Pat and Clay Christmas Letter 2003

25 December 2003

First, we want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

January was spent just coming down from Christmas and getting ready for the up coming year of 29 birthdays followed by Christmas 2003. Pat does the after Christmas sales for good deals on presents.

Pat did get her first jury duty in her 44 years in Marietta. She could have been exempted because she's 70 but wanted to do her duty one time. Clay had never been called.

In March, Pat took a stress test. Since she walks 3 miles a day (briskly) while reading a book, they pushed her but couldn't find anything bad except she out performed the stress doctor.

In February, sweet little Ashley became 1 years old so Pat and Clay are still GREAT grand parents. That's what 7 kids and 14 grand kids will do for you.

More on Tina and Ashley below.

In April, Donna had a garage sale with good success. She cleared $444. With her company waiting to be purchased by one of the big guys, she took the summer off and did the full-time mother thing. She got to do a lot of the swimming things and visiting with Betty. She put in a garden this year. She did good. Of course, she had great advice.

We had an Easter party at Mike's and his indoor pool. It was just a little bit chilly for out door swimming.

Still in April, we got to Rockwall for 2 weeks around Easter stopping by the casinos in Vicksburg coming and going.

Andy and Logan are out of soccer and into baseball and a little hockey. We got to a lot of practices and several games. It was a lot of fun

We got to the zoo and got to see Andy and Logan fish at the church pond. They did real good.

On of the nicest things was all of the Tex-Mex we got to eat while there. We even brought back 6 big bags of chips from El Fenix.

While there Frey's Electronics had their Cinco de Mayo sale and Betty and us each got a GE 25 inch color TV for $100, a Cannon S200 color printer for $30 and a Panasonic vacuum cleaner for $49. With 30 checkout units, it still took an hour to get out. There were over 500 in front of us.

In May, the big event was Bob & Kathy's No 2, Laura's high school graduation in Columbus. She did and now she is a freshman at Ricks in Utah. After a short time, however, she doesn't like it away from home and her stuff. It's all under re-negotiation.

You know you're getting old when one of your kids celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. Theresa, et al put together a surprise party at Donna's for Bill and Dawn. It was actually surprise and it turned out real good.

On little Clay's birthday, Mark and Lisa had a pool party in their new pool. It was warmer that Bill's but cooler that Mike's and no where as warm as Bob's 98.6 deg pool. It's a real nice looking pool and back yard. They have completed their pool kitchen now.

On Memorial Day, Bill and Dawn had the Opening of Summer pool party combined with several birthdays. Bill had an unusually warm pool (for him). They also did a tour of Chucky Cheese.

In June, we all went to Gulf Shores, AL for Mike's family week. We did the first half of the week and had a great time. We got to Lambert's, the home of the "throwed" rolls, for a country supper and the amusement park for little and big kid stuff.

We got to go to Greg's Confirmation followed by a family luncheon.

We got to go to Tircia's recital too. It's amazing what the little guys can do.


Dawn had an early morning meeting at the hospital and tried to let Bill have a little sleep and fell while dressing in the dark and broke her foot. A few days later they checked her other foot and it had a break also. She's in a wheel chair with walker and working at home. She goes in often via friends, co-workers the Pat taxi. They didn't heal as good as hoped so they added an electrical stimulation device to help.

Even though Donna wasn't officially working, she got a GMC Yukon Denali with 4 TVs and all that stuff. You can watch DVDs or play on the PS2. We rode with them to Gulf Shores in July.

Tina and Ashley got home for good in June. It wasn't working out with Brian so she called it quits. They signed the papers in July and it's all over. Tina and Ashley are living in Bob's plush basement apartment with Ashley in day care while Tina is working and going to school. She an accounting major.

In early July, Ken brought Betty and the kids in for a 5 week visit. One of the first things was a big day at Mike's. We ate, swam and shot off fire works for a fine 4th of July. Bob and all got up from Columbus to add to the fun. Ken flew back to work planning of a weeks vacation in August in Florida.

The whole family did a day at Stone Mountain which was great. We were, however, given a shorten laser show due to a very heavy thunder storm. When were first saw it, we started packing and it was on us in ten minutes.

We did another Mike swim-day in July with Betty's and Donna's bunch. They got to the Atlanta museum stopping at Centennial Park on the way.

The last of July, Father Herb, Pat's brother, on temporary duty in Brunswick,GA was reassigned to the home church in Carey OH. He'll be back and forth for a while but move finally in early October. We'll miss his visits and get-togethers when the Graf's do the southern vacations. Maybe we'll do northern vacations now. This years September vacation seems to have been eliminated as Jean has 2 new knees and is working her way back to the shop-til-you-drop mode.

The last of July, we all spent the day at Mike and Lisa's parents farm. The kids had a great time fishing in their pond.

In August, we all got to the Atlanta Zoo for the day. It was another one of those hot days but that's better than cold days. We had Donna, Betty, Lisa and all their kids. They even slipped in a day at Chuckey Cheese.

Ken returned for a week vacation. They went to Indian Rocks near Tampa. Had a real good week and even got to swim with the manatees. They have under water video.

In mid August, Clay had his first jury duty in 44 years in Marietta. It was over on the 15th. On the 16th, he'd be 70 and could be exempted from serving. Pat was over 70 when she did her's so he felt guilty not doing "his duty once". He sent in the exemption application the next day.

Dawn's Labor Day Pool Party is usually the end of the outdoor partying in Marietta. This one was real good. Clay even got into the water. Bill usually keeps it cold normally.

In mid September, we went to Owensboro, KY for a grand nephew wedding. Father Herb was "Marr'n Sam". We stayed with Jean and Bill (Pat's sister) and then went to their cabin on Lake Malone for a few days "family bonding".

A week before Halloween Donna and Randy had a big dress up party for about 100 people. It was great. Heavily decorated with plenty of liquid spirits. Clay went as "Mr Clean, the later years" and Pat as Hawaiian matron. Clay played the historian at the front door as he had pulled a muscle in his right thigh and couldn't walk over 20 ft at a time without stopping.

Our plans were to go to Rockwall TX for 2 weeks stopping at the Vicksburg casinos but no joy. Clay figured he could drive but couldn't walk afterwards so the trip was delayed until ?????. He had a rather long spell of hurt. We still hoped to do the trip. About the time the right thigh got better, he strained or bruised his left big toe. He tried to say it was from too vigorous sex (you know getting a running start), but the Doctor treated him for goute. It lasted for a couple weeks and is still tender.

He got out of picking up the leaves. Pat did all of it.

We all had Thanksgiving at Dawn's. Dawn watched. Bill cooked the turkey and the kids did the trimnings. Pat did 2 chocolate dream whip pies, a lemon "marengoo" pie and her mash potatoes. We had a couple from Dawn's work and Bob, Kathy and kids came for desert. They were at Kathy's mother getting prepared for a 2AM Friday shopping trip. All was good and plenty of it.

Christmas was at Donna's and done up real well. It was climaxed with the "white elephant" card game with all who could read participating. Great time.

Fr. Herb got to come back to get his car he had to leave in Hazelhurst. He got to stay a few extra days.

Pat and Clay finally got to Rockwell and had a great time. It was for the first 2 weeks of December. He won two $125 jackpot in Vicksburg on a penny machine (playing 25 pennies at a time).

Clay got a 200 GB disk and 512Mb memory bring him to 400 GB disk storage and 1 GB memory. He'll be sending you details about his Web Remote Access where you can see and download photos and future thingys.

Again, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Pat and Clay Houston