Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!!
So you may’ve notice that this Christmas letter has come to you after Christmas. You might be assuming this is an indication of laziness or procrastination. Well, you’d be wrong. You see, by the time you get this, Christmas will just be a memory. The stores will already be onto Valentines day stuff. The last of the leftovers will be molding in the back of the fridge. The tree will be mulch. But, by us sending our Christmas cards & this letter out now, we are helping you keep the spirit of Christmas alive for a few days extra. You’re welcome...
We pray that this letter finds you healthy & whole. As much as we love living in Alaska, it’s hard being away from family.
So, here is an update on what has been going on in our lives in 2011. We’ve been in our new house for two years now. We had gutters put on this summer & next summer we’ll have to get a yard put in. We are the last home on the block without grass. Luckily the house next to us has an old travel-trailer half tore apart in the yard, so we are not the most ghetto-looking place on the block.
Christy’s work has remained very busy. In addition to being bookkeeper, she is now the store manager and for the most part in charge of the whole company. It’s been a big challenge, but she’s making great strides to keep everything going. She works at Builders Bargains and they sell cabinets, countertops & wood floor. They offer a high end product at a low price.
Todd is still working at Alaska Air Balancing. He’s been there 2 1/2 years and has finally started to understand what “air balancing” is. Mechanical engineers design the heating & ventilation system for commercial buildings & mechanical contractors install these systems. Then balancers come in and measure & adjust the heating & ventilation system so they function as they were designed. Alaska Air Balancing is the only firm in the state of Alaska that are qualified to do what they do, so their 10 field technicians stay pretty busy. Todd works in the office doing the job bidding and getting the paperwork set up for the field technicians.
The highlight of our year was our first ever trip to Hawaii. We spent two days on Oahu, staying in Waikiki Beach, and then 7 days on Kauai. It was a great trip. We climbed to the top of Diamond Head, went snorkeling and spent time on the beach. At the end of the trip, Christy didn’t want to leave. Neither did Todd, but that’s only because he had sunburned his feet so bad he couldn’t walk.
The biggest change this year was our resignation from Wasilla Assembly of God. Todd had been there almost 16 years & for Christy it’s about the only church she’s ever know, having been there 23 years. It was an incredibly hard decision to make, but it was just time for a change. After the first of the year we’ll begin the hunt for a new church to attend here locally.
Back in 2010 we both started a journey to begin to lose weight. We cut out soda & focused more on what we were eating. In February we joined a gym and really saw some great results. We knew our trip to Hawaii was coming up and that gave us the motivation to hit it hard. Todd lost 55 pounds and Christy got to her lowest weight in years. After getting back from Hawaii, things haven’t gone as well. Between Christy being overwhelmed at work, Todd’s feet being fried to a crisp for a month and the stress of making the decision to step away from Wasilla Assembly of God we lost our momentum. But we haven’t given up. You can follow Todd’s journey at his blog, www.AKStafford.blogspot.com.
For Thanksgiving we snuck off to Oregon & surprised the family there. We got to meet our five new nephews & nieces: Trenton, Averee, Anna, Elijah and Esther and get reacquainted with Trent, Trevor & Levi. It was great to see a good portion of the family again. We are trying to put together another quick trip down over Memorial Day weekend.
The rest of our year was spent enjoying time with friends & family, relaxing at home and geocaching along the trails and in the wilderness of Alaska.
We are thankful to God for His provision & protection this year. We know that what ever is ahead of us, He will guide us and walk us through. We remember this Christmas season the ultimate gift that was given: Jesus Christ as our savior & lord; for the forgiveness of our sins & shortcomings.
We love & miss all of you.
~Todd & Christy