Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Our Christmas Letter 2010

We do treasure the love sent within Christmas cards and they make up most of our Christmas decorations since we only decorate the fireplace area.  The cards are placed on the mantle and all around it.  We pray for everybody that sends us a card ... it's one of our holiday traditions.

❤  Our Christmas Letter  ❤

American Robin in Our Holly Tree
We've had a great year at our place we call Bluebird Cove here in Central Virginia. Of course much of that has depended on our attitude towards circumstances. We all have problems and challenges in any year, but it's the way we deal with them that's important. I considered turning 60 this year as a challenge, especially since I feel 'ancient' many days dealing with rheumatoid arthritis, so instead of thinking of 60 years, I decided to find 60 new experiences or adventures during this year of my life. That has made a huge difference on how I look at each day. Looking for what's exciting in each day takes your mind off the things that aren't going well and gives you a focus of life's blessings.

Donna, Chloe the Camel, Randal and Benjamin
Speaking of birthdays, we were blessed to have our son, Benjamin, home for mine in September. We had a busy and wonderful time of counting up quite a few of those new adventures during his visit.

My highlight of the day was a visit to Mountainside Petting Farm where a woman's dream is a reality. She has rescue farm animals and one of them is a camel named Chloe who was so loving and snuggling, we could hardly get photos without her giving camel kisses.

Randal celebrated his 56th birthday in October and we spent some time in Historic Jamestowne. Neither of us would be considered history buffs, but maybe as you age you appreciate history a bit more. We did enjoy the trip and the visit to one of the historic plantations on the James River. We took a number of trips this year and saw a lot of nice places. I've always considered experiences in life to be better than buying stuff. Memories live on forever, the stuff withers away.

Red-shouldered Hawk After Snatching One of Our Green Frogs
Our best of the year memories revolve around time with friends and family and the exciting entertainment we get from our "backyard wildlife habitat" when we get new visitors.

Even the regular wildlife visitors can be exciting as you can see from the photos on this letter. I consider it the highlight of my day when I find something new to discover about God through His Creation which causes me to worship Him even more.

"You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you." (Nehemiah 9:6)

Eastern Tiger Swallowtail Butterfly on Butterfly Bush
Life is a continual journey of ever-increasing glory as we are transformed into His likeness as we pursue His purpose and desire for us. It's been a very different year spiritually for Randal and me. Late last year we decided to really pursue God in 2010 and make Him more of a priority in each day and in all of our entertainment choices.

It has been an amazing journey which is not yet over and which will of course spill into all of our years ahead.

Benjamin still lives in Oklahoma, now in a home of his own in Yukon, which is SW of Oklahoma City. He'd been saving for the down payment for many years and decided to take advantage of the tax savings. This year for him has been one of excitement as he chooses the furniture and accessories for his own place. 

Deer Eating Food We Put Out For Birds and Critters
After 22 Inches of Snow This Year
He's greatly enjoying the chef shows as he learns how to make some of his favorite dishes. He purchased his first Christmas tree and I know the holiday season will bring a lot of excitement to the home.

Randal and I continue working our internet businesses and feel very blessed to be able to work at home and enjoy our own time schedule. With all the techie things involved with maintaining websites and shopping carts, Randal never lacks for a long to-do list, but we try to manage our time wisely so he doesn't go to work until 10 and we schedule dinner for 6. Our lunch time is special since we usually listen to a spiritual program on the internet while we eat. Evenings generally include playing a game if we don't have a social commitment. We have an ongoing tournament going. Winter is a good time for games and puzzles and they are always good for the brain.

Gray Eastern Tree Frog - This Year We Had Eggs Laid
In Our Birdbath on the Deck - Click for full story.
Nature's Sunshine's car plan provided us with a new car this year. We take turns choosing and this was Randal's turn, so he chose a 2011 Ford Fusion. The color is Bordeaux Reserve Red Metallic. Doesn't look red at all, but more of a black cherry color.

Our current project is painting the whole interior of our home. It's been ten years since we moved here and even though we don't have a bunch of little fingers on the walls, it needs it. I chose Olympic 0% VOC paint with the color named Camel. We're still in process since I decided I wanted to do the painting.  I've always enjoyed it as a creative outlet; however, those rollers require a bit of muscle and wrist action I don't have, so Randal joined in and after numerous YouTube do-it-yourself videos he's enjoying the task. We may both get enough of it and call in the painter, but for now it's a great distraction from the cold weather we've been having and it gives me more creative activity as I switch up the wall hangings.

Last but not least we still have our precious kitty, Squeek, aka Kitty Girl. She turned 14 in July. As an FIV kitty (feline AIDS), we are blessed with every year she remains with us. She's truly the best kitty we've ever had. So obedient and never whines for anything. Although she was a feral cat prior to living with us, she has adapted well thanks to our screened porch where she spends most of the good weather days. Now that it's cold, she snuggles in her warmed basket and at night sleeps on the bed with us.

We'd love to hear what's been going on in your life for the past year. Time passes much too quickly and it's easy to get caught up in tasks rather than relationships. With our job living in the home with us, we have the challenge also, but we're learning that the best things in life are people ... and that's includes you, dear friend!

P.S.  For those who want more details, here's some links to above topics that will provide links to photo albums also:

60 New Adventures
My Birthday Celebration with Ben
Our Travels
Our Garden and Critter Photos

♫  Joy to the World ... the Lord has come!  ♬

Wishing you a very blessed, peaceful, and joyful New Year.

Much love and many hugs,
Randal and Donna

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The photo(s) and article are copyrighted. You may use either of them if you include the following credit and active link back to this website: © 2010 Donna L. Watkins - This article was reprinted with permission from The link to use is:

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