Hello! Hope we’re not too late with our Christmas letter!

9:30 on Christmas morning. Oliver’s (Grandson) toy helicopter has flown off to the horizon, never to be seen again in the snow. Tantrums and tears ensued, but Kat and I are over it now. And anyway; everyone says that kids have more fun with the boxes than the contents on Christmas day. That’ll certainly be the case here, because that’s all that’s left.

Errant electronics aside, it’s been an eventful year. We moved to this new house in the Summer of 2013, so this has been our first full year on the ‘farm’. We started with a three-year plan to develop the garden, and we’re now five years into that plan with only another four years to go (that’s what our credit card says, anyway). The Chickens have their own pen now – so can’t hangout on our deck and poop everywhere. Except for the two white ones which are able to fly over the fence (the others are too fat). We have a fire-pit and paths built, ready for marshmallows next year. If you want to see some work-in-progress photos, visit http://www.bigpoint.com/farmerama/board/index.php?threads/blazingblades.11958/ (BlazingBlades is a pseudonym for Kat. She plays a farming game when she isn’t in the real garden!)

As for the family, we’re all doing well. KP Direction is busy, with some nice projects lined up for next year – Kat runs that, while I sit on a train for 90 minutes each day traveling to work as a developer in Salt Lake City. Christopher and Heidi have moved from Ogden to Moab so that Heidi can study to be a Radiologist, taking Sophie and Ollie with them; we’ve been able to visit them once so far, but the old Subaru doesn’t really like the 5hr drive down there. Kat is seeing a new Outback in our future (and probably more of the grandkids). The entire extended family has discovered a new love for the Moab/Arches/Needles area now that there’s a ready made (and free) B&B down there.

Melissa released her first CD this year, which shot to #1 in our household and won several awards, including “Best CD Released by Melissa in 2014”. She’s now Worship Leader for a church in SLC, and working in tele-sales. Jared graduated with a Chemical Engineering degree this year, and currently works as a Youth Pastor at a local church. He will be getting married to Tawnie in early 2015, and we’re looking forward to having extra room in the house for an office. Getting rid of the explosives under the house is just a bonus.

Erin is now at the University of Utah studying for a degree in making coffee. It should be Chemical Engineering, but she’s working her way through college by working a lot of hours at Starbucks. Those $5 coffees are going towards a noble purpose! Preston is still at school; he was attending a local military school, however the education provided was the very definition of ‘Military Discount’. He went AWOL, and is now home educated and working towards an Associates degree in Hypersomnia.

The cats are loving their new home, and are finding many friends in the garden. They bring in some of their new pals to show us (Usually the top bits). As proof that cats are bullies, they won’t pick on anyone bigger than themselves, which includes the Chickens, although Bryan and Wendy Jensen’s tiny Chihuahua has been known to chase them around the house.

The best thing about our home? The neighbors. When we arrived, we were told that Roy, Utah was the ‘Banana Belt’; apparently it refers to the mild weather we get, but we thought it was because everyone living here is a complete fruitcake. That’s not the case, and we’re surrounded by Dale & Lynne, Tony & Roxanne, Barry & Diane and Brad & Donna – collectively, the greatest neighbors you could ever want. Brad & Donna are selling this spring in order to downsize, so we’ve told them we’ll do everything in our power to sabotage their plan and make them stay. We’re looking forward to more group dinners with them in the future.

Our neighbors are just a subset of our friends. Several of our other friends have had battles with Cancer this year, including Jackie Webb and Art & Bev Hosmer. We prayed hard, and all the prayers were answered, as they’ve all recovered. There are few enough nice people in this world – we want to keep some to ourselves for a while.

You can choose friends, but you can’t choose your family. Knowing this, Kat went with Erin and Preston to the Delgado Family Campout this Thanksgiving, in Florida. The capital letters are warranted, as there were over 50 Delgado’s of various lineage and vintages all in one place, discussing the Mafia and Spy connections that infiltrate the family, singing Latin songs, laughing and eating. A lot of eating. Florida tourism officials have requested that the next meet-up should be in Alaska.

Just to sign off, here’s a recording of Melissa singing some Christmas Carols. We hope you enjoy them. Feel free to sing along..

What Child Is This (Traditional, arranged and performed by Melissa Moss. Show off….)