2016 Christmas Letter

     We did our usual “head for the west” for the summer. We covered 22 states and traveled 13,427 miles. The average fuel cost this year was only $2.27 (happy happy). We spent time in several places we had not been in previous years. Usually we zip through both Missouri and Iowa on our way west. This year we stayed in state parks in each state and explored each of the areas. Not only were they beautiful, but some neat hiking as well.  We did spend 3 ½ months on the road in our travel trailer, mostly in the northwest with Jim hiking in the mountains. “What a country”!!!!

    Our children continue to make us wonder how we could have raised such wonderful people.

    Our son, Larry & wife, Cyndi , live in RI. Larry now works for a bank and on weekends they have estate sales. They are booked up way ahead. We were there visiting and “hung out”during  one sale. They make money, but the adventure of going through someone’s life and seeing all the great “finds” makes it exciting. Their son, Carrington, is a Navy man now. He is currently serving on the destroyer, Lassen, and is stationed in Jacksonville, FL. We were able to meet the ship when it arrived there and were treated to our own private tour. We are so proud of the man he has become. He drove down to Orlando for Thanksgiving.

     Our daughter, Laura, and husband, Brad, live in SC. Brad is an engineer at GE. Laura teaches 2nd grade. Their oldest daughter, Brette, is in her 3rd year at Clemson majoring in education when not working at Chik-fil-A. Their son, Robert, is a Sr. in high school and is a very important part of the band drum line. Their youngest, Tara, is a sophomore, plays violin and competes in cross country races for her high school which happens to be number one in the country in cross country circles…..

     Our daughter, Carla, and husband, Jeff, live here in Orlando. Jeff is the “Chief Information Officer” for his company. Carla is a “professional volunteer” for their church now that her boys are no longer at home. Son, Adam, is in his second year at Valencia Community College and is a waiter at Cheddars Restaurant. Their other son, Jacob, is a freshman at North Florida University in Jacksonville. He worked all through high school at Chik-fil-A and may be able to spend his Christmas break there as well.

     This year Ruthie found out more medical “stuff” than we wanted to know. Jim remained incident-free, while Ruthie had a kidney stone removed early in the year….and waited until we were on our summer trip in MN to have a bad tooth removed.

    We spend our time fixing things that break and pulling weeds. Ruthie walks 2 miles daily and helps run the exercise class at our park besides volunteering at church. Jim still does the video of our church services, repairs broken things, hikes every Wednesday with a group that is a part of the Florida Trail Association and enjoys all aspects of Photography.

    A Few Highlight Photos from 2016

    There you have it. God has blessed us far beyond our dreams. Long before we were born, He sent His Son to rescue us and give us peace. Now He guides us through each day and forever…..

         Jim & Ruthie