Happy New Year from the Aldrich Texans!!!
We hope your holiday season was happy and healthy. Every day from Thanksgiving to New Year's, I love to run out to the mail box and see if we have any "good mail." It is such a pleasure to read letters from friends and family. We know how busy you are especially at this time of year and we appreciate this so much.
Frequently, the One with the "still small voice" speaks to
me in the
"God so loved the world"--yes, even you!--"that He gave"--not
Speaking of marveling afresh, Philip, with 2 candles on his birthday pizza, is a constantly inquiring sound/motion explorer. This year, he sang "Happ Burday, Jesuh" at the sight of all the Christmas decorations. His first trips to the zoo and Chuckie Cheese Pizza were videotaped and he wants to watch them over and over again. He pounded our new Subaru Legacy with a hammer; he sticks his tongue out at everyone-- even the pastor; he comes running at the sound of the doorbell, saying,"PIZZA!!" He knows the meaning of "uff-da!"
A two-year-old is a fitting balance to having a sixteen year old tenth-grader. This year, Rachel chose to change from public to private high school. Faith Christian Academy is in Pasadena, 20 miles from where we live and 40 miles from Texas City, where we both work. The car pool commute has taken a lot of extra effort, but the positive changes made have been well worth it. She is playing the lead in the play "I Never Saw Another Butterfly," and is in band (flute), church youth group, choir, and orchestra. She has participated in several pro-life marches and trips to a homeless shelter in Houston with teachers and classmates. She's soon completing driver's ed.....UFF-DA!
Aaron, a fifth grader, loves basketball, video games, comic books, and drawing. (His school has recognized him as a "gifted and talented" artist.) Meanwhile, his reading teacher told him that when he was paid to be a stand-up comedian, she'd love to come see him perform. Until then, she was the paid performer in that classroom. Needless to say, we've had to speak with Aaron about this quality...We can't understand where he would pick up such tendencies since both of his parents are so-o-o-o ........
Jon Craig, in his eleventh year with Amoco, is Marine Superintendent. His work involves the constant flow of marine vessels with crude oil into the refinery and the shipment of gasoline and other refined products. His weekend/evening business, Keepsake Video, keeps him very busy with weddings and film-to-video transfers. He enjoys researching and then acquiring new video gadgets and gizmos. His mom and sister (Connie) came down for spring break. He took them to Brenham to see the bluebonnets in bloom and the Blue Bell ice cream factory.
This summer, during our annual home-to-Iowa trip, we also joined Jon's brother Don, wife Lois, and sister Marilyn for a whirlwind tour of South Dakota. We've been reading the "Little House on the Prairie" series and just finished "The Long Winter," which was made even more real, having seen the homestead sites at Walnut Grove, Minnesota, and DeSmet, S.D. Rachel and Aaron enjoyed visiting Mt. Rushmore, the Badlands, the Homestake Gold Mine, and staying in the Calumet Inn in Pipestone, Mn. Meanwhile, brave Grandma Irene and Grandpa Al enjoyed getting to know Philip while we were gone.
Sharon made another trip home in October, joining with family to close an era: Grandpa Nels died in Spring Grove, following another bout of pneumonia. Although he was 91, he had been doing well and we were not expecting this. My brother Gary continues farming on the "home place." My mom retired from teaching this year. She and Dad have been enjoying each other and redecorating the house. (Dad has quit smoking!!!) They have come to stay with us for a while and especially enjoy watching the weather maps on T.V. I hope they stay a long time. They are such a help to our family.
We are looking forward to our 20-year high school reunion on July 11. Hard to believe, isn't it. What will the next 20 years bring? Rachel will be almost our age, Aaron will be 30, Philip will be 22...Whatever lies ahead, the future rests solidly on Father God's perfect will, with His timing, His purpose, His love secure. Climb up in His comfortable lap. Feel His strong arms holding you. Rest in the knowledge of His presence. His name is Emmanuel: God is with us.
May He abundantly reveal Himself to you in 1992. Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Please pray for us.
Jon Craig, Sharon, Rachel, Aaron, and Philip