Friday, December 10, 2010

Merry Christmas 2010 from the Leo family!

Greetings to all this blessed Christmas season!

We hope your year has been especially healthy and happy. As usual, we’ve had some ups and downs in the Leo family, but thankfully they were mostly ups. The only real down was my unexpected retirement about 2 months ago. I had planned to work another year, until Tony qualifies for early Social Security. But my major account abruptly went away when the doctors decided to outsource their transcription to the Philippines. No one in my network of transcriptionists had any extra work to send my way; everyone is clinging to what they have because times are tough everywhere, and it didn’t seem rational to seek other employment for 1 year. Tony encouraged me to consider this early retirement, which is actually a very good thing because.....

Next month we’re having 2 new grandbabies! Erika is due Jan. 12 with her 2nd, a little girl, and Jenni is due Jan. 26 with her 3rd, a surprise. We, of course, are very excited, and my retirement has proved to be an enormous blessing, providing availability to help the kids without having to juggle schedules, vacation days, etc. Now the trick is to figure out how to make the most of my time without the discipline of a job. The project/bucket list is growing!!

The kids are all doing great! Everyone is healthy and growing, especially the girls’ tummies. Zoey will turn 4 Dec. 28 and is beyond precocious. She keeps us on our toes always, and she’s already quite a nurturer. Leo turned 2 in August and is so sweet. He’s very different from the girls, and we’re all enjoying the difference. He loves all things boy, and he’s very loving and tender. He’ll be a great big brother. Ruby, 21 months on the 21st, is class clown. She’s afraid of nothing and must be watched constantly for her safety. She’s very funny and full of surprises. A month ago she suddenly decided she wanted to start using the potty and goes several times a day. She’s absolutely adorable!

I turned 60 in April and my dear sisters flew me to Jacksonville for a week of girl fun. Little did I suspect that part of the fun was a 5-day cruise to the Bahamas! We had an absolute blast and made the most of every moment. The night before we left on Carnival’s Fascination, they honored me with a family dinner at a lovely restaurant at the beach. As soon as we walked in, there was my precious best friend since 3rd grade, Jan Brown, and her husband Bob, who had driven down from North Carolina just for that occasion. Jan wasn’t able to go on the cruise as she had a grandchild due to be born very soon, but we did enjoy the time we had together, and I’m so appreciative of everyone’s thoughtfulness and planning. It was the BEST birthday!

When I returned to Texas, my sweet daughters continued the celebration with a wonderful birthday brunch. They truly are party planners extraordinaire! All my favorite local friends and neighbors joined our family for delicious food and fellowship. It was such a special day, and again, I am humbled by all the attention to detail and everyone’s willingness to celebrate with us. 60 has definitely been my most memorable year, and I am blessed with good health, a loving family, and treasured friends.

Recently--the first week of December--Tony and I met Lisa and Bob in New York City for a belated 60th birthday celebration for Tony. We had a wonderful, jam-packed 4 days of shows, Christmas festivities, great food, a little shopping, much walking, and Sunday worship at the Brooklyn Tabernacle. It took a few days after returning home to recover from the frenetic pace; I guess we’re not as young as we think we are! The 4 of us really enjoy traveling together and hope to take at least 1 trip a year, especially after Lisa and Bob decide to retire.

If you’re on Facebook and we aren’t FB friends yet, be sure to “friend” us. Tony is simply Tony Leo, and I’m listed as Mona Warski Leo. I must admit I spent too much time on FB, but it’s such a great way to keep in touch with friends and family. I also have a Skype account, which was absolutely essential this past summer when Jenni and family were at Kanakuk for the summer. Video chatting is the next best thing to actually being there. If you Skype, call me some time!

Our prayer for you this joyous season is a wonderful Christmas holiday and the best of everything in the New Year. May God bless each and every one of you abundantly, and please keep in touch. God bless our country as it finally begins to recover from the ravages of the past 2 years, our troops as they sacrifice to keep us free, and those who are in need of the precious grace of our loving, forgiving Savior. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and yours!! God bless you!!!  Stay tuned for baby updates!

With much love,
Mona and family