I started off 2014 on crutches.  I had a bone spur taken off my foot and never dreamed it would take so long to heal.  My doctor told me "no more going barefoot on hard floors." We spent New Year's Eve eating crawfish and watching football since dancing was not an option.  
  We made our annual NCAA tournament trip to Vegas.  This year we bit the bullet and stayed downtown.  We have always wanted to give it a try and we were thrilled we did.  The economy must be picking up because the sports books are once again wall to wall for the games.   
  May 17, 2014 and we got a son-in-law!  Bethany and Michael Land were married in New Braunfels. The weather was perfect and we couldn't have asked for a better time.  Bethany was a beautiful bride, the two granddaughters were amazing flower princesses and Micky jitterbugged his way through the father daughter dance. (Without stepping on the bride's dress - his worst nightmare for months).  They honeymooned in Nashville and were recognized at the Grand Ole Opry.  This is a link to the father / daughter dance.  All of our years of practice paid off :-)

  In June we picked up the 3 grandkids (and Luchi ) and kicked off G Camp (Gramps, Grammy and Grandkids) with a train ride.  For two weeks there were crafts, games, bubbles, silly string, picnic in the park, photo ops, swimming, dog walking and turtle feeding.  We even had cousins that came to visit from Magnolia and they brought rubber band bracelets and Ipads.  It was nice to see the bonding and hear the giggles and the laughter.  This is the GCamp Memory video.

  Luchi and their two kids stayed another week after camp ended.  We took Martin to his first fireworks show and his excitement was fun to watch.  I took Luchi back to the panhandle and we packed up their things.  We rented a UHaul trailer - yep she and I picked it up and had a bit of help loading it, then we drove to Weatherford, Texas. Mick brought a load of things she and I had acquired from family, friends and garage sales.  We unloaded and unpacked and left them at their new apartment.    
  Micky's aunt and cousins spent a week with us while they got ready for a wedding. The bride was beautiful, the sun was hot and we got to see some long lost relatives and actually meet a few new ones.    
  We went back to the panhandle for Julie's 89th birthday and my folks 68th wedding anniversary.  It worked out great because Micky had a meeting in Lubbock and the Overton honored his government rate so we had a room overlooking the Tech stadium.  I spent a few days with Paulette and got to see a few friends.    
  We finally made it back to Kinder with Voni and Gary. Most of their slot machines had been updated with the option of ordering a drink via a touch screen, we were suitably impressed and almost wore it out the first day. We had a great time and we all enjoyed the senior discount buffet. One of the FEW good things about aging.    
  Over Labor Day we traveled to southwest Florida to Bonita Springs.  We laid on the beach, floated the lazy river, ate a lot of seafood and celebrated our 22nd anniversary. We drove to Marco Island one day and took a little detour through the edge of the Everglades.  It was interesting but we were both wondering what we would do if we had a flat tire.    
  Our nephew Colby came over one weekend and helped us redo our fireplace mantle and hang our television.  The new mantle paint looked so fresh and bright we decided to touch up the rest of our trim.  WHOA we had miles and miles of baseboards, crown molding, doors and windows - 19 hours of painting later we were exhausted but thrilled with the results.  We are thinking we will tackle gutters and outside paint next.  We talk about hiring it done, but like to pretend we are still young.    
  Christmas with our kids was November 22nd.  We had a cruise planned for two weekends in December and the next weekend we would be going to the panhandle to see our parents and the weekend before our cruise was Thanksgiving.  We polled the kids and asked about having it early and they were ready and willing.  Something about spreading expenses, travel and calories across a few weeks. Our home was filled with laughter, dogs, dominoes and teasing.     

  We set sail out of Galveston with our Canadian friends and ticked two places off of our bucket list, Key West and the Bahamas. The weather was a bit cool and skies were cloudy, however we managed to keep warm eating, laughing and catching up. We convinced them to try alligator and we all passed on frog legs.  We did go to the southern most point of the United States.  The ship was decorated for Christmas and it was fun sitting in the hot tub in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico singing Christmas carols.  Not on my bucket list, but it should have been.

Tamara's last work day is January 30, 2015. We are all wondering how Mick is going to deal with working when we are all packed and ready to go anywhere anytime.

  We will head to the panhandle for a few days at Christmas. We will be back here for Christmas since Mick works on the 24th.  Marvin and Linda are going to drop by our place on their trek around Texas seeing their kiddos and we plan to sneak over to Kinder for a few days before the new year.     
  Our Parents:  Julie made it down for Bethany's wedding but has declined steadily this past year.  She is using a walker to prevent falls and seldom leaves the house.  J.L. and Faye are struggling, but managing.  J.L.'s hearing is much worse and it is frustrating for both of them.  Faye has numerous chronic issues and many of her medications have side effects that create more problems. J.L. still enjoys baseball and Faye is an NBA fanatic.    
  Our Kiddos: 

Luchi is still waiting for immigration to work through her paperwork. Even with thousands of dollars AND a lawyer helping it is a maze of frustration and waiting. Natalie is kicking tail in second grade  - all A's.  She played volleyball this fall and basketball this winter.  She is studying Texas history and is quite proud to be a Texan. She will be 8 in January.  Martin is in Pre-K, and he has decided it might be ok.. We are amazed that after 18 months in the states he has gone from almost no English to English as his primary language.  He will turn 5 before Christmas and he loves dinosaurs, dogs and his Gramps.  Jamie is still driving a frackin truck for the oil field.  He likes the money but not the hours.

  Casey added a new accomplishment to his resume this year - he got a hole in one on the golf course.  Lori still works for the marketing firm and actually got to travel somewhere besides Milwaukee this year. Katy is a first grader with a fifth grade vocabulary, but she is a little girl in all other aspects.  She loves unicorns, dogs, dresses and princesses. The whole family recently tried "indoor" skydiving.  Katy, who will be 7 in May, could not get enough.     
  Our newlyweds are doing well in Uvalde.  Michael manages an oil field supply store and Bethany works for a rock quarry as office manager. Michael enjoys hunting and like a good Texan - cooking out on the grill. They are headed back to Nashville for their one year anniversary in May.  Mojo, their wonder dog, spent two weeks with us during wedding time, he is still lobbying for a dog door at their house.     
  Our dogs enjoy living on a walking track. . Micky put them a "doggy television" in the fence - a screen covered opening. Pippen spends hours each day monitoring the trail for dogs to bark at.  McKito is ten years old and has developed a heart murmur.  He still patrols our yard watching for squirrels trying to sneak in.     
  2014 was a busy year, but it just seems to be the norm these days. Micky is quietly counting down his time till retirement and wondering how farming got so political.  I will be retired two years in January and I'm shocked at how the time has flown and a bit sad at how little of my plans I've managed to accomplish.  Some of that can be blamed on the in state travel we do each year visiting family and friends. I guess we could blame it on the other travel too, and maybe the casinos and even grandkids.  Whatever is at fault - it sure keeps us busy.    
  We have four trips planned for 2015, the annual Vegas basketball marathon trip (Colby, Marvin and Linda are joining us again). We are going to Edmonton, Canada to visit the Buleks and look around Alberta and just happened to end up in Calgary for the annual Stampede. We plan to cruise with the Chandler's to help them celebrate their 40th wedding anniversary.  And somehow in a moment of weakness Micky talked me into a ski trip.  Yes, the kind with snow and cold.     
  When we reflect back on 2014, we will remember the wedding, Gcamp, family, friends and a year of health and happiness. 

We wish happiness, contentment and health to each and everyone in the coming year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Love, Mick and Kathy