I meant to upload the one I wrote last year but I never got around to it. Here is this year's Christmas Letter. I hope that I was able to send it out to everyone, if you didn't get one its probably because I don't have your address, and that needs to be rectified. In addition to my letter, I would also like you to stop on over at the Blog my brother set up for my mom, and giving updates on her Battle with Brain Cancer (Glioblastoma).
Happy Holidays from the Parsons Farm!
We have had a journey since this time last year…parts of 2011 have been perilous but blessings nonetheless. We are so thankful for the continued love and guidance God has shown us throughout this year.
The job front has continued to be a struggle for us and many others with the economy and budget cuts. In May, Ashley received a RIF (reduction in force) letter, informing her that she needed to be on the job hunt yet again. While this has been a repeating insult, we take each year as a new challenge and blessing that soon she will find her “forever school”. Luckily the day before school started she got the call that they needed her at an elementary school AND a high school. She is job-sharing at both schools teaching PE and health for 3 days a week, which gives her 0.6FTE. She is able to and has been subbing the other two days consistently since October. We are so fortunate that Thomas has been able to continue with a steady job over these 3 years at WAHS. Thomas is still coaching Tennis at ARHS. Ashley has decided to take a break from all the drama that encircles cheerleading and is FULLY enjoying her stress free time off, though she misses many of her cheerleaders.
In December, Ashley suffered from an ectopic pregnancy that required surgery and the timing was great for her recovery time backing up to Christmas Break. We also learned that Ashley’s mom has Glioblastoma Brain Cancer. She had a successful surgery removing the initial tumor and is continuing her treatment with a strong and positive attitude. All of your love, thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated by the Brewer Family and us. We had the opportunity to join Ashley’s family on a weeklong cruise in the Caribbean over Spring Break where we were able to make wonderful family memories. Our stops included; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas; Bridgetown, Barbados; Basseterre, St. Kitts; Marigot/Philipsburg, St. Maarten; and Roseau, Dominica. Ashley made the age-old mistake of not wearing sunscreen on our first day and suffered from the burn until we got home. Thomas enjoyed learning about each of our stops and going on his FIRST multi-country vacation and cruise.
Our farm is up and running. Ashley is still selling the 85% organic chicken eggs to neighbors and co-workers for $3 a dozen. We built a new chicken “Coop-Mahal” and the chicks are diggin’ it. We had a successful harvest season with numerous tomatoes – many were frozen for later enjoyment, as were our beans. We tried a new technique with our carrots and parsnips and they worked much better. We made a trip to Arlington to purchase some Huckleberries, after our obsession with them in Leavenworth for our 3rd year Anniversary vacation. The goats are as entertaining as ever and it is so wonderful to see how our animals get along together. The goats are successful with the chickens and the dogs, while the dogs can only be trusted with the goats. The ponies however, can only be with each other; they still have yet to learn how to co-mingle with other species. Cooper continues to cuddle with us and loves his spot next to the heat vent while Sakari dreams of snow on a daily basis. They have learned to get along and now can be trusted to be left alone in the house while we are at work – what a relief!
Ashley has discovered the joy of blogging about our life on the farm as well as “junking” and has been looking forward to attending the shows about 4 times this year and is hoping to add even more to her calendar this coming year. She has brought home many unnecessary – but GREAT – finds to decorate our home. Thomas is still enjoying his season tickets to the Sounders and is looking forward to the next season. He is hoping that one day, Ashley might join him and pretend to at least have a little fun. She is contemplating it.
We wish you the happiest of days during this holiday season and into the NEW Year. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We pray that 2012 is the year of blessings for all!
Love, Thomas and Ashley Parsons, Jazz, Rags, Cooper, Sakari, Penelope, Annabelle, and the Chicks.
Stay updated throughout the year with our blog: www.atparsons.blogspot.com