Christmas Letter 2016

2016         Merry Christmas         Joe & Elaine Vandegriff

Because we anticipate hearing from you, we’d like to share some of our joys. Most of all, we are so grateful for God’s faithfulness, His love, His mercy and forgiveness. He is indeed the Reason for the Season. He is our Hope, in spite of all that goes awry. All of us – our country, and the whole world – need God’s Good News, His guidance, His strength. Christmas reminds us of God’s gift – Hurrah!

As you know, we love and enjoy our families. Our grandkids all amaze us. Ellie had a summer internship in computer science at the University of New Hampshire; now she is a junior at Taylor U. majoring in physics. Johan is a high school senior, also a new Eagle Scout. He’s been building robots for competitions for 8 years. This year his team performed well, advanced from state to regional and world contests. Exciting to watch! And now Lincoln has joined their team. Linc also enjoys photography and Boy Scouts. Celeste’s recent achievement was the 4-H Diamond Clover Level 6 Award (a service project that’s comparable to Eagle Scout).

The Tien’s vacationed in France in June making use of Dessie’s fluent French. Dessie plays tennis, Cora plays volleyball and made varsity as a freshman. Dessie has learned to drive in Austin traffic and does a great job.

We traveled many miles again this year, visited Big Bend, Grand Canyon & Yellowstone Nat’l Parks, Hoover Dam, and the 50th reunion of Wandering Wheels – a coast-to-coast bike trip in 1966. Some of our visits to friends & family were farewells; a Taylor classmate, Sid Forsyth, died shortly after our visit. We celebrated the 80th birthday of brother Dave the month before he died. Aunt Carol died in August, leaving Elaine’s Dad the only sibling (of 8) to survive. Three in-laws also survive, including Elaine’s Mother. Her parents are 96!

As you see & hear, taste & feel this Christmas, we pray the Babe of Christmas will be your Guiding Star, your Comforter, your Lord and Savior.  Have a joyous Christmas and a blessed New Year!

Joe’s 2016 Christmas Meditation

Joe & Elaine
Joan, Dessie, Jennifer Tien (Hubert’s Mother),  Cora, Hubert
Celeste       Lincoln       Dessie       Cora
Budd                Dave        Janice “Sis”          Joe
Johan, new Eagle Scout,  Jon
Sharon                  Celeste    Jill (Vandegriff) Clayton
 BJ            Edie   Ron        Elaine Twila
Miriam  (Elaine’s Mother)
Maurice Shugart
Ellie     Miriam Shugart    Jon     Elaine
4 Generations!

2016  Photo  Review

Dessie on her LASA High School tennis team
electron Volts Robot Team wins Maryland State and goes to world competition in St. Louis
Lincoln, age 12 (blue shirt), at a STEM event held by the National 4-H Council at the Press Club in Washington, DC demonstrating a robot to Kari Byron, formerly from the Mythbusters
Cora loves volleyball and we love to watch her
Lincoln & Celeste holding on for dear life
Sharon making her famous buckwheat pancakes – Yum!
Ellie driving off to Univ. of New Hampshire for her summer job writing software for a scientific satellite. Yes, her hair is pink! (or is it red?)
Lincoln and grandparents visit the museum at Dayton, Ohio
Elaine at the famous “Bean” in Chicago – officially called Cloud Gate in Millennium Park
Yellowstone Nat’l Park, at Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces
LONG hike to the famous Window in Big Bend Nat’l Park
← Mexico               Rio Grande River at Santa Elena Canyon in Big Bend NP                        USA →
Artists Paint Pots in Yellowstone NP
That’s All Folks!

Author: Joe

Retired electrical - now Grandpa Extraordinaire. Author, Thinker, Listener