The big news of this past year is the opening of Lauren’s Institute For Education, or L.I.F.E. Carrie and Brian dreamed of a therapy center for special needs children where they could receive all types of services under one roof. They leased a 7600 square foot building, and Brian designed and managed the building project.

LIFE

It was completed and opened for business in August, with about 100 children and 40 staff the first month. In just four short months, they now serve 300 children with 75 staff members, and the waiting list is growing every day. They have already leased additional space with plans to open a pre-school next fall.

BalletIn May, I went to Boise to see Megan in her dance recital. She is quite the ballerina and is also learning tap. We celebrated her 8th birthday while I was there. She has entered the “tween” stage (all things Hannah Montana and High School Musical), and she’s a beautiful doll.
flood

In July, Queen Creek’s 100 year flood hit Brian and Carrie’s house, causing about $25,000 worth of damage. Neighbors rallied around to help in the clean up, and several of Brian’s construction buddies have assisted with repairs. With the exception of some landscaping, most of the work is complete.

I joined the Apple ranks when I became the proud owner of both an iPod and a Macbook this year. The iPod was a gift from Robin’s family and I LOVE it. I’m am still getting used to my Mac, but I’m having a lot of fun trying out new things with it. I haven’t upgraded to Leopard yet, but plan to soon.

The Make A Wish Foundation granted a wish for Lauren. In August, she received amecarousel beautiful three horse carousel. Brian and Carrie decided to have it placed at LIFE so all the kids could enjoy it. Lauren loves riding the horses; this was a perfect wish come true for her.

Steven turned 3 in September, and sadly this was the first of my grandchildren’s birthdays that I have missed. With my new Stevenjob, it just wasn’t a good time to make a trip. I am planning to go to Boise for a nice long visit over the Christmas holidays, so I’m hoping to catch up on all that I have missed in the past several months. Each time I call Robin, Steven wants to talk to “Grandma Doggies” and he carries on quite a conversation. He told me he wants a jeep and a truck for Christmas.

Nathan turned 5 in October. He is in pre-school, and “works” at L.I.F.E. as an example child in some of the classes there. He believes he runs the place. He really is a big help to his mommy and Lauren, and all the therapists.

Two weeks later, I joined Brian, Carrie and Nathan on a theme park vacation to California. DisneyWe happened to coincide with the devastating fires there, and had to make some last minute plan changes, but we managed to have a wonderful time anyway. We met up with Heather, Mark and their boys, and Don and Betty.

Last week, my employer laid off one third of my office. I don’t know how I escaped the ax, but I’m thankful to have a job. The myth of “job security” hit me like it never has before. My heart goes out to the many friends I worked with who are now facing the holidays without income.

Mom is doing well, still enjoying her friends and amenities at Fellowship Square. She and I are crocheting coordinated layette pieces for Jocelyn’s baby boy, due in early February.

Christmas Eve will find me at Candlelight Services, focusing on the greatest Gift of all. Christmas morning, I’ll go to Brian and Carrie’s, and I’m flying to Boise on December 26 for some long overdue time with the Holsingers. I pray that wherever the Christmas holidays find you, it will be exactly where you want to be. And I pray that the Lord will bless you during this season and in 2008.

Merry Christmas!

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