Ho, Ho, Holy Crap its March! I’m not sure what to call this other than an “annual” letter. The New Year’s come and gone, Phil saw his shadow and we were once again hopelessly romantic. I guess I’m just glad we got it out before St. Patty’s Day.

So, you may ask yourself, “Self, what in the sam hill were the Giffin’s up to in 2012?” And you might answer yourself (if you were so inclined and maybe you shouldn’t be because if you ask yourself questions and then answer them, well the men in the white coats may show up soon), “I don’t know. And who is Sam Hill?” Well, I’ll tell ya (not the Sam Hill part, I have no clue on that).

Nate finished spring semester at Morningside on a good note, including spring football and dove back into lawn mowing and landscaping with his business in Omaha. He and Shane did some nice work and hauled a lot of rock, dirt and brush. They even built a moat around our house, which is nice. Back at school, his football team had an undefeated season all the way to the NAIA National Championship in Rome, GA where they lost a heartbreaker in overtime by a field goal. Nate won the Heisman but graciously gave it to the kid from A&M because he wanted to encourage him as he’s just getting started. It was a great year and almost perfect way to complete his career. Nate was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll for his first semester grades.

Abbie also finished spring semester at UNL and handled 2 jobs, summer classes through Metro and an internship with the Omaha Storm Chasers (the Triple A team affiliated with the Royals). She batted .652 with 79 home runs and 318 RBI. Somehow she handled it all. She returned to UNL this fall and is living in her sorority (Kappa Kappa Gamma) It’s great for her to be able to live in the house that she singlehandedly built last year. She continues to major in Journalism and Art with minors in Astrophysics, Quantum Mechanics and Nuclear Biology. She also worked at Barry’s.

Madison’s year was full of change. She graduated Magna Super Cum Laude from Millard West where she was the Valedictorian, Salutatorian and Chief Lunchroom Monitor. Her graduation party at the Century Link Center was attended by a couple of thousand people. The Stones played. This summer Madison’s dance team competed in Nationals in Oklahoma City where they won both of the major divisions. Maddie was in both dances. Afterwards someone from Dancing with the Stars was trying to talk her into going to Hollywood but we put the kibosh on that quickly. She also went on the church’s mission trip this summer. It was to Botswanna. Madison started at UNL this fall and is majoring in Nursing. She’s joined Kappa Kappa Gamma and has done very well making the Dean’s List first semester. She teaches dance two days a week at a Lincoln studio and is planning a run for governor.

Brandie changed jobs this year, moving from Blue Cross/Blue Shield to Coventry Healthcare. She’ll own the company soon, just 1,200 more easy monthly payments. She won the Nobel Prize for insurance this year and was elected to Who’s Who in Your Living Room. It’s due out in paperback soon. She’s also worked on our church’s capital campaign and helps regularly serving communion and greeting. She cooked four times.

Doug rode in BRAN, NUMB and the Tour de France where he placed third. He also went on the church mission trip with Madison. He was never lost in Savannah, GA, nor did he lock his keys in his rental vehicle while there. Doug helps out at church setting up for services, teaching Sunday school and doing the occasional miracle (nothing big, just a little water to wine, you know). He’s still at Hartford, counting dead cows and paying for them. He actually finished a home fix-it project this year and only had to go to the hardware store five times (a personal record).

Well, that just about wraps it. Until next April, keep your stick on the ice.