It's looks like we are starting a trend of only sending out a newsletter every two years, since we didn't send one out last year (you can stop worrying, we didn't forget about you!). We'll try to fill you in on anything new. Last December was the first time Geoff and I spent Christmas in Colorado. It was such a relaxing time (especially since we didn't do a newsletter - ha-ha!). We went out and chopped down a small tree (they aren't as big here as in Oregon) and went and bought some decorations for it. My most favorite part of the holiday was turning on the tree lights and relaxing while listening to Christmas CD's. (I have lots of Christmas CD's which you'll find me listening to anytime of year.)
We are still enjoying working around our house. We had a great growing season this past summer with the trees as well as the garden. Geoff finished another Windsor-stone wall around the rose garden on the east side of the house. He also put scalloped-stone trim around my new perennial garden on the west side of the house. I think the yard looks very nice. I designed my perennial garden to have blooms during each of the 3 seasons and color-coordinated it. Hopefully, it will survive the winter after all the work I put into it.
Inside the house, we finished furnishing our living room and dining room by adding a new coffee table and a dining room table that we inherited from Geoff's great-aunt. The dining room table is a beautiful mahogany wood and matches the buffet that we inherited from Geoff's grandparents. We still have lots of wall space that we need to fill up, however. I have dreams of doing some oil paintings to put up on the walls. I took an oil painting class in the Spring of 1997 and discovered that I love oil painting. Unfortunately, I don't spend as much time at it as I'd like. Since I am a full-time homemaker now (I love it!), I have a little bit more time to devote to my arts and crafts, but it still seems like time continues to slip through my fingers. Like this year, for instance, I think I blinked and missed the month of November.
In the fall of 1997, we visited the East Coast and did a lot of sightseeing as well as visiting with my sister and her family and with Geoff's cousins. One of the places we visited was Rehoboth Beach, Delaware which was where Geoff spent some summer months when he was growing up with his grandparents in their vacation home. We only got to spend a few days there, so we decided to go back this year and spend a whole week. We stayed at a wonderful Bed and Breakfast, Sea Voice Inn, which we highly recommend. Susie Bond cooked up a great buffet breakfast every morning and then had a snack waiting for us every day when we came back from the beach. It was the first time since our honeymoon that we just relaxed on a vacation. (Can you tell that I like the times I am able to relax?) We did do just a little bit of sightseeing - Philadelphia; Cape May, NJ - Lewes, DE Ferry; Assateague State Park and the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge.
We still attend Fellowship Bible Church here in Colorado Springs. Since we were here last Christmas, I was able to sing in the choir for our Christmas Eve Services. I am in the choir again this year - we are doing a Christmas Concert on December 13th. I met a wonderful friend at church who wanted to learn how to disciple people. I told her the best way for me to teach her was to disciple her, which I do every other week for a couple of hours. She approached me around the same time that I realized that I wanted to be using my gift of teaching more. I have another friend up in Denver that I talk to on the phone to help encourage her in her Christian walk. Both these women are such a blessing in my life, as they also encourage and teach me many things.
Geoff has this wonderful ministry of putting each Sunday's sermons on the Internet. People from around the world can (and do) listen to the sermons. Check them out for yourself at: http://www.fbccs.org/
In September, Geoff took over as the head of sound for the church (a volunteer position). Geoff started in the position at the same time that our new Worship Director started, so there were a lot of changes at the beginning and it has been very busy for Geoff. A lot of the old sound team dropped out for various reasons, so Geoff has been trying to recruit new members that he'll need to train. Our church is a very active one, so there are many things going on besides the two Sunday morning services that require a sound person. It has been a lot more work than Geoff had anticipated, but hopefully after the holidays things will slow down a bit.
Geoff continues in his job at Mission Research Corporation, which he says is a lot less stressful right now then the sound stuff at church. He is currently finishing up on a project for the Army that involves building a dynamic infrared scene projector. Much like a regular movie projector except that it projects infrared light, MRC builds these systems so their customers can test infrared sensors. Geoff's involvement is in the area of programming the software interface to the environmental control hardware as well as some of the user interface of the controlling program. He also continues to support the office in the areas of general computer support, network, Internet, e-mail, troubleshooting, etc.
Hope you all have wonderful holidays and a very happy New Year.