Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Who Reads Old Christmas Letters in February?

Who Reads Old Christmas Letters in February? ME

That's when I enjoy them for the second time. Normally I read them quickly when they come in December. That's more than the busiest time of the year for me because of my business (that will be another post) ! But I have managed to write a Christmas letter for the past 20 years and so now, people expect it. I guess that I have one of those Christmas Card list, full of people who like "the letter", because they write or email me back. They may not send Christmas cards, but they will thank me for my letter. For some reason that always makes me laugh. I was trying to think of a way to introduce my family members to you and this seems to be a good way. I will narrate the characters and you will know a little more about us. I also promise that all my posts will NOT be as long as this one. Please take the first few lines seriously..if this kind of stuff bores you, please skip it. It is not required reading.

Happy Holidays from the Powells
December 2008

This has been an eventful year, so if long holiday letters bore you, please accept our "Merry Christmas" and file this away in the trash. For those of you who do love long Christmas letters, grab a glass of warm cider, a glass of wine, or maybe even a Diet coke and settle in.

Treasuring and Pondering...I do both of these quite often during the holiday season. Sometimes the chaos is overwhelming, especially in the business I am in. Where is that "Holy Night", amidst all the hustle and bustle and the "to do lists". Some days it is nowhere to be found...unless I intentionally look for it. But for tonight, I am looking back to 2008, and with much gratitude, counting my blessings for those things I treasure and pondering things to come in 2009. Tonight I am reminded that it was in the silence of night, away from the hustle and bustle of people, that His human voice was first heard in the cry of a baby boy. I love Faith Hill's new holiday song "A Baby Changes Everything"! ...It is beautiful, but more than that it is our family story. This is one of those years that I will need to take month by month.January 1 found Jack,(husband) Parker (9 year old grandson) and me on a plane to Disney to see the Christmas lights and spend 5 wonderful days soaking up the magic...The Christmas decorations at Disney are unbelievable. Our first treasure of 2008. We came home to await the birth of Parker's little brother. This was the new life we had been waiting for. After a year filled with so much loss, the death of both my parents, this new life was something we so longed for. On January 31st, Jack Voss Strother (new grandson) arrived. I could not imagine loving another child like I loved Parker, but the moment I laid eyes on Jack, that fear was put to rest.

Amanda (daughter) and Micah(son-in-law) took him home on the third day perfectly healthy, or so we thought. None of us had a clue of the scare that was just around the corner. On his second day home, he became very sick, his body temperature dropping to a critically low level and he was admitted into the NICU to try and find out what was wrong. We stayed there, literally around the clock, for the next several weeks, praying for a miracle. It was finally decided that he had some form of meningitis. Had it not been for Amanda's quick thinking this story might have ended differently. Not only a treasure but a MIRACLE! Forever we will be thankful to God for healing him. A baby changes everything....and he has certainly changed our lives. He is now a healthy 22 pound 10 month old, with a smile that melts your heart and the deepest little laugh. Amanda and Micah bought their first house and the bonus is that they live 5 minutes away from us. Talk about a treasure!

February and March found us spending many hours rocking this sweet of my all time favorite things to do. Another treasure!

In June we celebrated our 36th anniversary. What a blessing to be married to your best friend, not to mention share the same grandkids. We LOVE the grandparent job above all jobs we have ever had. Another great TREASURE!

In August, I traveled to a Beth Moore conference in San Antonio. It was wonderful, but the best part was reconnecting with a friend that I had not seen in 20 plus years. We had planned the trip for a year. It was a very special part of my 2008. Another treasure!

In September we said good-bye to our sweet Annah, our 17 year old cockapoo. There are no words for the loss and grief we experienced. If you are not a dog person you would not understand. I miss her everyday and some days can hardly believe she is gone. She was a TREASURE beyond words!

OCTOBER...what a month....For several years our dream was to take our entire family to Disney World. All 9 of just seemed impossible that everyone could get their vacations at the same time.... It finally happened and it was a trip of a lifetime.This was Austin's (our next in line grandson)first time to visit Disney. We had always wanted Parker and Austin to experience the magic together. They were inseparable and had a blast. Jack and I had put away money for years for this trip and had paid for the trip months in advance. So the week after the stock market collapsed and the election was getting more heated by the day, we got on a plane and headed for the "happiest place on earth", for a week of JUST FUN and JUST FAMILY.
We did not read the paper or watch TV, just closed out the world....and it was WONDERFUL. We made memories that will last a lifetime... Jack was only 9 months old and may never remember his first meeting with Mickey, but I will always remember the look on his face, as the characters could not resist this little guy in Mickey ears. Arriving back home late one night, we were all happy/tired, but knew more than ever that what really matters is family. This trip was a TREASURE that we will NEVER forget.

I was all ready to tackle the tree season, fully expecting nothing exciting, just work and more work as tree season began, THEN we got a giant surprise. Greg (son and Dad to Austin) and Dana (daughter-in-law and Mom to Austin and the new little one on the way) are expecting our 4th grandchild. They have had some sad times as they have wanted a baby so much. After her last miscarriage, we have all been holding our breath as she gets through the first 3 months. Austin is so excited about being a big brother and has loved his role as "Cuz" to baby Jack. So I PONDER how another little life will enter our family in early July.

Another treasure!In November we took a trip to Branson. A beautiful little town with some beautiful lights and some great shows. It was a special week. Another TREASURE!

So tonight finds me treasuring all the happy moments that we have been blessed with in 2008 and pondering how our world has changed and what that means for 2009. It finds me very thankful that we can still work, that our kids have secure jobs, that we are all healthy, and that God is not surprised by any of the events that have happened. I will end this too long letter with some words I read in Rick Warren’s book, The Purpose of Christmas, God Loves You! God is With You! God is For you! Treasure and ponder those words! We send our blessings for 2009.

Teresa and family

So that's the are probably more confused than ever, We have so much fun and are so blessed.....I really wanted to insert the cute pictures that were scattered throughout our Christmas letter, but I have to learn how first!

Thanks to all the "bloggers" that stopped by my blog....I look forward to getting to know you!

Have a Happy Day,