Merry Christmas from the Millers
It is hard to believe it is December already. The cliche' "it seems like yesterday" seems so appropriate, but we find ourselves saying it far too often. We have had a very blessed and memorable year and pray that you have too. We have received some fantastic Christmas letters from some of you thoughtful cards too. We enjoyed reading every update, and looking at every picture. We are thankful to have such wonderful friends and family.
This December, we are going "green" and rather than sending out a card to everyone, we figured it would be fun to do a quick blog that contains some brief highlights/updates as well as some links to pictures. With the emergence of "Social Networking" we estimated that about 85% of our friends and family are using these digital tools to keep in touch. OK, so I'm not totally sure if the electricity my laptop is burning is less than the postage and paper for the cards of a traditional Christmas card, but it sounded cool, so Blog it is. Here is a brief update of our 2009. (Simon probably won't have Amy proofread, so pardon the plethora of grammar errors.) You will notice that lots of the updates have clickable links that will direct you to pictures and/or other areas that will give further explanations.
2009 began with us ringing in the new year with family. Some like to really party it up and bring in the new year with a bang, but we like to spend a relaxing evening with lots of goodies and movies with our family, including Grandma Perry and Grandpa Jim. We enjoyed another trip to Seattle/Tacoma over Spring Break and were joined by the Peterson/Rowe/Ross families as well as my parents, Jim and Dee. We had a great time celebrating Lukie's 2nd birthday and visiting the Aquarium, Children's Museum, and lots of other fun activities.
When the snow finally melted we ushered in Summer with a Memorial Day Weekend visit from our Washintgon relatives. We also celebrated Grandpa Jim's 83rd birthday with lots of the Miller family. We then enjoyed the sun and fun once again down at Grandpa Jim and Grandma Perry's lake place on Lake Coeur d' Alene @ Carlin Bay. There are many wonderful memories at the lake going back to when I was a baby! Now we are enjoying taking our family down there and enjoying the lake, beach fires, and just relaxing. We cherish each weekend we get to spend on Carlin Bay.
In addition to recreating at the lake property, Gracie and Simon also got to play lots of golf together aided by buying a used cart from a friend. This made it much easier for Gracie to go along and play a few holes with Simon and bring her "treats" from Ron and Maureen with her. Gracie has a knack for smacking the golf ball and seems to really enjoy getting outside on the course with Dad. Gracie also got new pink golf clubs from Pinehurst Golf Course, adding yet another dimension to her golf game!
September saw another milestone for the Millers as Gracie entered Kindergarten at Sunnyside Elementary. It was a very emotional time, for everyone, especially Simon, but God answered prayers for us as we embarked on this new endeavor. Gracie absolutely loves Kindergarten and continues to learn and grow at an exponential rate. Her favorite parts of school are Music and P.E. but she really loves every part of school!
This Fall saw many fun activities, although it seems like just a few days ago we were at the Puyallup Fair! After fun times with the Petersons/Rowes/Rosses, at the Fair we then traveled with Grandma Dee and Grandpa Jim to the Greenbluff Apple Festival for some Autumn fun. Gracie loved the horses, pumpkin donuts, and hay/corn mazes in addition to many other Fall goodies.
As Fall turned towards Winter, we got to do lots of fun activities. Simon got to celebrate his good friend Ken Lagerquist's return from Afghanistan with a trip to Seattle and a Seahawks game. Simon, Ken, and Jim enjoyed the wonderful hospitality of Teresa and Jerry Duhamel along with the tailgating expertise of Cary Wright. They were also joined by Ken's dad "Uncle" Barrett, his brother Brian, and Simon's Uncle Pete. Gracie went with Grandma Dee and Grandpa Jim to "Disney On Ice," and then followed that up with "The Lion King" musical, an Idaho Vandal game, and then we got to see cousin Christian in Peter Pan at the Seattle Children's Theatre at the Seattle Center in December.
Amy continues to teach English at Kellogg High School and recently helped write a grant for Enhancing Education Though Technology (EETT) which adds some nifty technology components to the English curriculum. Amy enjoys co-teaching with her friend Tina and loves the new technology in her room. In addition to working out in the garden and flower beds in the Spring/Summer, Amy loves a good book and a cup of coffee, and she absolutely rocks the kitchen with her cooking skills. (even though she continues to deny she has a gift in the culinary arts!)
Simon is still thoroughly enjoying supporting all technology efforts at the Kellogg School District. He also still coaches the KHS Golf team and loves getting out of the office to hit the links. Simon continues to run the sound/AV booth at church and plays the drums on the worship team. He still enjoys golfing with Gracie (and Amy too now that we have a cart) and loves spending time with his favorite girls Amy and Gracie.
This year also saw the passing of our beloved dachshund Griffey. After battling some heart issues, we felt it was best to end Griffey's suffering as he had two "strokes" in the span of a month. Losing Griffey was very difficult and we still miss him today. A month or so later, we decided that the house was just too quiet with Griff gone, so we brought another mini-dachshund to the family. Dolly is a female black/tan mini-doxie with a feisty personality. (what dachshund doesn't have a feisty personality?) Although no pet could ever replace Griffey, Dolly helps us to move forward. She loves playing with Gracie, or any of the cats, although Chloe is the only one who will return the sentiment.
It has been a wonderful year and we have been richly blessed. We know that there have been and will always be ups and downs for us and all of our friends, family, and loved ones, and we continue to keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. We look forward to seeing what 2010 will bring to all of us!
Remember our picture album online HERE!
Merry Christmas and Blessings each and every one of you.
Simon, Amy, and Gracie