2004 Christmas Greetings from
The Green Family!

Happy Holidays from the Green’s!


As I begin writing this letter, I am perched in my recliner with my laptop computer. Christmas isn’t a one-day event in the Green household, and this year is no exception. It is November 29, and we just started the first of what will probably be many Christmas videos over the course of the next month. Haley is perched in the bean-bag chair, bowl of popcorn in hand, ready for The Grinch who stole Christmas to start. Kay and I shake our heads, as living in a house with teenagers makes her look and act like a pint-sized adolescent more each day.


For my small-in-number-but-extremely-loyal Christmas letter “groupies,” allow me to apologize in advance for a rather normal letter. There is no Dr. Suess rhyme, multiple choice quiz or fill in the blank sections this year. Just a simple letter that gives you a glimpse at what happened in our home over the past year . . .


Angel the Wonder Dog passes


The day after Christmas was a very sad day. Regular readers of our annual letter will recall our black lab Angel “The Wonder Dog.” Angel went to doggie heaven that day, the result of some kind of an allergic reaction, probably from a spider bite. After a brief period of no dogs in our family, we took corrective action by purchasing a brown seven-pound Chesapeake Bay Retriever that we named Chocolate “Ginger” Lovin’ (thanks for the name, Jordan!). Ginger certainly fills the void left by Angel, and is in her Wonder Dog apprenticeship as we speak. Her tiny frame has expanded to 60 pounds so far. I have been working with her on retrieval skills for future hunting excursions, and recently purchased two videos to aid in the training. Kay asked me how many times Ginger has to watch the video before she is ready to go hunting . . . hmmm.


Helicopters and heart attacks


February found me spending a week in Reno, although not for the usual reasons associated with this city. My father experienced a heart attack while on the road in Nevada. After a helicopter ride to the hospital, bypass surgery was immediately scheduled. My mother, sister and neighbor to my parents (he drove dad’s truck back to Springfield) made a fast trip to be by his side. Through the marvels of modern medicine, I saw my parents off at the airport for their trip home only five days after the surgery!


We’re going to Disneyland!


At the risk of being too chronological, March saw us flying south to Disneyland. The doctor gave dad the thumbs-up to fly, so my parents were able to join us for the fun. Jordan’s class schedule only allowed him to join us for the weekend, and Matt and Melissa also made the trip. Haley celebrated her fourth birthday while visiting Mickey and all the Disney princesses.


And speaking of Haley and princesses, our resident “girl-wind” has fallen prey to the blitz of advertising by Disney. Accordingly, her parents, siblings and grandparents oblige by opening our collective wallets to avoid causing our little princess to feel deprived: a Princess Jasmine outfit and princess fleece while in Disneyland; a collection of nearly every Disney princess video (I had no idea there were so many!); and a complete transformation of her bedroom into the princess “suite” as a Christmas present. I draw the line on the pink Disney princess television/VCR unit she picked out for her room! Now if we can only get the smell of spoiled kid out of our house! Haley is enjoying her pre-kindergarten class two days a week, gymnastics class, attending church and spending time with her friends. She enjoys playing with Ginger and working with daddy in the yard.


In May I spent some time in Washington DC, attending a legislative event with our national co-op association. In between legislator visits I worked in visits to the many monuments and the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. I flew in and out of Baltimore to get lower air fares, which conveniently (wink wink) allowed me to catch a Baltimore Orioles game at Camden Yards.


Graduations, retirements and visitors from Nebraska


Graduations kept our early summer busy, with Allison (age 17) and Katie Looper (Jordan’s girlfriend) receiving their diplomas. Speaking of Allison, she obtained her driver’s license, got a job at Subway, and plays piano in worship bands at church.  In a recent piano recital, she tackled an eight-page David Lanz piece (I have no idea who Mr. Lanz is, but I could tell by all those notes on the page that he didn’t write “Chopsticks”). This fall she began working on her transfer degree at Portland Community College. She has this thing about England and anything British, although I hope that doesn’t include her yet-to-be-purchased first car, as any car guy will tell you that British cars are always in the shop! In the meantime she uses one of the cars from the family fleet.


With our Disneyland vacation already behind us, our summer was spent close to home. My softball games, Vacation Bible School for Haley, and camping at the coast and Odell Lake with family filled the summer. Also, the kids put together a 25th wedding anniversary party, complete with Matt and Melissa doing their best imitation of a 1979 version of Kay and Russell!


One highlight of the summer was the visit of Haley’s Nebraska family, with Grandma Kelly, Great-grandma Eldora and a Great-aunt coming to Oregon. We were happy they were able to see Haley for the first time since her birth.


The fall saw us celebrating the retirement of Kay’s parents, who sold their security/patrol business of 34 years. The kids returned to school, and I did anything but celebrate college football as my Oregon Ducks stumbled through their season.


Hurry, get the camera – it’s Jordan!


A Jordan (age 19) sighting is about as frequent as seeing Sasquatch these days. He leaves home at 6:15 a.m. to make it to a 7:00 a.m. PCC class in Portland. He arrives at work around 1:00 p.m. and usually works until at least 6:00, maybe later. A stop at Starbucks to hang out with friends or to attend his car club meeting, and we are lucky to see him at some point between 9:50 and 9:53. He hits the pillow and starts over the next day. I told him that his schedule makes him good management material! Weekends are spent with friends, cleaning his room . . . (okay I made that one up!) seeing Katie (if she is home from classes at Western Oregon), doing some car club activity, or converting some meager Volkswagen into a race car (a fete that us muscle car guys can’t fathom, but somehow he does it).


Katie’s departure to school prompted Jordan to purchase a promise ring in an effort to secure his long-term romantic interests. The ring was happily accepted, although he will have to make a significant upgrade on Katie’s finger hardware once he is done with school! God forbid that anything bad happen in this relationship, as we would miss Jordan terribly! Katie’s parents feel the same, but in reverse, so I guess he would have somewhere to go.

You can’t give a fish a time-out . . .


Matt and Melissa (age 22) celebrated their one-year anniversary in October. Their schedule is very busy with Matt attending MBA classes at George Fox University, work for both, caring for two dogs, two cats and their “Love Fish” – the lone remaining beta from their wedding table decorations. [As a side note, our two wedding fish didn’t survive very long – mine lasted for several months in my office aquarium, but Haley’s didn’t survive its “time out” administered by Haley for alleged poor behavior. She reached in and pulled it out the bowl, then laid it on her dresser until it “straightened out.” The fish complied with surprising quickness. Unfortunately Haley was no longer in the room to witness this compliance, so the brother of Love Fish became acquainted with our septic system! Occasionally I hear sounds through the toilet that are strangely similar to Barry White songs, but maybe I’m imagining things.]


We didn’t think you would actually do it . . .


Matt and I set new course records with our new Taylor Made golf clubs – his as a birthday gift and mine for Father’s Day. Unfortunately, our course records are for high scores, lost balls, and divots on the tee box, fairway and greens! Hopefully that will change a little bit next year. During a September golf outing with two of our pastors, Matt’s tee shot failed to reach the short distance to the women’s tee box. Golf “etiquette” requires the offending golfer to drop his pants, and to the surprise of his golf partners, Matt obliged. Imagine our amazement when his next shot was his best of the day! Nothing like responding under pressure! No, nobody else felt the urge to duplicate Matt’s example!


My one-of-a-kind-precious-gem-of-a-wife continues to develop her My Precious Kid line of child safety products, and has nearly 100 sales representatives across the country. Being an in-home business entrepreneur and mommy keeps her very busy. In January, Kay will teach a small-group class at church for new mothers – a topic for which she is very qualified!


No, it’s not a mid-life crisis, just a new job


Possibly the biggest change in our family, or at least in my life, is that after 25 years of working in the electric utility industry, I am changing careers. In September I accepted the CEO position at Ruralite Services, a communications/publication company based in Forest Grove, Oregon. We plan to stay in our home for now, but may consider a move closer to town sometime next year


I worked for West Oregon Electric through October, and will assume my new duties January 1. While I will miss the people at West Oregon, my new duties will keep me involved in the utility industry – although I will no longer have to dread a snow storm! In fact, the next good snow will not find me at the office. Instead, you will find me doing snow angels with Haley or building a snow man!


In the interim, I am working on finding out how it feels to take a two-month vacation. A trip to San Francisco in my father’s 18-wheeler, the aforementioned princess suite conversion, helping Matt install a new floor in their home, and many other projects made the first month fly by. The second half of my time off will include some duck hunting (if Ginger memorizes those training videos) and a much anticipated Caribbean cruise with Kay in mid-December to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary.


That’s the latest from the Green family. We pray this letter finds you and your family blessed by God and all He has for you. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!


Russell & Kay Green
Kay, Melissa (22), Jordan (19), Allison (17), and Haley (4)

kids1.jpg (10219 bytes)December 2001
331 003.jpg (285083 bytes)Easter 2002

October 2003

To view other Christmas Letters go to 2003 / 2004 / 2005 / 2006 / 2007

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