Saturday, December 20, 2014


Season’s Greetings!

            After going through sub-zero temperatures and six inches of snow before Thanksgiving, it seems a bit strange to be writing our Christmas letter when it is 45 degrees outside!  But that has guaranteed good weather as we flew to Denver for the college graduation of our exchange student, Jack.  Rick, Ginger, and Luke went to Denver for the occasion, and Jed joined us at the Denver airport for a family trip home (just prior to a Denver snowstorm!)
A post-defense happy Jed!
March hike near
Las Cruces
Graduation time for Jack Ho
            Or should I say Dr. Jed??  Yes, the PhD is finished!  After some unexpected glitches last spring, Jed finished an independent study course and rewrote the analysis portion of his thesis this summer.  He successfully defended the beginning of November.  We will travel to Socorro in May for his graduation and hooding ceremony.  Meanwhile, he has a post-doc with his advisor tracking asteroids.  He will be researching small colleges seeking a physics instructor position, hopefully in the northwest.  Any leads out there?
Luke in Palestine
            Luke is one and a half years into his youth group ministry.  He has a great group of kids that he enjoys.  He traveled to Indonesia in October to visit his girlfriend, Kady, who started a 27-month Peace Corps assignment there in March.  They had a wonderful time, although Luke isn’t sure about Indonesia as a vacation destination.  He helped coach tennis this spring, serves on two national church committees, and seems to be gone almost as much as we are!  His travels also included a Presbyterian Peace Fellowship trip to Palestine in January. 
            The three of us spent Thanksgiving in Bandon with Ginger’s brother and mom, who turned 95 a week later.  Rick’s mom is still doing well in Albuquerque, although we hope to get her to Baker City for a visit this summer. 
Hiking in Glacier NP
            Last spring, following our first visit to Hawaii in February, we volunteered with Community Home Repair in Tucson, AZ and then with Habitat for Humanity chapters in Las Cruces and Silver City, NM.  In May we worked with Habitat near Kalispell, Montana and explored the lower elevations of Glacier National Park.  We went back to the same Habitat affiliate in September for a month.  We really got to explore the upper regions of Glacier then with Rick hiking over 40 miles in the park while we were there.  (Ginger hiked all but 14 of those miles, but she spent one day sailing on Flathead Lake instead of the trail!)  We then visited White Sulphur Springs, MT with friends on the way to a week of exploring the northern part of Yellowstone and the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge.  We finished up the fall with a week in Bozeman at their Habitat site. 
Rick enjoys the chance
to explore with Luke
            Since arriving home, Rick has been busy helping to finish projects at the church and manse.  Such activities have cut into his hiking time, but a few good hikes were tucked into his weeks. He enjoys when Luke is free to hike together!  He’s looking forward to snowshoe season!
Ginger in northern
  Ginger has been as busy as ever cooking and baking, drawing and creating.  She continues her work with our church in many capacities, and thanks Luke for his help in maintaining a vegetable garden this year at the house.  Her many absences this year made gardening a little tough!  Ginger’s new artistic endeavor has included the photography of naturally appearing letters and creating artwork from them.  Our Christmas ‘header’ reflects some revealed this summer on the Bandon beach!  She has also been ‘drawing’ prayers! (See pictures at end!)
Concert time in SLC
           With Jed working all summer to finish up his PhD, we only managed ONE opportunity to connect - in Salt Lake City for an outdoor Doobie Brothers/Boston concert!  What fun together as a family!    

      We love retirement!  Coming up in 2013 are a return to CHRPA in Tucson, more Habitat builds in Montana, and family visits to Albuquerque and Bandon. Not to mention that May graduation in Socorro!   Life is good, and we are more than blessed! 
     We wish Christmas blessings for all of you and a fantastic new yearMerry Christmas!

Rick and Ginger                                                                             
If you need updated address or phone numbers, please send an email!!  Nothing has changed since last year! 

The remaining photographs simply show that we really DID do a little work this year, both with CHRPA and Habitat for Humanity chapters.  Rick is a willing painter, which many avoid, and he is steady on heights.  You can guess where he spends most of his time!  Ginger enjoyed learning new tools and skills!  (And yes, she does wear tie dye everyday on the jobsite!)

Cutting siding in Bozeman, MT
Rick on the roof...again...learning to install siding
Ginger develops coping skills on Las Cruces molding
Yup, Rick is on the roof in Las Cruces...painting.
Finishing up some floor molding in Silver City, NM
A prayer mandala from May
A Celtic Knot Prayer for Christmas