Sunday, December 21, 2014

2014 Christmas Newsletter

DuBois Family Christmas in VA 
Publisher:  Kevin Du Bois             Volume No. 1             Issue No. 12             Christmas, 2014

For us here in “Glenrest South”, there were many momentous events in 2014.  Big changes in the girls’ school careers, a couple of car wrecks, new jobs, etc. etc. etc. all led to failed attempts at large or small family vacations.  We had wanted to do a rafting trip and see the Lost Colony play in the Outer Banks, but life got in the way.  Kathi and I did sneak away for a weekend in and around Staunton VA.  We attended the Virginia Fly Fishing Festival and Wine Tasting event in Waynesboro (a future retirement destination?), spent the night in a delightful B&B in Staunton VA (we loved that town!), and then met up with our friends Chris and Leslie to hike to Crabtree Falls in the George Washington National Forest.  

This year we had to say goodbye to our trusty Honda minivan.  She was involved in two no-fault accidents, the second, a rear ender that totaled the poor girl.  There were a lot of family outings, camping trips, and boat launching in the old girl’s past.  We miss her.    

Hailey graduated from First Colonial High School this year.  She continues to work at the Harris Teeter grocery store, earning money for college.  This was her last year at theater camp and she loved performing in Godspell as a closer.  This past fall, she started attending Old Dominion University, studying Fine Arts.  Hailey qualified for student aid and she took a job in the college’s music department which she really enjoys.  We encouraged her to be active in a school club and Hailey picked the ghost hunting club - for a big chicken, go figure!  Hailey seems to have done well her first semester, and now we’re waiting for her grades to come in.  She’s already picked her classes for the Spring semester:  more art classes, a film appreciation class, and she’ll take oceanography over the summer to keep her course credits on track for graduation.  Hailey’s headphones seem welded to her shoulders and never seem to come off - now who sounds old!     

Dana  Like Hailey, Dana got her learner’s permit this year, but is not interested in driving.  It’s a blessing and a curse and Kathi is driving Dana all over the county so she can perform “unpaid” work at the SPCA, the Virginia Zoo, and the Living Museum.  Dana wants to be a zookeeper and all this volunteering is good for the resume, but poor Kathi’s spending a lifetime as chauffeur.  Unless they get off the stick, these kids better work in a city with an excellent transit system!  Dana’s still nonplused about school, but she’s a good natured kid - always singing, dancing around, and acting irritatingly silly.  Dana’s a hippie 50 years too late!  Dana loves bustin’ things.  Here she is doing demo work for the bathroom remodel.

Kathi’s been making great strides at the Virginia Beach Public Library working with young children and building their STEAM knowledge (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math).  She’s getting great kudos from her bosses and adoration from her students.  One called her her favorite science teacher (a title which Kathi likes to lord over Kevin often!).  Even adding programs to fill the demand, Kathi’s classes always fill up!  Kathi even roped Kevin into giving demonstrations in fly tying and fly casting (what else!) at the Library’s “How To” Fest and although lightly attended, got good reviews.  Kathi performs the saintly duties of cooking, shopping, and otherwise taking care of her grandmother (Wa) who lives with us.  Surely her reward will be in heaven!

Wa Kathi’s grandmother is still going to church regularly and volunteering when she can.  Just as religiously, she keeps her Saturday hairdresser’s appointment, and scolds us when we block the driveway.   

Kevin has been busy work-wise in 2014 with speaking engagements at regional wetlands conferences, working on a multi-state Chesapeake Bay nutrient reduction strategy panel, getting paid to contribute text to a national wetland policy paper, and working again as a Faculty member with the Washington Youth Summit for the Environment at George Mason University.  But the biggest news is his new job!  After 19 years working in environmental services, Kevin has taken a managerial position as Norfolk’s Recycling Coordinator and Executive Director of the Norfolk Environmental Commission (NEC).  The new job is exciting and challenging, but the move has been bittersweet as Kevin has had to step back from the wetlands work he loved so much.  On a more positive note, with Kathi’s blessing, Kevin was able to go on a few outdoor trips, hiking in the Shenandoah National Park, fly fishing in the George Washington National Forest, and a week-long backpacking trip to Glacier National Park.  Dusting off his DJ chops, Kevin DJ-ed an 80’s themed party for a friend’s 50th birthday party.       

Bodie is getting older, but he’s still acting like a rambunctious pup!  As the sun and the neighborhood traffic fades, Bodie’s walks have transitioned into unleashed romps around the block.   His whimpering and groans let us know the appointed time.  It’s a good time for Mom and Dad to recount the day and blow off some steam too.  Bodie has a rubber polka dot pig that’s his favorite toy; unlike the others he doesn’t rip this one apart.  He’s still a chow hound and a constant trip hazard when eggs are being made or any other food item for that matter!

Hope all is well with you and yours. God Bless! Merry Christmas!  Happy New Year!  Love, Kathi, Kevin, Hailey, Dana, and Bodie 

Kevin: Cell:  757-650-2720
Kathi:  Cell:  757-651-1973
Blogs: (backpacking)
   (fly fishing)  
   (family travel & other stuff)  

We still reside at:  633 Prince Phillip Drive, Virginia Beach, VA 23452. (757) 486-6735

Hailey’s ODU mug shot 

Trouble on the streets!           

 Making ravioli - a New Year’s tradition!

   Our new God son - David Nash Jr.

Glacier National Park - Swiftcurrent Lookout 



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