Saturday, December 14, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Pritchards 2013

Merry Christmas!!  

It is with GREAT joy and glad tidings that we bring you a SUNNY hello from southern Florida.  We  have been watching the weather channel each day on our phones and check to see how COLD it really is up in Watertown Wisconsin.  And as we head to our jobs ( school ),  we are thankful it is about  60+ degrees -- we are able to enjoy a jacket and it warms up to 70+ by lunch time!!  

We are so thankful we live here - not that we don't miss the family in Wisconsin -- but we have lived here LONGER than we lived in Wisconsin so.....we are more 'Floridian than Wisconsinite'.  

 To all of our Wisconsin family - you are MISSED...and to our FLORIDA family and friends we wish you a very happy holiday and may the time with family be extra special this Christmas.  

 Merry Christmas.    I have a cartoon of Linus on my desk wearing his shepherd  costume - oh wait - I will insert it here:  

The Angel of the Lord did appear -- it was great joy -- that Jesus came to be born in a manger.  When I think back and ponder on what God asked of Mary, and then what Jesus did for me - for all of us - I can be brought to tears.  HE truly is our Savior.  

 All four of us will attend the Christmas Eve service at our church and then head to sweet dinner with friends.    We are celebrating with this family  - as the patriarch  of the family was blessed with TWO  kidney transplants this past year.  THAT really never  happens ---- he is a walking miracle - GOD is so gracious.  The entire community rallied around his family and I bet the people praying for God's healing on him extended from here to Cuba!   God has GREAT plans for that family yet.......  He is a  surgeon and I know that 2014 will bring even more healing and he will be able to practice medicine again -- and share that JESUS healing with many! 

Christmas Day will have us in Lake Placid Florida with Brendan's Aunt and Uncle Pothier.  Most of the 'Ziemann' family will be there and that will be a time of GREAT fun and GREAT food.  Brendan's Auntie Pat is basically Martha Stewart, Rachel Ray, and Paula Dean all wrapped up into ONE cute package and we always treasure Christmas at her lovely home every other year!!   We have already anticipated WHAT she will make. Will it be more southern cooking, traditional, or west coast?  

This coming  week  Brendan, Daryl and I  ( my brother ) will be riding the Harley's around southern Florida as our Christmas Present to ourselves.   We are renting a bike for a week.   We are taking off after school for afternoon rides and then plan a trip Friday and Saturday to cross the state!   Can you blame my brother for getting out of the cold?   We are excited for his visit -- praying more of the family will show up in 2014!   Our 'vacation' starts the 23rd   and then we can enjoy the holiday break and look forward to the new year. Which basically will consist of visiting friends, attending church, and then working at the Insurance office a bit too.  Brendan has been diligent in bringing in new business as we have opened a 2nd branch/office in Tradition Square in Port St. Lucie.    

We JUST celebrated with Taylor as she has earned her Degree in Elementary Education.  She started at University of Florida as a  Gator and ended up finishing at Florida Atlantic -- as an Owl.  She will tell you -- she is going to get that Masters from UF and  so then, that Gator will EAT that owl-- just saying...either mascot is well earned; but she will let you know she is still a Gator at heart.  

 Taylor  has a job and should start in January.  She will  be teaching English at the High School - Juniors.  Just like her dad!!    ( With her dad! - what a blessing that will be for her!!  -- and him too!) I can't wait to hear the stories that two will share - I can only imagine.  Brendan is hoping to retire this June, he is ready to work FULL time at the Insurance office and give up having the 'summers' off.  This is year 26 for the both of us.  So, time will tell -- and God will lead.  We have been praying about it for sometime now!    I am pretty content to work as a teacher as long as the Lord has me working at PECS.  I am at the Indian Reservation still and enjoy EVERY day!    This year I have seven students that bring smiles to my face each day and I pray for each of them as I travel the 30 miles home.  I really have been blessed, every teacher should have the opportunity to work in a setting that is a teacher's dream.  However, with every dream comes some gray clouds and there are many struggles -- but, teaching seven or has become a mission field!   I am one happy teacher!  

 She, Taylor,  is very excited -- she has most of her High School Volleyball team on her Big Lake Juniors Club Team which will get into full swing  come  January.   She spends her free time at many different places...the gym...Kami and Alfred'  the Ins. office.... working at a resort north of town......and friends' houses.  She wants to move out - but I am thinking it maybe be a few more months yet.  She is a joy to have 'home' and it has been a riot having HP gone and her home..... She was the Varsity Girls Volleyball Coach this past fall season.  I would marvel at how Brendan and she could talk for at least an hour after every match and discuss players, plays, and then coaching strategies.  It was such a blessing.  She had a wonderful mentor /Coach as her assistant and he kept her well grounded but I have to say -- she handled the job of Varsity Coach like a pro -- we spent many a night in prayer!!    She is hardly ever home and so Brendan and I have experienced the EMPTY house in a whole new way -- and we kind of like it. heart was FULL of joy and happy this past week,  as the four of us headed to Boca Raton  in one car to her graduation ceremony. And then we headed to Cheesecake Factory for lunch - and we laughed and it warmed my heart to listen to them both!   Really...?   Fun?  Let me see - with their phones they can video tape Bren and I and replay it back on Facebook.....and then there is the teasing of 'what mom says'..... and then the classic critiquing about our habits and so forth laced with laughter.......but seriously -- I loved EACH and every moment of it!   

Hunter has completed his first semester at FAU as an athlete.  He played on their soccer team and 'enjoyed' dorm life.  We continued to sit in the stands and travel 90 mintues to watch him 'sit' on the bench but it was worth every trip.  The position he played/plays was held by a Senior and HP is a freshman -- so in time, he will have more playing time!   It should be next year....the training and conditioning is intense. In season, he has practice twice a day..... Plus class.....and study hall.  Each Freshman had to log and sit in a study hall for 8 hours a week according to NCAA guidelines.  He really felt the benefit of that - his GPA was/is 3.889!   He is still a part of the soccer team and spring season is around the corner.  He will be finished with his beginning  undergrad classes after this semester so as he enters his 2nd year -- he will be labeled as a Junior.  He has even begun to take a few core classes for his major.   He is hoping to be accepted into the Accounting program and with his  GPA right now -- I am thinking he will be accepted.  We are excited for him -- as a college athlete he gets the pick of his professors and schedule and that certainly HELPS!   We were looking forward to his visit home for 3 weeks on this break -- until I saw the PILE of laundry that came with him.....and the 10:30 pm request  "ma, make me a sandwich".    But truth be told - I have missed that!   

Brendan and I got on our Harley as much as we could.  We have over 10K miles on it and can't wait to get our 2nd one.  However -- we must win the lottery or something first.  We want to build, a house  -- but that is on hold.  HOpefully in 2014.  We have begun to make  our 'bucket' list once the kids are really gone and off our payroll and we spend many nights watching Duck Dynasty, or Love it or List it and then debate on 'stupid reality' TV.  We are deeply involved in our church and love our Pastor and his wife and we are excited to see our 'little' church grow.  We have moved ONCE again, hopefully the next move will be to our home -- that we want to build --soon - but we will see what God says.  We do have a lot in a perfect spot, and we go there weekly to just stop and walk the property line and pray and ask God to make the house appear SOONER than LATER -- but that will come in time.

We did not get to Wisconsin this summer - our extra vacation time was following Hunter's Team Boca Team as they won State Cup U 18 and then advanced to Southern Regionals held in Oklahoma City.  They kicked butt....and BP and I enjoyed a week of sightseeing and tourist attractions -what FUN we had.  Then we headed 2 weeks later to Kansas City for Nationals in which the boys played hard and beat the current National Champions but lost in the last round and did not make it to the finals.  However that week brought more sightseeing and touring into Missouri and parts of Kansas!  We so enjoyed it -- I made a quick trip to Wisconsin in September to visit a dear pal from high school who was battling cancer - she is healed now with Jesus.  That was hard - very hard!  And my friend Rachel and I walked our 6o mile WALK for the CURE in Tampa Bay in October -- in honor of Trace and many others who have lost the battle of breast cancer.   However, it is with new found inspiration -- I hope to be walking in Atlanta, Georgia next October in her honor.   The 3 day trip to Wisconsin gave me extra GRANDMA time -- I got to visit her each day and then show her video of my visit from the day before and just enjoy her smile a bit.  I also got some quality time with a few of the nieces and nephews of my siblings -- and of course - some Rocky Rococo's pizza!   

We are both very grateful and thankful for family, friends, and our Lord -- who DOES provide every need and HE certainly delights in us as well - as we note often   ...."how on Earth".....  Brendan reads a lot and I blog/write and try to be an encourager to women.  We enjoy our Sundays at church in the am and then naps and Harley rides to Sebring for lunch at Cody's Steakhouse or an omlet at Waffle house in Ft. Pierce if we head east instead of west.  As I said - our Harley is getting its miles!   In fact, today  we rode  to Ft. Meyers to get it oil'd and checked - 10,000 mile check up and yes, I rode on the back - and my  butt is  sore -- 6x6in seat --   LOL.  I ENJOYED  EVERY moment of it - sore butt or, love, love it!!   We laughed as we left our house and it was 61 degrees and when we got home, it was 78 - talk about a temperature change - we dressed in layers!

I may of gotten a little wordy -- much to say!  We are in a good place.  Happy.  

God is so gracious and good - HE wins.  
May HIS peace come over you in 2014 - like never before...may HE meet those needs - personal needs, financial needs, and the fun ones too.  MAY you experience joy like never before as you SIT at HIS feet-- and may YOU truly understand WHAT HE did for you on that cross -- let that be life to your soul.  God bless -- 

Michelle  ....and Brendan, Taylor, and Hunter too....

Please, if you are in the neighborhood -- call us -- we will come and meet you even in Orlando for a visit -- Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!   

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