Friday, December 28, 2007

Greetings From Columbia, Missouri!

It's been a while since our last post and the year 2007 is fast coming to a close, so I wanted to slide in one more paragraph or two under the wire before the clock strikes midnight on Monday.

Exactly one year ago, we had taken the mother of all North American winter road trips from Central Arkansas to Southwest Montana for Mrs. Arkanblogger's parents' 50th anniversary celebration and to snow ski for a week. This year we've managed to make it to Rogers, AR for a quick overnight at Mimi and Popsey's (not even 24 hours), then to Harrison, AR for a couple of days at Peepaw and Nana's and then on to Columbia, MO for a few more days. Lots of packing and unpacking with the 7 of us. Argh!!! Next year, the plan is, Lord Willing, that we'll be staying home for Christmas and the New Year.

It's a balmy 20 degrees outside this evening and thankfully, I'm in bed tucked under an electric blanket (with dual controls I might add). We are in the home of my brother-in-law and his sweet wife, who are not only OUR hosts, but are also housing and feeding my mother and father-in-law and beginning tomorrow, my sister-in-law, her husband and their 3 children. It's a virtual hotel around here.

This year has brought with it, several noteable events of both sadness and great joy. The troubling times include but are not limited to, the untimely death of a friend of our family, the passing of my last living Grandmother, a car accident resulting in life threatening injuries to a friend of my children and my father-in-law suffrering a series of strokes that have left him with some challenges to face and overcome and Mrs. A's auto accident which has left her with lingering neck problem.......on the other hand, our oldest daughter started her college program and is progressing nicely with all A's and one B so far, our 2nd oldest won 1st Place in the state 4-H Fine Arts Competion, all of my family except me were part of the cast of "The Gospel According to Scrooge" at Cornerstone Bible Fellowship (which drew around 1700 people to 4 evening performances), Mrs. A and I went to Baylor as sponsors with the Cornerstone Celebration Singers to watch them perform in Youth Cue (at which our oldest daughter got asked to participate in the National Youth Cue Tour to Canada), Mrs. A and I got to fly to Dallas the week before Christmas for an evening out with my regional office counterparts and their spouses, I got to visit Chicago for the first time and attend the national Greenbuild Conference, one of my childhood friends and his wife moved back to Arkansas from Texas and Mrs. A, Grace and myself have changed our lives by changing the type and portions of food we intake and by making excercise a part of our daily routine..........resulting in reduced clothing sizes by all involved. We plan to meet our goals on fitness and weight reduction by the end of March and are well on our way. When appropriate, we'll post before and after pictures. You'll be amazed and hopefully some of you will even be inspired to do it yourselves.

Speaking of goals, we're setting a few for 2008, which I'll list here over the next few days. I encourage you to do the same....keeping the list realistic, challenging and manageable.

I hope that all of you will take the time to reflect on the past 12 months and reflect on those things that need changing in your life and be thankful for your blessings. Make a list of them and pray that others might specifically receive them. If you can be the messenger of a blessing, then go and do it.

God's Blessings in 2008!!!

The Arkanblogger

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