All in Our Family

Visiting New Mexico and Climbing Mountains

I drove nine hundred and fifty miles across Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, and New Mexico earlier this month. Rich and I won big at the only lottery we have ever played - the timing of a trip to Philmont High Adventure Scout Ranch. Scout troops put their request for a trek in a literal lottery eighteen months in advance. Josiah and Rich headed west by train with others from our local troop mid-June. Our personal win? Their one hundred mile backpacking trip ended on July third, the day before Andrew would participate in the 95th Maverick Club July Fourth Rodeo in Cimarron, New Mexico. Philmont sits just a few miles outside of Cimarron. Andrew took a full time cowboy position with the Scout Ranch last September. The opportunity to visit Andrew, see the guys come off the trail, and watch the rodeo called me west.

Top Five Blog Posts for 2016

December has been a whirlwind of fun for our family.  Rich spent hours in the garage making three maple saddle stands as a Christmas present for Andrew; Nathaniel and I spent those same hours in the kitchen making yummy food for everyone. We were able to see all our children over the Christmas holiday and made some great memories. I love this photo of Nathaniel's first experience ice skating! Unfortunately Nathaniel is currently in the hospital with a virus. Rich is with him this morning to give me time to rest. I have enjoyed the quiet moments to reflect on my writing and reread some of this year's blog posts. Here are the top five most frequently read 2016 blog posts:

Merry Christmas 2016

Our Christmas cards are in the mail. It is the first year in decades that I did not write, print, fold, and send along an annual Christmas letter. I have had an affection for Christmas letters since I was in Jr. High School. I think I wrote my parents' at least once. I would have bundled up against the Ohio cold and walked to my grandfather's real estate office where I typed the letter from my mother's handwritten notes. I likely used all of Mrs. Sawvey's, my grandfather's secretary, correction squares fixing my mistakes. I diligently read every letter our family received back then, keeping many of them long after Christmas. I still do. Annual Christmas letters have waned in popularity since I was in Jr. High. We get fewer and fewer every year as our culture moves online. Similarly, we are taking baby steps away from those square correction tape days. Last year I sent a paper version of our letter with our cards, but posted it online for those who know us only through following Nathaniel's journey here. I dropped the printed letter completely this year. But the goal is the same regardless of the delivery - to reconnect, to share our highlights and joys, to wish you a Merry Christmas.