Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!When we remember the past year, we realize our lives are comfortable - almost to the point of the mundane.  We didn't travel much - a couple local trips mostly - and stayed at home doing ordinary things. The best part of our lives is seeing the good things that happen to the people we love.Our highlights first:
  • Ann joined a couple of groups and has made a lot of new friends.  She is now a member of the local Tent of the Daughters of Union Veterans.  Actually, she’s a great-granddaughter of a Civil War soldier.
  • She also found a group of people who have become hearing impaired as adults, and is learning American Sign.  One of the highlights of the group is their karaoke parties.
  • Bill has taken a leap and started a small publishing house, Ramsfield Press.  The press sponsors six writing contests a year, with cash prizes and publication.  The first short story, “Cat Lady,” by Mary VanSwol, is published at www.Ramsfieldpress.com.  In the works is a cookbook/anthology of food writing with a planned release date set for the fall.  And the press is looking for good narrative fiction, if you have a book to submit.
  • Bill also joined the Board of Directors of Foundation 153, which raises money to award grants for special projects to teachers in Homewood Elementary School District 153.  In our fall cycle of grants we awarded over $17,000!

The milestones of our lives include
  • Dyed in the wool Blackhawks hockey fans Ann and Bill watched their team win the 2010 Stanley Cup!
  • Grandson David returned from  his semester in Ecuador and will graduate from Beloit College next May.
  • Grandson Jonathan is a freshman at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, with a view of Lake Michigan from his dorm room.  He is majoring in television production, working in university security, and learning a lot.
  • Son Derek married the love of his life early this year in a fairy tale hot air balloon elopement.  He and lovely bride Jo are the proud parents of year old Ella and Gavin William, born in November.
  • Daughter Shannon became engaged to Ray, a wonderful, kind man.  They plan a May wedding, at which Bill (with his internet ordination) will officiate.

We couldn’t be happier for Shannon and Derek!  What joy they and all our other chosen family, Tim, Karen, Greyson and Alexa, Theresa, Rochelle, Pegi, and Margaret, bring to our lives.We wish you the peace and joy of the Christmas season, and good health and prosperity for the coming year.