2013 was a wild and crazy year at the Woodard household.  January 11th we moved into a one-story home with 19 trees in the backyard.  Two weeks later I worked my last day. After almost a year of retirement and I am wondering how I ever found time to work.  
  Not having to work meant more trips to see the folks and the folks actually coming to see us.  We enjoyed having long leisure days with them here and they enjoyed the puppies.  They just dread the drive down and back.

The new freedom also allowed me to spend time with friends, do laundry, housework and yard work during the day, spoil my dogs, keep my grandkids and spend some time playing the piano (I have no talent, but I do enjoy trying.)  We both agree our weekends and evenings are a lot slower paced meaning more dancing, more dog walks and more ball games.

  We did some traveling in the state of Texas both for Mick's work and to visit friends and family. This year we finally made it back to Brownfield for the Seaton family reunion.  Let me say those folks sure know how to put on a get together.  We spent a week in DC (Mick on business, me for fun).  Everyone should make the trip once in their life - and just a hint - go while walking doesn't sound like torture.  
  We made our annual trek to Vegas and thought about skipping a year, but when the time came we couldn't resist and we booked for 2014. We stand and declare, "We are the Woodards and we are addicted to the NCAA in Vegas."  
  Voni retired July 31st and our wonderful husbands sent us on a cruise to celebrate.  We enjoyed hours of visiting, people watching, exploring the ship and of course eating.  We were a bit surprised when we realized it had been about 28 years since we first met.  We are ready to go again and actually insist the guys go with us this time :-)   
  In September we shared a week in Aruba with James and Mendy.  The island is beautiful, it reminds me of a travel poster for the Caribbean.  Mendy and I always enjoy watching "our guys" slip back into the college friendship that brought us all together.   Their friendship is rocking along toward 30 years.   
  Our Canadian friends had a rough year.  Tamara was diagnosed with cancer, however her surgery was successful and she has returned to work.  We spent ten days with the Buleks in their beautiful condo in Palm Springs, California.  I have never seen so many palm trees or rich people!  We introduced Tamara to pecan pie and enjoyed their fur babies Annie and Sam.  (They love little white dogs just like us.)  We drove to the coast and walked on the beach.   Here we are at a rooftop cafe overlooking the ocean.  Next year we will celebrate 10 years of friendship with a cruise.  Considering we live over 2200 miles apart we think it is amazing.   
Our Kiddos


Michael, Bethany, Martin (3), Jamie, Luchi, Natalie (6), Katy (5), Lori and Casey


  In June, Luchi, Natalie and Martin made the move to Texas.  It is amazing how quickly they have adapted. Jamie is still working around Booker and Luchi and the kids are living in Silverton.  Nati is a first grader and has developed a strong sense of school spirit and thinks cheerleading could be in her future.  Martin loves his tree house, his own yard and thinks getting the mail out of a mailbox might be the most fun in town.  Luchi is dealing with cold weather and enjoys it about as much as I do.   
  Katy is in kindergarten and continues to amaze us with her vocabulary.  Casey is taking flying lessons and Lori is a runner who keeps everyone organized as well as traveling on business.  They are skiing enthusiast and went to Utah this past year and skied the Olympic trails. They plan to take Katy on her first ski trip over spring break. Their business is doing great, they just bought an office building in Houston.   
  Bethany took a bachelorette cruise and ended up spending a week afloat in the Gulf.  Yep she was on the "cruise from hell".  A few weeks after her return Michael proposed and we are proud to be getting a son-in-law on May 17, 2014.  Bethany has a new job and is finally reaping the benefits of a college education.  Michael still works for an oil field supply company and received a nice promotion this past year.  
  Our kids (all 6 of them), grandkids and my parents joined us for Christmas the first weekend in December.  We met in Abilene where the ice was thick and the wind was bitter cold.  Once inside there was swimming, dominoes, eating and a whole lot of BS.  It was amazing how many laughs were in a box of candy cigarettes.  
  It has been a very rough year for our folks. They struggle with numerous health issues but make a strong effort not to complain and to continue their normal lives.  They all regularly attend worship services. Julie lives alone with help from her friend Bitsy.   JL has about decided to hang up his tractor driving spurs but still keeps up with most sports. Faye attends as many of Natalie's activities as possible and still prepares stuffed jalapenos for church lunches. 

We plan to make one more 2013 trip to the panhandle to see our folks for the holiday.  If there is no ice or snow - wow - what is with this weather?  I'm beginning to think we should have elected Al Gore - global warming sounds pretty good right now!! 

  Our dogs absolutely love the new house.  We are on a walking trail and take advantage of it often. The yard is shady and they enjoy napping in the grass and stalking squirrels.  McKito is 9.5 years old and has developed a bit of a grumpy side along with arthritis.  Pippen remains a clueless sweetheart.


  The lovely federal furlough caught us in the middle of travel plans.  We had just returned from Aruba and were scheduled to go to California.  Then almost 3 weeks of no work and no income. We talked it over and said - "California here we come."   Mick was declared non-essential so we took them at their word.   
  2014 is shaping up to be another one of our busy years.  We will be in Vegas in March, cruise with the Buleks in the fall and think we need to get serious about taking the grandkids to the beach.  We have the wedding in May where Nati and Katy will be "Petal Princesses" and our baby girl will be a bride.   

Mick has started his retirement countdown, I'm still dreaming of writing (and finishing) a novel and of course there is always just one more trip to take.  


We wish everyone a warm, safe and happy holiday.