Dearest Friends and Family...
We hope that this holiday greeting will find you all happy, healthy, and filled with the holiday spirit.
I guess I should just call this a holiday/end-of-the-year letter from now on since it has arrived after Christmas for the last two years. My excuse this year is that I was waiting on the family photos from the photographer. Anyway, here it is...complete with recent photos. Our photography session got a little crazy as you can tell from the photos at the bottom of the page but hey...that's us!
Let's see...our year was filled with many “ups”, some changes, and thankfully, very few “downs”.
Harley & I celebrated our 18th wedding anniversary last April. We have decided that we are in it for the long haul now since it would take too much effort to “break in” a new spouse after this many years.
The kids are growing up way too fast and they keep us VERY busy. I can hardly believe that Brad will turn 18 next August and be a senior in high school!
We still love in the same house so feel free to stop by, give us a call, or drop us an email and let us know how you are!
We hope you enjoy this Reader's Digest version of our year.
We wish you a very special holiday season and a blessed 2007.
Harley, Sherry, & kids
Harley is doing great and there have been a couple of significant changes for him this past year.
First of all, last July Harley hit the big 4-0. Of course, we couldn't let that milestone pass by without a celebration, so we threw him a little surprise party at the Community Center. Lots of friends and family members had a good time “roasting” and celebrating with him.
Secondly, Harley has a new job. Well, actually it's an old job...you see, he went back to work at MGM. Now I know what you're thinking and NO he's not crazy. Well, maybe he is...but that's beside the point. <smile> Anyway, to make a really LONG story short, the previous owner sold MGM...new owner took over...Harley & new owner started talking and discussing the possibility of Harley coming back, and after a few months it was a done deal. So far he feels he made a good move. He and the new owner get along really well and he has received a warm welcome from his contacts in the industry. Right now his title is Vice President/Partner; however, in a few years, if things go as planned, Harley will start buying into the company and will hopefully own it outright in the future when the current owner decides to retire.
Let's see...other Harley news includes the fact that he is STILL working on his 56 Chevy Bel-Air when he gets the chance. He's made more progress this year but it's still a long way from being done. (See car pictures here if you want more detail)
In addition to all of the above Harley still finds time to occasionally go hunting & fishing. His other favorite pastimes include watching TV (specifically “House”), working Sudoku puzzles, teasing the kids, and playing with his baby nephew, Jaden.
Brad is now 17 and is a junior in high school. He's about 6'1” and is tipping the scales at 230-ish now and is still growing! He can usually be found zipping around town in his two-tone brown truck (or “the rolling turd” as we so affectionately refer to it) on his way to work, school, or one of his many activities.
I can actually report that my beloved, super-intelligent-yet-sometimes-lazy oldest child is EXCELLING in two of his classes this year. One class is choir where Brad is an active participant and where he recently made All-District, and All-State Honor Choirs. The other is his Fine Arts Management class which he absolutely LOVES and where he is one of 3 interns at the new BHS Fine Arts Center . This is an actual class at the high school which basically encompasses learning about lighting, sound, stage management, and all aspects of technical theatre. Consequently, he has been able earn some cold, hard cash in this field by working shows/events at the Fine Arts Center and the Community Center. OK, OK…so these classes that Brad is excelling at aren't “core” classes; however he is still doing pretty well in those subjects too. His GPA actually starts with a “3” now and all grades are above “C” level so Harley & I are happy campers.
Let's see…Brad's other interests revolve around deer (or “dear”)...both the two-legged kind (girls) and the four-legged kind. He is currently between girlfriends right now so his main focus is deer hunting. If you ever see Brad out and about just strike up a conversation about deer hunting or technical theatre and I guarantee he will talk your leg off.
Our “little girl” isn't quite so little anymore; Kimberly has blossomed into a beautiful young lady. Next month she will turn 15 and she is a freshman at the Mid-High this year. She is an excellent student and is very involved in extracurricular activities.
Kimberly told me a week before try-outs last spring that she might try out for the pom squad (aka as “drill team”). Well, she not only made the squad but she is one of two co-captains. So basically, I became a “Pom Mom” overnight which, let me tell ya, is no easy task. Much of our time is consumed by rehearsals, games, fund-raising, or pom competitions. I guess its pretty fun for the most part and Kimberly really loves it so that's what really matters. You can check out some of the pom routines I have video-taped on our website at www.graygang.com/videos-pom.htm.
In addition to pom, Kimberly is very involved in choir and was recently selected for the All-District Honor Choir. She loves to sing and take still takes voice lessons regularly. She also sings weekly as a member of the worship team at our church. Acting is another one of Kimberly's interests and she is taking a drama class in school as well.
When she's not busy with her many activities, Kimberly can be found on the internet, on her cell phone, or hanging out with one of her many friends.
Oh...and as you can see from the photo, she's got her daddy wrapped around her finger. (He won't admit it though)
The only thing newsworthy with me this year is that I finally received my Associate of Arts in Business degree from OWU. And...I love to razz the kids about the fact that my GPA starts with a “4”. I plan to finish and get my bachelors soon but right now I'm taking a little break. Working full-time, having a family, and going to school is quite a challenge!
Other than that I am still working at the Community Center. I enjoy it for the most part; the benefits are good, and it allows me the flexibility to be available for the kids when I need to be.
I still try keep up with what's going on in the travel industry by doing some outside sales for Spears Travel. Cruises are my specialty.
I am still quite the computer geek and can usually be found surfing the ‘net, checking email, or doing something computer related. I also still dabble in web design, digital photography, graphic editing and video editing.
Oh...and guess what? For those of you who anxiously await your “GrayGang News” every year (Ha!), I have good news. I have started blogging just for you! That's right...now you can feed your addiction for GrayGang news as often as you'd like by going to www.graygang.typepad.com. (You can also access it via our website at graygang.com or through facebook) Basically, I ramble on about what's going on in our lives and lots of other random stuff. I also try to add photos and videos to keep it fairly interesting. Feel free to leave comments! Now, everyone would just read my blog, I wouldn't have to subject you to this boring newsletter every year! <smile>
Beauty & the Beast
It's a tale as old as time...song as old as rhyme...Beauty & the Beast. That's right, Disney's smash musical “Beauty & the Beast” was brought to life at the Bartlesville Community Center this summer by our local children's musical theatre and it was an amazing production!
After a lot of hard work and some stiff competition, Brad landed the leading role of the “Beast”. Kimberly also landed the principal role of “Madame de la Grande Bouche” (aka “The Wardrobe”) Harley & I were awestruck and beaming with pride as both kids did a spectacular job. The entire cast was very talented, the costume and sets were outta this world, and the show was magnificent. While watching the show it was really easy to forget that the actors were children aged 16 and
You can check out some clips that I uploaded from the show on our website at www.graygang.com/videos-batb.htm.
(How we really are!)