Another busy year in long succession of busy years is coming to a close. We are somewhat settled into our new (to us) home in South West Oregon. It has been a big job, but the Christmas tree is up and the chaos of the move is slowly abating.
This year we
celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary with a sweet gang of children,
children-in-law, a throng of active grandchildren, and our wonderful
neighbors-in-law (which is not an adequate description for Caren's
parents who are dear friends and co-grand parent's of Andrew and Caren's
six little ones but it's the best we have been able to do so far). It
was a great day in a busy week. We celebrated on the lawn of our church
building which was private and lush and allowed excess grandchild
energy to be safely expended. Mountains of food were prepared and
consumed, family musical numbers were performed (some with devastating
sentimental effect) and games were played, including a
identify-the-baby-picture game and The Newly Wed Game customized for us.
Not everyone could come, but they pitched in as best they could and it
was a happy time.
We are road weary after all of the
trips that we have made between Riddle, Delta, and Denver this year.
Our last trip saw the final load of junk removed from our house in
Delta. Anita cleaned every nook and cranny, and washed every room and
memory with a small bucket of tears. We were in Delta for almost 29
years. It was a good place to raise our family and we have many sweet
memories of our friends and the town.
Our children and
their families are well. Mike & Jenny and Andrew &
Caren now live within about 15 miles of each other near Vancouver
Washington. Becky & Travis and Julie and Chandler live within
about 15 miles of each other in the suburbs of Salt Lake City. Daniel
and Ashley are living in Provo. Katie and Conor live in Aurora
Colorado, near Denver.
We could fill up many pages
with the achievements, adventures, and doings of these families, and
that wouldn't even touch the accomplishments of our amazing 21
grandchildren. But that isn't really the purpose of this note. Family
news is wonderful news, and it warms our hearts and brings a smile to
The news that is important is kind of old
news. The tidings of great joy that we have heard for so many
Christmas' is the news that is really important to our lives. In all the chaos, and turmoil in the world, and despite the hurts and hollow
places in our lives, the news that we all have a Heavenly Father who knows of our
struggles and disappointments, who knows even when a sparrow falls,
and who loves us is indeed great news. Not only do we have a Heavenly
Father that loves us, but he loves us so much that he sent his son to
earth to provide an atonement, to pay the price to allow us to return
We are grateful for this gift and the blessings
that we have received through the Gospel. We hope that you find peace
and joy in the celebration of the coming of the Savior. Merry Christmas to you all, and may you have a wonderful, blessed New Year.