Another year is coming to a close, as evidenced by this letter, and the obligatory “I can’t believe another year has come and gone” sentiment it contains. It has certainly been a whirlwind year and we’re looking forward to some quiet-time over the Holidays to catch our collective breath. Whew!
So, Jody celebrated his fifth year of retirement from the Air Force, while also celebrating his fifth year with Healogics. Actually it wasn’t much like a retirement at all, as thanks to terminal leave, Jody’s last month in the Air Force was his first month with Healogics. Anyway, he says it’s nice to be able to take sides and openly criticize his elected officials. Which he does. All the time! Cindy also celebrated her fifth-year of Air Force retirement! Of course, she misses it a lot more than Jody does…especially when having to deal with Tricare! And speaking of celebrating, we were very excited that Cindy’s sister and BIL finally moved to the USA from the UK. And what better way to say “Welcome to America” than with a Fourth of July party?
As usual, we’ve done a bit of traveling this year. It goes without saying that Jody’s job takes him all over Florida, so for him, “traveling” is practically an every day event. But there were other much funner trips: Like the road trip Dad and Adam took to visit Neil in his new home and to deliver a few odds-and-ends. Or the boys’ “men-only” trip to Virginia with their Dad. Mom also did a bit of traveling herself when she attended the birth of our grandson, Oliver! On a second trip to Alabama, they boys got to spend some time with their big brothers. And speaking of traveling, I’m sorry to say that we didn’t visit Disney World once this year…nope, not ONCE, but TWICE: here and here.
And chalk-up another year of firsts for the boys (which, when you’re only five-years-old that’s not hard to do). Both Adam and Alex lost their first tooth this year (Adam: here; and Alex: here). They also experienced their first Little League Opening Day. Dad was very happy they seemed to enjoy baseball soooo much more than soccer! And now, Adam is wanting to play football!! Let’s see, what else? Their first year of Kindergarten (an achievement Mom was very excited about after a summer chasing twins)!! The boys also took-up boating this year, and we took them out on the water every chance we got, like this, this, this, and this!
Unfortunately, firsts aren’t always so pleasant. The boys also got their first dog this year, a miniature beagle we named, “Molly.” She was a wonderful puppy, full of life and with lots of energy. We were shocked and terribly saddened when she died suddenly, apparently from a lung abscess. In a bizarre twist of fate, not more than a month later, we had the opportunity to adopt a two-year-old Golden Retriever named, Charlie, from a military couple that couldn’t keep him any longer. We were reluctant at first, especially, Jody, but watching the boys play with him, well, who could say, “no”?
All-in-all, it’s been a good year, full of ups-and-downs and tears-and-laughter, but through it all, it’s the family that endures. And we’re certainly blessed. We wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a New Year filled with happiness and prosperity.
– Jody, Cindy, Alex, Adam, and Charlie