Friday, December 29, 2006

Christmas Letter 2006

Instead of sending our usual annual Christmas letter, I thought it would be great to make all of you come to our blog. Unfortunately, it is December 29th and I am just now trying to create this blog and I don't know how and Jana who is trying to help me long distance is unavailable for the next little while. Also, this does not have spell check!

This has been another eventful year. In June Brad and I fulfilled one of my dreams of going to Prince Edward Island. We flew to New Hampshire which was the closest Southwest Airlines could get us. Then we drove up the coast of Maine and took a ferry to Nova Scotia and then on to Prince Edward. If you ever want to take that trip you may borrow my very detailed journal of experiences and expenses. We can't wait to go again someday.

Then in October we went to China of all places. We visited Beijing and Leshan which is Gilbert's sister city. We climbed the Great Wall, visited the Forbidden City, rubbed the bellies of several Buddhas for good luck and loved the very warm and friendly people. Only their bathrooms and food would keep us from jumping on another 13 hour flight to go again. Actually, the flight, too, might keep us from ever going again.

We have been very involved with family this year which is what life is all about anyway. We have spent lots of wonderful time with Aaron's 4 year old Tyler and nearly 8 year old Adam. Their lives are still reeling from the loss of their mom--our dear daughter in law Trudy. She has been in heaven for a year and a half now. Sometimes it seems like just a blink of an eye and sometimes it seems like an eternity. But, as is usually the case, life has become bright again. Aaron has met a wonderful girl--Elizabeth Rabbe--and they became engaged in New York's Central Park this month!! She is a researcher for Harvard but will trade that for motherhood when they marry in March. Thankfully, they will still live near us here in Gilbert.

We have two new grandsons--Allison and Taylor's first son named Barrett Taylor Tenney and Jana and Nate's fourth son named Mason Kyle Jensen. That gives us 8 grandsons and 1 granddaughter!! Sadly only two live by us. Allison's family lives in Show Low, Arizona, and Jana's family is in Pleasant Grove, Utah.

Kelli and Cory (Wiltbank) live in San Diego with our Alex and Claire. Those two little ones each had tongue reduction surgery in St. Louis in April. Ouch!!

Our 22 year old Kyle spent August through November surfing every day at Newport Beach, California. He also had a great education while there. He is now home in his very comfortable room and works for Trojan Concrete.

Brad and I have spent lots of time at our cabin site near Vernon, Arizona, which is between Show Low and Springerville. The site inself has varied through the months but we now have a very large building pad carved out of Negro Knoll and a beautiful set of cabin plans. We know exactly what we want and where we want it, but making it all become an actual cabin that we can live in and invite friends to is going to be a very long, drawn-out, and expensive process. We are determined to be up for the challenge, however. We have wanted a place in the mountains for a very, very long time. Hopefully, you will be getting an invitation to visit us there while we still have the health to walk up the steep drive way.

Brad is still working as Gilbert's School Superintendent and I am still trying to fit in a few personal interests such as Spanish, photography, & writing. I have waited all my life for a nice plateau of time to accomplish all my goals. It is finally beginning to dawn on my very slow psyche that that is not going to happen--ever.

We are grateful for a New Year and its new beginning. We think it is going to be outstanding! Hope yours is, too.

With love,
Brad and Elizabeth Barrett