Saturday, December 14, 2013

Christmas Letter 2013

Dear Friends and Family,

What a wonderful year it was!  Last Christmas we celebrated with all the kids.  Teresa, Jess, and Briar Rose came Christmas Eve day and then left for the Holiday Home to visit Tori, Caleb, and kids for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  What fun seeing Rosie in her pretty Christmas dresses! Since her birthday is in December, she always has the cutest Christmas outfits.  Christmas Day Mandy and Chad came for an awesome dinner.  The next day we went to Holiday Island to enjoy the holiday with the rest of the kids.  Tori and Caleb had put up a huge tree and exterior lighting so it was easy to get into the Spirit of things.  Rosie started to walk so that was a highlight of the holidays last year.  New Years found us in Mulvane celebrating with David, Sherry, and boys.

Frank's birthday in February was spent with me recuperating from a cold in lovely Wichita, KS, where there was a record-breaking blizzard that snowed us in the hotel where I had accompanied Frank on his business trip.  We did manage to have a lovely dinner at the Scotch and Sirloin before the snow.  When we were able to shovel out, we headed for the Holiday Home to attend a battle of the bands show in which Caleb was drumming.  That was a fun time.

In March I enjoyed a wonderful spring break.  While Chad and Frank attended the NCAA basketball tournament, I made my way to Kimball, NE.  I stayed with Jess, Alex, and baby Briar Rose.  I spent time with Teresa too.  We always celebrate Jessie's birthday then.  She turned 18.

We were saddened by the passing of my Great Uncle Bud in March.  He was the last of the sixteen kids in my maternal grandma's family.  A great man and a pillar of his community left us.

We had an awesome Mother's Day at the Holiday Home.  We had breakfast at the Mudd Street Cafe in Eureka Springs where I received flowers from Tori.  I think that was the weekend we decided to buy the home in Holiday Island.  It's a lovely property with a panoramic view of the lovely Ozarks from our wrap around deck.  We closed on it in July.  Tori and Caleb continue to rent they just have new landlords. They continue to make improvements on their lovely home in the Woods as well so things are going well for them.  Tori continues her naturopathy practice in both Fort Smith and the Eureka Springs area.  Caleb does construction and handyman work as well as drums for various events.

My good friend, Mitzy Nattress, aunt to Tori  and Teresa, passed away in May.  We celebrated her life in June with photos and shared memories.  She was Mom's beautician for years in Sargent, NE.   The girls were close to her.  They used to stay with her in the summer.  I also feel the loss so much because Mitz was always so sweet and positive.

The summer began with one of the busiest but most amazing times of my life.  I had a family reunion on Mem. Day weekend and then a nice visit with Teresa, Jess, and Rosie.  It got hot early this summer so we set up a pool for the baby and enjoyed watching her so much.  She is a water baby, loving every minute of it.

After that weekend, I started three weeks of graduate work from Friends' University.  I'm always busy re-certifying.  I especially enjoyed the class on humor, but the classes on organization and motivation were good as well.

After my classes I picked up Rosie and Jess.  Jess took PCAL (Pre-college art lab) where she earned three college credits.  I got the privilege of watching Rosie.  She was an absolute blast!  She was a busy little toddler but so much fun.  Loved every minute of it!  The class culminated with an exhibition.  We loved Jessie's art.  Her local newspaper did a nice article about it.

Baba (the grandkids' name for Frank) took Jess, Briar Rose, and me to the Topeka zoo.  It is a grandkid tradition.  It was Rosie's first time to enjoy all the animals, train ride, & 100 year old merry-go-round that her mommy and cousins had experienced so many times.

Camp Nana was a short week at the Holiday Home with a 4th of July boat ride on Table Rock Lake, visits to the park, ice cream, and a drive in movie.

After the art class, we took Kaya on her seven-year-old trip.  Tori and Sierra went with us.  We stopped in Hannibal, MO, the home of Mark Twain, on the way to Niagara Falls.  The Falls were spectacular.  Loved seeing them again. We spent a few days there before going to Toronto.  At Toronto, we attended a musical, went to the CN tower, and met my longtime facebook friend, Cat Forsley.

Labor Day weekend found us once again in Kimball visiting Jess, Teresa, & the baby.  We watched the first NE football game of the season there.  Speaking of football, Frank and Chad bought Jayhawk season tickets so they have been enjoying the tailgate parties and fun times at the KU football stadium.

In October I picked up Mom, and we enjoyed a five-generation weekend with the Kimball folk.  We had a slumber party and treated ourselves to meals out.  It was a memorable time!

That about wraps up the year so far.  We enjoyed Thanksgiving in Kimball and plan to celebrate Christmas at Lawrence and the Holiday Home.  We will probably celebrate New Years with Dave and Sherry and their boys again.  The family is doing well.  Mandy and Teresa continue to work in health care. Mandy and Dustin moved to a new place.  Tori is expanding her naturopathic career. Chad is in his third year of coaching and teaching. Jess and Sierra are in high school.  Jess will graduate in May.  The little ones----Kaya, Samson, and Briar Rose----keep growing and becoming more special and sweet to us every day.  Frank is still instructing insurance, and I am still subbing.  Life is good.  Hope you and yours enjoy the holidays and have a wonderful new year.

Patty and Frank

Pictures:  (1) Grands: Jess, Sierra holding Briar Rose, Samson, Kaya (2) Chad and Kaya playing mini Uno at Camp Nana this summer (3) Girls at Biggs before Jessie's art exhibition: Teresa, Briar Rose, Sierra, Tori, Kaya (4) Girls at the art exhibition: Teresa, Briar Rose, Jess, Kaya, Sierra (5) Dustin and Mandy at Halloween party (6) Rosie (Thanksgiving) (7)  Frank and I (Easter)

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