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Christmas 2008
 It would be hard to top 2007, but our lives continue to evolve.  Just as no one would have guessed at the start of year the price of gas in the summer, or the price of gas now (not to mention the wild ride of the economy as a whole), this was a year of surprises.
xed up

He probably looks like this currently, except he has to keep his beard trimmed for work.
It's not a surprise that Birrion loves skiing, but he resolved in May to move to Silverthorne, Colorado, where he has gotten in 60 days of skiing before the local mountains even opened.  He's also obtained  a job as ski instructor, although the economic downturn has left him short of pupils fairly often so far. He got paid for publishing (online) several articles he's written on military history, so that's using your major...

forrest and susa
Forrest and Susa have made it successfully through their first year of marriage, living at Evanston IL where Forrest is working on his Ph. D. in Computer Science, and Susa is working on her thesis in Environmental Engineering.  .  They managed both a summer visit to Spirit Lake and a winter one, both times coinciding with weddings of friends.  For every thing there is a season...

Emil
We would have been empty nesters this Fall, except we were asked to take a musically talented Danish Exchange student for this school year.  Denmark doesn't have much snow, so he was happy from the first snowball in October to his first ski trip in December.  He was also drafted by the HS football team as a field goal/PAT kicker, since the coach had learned that most European kids, from their soccer experience, can kick a lot better than most American kids.
We are both growing up a bit together...

Althea
Althea keeps all our lives going with her great ability to communicate and care.  She continues to be open to God's call, but the right church hasn't had an opening this year.  She has been instrumental in the sale and display of pottery this year.


That's partly because I took a part time job at the local library as children's librarian.  This happened serendipitously, because I saw the sign advertising it while visiting the library.  I thought of it as a kind of dream job (which is, I've discovered an oxymoron--there are no dream jobs).  It takes up most of my afternoons and some of my evenings, and it's a bit of a challenge to keep up with the pottery business.   It's even harder to keep up some of my other interests, such as nature photography and music.   So stay tuned for next year, to see which way the spirit moves us.

snow

I also must say a few words about snow.  We had record snowfalls last spring, and record snow falls this December.  The white hump in this photo taken last week is one of our cars, still buried by the several feet of snow everywhere.  Spirit Lake is either blessed or cursed with large snowfalls, depending on whether you enjoy the beauty of it or have to shovel it.  
    I guess most things are like that--it all depends how you look at it.  It’s a good time to keep on the sunny side...
 

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