SOME OF OUR CHRISTMAS LETTERS
FROM OUR HOME TO YOUR HOME
FROM 1952 THROUGH 2012


OUR NEW MAIN WEB SITE ADDRESS:

HELFRICHJOSEY.COM


LOVE  IS WHAT'S IN THE ROOM WITH YOU AT CHRISTMAS
IF YOU STOP OPENING PRESENTS AND LISTEN

Click For Helfrich Christmas Letters 2013-2014-2015


     


The year 2012 was run, run, run, but then what else is new?
Here are the headlines of the main events

MAY 4
Michael graduated with his Associate's Degree from HCC here in TAMPA
 
JUNE 2
Dan The Man graduated from high school here in TAMPA

JUNE 8
Amy graduated from high school In VIRGINIA
In Virginia, we visited with Chuck's brother, Sonny, again - photos below. 
 
JUNE 16
The next week - Rebeka and Kevin's wedding in ALASKA

OCTOBER 4

Move out again to attend Jackie's 60th class reunion in LOUISIANA
While there, we drove over to visit some dear cousins
DeAlva Blunt Eitelman, and Terri and Pierce Blunt in TEXAS 

During that week, October 3, 2012,
Chuck and I celebrated our 60th (diamond) wedding anniversary. 

DECEMBER 24
THEN, to top off such a great year -  we knew that Les and Jan were coming down from Alaska, via Hawaii for Christmas.
We had no idea that Bill, Yumi and Amy were coming from VA to pop in at our Christmas Eve Party
and surprise the heck out of all of us.  Except for Paul and Ellen.  They were in on the surprise.
They were all here for a week.
Michael was home from FSU and Daniel was home from UF.
Ron, Elise and Lauren and Paul, Ellen and Julia did not have to travel, as they live here.
Rebeka and Heather were unable to get away from work as they both work in retail in Alaska,
and Heather is still in school and Rebeka was in a new job too.

Bill and Yumi gave us an iPad for Christmas.  Whenever I go looking for it, Chuck has it.  What a new toy for him.
I have already attended two classes and bought the two year contract,
so the support techs in TX will know me shortly, right Bill & Les?

With that many family members here, what a SPECIAL end to the year 2012!!!!!!

 

In addition to all of that,
my niece, Connie and Rich,
 and my nephew, Tony and Lori,
came to spend some time with us.
It is always great to see them and
I did not want to open my gifts, because I was having
so much fun sitting there watching such a huge crowd of 20 people
enjoying the evening on Christmas Eve.

So here are the highlights in photos for everyone.
We are truly blessed!

This year will be mainly a photo album, since the news is still the same with all of us.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!


JUNE 23, 2012 - Alaska - Rebeka & Kevin's Wedding

Front Row - l-R -
Les, Paul, Jackie, Chuck, Bill, Ron
Back Row - L-R -
Heather, Rebeka, Jan, Kevin, Ellen, Julia, Daniel, Amy, Yumi, Michael, Elise




We wanted to re-create our cake cutting picture in 1952
Then - October 3, 1952 - with Chuck as an Airman First class
Now - October 3, 2012 - with Chuck as a retired Master Sergeant
60 years later

The Tampa Tribune article is shown below.
It was published on 11-11-2012
Veterans' Day


Jim cut and pasted the article to make a really neat compilation

Les and I both wrote (without the other knowing about it)
to Sarah Palin asking if she might be able to pose with a family
picture for our 60th wedding anniversary since we were going to be right
there in her back yard, Wasilla, next to Les and Jan in Palmer, AK.
She responded that she was out of town that month, but she
sent this to us below, so thought we would share it with you.
In the upper right hand corner of her photo, it says:
60 Years
WOW!




Dan "The Man" Helfrich 
June 2, 2012
Wiregrass Ranch High School
Tampa, FL
Graduated Summa Cum Laude
Now a Freshman at
University of Florida
(Home of the Gators)

Amy Helfrich
June 10, 2012
Liberty High School,
Bealeton, VA
Now a Freshman at
University of North Carolina
School of The Arts
(Home of the Fighting Pickle)

Michael "Man" Helfrich
May 4, 2012
Hillsborough Community College
Tampa, FL
 Associate's Degree

Now a Junior at
Florida State University
(Home of the Seminoles)
We forecast a couple of years of rivalry between those Gators and Noles!!!


Michael:  "Go Seminoles" (Noles) - Daniel: "Go Gators"

 



This was Jim's idea!
Hit of the graduation party, it was!



Silver corners are high school graduation photos
Gold corners are college graduation photos

Then Jim put the following together.
The top three have a college degree.
Lauren - Bachelor's - USF
Michael - AA - HCC
Rebeka - Bachelor's - UAA
The others are high school diplomas.
 Heather gets a second picture on here in May.
What a special keepsake!!!!!!!  Thanks a million, Jim.
Lauren and Rebeka have their Bachelor's Degrees and Heather will have hers in May 2013.
Michael should receive his in 2014.
Then, 2016 for Amy (VA) and Daniel (FL) to receive their Bachelor's and hope they are not on the same day.
That will just leave Julia, who is a junior in high school at this time.






Jackie - Chuck - Sonny - Chico

Amy - Yumi - Bill - Chuck - Chico - Sonny

Bill - Chuck - Sonny - Chico

When we were in VA to attend Amy's graduation, we were able to see Chuck's brother, Sonny, and his precious little doggie, Chico


June 23, 2012 - Chuck & Jackie


June 23, 2012 - Alaska - At Rebeka and Kevin's Wedding
Bill, Les, Jackie, Chuck, Ron, Paul



This will forever be one of my favorite photos of the wedding.
At the rehearsal dinner, Les and Jan asked Julia and Amy to
serve as usherettes at the wedding.
I would not take a million dollars for their expressions at that moment -
they were thrilled beyond words.
Then, I thought it would be a great idea for both of them to escort their
Aunt Jan down the aisle.
Jan's beaming smile added to the significance/poignancy of this photo.
As you can see, Daniel was the videographer in the back and
Michael did the same at the altar.
Each grandchild played a role in the wedding - how very special!!
This was the first wedding the grandchildren attended, and it was so
exciting for everyone, with 110 guests in attendance.


 









June 23, 2012
Les and Rebeka
Our first grandchild getting married
Settler's Bay - Palmer, Alaska







Kevin Richard and Rebeka Ann Helfrich Vanderwall


Rebeka

Les, Jan & Rebeka

 Rebeka with both sets of grandparents
Bill & Madeline Kelly and Jackie & Chuck Helfrich

Chuck, Jackie, Rebeka & Kevin



Rebeka and Heather


Les, Jan, Stephanie Rousculp - (bridesmaid),
Heather - (maid of honor),
 Rebeka, Kevin,    
Samuel Frederick - (best man), Tyler Law - (groomsman),
Carol and Tom Vanderwall (Kevin's parents) 





Kevin's mother, Carol,
made this stunning wedding cake!!!








Kevin and Rebeka:
"Look at Heather trying to con dad over there"

Proud dad, Les
With the beautiful bride, Rebeka
Les and Heather
She still has that impish look, doesn't she?
"Now, dad, you can't POSSIBLY say no to me."




 


Heather and Rebeka
Two kids at heart
Always have been and always will be
I remember all the Christmases they flew
down to Florida from Alaska and each night how they
would lie in bed laughing, giggling and cutting up while we
sat in the next room laughing at them laughing.
Every sister should have a sister
like each of them has, trust me.

 
June 23, 2012 - Rebeka and Heather
 


Can you believe these two little dolls
have grown up into the two beautiful ladies above?
December 1989 - Rebeka on left - Heather on right




PARTY TIME!


 
 
     
 






 
   


I just found this picture of Michael (below) dancing with me, and it is priceless!

Here are some thoughts I read into his expression as he is about to twirl me around - look at my right arm going up.....


Michael:

"Oh, Grammy, how long I have waited for this opportunity!
Get ready, Grammy, there's a clear lane all the way back to the other side of the room - HANG ON!
Don't get your panty hose in a WAD, you might trip on them.
  Watch this move, Grammy!!
Payback time for all of those Grammy walks you took me on all those years.
Who did you say is #1 grandchild again?
How many more times are you going to ask me to fix your computer, now?

What do you mean, you called Bizland when you are ALREADY signed up on MY hosting service?"
 


...........................


Wait for it - coming up






Is Grammy pointing out some boys for the girls to ask to dance?
Good grief, what a busy body she is, huh?








And, here we are again - the "wannabe Kardashians" at the wedding
AKA Yumi - Elise - Ellen
Ladies, you ALMOST stole the show, but Rebeka beat you out



And, then the last event of the year was Jackie's 60th class reunion
Sorry that we did not get a better group picture.
BUT, look at what Jim did with this and turned it into a masterpiece. 
He worked for well over two months with the organizing, identifying, changing, etc.
of all of these and finally came up with a masterpiece that most of us will treasure for the rest of our lives. 

Remember last year we appointed Jim Rabun as our Family "Editor-In-Chief"?
Well, he has already outdone himself this year. 
He has cleaned up backgrounds, made photos much clearer,
moved things to a better position, taken shadows away, covered up blemishes, etc.,
so much so, that we will never be able to thank him enough.  He just works miracles. 
The guys all call him "Son #5" and he gets moved up and down on the totem pole
 as to being #1 all the way down to #5 according to how much trouble any of them might be into.
I figure one day down the road our grandchildren may enjoy sharing
 all of this with our great and great great (etc.) grandchildren.



And, Jim has just made us so proud to put the photos in our
Helfrich Christmas Newsletter/History Book.  Thanks, Jim, from all of us!!

CHUCK AND JACKIE
 We will not have that much additional info to report here on each this year, just some photos to share with you all:
Frames Below - Courtesy of Jim

October 3, 1952 
 



We will not have that much additional info to report here on each this year, just some photos to share with you all:
Frames Below - Courtesy of Jim
   
October 3, 1952



June 2012 - Chuck reached the
momentous age of 80


Bill and Yumi,  I love this picture taken when we were there for Amy's graduation


Les and Jan - Thank you so much for using your frequent flyer points to
fly us from Tampa to Anchorage
FIRST CLASS - THAT WAS REALLY SO SPECIAL



June 2012 - Chuck, Ron, Les, Jackie, Paul, Bill sitting out on
Les and Jan's new deck that Chuck and Les built when we got up there.  Beautiful!



The only picture we got of all seven of the guys in Alaska together
L-R - Michael, Daniel, Bill, Paul, Ron, Les, Chuck
Just kickin back!!

SOME of the group in Les and Jan's living room - just relaxing - 8 or so are missing in action

Gay Cook England, who is always our hostess for the class reunions,
surprised us by having a limo pick us up at the Shreveport airport for a 60th wedding anniversary gift. 
HOW FANTASTIC!  Here is Gay in photo #4, waiting for us at her home.

And, the limo was LSU decorated.  They are all AVID LSU fans to the max.
     



What a treasure this canvas is that Les and Jan gave to us. 
It is going to be framed and hung in the hallway going up the stairs
across from the 50th wedding anniversary portrait of all of us.
Thanks so much, Les and Jan.


Front Row - Jim, Jackie, Chuck, Bill
Back Row - Paul, Ellen, Ron, Elise, Jan, Les, Yumi

The adults took us out for dinner and a show for our 60th wedding anniversary,(we had a great time)
while the kids had a kids night with pizza and watching the video "Grease."
Then , the next night, we all got together for a final night of nostalgic fun - sad that some were leaving the next day.
They left as quickly as they arrived.
They gave Chuck a beautiful money clip and gave me a breathtaking bracelet - no amount of money could buy it from me.

How very sweet of all of them.
Jim said it was the closest thing to a Walton Christmas that he had ever known.
The highest of compliments.





BILL, YUMI, AMY


June 23, 2012 - Bill, Yumi, Amy

 AK
June 2012 - Yumi - Bill - Amy on 26 Glacier Tour - AK
 
Bill and Yumi celebrating their
20th wedding anniversary
September 19, 1992 - September 19, 2012

June 2012 - Amy - Bill - Yumi - On the way to Alyeska, AK


May 2012 - Amy - Senior Prom


Youth America Grand Prix - New York, New York
2012 - Amy Helfrich




The neighbor who designed and baked this cake
for Amy also did one for Sarah Palin!!!


Chuck, Jackie, Yumi, Bill first row right


Amy in the middle waving

Amy receiving her diploma

Amy is on the far 4th left row looking straight ahead
A
Amy: graduation cake, President's & honors awards

June 8, 2012 - Bill, Yumi, Jackie, Chuck

We had Bill's cap and gown from 1972 when he graduated,
and we forgot to take it to VA when Amy graduated. 
So, we took it to Alaska when we went up there
just for this picture.  It was worth it!!!
Bill, that cap is YOU, it has Bill written all over it!
Bill, thank you for being a good sport and posing for the photo.
Amy, thank you for putting up with your silly & weird Grammy Jaws

LES, JAN, REBEKA, HEATHER


June 23, 2012 - Les, Jan, Heather, Rebeka

Valley Polar Plunge | Facebook
You must look at this video above/enlarge it too - trust me, it will make your day!!!

This is a must see the link from Alaska that is less than 2 minutes - it is so cool:
(3) Going from Florida to Palmer
Les and Jan:  Thank you so much for the two marvelous photo albums/books. 
We have never seen anything like these and we look at them constantly, as they stay on the coffee table.

 

   




February 12, 2012


This is a must see the link from Alaska that is less than 2 minutes - it is so cool:
(3) Going from Florida to Palmer


Les has a very legitimate explanation for these tutu
pictures, and it is also explained in the video above
these pictures and below here:
CLICK ON LINK BELOW
Valley Polar Plunge | Facebook
"I told my co-workers if I raised $500 for charity,
I would jump in wearing a pink Tutu. 
I actually raised over $1200. 
Seems there are a lot of people out there willing to pay to
see me jump in a frozen lake wearing a pink tutu."
     
     
     



December 2012 - Les and Jan flew to Hawaii in December
 Les and Jan flew from Alaska to Hawaii and took a cruise to all of the islands.
Had some great photos - This is my favorite
Then, they came on down here to do what
they love doing best:  Run Mom & Dad Ragged!!!
All of them are trying to keep us young, though.
and, we love the running with them.

Going from Florida to Palmer | Facebook
This video that Les took is less than two minutes and gives you an idea of why
we live in Florida and not Alaska (from Chuck and Jackie)


RON, ELISE, LAUREN, MICHAEL


June 23, 2012 - Elise, Ron, Michael




July 2012 - Ron and Paul celebrating the
8th anniversary of Paul donating a kidney to Ron

Ron and Elise, just a note to say "thanks so much for all that you
do throughout the year, cutting the grass, keeping up our yard for us, car repairs,
and especially your special "meals on wheels" that you provide to us several
times a month.  We do enjoy them.  Thanks again


June 23,  2012 - Elise went Hollywood on us
and changed her name to Kardashian



Ron - Elise - Micha
el -





June 23, 2012 - Two beautiful people
Elise and Ronz The Fonz

And, then we have these two guys below! 
What can we say?


2012 - Ron and Michael
2012  Below - Ron with Ms. Daisy

October 2012 - Elise in all of her finery
Annual Breast Cancer Walk in Tampa
She far exceeded her goal - considerably.
Congratulations, Ms. Elise!!!
We are proud of you - Noble Cause


Ron





2012 - Thanksgiving
Lauren with Tinker Bell and Morgan
Both are rescue doggies




August 2012 - Ellen - Daniel - Michael - Elise
Ellen & Elise dabbing away a tear since their
BABIES are going away to another big city to school



May 4, 2012 - Michael's Graduation Class



May 4, 2012 - Michael Man Helfrich
 

 
 
Elise, Michael, Ron
At the Seminoles Stadium Waiting and Saying:
"Bring on them thar' Gators, Daniel"
 



PAUL, ELLEN, DANIEL, JULIA




June 23, 2012 - Paul, Ellen, Daniel, Julia

Guess Who Is Going To Get Top Billing This Year?
(But, of course, Ms. Daisy)


Paul and Ellen - we just wanted to thank you for having so many of us out
so often for dinner and cookouts during the year.  Christmas was a super special day,
and you both handled it with great aplomb, considering there were 26 people for dinner.
We all had a marvelous time, so thanks again for the memories.


July 2012 - Ron and Paul celebrating the
8th anniversary of Paul donating a kidney to Ron


Paul and Ellen

 
 





Then, Daniel wanted to give someone a bear hug in Alaska,
so he found a bear to hug in Alaska


Julia - 2012 - Growing up so quickly
She is working part time in a new hamburger restaurant
 around the corner from where they live and it gives her
some experience and extra spending money while in high school.
She is still our baby grandchild, though - always will be.


June - 2012 - Daniel - With Hoss
Les and Jan's Doggie in AK



August 2012 - Ellen - Daniel - Michael - Elise
Ellen
& Elise dabbing away a tear since their
BABIES are going away to another big city to school



   
     

Dangerously Dynamic Duo Dudes
Sweet Sophisticated Super Sister Sals
Closely Knit 1st Cousins



June 2012 - Julia and Amy at Alyeska, AK

June 23, 2012 - Daniel and Michael - Wedding-AK
 
June 2012 - Daniel and Daniel at wedding - AK

June 2012 - Dan - Mike - Julia - Amy - AK

June 2012 - Dan - Mike - Amy - Julia - AK

June 2012 - Julia - Amy - Mike - Dan - AK
     

June 2012 - Daniel - Amy - Julia - Michael - AK

2012 - Christmas Eve 
Papa Chuck's and Grammy Jaw's Kitchen
Julia - Amy - Michael - Daniel
All four showed up in black and lit up the entire house
Below - Amy - Julia in Grammy & Papa's FL Room
2012 - Christmas Eve

June 2012 - Daniel - Amy - Julia - Michael - AK

11-22-2012 - Thanksgiving
"Dooda" Julia - "LaLa" Lauren

11-22-2012 -
Daniel-Lauren-Julia-Michael
 
11-22-2012 - Thanksgiving
Michael and Daniel



   
Some more shots from Alaska
Les loves to entertain us with his huge bonfires

First row shows the ski lifts up to Alyeska
Quite an experience
And, I could have watched those little sea otters all day floating on the water below
I look back and I can't believe I sat there and watched the grandchildren chop wood
and I did not have a nervous breakdown watching it.
BUT, it was the general consensus that out of all of the events,
everyone had the best time around the bonfire,
roasting marshmallows and chopping wood. 
Can you all believe that one, I ask you?




 
 







 
 
 
 
 



Daniel, Paul, Ellen, Julia on the way to Alyeska

The whole crew starving - Alaska gives ya a great appetite!!


Some more shots from Christmas 2012

Jan comes from Alaska to  Hawaii to Florida and finds that Paul has his own little Hawaii at his pool side.

2012 - Christmas Eve at Grammy's and Pop's
About ten more people on other side of the room/and Fl room
One of the best Christmases ever
HEATHER:
Since you thought our old Christmas tree was
JUST A BUSH,
is this one better? 
We bought it just for you, whenever you can come down
Watch
Les, Paul is practicing in his backyard to
catch up with you on those huge bonfires.
 

How great to see Tony - Lori - Connie - Rich
How we hope they make it a yearly tradition!!

Here are some more pictures of us at Columbia Restaurant and some of us celebrating the last three months of
2012 birthdays and anniversaries

  #1 & #3 Ron and Elise at Columbia Restaurant

#2  Chuck and Jackie at Columbia Restaurant

#4 Ron and Elise 26th anniversary/Ron's 54th B.D.


#5Chuck and Jackie at Columbia Restaurant


#6 Paul and Ellen for their 21st anniversary/Paul's 53rd B.D.


#7 Chuck and Jackie for their 60th anniversary/Chuck's 80 B.D.


#8 Jim for his 63rd B.D.

T'was a community cake with
Happy Birthday and Anniversary
Written on it and tt'was for Christmas, too





 
 




Had to add a picture of cousin
DeAlva Eitelman
and her little doggie, Lacy on the floor
in her beautiful new home
  We enjoyed visiting with her so much in TX in October
Terri, I am so sorry that we did not get a picture of you and Pierce

Well, to wrap this up, most of you know how stubborn I am
That "I can do it by myself" independent attitude - Don't need any help - After all, I am only 79 years old!
Well, you see what it got me below
Water was from a glacier - I had on scads of layers of clothing
My jacket pocket was filled to the brim with extra gloves and caps
 Would have sunk like a rock if I had gone into the water - although I don't think it was that deep, just ice cold
Cameras were going on from every direction
In picture #4, I was holding my hand up and saying something to the effect: "see, piece of cake - uh ohhhhhhhh - timber"
You can see, I did not argue about help that was offered on the return trip across the ice water
Don't ask me how I can still hold my stupid head up after this - 'cause it served me right
One of these days, they are going to restrict me from traveling with them, doncha think?  But, ol' Grammy is always good for a laugh


Here comes Ms. dum-de-dum-dum!!!
"I wanna play, don't leave me behind - I can do it, I can!!"
She thinks she is still 15 years old.
Look at that face, is that pitiful or what, I ask?
Gonna be mighty shame faced shortly!!

 
 

And, please don't ask me why I was stupid enough
to carry my purse on any of these excursions,
rather than leave it in the trunk of the car. 
Learned my lesson on that one too.
Paul and Les, thank you for holding that purse
I know how you all feel about getting or holding a purse
Daniel and Michael, thanks for helping your Grammy
Ron, I heard you telling that man in the
background above that I do stuff like this
every time y'all take me out of
"the home" for a few hours.
Bill, thanks for taking the pictures for history's sake

   







2012 Christmas Day
Amy, Julia, Daniel, Lauren, Michael
With the Christmas Money Basket of Coins Annual Game - With Jim contributing a SIGNIFICANT sum,
and the rascals made out like bandits - all between $50 and $70 each.
They keep Grammy on her toes though, as each year changes must be added to make it even more challenging.
Then, each of the grab bags (in addition to even more money - dollar coins, $2 bills, several $1 bills and even some $5 bills) had a
Dear Abby Booklet on Manners and Social Etiquette.
A couple of days later, Grammy gave them a typed up test with 20 random questions from the booklet - $1.00 per correct answer.
The varmints actually read the booklets, cuz they waltzed off with another $17.00 to $19.00 each.
They are just money grubbin younguns, I tell ya!!!

This sums it all up - taken our last day at Les and Jan's before we left Alaska.... 
See "In Memoriam" below this photo, please.

See y'all next year!!!!

In Memoriam

Wobbles - Chuck and Jackie's Bichon Frise
1998 to 11-27-2012 (we adopted her from Bratpack Rescue in 2002)

Hoss - Les-Jan-Rebeka-Heather's Samoyed
1999 to 01-07-2013














 
 
 
 











Sorry, folks, they did not have a sign for
MERRY CHRISTMAS
on this sightseeing trip in Alaska.
So, I had to make up my own to put above our picture here.

This was one of the many trips that Les and Jan took us on
when we went to Rebeka's graduation in Anchorage in May.
What a fantastic trip that was!  We just never tire of Alaska.


"LOVE

is what's in the room with you at Christmas,
if you stop opening presents &  listen."


Unbelievable that another year has flown by. 
And, we really had one whirlwind year, so will get right to it.
In April, Chuck and I took to the road for one fully packed trip half way across the country,
 driving the first half and then flying from mid country to Alaska.
First, we  attended the Josey Reunion in SC for the first time in many years. 
It was great seeing everyone again. 

Then, we continued to Knoxville, and visited
 with my brother, Buddy, and his wife, Hilda and their daughters, Mary and Betty. 
I was able to take them books and DVD's of all of the Josey research that we have to date, and
Betty's daughter, Ally, my grand niece, took hers to school to show everyone. 
She showed such an interest in the family history, that it made ol' Grammy very happy. 
Mary and David, we really enjoyed staying with you in your beautiful home,
and the Easter egg hunt was a crowning touch. 
Had a very special visit with Buddy, Hilda, Mary, David, Betty, Robert and Ally, as we always do.

Then, we hit the road for Branson, MO, hoping to select a cabin area to celebrate our
60th wedding anniversary next year.  Well, that was when the tornadoes were on a rampage. 
Usually, within a few minutes after we left each town, we were hearing on the radio
"Emergency, seek shelter immediately"
in whatever town, and we had just left that/those town(s) a few minutes before. 
It was a tad bit unnerving to hear those emergency warnings as we were winding around mountains,
with rock on one side of us and a complete sheer drop-off on the other side. 
Just where do we seek shelter in an area like that?
They chased us from Knoxville to Branson.  What a trip!  Had a great time there too, seeing some marvelous shows. 

Then, we drove to the Springfield, MO airport to continue this madness on to Alaska,
where Les and Jan and their family were waiting for us to attend
Rebeka's graduation from the University of Alaska Anchorage. 
That was exciting, seeing our second granddaughter get her degree
 on the heels of Lauren last year from USF.  More on Rebeka's graduation below.

In November, Jan had an accounting conference to attend in Boston, (Les and Jan are still working at the same company)
so Les took some time off to go with her and then they flew down here to surprise us for the fourth time.
They cooked up a scheme with Michael to get me to come to Sweetbay to help Michael with a video taped assignment
from school with someone who had bought cereals in the 50's to compare today's cereals with 50-60 years ago.
Michael was pointing out certain cereals to me, asking questions, and his classmate
was video taping.  I turned around, saw this guy with a grocery cart trying to get around me. 
I moved aside,  and said to Michael:
"Golly, that guy looks so much like your Uncle Les!" 
Then, I whipped back around and saw that it was Les!! 
Then, they had to do the same thing to Chuck, after calling him to come up front from receiving.
 
Les and Jan are becoming pros at surprising us.

A couple of pictures from Alaska - Does everyone understand why we love Alaska?


On our way back from Heather's with Denali in Background
Rebeka, Kevin, Jackie, Chuck, Jan, Les

And, you know we had to pull off on the side of the road for this!!!

No matter where you go, you will see this spectacular scenery is abundant!

How fortunate we were, per the cruise captain to have seen so many whales on this tour. 
Thanks, Les and Jan, a million times.


Then, we had all of the celebrations you will see below under each guy's family updates,
which included our 59th wedding anniversary.

We just got back this past week from a trip to VA to witness what Elise so appropriately
described as a "Magical Nutcracker Weekend," with Amy performing in the lead role of Clara in
The Nutcracker with the Manassas Ballet Theatre, at the
Hylton Performing Arts Center, which is a spectacular $58,000,000  arts center. 
Amy was so fortunate to get to perform with many Moscow Ballet stars.
We attended three performances, and enjoyed each one as much as the first.
Just a beautiful show.  Elise, Ellen, Chuck and I are still talking about it.

Also, David brought Chuck's almost 81 year old brother, Sonny, to meet us for breakfast,
so they were able to visit while we were in VA. 
Then, later David joined us at the final performance and the cast party celebration afterwards.
Chuck and I sat for a time at dinner with some of the Russian performers,
and enjoyed listening to them converse in Russian. 

David enjoyed all of it as much as we did.  Always a treat seeing family.



Left - Chuck & Sonny
Above L-R - Sonny, Chuck, Elise, Amy, Ellen, David, Bill, Yumi, Jackie
Right - Chuck - David - Sonny





December 10, 2011 - Chuck - Amy - Jackie

But, next year will be even more of a doozy, because we have three graduations - two in Tampa,
Michael in May, then Daniel on June 4, and the next day June 5 will be Amy in VA,
and then a wedding in Alaska June 23, again more on that below, and
Chuck's 80th birthday on June 25 and our 60th wedding anniversary October 3.
Then, my 60th class reunion in LA is the same week as our 60th wedding anniversary.

In the meantime, Chuck is still working at Sweetbay and
I am still interviewing people for the same New York publishing company. 

So, you are caught up on Chuck and me for right now. 
As you will see below, things have really been popping and hopping and blowing and going.
Onward and to the rest of our tribe. 
See if you all can keep up with this old 78 and almost 80 year old duo.


October 2011 - Chuck and Jackie
Our 59th Wedding Anniversary



2011 - Our Tree

Ms. Wobbles in a 2nd bed at the window
Left - In her favorite spot at the window
Right - Guarding her new critter


Leaving you all on a funny note - we flew out of the Orlando Airport for the trip to see Amy perform.
Scenario:  I was selected to go through the scanner 

Agent:  "Spread your arms & place your feet on these footprints in this machine, etc."
Grammy:  "I have some health issues - and would prefer to not go through this scanner, please."
Agent:  Rather loudly "Scan refusal - supervisor to the front" - three more agents appear
Grammy:  Explains the medical issues, with a sincere apology.
Agent:  Explains the whole procedure, while donning her gloves.  Trust me, it was encounters of the closest kind.
Agent:  "Now, we must wipe down your hands."
Grammy: "Fine, but would you please tell my traveling companions sitting over there
and laughing at me to stop taking pictures."
Agent:  "Uh, oh!!!"
Grammy:  As a queasy feeling engulfs me,
because my little palm strip set off alarms and bells and whistles.
Now, what did I do?
Agent:  "You have residue on your hands."  More supervisors called,
"Residue found, we need to take you and your suitcase and purse into a closed room."
Grammy:   Oh, dear, now what happens next, as the door shuts,
but I can still see Elise, Ellen and Chuck falling off the bench laughing.
Agent:  Since she is a new agent, she explains the entire procedure again, and the same familiarity routine ensues,
as my bag and purse are being as thoroughly examined as was I.
Agent:  "I will do another residue scan with a new pair of gloves after this second pat down."
Grammy:  Oh, it came back negative, whew!!!  "I would not have y'all's job for anything."
Agent:  "Yes, ma'am, but it is a fact that not many people are as nice as you have been." 

It seems that hand lotion and certain medications can set off the residue alarm.
I was called "Residue Red" by my three companions for the rest of the trip. 
Just a good thing we got to the airport more than two hours early, because that ordeal took 40-45 minutes.

OK, everyone - all laugh at once. 
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year again!


Grammy is in serious trouble




Bill - Yumi - Amy

2011 -Yumi - Amy - Bill



2011 - Amy - Junior Prom


Some highlights from Amy Performing in
The NUTCRACKER as Clara:


As you can see on the left side under "Staff," Amy's mother, Yumi, is one of the two Costume Mistresses.
Also, Bill is the photographer for the performances.


Amy as Clara



   
     




Amy, we are so proud of you!!
We had tears of joy and pride watching you perform as Clara.
You had quite a bunch of fans bringing you
flowers, asking for your autograph
and wanting their picture taken with you.
Especially the children.  We think you have made a wise
decision to enroll at University of South Carolina with a
dual major of ballet and pre-med, hoping to become
a pediatrician after your have your ballet career.
What a thrill that you were able to dance with so many
Moscow Ballet stars in this performance.
How happy we are that you were accepted into the
ballet program at USC, since there were several hundred who applied
and only 25 who were accepted.  And, the nice $14,000  scholarship you
received from USC will help tremendously, too,
taking care of a good portion of your tuition, since it is an out of state school,
making the tuition so much more.

We wish you luck as you were once again selected (for the third year in a row) to go on to the
YAGP next month (Youth America Grand Prix) International Ballet Student Competition.
  We know you have won some scholarships in the past, but
we are hoping you come away with even more this time, since they are awarding
$250,000 worth of scholarships.

And, how surprised we were when your orchestra director came up to us in the lobby at
The Nutcracker event, introduced herself, and added "Amy was born to be on the stage." 

Then, she was talking about you being first violin and how you are the violin mistress of the orchestra,
which was something we were not aware of at all. 
We knew years ago that you were playing the violin, but did not know
you had moved up to first chair and had been pursuing that too. 
We just found this picture of you in the orchestra on Facebook from last week.



My goodness, how do you and your mother find enough hours in the days?
We are proud, just so proud, that our buttons are popping off. 
Your mother and dad have done an exemplary job, and you are such a shining result.



     
   
With your dad looking on - full of pride...........



And, Grammy's look of surprise seeing so many people
surrounding Amy for pictures, flowers & autographs


 
Chuck, Ellen, Jackie, Amy, Yumi, Elise, Bill

 
Chuck, Ellen, Jackie, Amy, Yumi, Elise, Bill

 
Amy for her final performance

 
12-09-11
Chuck, Elise, Yumi, Amy, Bill, Ellen, Jackie
Edited and miraculously saved by Jim Rabun


Jackie and Yumi


2011 - Bill - Yumi - Amy


Newspaper article on Amy
Click to enlarge

Hats off to Bill and Yumi



2011 - Chuck, Jackie, Elise, Ellen
Homeward bound from our
"Magical Nutcracker Weekend"
With visions of sugarplum fairies
dancing in our heads.

Just as we walked into the Reagan Airport
in Washington, DC to come back to Tampa,
they started playing
The Nutcracker music on the intercom
Jim, once again, combined two photos above into one.




Les - Jan - Rebeka - Heather

  May 2011 - Les and Jan


December 2011

2011 December 2011
Les and Jan in their annual role at their company
Christmas Childrens' Party


2010 December 2010
Les and Jan in their annual role at their company
Christmas Childrens' Party


Left - May 1, 2011
Rebeka receiving her degree at UAA

Right - Heather

2011 - Les and Jan's Tree


Les and Jan - Glacier Tour they took us on
Chuck, Kevin, Jan, Les, Rebeka, Jackie



Les and Jan - Blue Man Concert - Anchorage

November 2011 - Les and Jan
33rd Wedding Anniversary - Tampa

November 2011 - Ron, Paul and Les
Out to watch the sun set over the beach in FL

May 1, 2011 - Chuck, Jackie, Les, Rebeka, Jan, Madeline and Bill Kelly
Again, Rebeka had her parents & both sets of grandparents there for her graduation!








 WOW!  What a graduation!!  They had cannons strategically
placed around the graduation area (about 1,000 students were graduating.) 
When the ceremony was over, confetti was shot out of those cannons that went
to the rafters and just kept on coming out.

It was difficult to find the faces of any of the graduates on the floor
because of the thick floating confetti.  Just spectacular!!  Very effective!!



K
evin and Rebeka on a sightseeing cruise with us
Celebrating Rebeka's graduation
Kevin will graduate from University of Alaska - Anchorage in 2013
With a Bachelor's Degree in Accounting

AND

THEN

Rebeka Helfrich on Friday, July 22, 2011 at 2:07am

So we were driving to the Oregon coast in his Dad's BMW convertible
but the weather was misty and foggy (it is the Oregon coast after all...).
We pulled over to walk in the sand along the beach at
Muriel O. Ponsler Memorial State Scenic Viewpoint.
While it was still foggy, it was no longer drizzly. As we were walking,
we saw a flock of sand pipers and these little critters in the sand,
we assumed were baby sand crabs.
To get a closer look at them, Kevin tried to catch one.
I told him not to because it would be our luck they bite.
"Got one!" and when he turned to show me,
he had a little black box with a treasure inside!!


Wedding date: June 23, 2012

 

Rebeka, We are so very proud of you and have enjoyed watching you grow into
such a beautiful young lady. 
You have such a calm aura that makes you stand out above the crowd. 

That will take you a long way in life. 
We can't begin to tell you how proud we are of you for sticking it out and getting that degree,
and working at the same time.  That is truly fortitude. 
And, how proud we are of you for being in the top 10% of your class too. 
Says a lot about you.
No one can ever take that degree away from you.

Congratulations!!!!

 We are really looking forward to the wedding.  It should be a humdinger. 
First Alaskan wedding for all of us.  Luv ya.  Grammy and Papa Chuck 

 


November 2011 - Heather
Fairbanks temperature: MINUS 30 degrees

Heather, you will get more top billing when you graduate, dear heart. 

For those not up to date on everyone, Heather graduates in 2013 from University of Alaska, Fairbanks,
and she is also working while attending UAF. 
She is going into social work with children.  Noble profession, Heather. 
It was great seeing you and Jesse when we were there in May,
and can't wait to see you next year for Rebeka's wedding,  and the year after that for your graduation. 
Wow, you guys are running our legs off, ya know.


We all drove up to See Heather and Jesse in Fairbanks
Chuck, Jesse, Heather, Rebeka, Kevin, Jackie, Les, Jan
an
 Surprise visit - YouTube

2010 Polar Plunge - YouTube
 




Ron - Elise - Lauren - Michael


Ron and Elise's Tree






September 2011
Ron and Elise - 25th Wedding Anniversary

Amy and Elise


2011 - Ellen - Amy - Elise
We had such a great time
going up to watch
Amy perform in
The Nutcracker 
Oops, think I have said that a couple of times already, huh?

 


Lauren is working for an auto dealership,
working in sales/operations and is being trained to move up into management.
She has recently accepted the position as the DriveTime Charities leader
for the Tampa region. DT sponsors an underprivileged school in Tampa,
so Lauren conducts school supply donations, talks to the students
about the importance of education, and plans an annual festival for the school.

She is still in the thinking stages of whether
she wants to go to
New York or Chicago to pursue different fields in the
museum arena, which is what she got her degree in last year.

Since it is a new job for Lauren, we are so hoping that she will
be able to get off a few days
next year to attend Rebeka's wedding in Alaska next June.
All of the other family members are hoping to go,
so how nice it would be if all 17 family members can
attend the wedding. 
It would be the first time in ten years that we were
all in one place at the same time.

Lauren holding her doggie, Morgan, and her
roommate's doggie, little Tinker Belle beside them

Michael is graduating in May, 2012 from
HCC, with his Associate's Degree.
He is still considering transferring to Florida State University
to finish his last two years for his Bachelors Degree in the IT field.
He is also still working at the same restaurant helping put himself
through school.  We went to the restaurant when Les and Jan
were in town, and it is a really upscale restaurant. 
Everyone kept coming over to talk with Michael, even some of the customers
asking the server to send Michael over to their table so they could
say hi to him.  The owner raved about him. 
He seems to be quite the big guy on campus. 
He is also making some serious money by designing web sites for two
restaurants and performing many different types of computer repairs for many folks - including his grateful Grammy. 
He is also in the process of setting up his own business
with a hosting site, and his best friend, who is majoring in accounting, to be his CPA, accountant, business manager, etc.
and they have plans for hiring other employees.


 2011 - At restaurant where Michael works
Julia, Paul, Lauren, Michael, Ron, Elise, Jan, Les, Jackie, Chuck


2011 - Michael with the owner/manager of the restaurant

Michael is also really family oriented,
which makes his parents and grandparents very proud.
He and Daniel are always there for our family gatherings, even
though they have both reached the ages they are.  It is so much fun to
sit and watch Daniel and Michael together. 
Reminds me of their dads when they were younger
and still are even in their 50's now. 
To prove my point, can't you just see the dickens in their eyes here?
Gosh, they look so young.  Michael is almost 21 and Daniel just past 17.


  
2011 - Daniel and Michael
And, if you want more proof, here is what Daniel did to Michael 
at our Christmas Eve gift exchanging party.
Daniel gave Michael a huge box as a gift,
one about the size that a bicycle comes in.
Said that he had put a twenty dollar bill in it.
Michael spent a good half hour or more going through several months
worth of old newspapers, envelopes, tennis shoes, old socks,
books, etc. - page by page.
Daniel had thrown everything that he could dig up into that box.

Finally, someone said "Cut the box open, and see if it is taped to the inside."
Sure enough, Daniel had cut out a section of the box and
stuck the $20 bill in there.
Yepper, sounds just like four guys I lived with for many, many years.
Like father, like son.
 

But, even after such a stunt as that,
they are still "bestest" first cousin buds.
Don't worry, we have faith in Michael;
and he WILL get Daniel next year, trust us.

Ron, Elise and Michael were fortunate enough to take another trip to Alaska in July to spend a week with Les and Jan.
They enjoyed themselves as much as we did a couple of months before that, as you can see below:
An early birthday and anniversary trip




Now, where did they get the Merry Christmas sign, as it is
the same cruise boat that we went on,
but we had to settle for Happy Holidays?

Bah, Humbug!



Paul - Ellen - Daniel - Julia


2011 - Paul and Ellen

Ellen - Amy - Elise
We had such a great time going up to watch Amy perform as Clara in
The Nutcracker
(Uh-oh, repeated it, didn't I?)




2011 - Daniel's Senior Picture

Daniel graduates from high school in
June 2012.
He also got a nice car for his 17th birthday.
It is older than my car, but I would swap
with him in a heartbeat.
Daniel is still on the school tennis team,
which starts up again next month.
Congratulations to Daniel for being in the
top 20 of his class of over 400, academically.
He has been accepted at his first choice of
three schools he was looking at -
University of Central Florida
to enter the engineering program.
Update, Daniel just called and told us
that he received a letter today advising him
that he was awarded a gold scholarship
from UCF in the amount of $12,000. 
Way to go!  We are truly proud of you,

DAN THE MAN!

2011 - Ms. Daisy
The queen of this household
AKA Known as
SUGAR LIPS

This year was a big highlight for
Ms. Daisy's Mommy
Ellen celebrated the great event
of becoming 50!

Now, she can join all the rest of us.
 



Julia has been doing volunteer
work and baby sitting, getting
experience for
her career of choice, teaching. 
She really has grown
up overnight. 
Julia and Daniel are both so
tall, that it hurts
our necks to look up so
much when we talk with them.
We think she could easily be
a model,
if she changes her mind
about teaching.
She recently obtained
her learner's permit, so
it is difficult to see our little
baby grandchild becoming
(as the country boy says)
ALL GROWED UP!



I decided to put the transplant anniversary pictures under Paul's family this year,

because we usually go out there to celebrate that very special date. 
We can't begin to thank Paul enough and his entire family, for all of the entertaining they do for us 
but, above all, Paul's life saving kidney to Ron leaves our entire family so thankful and proud.
Paul is still in his insurance business, Helfrich Brokerage Services, and Ellen has gone back to her nursing career.
She is planning to go back to school to further her education in the nursing field. 
Within the next couple of years, when Julia leaves for college,
Paul says they will probably downsize on homes and Ellen will, hopefully, then have the time to pursue a continuing education.


Jim gave Ron and Paul a very special card for the occasion

Ellen, Paul, Ron, Elise

Paul and Ron 
 
Paul and Ron
 
2011- Paul and Ron
SEVEN YEARS!!!
WOW!!!!
Nothing like brotherly love!

 
 

Let's see, what did we just read about brotherly love and
"like father, like son," above - referring to Michael and Daniel? 
At our Christmas Eve party,
Paul had volunteered to be our elf and pass out the presents. 
Paul read the gift tag on
one present:

"To my #1 son, Ron,
Love, Mom"
Paul responded with a loud
"what the blankety blank is this?"

Ron opened it and you see from the pictures right and left
what was inside 
"Mom's Favorite"

Ron and Elise were falling out of their chairs laughing.  They had seen it at the mall, just had to buy it and wrap it as being from
poor ol' mom. 
It certainly provided some laughs,
and I am sure you all get the
big picture now, right?



Kids with the annual Christmas money bank game that Grammy came up with,
including Easter Eggs as prizes with more big bucks in them, something new each year.
Amy, Rebeka and Heather, we do miss you three at these family events.


Lauren and Julia

Lauren just sent sent two more photos from our
Christmas Eve party via her iPhone tonight, so here tis:
Our two daughters-in-law - Elise, Ellen, and
our two granddaughters - Julia and Lauren



We would all like to add a special "thank you" to
Jim Rabun for all of his editing and making some serious "dud" pictures look fantastic!!!
Knowing Jim will disown me for doing this, with all of his input, proofreading, editing, etc.,
we are making him the official "editor-in-chief" of
The Helfrich Christmas Newsletter!!



And, this is what we love to look at each Christmas (below)

Our Christmas Throw that we put on the easy chair in the living room


As we count our blessings, which are more than bountiful, our main emphasis is
"Family is SO Important!!!"
As Les says, "we may have our squabbles - but at the end of the day we go home as friends and families."

We are hoping someday our great great grandchildren will enjoy all of these years of
Christmas Memories.




Well, here we are again, another year come and gone, with us actually getting this newsletter out in the year 2010.


2010-Lauren and Julia

2010-Daniel-Lauren-Michael


L-R Daniel, Michael, Julia, Lauren, (Christopher, Ellen-cousins of Daniel & Julia)
Well, it looks as if we have a few little misers here.  Give them a BIG bowl of change,
tell them that they get three cups each of the money and give them each a bank that counts!!  Whoa, get out of the way, huh?


Again, top of the Christmas list is another year celebrating Ron & Paul's kidney transplant birthday, the 6th.

 
2010 - Paul and Ron

2010 - Paul - Ellen - Elise - Ron


Chuck and Jackie's News

 Our year started out with many medical issues, but it ended up with all of us celebrating a joyous and healthy

Christmas at Paul and Ellen's home with a bunch of family attending. 
Great food and fun with so many folks in attendance.
We missed Bill and Les and their families.

In May of 2010,  Chuck and I were able to attend Chuck's
60th class reunion in Pittsburgh, PA. 
There were about 135 folks there, which was so nice to see. 
Jim, our friend, put together a terrific collage of all of the classmates who attended, that we will always treasure. 
He spent months working on it. 
Hope you can see it well enough below with Chuck being in the third row, second from left.


August, September and October, we were quite busy out campaigning for a great candidate for the
U.S. House of Representatives, Mike Prendergast. 
We were all so impressed with him - Retired Army Colonel - and he is going a long way in the political arena. 
He did not win, THIS TIME, but he was picked by our new Governor as his Chief of Staff, so that was great news. 
Here is a picture of us on the ship with Mike where there was a rally held for him in October.

Oct.-2010-Ron-Elise-Mike Prendergast-Chuck-Les-Jackie

In October of 2010, Chuck and I celebrated our 58th wedding anniversary.



And, last, but not least, a few updates on our Wobbles

   
   

As to the news of each family, just a few highlights below
no bragging, no bad news, no complaining,  just updating.




Bill and Yumi's News

Bill, Yumi and Amy are still in the same mode, working at the same jobs. 

They are still kept busy with Amy in numerous ballets throughout the year -
just finishing up The Nutcracker a couple of weeks ago. 

Amy will be a senior next year and is still considering William and Mary College. 
She is not sure what her major will be yet, but ballet will be her minor.

Jim also put together a stunning collage of Amy shown below.  Thanks again, Jim.
Amy is the toy soldier below; she is in all of the other bordering photos;
she is on the right side holding the box in the air;
and in the front of the center photo at the bottom center.





2010 - Amy-Bill-Yumi-Angel-Lilly


Les and Jan's News

Les, Jan, Rebeka and Heather are in the same mode, with the same jobs. 
This was their year to stay home and enjoy the beautiful snow that they always have this time of the year in Alaska. 

But, Les did manage to surprise us  AGAIN in 2010 to no end for
THE THIRD TIME
He was sent on a business trip to California in October & decided to come on down here to surprise us again.
Hope you can get to the link below to see it on You Tube.  Here tis.  We do enjoy these surprises. 
And, Les is good at it.


YouTube - Surprise visit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZiZH_9uufk

Next, Les did the Polar Plunge in Alaska in February (2010) and here is the link below to that. 
He plans to do it again in February 2011

This time, he will wear a tu-tu and ballet shoes, he says. 
Amy, do you have a spare tu-tu and ballet slippers for your Uncle Les?


Ya'll believin this stuff?  I am not making it up - I am only reporting the news. 
Look at the video here!!


YouTube - Polar Plunge

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GmBRp_zuSPk


Click on the thumbnail above to see Paul holding up the Alaskan newspaper front page picture of Les's Polar Plunge.
Click on the thumbnail below to see Les's eyes, as he is looking at the ice in the water.


To quote Barbara, one of my classmates:  "Your family is so loving and 'interesting'."

Rebeka will graduate May 2011 from the University of Anchorage with a
Bachelor's Degree in Marketing.

Here's hoping that Chuck and I will be able to drive from Tampa to Seattle at that time.
Then we can fly into Anchorage so we can see Rebeka graduate.


Heather is still at the University of Fairbanks; will graduate one year after her big sister. 
Her major is Social Work. 

It was so interesting to see her in a video doing sign language on Facebook. 
Apparently, that is a requirement for that degree.


Videos Posted by Greta Cole: Humor Situation [HQ] (4)


2010-Heather-Les-Jan-Rebeka



Ron and Elise's News


Next, Ron and Elise are still in the same roles too. 

2010 - Ron and Elise
 
Lauren graduated from the University of South Florida in May 2010 with a Bachelor's Degree in Art History. 
She is planning to go to New York or Chicago to apply for and/or work up to a Curator position.
She plans to work on her Master's Degree, where ever she goes. 
Here is her USF Graduation Picture in May 2010.

May 2010 - Lauren Nicole Helfrich
Graduation Day - USF

CONGRATULATIONS, LAUREN!!!!!
WE ARE SO PROUD OF YOU!!!!!

Elise-Ron-Lauren-Michael

Chuck-Lauren-Jackie


Michael is in his second year at HCC. 
He has pretty much decided on finishing his last two years out at Florida State University. 
They have the best curriculum for the field he is going into - Computer Information Administration.
Michael, I really appreciate your maintenance on my computer over and over.  You are a jewel.
Michael Helfrich
 


Paul and Ellen's News

Then, Paul and Ellen are pretty much the same too.  Except that Ellen has gone back to work -  in her nursing career.

They had a nice vacation this past winter going to South Carolina for the kids to see their first snow. 

What a blast they had being up on a mountain where they were completely snowed in. 
Daniel and Julia will not  forget that trip, for sure.

Daniel is still on the tennis team in school, & received the MVP award in 2010.
He will be a senior next year, and he is thinking about going to FSU also. 
Whoa, FSU is not ready for two Helfrich guys at the same time, trust me!!


Julia is 5 ft. 8 in., so she is towering over me and she is only 14 years old. 
She is doing great in school, turning into a very pretty young lady.  Her plans are to become a teacher.

Here is thmas Card.



Ending our 2010 Christmas card on a funny note, here's a link - the youngest Helfrichs in SC enjoying the snow in 2010:

YouTube - A perfect throw

Wishing all of you a healthy and prosperous 2011, as we say "so long to 2010!"





2009

2009
Here we are with our tardy 2009 Christmas letter, as usual. 
But, I was determined to get it out before January is gone.

  Will try to update you on 2009 & 2008 as we did not get 2008 finished at all last year,
so do take a look at that one below 2009. 

Our tree is the one in the center above and the one on the left and right belongs to Paul, Ellen, Daniel & Julia. 
It was good hearing from all of you with your Christmas cards.

However, first things first
Most important headline for 2009
The celebration of the 5th anniversary of the kidney transplant
Where Paul donated a kidney to Ron in 2004. 
We look forward to celebrating that day each & every year.


July 2009 - Paul and Ron



Elise and Ellen get flowers for putting up with Ron & Paul
(Each one of them kept saying throughout the picture taking:
"I'm #1 favorite daughter-in-law, doncha know?"


CHUCK & JACKIE
We had a hectic year, as we always do. 
Highlights were that we were able to attend

Jackie's 57th class reunion in Shreveport, LA in October and
celebrate our 57th wedding anniversary on that date too.

 
October 3, 2009
Chuck & Jackie
57th Class Reunion
57th Wedding Anniversary

It was a great reunion. I want to thank my classmates, the ladies and Jimmy, who put up with my foolishness at the reunion. 
I came up with the lame idea of a few of us dressing up in some slightly risqué T-shirts with a cheerleader design on the front.  We had top hats and canes and had music for us to do a "dance at will" routine. 
Then, our main star came in wearing a T-shirt with a chorus girl theme on the front,
wearing a feather boa to vamp the male classmates -  all to the tune of
"The Stripper." 
Then, we got the best sport in the world, Jimmy, to come up, we formed a circle around him, while he allowed us to dress him in one of the cheerleader shirts, with a wig and then he let us parade him out in front of everyone. 



Dolores (checking out something on Jimmy that we were missing because we were laughing so hard)
Jimmy, Jackie, Clarice and Betty Jane



Jimmy - Our #1 cheerleader


I am sure my classmates will understand why I probably will not show my face again at the next reunion.  <Grin> 
They were all such good sports though. 
As one of the girls said:  "there's no fool like an old fool." 
Not that any of us would ever own up to being old, though.

 After the reunion, Chuck and I took off for Texas and had a lovely time with a Blunt cousin, DeAlva Blunt Eitelman. 
Then, we went into Oklahoma, Arkansas & back to Louisiana, to fill in some long sought after blanks on our family history. 
Had great success in many areas.  It was so good to see Aunt Lessie Josey, in Vivian, LA again.

 Chuck is still at Sweetbay and I am still interviewing people. 
We missed Bill, Yumi and Amy - and Rebeka and Heather at Christmas,
But here is an update on all four sons and their families below.

December 2009 - Jackie and Chuck



December 2009 - Chuck and Wobbles




2009 - Christmas at Ron and Elise's Home 
L-R - Chuck, Jan, Ellen, Jackie, Lauren, Julia, Daniel, Michael, Paul, Ron, Les, Elise 



BILL, YUMI, AMY

2009 - Amy
Modeling
Contest Picture 


2009 - Amy, Bill, Yumi

2009 - Bill and Yumi






2009 - Amy in pink front left - Nutcracker

2009 - Amy in Pink - Nutcracker

2009 - Amy - Nutcracker

2009 - Amy - Nutcracker

2009 - Amy - Nutcracker Appearance



2009 - Yumi, Amy, Bill

 are still very busy with the ballet, and they are still in the same jobs - Bill at the State Department and Yumi teaching. 
Amy is now in the tenth grade.  Outside of school, ballet takes up most of her time. 
She has been in a couple of international competitions, and won scholarships. 
She spent the summer of 2009 on a scholarship at a ballet academy, 
and now has another ballet scholarship for the summer of 2010 at yet another ballet academy. 
They offered her an entire year's scholarship.
But Bill and Yumi were not too sure they wanted to do that, as she would have to be away from home at the age of 15.  
 


LES, JAN, REBEKA, HEATHER
are still pretty much in their same mode, with Les and Jan still at MTA. 
Rebeka is still at University of Anchorage, hopes to graduate next year, and she is working part time at Home Depot. 
Heather is still at University of Fairbanks, has two years to graduate, and working part time at Sam's Club. 

 Les and Jan came on down from Alaska during the holidays, and then they went to Cancun, Mexico for four days,
came back and spent the rest of the time with us for Christmas. 
We really missed seeing Rebeka and Heather, but they could not get off for the holidays. 
As Les says, "until they get their degree, they are at the bottom of the food chain."
We were sad to see Les and Jan go back two days after Christmas. 

One of the nicest gifts we have ever received.... was Les making DVD's for us........
(continued below the updates on the four families)


Les had to buy a new computer and I lost count of how much he had to add to his computer to keep this project going.  In the end, he is giving each of us a hard drive of all that he has put together. 
It was a massive project that Les said he enjoyed every moment of producing.  Hope you enjoy the thumbnails. 
A lot of work that is more appreciated than Les can ever imagine. 
Chuck and I have already watched all 13 of them, and we are anxiously waiting for more to watch.
A couple of pictures of Les and Jan -
1- 2 - 3 - 4 -  in Mexico - 5th - We went to a Greek restaurant in Tarpon Springs, FL - With a Belly Dancer!!


 

 

 


 


Hoss and Tippi


 
2009 - Rebeka - 2009the                          2009 - Heather - 2009





Les at his favorite place in the whole wide world
KRYSTALS'
Les, you were truly OUR SANTA
bringing down all of those DVD's of the family. 
PRECIOUS MEMORIES!!
Les, you were truly OUR SANTA
bringing down the famil



RON, ELISE, LAUREN, MICHAEL
are still working for the same companies,
Ron at his printing company and Elise with her insurance company. 
Their big news was Michael graduating from Plant High School in 2009. 




June 2009 - Michael Helfrich



June 2009 - Ron, Elise, Michael, Lauren
Graduation Party

Papa Chuck-Michael-Grammy


November 2009 - Ron and Lauren cooking


December 2009 - Elise and Ron


December 2009 - A perfect gift from Jim to Ron
       





2009 - Left - Lauren with her kitty

2009 - Right - Ron and Lauren




Lauren graduates from USF with her bachelor's degree in May,
and she has just begun an internship as director/curator at a gallery in Ybor City. 

It looks promising that she may be offered a position there as curator when she graduates,
but at any rate, she is gaining excellent experience to put in her portfolio for her resume'. 
Lauren also plans to go to NY to apply at many of their renowned museums and galleries -
to eventually acheive the position of a curator. 
It would be her dream fulfilled to be the curator of a nice museum or gallery. 

However, it is certain that she will have to get busy and get her master's  degree now. 
So, back to school once again.


As we said, Michael graduated in June from Plant High and is now in his second semester at HCC,
working toward a computer science degree, and then will spend his last two years at USF for his bachelor's degree.
His ambitions are in the systems administrator or I.T. professional field. 
He is still working at the Asian restaurant where he has worked  for the past two years. 
He is a highly requested server, but with his charming personality, that is no surprise.


2009 - Michael - Senior Prom Night


One other bit of news for Ron and Elise is that they lost one of their doggies in 2009,
so they found a new puppy to fill that void, namely
Boomer born on July 4, 2009.
 
Trust us, he is no longer a puppy, as you can see below.
#1 and #2 Boomer - Birth date July 4, 2009
#3 Reilly, Boomer, Morgan (Lauren's doggie)
#4 Boomer at 5 months lounging in the chair by the pool
 


Mr. Boomer not even six months later......

          


PAUL, ELLEN, DANIEL, JULIA
are doing their same thing too.  Paul still in his own insurance company, Ellen is studying to get her nursing license updated. 
Daniel is on the debate team, tennis team, does some coaching at his school;
and is a referee for an athletic association in Wesley Chapel.
Julia has joined the school band.  She played the clarinet for us last month - and is quite good on it, too.
She is picking up where her Papa Chuck left off,
since he played the clarinet in band in high school in 1949-50.



Summer 2009 - Paul, Ellen, Daniel & Ellen tackling the rapids all alone in NC


Right after Christmas 2009 - Daniel, Ellen, Julia - Paul took picture
They went north (NC) for the kids to see snow for the first time, and did they ever find it!!


2009 - Julia-Daniel-Daisy
2009 - Julia - Daniel - Daisy

Ms. Daisy all dressed up waiting for Santa


December 2009
Paul-Ellen-Daniel-Julia


Paul celebrated his 50th birthday in December 2009, so there was a great party held. 
He really enjoyed so many guests which included two of his and Ron's old high school buddies,
Ray Hernandez and Frank Bolin.  The family and Jim Rabun got together and gave Paul a group gift -
a HUGE five burner grill.  NOW, Paul can finally say that he has something better than Ron has. 
They have always had that competition going, with
"my car is better than yours, my surf board is sharper looking than yours, my pinewood derby is faster than yours," etc. 
Paul, it could not have happened to a nicer person.  Glad you got one up there on Ron.     Pictures below.












Ray Hernandez, Paul, Les, Frank Bolin, Ron


1977 - Ray Hernandez, Paul Helfrich, Robbie Beck
Ron Helfrich, Frank Bolin



Ray Hernandez, Paul, Ron, Frank Bolin


Mr. 'OVER THE HILL" Paul


A Marine Album that we put together of Paul's military pictures and snippets from his military year book from 1979
 

And, the grill has lights on the inside of the hood, so eat your heart out, Ronz!  Right, Paul?

We are all so thankful for our health and wish all of you the same.
We hope you enjoyed this newsletter, & we would love hearing from you as to
whether we entertained you, updated you enough, or pulled at your heartstrings with so many memories. 
However, since I did not finish the 2008 newsletter until just now, you might find that one to be of interest, below.

One of the nicest gifts we have ever received.... was Les making DVD's for us
starting with converting the old 8mm camera silent film that Chuck's dad had taken back in the 60's and 70's
 and then Chuck's first video camera in 1985 (many of them were deteriorating so badly) - from the 1960's to 2009
and he converted them to DVD's, so we are putting a thumbnail below of the first 13 DVD's that he gave us. 
He gave a set to each of his brothers too.  He has about 150 more to put together. 
They were so professionally done, and we would not take anything for them.  What a family treasure!!!

 


Click on the thumbnails below to enlarge and see the backs of the DVD Jackets

Grandmother-Grandfather
1960's

Our Time in Hawaii
1960's
 
Our Cross Country Trip
California to Florida
1960's

1985

Christmas in Florida
1985
 
Ron & Elise's Wedding
1986

Busch Gardens, Epcot Center,
River Country - 10-1986

Paul and Ellen's Wedding
December 1991
 
Christmas - 1999

Lauren Helfrich's Graduation
May 2005

Rebeka Helfrich's Graduation
June 2005

Heather Helfrich's Graduation
May 2007
 
Michael Helfrich's Graduation
May 2009
 


A little side note here:
All of the pictures, stories, memories, etc. shared above and below started out with these six people below:
The two at the top had their branches intertwined and then four little apples of their eyes appeared on the tree.

My, my, how this family tree has blossomed and flourished!!!!


Do keep in touch - let us hear from you.  Many hugs.  Jackie & Chuck
JACQUEL384@aol.com

SO LONG, 2009 - HELLO 2010


 

THE most important event of 2008 was the celebration of the fourth year that has gone by since

Paul donated a kidney to Ron.  Here is a very special picture below:

July 2008 - Paul and Ron - 4 YEARS

In June, Chuck and I attended the Hatfield-McCoy reunion in Pikeville, KY. 
We drove almost 2,000 miles (7 states and two days for the reunion) in a little over 5 days. 

Not bad for a couple in their mid 70's, huh?

 
June 2008 - Jackie and Chuck


June 2008 - Chuck holding the shotgun that the
Hatfield-McCoy Organization sent (after the reunion) to
President George Bush in commemoration of the truce between the
Hatfields and McCoys





June 2008 - This was the highlight of our trip.  As the sign above this house
states, this is the home where Rosanna McCoy had her baby.
It is her Aunt Betty's home, and it is on the National Historical Society List.
The family who owns it, extended an invitation to Chuck and me to come in and
eat with them, since they were all there for the Hatfield-McCoy Reunion.
How exciting it was to see the log cabin inside that this home was built around.
Rosanna was Chuck's first cousin 3X removed.

 



The next special event was that
Ron turned 50 years old in September 2008, so we had a great party for him. 
Les and Jan flew down from Alaska to surprise him and
THAT was the biggest coup you could ever imagine. 
Les and Jan can never top that surprise.   Some pictures below....

 


September 2008 - Ron's 50th Birthday Party


September 2008 - The Ronz - 50 years old

 


The Ronz - 50 years old


Frank King, his daughters - Cathy & Ellen


Jackie trying to get 65 people's attention around the patio & pool
For door prizes for ten questions on The Ronz' life


Les with the girls - Ann King and daughters, Cathy and Ellen

Les and Chuck

Just some of the folks that we were able to get inside - just could not herd them all up at once. 
They were in the living room, kitchen, Florida room, patio, pool, everywhere -
beautiful crowd of 65 nice people who showed up.


September 2008 - Ron - Chuck - Jackie - Frank Bolin

September 2008 - Elise and Lauren enjoying the party
You can see they are mother and daughter, can't you?

Then, came December, and Les, Jan and Rebeka came back down to spend Christmas with us. 
We flew to
Washington, DC to spend Christmas with Bill, Yumi and Amy.  Had a great time.  Chuck's brother, Sonny and his son, David, and Jackie's niece and husband, Connie and Rich, came up to visit with us. 

We did some sight seeing like none other that we had ever done.  It was 17 degrees and the wind was about 40mph.  The taxi driver told us that we were not being very smart going out into that weather. 
When we had to stand out in that wind for almost an hour, we began to agree with that taxi driver.

I had dressed that morning with long johns, leg warmers, three pair of socks, boots, two pair of pants,
six layers of sweat shirts, jackets and sweaters, gloves, head and face masks, and was still freezing. 
Everyone told me to walk at least ten feet behind them because I looked like some homeless woman. 
Took extra gloves and scarves and passed them out to everyone, but we were miserable. 
Enjoyed the art museum the most, even though we had seen it so many times.  At least, it was warm in there.

Then, we drove from Washington, DC to Tampa, with poor Les doing 99 percent of the driving. 
We stopped along the way at Rock City. 
Les wanted to re-visit where he had seen a picture of me holding him as a baby,
standing up on this STEEP overhanging cliff.

 He said it looked to him as if he were hanging out over that cliff in the picture. 

Wellll, Les got to see it, and was not too thrilled when he saw it,
asking me "mom, do you realize you could have dropped me off that cliff?"
I'm in the blue suit, holding Les in my arms, Bill with the other hand & I am pregnant with Ron!
(I guess it was a good thing that Ron did not decide to do one of his infamous "kicks" at that time!!!)
1958

There is a close up of this picture beneath this one.

See, Les, there was plenty of room between us and the wall.....


December 2008 - Les was none too happy to go back up there 51 years later & look off that cliff.
And, no - I was not pregnant again this time.  Once again, I had on six sweaters and Jackets.
However, Les would not allow me to hold him this time.

 

THAT'S ALL FOR 2008, FOLKS


October 2007 Chuck and Jackie - Jackie's 55th Class Reunion

October 2007 Chuck and Jackie - Waving "bye-Bye" to everyone
Finally, here it is almost the middle of 2008 and we are just getting our 2007 Christmas letter out.  In May 2007, we went to Alaska to attend Heather's high school graduation.  We had a great time, and came away with an awesome picture of Rebeka and Heather with their parents and both sets of their grandparents (shown below.)  Also, as you can see above, Chuck and I were fortunate enough to attend my 55th class reunion in Shreveport, LA.  As always, we have such a good time and enjoy seeing all of the folks who are able to attend.  There are more pictures on the web pages - here is the link - Jackie's 55th Class Reunion. 

While we were in Shreveport, we got something accomplished that we have tried to do for many, many years.  Virginia Barlow and I were finally able to put down a headstone for our great grandmother, Lucy Jane Carter Josey Barlow.  Lucy was married to our great granddad, John Thomas Josey.  John and Lucy had Roddie Josey, our granddad.  Lucy never had a headstone, and we wanted to see that she had one, so thanks to Virginia, we got it done - here is the link to that page - her headstone is listed under "Barlow," since she remarried after John Josey must have died - click on the picture of the headstone to enlarge it:  Lucy Jane Carter Josey Barlow.  We have more ancestors that we want to work on getting headstones done for yet.  Another marvelous bit of news was that I found a newspaper article in the Vivian, LA - Caddo Citizen Newspaper of my birth announcement in January 1934 (way back in the days of the dinosaurs, huh?)  I never knew that an announcement of my birth existed.

We had a pretty busy 2007, as each year tends to become busier and busier.  We also celebrated our 55th wedding anniversary - October 3, 2007.  Will hope to have the entire family together for a big celebration one day soon for that.  Paul, Ellen, Ron and Elise had a really nice dinner, cake, wine, flowers, etc. at their home for us - (see picture to the left.)  That was so sweet of them. 

In June, Chuck and I hope to go to the Hatfield-McCoy reunion in Kentucky.  We went to the first one and had a blast - have tried to get there each year since, all to no avail.

Chuck is still working for Kash n Karry, now known as Sweetbay, after all of the remodeling of their stores.  I am still working for a company out of NY doing interviews - have been doing that for 5 years and enjoy it immensely.  We feel very blessed each day and are thankful for all that we have.  But, above all of that, good health is what matters the most, in my opinion.  There are some pictures of Ron and Paul (below) celebrating the 3rd birthday of the kidney transplant.

So, we are showing all four sons and their families below with their latest news.  We love hearing from you guys.  Take care.  Jackie and Chuck

Bill - Yumi - Amy's Updates:  

December 2007 - Bill, Amy, Yumi
In 2007, Amy was chosen from her ballet school to attend the National Youth America Grand Prix (ballet), in PA, in 2008.  Amy will also be heading into high school in the fall of 2008, and looking forward to getting ready to go to her choice "College of William and Mary."  We are keeping our fingers crossed, as it is the second oldest institution of higher education in the U.S., second to Harvard.  

Bill and Yumi are still working at the same jobs, Bill with the State Department, Yumi teaching, and both enjoying their work.  They all three are extremely involved with the Manassas Ballet Theater, where Amy is always rehearsing for an upcoming performance - having just finished with a solo in "Stars and Stripes Forever," and "Carmen" next.  Bill has been in several of the performances also, and he is becoming quite a star - no, not ballet - but a ballroom type of dancing, and acting too.  He looks so nice in his tuxedo in each of the performances.  Yumi is also involved, as she is constantly behind the scenes with the wardrobes.  She even made one of Bill's costumes for one performance.  Yumi also flew back to Japan to see her mother and family recently. 

In addition to that, they all three take frequent trips throughout the beautiful state of Virginia.  They really enjoy the mountains up there.  We are hoping that they will be able to join us at the Hatfield-McCoy reunion in June 2008, since Kentucky is so close to them.   

Les - Jan - Rebeka - Heather's Updates:


Jan, Heather, Rebeka, Les
Hoss and Tippy


May 2007 - Chuck, Jackie, Les, Rebeka, Heather, Jan, Madeline and Bill Kelly
Photo Editing Courtesy of Jim Rabun


May 2007 - Heather Lynn Helfrich
The above group picture is Heather's high school graduation in Alaska in May 2007.  We had a great time, as always, and came away with this awesome picture of Rebeka and Heather with their parents, and both sets of their grandparents.  Les and Jan are still working in the same jobs that they both love at MTA - Les and Jan are both managers - Les in the technical department and Jan in accounting.  They go on camping and fishing trips, just traveling around and enjoying Alaska, and visiting with Jan's parents, Bill and Madeline, and Jan's sister and family, since they all live in Alaska too.   

Rebeka is in her third year at University of Alaska - Anchorage.  We look forward to returning to Alaska in 2009 to attend Rebeka's graduation from UAA.  Heather went from her high school graduation in May - 07 to the University of Alaska - Fairbanks, where we are sure it was an eye opener for her, with their brutal winters at times of 60-70 degrees below zero.  Les and Jan are the first of the four families to face the "empty nest syndrome."  But, Rebeka and Heather are close enough, that they are able to come home occasionally, so that's nice.  Rebeka and Heather also work at part time jobs, so they are kept very busy.  As we said, we are looking forward to going back up there, as they are always great hosts.  In addition to that, we found the most marvelous bed and breakfast last time, and we have a standing invitation there to come back any time.     

 

Ron - Elise - Lauren - Michael's Updates:


2007 -  Ron, Elise, Lauren, Michael

Lauren has transferred to USF here in Tampa and is enjoying being near her family and friends.  She has a new puppy, Morgan, a beautiful new apartment,  and she works part time for her Uncle Paul.  Michael is a junior at Plant High School - graduating in 2009.  We hope we will be able to attend Michael and Rebeka's graduations - with both of them being on opposite sides of the country. Michael was just in a contest at CompUSA - out of the top 100 contestants/some were pros - he came in #10, putting together a computer from scratch, (only the motherboard was inside) in 4 minutes-29 seconds.  He then went on to the finals and he placed #6 out of 10 finalists in 3 minutes and 18 seconds.  We all know what his career will be, huh?
 
In 2007, Ron went with us to Alaska to attend Heather's graduation, and Elise and Michael went to Ohio to see her life long childhood chum, Caren.    Ron and Elise are both busy with their jobs; Elise still at Hartford and Ron is working with his friend, Allan. 

Between their jobs, their two doggies, kitty cat, 2 young adult children and constant work with the home and yard, Ron and Elise have full days.  Since they live in the home that Ron's grandparents lived in, we are sure Ron's grandmother and granddad Helfrich would be proud of how nicely the home is kept up.  Once again they, along with all of us, are so thankful that they have good health in their family. 

 

Paul - Ellen - Daniel - Julia's Updates

December 2007 - Paul, Julia, Ellen, Daniel, Daisy

2007 - Ellen, Anne, Frank, Jackie, Chuck, Paul
Daniel and Julia in front with their parents - Ellen and Paul -  on either side of them and
Both sets of Daniel's and Julia's grandparents in back - a pretty special picture
Paul and Ellen have also been very busy this past year.  Paul with his insurance company, and Ellen worked quite a bit as a substitute teacher.  Ellen is considering going back to school to further her education.  All five of them go to Sarasota often to visit Ellen's parents.  Paul travels to Georgia several times a year in his business; and he was busy the year of 2007 with coaching several of Daniel's sports teams.  Each winter, they make plans to go up to VA and see Bill, Yumi and Amy so that Daniel and Julia will finally get to see snow, but something always comes up and prevents the trip, so we hope they can make it next winter.  But, they did go on a Caribbean cruise in June 2007 and had a great time. 

Daniel is very active in track and will be graduating from middle school in May of 2008, so he will be in high school next year, and he plans to be a pharmacist.  Julia was in the play "Show Kids" - singing and dancing.  Julia and Daniel are growing so much that every time we see them, they are several inches taller.  Chuck and I really enjoyed going to Daniel's football games and also getting to see Julia as one of the cheerleaders in '07.  They are lucky to live near Busch Gardens and they go there quite often.    Daisy is still running that household, doncha' know - just look at her in the picture, she knows she is the queen - but all five of our households have critters, so we can relate to that.  They bring so much joy to our homes. 



Ron and Paul celebrating
3rd birthday of Ron's kidney transplant
The entire family will be eternally grateful to Paul for his donation to making such a difference in all of our lives
July - 2007
Also, here is the link to their page on the transplant
Ron and Paul's Odyssey - Again, we are so thankful!

 


MERRY CHRISTMAS - HAPPY NEW YEAR
2006


Jackie - Chuck - Wobbles


 


Yumi - Amy - Bill (Traveled from VA)

Les - Jan - Heather - Rebeka (Traveled from AK)

Lauren - Ron - Elise - Michael

Ellen - Daniel - Paul - Daisy - Julia
Well, here we are into 2007, and just sending our Christmas and New Year greetings' letter.  Things have just been too hectic.  Will not even try to explain with all of the remodeling we had going on for so many months.  The yard was the biggest project, with all of the dead trees and grass, along with numerous repairs inside also.

We were so fortunate to have everyone together this year, the first time in four years.  We had hoped to get a beach picture with all 17 of us together, but that will have to be two years from now, so look forward to that.

We had our usual Christmas Eve get-together, then we had Christmas dinner the day after Christmas.  We were all back and forth between our home and Ron and Elise's and Paul and Ellen's.  Jan, Rebeka and Heather cooked and baked to no end, and we all reaped the benefits of their endeavors, believe me! Our Alaskan group definitely did the scene at the beach, we went to a lot of Christmas movies, shared many great meals with each other, did a lot of shopping, went to Busch Gardens, did a lot of visiting with each other, Les took over a thousand pictures, etc., so it has been a marvelous holiday for us.  Chuck and I always look forward with great anticipation to the alternating years we get together.  You can see from the pictures above they are all doing well.  We are truly thankful for that.  And, we can't forget the fact that we celebrated the second anniversary of the kidney transplant in July from Paul donating a kidney to Ron.

Chuck and I are still working; and everything is the same as last year with Bill, Yumi, Les, Jan, Ron, Elise, Paul and Ellen.  Rebeka is in her second year at University of Alaska - Anchorage, and active in many activities on campus.  She also spent the past summer working at Denali National Park, which was quite an experience for her.  Heather graduates from high school the end of May and is heading up north to University of Alaska - Fairbanks.  She just got her SAT scores on line while she was down here and we were so proud of her.  She did quite well.  Lauren is in her second year at Florida Southern College.  She was accepted into the Zeta Tau Alpha Sorority, and she was thrilled as that was her first choice.  Michael is still into computers, so we know where he is headed later in life.  He just began to drive too.  Daniel is still into sports big time, and wowed us one night recently with being able to answer any question that anyone threw at him about any football team or player.  Julia is growing unbelievably - and she has the most wonderful sense of humor. She had us all in stitches at the Christmas present gathering.  Amy is so tall and elegant, and has just enthralled us with her pictures from the ballets she has been in this past year.  She is really talented and may very well have a future in the ballet field.  

Paul borrowed a picture I had of the four guys from 1989; he had copies made, put them in frames, and gave a copy to each brother for Christmas.   We took pictures of them (standing in the same position) holding the 1989 pictures.  Then, Les framed the 1989 and 2006 pictures, and gave one to each of his brothers and Chuck and me.  That was all very special, as you can see below.  Great idea, was a big hit.

Chuck and I already have our plane tickets for Alaska the end of May.  We really can't miss Heather's graduation.  We truly hope you all had a marvelous Christmas and that your New Year goes even better for you and yours.  We appreciated receiving so many of your Christmas cards, letters and pictures.  They keep us up to date on so many of you.  Lots of hugs and do keep in touch. 

Chuck and Jackie


1989  BILL - RON - PAUL - LES  1989




2006  Bill - Ron - Paul - Les  2006



July 2006 - 2nd Anniversary of Kidney Transplant from Paul to Ron



 

1994 - Two photos of our home


2006 - Two photos of our home (new driveway-paint-landscaping-privacy fence

 


MERRY CHRISTMAS
2005


MERRY CHRISTMAS
2004


We are actually getting around to sending out Christmas cards this year. Many things have transpired since our last letter to all. Chuck and I are both still working full time and constantly on the run, so time is precious. But, a quick run-down follows below.

As most of you know, Chuck and I reached our 50th anniversary October 3, 2002, and we decided to celebrate it in December of that year when all four sons and their families would be home. The only thing I wanted for that anniversary (other than for Ron to get a kidney transplant) was to have a nice family picture taken. So, everyone complied, as you can see above. We then went to dinner on the Starship Dining Yacht, and had a marvelous time. We were so glad that my sister, Angie Josey Brocato and her son, Tony, were able to attend also.

Then, Ron was not doing all that well with dialysis, to say the least, with one heart pounding episode after another for the past almost five years. His chances were slim to zero of getting a second kidney transplant because of the antigens in his body from the first kidney transplant. Then, Ron was given an opportunity to participate in an experimental program in transplantation. On July 16, 2004, Ron and Paul entered Tampa General Hospital for Paul to donate a kidney to Ron. We are enclosing an article that they put in Lifelink Transplant Center’s Newsletter in August of 2004, explaining it in more detail for those who are interested in more details. Needless, to say, we are so thankful, and what a marvelous gift Paul gave Ron.

Les and his family are coming home this year, and we look forward to having them here. Lauren graduates May of 2005, and Rebeka graduates June of 2005, so it will be a busy couple of weeks for us, with them being 7,000 miles apart. Bill just started a new job, so he and his family will not be here this year.

I have been working on a web site for almost two years on our 50 years of family research on our Helfrich and Josey and allied family lines. I hope to have it published in the month of December 2004. If you have an e-mail address, please let me know what it is - mine is (JACQUEL384@aol.com) and I will let you know when the web site is published.

Picture above: Front row left to right - Michael, Heather, Chuck, Amy, Jackie, Rebeka, Julia and Daniel - Back row left to right - Elise, Lauren, Ron, Yumi, Bill, Les, Jan, Paul and Ellen

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and God bless you all. Hugs to you and your families.

Chuck and Jackie and Families


 


MERRY CHRISTMAS
2001


Click to enlarge and then click lower right corner


MERRY CHRISTMAS
2000


Click to enlarge and then click lower right corner



MERRY CHRISTMAS
1999


1999 - Back Row - Left to Right
Les - Jan - Rebeka - Jackie - Elise - Heather - Chuck
Front Row - Left to Right
Ellen - Julia - Paul - Daniel - Yumi - Bill - Amy - Ron - Michael - Lauren

 


MERRY CHRISTMAS
1998


Click to enlarge and then click lower right corner


MERRY CHRISTMAS
1996


 


MERRY CHRISTMAS
1995

Click to enlarge and then click lower right corner


1995 Back of Card

Click to enlarge and then click lower right corner


MERRY CHRISTMAS
1960


1960 - Ron - Jackie - Bill - Paul - Chuck - Les


1960 - Bill - Les - Paul - Michael Anson - Ron
 


MERRY CHRISTMAS
1953 - Chuck - Jackie - Bill

Here is the link to our entire web site - just click on it :  helfrichandjosey.com
 

 


Click on "Gift" for
Christmases Past