Thursday, December 10, 2009

Leo Family Christmas Newsletter 2009

Dear family and friends, Once again it’s time to share news from this past year. We have been so abundantly blessed through a wide variety of experiences and events. We had some family milestones in 2009. Our baby, Erika, turned 30 in February, Tony and I celebrated #35 in April, and he turned 60 in November. But first and foremost, our precious granddaughter, Ruby Ellen Cribbs, was born March 21. She was 2 weeks early but was completely healthy, weighing in at 8 lbs 8 oz. She is a little doll and has joyfully enriched these past 8 months with her presence. Zoey (who turns 3 on Dec. 28) is a wonderful big sister, and she and Ruby clearly adore each other. As Ruby matures, she looks less and less like Zoey and is her own little person. She has Zoey’s coloring but her features are Dave’s, whereas Zoey more resembles Jenni. Dave is nearly finished with grad school. He’s 9 credit hours from his masters in engineering. We’re all very proud of him, teaching AP physics all day plus coordinating his school’s award-winning robotics program, then going to the University of North Texas 2 nights a week and finding enough time to study and work on projects. He’s also an amazing dad. Jenni continues to love being a mom. She’s very content, creative, and organized, making motherhood look easy. Zoey is extremely bright and funny, curious and charming, and very logical for her age. Ruby keeps us all smiling as she grows and develops. Her latest trick is pulling herself up on anything available, then grinning with pride at her achievements. Erika, Josh, and Leo are also doing great. Leo is nearly 16 months old and is all boy. He really keeps us entertained with his noises and adorable personality. He melts our hearts with his sweet smile, endless chatter, and big blue eyes. Tony and I had the privilege of keeping Leo for 5 days recently while Erika and Josh took a trip to Washington, D.C. for some R&R, and Leo did great. We enjoyed having him so much. Josh continues to amaze with his graphic design ability and genius, and he is much appreciated at Irving Bible Church where he is on staff. Both he and Erika are fantastic parents. They weathered a pretty tough storm around this time last year. They had gone to Round Rock (near Austin) to spend Christmas with Josh’s family, and when they returned home, they found water running down their driveway. A piece had broken off one of their toilets, and the entire house was flooded. They spent several months dealing with insurance adjustors and contractors, and although the process was grueling, their house turned out better than ever. As a result, we all learned to turn off the water to our houses when we go out of town! Tony, Millie, and I also headed south for Christmas last year, to Corpus Christi. It was a different way to spend Christmas, but with all the kids out of town we needed a diversion. Christmas Day we intended to head north to see the lighthouse on Matagorda Island, but there was so much fog that we couldn’t see our hands in front of our faces, so we headed south instead to Padre Island for a glimpse at the Gulf of Mexico. Millie wasn’t impressed with the ocean at all, but she rather liked the seagulls. We didn’t travel a lot this year, but we did have a wonderful week in Jacksonville in July. It was so great to be able to spend so much time with family, and my dear friend Jan and her husband Bob drove down from Hampstead, NC to spend a few days with us. We spent time at the beach, on the Deasons’ boat, and at the assisted living facility where Aunt Olga Presowitz now resides. Lisa moved her to Florida from New York State after injuries sustained in a fall made it clear she could no longer live alone. She’s doing great at 87, and she enjoys being close to family again. In August, my sisters Lisa and Alix, niece Erin and I met at Aunt Olga’s house in Endicott, NY to liquidate the contents of her house and get it ready for its new owner. It was a bittersweet time of memories and fun being together, but it was hard saying goodbye to the haven we had known and loved for over 45 years. Amazingly enough, because of all the preliminary work Lisa had done when she went up to collect Auntie several months earlier, we were able to successfully empty and clean the house top to bottom in a week. We were also able to visit with some folks we hadn’t seen in years, and that was the icing on the cake. By the time you read this, Tony and Dave will have completed the White Rock 1/2 Marathon (13.1 miles) in Dallas, coming up on December 13. Another retirement advantage has been the gift of time to increase his running and train for some of the races he’s been yearning to run over the past years. Jenni and the girls and I will be there to cheer on our men as they cross the finish line. I’ll try to post race photos on my blog and on Facebook. We hope all of you have a blessed Christmas season, and that your new year is full of every good thing. “For unto us a Child is born; unto us a Son is given.” Wishing you love, hope, and joy, Mona and family