All in favor of honoring Satan on the front lawn of the State Capitol raise your hand
My memories of going to Cuba with my friend Charlie Cain in 1978

This year's Christmas newsletter--Grandparent edition


We had an amazing year as our family gets older and expands.

I could feel God’s presence in the narrow hallway of our house that connects the kitchen to our bedroom, my study, the bathroom and the stairway to the basement. Gladys brushed by me with a handful of family pictures taken during the summer and fall. She was updating a collage that hangs on our wall.

She showed me her choices to display during the winter, a photo collection that we walk by multiple times a day. It struck me as she showed me pictures that made us both smile and which reminded us how much God has blessed the two of us.

As we close out this year, we look forward to celebrating the birth of Jesus and the hope that it brought to the world at that time and that is alive and well as we move towards an uncertain future in today’s world.

If Gladys and I had a highlight video of the past year, it would include:

  • The birth of our third grandchild in June in St. Louis.

  • The two of us sitting on the couch in our living room at 8 pm one night with a

    bottle of wine and smiles that could be seen through our picture window. Why? Because two of our grandkids were sound asleep after a busy day with grandma and grandpa.

  • Eating a veggie delite at the Subway near our church where we both whip out our sermon notes and spend our time talking about how it applies to us.

  • Gladys sitting in the examining room with me while I have yet one more exam by an ophthalmologist caring for my troublesome eyes.

    We got the call from Justin while Gladys and I were eating lunch in the living room and watching another episode of Desperate Housewives. They were on the way to the

hospital for the birth of our grandson. Needless to say, we could feel the excitement in his voice all the way from Missouri. He and Lauren had invited us and her mom to be there—the waiting room next door—when Miles was born. Within an hour, we were packed, in the car and on the road. Our smiles were so big that we looked like two sixty-somethings who had just visited the marijuana store. We made it in time. Our grandson first said hello to the world just after 5 am on June 19.

When we got home a few days later, our daughter and family were at our house. They had arrived a few hours earlier from North Carolina. They were back in the states after living in Bosnia for more than three years where they serve as international aid workers.

As we got out of our car, we got a reminder of what it’s like to have two kids running up to you to say hello. This time they were hollering “grandma” and “grandpa.” And again, we had smiles that could melt butter and they didn’t go away. For the next month-and- a-half, we earned our badges as hands-on grandparents.

What about my eyes? Many have asked. I have gone more than a year without an eye surgery. That will change in mid-January when I have a stent put in my right eye to help with fluid drainage. The goal is to reduce the pressure. I am an experienced glaucoma patient.

What about Gladys? She’s quarterbacks family visits. My 68th birthday party was a testimony to all the good foods that God created, including a shot of Fireball whiskey with my son-in-law. Along the way, this summer, I’ve had a couple of samples of craft beer with my son. Now when he talks about Backwoods Bastard by Founders, I know that he’s not making a crack about the U.S. Congress.

Gladys is still a student teacher supervisor with Spring Arbor University. We’ve traveled widely in the state to a wide-variety of public school classrooms. She has even done it via webcam with students in far-away states.

There’s a whole lot more we could share. But, the most important thing we want to share is that God has blessed us big time. We both know that Christmas is a time to really celebrate the hope that has been given us.

Regardless of what happens this next year, we know that the God who created heaven and earth and who gave us his son is still here with us. And it all got started with his birth way back in time. This we know and this is what we base our hope on.

We pray our Lord meets you in whatever situation you find yourself in this next year. Please stay in touch and let us know what’s happening with you and your family.

Merry Christmas,

Wes and Gladys