The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas letter 2009

Merry Christmas -- December 2009-- from Blanding where skies are blue and snow is deep!
Dear Family and Friends,

As this year rapidly draws to its end, we reflect upon the past year, and count our family and friends among our choicest blessings. We pray that you had a good year and the next one will even be better. We enjoy good health and seem to be more busy now that we are retired. Maybe as we get older it just takes us longer to do things.

We were released from our mission to the Navajo Reservation on April 22, 2009. We served 18 months in Ganado, Ariz. We left behind many good friends and still maintain contact with them. All of our family returned to Blanding in April and we had a super family Great Race/Luau reunion orchestrated by Anthony and Ashley.

In July we went back to Ganado and for a visit/service project. We then traveled to Snowflake Arizona to attend the temple with Joseph Yazzie and his daughter. We taught Brother Yazzie the temple preparation lessons and were thrilled to go through the temple with him when he received his endowments and was sealed to his wife. It was a joyous reunion with them.

From Snowflake we drove to Gilbert, Arizona to visit Quentin and Bev and to see our new grandson Brig Keeler Wilcox.

Janet stayed for a few days to help entertain the girls and Steve returned to Blanding to take care of the garden. Grandma got to go see the musical Wicked with Quent, Sage, and Quincy.  It was a fun activity.

Brig was blessed in July in Blanding.

Chris, Quentin and Anthony's families came to spend the 4th of July in Blanding.  Lots of fun!!

In Sept. we went back to Ganado to attend the funeral of Gilbert Kinlichee, a Navajo Medicine Man. Even though he did not accept the gospel, his family asked Steve to give him a priesthood blessing when he was hospitalized. We taught his family and eventually baptized his son-in-law and one of his grandsons.
We went up to the Murphy/Keeler Reunion this summer and saw quite a few relatives. Lynn was also there from Rhode Island as he and Roseanne had come down for their daughter and son-in-law's graduation. It was a short but good visit with lots of people.

Janet's siblings: Nancy, Lynn, Doug, and Janet

Steve raised a big garden and we took a car full of garden produce to share with our Ganado friends and children. While in Ganado the Branch members presented us with a beautiful photo memory quilt they made for us. It is wonderful. Corey Waunkea, a fine young man we taught the gospel to is living with us and attending college in Blanding.

We loved visiting all of our children this summer and had fun playing with the grandchildren. New grandson, Gannon Thomas (Andrew and Amy's) was born June 29.

Gannon's baby blessing:

We also cheered Autumn and Theron in a couple of triathlons: American Fork, and Blanding Hillman and helped Nathan and Tammy move into their first home.

Quent and Bev are also moving into a new home this month. Anthony and Ashley are in Mesa now (going to Law School). Chris is working for BYU and Pam is the family activity Supervisor and traffic director. Rob and Kathryn were the "big losers" in our family during 2009 and are looking svelte and healthy.

We tended Ethan on Mondays during the summer and had lots of fun activities, including fishing with Grandpa! Laurie and Brendan came down and spent a few days with us as well. It was very fun for all of us.

In Sept. We took a two-week cruise to Hawai'i. We boarded the ship in Los Angles and cruised to Hawai'i visiting the four main islands. We saw the Polynesian Culture Center, rode in a submarine and did lots of other fun things. On the return trip we stopped in Ensenada, Mexico. We had great food on the ship (So much for our diet!) and Steve even tried the frog legs. We did a lot of reading (4 books each) watched a few movies, lots of live entertainment, and played games with others in our group!! We had the best time.

Right after we got back to Blanding our stake president called us on a service mission to set up and run the LDS Family Service Addiction Recovery program. We have seen some success and we enjoy working with the attendees. We are also working with the YSA in our ward which includes CEU dorm students. (That's why we love to play games so much!) Last week Janet was called to be a History specialists for a Hole-in-the-Rock trek in June.

Four families were able to come home for Thanksgiving. We loved their visit. The weather was beautiful, and we enjoyed hiking, along with eating.  That Saturday, Quincy was baptized, which was pretty special since both sides of the family could be there.

We wish you a very merry Christmas and a "stimulating" year. May we remember the real reason for the season. We are thankful for our Savior Jesus Christ and His atoning sacrifice for us. We are also thankful for our wonderful family. We have truly been blessed.
            Love, Steve and Janet 2009 Christmas

No comments: