for dietetic registration. She also skied from the top of Bogus Basin Mountain (albeit with shaky knees on cat tracks).

Elly, Brian, Nathan, Matthew, Maggie and Becca still live in South Jordan, Utah. Elly gave birth to Rebecca Brianne and finds her days are filled with caring for four lively children. She still squeezes in time to decorate her home and write. Brian works for Office Depot and restores old homes on the side. Nathan (9) loves playing basketball and the piano. Matthew (6) is a star soccer player. Maggie (3) is the other mom. Becca (9 mos.) is finally in motion, backwards.

Tori, Ryan and Owen live in Gainesville, Florida. They're especially excited that Ryan is in his final year of dental school. Tori finally got her wish to get braces. She has become a pro at taking photos and being a mom. They adore Owen who is a walking, signing, smiley one year old.

Jacob is a senior in industrial design at BYU. He can't wait to graduate. He scored internships with two design firms this past year. Jacob spent the winter in Milan, Italy with one firm and the summer in San Diego with another gaining valuable experience. He continues working as a textbook illustrator at the BYU bookstore.

Sariah has become Hermana Wilson. She entered the Missionary Training Center in Provo, Utah in March where she learned Spanish and prepared to serve a mission in Montevideo, Uruguay. She flew to Uruguay in May and has lived in two areas--Pando and Melo--where she is teaching and serving the people. Sariah has had some incredible experiences!

Cami is attending BYU as a freshman and has adjusted well to living away from home. She has made lots of new friends, has continued developing her talents in dance, is learning that studying has a new definition at college and has been helping out in an after-school program at a nearby elementary school. We're proud of her for being so brave! Cami discovered the joy of mountain biking this year.

At this holiday season, we are especially grateful for our Savior, Jesus Christ, and for his love. We are grateful for those of you who have touched our lives this past year. We pray that you will be blessed with a year filled with joy and peace.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

My Thankful Story

Here's my thankful list from the week of Thanksgiving. I'm thankful that we were able to afford to have a new furnace installed to keep us warm this winter, that I had a whole day to bake rolls and pies for our Thanksgiving feast because it took me a long time, that the rolls and pies actually turned out mostly decent, that we were able to drive safely to Utah to spend Thanksgiving with Elly and her family, that we found Uncle Dale and Aunt Maurine doing just fine when we stopped to visit, that it stopped raining for the flag football game on Thanksgiving morning, that nobody got hurt and that everyone had a great time.

I'm thankful that we got to play with the grandchildren and visit with lots of family members over the Thanksgiving holiday.

I'm thankful that Becca finally got to the point of letting me hold her without throwing a fit.

I'm thankful for an awesome family! I feel so loved.

I'm thankful that Elly is such a great cook! The feast was delicious.

After Thanksgiving, I was thankful that that I didn't have to go see the cadaver exhibit with Jim and Jacob but I'm glad they really enjoyed it. I'm thankful that I survived the shopping trip to Hobby Lobby with Nathan, Matthew and Maggie and that Nathan finally found something for me to buy for him before Maggie was able to drive me completely crazy with her requests for a treat. I'm thankful that Cami was able to come home to Boise with us for a few days. She was thankful that she got to stay at home a couple of extra days to recover from a serious case of tonsilitis. I was thankful that we traveled home safely, that we got to see and visit with lots of Cami's friends whom we haven't seen in a very long time, that I was able to get enough sleep in spite of all the friend noise, that Cami and I found just what she had been looking for when we went birthday shopping, that Cami's birthday cake didn't burn while I was practicing the song Jim and I would be singing in church, that Jim and I were able to sing our song in sacrament meeting with few glitches and that we actually got some compliments. The list could go on and on. I have so much to be thankful for!