19 Feb

Christmas Letter – 2004

Dear Family and Friends,

I think that the years just keep getting crazier and busier all the time. I should have looked at our odometers at the beginning of the year, as this year has been a year of carting the kids to all of their activities.  Volleyball, basketball, softball, band practice, girl scouts, and dance are about all that we can fit in.

2004 was another year of changes for us.  As we both learned from our earlier Wal*Mart years, the one thing that is constant is ‘change’.  In October we both switched jobs.  I left my government job at the Housing Authority and went back to my previous job at Biesterveld & Co, LLC (an accounting firm).  Who said that benefits are everything?  Should be interesting during tax season with two girls playing on three basketball teams.

Darell was working at Con Agra/Swiss Miss in Menomonie, twenty-five miles from here and is now working at Hutchinson Technology in Eau Claire.  He is still working as an automated maintenance specialist and still working overnights.

Darell got our Christmas tree and outdoor lights put up early this year in anticipation that our first two weekends in December would be busy with Rebecca having tournaments both weekends. Don’t you just hate it when a string of lights on the very top peak of the roof quits working and now it’s 15 degrees out?

Rebecca is twelve and in the sixth grade.  This fall she played volleyball for CASE (Catholic Area Schools of Eau Claire).  Now she is playing on a YMCA traveling basketball team and has had practice twice a week since October.  In January she will play basketball for CASE.  Last spring she played softball for the first time.  Rebecca was good at stealing bases and bunting.  She is in her eighth year of dance and takes jazz, ballet and tap.  She also plays the clarinet in band and is in girl scouts.  Rebecca is our social butterfly.  The telephone usage, three way calling, emailing and the boys are just beginning. Dad gets a little uptight just anticipating what’s to come.  He said that she could start dating when she’s thirty.

Rachel is ten and in the fourth grade.  Rachel played volleyball thru the YMCA this fall and is now playing basketball at the Y.  Rachel also played softball for her first time last spring, she got to try many positions including catching and pitching.  Rachel is in her sixth year of dance.  She is also in girl scouts.  Rachel is a typical middle child (of course I can relate since I was also a middle child) who hasn’t had a birthday party yet and has the drive and determination that could put her sisters to shame.

Sarah is six and in the first grade.  Sarah is in dance and in girl scouts.  I am co-leader of her Brownie troop. She can’t wait for Christmas to get here. Sarah is still into ‘quantity’ the more gifts the merrier. She also is a ‘peeker’ and can’t keep a secret.  She wonders why she doesn’t have any presents under the tree.  “Could I please just wrap one of hers to put under the tree?”  I don’t think so!  Last week she learned an important lesson.  Some of her classmates informed her that she should put a shoe or wicker basket outside for Saint Nicholas to fill.  So before she went to bed she put a wicker basket out on the front porch but got up way too early.  When she discovered the empty basket she had a sullen face exclaiming, “Life isn’t fair!” Sarah is the comedian in the family.  She has no patience (a Liming trait, naturally) and knows what buttons to push.  Fortunately she still gives out kisses and loves to snuggle.

Darell added a new motorcycle to his toy collection this year. He sold his other motorcycle fourteen years ago to buy me my diamond and now he finally has a new cycle to call his own.  Why didn’t I fall for a guy who likes to play chess or tiddly winks?  I guess it took me 28 years to find him the way it was.  Thankfully he usually takes one of the girls with him when he goes on a four-wheeler or a motorcycle ride.  It’s great bonding time.  Next I’m going to suggest a sidecar so he can take two with him, but I know that he’d rather have new pipes for the cycle instead.

I apologize that this letter has gotten so long.  If it gets any longer it will qualify for bathroom reading so I better stop now.  Call us sometime (715) 832-4085 or send us an email at limings5@msn.com.  We apologize if we don’t talk or get together as much as we should, but please stop by to see us and spend some time if you are in the area.  I can’t guarantee that the house won’t need dusting or that the laundry will be caught up, but we’d love to see you.

Have a blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year.

Renee and Darell

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