Dear friends and family:
I went “old-school” and actually wrote a Christmas letter! Although I don’t have anything exotic to share, we had several family milestones this past year: a birth, a wedding, a retirement, and two First Communions.
The year was not without sadness:
In summary, everyone is healthy (that’s day-to-day at my age!). We all get along. My kids have strong, stable families. The grandchildren are terrific. I thank the Lord for what I have.
Finally, I again wish everyone:
The top picture was taken at the Army-Air Force game at West Point:
The bottom photo shows us in our semi-permanent uniforms at the beach.
Betsy complained she never had any good pictures to post on Facebook, so went with brother's family and friends to New Year's ocean Polar Plunge.
After few years of untimely warm weather decided to return to skiing at Blue Mt in Poconos.
Decided to add adventure to our kayak trips when discovered a 17 mile local river through the old cypress swamps.
Spring found Betsy complaining she was getting tired of cold weather, bored teaching the same moves in water exercise, yearning for different fresh foods, and needed new places to shop. Howie took the hint and booked a 2 week tour of Spain, Portugal and Morocco.
After squishing, plucking and moving ravenous bugs to alternate locations, finally got most of the bug infections controlled except for one. The solar power sapsucker. This particular insect only comes out on weekends and infests those houses in our neighborhood without solar roof panels of which we are among the dwindling few.
We hope this card finds you well and enjoying the holiday times with family and friends. 2016 was mostly a year of family milestones albeit with one setback.
Skip and Marilyn started planning in late 2015 for their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday, June 11th and subsequent family Alaskan cruise and overland trip this year. We renewed our wedding vows at our Holy Spirit 4 PM Saturday Mass with the reception thereafter at our local Siena golf course bistro. Over ninety people attended the wedding anniversary events. We also took our family to the Hualapai Indian Grand Canyon West area in Arizona and attended a fun “Marriage Can Be Murder” dinner show on Freemont Street in downtown Las Vegas.
Three weeks later we were on our way to Vancouver, Canada to start our Alaska cruise with our son Chip and his family-Danni, Chase (15), Chelsea (13) and Caden (10)- our daughter Maureen, Sydnee and her Mom Robyn. We had great weather for all our cruise stops at Ketchikan, Juneau, Skagway and Glacier Bay where we had great fishing, rain forest zip lining, helicopter rides to dog sledding on a glacier, humpback whale watching, dog sled training areas with puppies, small gauge train and bus rides to and from the Yukon with some kayak rides as well as glacier sightings and seal watching. At night we enjoyed several cruise ship restaurants and the ever present buffets. For our last night on the cruise ship, we had a special family dinner celebrating Chase’s 15th birthday, Chip and Danni’s 21st wedding anniversary, our 50th wedding anniversary and Skip’s 75th birthday (last picture). [On a sad note, our former son-in-law and Mikki’s father, Mike Earley passed away unexpectedly on June 14th. We took some of Mikki and Mike’s ashes with us on the cruise and spread the ashes on the Pacific Ocean at Juneau]. After the cruise, Skip, Marilyn, Maureen and Sydnee continued on the overland train and bus rides from Anchorage to Denali National Park and Fairbanks. We spent three days in and around Denali where we enjoyed a day trip into the park looking at the cloudless Mount Denali and seeing grizzly and brown bears, caribou, moose, Dall sheep, a black wolf and eagles. We also did white water river rafting, a long zip line adventure and a covered wagon trip near the park. After a two hour bus ride to Fairbanks, we boarded a great sternwheeler for a ride up and down the Chena River where we saw a dog sled exhibition run alongside the river, bush pilot plane takeoffs and landings and a stopover at a native Indian village exhibit.
Our next big trip took us in early November to West Point/ Newburgh area for the biannual Army-AF football game with our extended family. We had thirty O’Donnell, Briand and Leimbach relatives –including 90 year old Aunt Marge and her two great-grandsons-Ben and Charlie. Despite the game results, it was a great weekend with autumn leaves everywhere, decent weather and lots of partying. For the first time in many years, we celebrated Thanksgiving weekend in Las Vegas with Maureen, Sydnee, Jackie and Jason. We are looking forward to celebrating a belated Christmas near the Powder Mountain Ski Resort just east of Ogden, UT with Chip and his family as well as Maureen, Sydnee, Jackie and Jason.
Remember to hold your loved ones whenever you can and tell them you love them.
MERRY CHRISTMAS AND HAPPY NEW YEAR!
ON THE SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT OF THIS YEAR OUR ASSOCIATE PASTOR ASKED US TO RECALL THE THREE VIRTUES, " FAITH, HOPE, & LOVE", BESTOWED UPON US AT BAPTISM. HE INDICATED THAT WE SHOULD USE THOSE VIRTUES TO STRIVE FORWARD AS WE APPROACH CHRISTMAS AND AS WE LIVE OUR LIVES THROUGHOUT THE COMING NEW YEAR. AS SUCH WE SEND YOU SOME THOUGHTS FOR YOUR CONSIDERATION.
FAITH: THAT THE CUBS, & ARMY WILL WIN AGAIN.
HOPE: THAT, AMERICA WILL REALLY BE "GREAT AGAIN" & WE ALL WILL ACHIEVE OUR GOALS AND DREAMS IN THE NEW YEAR.
LOVE: THAT GREATER RESPECT FOR HUMAN LIFE WILL EXIST IN THE WORLD, & THAT PEACE WILL REPLACE WAR & TERROR IN FAMILIES, HOMES, CITIES, AND COUNTRIES.
GOD BLESS YOU ALL,
ART AND TERRI MARK
See the pictures the Motes sent by clicking here.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit! Merry Christmas to all!
Most of you know that we love to travel. 2016 was another great travel year. We were away from home 150 nights, 110 nights with our RV and 40 nights in other places. It’s wonderful to travel with friends and family, visit friends and family, leave winter weather behind, explore new places and revisit wonderful familiar places.
January – We went to Tucson to see daughter Tami and Granddaughter Juliet, to visit people, to sightsee as many attractions as possible, to travel with friends Roger & Cindy, and to meet new friends. February – We went south of the border to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. You can’t beat the warmth, the beach, the new and old friends, the exchange rate and the hospitality of this area.
March – We spent more time in Tucson, and then traveled to Phoenix area to see cousin Denise & Mike. It started to get pretty warm in Arizona by the end of March, so it was time to head home.
April – More RV’ing, this time closer to home at Jordanelle State Park.
May – We bought a new 5th Wheel! More RV’ing at 2 other State Parks, Kodachrome Basin and Yuba Lake. We went to an Allen family reunion at the end of May. Nice to see so much extended family.
June – We spent our 28th anniversary in Las Vegas visiting friends Skip & Marilyn who celebrated their 50th anniversary! While there we met my brother, David, for a few hours. Great to see him! Then we traveled to Washington DC to see son Preston III, Amanda and grandchildren Madeline & Gus. A fun trip with lots of good times with the kids! We also got in a nice side trip to Harrisburg, PA to see Preston’s sister, Rosa & Doug and their children & grandchildren.
July – This is our typical boating month. We take our RV to Strawberry and spend a couple of weeks escaping the heat of the valley and enjoying the beautiful cool mountain lake. Daughter Kim and grandson Miller came out from Tennessee to join us. Also camping with us were granddaughters Paisley, Sarah & Lizzie. We were crowded but cozy! One of our last nights there our sweet 14 year old dog, Shawnie, had a stroke. We rushed her to a vet, but there was nothing they could do. She was the best natured dog I have ever known. We miss her!
August – More RV’ing in Wyoming at the Grand Tetons, then on to Redfish Lake in Idaho. We met friends, hiked, shared meals and had a wonderful time.
September – A little RV trip to Moon Lake with St. James friends, then to Dallas for Cousin Denny’s beach party. Saw daughter Rebecca and cousins Jeff, Denise, Danny, Darlene and many 2nd cousins! Always a good time! We left Dallas to go directly to St. Thomas for 12 days of exploring, snorkeling, pina coladas, and plenty of beach time!
October – One last RV trip to Bear Lake State Park for a quiet week. Just us and dog Willow. At the end of October into November we traveled to Kauai with daughter Stacy and Allen. We had a fun time doing as little as possible and enjoying the ocean (with the exception of a rogue wave that killed our cell phones and almost got us)!
November – Time to settle down. Preston had his 18 year old hip replacement replaced anew. The healing has been amazing. Not much keeps him down!
December – Advent. Time to slow down, reflect and rejoice! Looking forward to Rebecca coming from Dallas for Christmas!
All 7 children and 8 grandchildren are doing well! In case you need a score card, they are Preston (Amanda), Madeline 12 & Gus 9; Amy (Adrian), Kim (Nathan) Paisley 22 (who lives with us), Sophia 16 & Miller 5; Stacy (Allen); Tami & Juliet 2; Charissa (Doug) Sarah 9 & Lizzie 9; Rebecca.
We wish you all the best for this Christmas Season and much joy and happiness in 2017!
All our love,
Sandy, Preston, Paisley, Willow the dog & Hopper the cat
Merry Christmas from the Charles'
Dear Friends and Family,
We completed our move to North Carolina this year. Our new address is: 1089 Slater Way, Leland, NC 28481. Home phone: 910-769-9438. Rick's cell: 571-243-3814. Mar's cell: 571-232-9402. Our email address remains: firstname.lastname@example.org
After living with Karen and Rob for nearly seven months, our home was completed on 25 February. If was fun being with our youngest grandchildren, Ryan (now 5) and Elizabeth (now 3), every day. They are only three and a half miles away now, so we continue to see them often. Tom and Libby are in our development a little more than a quarter of a mile away, so the family is really close again. Our older grandchildren have their own lives now. We enjoy watching Kasey as she completes high school and gets ready for college, and while distant in Boston, England, we follow Joseph and great granddaughter Maci Anne, and Megan and great grandson Max with great enjoyment as their families grow.
Our sad news is that Marlene's mother passed away on 29 February. We mourn her loss and the passing of other friends and relatives this year.
We do enjoy living in North Carolina, finding the coastal climate very pleasant. After nearly eight months unpacking, sorting, and getting our home in order, we welcomed close friends Pete and Maria Cahill and Jim and Shirley Lyles during visits in October. We have plenty of room and would welcome any friends or family who wish to visit. We enjoy showing off the Wilmington area and shore that we are also getting to know.
We are looking forward to Christmas with our family and our stay between Christmas and New Years at The Homestead Resort in Hot Springs, Virginia, with Karen's family.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas and a wonderful, prosperous, and healthy New Year.
Marlene and Rick
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year
2016 was another momentous year for the entire Chase Clan. We remain basically in good health, although we have had to slow down a good bit, our motto is “Keep doing what we want for as long as we can!” Emery is still a consulting employee with SAIC (means he can go in if they have something of interest to him). He still serves on the Community Covenants Committee. Eleanora remains active in church activities and participates in both community and church bible studies. In February, we supported Heather at the Disney Princess Half Marathon. We made a pass-through Georgia in June, visiting Ian and Gavin and Beth Ann. In September, we attended the reunion of the Army Reactor Group in Williamsburg. Our highlight was a family gathering in Hawaii for Christmas and New Year. We gathered at Paradise Cove for a stupendous Luau and added a side trip to the Big Island to visit Volcano National Park. We became Great Grandparents in July with the birth of William (Liam) Chase to Gavin and Beth (we can’t be old enough to be great grand-parents!).
Emery III and Beth are still in Round Rock, Texas. Emery remains at Dell and Beth at Emerson. EJ graduated in June and is now a freshman at Texas State University. Ellie is a Sophomore, turning 16 and getting her driver’s license, she is the newest participant in the Grandpa challenge (no tickets or accidents during first year of driving!). Christopher is making great progress in Boy Scouts and playing soccer and lacrosse.
Ken and Ann remain in Hawaii. He will come out of command of the Combat Aviation Brigade, 25th Division in May, next assignment is TBD. Gavin graduated for the Basic Officer’s Course at Fort Benning. After the birth of Liam, he, Beth Ann (and latest addition, a dog named Trigger) packed out and drove to Fort Wainwright, Alaska for his assignment to the Stryker Brigade. He pinned on his 1st Lt in November. Ian is in his senior year at SCAD. Erin is a Sophomore at Colorado State University. Sam graduated and is now a freshman at University of North Georgia in their Cadet Corps. Tucker is a Junior and adjusting to life as an only child. They are both participants in the Grandpa Challenge!
Heather is a senior software tester with ASM Research. We continue to enjoy our weekly lunch get together. She is planning a Christmas visit to Gavin in Alaska. She is still in Reston, and an active runner, doing the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February and the Army Ten-Miler in October, as well as numerous other races.
As we look forward to the next year, we are thankful for all the blessings we have.
From Our Home to Yours
Merry Christmas, y’all!
Another eventful year for us. First, as becomes two septuagenarians, the medical report. We’re both doing relatively well overall. Jim had a heart stent implanted in April, and Diana currently is recovering from surgery (bone fusion) on her left foot. The challenge she’s facing for these first six weeks is that she can’t put any weight whatsoever on the left foot. She’s becoming expert in the use of a knee scooter.
Our travel schedule was somewhat subdued this year. We continued to enjoy exploring the small towns and festivals in TX, and made two trips to visit kin in Omaha – Jennifer and her hubby, Matt. On our June trip, we explored senior living apartments. Finding several to our liking, we have decided to relocate to Omaha next year, following the sale of our current home. During our Sep visit, Jim and son-in-law Matt went fishing in MN, while Diana and Jennifer visited the casino in Council Bluffs, IA, just across the Missouri River from Omaha.
Our oldest, Andrea, once again is living in nearby New Braunfels, TX. Her daughter, Amber, is sharing the home with her mom. Andrea’s son, Dylan, lives with his fiancé and their two sons (one born this year, our 10th great-grandchild!) in Seguin TX. Our middle daughter, Beth, is still in Surprise AZ with her hubby, Dan. Her three children all live in the Phoenix area as well. Her oldest daughter, Laura, is getting married this Christmas Eve, and Jim is thrilled that she asked him to give her away. Jennifer’s two sons also reside in the Phoenix area, so five of our seven grandchildren are there, along with seven of our 10 great-grandchildren. Needless to say, we have a really fun time during our AZ visits. We stayed busy again this year with our outside the home endeavors. Diana was very active as an official photographer for our Chamber of Commerce, and Jim remained very involved with the Rotary Club and the Military Officers’ Assn. Both of us were contributors to our city magazine, Diana as photographer, Jim as writer. Also, we continued our roles with our city’s historical preservation committee.
We hope you had a good year, and we wish you an even better one in 2017. Happy New Year!