Last blog of 2009: Christmas at the Zeliffs

It’s Monday December 28th and another Christmas has passed. I enjoyed having 4 days off from work and spending time with the family. While I stayed home on the day of Christmas Eve, Renee and Jesse did some last minute gift shopping. I did a little cleaning up around the house and made some pumpkin cake. It’s like pumpkin pie without the crust. After they returned and finished their wrapping of presents, we set up the tripod for family portraits. They were great fun and if you are on Facebook you can see them if not be patient and I may get them up on the website…eventually. Following that, we went out for some fast food and to look at lights around Apple Valley. As the evening drew to a close, we gathered in the living room for our tradition of reading the birth narratives of Jesus from the gospels of Matthew and Luke. Jesse led off with Matthew and I picked up with Luke. Jesse then chose one gift to open and we turned in for the night.

Christmas morning came and I was the first one up. I read the paper and talked to mom in FL while waiting for Jesse and Renee to awaken. Once everyone was showered and awake, we enjoyed some homemade banana bread before Jesse passed out the stockings. After the stockings were done, Renee took over and began passing out presents. Halfway through opening presents, we were joined by my best friend Jim Ritch. He drove up from San Diego after duty on the USS Reagan the night before. Too sum up the presents this year: Jesse = guitar, music and books, Doug = golf stuff, candy and new Zelda DS game, Renee = Magic Bullet, kitchen stuff, and popcorn. We watched some NBA before enjoying a ham dinner. We then watched the Chargers demolish the Titans and secure the #2 seed for the playoffs.

The next morning, Jim went for a 16 mile run before showering and heading back toward SD. After he left, we went out to spend some gift money at Target, Best Buy, Tom’s Music, the mall, and finally the Super Target. On Sunday, we sat around the house doing nothing and eating leftovers/sweets. It was a relaxing weekend and glad it is another short week.

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and that you have a great New Year. For those of you we haven’t spoken to in a while, we miss you and hope to hear from you soon. For those we got reacquainted with this year, glad to have back in our lives. For those that never left and are always there, thanks for being with us through 2009 and we look forward to the blessings ahead in 2010.

The day she said “Yes.”

I was nervous and getting ready to leave Texas to visit my family in California for Christmas. It was our last day together before I flew out. We agreed to exchange gifts and I hoped she would like mine. I had my “Charlie Brown” tree set up and decorated. She came over to the apartment and I nervously handed her my gift. She opened it and I asked if she would marry me. We had dated since the summer and I wanted her to know I was not looking for anyone else. I wanted her to be my wife. She smiled and said “Yes” as I slipped the ring onto her finger. Twenty-one years ago today, I got engaged to the woman who is my soul mate. We married almost 14 months later and are still in love. Thanks Renee for making me so very happy. You are so good to me! I love you and am so very glad the Lord brought us together.

Thanksgiving has past and Christmas is a few weeks off.

We enjoyed our Thanksgiving this year and were happy to have my mother, Betty, fly out and join us from Florida. After my father passed on in Septemebr, we were glad she wasn’t alone for the holiday. She only spent a few days with us as she went to Yuma the day after Thanksgiving to see my Aunt Loretta and Uncle Ed. She did return with several half gallons of Bluebell Ice Cream for which were very grateful. The day after Thanksgiving, we did venture out briefly to Best Buy to get mom a GPS unit and to snag a new phone for me. We returned home to set up the Christmas tree. Renee and Jesse finished decorating the tree while I hung the lights outside. Mom flew home yesterday and heard all about it from her 3-legged cat, Hoppy, for having been gone for two weeks. This weekend, I spent some time typing up the annual newsletter and getting the Christmas cards ready to mail out. I hope that each of you have a wonderful holiday season. Merry Christmas from the Zeliffs.