Happy New Year – 2019 – A look back at 2018
I intended to write a Christmas Letter, but time got away from me. So I say Happy New Year to you all.
2018 saw a great deal of changes for this family that calls Texas home: a new truck, a new house, a new camper, new jobs and a new baby. We had a great year and are thankful that God saw fit to bless us this year, I pray you had more good than bad. We had both, but using the scale, we balanced out on the good side.
Melissa and me started the year in our apartment – we had intended to stay in it for a year, but my plan to “time the market” didn’t go very well. Here is a picture of Missy trying to stay warm as we “enjoyed” a cold night on our patio. It would soon be one of our last evenings on it, for we decided to move into our own home. We live in the middle of oil country and for the last several years property values have increased at a rather rapid rate. Most homes were so overpriced and/or in need of work that we soon became discouraged. We looked at a new build, but when we visited and toured these homes I noticed you could literally reach out and touch your neighbor, no thanks.
Missy came up with the idea of buying some land (1.5 acres in the county) and so we bought some land, dug a well and septic tank (eventually) and bought a manufactured home for a fraction of what a brick and mortar home would cost. Here is a picture of TK and Taylor before we toured the factory. Much better than I had anticipated. It took much longer to move in than I anticipated too, but more on that later.
As we were deciding what to buy and where to go, I decided to help coach baseball at my school. I had coached golf (won a state championship) and had decided to retire on top. But I decided I needed something to do in the afternoons so I volunteered to help. It was great, the team wasn’t all that great, but they played hard and made huge strides from the previous years, it was fun, not sure about this coming year as I took a new job as Dean of Students. I also teach two classes, so my time is limited to say the least, but we will see what is needed.
Sometime in January my boys decided we needed to see Lebron James play basketball in San Antonio, so we purchased tickets and made the trip to the beautiful Alamo City. Here is a picture of Todd, TK and our friend Derek on the Riverwalk. But as you may know from last year’s letter, I was devoid of my own vehicle because my truck had been stolen the previous year. I did a great deal of research and discovered trucks are very expensive! I was determined to find something that could pull our camper, had four wheel drive and would allow me to eat if I bought it. After a great deal of looking I finally found a truck in San Angelo (100 miles away) in late February. It is a 2017 Ford F-250 with a gas engine. I have truly enjoyed it. Here is a picture of it.
However, if you are going to buy a truck with to pull a camper, you have to have a camper. We did, but it was falling apart. The axle was bent and this was causing us many problems, not the least of which was our tires would blow out two or three times a year. Once, we came back from a trip and as I opened the gate at our storage facility I noticed the rear tire was nothing but a rim, for how long I do not know. So we decided to look for a new camper. We traveled to Boerne, Texas to pick up the camper we had bought via the internet and phone. We traded in our old camper, we just had to get it the dealer in the condition we described over the phone when, well . . .
I didn’t have a spare (see above) so I thought we would take a chance. As we were exiting the interstate for the dealership we had a blowout on the left rear tire that took much of the back end of the camper with it. Missy said we better stop, but I informed her we had no spare and we were this close we might as well just limp into the dealer on this busy Saturday afternoon. We turned into the dealership with a blown tire, part of the back of the trailer missing and a very loud screeching noise. We were the object of everyone’s attention. Our salesman met us enthusiastically and couldn’t wait to finalize our deal. I told him what happened and as he inspected the damage the only thing he could say was, “Oh my”.
To make a long story short they took the trailer and honored our deal, we got out of there as fast as we could. We have loved it, used it as a home until our own home could be finished. We took it to East Texas and met my inlaws, Missy and I took it for a week up to Pagosa Springs, Colorado and had a great time. We were scoping out the town for our Christmas trip later in the year. Here is our new camper and our cool camp site.
The lovely Melissa Freese turned the big 50 this year on May 5. Megan and Todd threw a big party for her. Hard to believe she is a half-century old, wow how time flies. But I think you are more beautiful today than that day in 1988 when we first me. It is hard to believe that we have been married for over 29 years.
But that was at the end of the summer, we had a lot of activity this summer:
- Missy at Texas State for Math Camp
- Todd in D.C. and Beyond – took 19 students to Washington D.C. Mt. Vernon, Monticello, Antietam, Gettysburg and several universities.
- Todd got a new job as Dean of Students
- Todd at Dean Camp in Delaware
- Galveston Island this summer with the Newland’s
- Our house finally arrived in September
- Lane Joseph Eric Foos made his appearance into this world on November 13 (Happy Birthday to my brother Troy)
As the school year began I started a new job as the Dean of Students. I would still teach two classes, but most of my time be consumed by Dean duties. And there are many of them, but I have really enjoyed it and the new challenges it brings to my day. I am working closely with our new head of upper school, Tim, whom I have really had a good time working with as we are trying to put our own unique stamp on the upper school here at Trinity. I must admit it has been much more than I expected, but I have enjoyed the job. It has been a challenge and a stretch, but that is how we grow.
I celebrated a birthday in October, Thanksgiving in November and Jeremy and Taylor treated us to four nights in a Pagosa Springs “cabin” over Christmas. We missed Todd, Meg and the kids, but had a great time in the mountains. Emma got to see snow for the first time and even made a snowman and hung with me as we enjoyed the crisp cold air.
Finally, we celebrated Tori’s 13th birthday on New Year’s Eve with a night out at a wonderful Italian restaurant. We enjoyed a fine dinner and then went to Taylor’s for some games and cake. Then is back home with her best friend, Jade, for the ball drop, and to my surprise I made it to midnight, so did Missy, barely. It was wonderful year, one full of changes.
Todd and Meg are watching Kennedie and Todd III get bigger. They both are doing great and seem to love their new home. Oh, I almost forgot, Todd and Meg bought a new home in Midland. We are so glad they are close to us. Todd managed the Bubba’s restaurant in town, but toward the end of the year got a new job with Plains, a local oil company. He will be monitoring pipelines all across the country and making a very good wage, so proud of him.
Jeremy and Taylor welcomed our newest grandson, Lane Joseph Eric, into the family on November 13, he was a big boy weighing over seven pounds. Mom and baby are doing great! They too bought a home which is very close to Todd and Meg. Jeremy is still working very hard in the lineman business (like Wichita) and Taylor will be earning her bachelor’s degree in May, so proud of her!
TK is branching out this year. He went to school and is trying a new career for the first time in a while. While he won several serving awards as a waiter at Texas Roadhouse, he has decided to try a job related to the oil field. He has met a young lady, Grace, who is spending quite a bit of time with. Of course, we all mourned the awful Denver Broncos season, but none more than TK. He is assuring me next year will be much better, we shall see. We are proud of TK as he ventures into the unknown.
Tori is a very active young lady. She was a cheerleader this fall and that took a great deal of her time. She is in seventh grade already. Her grades are excellent and she made the all region honors band with the clarinet. She is a social butterfly who is spending the night somewhere or is entertaining one more of her friends at our new home. I am mourning the death of her little girl phase, hope she always wants to spend time with daddy.
Well, that is our year in a nutshell. We pray your year was blessed and we would love to cross paths with you in the coming year. We have some big plans as we are heading east to North Carolina, back west to Illinois and southwest to Colorado this summer. Keep up-to-date with us on facebook or my blog: www.toddbfreese.com. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org, I love getting your emails