Hello, and holiday greetings to you all! This being our first annual Christmas letter, I’ll go back a little to April 19, 1997, where Roger and I joined our lives in a fun and heartfelt ceremony. After taking off a month for a great honeymoon, we settled into life in a trailer on Old Farm School Road here in Asheville, where we are enjoying the location and good neighbors.
The summer after we were married, I kept myself busy by babysitting two girls from church. When Roger first moved to Asheville, he had started working with a brick mason. By November, he was ready to give his body a break from carrying brick and block around. So we quit the job and with Philip (Roger’s brother) and Amy’s wedding as an excuse, took an extended vacation to Chicago/Wisconsin/Oklahoma. We came home wondering what was coming next, but never had time to get too anxious. By the end of November, Roger was figuring out wires and switches and everything else that electricians do. He had a great boss, and worked with some guys that he really enjoyed being with.
Christmas brought with it another Chicago/Oklahoma/back to Asheville trip. Little did we know, there were three of us traveling this time. We figured it out before too long and tried to wait as long as possible before telling anyone. Several weeks before we were ready to divulge our little secret, we got some exciting news that in September, we would have a niece or nephew, by way of the aforementioned Phil and Amy. Boy, did we laugh to know that our baby was going to jump in (or out) ahead of what they thought would be the first grandchild.
One of the highlights of our year was a trip to Raleigh at the end of May. Jonathan/Scottie and Joel/Ginny (my brothers and their wives) gave us tickets to the Phantom of the Opera for an anniversary gift, and the six of us enjoyed a fantastic production. (The way the little one kicked, he must have enjoyed the music too.)
We took two weeks in July to help out at Bethel Camp – where Roger met the love of his life 4 years ago. This year, Roger was a Bible speaker one week and helped with music the next. In between these responsibilities, he dragged people through the mud in tug of war, built fires, caught crawdads, and forced his pregnant wife to drink her daily requirement of water. The only thing that I managed on a regular basis was getting my rotund belly to the craft room twice a day where I enlightened kids with the art of squishing a pop can and turning it into a cow. Highly educational and spiritual.
August was our “free month;” devoted to painting the porch, doing (or not doing) pregnancy exercises from our Bradley class, setting up the crib, and other such getting ready for the baby activities. I was volunteering (and still do) one day a week at ABCCM, a local Christian organization that ministers to the needy of our city and county. Roger spent some of his spare time getting some of the guys in the youth group going on guitars and drums – they now do a great job of leading praise singing every other Sunday.
After a long and laborious wait, September 1st welcomed beautiful Judah Keith into our little family. For more information, please send a self-addressed, stamped envelope to Judah’s Birth Story, c/o Roger and Ruthie Voth, 220 Old Farm School Rd. Asheville, NC 28805. We brought him home and, after the first sleepless night, began thoroughly enjoying him. We’ve had fun watching him grow (fast!), taking pictures, and catching some of his “firsts.” One extra special one was a first cousin; Abigail Mae Voth, who came along September 14th, and who we have yet to meet (at Christmas!)
December 14th, Roger started working with Jim Miller in his company; Miller Woodworks. He has a large shop, and a business that’s been growing enough for him to hire a full-time employee. Roger has been enjoying playing around with wood for a living, not to mention the challenge of learning a new trade while working with a good friend that he loves to talk to. I think that we’re both glad for the change of occupation.
Well, there’s our year in a rather large nutshell. We love all of you, and are wishing good holiday memories on you during the next few weeks.
Roger, Ruthie & Judah Voth