Christmas Greeting…

We’ve had a very busy year!

It seemed to start with a very bad snow storm in early February,

transforming everything but causing major power outs throughout the state.

My live oak looked as though it had been hung with crystals all ready for Christmas ten months early!

I imagined as I got older, I would slow down but that’s not been the case at all!

At Footlights, getting back to ‘normal’ after the year that wasn’t, has been almost impossible; our social activities started up again, the shops and restaurants were accessible, school re-opened, the winery was busy; all this on top of the pursuits we took up when we were stranded at home such as grooming horses,

tending flower beds, writing, making bread and odd jobs around the house and our barn apartment.

Larry kept very busy with several projects for Teen Cancer which will take place next year.  He supervised the laying of laminate floors in our spare bedrooms and we shopped for eastern looking area rugs.  Together we prepared the house for an exterior paint job; it’s amazing how much stuff hangs on outside walls and inside the garage!  He soon learned that hiring capable men to do the work was very rewarding and I think the roof will be next!

We are still enjoying our new bible church in downtown McKinney.  It is quite a departure for us coming from the Liturgical denominations and we have become involved in several ministries.  We feel that we are in the right place and the congregation is very young compared to what we have been used to which is uplifting.  Our daughter and son-in-law attend too so that is an added perk every Sunday morning!.

This year we were blessed with two new grand-daughters.   On May 4th, Malia and Sam’s first, a beautiful little girl named Olivia Grace.

While pregnant Malia worked as a Dental Assistant and took classes at the local college she’d attended 13 years ago as a homeschooler taking dual credit classes.  During her maternity leave she decided she didn’t want to continue working full-time.  In August she was offered a part time job at the same college teaching the Dental Assisting classes!  She has just taken her Microbiology final and applied to the Dental Hygiene School which is her ultimate goal.  She wears her Mum, wife, teacher, student hats well.  I enjoy reminding her that 10 years ago she had said, “I’m done with academics!!”  Now, she quips, ”Just call me Prof. Kellogg!”  There’s no stopping her!

Sam works from home and is able to enjoy his generous paternity leave a few days at a time when he ‘Dads’ Olivia while Malia’s at college.  No surprise she’s already saying “Dadada!”  He is enjoying his small flock of chickens, which pay for board with their eggs, looking after his vegetable garden, making sour dough bread and all kinds of pickles and kombucha.  They live close by so we see them at many family gatherings.

Our third grand-daughter arrived on September 29th, in record time!  We met Simon and Lindsey at the hospital to pick up Sophie (aged 2) since she wasn’t allowed to go with them.  Within 45 minutes we had photos of Avery Wren!

The proud parents were back home in less than 36 hours and Larry and I not only had the pleasure of looking after big sister Sophie we were at their house to welcome them back with their new addition.

Simon and Lindsey are super busy.  Lindsey is still the events manager for Bishop Cider in Dallas, Houston and San Antonio.  She works from home mostly.  Simon helps a friend make expensive and fancy chicken coops a couple of days a week; he can also be found on his property building a massive tree-house which will boast a pretty impressive rock-climbing wall!  He also has a vast vegetable garden, loves to cook and raises goats one of which has just given birth to two adorable boys.  Their main business, the birds, has been keeping both of them busy this year, a lot of their regular venues are hustling to make up for lost revenue last year which means we are sometimes called upon to help chase down Sophie and keep her entertained.  We either go to the venue or drive to their house where Sophie can show us the ropes when the animals need to be fed, supervise our cooking skills, ferret out her PJs and choose a good book for bedtime.

Ian is still in LA with plans to move back to Texas next Spring.  He won a podcast competition last year and was awarded a lump sum of money for production and he and his 2 business partners have been busy writing, casting and procuring a studio for the recording near the end of December after which Ian will be editing and negotiating contracts.  All exciting stuff.  He has a girlfriend here in Texas so we have seen him a few times this year as they are muddling their way through a long-distance relationship.  It will be lovely to have him closer to home again although I did enjoy the excuse to go to California once a year.

Paris is in Kentucky and I speak to her regularly.  She works from home so I think life gets a little lonely although she is good at making herself get out after work to visit friends or go for a walk.  At the moment we are taking trips down memory lane on Facetime.  I do miss her not being closer; I’m like a mother hen wanting all her chicks around me!

In closing let us all remember the real reason for Christmas.

‘Joseph went to his own town to be registered with Mary, who was promised in marriage to him, and who was expecting a child.’  (Luke 2:5).

O come let us adore him!


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