Sunday, December 09, 2012

2012 Christmas Letter

Dear Friends and Family,

As 2012 draws to a close we give thanks for our health and well being. 

This year was a big one for vacations for us.  I took Tim and Kristin to Yellowstone for Spring break.  Our spring break comes at an interesting time for Yellowstone in that the road into the West entrance is closed for both cars and snow equipment (snow mobiles and snow buses).   So, there is not a way to get to Old Faithful or any geyers.  Nevertheless, we had a great Yellowstone experience by driving a long way to the North Entrance and seeing Mammoth Hot Springs and wildlife in the park including hearing wolves howl as they coordinated to harass a herd of buffalo.

In the summer we went Glacier National Park in Montana.  The roads were open and we had a great time at the park and the nearby towns.  For my birthday Missey and I took a trip to Puerto Rico.  We realized it had been 8 years since we took more than a weekend together without the kids.  I always thought we wouldn’t become one of those couples that never gets away by themselves.  We were one of those couples for 8 years, we’ll try to avoid anything like that again!

The other 49 weeks of the year were pretty busy too.  Kristin graduated from high school and started at Oregon State in Corvallis.  Dad’s day weekend and seeing the Beavers football game was a highlight for me.  Tim is a 6th grader and has science labs, Spanish, and spelling tests.  He plays piano for his school band.  Grace is a sophomore and seems to have a fair number of things to work on for school.  She plays clarinet in the school band and banjo for her fun instrument.  Missey works at Viewpoint and when she isn’t busy with that drives the carpool, cooks, and takes care of the rest of us.  I’m working at TransCore/DAT trying to be Agile and make the customers happy.  I do a fair amount of driving the carpools, volunteering for the Junior High youth ministry and school lunches, helping with homework and trying to keep the repairs ahead of the aging house.

It’s a blessing to be living close to Missey’s family.  We all gathered for Thanksgiving, Birthday celebrations, and we’ll be getting together for Christmas.  My Mom and Al came up for a visit and I got some family time in by adding some visiting to a business trip to Southern California.  I need to get everyone down to California for more of a visit.

Are Christmas letters becoming a thing of the past as Facebook keeps us in touch with more immediacy and pictures?  Perhaps, but I still like the Christmas cards, and I just don’t leave time to write something personal in each one.  So, your getting the Christmas letter even if you already “liked” all the news on Facebook.  Maybe next year I’ll feel differently.

Have a blessed Christmas and a New Year filled with happiness.

Ralph, Missey, Kristin, Grace, and Tim