(When I first published this post on December 15, 2016 I mistakenly published it as a “page” instead of as a blog “post” so it never showed up in my blog post feed. I didn’t discover it until today. So I’m re-publishing it as a blog post!)
Two weeks till Christmas! The clock is counting down and before we know it we’ll be celebrating the “most wonderful time of the year”….the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ!
2016 has been a great year for our family, praise the Lord! We’ve had some milestones, celebrated birthdays & anniversaries, done some traveling & some moving and fellowshipped with friends. We have been so blessed….
Here’s a quick run-down of the highlights:
- We bought our 3rd vacation rental property on Feb 1. This one is located on Okaloosa Island, FL in the same building as our first FL condo…in fact, it is the one directly below it. Both FL condos did very well this year and we’ve enjoyed being able to stay in them periodically (Feb 1 – March 12, in April and again Oct 15 – Nov 14.)
- Redgie enjoyed his annual golf outing in Myrtle Beach with his buddies from Altoona in February. It is a highlight of his year and he looks forward to it.
- In March Shannon & Robert and Brooks & Christina celebrated their 5th anniversaries! I can’t believe it has been 5 years since their double wedding on the beach in La Jolla, CA.
- In April Shannon began working part-time as my assistant at VRAssist. It’s been lots of fun working with her and having her help managing the bookings for our clients’ vacation rental properties. Besides working with me, Shannon continues to cook as a personal chef to her regular weekly client, which she really enjoys. Her husband Robert got a new job this year as an air-frame mechanic on a mobile response team, which means he travels around the country to work on and repair corporate aircraft. He is really enjoying the new job and traveling to different locations.
- In May we went with my parents on an Alaskan cruise. This cruise was something they’ve wanted to do for many years, and we were so happy we got to share the experience with them. The timing could have been better though…..May is early in the season so we didn’t get to see as much wildlife as we would have if we had been there during the salmon season. Oh well, it is an incentive for my parents to take another Alaskan cruise sometime in the future but later in the summer!
- In June Redgie and I made a very large decision that would change our lives: we moved out of the Big Big House after 5 years of sharing it with our good friends Dave & Lynn. This decision was motivated by a couple of things; the tenants in our Weaver house were moving out in July and Brady was going to be graduating from college and probably coming home to live for a little while till he could get himself situated in a full-time job and a place to live. We very much enjoyed the “intentional community” experiment and sharing our lives and Dave & Lynn’s home and are happy we had the opportunity to experience it.
- Related to moving out of the BBH, Redgie & I ended up purchasing a new home in May after deciding to put the Weaver house on the market. We moved into the new home in June. We decided not to move back to the Weaver house because it is so large; the time seemed right to consider down-sizing to a smaller home in a “lock & leave” community, meaning we would not have any responsibility for maintenance or landscaping (or shoveling snow!) outside of the home. It is a town home and I really love it! It has been a bit of a challenge to learn how to live in a “normal sized” home with a “normal sized” closet and a “normal sized” garage (after living in the BBH) but we are pretty much settled now and comfortable in our “little little house”.
- In July we spent a week up at our condo in Dillon. All of our kids and their spouses joined us for the 4th, which was a lot of fun! We love spending time in the summer there, enjoying the free concerts in the amphitheater and the Farmers Market and the beautiful view of the lake. I think it is Redgie’s favorite place…he always says “I love it up here!” when we go.
- On August 5 Brady officially graduated from Colorado State University! He actually participated in the CSU graduation ceremony in May but he had to complete his last two classes during the summer session before he could officially graduate. We are SO proud of Brady and this milestone accomplishment! (And all of us are relieved to have his college years behind us!)
- Also in August I was thrilled to be able to accompany Dave & Lynn and Dave’s sister Patty and her husband Monty on a trip to Africa! Their “Find Us Faithful” Foundation was using this trip to visit several of the ministries that it supports in Tanzania and Kenya. They invited me to go along because they knew I was interested in one of the ministries: Village Schools International. It was an amazing opportunity! We visited London for a few days, traveled to Tanzania and visited with Steve & Sue Vinton (the founders of Village Schools) for almost a week. We then topped off the trip with a 3-day stay at a safari resort in Kenya (so much fun!) If you haven’t heard about it yet, you’ll have to ask me to tell you about a close encounter during the night with a bush baby! I journeyed back home after the safari but the rest of the gang stayed on for several more days and visited some other ministries that the foundation supports. It was an amazing trip and I’m so happy I was able to go.
- In September Brady was offered & accepted a position in the Management Training Program at Enterprise (Rental Car). We have discovered that this is a first-rate company that invests heavily in their employees, offers a good salary and excellent benefits. Brady is working hard, puts in long hours but is learning a LOT!
- In September Redgie visited Altoona twice: once without me when he played golf with his buddies at the Precious Life Fundraiser tournament, and then again with me a week later when we attended his 40th high school reunion. It is always fun to stay with Redgie’s sister Tammy & her husband Mark when we visit, and Reg particularly enjoyed connecting with some high school friends he hasn’t seen or communicated with in years.
- Also in September I traveled to Dallas to celebrate my older sister Vickie’s 60th birthday with her & her husband Jim. <smile> It was a great weekend because our parents also joined us for the weekend and we got to spend some fun time visiting with them.
- Bebe turned 8 years old on October 8!
- As previously mentioned, Reg, Bebe & I got to spend a whole month in FL from mid-October to mid-November. We enjoyed gorgeous weather, delicious seafood, and lots of relaxing time at the beach or on the balcony spotting dolphins swimming by almost every day. Each time we go to FL we are lucky to be able to spend time with Brooks & Christina (who live in Pensacola, only about 50 minutes away) so that is the icing on the cake for us! They are doing well. Brooks continues his present assignment as a flight instructor for the Navy but they are looking forward to learning about their next assignment sometime next year.
- On November 24 Redgie celebrated his 58th birthday! I got to gloat a little bit because for most of the year we are the same age, but now for three months he is “older” than me!
And that brings me to the present, looking forward to the holidays and spending time with our friends & family. We are sending blessings from the Rogers’ family to yours & bright wishes for a wonderful 2017!
Redgie, Valerie, Brady & Bebe