Sunday, December 30, 2007


Marie lived in Ft. Lauderdale for several years in the 1950's, so it has been fun to return to some of her "haunts" to see how things have changed. And, of course, the changes are profound. What was a small city then has become a huge metropolis now. We are staying at a campground in an area west of the city at Weston that was part of the Everglades. Weston is a beautiful new city that is built on a much more manageable scale than Miami or Ft. Lauderdale. Some of the attached photos are of the town center. Others are of the beach area of Ft. Lauderdale and Las Olas Blvd where we had lunch.
Happy New Year,
Bill and Marie

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Wednesday, December 26, 2007


At Cartwright

Luke is nsulating and finishing the interior the garage at Dad's house. Will is driving a truck in the oil drilling rig business.

Dione, Saul, and Mollie

Mollie won the Mills Lawn Elementary School "spelling bee" for the second year in a row, and got her photo on the school web site (google the school name and you can immediately get the website). Very nice! Congratulations! She will compete next in the county spelling bee as the representative of her school. She celebrated her 11th birthday on December 24.

Dione is enjoying her new teaching job with gifted students, and is fortunately able to use her background and expertise in art in the instructional process. Among the side benefits is much lower cost health insurance for the whole family than they had previously through Saul's professor job at Antioch McGregor College.


Lila went to Karen's for a family dinner and gift opennings on Christmas Eve, and to Cindy's for Christmas Day dinner with Don's family. In between she had to go to dialysis on Christmas morning and was very tired in the afternoon. Her biggest frustration is not being able to read the Christmas letters she received, nor the blog! I woke her up when I called in the evening, and she was feeling better.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007


Christmas Eve at Dad's

We talked to Dad, Luke, Marilyn and Mavis on Christmas Eve during the party at Dad's full house. They were having a grand time, as usual, with lots of family members there. Dad was doing just fine, and obviously enjoying himself. Today he was to have breakfast at Mavis and Ron's, lunch at Shawn and Tracy's, and dinner at the Johnson's (Trista and Tara's parents). Unfortunately, Dad and Mavis had gone to two funerals this last week at St Michael's Episcopal Church, and two earlier in December, for long-time neighbors in the Carwright area. Fewer and fewer old-timers are left!

Marilyn and Issy are returning to Yuma on January 4th, in time to celebrate her birthday on January 5. Julie and her family were at Dad's, but Carol and her family, and Susan and family didn't travel the long distance from Valley City and Minnesota. Carol and Jenifer are visiting in Yuma in late February.

Maureen and Mat

Maureen and Mat said they are having a quiet Christmas in Helena, going to Mat's mother's for Christmas dinner. They were cooking chicken livers and grits for breakfast--a long-time family tradition! Both of them have a couple of weeks off from traveling, and they are enjoying some time at home.


We visited the nearby Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Naples on Christmas Eve afternoon--where these photos were taken. Beautiful place! The food was good too. The place was full of visitors from the north. It was fun to watch the action. The "Gumbo Limbo" is an outdoor restaurant by the beach that we intended to enjoy but the chairs were impossible! So we ate inside with Santa Claus!

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Merry Christmas Letter from S.J. Whitney

Date: Fri, 21 Dec 2007 14:21:35 +0000

Happy Holiday's from the Whitney's

It's that time of year again. Can you believe the holiday's are upon us again? The year seems to just slip away from us all. You ask, what was new and exciting that happened to our family this year. Well, hopefully I can shed some light on that subject.

We have reached a couple of milestones this year in the family. Jamie hit her 30th birthday in March. Meanwhile, Tracy and Karen both reached their 50th milestone birthdays. We celebrated by taking a family evening trip in a limo down to Prairie Knights casino. We loaded up the limo with appetizers, beer, and a few 50th birthday gifts. Us adult kids loved the look on their faces when we pulled up in a big white limo. They had no idea it was coming. Can you believe we all kept a secret? We all had a wonderful time but none of us won anything big.

Over the 4th of July, we took a family trip to the black hills. Brett got to stay home and spend some quality time with his Grandma Schmit. We gave Dustin a vacation of his life with a day spent at the water slide park in Rapid City. He took maybe a 5 minute break the whole day and loved the slides. We hiked to the top of Harney Peak. It was farther then we expected, but the view was fabulous once we finally got up there. We picked a very warm day (107 degrees), but we started early enou gh so we were down before noon. We also got to enjoy the Alpine Slide, hiked around Sylvan Lake, took in a movie, ate at Chucky Cheese, visited Mount Rushmore, Crazy Horse, and spent some time at the Casino in Deadwood. We also got to spend the evening of the 4th in Leads taking in the 4th fireworks display over the coal mine. That was an experience, especially since our parking brake got stuck and we had to try and take apart the dash with (get this) a plastic butter knife. Luckily Shawn found someone who borrowed us some tools and Jamie got the dash apart and brake fixed so we could enjoy the fireworks.

Dustin started 2nd grade this fall and is enjoying his class. His teacher was only there a few weeks and had a baby in early September so he has had a substitute for most of this year. He enjoys reading chapter books and is reading at a 4th grade level. We are so proud of him. He likes to spend his free time irritating his little brother and loves getting to go to his Grandma Whitney's on his days off of school.

Brett got to start church school this year and has been attending every Wednesday evening. He was overwhelmed at first with all the new faces, and mom got to attend the first couple weeks with him. But he is now coming out his shell and singing a few of the songs, and coloring on his papers. He will now even give his offering and doesn't get upset when he has to give away "his money". (He was not a happy camper the first week having to give it up.) Brett has also started a new daycare which is a couple houses down from ours. He seems to really like it there and looks forward to going. He is working on the alphabet and knows the first few letters. She has been giving him naps also, so his attitude has changed dramatically in the evenings. Some day he may be out of the terrible two's, now threes stage, but it lasts way too long.

As for Shawn, he is keeping busy with his job and side business, Inline Designs. He was extremely excited that he paid off his business loan in a little over a year. We splurged this year and finally bought a fishing boat! We used it quite a bit the beginning of the summer and enjoyed weekend camping with Jamie's parents. The little boys enjoyed being out on the boat and got to watch a DVD while the rest of us fished. Dustin caught his first fish this summer and he was so excited and proud of himself. We all got a bit of summer sun, and thankfully we didn't have any accidents on the water, bei ng as nervous as we were the first few times out. We didn't get to do any tubing with the boys, but there is always next summer.

Shawn also got to help shingle a couple of roofs this summer. I think now he realizes why he has a desk job. Thanks for all the hard work, but if anyone else needs a shingle job done, remember only one a summer.

Jamie is stilling holding her own at the Waterford on West Century. For those of you who aren't aware, she started in October of 2006 as an office manager. She enjoys the long days. She has even taken advantage of the Health and Fitness center and works out in the afternoons, getting to take an hour break out of the day. She also is playing volleyball and keeps busy juggling the life of a "working out of the house mom". Shawn has taken his fare share of cooking dinner, and very rarely gets to come home to a meal on the table anymore.

Anyway Happy Holiday's to all, and we hope that this holiday season brings both joy and family gatherings.

God Bless you,

Shawn, Jamie, Dustin, and Brett

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Jenny's Wedding Update!

Hello Everyone,

Brad and I have set our wedding date for June 21, 2008 at 2:00 PM in
Miles City. There will be festivities all day and night, so please come
join us for our day. I have blocked rooms off at three different
motels. This is the best I could do for a variety. The Montana/Dakota
football game is the same day as our wedding. There are also 2 family
reunions and another wedding.

We look forward to celebrating with you all!

Blocks of motel rooms:
*all non-smoking rooms

Guesthouse Inn & Suites
3111 Steel Street
Miles City, MT 59301
(406) 232-366 1
$72.00 per room
15 rooms blocked for 6/20 & 6/21
2 Queen Beds

The Historic Olive Hotel
501 Main St
Miles City, MT 59301
(406) 234-2450
$64.00 plus tax
15 rooms blocked for 6/20 & 6/21
2 Queen Beds

Econo Lodge
1209 South Haynes Ave.
Miles City, MT 59301
(406) 232-8880
$55.00 plus tax
2 Queen Beds
15 rooms blocked

*Only blocked for 6/21 and only held until June 15th

Saturday, December 08, 2007


The house where Marie spent part of her life from age 13 to 18, and the county courthouse in Ashburn, GA, across the street from the Federal office building where Marie worked after graduating from high school.


After several episodes of confusion, Dad has stopped driving his pickup. He went back and forth to St. Michaels Church several times because he thought he had left his jacket there. It is amazing that he has been able to drive until now at his age. Mavis, Ron, Luke, and others will be sure that he gets were he wants to go. Nonetheless, it will be difficult for him to know that he can't jump in the pickup when he wants to and drive to dinner with Mavis and Ron! However, Abbie will keep him entertained in his house. They really get along well with each other!

Mavis and Ron are going to Tempe, AZ, this week with a load of household goods for his sister. They will stop off in Las Vegas for the National Rodeo Finals before returning to Cartwright on December 15. Judy Lassey will pick up Dad and take him to church on Sunday.

The Holidays in Florida

We are sitting by the beach at Venice, FL (just south of Sarasota), enjoying a cool ocean breeze, and watching graceful sailboats meander about in the Gulf. We'll be here for another week until we go a bit farther south to Naples where we'll celebrate Christmas!

Bill and Marie