Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas from Our House to Yours!

Thought that I would post our Christmas pictures. .
with the letter that I finally got written last week!
Howdy from southern Kansas! Hope this writing is finding all our friends and family doing well and ready for Christmas.  I seriously considered not writing a letter this year. .but as busy as our crew has been. .and as poor a facebooker as I am. .I just didn’t feel like that was fair! Join me for a quick recap of 2012!

Tristan-Sweet 16; sophomore.  Had foot surgery in April to correct a bone problem; healed well and is now without restrictions. Was glad to play football this year. Played on the school golf team last spring because he could handle that with a walking boot; LOVED it and was nicknamed Shamrock because of his “beginner’s luck” (though, I’m sure my Grandma Mildred would have called it genetic talent and would have been sooo proud!) Had a real job for part of the summer working with a carpenter friend. .earning REAL money! Helped both our farming families with wheat harvest. Spent 3 days as a camp counselor at 4-H camp. .determined he wasn’t ready for kids ANY TIME SOON! Debuted as a drag racer in Great Bend after he turned 16 in the street rod division. Bought a used bright blue pickup on ebay with his dad’s instruction and help. .it’s loud. .and it’s cool. .and he loves it! Tried out for forensics (basketball in a walking boot isn’t good) and LOVED it! Had leading male role in their one act play that performed at the State competition. Has a leading male role in this year’s one act, which has already performed at the high school variety show.  Active in youth group and 4-H. Probably the most social child we have!
Grant-14 ½; freshman. Got his farm driving permit this summer. Works with his dad in the mechanic shop and loves it; Some day will have to re-name his shop to include Grant! Participated in track last spring and high school football. This month finally passed his mom in height. Drummer in the band, and performed with a bucket band drum line last spring. Has been working with his dad on restoring a 1955 Cheverolet step side pickup. They recently painted it silver and will have it back together and ready to drive within the month (God willing). Went to Denver with his brother and youth group in November to volunteer at Operation Christmas Child packaging warehouse and served food in a soup kitchen. Active in youth group and 4-H; got to give his 4-H talk at the Regional level-much to his dismay! His personality is a lot like his dad. .he’d rather fade into the background than to have people looking at him. A photo he took of his dad’s racing truck was chosen to be published in the Kansas State 4-H foundation calendar for 2013. Worked with Jeremy’s family during harvest 2012 running a combine. Loves to have grease under his nails and talks cars with anyone who will listen.
Devin-10; 4th grade. Loves his go cart. Good speller and enjoys school. Getting to be pretty good pals with his little sister, but isn’t beyond picking on her until she squalls. Loves waterskiing, wakeboarding, kneeboarding and wake surfing; is a complete natural and loves our summer vacations at the lake. Won Reserve Champion at the county fair for his Walnut Mocha Brownies and made a LOT of money selling them at the 4-H premium auction. Enjoys being in front of people singing or speaking. Got to perform his 4-H talk at the Regional level too. Enjoyed  3 days at 4-H camp (even though his brother was a counselor) and a week at church camp this past summer. Active in 4-H and Wednesday night church activities. Takes care of our small flock of chickens. .he complained about it. .until Granny paid him for a dozen eggs. .no problems now and he does a good job! He is the proud new wearer of a mouthful of braces. .but it doesn’t slow his constant talking at ALL. A generous and thoughtful young man!
Camille-5; preschool. Has been waiting 4 years to ride that GREAT, BIG BUS. .and figured out. .it wasn’t as exciting as she thought it would be. Loves school, and is constantly writing the letters and asking people how to spell ‘stuff.’ Has written ‘stuff’ on woodwork and Tupperware lids. .though getting better at refraining from that. Still loves to be the diva. .she loves jewels and sparkles. .and asked Santa for some "girl spray" for Christmas. RSV as a baby and 5 days in the hospital at 3 months old caused her tooth enamel to be weak. She has cheerfully endured 2 fillings, a root canal and a crown. .and STILL loves her dentist-thankfully they are just baby teeth! She loves to jump on the trampoline, doing tricks and cheers. Her ultimate dream career is cheerleading. She celebrated her 5th birthday with a tea party, which was the highlight of her year. She wishes she could be in 4-H but loves that she gets to ride the bus to church on Wednesday night for church group. She is quite tall, but refuses to quit growing. .even though she knows she won’t fit neatly on her mom’s lap much longer! She’s a fish. .just like her other 3 siblings! Sassy, but sweet!
Jeremy-hoping to spend some time this March in Las Vegas with his bride as they celebrate their FORTIETH birthdays!! Owner/Operator of his own auto repair shop. .has had to learn how to use computers as diagnostic aids in his job, and finally had to get the technology to run credit cards for his clients. Stands firm that his job is harder than mine. .because he has to fix his mistakes. .and I can just bury mine! (In my defense, I have never had to bury a mistake!) Continues a love of drag racing and goes every chance he has. Excited for the opportunity to “trade-up” his enclosed car trailer for a model that hold T-W-O race vehicles. .since it is now a family racing operation! Needs to have a parental lock on Ebay! Teaching the men’s Sunday School class at our church. Helped Grant restore his antique truck and is nearly ready to start restoring a 1929 Model A for his wife. .and maintains that since the boys had to pay for part of their vehicles this year. .so does she! Has decided that Grand Lake Oklahoma will be the family vacation spot for the rest of his life. Good thing we all like it!
Melanie-is constantly reminded by her better half that she is now “old” and “half her life is over!” Still working part time for the Oklahoma State Department of Health and for the same medical clinic she has been in for the last 13 years. Misses her dad a lot after his sudden death in March resulting from an accident. Moved from teaching junior high youth group to helping lead high school  youth group. Also active in her church and bible studies. Still busy as a community leader in the 4-H club and attended the kids 4-H camp several years in a row as the “camp nurse.”  The drought and high temperatures have put a damper on her passion for gardening, though her greenhouse is currently producing tomatoes and cucumbers. .She still loves spinning up a cyclone of flour and good food in her kitchen. .and does so often. Enjoys maintaining her blog sharing photos, stories, and an occasional project.
It never ceases to amaze me, as I reflect over the year gone by. .how many changes occur in the course of one. Time seems to slip by faster and faster. But as the uncertainty of the future continues to grow. .one thing grows more clear. .Our need for a Savior. .and thanks be to God that He sent one to us. .hence the whole reason for this glorious season! 

Isaiah 40:29-31 He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired,
and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

I hope that you will seek Him for your power to tirelessly run through 2013. Wishing you and your family abundant blessings in this Christmas season and the New Year that follows! 


  1. Great letter...never thought about sharing ours on my blog. Clever idea! Merry Christmas!

  2. Always enjoy hearing about your kids' activities and varied personalities. You have such a great family. What's this about Grant being taller than you now?
    The big 40 in Vegas! Wow.
    Merry Christmas and Happy 2013!!!

  3. Hi Melanie,
    It's Boxing Day morning here, and I am trying to wake up and have just seen this post of yours. How wonderful and interesting to read all about your family, and what a wonderful bunch they are. Time does indeed fly by the older one gets, and it makes me more reflective each year, particularly about my dad, and then my own place in the family as a father. My faith has certainly been a vital part of my life, even though I have only had it for about the past 12 years of my life, and lately I think God has been shaking His head in despair at me. But that's a whole new, and very long story. Thank, and I hope you are all having a great Christmas.

  4. Hi Melanie,

    It's been a few days, and so is your house a bug free zone now?