Wow, is about all I can say. It is the end of 2009, and what a year it has been!! Full of blessings, triumphs, tears...you know LIFE!! I can try and report the events of the year, or the emotions, or the images...yet I know there are things I will miss!
We have done a lot, learned a lot, laughed and cried....God uses all of this to sanctify, as long as we listen. We are listening...
As spring arrived this year, so did my mom, and sister, and niece, for a surprise birthday visit!! It was fun, and fast, and set in motion events that would take the rest of the year to play out. And so it began, the day the family left, is the day the campground opened again! As much as we love it down there, it really steals 6 months of our lives, as a family, as new Wisconsin residents...although we have been here 2 years, we have really only been here 2 winters, for the summers are tied to the campground. Larry can't leave, unless I go down, which kills any summertime fun. The work there is more challenging than anyone would expect..so as you read this, please pray for another door to open, so we may set the campground aside, and let someone else be blessed in the way we cannot be.
In the few hours we had together at the house last year, we composted, gardened, ducked storms and hail...the hail storm that arrived gave all of Potosi a new face lift, as houses were re roofed, and resided..
We grew heirloom tomatoes and habanero peppers, chiles, jalapenos, pumpkins, and lots of onions!! We canned and cooked, and cleaned, peeled...canned beets...and what we didn't get too fast enough, went back into the garden!! We have learned so much in two years, my head spins!!! I have many photos...and I will try to post them after Christmas!
The summer was full of many things, knee surgery for me...in the spring of 2008 I was kicked in the other leg by one of the horses...completely by accident, but it still hurt like heck. Both legs are on the walking wounded..so if you happen to pass by Larry and I and we are walking on our hands, its just because they seem to work better these days!! Oddly enough, nothing seems to really stop us tho...
Knee surgery was the day before the girls birthday party...which seemed odd, but worked perfectly, as I was still full of lidocaine and could bounce around like a 28 year old mom, instead of a 48 year old one!! The party was a great success and people came from miles and miles to bless our girls..Thanks to all of you that helped make that party such a HUGE success!!
The rest of the summer was filled with adventure, as we got a pontoon boat, in time to take my sister for a few rides up and down the river, and we look forward to the many adventures we will have on that as the years go by! While heidi and I rehabed, (she had foot surgery) we took the girls to Racine to the beach...(who knew the beach was no longer 6 ours away but now only 3??) and visited some museams, and went on lighthouse drives..we found a 6 flags, but that is for next summer!! We also had a visit from cousin Pat, who grew up not far from here, and although the visit was brief, it was wonderful!!
As the fall drew to an end, the garden withered...Deuce caught a ride back to the desert, his year of learning to be a horse complete...the Ranch began to settle in for its winter rest. Some new gates had been hung, new waterers in place, a chicken tractor was bought, in hopes of raising meat chickens next year, and fertilizing our fields!! A great 2 in 1 deal, I would say!! Now the snow covers everything..the ground is frozen...and we turn our attentions inside.
Larry and I? Well, I joined the Lions, he became a Mason, we both joined the Potosi Area Rescue squad, with me being the school guinea pig so to speak!! I have great news,I passed the class, passed the big scary National Practicals...and I look forward to finishing the National Exam after Christmas!! EMT ...that's me!! Larry begins on the eleventh of January...so he gets to spend his birthday with Annie, the doll....(insert joke here)
by next summer we will both be EMT-b!! I think 911 will just be our family crest!!! Nathan has moved through emt-b to medic, to now the esteemed position of flight medic...Lord have Mercy!! He is working for Mercy Air now...Sarah and Ava are lovely..Ava is shy, must come from her moms side somewhere.
Morgan is still in Arizona, and trying to pull all the pieces together for EMT-b school starting the 20th of January! We are praying for her success in this, and feel strongly that it is her calling!!
Jacinta and Lukas are doing great, Arryell is lovely and sassy like her momma and Yia Yia~
Nicki has divorced Jay, and Jay has custody of the kids, a challenging situation, and one we really don't know much about. We get pictures of the kids, posted on a shutterfly site, and it looks like they are healthy and well.
The littlest two, well, they are well onto being kids, dancing, gymnastics, running and playing, reading dick and jane, and doing their math...
There have been births, deaths...baptism's, and many celebrations!! Larry lost his blood brother, (you know boys, they sliced their hands and tied them together, when they were kids) just before thanksgiving, and although sad, thankful that he got back here in time to renew that friendship!
Our menagerie is settling in nicely..Duffy is lead dog, with Tazer the German Shepard and buster the sheltie close behind. They patrol and guard, play in the snow and run the fence lines with Spirit and Sioux!! We still have princess, and Pablo, the barn cats...but sadly for us Butch never came back. Whether he has found a new home, and gone to kitty heaven, we may never know! We will add another kitten in the spring...to keep the mice away, the dogs are doing great on mole patrol!!
Oh, and for the hunters out there? The record deer this year came from Wisconsin, and there was a 10 point bagged in our woods, with a bow!! Not bad eh?
to all those we love, hang on tight to each other...never forget to share how you really feel, and make it the truth...somebody said.."the truth shall set you free" my guess is, thats real!
There is a room here for you when you come to visit...and some adventure waiting...did I tell you we live on sacred Indian ground? Larry hears tom toms occassionally, and an Indian flute...in the mist...off the river.....
Have a fabulous Christmas...
and may you reach what you strive for in 2010
The Raymond Clan