Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
‘Tis the season for baking, wassailing, celebrating the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, and for catching up on the past year’s activities. We hope everyone has had a wonderful year of joys, good health, accomplishments, and plenty. We’ve had a relatively calm, quiet year. Sometimes uneventful is a very good thing!
Tony and I are still enjoying condo life. It will be 2 years April 1st since we moved to Water’s Edge, and we have great neighbors and friends here. Water’s Edge is a microcosm of the kind of living we’d yearned for, and we are very happy with the decision to downsize and move here. Retirement life definitely agrees with us, and we have lots of folks here in the same place in life with whom to fellowship and enjoy. Being right on the lake in God’s creation is an added bonus and, as you can see, it’s also a great backdrop for family Christmas photos!
Our kiddos are the mainstay of our lives, and we are so thankful they live so close to us. Zoey is almost 11 and is the loveliest young lady. She is a good student and a joy to all her teachers. She and 4 school friends have a Lego robotics team, the RoboPatriots, and they meet weekly at Jenni’s and Dave’s home as Dave teaches them to build and program their robots to perform tasks in preparation for competition. They recently had a meet and will have another in January. While the team practices, 8 ½-year-old Ruby is upstairs caring for Maggie (almost 7) and Sam (5). She entertains them and gets them ready for bed so all Jenni and Dave have to do is tuck them in. The Cribbs home is a well-oiled machine in which everyone works together in harmony and balance. There is lots of love within those walls, and it extends outward to their neighborhood, church, extended family, and beyond.
We are SO BLESSED that our 4 kids and 6 grandkids all love each other and enjoy spending time together. This is one of the greatest gifts God has given us. It is pure pleasure when all 12 of us are together.
This year Erika is working 3 days a week at a Christian preschool in Denton, and thankfully her school schedule lines up with Leo’s and Etta’s school drop-off and pick-up schedule. Josh, Tony, and I are always available to jump in if necessary. Leo (9) and Etta (almost 7) are doing great in school and with their piano lessons and basketball. In fact, all the grandkids (except Sam, who is looking forward to playing once he’s in school) are playing Upward basketball right now and are learning skills and sportsmanship in a Christ-centered environment. It’s a very cool program, and Papa and I love to go to their games to cheer them on. Leo also plays flag football, which he loves. Etta is our sparkly, cuddly girl who is always giving hugs and loving on us. Josh continues to enjoy his position as head graphic designer at Irving Bible Church as well as the freelance design work he does from home. His design skills continue to amaze his unartistic mother-in-law.
The Wiese 4, Papa, and I recently took a fun road trip to Florida where we spent Thanksgiving plus a few days at Lisa’s and Bob’s. They are getting ready to leave their beautiful big home of 35 years and are building a gorgeous new home on the St. Johns River, so this was the last time we’d have the opportunity to visit them before the move. After a great few days with the Deasons, we 6 headed to Disney World for 5 days of theme park craziness. Fortunately, we’d had an amazing Disney travel specialist (she goes to church with Erika and Josh) who guided us through the wonderful world of Disney and made our visit there extra special. Next week, Jenni, Dave, and their 4 kids will do an almost identical repeat of our Florida trip, spending a few days in Jacksonville with the Deasons, then driving down to Orlando to spend Christmas and a few days following with Dave’s family. When they return, we will have our family Christmas here on December 30.
We also spent a nice weekend in St. Louis in March, visiting Tony’s family. His mom is 93 and is as sharp as ever. We had a great couple of days with them, and we always enjoy the 12-hour drive each way. I’m serious!! Half the fun is getting there, and the drive through Oklahoma and Missouri showcases some beautiful scenery.
This has been a mostly encouraging year as our courageous President and his administration work hard to make America great again and to drain the D.C. swamp. Despite the constant barrage of negativity from most media and derailments by the anti-Trump establishment in Congress, some very promising things are happening and will continue to happen during his term of office. We couldn’t be more pleased with what he and his team are trying to accomplish.
We want to wish all of you the loveliest of Christmases, and the most hopeful New Year. May the Lord bless you with every good gift and ever keep you in His loving care.