Merry Christmas and Happy New Years!

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Christmas 2008 Christmas 2008 Christmas 2008
Since our last Christmas greeting, we were in California to be with Carmen as she gave birth to baby Sierra in October 2007. This picture was taken this summer, so she's no baby anymore. She is now walking, has a great smile and a wonderful personality. We helped Sierra and Dakota celebrate their birthdays this October. It is amazing to watch how fast they grow and develop into little people. It is truly a miracle. In November we spent a couple of weeks in Hawaii, attending the WAC football championship game between Boise State and Hawaii (we lost) and taking in the raw beauty of the Island of Oahu. We split our time between Honolulu and the North Shore where we learned about the different Polynesian cultures of the Pacific Ocean. Here we are celebrating a Thanksgiving dinner at a restaurant with a great view overlooking Waikiki Beach. From December through March we lived in Ajijic Mexico along the shore of Mexico's largest Lake Chapala. This picture was taken with Ken and Lisa, our landlord during a surprise birthday party for Glorine (she turned the big 6-0)! Ajijic is a sub-tropical paradise much like Hawaii, but without the humidity. It was such a great experience; we spent 16 days there in August and leased a home for four months starting this December.
July 2008 July 2008 Christmas 2008
We spent a month in Boise, signing tax forms, visiting friends and packing for an extended summer in the Midwest. Here is part of the Barnhardt clan gathering on a sandbar enjoying the Missouri River near Bismarck. This is our pontoon which we docked on the Missouri river for about a month and then at to our daughter's lake home in Minnesota. Here is Glorine's sister and her brothers, all of whom live in North Dakota enjoying a cruise up the river. The pontoon turned out to be a hit as we hosted lots of family and friends in the Bismarck area. At times the pontoon was a mini restaurant, specializing in sandwiches and beer. And what surprised us the most was how the river has been transformed into a major recreational river lined with million dollar homes. Here we are biking on Mackinaw Island, located on Lake Huron in Upper Michigan. It banned all motorized vehicles in the 1930s, so the only way to get around is walking, biking or horse back. Scott and Joy, friends from Kentucky met up with us to spend a couple of weeks RVing along the North Country from Mackinaw Island to Door County Wisconsin.
Christmas 2008 Christmas 2008
In retirement--every day is a Saturday, which makes it hard to describe ALL the wonderful times we had this year, especially with our kids and growing grand kids. This summer, we took four trips between Minnesota and California splitting our time with Carmen's and Denise's families. This is something we could have never done during our work life, which makes retirement especially wonderful for us. In addition to spending our spring, summer and fall enjoying our family and friends, we discovered a "playground for adults" in Ajijic Mexico, where the sun also shines and the people are friendly and fun loving. Life is Good, as they say.
Here is wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
While visiting family in Nebraska in mid-September, we received a surprise call from Denise saying she was heading to the hospital--two and a half week from her due date. Here is what we saw when we returned to Minnesota the next day--little Baby Chase, our first grandson. His sister Clara can't seem to get enough of him, with kisses and hugs.