Family Christmas Letter

IMG_6638Jesus’ words in John 10:10 provide a good backdrop as we look back over 2013: “I came that they might have life and have it abundantly.” Here are some of the joys of our abundant life this year.

One of the blessings of this time of year is the chance it gives us to connect with you, our friends and family. The early stretch of cold weather makes the warmth of sharing a special joy.

The year began much like previous years with Dave enjoying the experience of teaching young grapplers the skill of wrestling as well as instilling life attitudes volunteering as an assistant wrestling coach at Washington High School. He puts on the stripes to officiate – what can be better than getting paid to enjoy the best spot in the gym? He was also able to extend his successful mat career defeating seniors half his age at a tournament in Storm Lake, IA in March.

The severe April ice storm caused a lot of damage to all of our trees, as well as across the area. Broken branches took hours of work with the chainsaw severely trimming back our trees.

His service on the Presbytery of South Dakota’s Camping Commission is full of exciting challenges that included directing the High School Camp, cutting up numbers of trees that went down in a huge early snowstorm, and work on developing a new camp between Rochford and Lead in the Black Hills with construction on the first buildings underway.

Gardening was a great joy, after the struggle of last year, which enabled sharing bushels of produce at church and in the neighborhood. He was also involved with a community garden on the church back yard that was a real blessing to a number of families.

Judy enjoyed scrapbooking through the year and took in several events as well as crocheting Prayer Squares for the church. She was able to experience one of the greatest joys of grandmother-hood a number of times this year as she was called upon to take care of our growing passel of grandkids.

Family gatherings were the highlights of our year. Our house filled up at Easter when everyone was able to be here except Mat. In May we helped Josh and Danielle move into their new house in Apple Valley, and then at the end of the month all but Ben’s family gathered there again and Dave proudly enjoyed the pleasure of Baptizing Lance at the Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley.
We traveled together with Josh’s family to spend the first week of July in Avon, CO where we were joined by Mat and the boys. While in Colorado Mat, Josh and I added to our list of 14ers as we conquered Mount Elbert, which is the highest peak in the Rockies at 14,440’ and just 40 mi. from Vail. It is the second-highest mountain in the lower 48 states (Mount Whitney, CA is the highest).

We made a couple trips to both Josh’s and Nate’s to turn a lot of trees into firewood. Nate was removing his grove to dig in a duck pond, and Josh’s place hadn’t been taken care of for many years including multiple dozens of volunteer trees in the 15’ range.

The first of August we visited Judy’s three brothers in Wisconsin and saw some of the nephews, nieces and families. Roger in not in the picture as he was not feeling well. Prayers for Roger as he is now on Dialysis.
Nate and Josh and families came here for a shingling party to help me re-shingle the south side of the house in August. We were all together, including Mom and Dad over Labor Day weekend at Nate’s.

Mat continues to work with his Chiropractic practice in Fort Collins, CO. He brings his portable adjusting table along every time he visits to manipulate the rest of us into better structural health. Sadly, Mat and Jen divorced this year, so Noah, now 7, and Levi 5 have been working out what that means for their family.
Nate has his construction and snow removal business in Storm Lake, IA. He loves hunting although work seems to have encroached on some of his hobby time. He has added a ring to Amber Moller’s finger and we are looking forward to a June 21 wedding date.
Josh and Danielle are in Apple Valley, MN. They both work at Eco Lab, although in different facilities. Aliyah is 3 and is enjoying her new brother Lance. She is rapidly developing her phone conversational skills and we love the opportunity to video chat.
Ben and Christina purchased a home in Tea, SD in February. Our highlight this year was the birth of a beautiful granddaughter, Avalynn on November 11. Making an even half dozen grandchildren! Jace is an active 2. Ben is working at Glory House in Sioux Falls and Christina is teaching pre-school in Tea.
We have again been blessed wonderfully by God with abundant life as another year sped by. We hope you enjoy these highlights and will share with us some of the things going on in your lives.
We extend the invitation for you to stop and visit or stay over with us any time you are in Sioux Falls at 4920 E Brennan Dr.

May the peace and blessings of Christmas be yours;
and may the essence of Christmas always remain.

Dave and Judy Ullom
515-341-0132(Dave) or 515-341-2383(Judy) or

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