Saturday, January 2, 2016

Yocums End-of-Year Summary: 2015

This is our family's summary for 2015 from my wife and my point of view. Happy new year!

 Like with each of you, much happened in 2015. Lindsay has been spending time with friends and gaining new skills and worked at Burlington Coat Factory for 6 months. Ben got his bachelors degree from Brigham Young University in computer science. It has been a tough row to hoe but he made it with honors! He is applying for jobs with several global firms. He and June have now been happily married a year and successfully navigated the channels of being a husband and wife. There have been health scares and sorrows as June's parents did not get a visa to visit the US for Christmas but also great joy as June's brother John did get a visa and was able to join her. Yay!

Isaac got out of the Marine Corps with honor and great happiness. He saved a great deal of money and is combining it with his GI Bill benefits to start college at Utah Valley University, where he is doing very well. He moved in with Ben, June, and June's brother John to save money and is making the transition fine. One highlight of his year was putting his firefighting skills to use at Yuma MCAS by putting out a fire on a crashed jet. What a great cap to his years of patient struggle and learning.

Tam finished two on-line computer courses aimed at helping her move back into the workplace, one in basic computer skills and another in Excel. She has also been doing amazing behind-the-scenes work navigating the many winding labyrinths of government assistance and has done a great deal of work saving us money. She saw the unexpected passing of one cat and a guinea pig and the gaining of two younger, fluffy cats she named Sandy and Buttons and a labrador-weimeraner mix named Tristan that Lindsay may keep. Tam very much enjoys long outdoors walks and this year finally finished walking the last leg of the Appalachian Trail where it crosses Maryland. She is surrounded by many true, good friends who value her a lot.

Les switched jobs after his last position got downsized and, after a very touching sendoff, is now working for Booz Allen Hamilton as a GeoInformation Systems developer. After gaining some slight confidence in his calling in the church, he revised and re-released his Welltower books and revised and gave his book “The Christmas Orange” the more accurate name “Remembering the Child”. He also finished four more paintings, has one on display in Salt Lake City through August 2016 and spoke about his process at a conference with 120 women in Annapolis.

One of the highlights this year, of course, was spending a week in Corpus Christi, Texas with Lori and Dave. What an excellent time! We pray much for them after Dave's accident and pray he heals quickly.

The year end neared with an excellent trip to Provo, Utah to be with Isaac, Ben, Ben's wife June – happy first anniversary! – June's brother John, and Sasha Rose and her friend Mike. June was the perfect hostess and held up well trying to make the in-laws feel at home. Well done.

On that trip Isaac toured us through Utah Valley University, Ben toured us through BYU, and Sasha showed us her environs at the University of Utah. How marvelous to have such varied and valuable resources in one place and children who work hard to make use of them. We also enjoyed meeting Sasha's excellent friend Mike and catching up with her mother, brother and sister. We concluded the trip by seeing Temple Square at night with its Christmas lights, where we also saw my painting.

The year ended for us at home, safe and very blessed. Tam expects 2016 to be an excellent year, even better than 2015. Given the blessings we have received, improvements would be hard to imagine.

Thank you all for your patient support and for doing so much good for so many. God bless you.

- Les, Tam, and Lindsay Yocum


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