Friday, December 21, 2007

Our Top Ten (but remember we can't count)

The wise dogs haven't directly witnessed many of the family events this year, but they've heard the stories and feel confident that they can share adequately about what their humans have been doing. For their part, they've enjoyed regular meals, love and pets from their people, and many a good frolic in the back yard.

It was fun watching Jon try out competitive swim, even though he had no prior formal instruction. He loves, loves, loves the water, and had the opportunity to be on a very small team last school year. He's on a larger team this year, and is one dedicated guy. He's taken 12 seconds off his 100-meter time already this season! The coolest meet of last season was the finale at the county aquatic center. Big, beautiful facility -- and Grandma got to come watch, too.

Andy graduated from technical school and is now a certified automotive technician. Yeah! He and his good friend found the parking-lot graduation ceremony to be every bit as meaningful as they had anticipated... but it was "a-okay" to be done!

There were actually a couple of tuxedo events this year. Jon got to wear his first one to a formal dance. Andy donned one as he performed the duties of best man at his friend's wedding. Not only did he stand up for his bud (without fainting), but he also acted as spokesman during the reception. Great job!

Peter has enjoyed playing tennis for three seasons. As a sophomore, he had never picked up a racket but some good friends encouraged him to join them. This fall, he was able to participate in a sub-district tournament. The weather was horribly rainy and windy that day, so the tourney was abruptly moved to an abandoned warehouse. Okay, not a warehouse, but a failed sports facility that had courts to rent. (That's him at the near right.)

Another Pete highlight was a missions trip to Mexico. He was privileged to help build two new houses for local families during a one-week stay near Tijuana. One of the most memorable parts of the trip involved a falling hammer, a visit to a local medical clinic, and five stitches in his scalp. Our verbally adroit youth pastor told me in a follow-up conversation that Pete's bandaged cranium reminded him of the Asian pear in the photo above.

While Pete was out of the country, the rest of us worked on painting our house. This would not have been possible without the fantastic work of generous church friends. Because of their combined expertise, the main painting was completed in less than three hours! It was quite amazing, and the results are much appreciated.

A much-anticipated family reunion took place also while Peter was on his trip. It was wonderful to see almost all of my cousins from both sides of my family, all in one weekend. There were joyful hugs with beloved family members whom I had not seen in several years, and youngest and eldest got to meet some more of their large extended family.

Another wedding this summer -- our nephew's -- was a beautiful outdoor event. It was a wonderful occasion, although marred by Grandma's injury in a fall shortly before the ceremony. It's hard not to think of all the distress that happened as a result, but the wedding itself was very special.

In all the years of doing a high school varsity football score book, there have been many highlights. This year, our team was selected to play the first game of the season at Qwest Field, home of the Seahawks. It was fun for the folks to see the inside of the stadium, but even more fascinating to get to be on the field itself and to go behind the scenes and see some of the non-public areas. They had a great time, the boys won their game, and another fun season ensued. Mom (Katharine) looks forward to doing this every year, and is so thankful that there have been coaches who are happy to allow her on their sidelines for an up-close view of the action.

Another mini family reunion occurred when Mom attended a state convention this fall. Besides seeing many wonderful black Labs and one chocolate Lab in Spokane, two cousins and an aunt who hadn't been able to go to the summertime reunion received her into their home for a wonderful supper and an evening of delightful conversation. Our aunt adjured us to never lose touch, and we promised to honor her wishes. With pleasure, Aunt Rae!

Mark has had many high points in the jail chaplaincy this year, but we'll let him detail those on his blog. For the most part, they let him come and go from the jail, so he always comes home to us and it's all good.

There were many other high points, some of which have been noted in other posts, but these are the ones that sprang to mind today. Next year will bring another graduation, the completion of another swim season, more time spent with family and friends, thousands of ball-throwing and -watching sessions in the back yard, and time spent in fellowship (for the humans, anyway) with God and His people.


Sheryl said...

One of my favorite Christmas letter/blogs this year! Thanks for sharing.

The Dog's Uncle Jim said...

It was good to hear from you. We are enjoying (?) blustery, cold weather today. The snow already on the ground and roof is finding other places to relocate. Scott is here from Nashville (Alas, without Allison who stayed back with her family and to work), and will return Christmas day. He is the designated person that if the lower floor of the building burns down, has to tell everyone else that the lower floor of the building burned down.

It's a busy time (4 Christmas Eve services), but all is well.

--The dog's Nebraska uncle

cowboy steve said...

Thanks for taking the time to share your family with us this Christmas. That was a great top 10, (but I didn't count). I'm sure the dogs are very proud to be a part of your family!!
Merry Christmas!!