Friday, January 02, 2015

Christmas Letter 2014

                                                                                                     December  2014
Dear Friends and Family,

2104 has been a very busy year for the Jones’s!  I normally do not write a Christmas letter but felt it a good idea since we have moved to Arizona.  God’s provision was evident during our journey and wanted to share with you the fun we had through all our bumps and bruises!  So buckle up for the ride it is an adventurous one!

In January Sue’s Step Mom, Joan told her that she would like to move to Country Meadows before the next winter.  But God had other plans and Joan was able to move into her new home March 1st.  Sue had the task of emptying and selling the Upper St Clair townhome.  With the help of her great friend Leslie she arranged for an estate sale and prepared the house for sale.  The estate sale wasn’t a pleasant experience and we will not being doing another one of those!  The Pinehurst Townhouse sold in July, closing that chapter in Sue’s life. 

Theresa, being a senior in High School, was planning on graduating from Canon McMillan.  June 10th Theresa found herself on the football field participating in commencement exercises.  She decided to attend Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona online.  Majoring in Early Childhood Education.  She had a graduation party at the end of June, catered by Chipotle!  It was a fun time for all!  Her Uncle Jim and Aunt Sheryl flew in from San Francisco for the party! Uncle Chuck and Aunt Patti came in from Morgantown and it was a Young family reunion! 

Meanwhile, Peter applied for a job in Phoenix, Arizona in May.  He later found out that he landed that job and plans were made to move Peter to Surprise, Arizona.  He would be teaching Chemistry and Biology at Paradise Honors High School.  The trip was set for July 1st.  Sue and Theresa planned on flying while Ken and Peter were going to drive across country in Peter’s car.  The trip was a success and Ken, Sue and Theresa flew home mid July.

August was a quiet month for the Jones Family! Thank Goodness!  Well, at least the first part of August!  August 26th Ken was contacted by the district manager of Mesa, Arizona from Allied Barton, informing him of a job possibility in Tucson.  It would be promotion to a single site management.  Which meant less stress for Ken!  Ken and Sue considered what the changes would mean to them and their family, moving to Tucson, Arizona.  On August 29th Ken was offered the job and he accepted.  In early September Ken and Sue listed their home with a Howard Hanna agent Erin Laigle.  Our house sold in 24 hours … we were now in for the journey of a lifetime.

It was a great relief to have the house under contract since everyone was coming into town for Amy’s brother’s wedding in late September. The big event that was to take place at the Buhl Mansion in Sharon, PA.  Then Ken was set to fly out of Pittsburgh September 27th after the wedding.  Sue would be driving the car out with her friend Leslie.  Hotels booked, TripTik acquired, snacks packed and return fights for Leslie and Sue booked! 

We found the cliché, His plans are not Our plans became our reality going forward.

… Ken’s flight was canceled due to the fire at Chicago O’Hare Airport … All plans changed … Ken and Sue were in the car driving across country Saturday, September 27th.  Ken started his new position on September 30th and Sue was looking at new homes on October 1st.  A beautiful ranch home was found and closings were all set to happen in a perfect timely manner.   Our plans seemed to be back on track and we survived the bump in the road.

Sue returned home, she and Theresa had the month of October to finish all the packing while caring for 2 dogs and 4 cats… Michael and Amy had left their animals since they had a planned their vacation in mid October.  So to say the least … it was pretty crazy in the Jones’s house!

House packed and movers arrived; Sue and Theresa had their snacks for the first leg of the trip across country with the 4 cats and 2 dogs to Michael and Amy’s house.  It was going to be a long 11 hours to Illinois but the girls were up for the trip. Ken’s mom, Marilyn was helping them get on their way by staying until the movers were all packed up. 

36 hours before the closing of the Canonsburg home, things began to crumble.   The buyer had problems and the closing was canceled … Sue and Theresa had to go anyway since the house was already mostly on the truck.  The closing on the house in Tucson had to be canceled also since now the loan had to change, things were a bit of a mess.  It looked like a storage unit was in store for Ken and Sue and renting was the only option. 

Talk about having an Abraham moment …

Through much prayer and negotiation, our sellers in Tucson allowed us to rent until our loan issues would work out.  We moved in as planned and our closing happened in early December.  As of writing, we still haven’t closed in Canonsburg but anticipate this to happen before 2015.  

The fun continued as Sue went to the DMV and found that some how her name had been changed with the Social Security Administration.   Now let me just say changing your first name legally is not an easy task.  You have to petition the court and pay lots of money.  SSN said Sue had done that sometime in the last 32 years … Ken and Sue found their way to Superior Court in Tucson to reclaim Sue’s birth name …

At the writing of this letter Ken, Sue, and Theresa await the arrival of Michael and Amy, with their move to Tucson.  The new house will be home to all 5 Jones with 2 dogs and 4 cats!  And you know what a new home means … yes … new home, new baby!  That’s right Michael and Amy’s family is growing with a due date some time in July!  First Grandchild for Ken and Sue!

2014 isn’t over yet … and the Jones know there is always an adventure waiting around the corner!

Post script:  These events are only the highlights, much more happened, God showed up at every twist and turn!  He is Faithful! 


Amy's Grandma Rose passed away the Thursday before Mike and her were to drive to Tucson.  So their plans changed and she drove to Pittsburgh while Mike drove the truck to Tucson.  I flew back to Pittsburgh so she didn't have to drive that long way alone.  On the way to the airport I was alerted that my step mom was in the hospital... amazing how God works!  I was able to visit with her as well as keep Amy company as she drove from Pittsburgh to Tucson!  So in all I made 3 cross country trips in 80 days!  2015 here we come!