Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas 2008

Dear Family and Loved ones,

Wow, where do we even start with where we are in our lives right now. Every year I have written up a Christmas letter and every year it doesn’t get sent. Every year I am determined to get it done and ready to mail in November because December is such a jam packed month for us with our anniversary and six birthdays not to mention all the Christmas festivities that happen all month and every year it seems that November gets all filled up with one thing or another and it still doesn’t happen. I will try again this year. I don’t think I have gotten a Christmas letter out since we adopted Nick, Andy and Lydia from Russia about ten years ago. Over the years, many old friends have stopped sending Christmas cards and keeping us up to date with what was happening with them when they didn’t get anything from us in return. I’m sorry I have been so delinquent! We hope that this letter will find you all happy and well.

This past year has been filled with many different experiences coming to our family. It has been a year filled with emotion, trials of our faith and going through the refiner’s fire. We have had much help from our loving Heavenly Father as He has sent His comfort and peace.

Our biggest sorrow is that we lost our sweet Carissa in April. She was 22. She got pneumonia complicated by a rare fungus that the doctors were unable to identify and treat. When she first started getting sick she received a blessing that said, “And I bless you that when your purpose here on earth is done, you will go speedily back to the arms of your Heavenly Father”. That blessing was fulfilled about a month later as she took a very sudden turn for the worse and passed away very quickly. We have taken great comfort in knowing that Heavenly Father was mindful of us all and let us know that it was time for Carissa to return to her Heavenly home. While we all miss her terribly, we are so very thankful for the Plan of Salvation and the promise that we are an eternal family and we will be reunited with Carissa again. I truly believe that Carissa’s purpose here was and is to teach us what it really means to have the pure love of Christ in our lives. So many felt like Carissa had been sent here especially for them. She had a gift of making people feel loved and that they were “her favorite”. Whenever anyone asks me if there is someone I want to be like, I choose Carissa.

One week before Carissa passed away, Lydia gave birth to her beautiful little daughter, Zoe. Lydia had a very difficult decision to make and had the courage and love for her daughter to place her for adoption with a wonderful young local family. We had the blessing to see Zoe and hold her on several occasions and Tony and I were even privileged to witness the sealing of this beautiful little girl to her adoptive parents. We are proud of Lydia and that she made this heart wrenching decision. Lydia is now working as a nanny and little children can feel her love for them.

A couple of weeks later my Dad got very ill while we were visiting my sister Penny and her family for her son Dallas’ wedding. We were very worried about him as he had to be hospitalized away from home. He is doing better now.

A month later, Tony’s mom passed away. She had been steadily getting in worse health and for the past year had been living in an assisted living center.

One month after that, I had just thought to myself that a whole month had gone by without another calamity when Dan and Andrea Rae announced that they were getting divorced. They just finalized their divorce about a month ago and our prayers are with them that they will both be able to find the happiness and joy of eternal marriages. They have one beautiful little son, Noah who is about 22 months old now. They are working hard to help him know the love of both parents. Dan owns and operates one of our MyComfort stores and Andrea Rae works for him as a sales associate. Dan also is really getting into photography and has his own site: http://www.capturethem.com/ Andrea has her own blog site also where you can read what’s going on in her life: http://www.annandnoah.blogspot.com/

We have had joy in our family as well. Tomi and Dan added another beautiful baby to their family about three months ago which brings their total of children to three. They have Sammy, Joshy and now Elizabeth Carissa. We are honored that they chose to name her after Carissa. Dan owns one of our MyComfort stores and is an aspiring author. Tomi is busy with graphic design, scrap booking and being a wonderful mommy. She has a family blog spot http://hilltimes.blogspot.com/ and a scrap booking blog spot. http://www.tomiannie.blogspot.com/


Eric and Leanne also added their first beautiful little daughter to their family. Amelia Carissa is one week older than Eliza. Having two new grandbabies named after Carissa is a special blessing. Eric also owns one of our stores and Leanne is busy being a wonderful mommy and wife. She does the bookkeeping for Eric. They have been living in England where Leanne is from for the last several years but decided to come and give the retail business a whirl.

Amy and Emily are both working together owning and running two of our stores. They make a great team and work hard to be good business owners. They are both attending singles wards but neither are dating anyone seriously right now. Amy served a mission to Chicago South and has been home a little over a year. Emily was able to get her drivers license and has been enjoying her new found freedom.

Nick moved to Grand Junction and owned and operated one of our stores there. He just married his sweetheart, Crystal in November in a wonderful wedding and reception at our home after dating off and on for about three years. They have just recently switched to our store in St. George and moved there. After Christmas, us old folks will go down south to visit them and enjoy a bit warmer clime.

Andy is on a mission in Nicaragua. He has been out for about 16 months and will be home in August of 2009. He has had a lot to deal with while on his mission but has kept working hard and has had many opportunities to share the gospel and baptize many. He has grown and changed a lot from his experiences. He loves the work and the people. To read most of his letters and see a few pictures go to: http://steadfastfaithinchrist.blogspot.com/

Andrea Nicole graduated from Lone Peak High School this past June. She is currently working at a clothing store and is getting ready to apply for college. She is doing a lot of graphic design just messing around on the computer and is also taking voice lessons. She isn’t really sure where she wants to attend yet. I think she’s just enjoying being an only child and claims to be the “spoiled” one.

Tony and I are thoroughly enjoying being “Bapa and Nana” to all our sweet grandchildren and ‘adopted” grandchildren. Every Sunday everyone that can, comes home to Sunday dinner. We usually have anywhere between 14 and 24 and love being together as a family. There is nothing so sweet as having a little person come running down the hall with arms outstretched, ready for big hugs and kisses. It is different being faced for the first time with being empty nesters. We always assumed that we would be a happy threesome with Carissa as we all fulfilled missions and worked in the temple. I’m thankful for these little ones that brighten our home and lives and help fill that void.

Tony has been working hard being the President of MyComfort, using the technology he and Terry invented to make the very best and most wonderfully wonderful sleep systems and other new and fabulous cushioning materials. Unfortunately we have been involved in law-suits for several years as we try to protect our patents. There is never a dull moment. It is wonderful knowing that they invented such a wonderful product that has helped so many people. Tony is also the second counselor in our bishopric and works hard in that calling. He has enjoyed going archery elk hunting with Terry every year for many years now.

After Carissa passed away, I became a temple worker. I work two days a week at the Mount Timpanogas temple and love every minute serving there as an ordinance worker. It’s kind of fun that I’m considered “a young one” there. Everywhere else I’m considered “getting up there”. I enjoy skiing with my boys and have been trying to get back up the nerve to get into horse riding again. I kind of lost my nerve the third or fourth time I got thrown. I still bowl and am just enjoying all that life has to offer, especially being a wife, mom and Nana. Did I mention how much I LOVE being a Nana? I am also doing a blog spot although I don’t keep it updated like I want to. Pretty much our whole family is on Facebook and keeps everything up to date there and we would love for you to add us as “friends” if you would like to. Just type our names into the search bar and you should be able to find us.

Although it’s been a tough year for us, we are always amazed at the many blessing Heavenly Father sends our way. We have so many wonderful family members and friends that have shown us amazing amounts of love and compassion this past year. We have the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the promises of being together eternally. The December 2008 visiting teaching message quoted President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency: “The gospel of Jesus Christ has the divine power to lift you to great heights from what appears at times to be an unbearable burden or weakness. The Lord knows your circumstances and your challenges. He said to Paul and to all of us, ‘My grace is sufficient for thee.’ And like Paul we can answer: ‘My strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me’ (2 Corinthians 12:9)”

This past year has brought our family closer to Christ as we have come to rely on him for comfort, peace and strength. We are becoming better prepared to do the work He has for us. We rejoice in and testify of our Savior Jesus Christ and the many tender mercies we have been shown throughout the year.

Our hope and prayer for you and yours this Christmas season is to be able to feel of His divine and profound love in your lives not only now but throughout the coming year.

Love,
Tony and Carrie Pearce and family

1 comment:

tomiannie said...

Wonderful letter, Mom! Thanks for writing it and for always sharing your testimony with us!

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