Christmas Letter – 2008
Dear Family and Friends,
One Sunday in church Sarah was looking at me with a smirk on her face. I was wearing a turtleneck, so I thought for a moment and then pointed to my chin. Yes, it was my chin. After church I headed for home and looked in the mirror to make sure that there weren’t three chins. No, there are still only two but sometime during the year my aging skin must have stretched. But I can assure you this … there were no whiskers that needed to be plucked!
This year I thought that I would write my letter to the tune of the Miller High Life commercials that you hear on the radio … I left home at 7:35am and it’s 8:25pm and I’m still not home … this has been the scenario for the last three days … and there’s no Miller High Life in the refrigerator … and even if there was … this still wouldn’t be the Miller High life. Am I living the high life? Is this a prank phone call? (hangs up) Well, it’s December 22nd and I have run out of time for that idea. Maybe next year.
Next I considered comparing the cost of the twelve days of Christmas. Every year PNC Wealth Management publishes what it would cost for the twelve days of Christmas. This year the partridge in a pear tree, two turtle doves, etc. would cost a whopping $21,080. I thought that I could compare that to Jeff Foxworthy’s Redneck twelve days of Christmas. You know the twelve pack of Bud, eleven wrestling tickets, ten o’ Copenhagen … six cans of spam, five flannel shirts … but I have run out of time for that too.
So now I’m down to just giving you a brief, well maybe not brief, synopsis of the past year.
Rebecca is 16, a sophomore, and in love. One has to remember that Darell didn’t want her date until she was at least 30. This past summer she took driver’s education and will be taking her driving test in January. She is involved with volleyball, basketball, softball, band, & the sportsmanship committee at Regis High School. Last April she went to New York City with the band. She loved Phantom of the Opera. She is also involved in summer and winter softball. Will is her knight in shining armor who has kept the area flower shops in business. I think that they know him on a first name basis. How come I had to kiss so many more toads before I found my prince charming?
Rachel is 14 and in eighth grade. Rachel is involved with volleyball, basketball and track at Regis Middle School. She is also on EC Air 14-1, a traveling volleyball team. Purple Reign, a Greater Northwest traveling basketball team and plays on a traveling softball team during the summer. She plays the trumpet in band. She is driven from within. She’s an introvert. She is my quietest one. She gets straight A’s. Everything has to be done by the book, everything is black & white, nothing outside of the box. This fall she discovered that she likes biking the trails at Lowes Creek Park. She can do the black diamond trails with ease. Thank goodness her Christmas list still has things like mechanical pencils and chap stick, something we can afford.
Sarah is 10 and in the fifth grade at Immaculate Conception. She just got her braces on. She plays volleyball and basketball thru school. She is on a traveling basketball and EC Air traveling volleyball team outside of school. She also plays softball in the summer. She plays the saxophone. She’s creative like Nana. She’s always working on some art project. She’s very independent, she gets herself off to school and can make her own meals. She’s a con artist. She’s a princess. Her love language is Acts of Service. Mom can you get me this or get me that. I want to say … “Are your legs broke?” But I know that it’s her love language so I oblige. (Darell qualifies this as being lazy). She likes ice cream shakes and would prefer them nightly if you’d make them for her. I see on her Christmas list for me she has lipstick. Am I missing something? I haven’t worn makeup for years. Since she was born! Maybe I should take that as a hint.
Darell is still at Hutchinson Technology Inc. We are thankful that he made the last round of job cuts. This fall he was busy cutting, splitting, and stacking wood. We have a wood boiler that needs to be stoked three times a day. He had a groin hernia repaired on the 19th. Perfect timing … we got 6” of fresh snow. So I was out shoveling and putting wood in the boiler. Gotta love him because now the things that I was keeping him around for I’m doing myself. Wait, isn’t that what we had kids for?
I am still at Biesterveld & Co LLC. I like the fact that my co-workers are also my friends. I love the flexibility of my job. This is the time in my life or the phase where I’m always on the road running the girls to their activities, so flexibility is necessary.
This summer we made a trip back to Ohio. We spent time with Darell’s family. Bob (Darell’s dad) and I toured the cemeteries and Eastern Ohio where Bob grew up so that I could document some more family history. This trip I took lots of pictures (imagine that) trying to capture the feel of small town America. Darell took the girls and their cousin Shelby to Kings Island, an amusement park. Darell always has a way of being the ‘hero’. Darell’s brother Scott took the picture on the Christmas card.
Granny turned 93 in November. Her mind is still sharp. She is doing well and I enjoy my 6:30am morning conversations with her. It is a gift to have all four generations together for Christmas.
Mom and Dad live a block away. They come to the girls’ activities and are involved in their lives. If they aren’t able to get there, mom calls from work wondering who won and how the girls played. During softball season Rebecca had to wear one of the school’s helmets that was too big, so Nana went out and bought a couple different sizes and met Rebecca at school to see which one would fit her. What a Nana. Papa made all of our bathroom vanities in the new house and Rachel’s desk. Dad also did the tiling and helped with the electrical work. It is wonderful to have his handiwork throughout our home. It is even better to have the memories of Dad teaching his granddaughters the gifts of his hands. This fall we were involved with his wine making process.
This summer when the cousins (Scott’s boys) Isaac (16), Jesse (14), Solomon (11) and Elijah (9) were in town visiting from Ely, Papa set up a redneck water slide, made from tarps, in the backyard. We also played kickball. Cousins, games, pizza, rootbeer, warm weather and sunshine, what a perfect day. It was good to find fun the ‘ol fashioned way.
Lisa and John are doing well. Joshua just got engaged to Erin after 6 years. No date has been set. He is teaching art and digital photography at Regis. Rachel has him for a teacher. Jacob is working for Deloitte, an accounting firm. He is traveling working in their audit department. He passed all four of his CPA exams with flying colors. He acts like a big brother to Rebecca.
We are thankful for our family and friends. Please stop by to see us if you are in the area or give us a call. I even have a facebook account. Here’s to embracing the latest technology, texting is next on the agenda.
I try to be more like Mary, but I am a Martha. Yes, even if Jesus stopped by for lunch, I’m sure I’d have to be folding a load of laundry or doing the dishes while chatting with him. But I am trying to slow down, I did pick some wild daisies while on a walk this summer.
Yes, Jesus is the reason for the season! Which reminds me, because of Jesus, I am living the high life and enjoying the little things. I hope you are too. Wishing you the peace that comes with knowing God is our Savior.
Darell, Renee, Rebecca, Rachel, and Sarah