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Posted 12/23/09 (Wed)

Merry Christmas!

I suppose you’ve noticed over the years, Shirley and I don’t do Christmas letters. We just never really got into it. We enjoy reading other peoples’ letters, so I decided I would just do my Christmas letter here, for all the world to read.
Oh, I know you won’t see any pictures, but I can fill you in on what we’re doing.
Shirley is feeding cows, taking care of grandkids, cleaning house, washing clothes, feeding horses, and doing our Christmas shopping.
I play a little pinochle and write an article.
Will never learned to play pinochle, so he is in charge of the boys while Jen works. And I will tell you what, taking care of Evan (3) and RJ (1) is a pretty demanding job.
Evan is our cowboy. He knows which cow is which. Likes both the red and black ones. Knows every horses’ name and knows how much the cows should be fed. He has a herd of around two hundred toy animals and spends hours a day sorting and arranging them in his corrals.
RJ is a cattle rustler whose main goal in life is to take his brother’s animals, or at least knock them all down. He can run every piece of equipment I operate. From the four-wheeler to the loader tractor. He can find every lever and every switch in a tractor or a pickup. He loves being outside, hot or cold, rain or shine.
Both boys greet me every morning with a big, “Morning, Baboo!”
Gracy is in the third grade in Camp Crook. She reads as if she were in high school, has mastered multiplication and division, and is a much better speller than her grandmother. She operates a computer much better, and with more confidence, than an adult. She is a barrel racer and a cowgirl.
Gage will start school next year at Camp Crook. He can throw a ball like a professional. He likes the Vikings, which can be good or bad. His main worry is that his mother will wreck his dad’s tractor when she is feeding cows. He knows his machinery should be parked in a straight row and that the fences should be straight and tight. He is a Gilbert!
I guess you would say that Shirley and I have been blessed. Maybe me more than Shirley. Cause she is still out there feeding those cows on these cold mornings. But then, I have to do the Christmas letter.
Our kids are healthy and happy. Our  grandkids are perfect. And our neighbors take pretty darn good care of us.
We worked a bunch of cows at a neighbor’s the other day. Since Shirley didn’t get a corral built in our pasture last summer, I borrowed the neighbor’s corrals. He’s really good about that! Oh, we wrecked a little stuff, but not bad.
But I had jokingly said his wife would have to cook for about thirty hungry cowboys. She took me serious and did!
Turned out, there were Shirley and I and the two little boys! To eat a roundup dinner for thirty!
And you thought I looked a little full!

Merry Christmas!