Last Christmas, I couldn't seem to write a letter even after a full year of adjusting to Dale’s job loss and heart condition. We did drive back to Kansas/Missouri and visited all our family, which was a blessing. But on the return trip, our car was broken into overnight, and we lost thousands of dollars of possessions that we were taking back to Delaware. God wasn’t trying to ruin us completely... We were glad our family was unharmed, and the insurance money helped our budgeting. AirBnB also helped with a dozen different people renting our "basement apartment” in St. Joseph (whilst Angie was the “pool boy”). Finally, God surprised us in June by sending a family who wanted to rent our house. We moved (meaning the twins did all the work) to a rental house in north Wilmington with a dishwasher (!) and separate bedrooms (!) for the first time in Ben and David’s lives. Please excuse the USPS who doesn’t forward so well!
Dale still has physical limitations which make him unable to accept the flying offer$ that come every month, but he was happy to find a new medication in September that decreased the negative side effects he has been battling. He helped me say goodbye to the 1996 Previa after 231,000 miles (LOL it lasted almost the whole 25 years of our marriage). He also handled multiple car repairs/trades/sales for Reid and twins and Father Benjamin. He has become killer at “Words with Friends” in between teaching simulator sessions at Flight Safety.
I am still hosting international students as my part-time job. Both Johnson and Terry came back from last school year (sophomore and junior at Tatnall). While they were gone over the summer, we rotated through five other Chinese boys attending junior high camps or college (I've learned a great deal about the Communist Party in China). Basically, I cook and clean and chauffeur -- Love that dishwasher! We also welcomed five pilgrims for the Papal Visit to Philly (“Like happiness, holiness is always tied to little gestures.” -Pope Francis) and renewed our admiration for Catholic missionaries (like Jimmy Mitchell and Father Anthony). I increased my tutoring contracts now that I am not working for the Chinese placement office. During my busiest times, I have 70+ hours (7 days a week) and my slowest weeks have 25 hours (and only 5 days). I still like ACT better than SAT (given the upcoming changes).
Reid served as Vice President at his fraternity, was Homecoming Chair (again), and attended all the good (and bad) sporting events at K-State. He is an executive officer for Sigma Alpha Pi and has a work-study job with the Professional Advantage Program at the College of Business. High hopes for another summer internship (thanks, Uncle Carey). We took him to Wall Street, Ground Zero, Times Square & Rockefeller Plaza this week.
Ben and David continue online/homeschooling plus they took Sociology at community college. Next semester is World History (less liberal, I’m sure). They are having an amazing hockey season (beating the #10 and #12 teams in the country). They recently accepted a tender from the Janesville (Wisc) Jets, which is one of the best teams in the NAHL. This contract was a huge honor since each team has a limited number of offers they are allowed to extend. We are all holding our breath for the USHL draft in early May (that is the premier junior's league with the most college scholarships).
Last, but certainly not least, is our joyful news of Megan Augusta and her wedding with Spencer Thomas Rusch in November. I have photos on Facebook and my WarmlyCandise blogspot, which pale in comparison to “the" perfectly grand affair. Sorry we couldn’t invite all our friends, but our hearts are still overwhelmed by the prayers, good wishes, lovely setting, extraordinary food, fun music, and all manner of blessings brought to us by this small but important extension of our family. Their charming house and prosperous jobs with Rubin/Brown and Mr. and Mrs. Wedding Events are sure to make their way into future Christmas letters.
We all do well to keep a sense of humor in this world, and in this Year of Mercy, I pray you best wishes for a
Merry Christmas! and a Happy New Year!
Chesterton said: “I have little doubt that when St. George had killed the dragon he was heartily afraid of the princess.” and “What life and death may be to a turkey is not my business; but the soul of Scrooge and the body of Cratchit are my business.”