Christmas greetings to all our cherished family and friends!  We always enjoy hearing from all of you, so keep those cards and letters comin’.  I’ll do a quick recap of both 2016 and 2017 since I didn’t get a card sent last year.

We made a family trip last summer (all 9 of us) to Cape Cod.  Day trips to Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard were especially interesting.  Saw where they filmed Jaws and everything!  We also spent a day in Keen and Marlow, New Hampshire where the Giffin family settled when they came to the states.  Visited cemeteries and located Giffin Street while we were there.  The two of us ditched the kids and spent a week in Florida at a resort near Orlando last year also.  We went to Epcot Center, took an airboat ride and saw an alligator nest and her babies.  We decided NOT to adopt one.  This year our travel has been a little closer to home.  We went on three bus trips, spent a few days in Estes Park, and made a trip to western Nebraska to see a few things that we have always just passed by because of time restraints.

On a day to day basis we don’t get far from home but we manage to stay busy.  Bob still has his cow/ calf herd and I still have 3 rental properties.  Bob plays cards with the guys several times a week.  He especially enjoys going to the Richter party shed once a week for breakfast and pitch.  (Jim likes to call it bible study – they’re praying for good cards.)  I belong to a bridge club and enjoy “Our Afternoon Off” club which used to be an extension club (Now we just get together and drink.  Kidding!)  I also play Bunco with a great group of gals.  We both enjoy our coffee time with friends, activities at the Sr. Center, concerts at the Merriman, Minden Opera House, and Harmon Park.  Social time at the Elks is always fun-haven’t taken up golfing though.   We’ve been exercising at the hospital (due to a gift certificate (stupid kids!)) and we enjoy going to the bank’s free monthly movie.

Of course our family is highest on our priority list.  We enjoy spending time together whenever we can.  Collene lives in Kearney and her daughter Mariah lives in New York City.  Doug and Brandie still live in Omaha.  Their kids (Nate, Abbie and Madison) all live in Omaha as well.  Doug had a rough year with back surgery (spinal stenosis) and knee replacement (injury from basketball).  Other than that they are all doing great.

We were all saddened by the loss of Bob’s sister Jeanette recently.  She ran an in-home day care for many years, and was a very caring person.  We will all miss her.

Bob did adopt a pet this year.  I’m not sure what it is but we’ve named it “Whiskers”.  It’s set up housekeeping around his face and neck and has been living with me for a few months now.  His beard is in celebration of Nebraska’s 150th birthday. (I think he just needed a break from shaving.)  He grew one for the 100th and thinks this will be his last.   Guess he’s giving up on the Bicentennial.

That gives you some idea of how we have spent the last two years. Time seems to move a lot faster than we do anymore but we treasure our family and friends in those sometimes all-too-brief moments we have to spend with them.  We wish you all the very best in this joyous and holy season and hope that you’re able to spend it with the ones you love.

Happy Holidays – Bob & Vera (and Whiskers, too)

 PS. If you’d like a good laugh, google Party Mix and check out the recipe under Pioneer Woman. She’s hilarious!