Dear family and friends,
We hope that this most blessed season finds you healthy and happy. It is hard to believe that 2016 is ending so quickly, but I guess it is what I have been told for years – that the older we get the faster the months and years go by. J
This was another busy year for us. Jenk’s work on two HOA boards and at church, along with his genealogy keeps him busy, while I continue to work with the China Exchange. .Unfortunately 2016 began with two trips to Texas with the passing of a sister-in-law and a brother-in-law. In spite of the sadness the trips also gave us the chance to see family from Wisconsin and Oklahoma that we seldom see.
In April Jenk and I along with 3 other chaperones traveled to China with a group of 12 students. The group left after 12 days, but Jenk and I stayed. We took a 4-day cruise on the Yangtze River that allowed us to see magnificent scenery along with the 3 Gorges Dam. Then we returned to Xi’an for another 5 weeks. I taught some classes in 3 different schools and we had the chance to visit with many friends.
A few weeks after our return from China Jenk and I flew to Fairbanks, Alaska. We spent a few days there enjoying the 21 hours of sunlight each day. Then we took a train to Danali National Park. We never did see the great mountain, but we did see grizzlies, mountain sheep and other animals. Then we took the train to Anchorage where we were to meet the kids a week later. From there we took a small boat into the Gulf of Alaska where we saw lots of humpback whales and even a pod of Orcas.
The kids had decided that we should take a family cruise to Alaska for celebrate our 40 th anniversary and they made it happen. We all enjoyed our time together visiting small towns made famous by the Kllondike gold rush. The kids flew home from Vancouver while Jenk and I spent two days visiting my Aunt Peggy and cousins in Bellingham.
The summer brought the usual summer camp for Chinese students followed by the arrival of the fall group and lots of activities. But then in late October we took our second annual trip to Florida to visit Uncle Alan. We took a 3 day trip with him and really enjoyed the time. Instead of flying home we took the Island Princess from Fort Lauderdale through the Panama Canal and home. It was an amazing trip! What engineers managed to do at the turn of the 20 th century is still a wonder. We also stopped in Aruba, Colombia, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico, and like on our Chinese cruise met some wonderful new friends.
The “kids” are fine. Nathan began a new job in Orange County so both he and Beth have a short commute to their new home in Costa Mesa. Just this month Nathan became a CPA! We are so proud of him! Beth continues to be the great traveler for work (and some fun). Marc is as busy as ever as a department chair and coach along with his teaching schedule. He and his “little buddy”, Ike, the bearded dragon keep each other company. We were all able to be together for Thanksgiving and were happy to welcome Nathan’s mom to (visiting from Michigan) to the party. We have so much for which we are thankful and you are a part of our blessings!
Merry Christmas and may 2017 be a year of peace and happiness for you and your family!
Jenk and Patty