Christmas Letter 2009

Happy holidays! I cannot believe that it’s Christmas and another year has flown by. This has been another exciting, busy year, but we are grateful for everything that has happened. Please take a moment to pray for our troops and their families for their dedication to “the cause”.

Our grandson, Andrew, continues to amaze and amuse us! He is just so stinkin’ fun and adorable. I’ve heard it said a million times, but it’s true, grandkids are just the best. Sometimes I look at him and clearly see Thea when she was a baby. He’s always a happy baby and she was JUST like that. Other times, he’ll look exactly like Jason – it’s just amazing! He turned 1 on November 22nd and he had a BIG dinosaur party. There were about 50 people there and he was a trooper through the entire day. He had homemade dinosaur cakes and dinosaur egg cakes, one of which was just for him! And you know what, he ate it all. I couldn’t believe it! I’m a little behind on posting his birthday pictures, but you can see what he’s been doing during his first year of life at my website: .

Let’s see – on the furbaby front – we lost Kodi, my favorite little Yorkie this year. She fought the brave fight, but in the end she just couldn’t battle the combination of illnesses that attacked her. Luckily, she was healthy all of her life until about the last year, so we are grateful for that. I miss my baby dog every single day. She was my baby for 14 years. My dad’s dog, Boots, finally succumbed to old age this year as well. She was 15 years old, and spent most of her years traveling with dad, so she had a great life. Sheba is still alive and bouncing! She is also 14 and has her good days and bad days. Most of them are still really good, and she spends much of her time resting, but look out when she is awake! It takes a lot of patience and energy to tolerate the puppies, but she does it! Oh, the puppies! I didn’t tell you about THEM yet!

In February we started talking about bringing a couple of puppies into our home. We had already had some discussions about what breed we wanted to get this time and mostly our concerns were about getting puppies that would be a little bigger, healthier, and a little more robust than the Yorkies are. We did a lot of research and finally decided to check out Silky Terriers. They originated from breeding Yorkshire and Australian Terriers, so are “similar” to Yorkies, but bigger and with fewer health issues. When I went to the Silky Terrier Club of America website to find registered breeders, I found there were NONE in Arizona. We could go west to California or we could go east to New Mexico. We chose New Mexico and man are we glad! Not only did we find our puppies there, but a whole bunch of really great, loving, wonderful people that we now call friends. We met up with them for a couple of dog shows this year and it was just a blast! We are very grateful to have them in our lives.

We had our 30th anniversary this year! We both took the entire week off and did a stay-cation (we stayed at home). Tom and I like to think that we were practicing for retirement! We got up early, drank our coffee together, walked the pups, took naps everyday and went to early dinners. It was awesome and we are officially trained and ready for retirement (in our dreams anyway)!!

Believe it or not, I actually switched jobs this year after 9 years at DHR. It was just time. I didn’t feel like I was growing anymore, I wanted more responsibility and work to do and they just couldn’t give it to me. It took about 90 days to find a job, which in this market I feel very grateful for! I now work for Arizona Higher Education Loan Authority in Tempe as their Sr. Accounting Manager. It is a nice, small office with LOTS of fabulous life-type benefits. I work 8-5 M-TH and 8-4 on Fridays. We get 13 paid holidays, 4 weeks of vacation and great benefits. AND, instead of 40 minutes from home it’s only 20! I feel like the job is getting better and better everyday and I love it!

I also became a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) finally! I wish that Dad had been here to share my joy, but I know in my heart that he knows and is (maybe, finally) proud of me. I am so happy to have accomplished this goal and there is a big ‘ole long list of people that I’ve thanked for giving me the courage to get it done (you know who you are and thank you again)!  

Tom is still at Coulter Cadillac. This will be his 15th year there. It’s been another rough year for the auto industry, but we’ve noticed that things are picking up a little and we are so GRATEFUL. He’s taking classes to become certified in water treatment and has already passed 2 out of 4 Class I exams. Either of the exams he’s passed makes him eligible to work in public water works, we just need the economy to come back to life so jobs open up!

We hope 2010 is a very special year for all of you! Stay healthy, stay happy, and may God bless each and every one of you!