Christmas Letter 2015

Merry Christmas to our friends and family!

Another year has gone by quickly. Hope all is well with you and your loved ones as we enter this holy season.

Here’s what’s been happening in our family…

Justin is working as a lawyer and Rachael as a dietician in the Twin Citiessandy and dean area. Rachael also started a part-time photography business at She’s been kept busy shooting weddings, family portraits, and senior photos. She also took time to take this picture of Dean and I, which we needed for our church pictorial directory.

Sure is nice having a professional photographer in the family!

Probably the biggest event in the family this year is that we have another one graduated from college! Louis graduated in May from Iowa State University with a degree in political science and a minor in history. He is working for the circuit court in St. Louis, Missouri. I now have three kids in three states. It’s getting tougher and tougher to get us all together in one place. St. Louis is a six-hour drive from Lawler, so it still works for him to get home when he has a three-day weekend. He was home for Thanksgiving, and will be home again for Christmas.

Lou Grad

Olivia is in her third year at Iowa State. She’s studying supply chain management and economics. The college has the saying, “Choose your adventure,” and Olivia has been taking that quite seriously. This summer she interned for Land O’Lakes, and the internship culminated in a trip to Africa. She was learning about food insecurity issues in the world, and tackled it from a logistics point of view—trying to implement better ways to store and transport food in order to reduce food waste.


I love this picture because it shows that no matter who you are or where you live, everyone loves a selfie.

For Dean and I, we’re still farming and running a repair shop in Lawler. We did get in a couple of glorious Minnesota fishing trips this summer. Being surrounded by all the beauty that nature has to offer was so good for the soul. Now I know why Mom and Dad made Minnesota fishing trips a priority in their lives. And I actually caught fish. Gotta give a shout out to friends, Paul and Julie Rausch, for teaching me how to catch a lunker!sandy fish

My biggest news, though, is that I made good on a 2014 New Year’s Resolution to start a blog. I write commentary once a month about politics, religion or culture (three safe topics!) at I converted a small bedroom upstairs into my office. There’s barely room for a desk and chair, computer and printer, and rocker and footstool—but I love it. Some of my happiest moments this year have been reflecting, reading and writing in my little hobby room.

For those of you who follow my blog, you might have noticed that my blog went dark in August. Something happened in August. Dean’s mother, Edna, passed away, and it took the wind out of our sails. She had been battling Alzheimer’s for a couple of years, but I think everyone felt they had much more time left with her. And so, her sudden passing was a shock. Alzheimer’s is a devastating diagnosis for anyone, but it seemed especially cruel for Edna because she was such an absolute force in life before the disease. She’s reunited now with two that she was missing so much—her son, Dana, and her granddaughter, Melissa. Rest in peace, Edna.

Faith, family and friends. Honestly, what else is there?

I hope you are able to celebrate the birth of Jesus with all the very important people in your life—total happiness with your total family.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!


Sandy and Dean

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