Greetings to all,

As usual, the days (weeks) leading up to Christmas were hectic, and our letter kept going to the bottom of the list. We figure that you don’t even expect it until sometime after Christmas. But now the company has left, there is a fire in the fireplace (insert), and it seems like a good time to reach out to loved ones.

We were going on our almost annual trip to El Salvador from December 26 to January 2, but we canceled when American Airlines canceled one leg of the trip and didn’t tell us until it was too late to reschedule. So instead, we are taking a little trip the first week in January to Arizona. Chris had signed up to go to a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona from January 4-6th, so we extended it a little. We will go to Sedona for a few days before the conference and include a train ride to the Grand Canyon (never before seen by Kent!), and then Kent feels like he can lounge just fine, thank you, at the Spa & Resort where the conference is being held. We’ll see.

The usual stuff kept us busy throughout the year. Chris is getting the hang of the teaching thing, (nursing at Cabrillo College) but of course each semester is different, even if it is theoretically the same content as the previous Spring or Fall. Keeping her on her toes! This Spring she goes back to pediatrics, which she is enjoying very much. She took an “extra help” position in the Pediatric ICU at the hospital where she does pediatric clinical, and feels that that will help her a lot in learning more. Extra Help means that she can work when school is off, and not work when school is in session.

Kent remains at Sun Microsystems (over 14 years!), although keeps moving around with each reorganization. He did survive the only across-the-board layoff that Sun has ever had, for which we are thankful.

A lot of energy this year went into helping Chris’ mom in selling her house in Whittier and moving up to Scotts Valley into a mobile home park. It is about 2-3 miles from our house, but in a perfect location for walking to stores, and even church. Moving after 40 years in one house is certainly stressful, but Dorothy seems to be adjusting. Luckily, she already knew people from church before she moved here, and we think that helped a lot. It feels good to have her so close by, and for Chris to be able to help her with shopping, doctor visits, etc.

Our one trip this summer was to the Churchwide Assembly in Indianapolis (Kent was a voting member), which was a pretty amazing experience. We then went to visit friends in Chicago, and Minnesota (right along Lake Superior). We had a great time. Thank you to the Morkerts and the Buells for being great hosts!

We still have our two Springer Spaniels, Moses (left) and Bridget (right). Both are getting up there in years (Moses 11 and Bridget 14), but both are pretty spry. A few more doctor bills, just like us, but they are adorable (just like us).

Church continues to keep us busy. We were both still on the Council, and Kent is on the Council at the Synod level (Northern California and Northern Nevada). There have been some changes in our congregation, including a new Pastor who started December 1st. We are both committed to helping share God’s message of grace, compassion and hope to our community, and feel that our church is a needed presence here.

Membership in a church also brings us many blessings. One was the addition of a baby boy who we are blessed to call our godson, Elias McMilin. We look forward to watching him grow, and being a part of the village his parents will need to help guide him as he matures.

Blessings from us to you in this season as we remember when Love came down as a baby born in Bethlehem.

Kent and Christine

Reminders: We have a guest room and would love to have you visit when you come to the Central Coast of California. We would also love to hear from you — either U.S. mail or e-mail.