Woodsong Christmas 2011
Dear Friends and Relatives,
This verse has meant much to be recently, so I will share it as my Christmas gift to you: Be still and know that I am God.
We had several school and class reunions in 2011 as well as our annual SIUC Baptist Student Union reunion. My Anna-Jonesboro Class celebrated our 60th anniversary, which was made especially wonderful because Lois (Ferrell) Doctor and husband Tom and grandson Josiah came from California and Oregon, and we had a great visit with them as house guests at Woodsong. Gerald finds plenty to do in shop and helping out others. I participated in Trail of Tears and Writers Guild activities and still blog usually twice a week.
Here’s a run down on our children:
Katherine and husband David Cedar and their son Sam
have their lives darkened by her progressive multiple sclerosis. Katherine keeps her faith and can usually be cheerful despite constant pain and multiple health problems. Around the world millions suffer from various causes including starvation, but it is heart breaking when you see the suffering up close. David tries keeps his spirit up by hanging out at his friend Jim’s hunting camp and actually got three deer this year--a buck and doe will provide them lots of meat. He makes excellent venison sausage. The third deer actually got David as it hit his car and almost totaled it as he was on the way to see Katherine at the hospital. That car was replaced with a new one, so Sam was made happy. He has over a year yet for a license. Sam is a joy and he keeps us aware of the youth scene in Marion band circles and at Second Baptist Church. We enjoyed visiting evening services at their church when Wendell Garrisons was interim pastor for a few months.
Gerry and Vickie’s family had many changes. Erin is in her second year at SIUC as assistant softball coach and loves her job. Her year’s challenge was a torn ACL the second night she played with a local coed softball team. Because of infection, she has had five surgeries, and months of therapy. She is doing great after a tremendous amount of work. Tara with her Southern Force 16U won the prestigious Boulder tourney and for fifth time went to Final Four at the ASA nationals. This fall she became assistant softball coach at the University of Georgia. (Gerry is now associate head coach.) Tara’s husband Bryan is still with the same architecture firm in northern Illinois, but commutes from their home in Georgia. The Archibalds and Gerry and Vickie rent and share a big house with three floors. Vickie is the official baby sitter for Payton, 1; Maddux, 3, and Aidan, 5, who just started kindergarten, and she also still sits for Matthew! Geri Ann helped lead the Oconee High School softball team to another state championship and was again named as Player of the Year by Athens newspaper. She has signed to play next year at the University of Georgia with her dad and sister! Softball must make girls beautiful. At least Gerry and Vickie’s three are!
Jeannie and Rick are busy with both teaching other people’s children and nurturing the three talented Eiler kids--our music and acting grandkids. Leslie and her fiancé Mike Thompson will finish their degrees at Belmont before their June 23 wedding. Elijah had the lead in The Foreigner last spring and spoke at his high school graduation. He is now studying at Illinois State to become a teacher for the visually handicapped, a long time interest of his. Cecelie is in 7th grade and as beautiful as her sister. In addition to her intense interest and talent as violinist, she was in the Freeport High School musical this fall when they did Annie. Rick still heads up math department, coaches and runs. Jeannie amazes us with long-distance bicycle rides.
Brian and Mary Ellen keep their dual careers going full blast. Mary Ellen now is a buyers agent for Jane Hay Sales and Staging of The Real Estate Group in Springfield and loves it. Brian continues his work at Stone Seed while also increasing rented acreage here. We are grateful for high yields he consistently grows on our farm with Stone Seed and other Monsanto brands. Trent graduated from Lincolnwood High School with high ACT scores and is enjoying his freshman year at Lincoln Land Community College. He hopes someday to work in a film-related career with his computer skills. Brianna, another of our blond beauties, is busy with band, junior class vice president, and student council. Sam went up to see her in the Homecoming court and to attend the dance with one of her friends.
Gerald and Sam traveled to Tuscaloosa to see Georgia play softball. Nephew DuWayne and Gerald saw Southern Force at Chattanooga and Oconee at Watkinsville. I went along for the Oconee state championship at Columbus. We managed trips to Freeport and Waggoner to see other grandchild events. Vacation Bible School at Center was great with Elijah, Trent, and Brianna here to help. Easter and Thanksgiving weeks were special times with families coming and going as they will this season.
Love and Merry Christmas,
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