Sunday, January 3, 2010

Merry Christmas! Happy New 2010!

Dad, Mom, Katie and Abigail, Kristy, Brian, Katelyn and Isaac in their new homemade jammies.

Kimberly and Rob, Jeffrey, Bryce and Nathan . . . and baby boy

Ken, Shiann, Spencer and Shawn Boardin, Kyle and Karolyn, and doggy Bo. Kyle is sporting a beard for an opera he will be performing in at the end of January.

The year 2009 has come and is now almost gone. It is amazing how quickly the years go by. This one has been particularly challenging for our family. We have learned so many lessons and have received so many blessings throughout our many struggles. In October 2008, Max became unemployed due to government funding withdrawal. After a full year with no income for either of us, he has had a couple of small projects, but is still applying for positions. Lonna has also applied for various jobs with no success. We had to sell our home which made it possible to pay tuition for Max and Karolyn and Kyle and to catch up on our taxes. We are now renting once again—-and loving it!

We would like to share the joys that being real-life “starving students” again has brought to us:

*You don’t need to own a home to be happy.
*Nothing else is important except God and family.
*Grandchildren bring incredible happiness. (We have two girls and seven boys, plus
one boy to be born at any moment.)
*Education is worth the effort.
*We can live on much less than we realize.
*Children, friends and family love us and look after us continually.
*Every day is precious.
*If you put Heavenly Father first, He will bless you.

Our family continues to be busy. Max will likely graduate with his PhD. in May or August. He has been released as bishop and is working on his dissertation. Lonna spent four months staging our home to sell and taking many trips to Idaho, California, Iowa and Tooele, Utah to help out children. She continues to play in the Bell Choir and to over-practice the organ. Kim and Rob are expecting their fourth beautiful boy the first part of January in California. Ken and Shiann live in Tooele with their two boys and Ken is remodeling basements. Katie and Ben will both graduate from the University of Iowa in May with a master’s and a doctorate and have accepted an Assistant Professorship in Kentucky next fall — Abigail is one year old. Kristy and Brian coach high school and elementary school dance teams and teach private dance. Little Katelyn and Isaac are a great help(?) Karolyn returned from her Siberian Battalion Mission in Russia and Kyle returned from his mission in Chile and both are attending Utah State University. Karolyn is majoring in Family Consumer Human Development and Kyle is a Choral Education Music major and is now singing opera. Our German Shorthair dog, Brittany, and our Siamese mix cat, Gabby,are understandably spoiled and loved.

We've had all but Kimberly's California family and Katie's hubby Ben in Iowa here at our home for a few days for Christmas. It has been fabulous!

Soon I will head to CA to help with the newborn and to corral the three older brothers.

May the Lord bless you all with great understanding of the meaning of Christmas. As we focus on serving others in need, then the stress of the season becomes secondary to the true spirit of the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Love to you All!