It is with great joy that I write you, and yes I mean each of you. I fondly think of each individual and family as I address envelopes (or write emails) or open the letters you already sent. God has richly blessed me with your friendship and it is with genuine love and thanksgiving for you that I send this Christmas letter.
My second year ended much better than the first; I worked really hard to establish boundaries during the year so that I could have some type of division between my professional life as an Ag teacher and my personal life. While I obviously do not have a famiy waiting on me at home, I knew it was not healthy (nor sustainable) to continue working the same number of hours as I did my first year. Hard as it was to leave a long "to do" list on my desk and papers ungraded many a night, I found myself making more time for communicating with family and friends and hobbies. I also found some time for stress relief in the way of good 'ol exercise:) My principal retired at the end of year two and with my new administration came a welcomed change of pace and management styles. My third year got off to a great start and I have thoroughly enjoyed my incoming class of freshmen Ag students, going strong at 84 students!! Teaching has gone smoother than ever but I continue to be a "student" of teaching. I have a feeling I will never stop learning about the art (and science) of teaching.
Another interesting and exciting highlight of 2009 was my younger sister's wedding in April! Anna and Bass officially became Mr. and Mrs. Aja on April 24 on the lawn at my parent's home. While I have been in wedding parties before, this one was especially fun to stand by as my sister prepared to embark on this new journey. The ceremony was beautiful, the weather was perfect and my family was so grateful for everyone who came to share in the special evening. Anna and Bass hosted the entire Groseta crew for Thanksgiving at their new home in Wellton (AZ); I was definitely impressed with our host's and look forward to our next holiday with them!
After preparing the lawn and house for the wedding, my mom and dad hosted several other events in the following weeks; they hosted a ranch tour and a group of teachers traveling around Arizona for the Summer Ag Institute. Mom continues to work hard to keep her quilt store successful; she did a long term promotion this past year giving out "quilt bucks" as a customer reward. The event ended with a live auction where they could buy all kinds of items, fabric included, using their quilt bucks and it was a huge success! Dad ended his term as president of National Cattlemen's in January but has continued his involvement on the local, state and national levels. Paul and Gretchen (my brother and sister-in-law) keep busy with their brood of my four nieces and nephews. Paul has been driving to the far reaches of Arizona completing appraisals and getting several ranch listings and in addition to the PTA, Gretchen has been working as the Executive Secretary for Yavapai CattleGrowers. As you can tell, life is never quiet around the Groseta Ranch Headquarters!
I can't end this letter without telling you about the new love of my life. No, no, no folks I do not mean a boyfriend, I mean a d-o-g! I got a little female Queensland Heeler pup the same week Anna got married. I named her Johnnie Reb and she is a perfect match for my personality...super energetic! I have had a lot of fun taking her through beginning training classes this fall and am preparing for an intermediate class this winter.
I cannot close my 2009 Christmas letter without praising God for his provision and generosity during 2009; I am continually in awe of the Lord we serve and the earth He created for us to enjoy. I pray 2010 brings continued health for your family and plenty of rain for your ranches.
Katy (and Johnnie Reb)