Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, 2005


By Connie Marks


This Christmas letter will definitely be better that last years as many of you never received one.  I got very sick in the whole month of December and I just couldn’t finish my 14 page letter. This one will be shorter. 2004 and 2005 have been very big years as we moved into our dream River Ranch home on about 50 acres.  Many of you got tired of hearing about the place and had even given up on us getting it, but all of your prayers were worth it as God did amazing things to get us this country place  in Mc Gregor, Tx. My cousin Jim Lane helped us get it. After praying at the river about it, we felt certain that this was where God wanted us to be.  Bob was given the scriptures in Jeremiah about the River and we made our absolutely final offer.  I asked God for an answer on Father’s Day as I was driving Marilee and her friend Tashley across the country and one half hour later. the realtor called with the good news.  We finally sold our beautiful Lynnwood home and had to say good – bye to so many wonderful friends.  I still can hardly forgive myself for moving, but we know that God brought us here to Waco and we have to trust that he knows what is best even if I can hardly stand to not see my best friends every week.  Marilee, Tashley and I drove over 8,000 miles as we went from Texas to Seattle to Washington D.C. to meet Bob for a Campus Crusade for Christ Faculty Retreat, to our farm in West Virginia for a week over the 4th of July (where we had a wonderful time with cousins and Aunt Betty) to my brother Rick’s boat with sailing on Kentucky Lake and then to Waco to close on our ranch and then to start moving in.  Bob and I moved in for 4 days and then we flew to Budapest for a wonderful 30th Wedding Anniversary.  We had a lot of fun with Don and Hong Wunsch and their son little Donnie seeing the sights and having bus adventures. 

From Budapest we flew to Seattle for the fabulous life changing event of Jeremiah and Leslie’s Wedding.  They were joyfully married July 9, 2004 at our church, Alderwood Community Church. The dinner reception was especially incredible and made possible by the hard work of many of my friends such as Trudi Wheeler and Mary Sutton. The prayer by Peter before going down the isle was a very special highlight for Ann and me. Both of the moms’s started happily crying at the very beginning. I could write pages, but a lot of you were there, so I will say that the Wedding Shower that Signe Shuck and Ginene Ferrell organized was amazing and such a gift to me as well as to Leslie and I am sure none of us will forget it. Another highlight never to be forgotten was Joshua’s humorous toast. 

 After we flew back to Waco and Jeremiah and Leslie were off on their Honeymoon to Canada, we started to unpack for a couple of days and then Bob had to fly back to Germany and then on to Paris for another trip.  I was supposed to go, but the tickets got mixed up, so I stayed home.  Marilee was starting her Senior year!   Our friend ,Lou Marks also moved in with us and stayed in our party barn.  He was a good sport at hunting down all the 49 hornet nests and biting red ant piles.   


As many of you already know, On August 23, 2004 Joshua and Matt Wescott were in an almost tragic car accident.  They were driving across the country from Seattle to Texas to start the fall semester, when an animal, like a fox ran across the road.  Josh over corrected and the S U V went flying and flipping.  Joshua broke his neck at the C-2 vertebrae.  A nurse and a police officer saw the wreck and stopped and saved his life and set his neck exactly right.  He was air lifted to a large hospital in Sioux Fall, S.D.  God answered the cry of my heart and saved Josh.  When I way praying one and one half hours before the wreck God spoke to me through the Holy Spirit and told me Josh would die in a tragic car wreck! I cried out to God to save him, to send angels to help him and God did!!!  I will never forget all the Lord has done for me this year.  I had to drive 1,000 miles to see Josh in S.D. The Lord took care of me in every way and instead of 6 weeks in the hospital we were out in 5 days.  God provided a wonderful Christian family to take us in and help us heal and rest until Josh was well enough to ride all the way home to Texas.  Bruce and Bonnie Steventon and their son helped us so very much and were an answer to prayer and a great example of God’s provision in a time of need.   Many of you have prayed all year for Josh’s recovery.  He was in a terrible head gear and a head brace for 10 months.  His recovery was difficult, painful, and lonely, made bearable by the prayers and wonderful phone calls from many of you. Alice was so wonderful to fly immediately to help Matt and Josh. Matt had injured his knee but otherwise was amazingly unscathed.  Just when I thought Josh could not go on, one of you would visit our ranch to cheer him up and help him pass through the recovery time.  The wonderful visitors included great friends like Kevin, Sean, Christina, Joel, Signa, Jesse, David, and Uncle Ray and of course many visits from Grandpa Charlie.  Joshua is still building up his muscles and working with physical therapy and the Chiropractor. Josh has come so far and we are very encouraged.  Josh started M.C. C. this fall and is happy to be having a full life again.


Marilee graduated from High School this year and we are so excited that she started Baylor University this summer!  She really loves Baylor.  Her major is still a question mark, but she has a great attitude.  I said what if you have to take calculus?  She said, I won’t worry, I will just walk over to Dad’s office and he will explain it to me.  When he explains it to me I understand it and I get it.  She got her first job working at Hall Mark in the Mall. We are very proud that she worked hard enough to get into Baylor and Bob loves having her there.  Her grades just came in for the fall semester and she is doing absolutely fantastic!


Jeremiah and Leslie moved into our guest cottage on our River Ranch this August.  Leslie graduated from Pacific Lutheran University as a music major.  In April, I flew to Seattle to hear her sing at her big Senior Performance and she was fabulous.  She is now working on choosing a graduate school for next year.  Jeremiah and Joel started a new business called Kurbmarks last spring.  They worked during the summer painting the stripes on parking lots and they did very well in their new business adventure.  They would like to start a new business together sometime.  Joel has recently moved in to the barn at River Ranch. After 1 and ½ years of sharing with us, Lou has moved out and gotten his own home in Waco.  Jeremiah has another year left at Baylor in the Business School.  He has earned two amazing business awards at Baylor.  As the leader of the X Tax  Price water house Coopers Competition, recently we were especially pleased when they announced the Baylor Winners and even more so when his team was evaluated and chosen to compete for a National Award.  The team was awarded $11,000, fine steak dinners, and a trip to Washington D.C.  In January, Jeremiah and Leslie and his team will be flown to Washington, D. C. to present their ideas and research on a new tax question. If he wins this national competition we will really be tooting our horns for the New Year. A highlight for Jeremiah and Leslie this year was a trip along with her two sisters and their husbands to visit family in Venezuela.


This last 2 years has really been a roller coaster life.  As long as I keep my eyes on Christ, I seem to do well.  Taking care of Josh consumed by life, but I was very grateful that I was able to do it and I was happy that Josh could recuperate by the river.  One highlight was Josh and David catching an Alligator Garr fish in out river! It only took 3 days and new lines and a stronger net to get him.

  Josh and Grandpa talked me into two adorable dachshund puppies to help entertain him during his recuperation.  We are amazed at Ringo and Sweetie.  Ringo will even fetch sticks in the middle of the River while persevering through long belly flop jumps. I also started raising Dalmatians.  I have a girl named Genesis and I am still looking for a mate for her.  She is so sweet and wonderful I can hardly believe it.  Our farm is growing, as we now have chickens.  I love to collect the fresh eggs and Bob loves to eat them as he is still enjoying his low carb diet.  Our orchard is coming along, although we lost two fruit trees from the armadillos.  Now the dogs go hunting at night and corner the armadillo and Bob comes to the rescue and shoots them.  They are cute, but I hate all the holes and rooted up plants that they destroy.  I am even becoming a hunter with my trap.  I have gotten several critters.  Next on my list is to get horses and cows.  This spring I painted my horse pasture fence red and it took a long time as it is about 10 acres. We got some of our fences mended and now I need to finish the cow pasture.  I really love it here in the country and can hardly wait to get the horses.  I am working on some horse trails, so when you come to visit us, be ready for a great adventure.  We love the weather, most of the time, except for the hot in the summer.  It is 10 degrees cooler by the River with the water and all of our beautiful live oak trees. Spring and Fall are fabulous.  Last week it was 87 degrees and the next night it froze.  Fall and Winter come around the middle of December. I am so mixed up on the seasons that I am sure that is why I am not ready for Christmas.  Well, that’s my story and I am sticking to it.


My dad, Charlie, has had another challenging year this year.  He almost died of congestive heart failure at the end of May.  I spent June and July helping him to move out of his Corpus Christi home and in with us.  In August he had a slight stroke and he is recovering quite well. He really loves to play Rook and Scrabble with all of us almost every night and of course he enjoys Bob’s movie theatre.  He is trying to teach the guys more about fishing and they are teaching him more about the computer.

Bob is working and working and he loves it. He is especially pleased with the work is he is doing on Intelligent Design with William Dembski, a new friend.  He says he is tired of traveling and has cut back his trips quite a bit.  He’s finishing a book on engineering.

Josh turned the big 21 this year and he loved the election debates and getting to vote for the first time. When people come to visit, we like to visit nearby Crawford, the home of President Bush .  Marilee is the big 18.  Marilee enjoyed playing in the senior powder puff football game. It was great that Signa came for a visit and got to watch her game.  Signa and I had a wonderful time taking walks on the ranch and of course scrapbooking.  Her visit was a great encouragement to me.  We even took a very quick trip to Corpus Christi with some time on the foggy beach and a tour of San Antonio’s River along with the Alamo.  These are some of our favorite places to visit when friends from out of town.  While visiting in Seattle, I also got to spend time with good friends like Signa and Ginene. I also got to spend time with Alice and we had a wonderful time scrapbooking at her cottage at Ocean Shores. Spending time with Dani and Christina was very special too. Of course I wanted to stay much longer, but Josh needed me at home, so I am looking forward to more Northwest visits.

Last year, I assisted Ann Bradley in teaching a Biblical Womanhood class to Baylor students and a few faculty wives.  This year I am helping to teach a Bible Study/Scrapbooking class at Highland Church.  In August I started back to college and I will be completing Massage Therapy School in April and after passing the state exam, I will be a Licensed Registered Massage Therapist.  I am currently working on family and friends to get extra practice in and of course there are always people who are happy to help me with my homework!  The course work is quite rigorous, but my nursing back ground is coming in handy as I am currently at the top of the class.  Now we have a great place to visit, and I even give massages so I hope that will be plenty of motivation for you’ all to come down and visit us!  Give us a call at 254-848-9622 and get your reservation in at the Marks Bed and Breakfast River Ranch. This Christmas season, we are blessed to have Uncle Ray, Tashley, and the entire New -house Family visit us for a celebration.


We wish you all a very Happy New Year and hope it is one filled with hearts and souls that are joyful in the Lord and following in Christ’s plan, because we have discovered that is the best way to have a Happy New Year!