Kitty & Greg's
Family Tales
2005 Memories
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Mexico Mission
Greetings everyone!   It’s so hard to believe that yet another year has passed by so quickly! And what a full and exciting year it was – enjoying time with family and friends, traveling to both new and familiar places, working and volunteering in many ways that included some tremendous experiences for us. The highlight of this year, of course, had to be the birth of our first grandchild, William Douglas Lawson, born to Kim and Doug in April. [click on the photo for a larger image] Still, there are so many wonderful memories to relive and to share that we can only cover a few of them here.

We ended the old year and went into 2005 with two rather sudden and unexpected opportunities. First, at the end of 2004 our pastor at Community Covenant Church was granted a six-month sabbatical. As the chairman of the church and with seminary training, Greg was asked to fill many of his responsibilities during that time: leading Sunday morning worship, preaching many of the sermons, and working with the church staff and leaders. Thank God for the many wonderful volunteers who gave so much time and brought so much talent to helping the church thrive and grow. Kitty stepped right in to the role of pastor’s wife, and we enjoyed this time as much as we have ministering together at the retirement home for the past eleven years. Still, this was a humbling and eye-opening experience for which we are grateful. We were able to get a good look at and appreciation for a pastor’s life and to contemplate how God is still leading us in this direction.

At the same time, Greg was asked to take on a new assignment at Boeing managing a major program at a supplier company in Los Angeles. So from January through October he flew to LA each Monday morning and flew home to St. Louis on Friday evenings. It was a challenge for both of us to be apart that much, but weekends at home and cell phones made it easier. Of course the frequent flyer miles made possible some vacations this year and more planned in 2006.

Pier by Day
Redondo Beach Pier 4th of July
Pier by Night
Redondo Beach Pier at night
Kitty visited LA twice while Greg was there, enjoying the Redondo Beach area marina, pier, and shopping. We also had dinner one evening on the Santa Monica pier.
Tony's on the Pier.jpg
Famous Tony's pier restaurant

Over the 4th of July weekend we drove to King’s Canyon/Sequoia National Park to spend a day with the mountain scenery. We visited the campgrounds where Kristy worked one summer.

Greg at waterfall
Greg at King's Canyon waterfall
King's Canyon
King's Canyon National Park
Kitty and Sequoia
Kitty by Sequoia Tree
River in Sequoia
Sequoia National Park
Queen Mary
Queen Mary and Russian sub

Of course we drove to the Hollywood hills, and on Kitty's second visit we took a tour of the Queen Mary, docked in Long Beach.

Click on any picture
Kitty on QM
Kitty on the Queen Mary

In March we visited Kitty’s parents and Kristy and Cameron in Southwest Florida, and took our fourth cruise on a Royal Caribbean ship. Being able to get away from winter in the Midwest and enjoying sunshine, sand, and sea with family is always a blessing. This year we enjoyed an 11-night eastern Caribbean cruise, visiting several islands that are becoming old friends, making new friends onboard, and finding many ways to relax and enjoy ourselves. Snorkeling off a catamaran in Antigua and a crazy bus ride on St. Lucia are among many great memories from that vacation.

A second visit with Kristy and Cam for a long weekend in September was a bonus this year. They took us on a dolphin watching boat ride in the St. Petersburg inland waterway. Our group (was it Cameron or Kitty?) spotted the first dolphins of the cruise! We also spent time with our friends at their church, enjoying spirited worship, a tasty pot-luck dinner, and an evening of volleyball in the park.

Click on any picture for a larger image

Out for dinner
With Kitty's parents, Kristy & Cam
Goofin' around
Kitty with Florida locals
Brilliance at Labadee
Brilliance of the Seas
Florida dolphin cruise
Dolphin watching cruise
Kristy & Cam cruisin'
Cameron and Kristy
Living Waters ICC
Praise and worship

Two family milestones occurred this year: the birth of our first grandchild, Will, and Greg’s parents’ 50
th wedding anniversary. We were blessed to be at both. Will Doug & Kim and Baby William is, obviously, the most beautiful, smartest and cutest grandchild ever (really!), and spending time with him and his parents each month has been such a joy! It hasn’t taken us any time at all to get into this whole grandparents-spoiling-the-kid thing!

Betty and Andy’s 50th anniversary weekend brought many family members and friends to East Tawas, Michigan, for this special occasion – with a surprise visit by Andy’s brother Kees and his wife Neta all the way from Nevada. Greg and his brother and sister arranged a celebration party, offered heartfelt words, had some fun at their parents’ expense, and led them in renewing their vows during a beautiful evening overlooking Hubbard Lake.

   Family at Hubbard Lake    50th Anniversary

Greg’s slow progress towards his second seminary degree continued this year; in July and October we spent time at Bethel Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota, for two more of his courses. Maybe, just maybe, he can finish in 2007. On our way home we stopped to see Kim, Doug, and Will – and celebrated the news that they are expecting their second child already! Praise God! They are certainly excited and we are excited with them and for them.

Just as Greg’s travels to the West Coast came to an end in early November, we joined a ministry team from our church to travel Mexico tent livingto Phoenix and then into Mexico to build a home for a needy family. Three nights of sleeping in a tent on the desert sand, and three days of mixing and pouring concrete, sawing and nailing wood, plastering stucco, and getting to know “our” family. It was hard work (especially for us who are getting a little bit older) but so satisfying. And the experience of living and working with nearly 300 people in the desert building, worshipping, having fun together was … well … priceless.

Games at ThanksgivingFinally, we decided to put a halt to all this traveling and stay home for Thanksgiving. So family came to us! For almost a week people kept showing up to spend a few nights or more and enjoy a great time being together. Greg’s parents came from Michigan, along with Kitty’s sister, Carol, and her family. And Kristy and Cameron flew up from Tampa. In December, Kim and Doug and Will joined us for a drive to Michigan to spend Will’s first Christmas with us. What a joy to share that blessed season with more of the family.

All-in-all, 2005 was a very busy year! And also one filled with so much fun, excitement, and joy! We pray that 2006 will bring more of the same, but trust that the Lord will lead and provide whatever comes. We’re thankful that Kitty continues to do well with her house-cleaning business, and Greg’s job at Boeing is stable and secure. So work, church, and school will keep us busy for the start of another New Year, but we’re already looking forward to more time with family and friends either in St. Louis or wherever our travels take us.

Will with Grandpa Greg

We think of you and pray for you often, and we hope that you are enjoying good health and are in good spirits. Please visit us in Florissant (St. Louis), Missouri, or call, write, or email. We would love to hear from you soon.

Kitty & Greg

May God bless you and keep you
    in His safe and loving arms always,

        Greg & Kitty

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