I have to start off this note by letting you know that this is not the merriest of Christmases for us. On December 7th, a good friend and fellow Houston Police Officer, Timothy Abernethy, was murdered in the line of duty. Tim was pretty much a daily part of my work life for the past ten years. Christopher got to know him pretty well over the past two. Words cannot describe the sorrow we feel for the loss of Tim and the pain of his family. They are in our prayers daily.
Time moves on and life stays crazy. Two days after the funeral, Christopher got into a footchase after a suspect through the same apartment complex. As a father, I find that pretty chilling – however, I am proud that he has chosen to be a police officer and that he is willing to do this job so well!
Final note on this subject – the suspect in this case is in custody. I pray for Justice!
I hope that this newsletter finds each and every one of you happy and well! Here, life is as hectic as ever with horseback riding lessons, track and soccer practice, dogs, guinea pigs, and trying to choose a college for Emily (oh yeah… homework too!). Hurricane Ike threw a real wrench into things. School was cancelled for two weeks and we all had to get by on generators and fans in near 100 degree weather, while working 16 hour days… crazy!! I get worn out just thinking about it! Now… on to factoids and pictures!!
Once again, Katherine has been making Dean’s List. She did well at both track and cross country and competed and placed in her first hunter jumper competition! Horses and lessons take up a huge part of our lives these days, but none of her other activities have suffered – the boundless energy of youth!! Katherine asked me to thank Donna from Callegari stables for letting Emily and her work with Flash, Donna’s Tennessee Walker. So.. Thank you Donna and Merry Christmas!!
Emily has put in applications to a varied group of schools (Austin College, TCU, Spring Hill, U of H, Baylor, and Angelo State) for Pre-Med/Biochemical Engineering She was accepted everywhere and received some pretty impressive assistance packages to boot – now it is decision making time. She is keeping her grades up, tutoring four times a week, and is the captain of the girl’s varsity soccer team. She’s still taking riding lessons, but Katherine is getting to sneak in on a lot of her horse time now that soccer season is here!
Nicco spent the summer working construction up in the Dallas – Ft. Worth area and living with Grandpa Larry so that he could afford to spend the last two weeks in France. He had a great time and got to keep his language skills up. He is enjoying U of H and is actually taking engineering classes now. He has a performance this January and is making noises about going into the recording studio sometime soon. He is very helpful taking care of the kids – a natural!!
Christopher has probably had the most upheaval I have ever seen in just one year. He and Leah had the twins, Alexander Lawrence and Michael Stephen on December 31st last year. After a very hard and emotional period, Christopher is getting a divorce. We all lament Leah’s poor choices, but wish her well and keep her in our prayers. Currently, Christopher is staying with us and has the kids for the latter half of the week. He has transferred back to North Division Evening Shift and his life is pretty much taken up with the combination of work and babies. Of course we all pitch in (just imagine "Auntie Katherine"!!! HAHAHA)
Valerie has been having a great time getting the language lab up and running at the school ( a pet project of hers for the last several years). She has been taking riding lessons from Juan the Olympic trainer any time the girls can’t make it and loves going to the stable. We have made some good friends out there and even get to play with some other horses once in a while! Of course, Valerie’s highly involved with the grandkids – great fun!!
Still running the Divisional Tactical Unit – several high profile cases this year and lots and lots of felony arrests. Overtime has been crazy (we worked sixteen hours the day before Christmas Eve!). I get out to the stable quite a bit and have been able to work out more than recent years. Toying with the idea of getting back into Modern Pentathlon – still… that would be hard given all the overtime.. decisions decisions ! Got up to Dallas a couple time this year to see Mom and Uncle Ricky. The highlight of the year was going out to see all the family and friends in San Diego for Lizzy’s 40th birthday. My brother Chris and his wife Deb are the perfect hosts. The hotel was great, the food was great — perfect vacation!!
First year for this category!! I guess its the natural progression. What can I say except that they are wonderful – very distinct personalities. It is very endearing to see their faces light up when Christopher walks in the room! Obviously… I have taken a picture or two !!
Congratulations to Monica and Bryan Lyssy on the news of their pregnancy!! Gaston Arguelles has opened up his insurance company – so give him a call!! Nicco and I will be bound for the deer lease the weekend after Christmas (praying for good weather).
In closing, we wish all of our friends and family peace, love, and comfort for the coming year.
Jay, Valerie, Christopher, Nicholas, Emily, and Katherine