So I use to write the Christmas letter- even before I had other players in my life's stories. This reminds me that I have beautiful Creative Memory Scrapbooks from my single days post-college. Now I have a blog and keep the cards we mail in December-ish short. Years ago we figured out it was praticical to combine our two big mailings- our derby invite and our end/begining of year card together. This year we did that with a strong theme.
So the picture you see is a picture of the kids- Clare 14, Peter, 12 and Sally 9 (but 10 in early Janauary!) holding a beautiful painting done by David Ghiloni- wonderful Newark, Ohio artist. Dave donated the painting to Rotary for the live auction. My wonderful hustband bought it for me. So Christmas came early in my life on Newark-Granville Road. The painting is featured on the back of our card as an invitation- an invitation to join us as you are able on the 1st Saturday in May. This party is a fun gathering wiht a great theme. I started this party in Omaha, NE with Ellen Shideler Wheeler, continued it in the Detroit area, the year I moved to Kentucky I went to the Derby but had a Triple Crown party. Joe Leithauser attended that said party- and from then on the Run for the Roses Party was in Ohio. It ebbs and flows with attendance and children's activities- last year soda was the big addition. Read past Derby party updatees or stay tuned for more in April about this year's Derby fun. Just know- once invited, always invited and we'd love to see you.
So the kids and our lives on Newark-Granville Road this past year. A wonderful year, wonderful kids. Not perfect- the day we took this photo- I embraced a day we were dressing up. We still dress for church. My mother is in my head and I like to have one place, one day a week where we make an effort. God deserves it. I don't judge others that don't- there are days I'm envious of my friends in more casual wear. I do dress more than once a week-but some traditions are hard to let go of and this is one for me. The kids aren't pushing back terribly and it gave me a time to capture a picture. Peter is funny- puts on coat and tie for school pics but most days he is in sweats! The daylight played with the photo's quality- but I'm not complaining- the sun shining is always welcome.
The tree was cut down at Messeralls on a rainy day- it was the only day that worked with basketball games and practices, social dates and work. We walked and walked and walked to find one- they were all too tall. Finally Joe the hero said- pick one and I'll cut it to work and he did. Walking and hiking is a great way to spend time on Newark-Granville Road. Clare, Peter and Joe hiked part of the Appalachian Trail for spring break this year- spent a night out south of Rt. 70 and finished up in Harpers Ferry, WVA. It snowed, it was cold. It was something Joe has always wanted to do! Sally and I remained with my parents and looked forward to the 2nd part of our spring break trip in Washington, DC.
Our other trips have been to the mountains of WVA. We're happy Clare is so happy at Camp Alleghany and enjoy the drop-off and pick-up times in the Green Mountains. We so value the old and new friends we get to connect with while she gets her all girls, old fashioned summer fun- sleeping in a platform tent, swimming and canoeing in a river, eating home-made southern food in the screened in dining hall and singing around the camp fire. Sally will join her this year and learn the BLUE team songs- ra-ra-ghany! The pattern has become to pick up Clare and progress to the family vacation at OBX. We love the cousin time, reading time, family cocktail time and dinners while we're all under one roof. We missed Matthew's family this year but used the smaller group to try a new house- we loved it! The sand, cool salt water and relaxation was great therapy for my recovering broken ankle!! I did it on the tennis courts and healed well after surgery. This pushed us over to the golfing side of MCC and have found another beautiful retreat!
Kids activities are plentiful- Clare and Sally love spring time lacrosse while Peter loves the baseball field. In the fall Peter and Clare ran cross country and Sally returned to the soccer field with a great coach and group of girls. Clare also played field hockey club- no problems with our focused teenager- love the endorphins! Over the summer Sally and Peter swim in the summer league at MCC- Clare did an academic camp, babysitting and CA prep. All three are playing basketball now- Clare on the 8th grade school team- requiring her to dress up on game days. Just watching the synchronized warm-ups makes me smile. We're so grateful for the coaches, volunteers and players that make all these sports happen- our kids sporting skills are not fantastic but they learn a great deal and stay physically active which is good. All are doing well in school and we love and are grateful for our teachers. Joe's love of math is a big part of what is happening here in the evenings with homework. Clare is the reader right now and coaching Peter. Sally takes care of all of us and makes sure we all have our plan. Peter makes us laugh is the best fan, supporter, coach to his sisters. We love our church- First Pres in Granville- giving us great opportunities to care about one other and others and grow our faith. We're very proud of our kids and enjoy making who goes where when how happen.
Joe is at Cardinal Heath in IT- I still say he is an internal consultant. he loves his projects and team that executes. He runs as often as he can at lunch time enjoying 5Ks with the kids. He is not coaching basketball this year- 1st time in a long time. I'm at The Works (attheworks.org) and grateful such a place exists and I get to help make it go and grow. In 2016 we'll celebrate the 20th anniversary. It was a great year for me at work with HATSOFF! volunteers breaking all records and making an incredible event happen. Speaking of Reunions- Joe and I are involved with our Denison 25th Reunion!! We so hope to see our college friends back in Granville for this special event!
Living in Granville on Newark-Granville Road is amazing for so many reasons- the kids will tell you for walks, bike rides and quick trips to Whit's (now closed for the winter break) but we'll say it is because of the values of this community. We care so well for one another here in many ways- in academic arenas like Math Counts and at The Works, artistic and sporting avenues. We have a lot of fun too. It is a great home base as we travel to meet old and new friends from around the world.
I could keep typing to tell you about my family and Joe's, other trips we've taken- Joe and I got way twice this year as a couple- loved the time celebrating Betsy and Bill's wedding and dear friends successful campaign. But most of it is on the blog if you go back. We want to stay in touch,share the joy and let you know we are here for you and hope to see and talk to you soon. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Holidays to you. Thanks for reading- this was a long one!