Here is our Christmas letter for 2018. Click on the image to make it larger and more readable. Enjoy.
The Barfields at Christmas 2016
Our year mostly in pictures
Our year saw the loss of David’s Mom, the last of our parents, pictured below when David was about 4, with David’s Dad, and two of his brothers. Cathy also lost her Uncle Ray in March.
The year had plenty of joy however.
- We are delighted to have our 3 growing, verbal, active, and healthy grandsons nearby: Ain 3 ½, Ebron heading toward 2, and Wyatt at 1 ½.
- There were plenty of vacations as well: a family vacation in June near Branson, time in Estes Park, Colorado in the celebration of our niece, Bethany’s wedding, and a lovely trip to Zion National Park in southern Utah.
This and that:
- David and Cathy had their 37th wedding anniversary in June.
- David completed his 9th year as chief engineer at the Division of Water Resources with a satisfying year seeing a number of long-term projects reaching fruition.
- Cathy continues to teach science classes to Lawrence homeschoolers as well as nearby Gardner.
- We remain active in our church which continues its transition to becoming a network of smaller churches, meeting principally in homes. Among this year’s focus is doing good in our community via a ministry to homeless families called Family Promise and building relationships in our neighborhoods.
Book (and Audible) recommendations
David – 80/20 Running. A good movie: The Intern.
Cathy – Elephant Company; A man called Ove.
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
The family at Thanksgiving
David (the oldest) with his Mom, Dad, and brothers Mike and Mark.
Papa (David) “reads” the Christmas David and Ain play trains while others nap
story to the grandsons
With Ebron and Ain in KU blue Cathy enjoys the pool with Wyatt
At Bethany’s wedding near Estes Park
David continues to run and then…the two of us enjoy breakfast afterward
New Grandsons! Our big news from 2015 is we have two new grandsons, bringing us to three grandsons, each with their own unique temperament. It is a thrill to have them all live in the area. Ain is a very busy boy, now approaching 2 ½ years, constantly commenting on life, asking questions, and exploring. His brother Ebron was born in March and is now 9 months old, a charming boy who is very relational. Wyatt, son of Megan and Brandon, was born in June, is now 6 months old, both enjoying life and also a evidencing serious and determined side as he seeks to get around their home.
All of our girls and their husbands are doing well. Matt finally found his forte in IT support and is loving it. Betsy is home with the boys, but also finds time to blog regularly, is training to be a doula, and is very involved in our church. Josh continues to grow as a personal trainer at Genesis Health Clubs, which is starting to build a much larger facility. Amy’s piano business is keeping her busy, along with other odd jobs. Brandon finds delight in making his son light up and continues to work hard to provide for his family. Megan is adjusting to her life as a new mom and is working part-time.
Extended family – It was a delight to have a very full house at Thanksgiving, with almost all of Cathy’s side of the family. There were 10 of us staying at our house plus up to 9 of our girls, spouses and children that joined at times. We drank lots of coffee, ate lots of food and enjoyed catching up with one another. Five of us ran in Lawrence’s Thanksgiving run.
David’s celebrated his 60th birthday in June with an open house.
David’s annual meeting of the Association of Western State Engineers took us to Arizona. Our stay included time in Flagstaff where we explored some of Cathy’s roots that were early settlers of the city. We were able to find the beautiful original homestead well off the path north of town. We also visited Lowell Observatory.
David’s job as chief engineer of Kansas’ Division of Water Resources continues to involve a 90-minute commute to Manhattan (Kansas) most days. The year saw significant progress in settling interstate water disputes with neighboring states, implementing legislation from a busy legislative session on water issues, and a major “impairment” report related to a national wildlife refuge in Kansas.
Cathy continues to teach science classes to Lawrence homeschoolers as well as nearby Gardner.
Our Church– Our church has been in transition the last couple of years, becoming a network of smaller churches meeting in principally in homes. This year, we sold our building and changed our name to City Church Lawrence. We seek to focus on the emphasis of the Scriptures related to how we should conduct our life including doing good works in the community.
This and that – We hired a yard service to take out 50 red cedars and David re-planted a large section of the back yard that was basically bare soil. Late in the year David hit a deer totaling his car without harm to himself. Not much progress on our health web site (maybe next year).
Book (and Audible) recommendations
David – The Martian (good movie; a bit of language); The Emperor of All Maladies; The Sheep-Pig
Cathy – Boys in the Boat; Ender’s Shadow; Far From the Madding Crowd;
Wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Blessed New Year.
March and June of 2015 saw our second and third grandchildren born, two more boys. Here is a bit about each and a few pictures.
Grandson number 2: Ebron, son of Betsy and Matt
On March 2nd, our oldest daughter Betsy and her husband Matt had their second child (and our second grandchild), another boy who they named Ebron Asher.
Betsy’s first baby came 10 days past his due date, after a very long labor (well over 24 hours) and with a surprising result: a boy (Ain) rather than the expected girl. Fortunately, this second child came two weeks early, with a much quicker labor and with the anticipated healthy boy. We are grateful.
For the full rundown on the event see Betsy’s detailed description at: http://romanceonadime.com/baby/welcome-to-the-world-ebron-asher/ (as the article says near the top, it is a birth story; it is ok if you don’t want to know all the details).
Ebron is growing healthy and strong. Here are a few pictures of Ebron and family, mostly on the day after he was born.
Ebron is growing into quite the socializer.
Grandson number 3: Wyatt, son of Megan and Brandon
On June 15, the day before our anniversary and a week before our youngest’s daughter’s due date, we received a call at 4:00 a.m from Megan informing us that her water broke about 1:30 a.m. and after going to birthing center to be checked out, she was heading home to get some rest, as she was not in active labor.
In the end, she delivered little Wyatt at 10:02 that evening. All along, it seemed Wyatt was going to be a big boy, but at birth he weighed 6 pounds, 7 oz. and looked lanky at 20 inches long. Below are some pictures on the day after his birth.
The three grandsons
Ain continues to grow, with his second birthday coming on June 24.
So our little tribe of grandchild has grown from one to three this year. What a delight to have them all nearby. Below is a picture of the three of them. While Ain is doing well as a big brother, at this setting with a second newborns on the scene, he looks a bit concerned about what is going on.
We wish you all a Merry Christmas. Below and attached is this year’s Christmas letter to family and friends. Click this link to see a pdf: Christmas letter 2014. The first page is a set of images from 2014; page two is text highlighting the news of the year: two more grandchildren coming in 2015, our work lives, our books recommendations and more. Enjoy.
The year’s big news: two more grandchildren coming in 2015! Our first grandchild, Ain, is approaching 18 months, a busy boy. Lord willing and the ultrasound is right this time, he will have a little brother in March. Recently we learned that Megan and Brandon are expecting their first child in June.
Our work lives
David’s job – David’s challenging work as chief engineer of Kansas’ Division of Water Resources continued to be intense but rewarding. The office made the transition to Manhattan this summer. So David is making the 90 minute commute about 3x/week (he telecommutes day a week or so). David has found he can be fairly productive on the van the agency is providing. So far the Division has retained key experienced staff and been able to recruit some good, young staff as well.
The interstate battles continue. David was able to attend oral arguments before the US Supreme Court this fall in Kansas case against Nebraska. With the conclusion of the last of 5 arbitration trials, Kansas, Nebraska and Colorado have finally started working on negotiating some disputed issues, developing three agreements for 2014-2015 as they work toward longer term solutions.
Cathy continues to teach science classes to Lawrence homeschoolers as well nearby Gardner. The three classes she is teaching keeps her busy. After developing PowerPoints for her Advanced Biology and Biology over the last 2 years, this year she is doing physical science (with Amy’s help).
- Our daughters and their husbands – Everyone is well. Betsy is gradually cutting back on her work outside the home with her growing family. Amy’s piano business is becoming well established and she is doing some part-time work as a “virtual assistant”, and she has a growing number of people following her blog. Megan works part time for a local radio station, KOFO Country, writing and reading the news.
- Vacations – We got away quite a few times this year, mostly to our timeshare in the Branson area including a time in June with the girls and their spouses. We also enjoyed our annual 4th of July trip to Gene and Sara’s cabin on Long Lake in Wisconsin. Finally, we also did a Texas trip with David’s work that included San Antonio and Houston/Galveston.
- We continue to make health a priority by regular exercise and eating well. David’s morning exercise routine has had to change due to his commuting. Fortunately, the office in Manhattan has a shower and he has been running more regularly and was able to take a minute off of his best 5k of last year. We have started a web site on how we stay healthy (org) with favorite recipes, exercise suggestions, and more.
Book (listening) recommendations:
- David – The Boys in the Boat: Nine Americans and Their Epic Quest for Gold at the 1936 Berlin Olympics (D. Brown); Tale of Two Cities (Dickens); Red Moon Rising: Sputnik and …the Space Age (M Brzezinski).
- Cathy – Elephant Whisper (L. Anthony); I am Malala (Yousafzai); and Invention of Wings (S. Kidd).
Wishing you the best in this blessed season.
David and Cathy Barfield and Bingley and Bear
For years we have made health a priority and enjoyed its benefits. Many have asked us how we have done this.
While we have bits and pieces of this near on this web site and on David’s, we have created a new web site, HealthSimply.org for this specific purpose. As of this writing (December 2014), we have a good outline and a list of books we have found helpful on our journey, exercise options that we have used and recommend, lots of great recipes and more.
Over time, we plan to add detailed book reviews, a listing of health habits, short videos to make health practical.
We are spending 4 days with Ain while his parent are away. I will be adding a few pictures and comments later.
The immediate reason for this page is to post this video of Ain at Checkers. We put it on Facebook but there is so much compression as to render it almost useless (on my PC; it looks good on Cathy’s iPad).
This one is not much better and the orientation is not right (again on my PC). At least Facebook got that right. Oh well, you get the idea.
Like many Americans (and elsewhere), we have an annual tradition of sending a Christmas letter to family and friends with highlights of the year. Attached is our Christmas letter 2013. On this page are the pictures from the letter. While the letter has news of our work, ministry, book recommendations, and more news of family, you can likely guess the highlight of the year: our first grandson, Ain, now approaching 6 months.
The month of June 2013 was filled with expectations for the birth of our first grandchild, due to our oldest daughter Betsy and husband Matt. The sonogram at 20 weeks said they should expect a girl and confirming the due date of June 14.
They planned to have the baby at a birth center (the New Birth Center of Overland Park) which is set up to have the baby as naturally as possible with the assistance of a midwife, a doula (typically a mom who has been through birth before, to assist, encourage, and act as an advocate for the couple in the birthing process), and of course the husband. A nurse is there as well and, if circumstances require, they can be transferred to a nearby hospital. The birth center encourages only those actively assisting to be there during labor. So our daughter and son-in-law came up with a communication plan (they are very organized) consisting of a planned text when they went to the birth center, a text when the baby was born, and updates for family and close friends in-between using Voxer, a walkie-talkie app.
The June 14 due date came and went. Then a week went by. Finally, on the morning of June 23rd, labor started in the early morning, with us getting news via text at 10:37 am that they were heading to the birth center. With this news, our expectation built: it looks like today would be the day.
Initially, labor seemed to be progressing fairly quickly, but slowed in the afternoon, apparently a result of the baby’s head being in a weird position. By the end of the afternoon we received an update that they were able to get the baby repositioned and we then hoped for an evening delivery.
But again, things did not progress. As the night wore on, we wondered when the baby would come and lots of prayers went up. At about 1:00 am, we got this word and decided to try to get a bit of sleep.
In the end Betsy labored through the night. A bit after 5:00 in the morning, we got word that Betsy was finally preparing for the next phase of labor: she was ready to push.
Not knowing how fast things would progress, we decided to head to Overland Park, thinking we could either go straight to the birth center if things were going quickly or go out for breakfast if things were taking some time.
We arrived at the parking lot at 7:10 a.m. and met Matt’s dad and step-mom there. Not having heard anything, we decided to go down the street for breakfast. On the way down, we heard the Voxer update from Betsy, with the surprising news: “IT’S A BOY.” We wondered if she was joking. But Matt assured us they were not.
As they need some time, they asked all the family to come at 10 to meet the new baby and tell us his name. The name: Ain Levi.
From David: I love my girls but like most men, have always wanted a boy. I would welcome a grand-daughter but was delighted to hear the surprising words announcing a grandson instead.
All are doing well. We are grateful.