We became Grandparents! Roanne's Mom moved to Joplin. Dave graduated from Biola.
This is our second year to post our annual Christmas letter to the internet rather than mail it out. This allows us to include many more photos than we could otherwise (without mailing you a book).
- Sharlotte opened her own yoga studio in Joplin: Treehouse Yoga -- Google it. It's doing very well!
- We had a very snowy January! (well, snowy for Joplin)
- Hosted our first Game Night of the year with about 6 couples! Liar's Dice, and CatchPhrase
- For Valentine's Day we went to a Sandi Patty concert in Tulsa, stayed the night at a nice hotel, enjoyed a couple of nice meals, and did a little shopping.
- Attended the first of several spring weddings for students we know from our church.
- Our first grandchild, Roslyn Juliet DeSonier was born to Josh and Sharlotte on March 24! 7 lb, 7 oz, 20 inches, and lots of cuteness. Sharlotte taught one of her yoga classes early that morning, then went home and told Josh it was time to go to the hospital! They had Rosie via water-birth, which we'd never heard of. But it all went well, and the new family was released from the hospital the next day. They call her Rosie. She is a cutie!
- Roanne's sister Karen goes into hospital in Springfield MO. Karen was visiting Joplin to help move Roanne's mom, but kept complaining of a sinus headache. After two days Roanne realizes that Karen is seriously ill and convinces her to go to the hospital. Karen had a brain abscess and ended up having brain surgery on both halves of her brain. Her condition was very grave. The doctors say her recovery is a miracle. Karen was in the hospital about 50 days, during which Roanne routinely drove 3-hours round trip to visit her.
- Roanne's Mom moves to Joplin; lives in an assisted care facility about 2 miles from us. Roanne spends a lot of time helping her adjust, buying furniture, finding new doctors, etc. Fran had lived in a retirement facility in Lubbock for over 20 years, so this is a big move for her!
- Karen's daughter Marianne returns from teaching English in China; moves in with us.
- Dave graduated with highest honors from Biola University (near Los Angeles) with his Master of Arts degree in Christian Apologetics.
- Two college guys (Ben, Henry) move in for the summer.
- Given the arrival of Rosie, Fran (Roanne's Mom), Karen, and Marianne, our great plans to host a game night once monthly during the spring are (sadly) never realized.
- We celebrate our wedding anniversary #32 by taking a four-day trip to Eureka Springs in Arkansas. We stayed in a historic home, and ate at many good restaurants; saw the Passion Play, went to the lion / tiger / leopard sanctuary, shopped at numerous small quaint stores, went sightseeing / hiking / driving. It was nice to get away for a bit.
- Karen finally gets out of the hospital. Moves in with us.
- Went camping with the young couples in our home group. First time we've been camping in a while. Had to buy a tent and sleeping bags.
- After 12 years of serving there, Dave decides to rotate off of the College Heights school board. The school is doing well -- enrollment is up (near 600 now), finances are solid, the spiritual climate is strong, and students are well prepared for college. It seemed like a good time to make a change: Dave is starting his 4th year as an Elder at College Heights church, which takes a significant amount of time.
- After 3 months of being in hospital or recovering at our house, Karen is released by the doctors; she and Marianne head off to Nevada.
- We attend the wedding in Lubbock of nephew Kevin DeSonier and his bride Sara T.
- After one year in Washington DC, Mike and Megan move out of their Hobbit Hole (the dark, damp basement of an old house) into a 5th-floor apartment! Yay! Daylight, how nice!
- Attend more weddings ...
- At work, Dave delivers his training class titled "Big Picture Thinking" to about 170 students to encourage and teach them how to "think strategically."
- Mike, Megan, Ben, and Christie all travel to Joplin (from Wash DC and Ft Worth) to visit Rosie. (Josh and Sharlotte live in Joplin.) All family is together, if only for a weekend! Wish we could do this more!
- Dave, Roanne, Ben and Christie attend the inaugural football game at Baylor's new McLane Stadium.
- With Josh and Sharlotte close by, Roanne gets to babysit Rosie 2 or 3 times each week. We ocassionally get to keep Rosie overnight.
- We begin our 4th year of meeting weekly with a group of young couples. We've been able to walk alongside them through a lot of circumstances: engagement, premarital counseling, wedding, job changes, sickness, pregnancy, finances, issues with siblings and parents, buying a house, childbirth, early parenting, etc. These couples have come to be like extended family.
- The Elders and ministers of College Heights church begin discussing / contemplating the church's mission, values, and vision for the next 5 or 10 years (or more). The church has been blessed with several outstanding ministers who've served faithfully for about 30 years, but change is coming as some are looking to move into different roles. Dave helps lead parts of these discussions throughout autumn.
- Fantasy Football begins. We're in two leagues. Roanne eventually finishes 2nd in our family league!
- We take a short weekend vacation to Arkansas. Went to the War Eagle craft show (it's HUGE!), drove the scenic highway called the Pig Trail in search of fall colors, went to Mt Magazine (highest point in Arkansas), and went to see Ben's sister play soccer in Conway AR. We were early for seeing the leaves change colors.
- The fifth couple in our young couples home group finds out they're also having a girl. That's 5 girls in a row for this group -- and each girl is the firstborn for each couple.
- Rosie keeps getting cuter!
- Dave takes family portraits for one set of good friends, and anniversary photos for another.
- Karen and Marianne return to Joplin and move in with us.
- We go visit Mike and Megan in Washington DC for Thanksgiving. Got some snow while there.
- Went to Baylor's final football game this season -- against K-State. Baylor won, and became Big 12 Champs the 2nd year in a row. Lots of hopes that Baylor would be in the final 4, but they ended up ranked #5, headed for the Cotton Bowl game.
- Dave plays sax for the church's Christmas drama and musical. First time he's had the spare time to do this since he started school at Biola in 2011.
- Rosie stands, but doesn't walk yet. She does say "da da da," which Josh is certain means "Dad."
- We did not think it was going to happen this year, but all the kids plan to make it home for Christmas -- Ben & Christie should arrive late Christmas Eve, and Mike & Megan late Christmas day -- we will have only 3 days together, but it's a great present for us!
We would enjoy hearing from you. Feel free to reach us via email (Dave: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Roanne: email@example.com) or on Facebook.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Dave and Roanne