Our family had both an addition and a subtraction this year. Evangeline Karis Clevenger was born to our son Nathan and his wife Francine in early January. Carol’s father Harlon Jennings was called to heaven in August.
Evangeline was born with a severe case of laryngomalacia, a malformation of the larynx, which made it difficult for her to breathe and eat. She had barely regained her birth weight by the end of March. So the doctors did a tricky surgery called supraglottoplasty which made it easier for her to breathe and eat. Since the surgery, Evangeline has made a full recovery. She is small for her age (like her siblings), but now she can breathe and eat freely. She even started walking last month.
We lost Carol’s father Harlon Jennings in August. He died at the assisted living apartment he shared with Carol’s mother Lois. They were married 66 years. She still lives there and is doing well.
With the addition of Evangeline, Nathan and Francine now have four children—our only grandchildren. Francine recently noted that her kids don’t have any cousins. That hasn’t slowed them down. They can get into trouble even without cousins.
Jonathan is now a third grader at a Lutheran Christian school very near their home. He is artistic and has begun piano lessons. Justin is in first grade at a local public school, where he receives special assistance with the challenges of autism. He excels at math, even dabbling a little with square roots and very elementary algebra. I’m not sure he really understands it, but sometimes he gives the right answers. Francesca is a preschooler at the Lutheran school. She likes to play, but isn’t quite interested in learning letters and numbers.
Our middle son Joel and his wife Cara are very active at their church in Watertown, MN. Joel started a new job with United Bankers Bank in February. Cara works at another bank, so we know where to go for a loan.
Josh and his wife Dani are still stationed in Hawaii with the army. He says he could tell me where he trains, but then he’d have to kill me. Actually, he trains in hard places like alligator swamps and very hot deserts. I’m not sure what’s so attractive about the infantry. We won’t get to see them this holiday season.
Carol is the joy and love of my life. We’ve been married 38 years, but it seems like only 28. (Did I lose ten years somewhere?) She keeps me on schedule and continues to experiment with cooking. She makes her own cereal, salad dressing, and even almond milk. Her garden this year was very productive.
As for me, the church keeps me busy despite our small size. I also serve on the local charter school board and the Lions Club. I enjoy blogging. If you didn’t get here through the church website, here’s a link to it: http://www.newlifecma.com.
We wish each of you a blessed Christmas and a prosperous New Year.