I can't believe that it has been a year since our last post! It is amazing how time can get away from you. We have had a very busy year so I will attempt to catch everyone up. I appreciate the emails from friends and family but I don't always have the time to respond. We are getting ready to make a big change in our lives and this is a great time to keep you all updated.
I am not even going to try and recap the last year in chronological order. I can't even remember what I had for lunch today. My brain works much slower these days as my year and a half of "forced" retirement has left me quite laid back. Now, I know this is a shock to most of you. I still have my moments, you can ask James but I'm a mellow fellow these days.
The kids are both doing well. Nick will be starting his Jr. year at Texas A&M and will receive an Industrial Distribution degree. A few days before Christmas Nick proposed to Christina and they are planning a November 2012 wedding. A milestone in Nick's life was turning 30 in April. That's right - I said T-H-I-R-T-Y. How could that have happened? When old people tell you to enjoy the time with your kids, you better listen to them. It goes by way too fast. Nick has grown into an amazing man and always manages to make me laugh. He doesn't get to visit very often but we have a good time when he does come home.
Amanda graduated last May from Stephen F. Austin and is teaching at a daycare in the Dallas area. With the job market being so tough she is still trying to get into a school district. She has had several promising leads so we are hopeful for her. At the moment she is single and adjusting to life as a young adult. Amanda is more beautiful than ever and I miss my baby girl. Shiner is her 2 year old dauchsand, who is quite a character and provides us with entertainment . That would be our Granddog. We don't have any human babies yet for us to spoil rotten. It will be quite awhile before I get any. That's ok, for now I live vicariously through my friends and their grandkids.
James has been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and we are trying to deal with that along with the oesteoarthritis. We both try to keep ourselves as well educated as we can concerning all the health issues. He had a bad winter as it was much colder than usual. He is feeling better these days with the warm weather but still has times of severe pain. The hot tub seems to help his comfort level and when we are at home he is usually in it every evening. On really good days he is busy with chores and tries to fit a motorcycle ride in there somewhere.
I am doing fine. Retirement has agreed with me and I have enjoyed every minute. My health is OK and except for the intensive dental work (explanation in another blog) I am going through I can't complain. God has certainly blessed us this past year in many different unexpected ways. We have been able to help friends and family in various ways because we are not working and have the time. Adjusting to losing two full time incomes and trying to get by on James disability check has been challenging to say the least. We have tried to be fiscally responsible during our marriage and have learned that we can live so much simpler.
The decision to put our house on the market last April was with mixed feelings. The kids grew up there and we still have a wonderful neighborhood with the best neighbors. Tomorrow we will sign paperwork for a contract on the house. It is supposed to take almost 60 days to process the loan. So now we start the job of dismantling our home of 15 years. I have been purging and "streamlining" for over a year and am so glad I did. We plan on selling what we can and storing the rest. We are still not quite sure where we want to live and will be taking our time in finding our next place. In the meantime we have purchased James' Uncle JC's motorhome and plan on traveling some in between Dr. and Dentist appts.
We are in Hot Springs, Ark and plan to be here for an other 3 weeks. My friend Martha and her family flew to California for a reunion so James and I offered to take care of the 4 dogs (plus our 2), a cat and keep an eye on Granny (Martha's mom). James pulled the boat behind the motorhome and I drove in the truck with the motorcycle in the back. We each had a dog. It was quite a caravan. Our plan is to spend the rest of the time here on the lakes enjoying the beautiful scenery and fresh air (we won't miss the pollution of Houston).
I will try my best to keep this post updated and respond to messages the best I can.