|Contact Info for Willy and Deanna:
142 La Floricita
Pismo Beach, CA 93449
Willy's Cell: 805.801.8334
Deanna's Cell: 805.801.1834
Our E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com
Chad's Cell: 805.801.8298
Chad's E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
|Welcome to our annual update! Hold the mouse pointer over the pictures for captions, click on them to enlarge them, then use your browser's back button to return.|
Willy and Deanna have been more involved with Ampsurf events. Ampsurf is short for Association of Amputee Surfers and is non-profit and all volunteer. www.ampsurf.org The organization teaches disabled people how to surf, and does its best to sponsor travel for those in need. The experience is typically life changing for the participants, and inspiring for us volunteers. Although Ampsurf serves all disabled, they make a special effort to reach veterans. Willy completed the required training and became a certified adaptive surf instructor. The first picture is from a day of the VA Summer Sports Clinic. It was held in La Jolla. Each instructor was assigned two persons to teach per day for 5 days. Actress Bo Derek came to support the veterans. Dana Cummings, who is pictured standing by the orange board is co-founder/executive director of Ampsurf. We all met Mario and Julie (pictured standing by Dana) at a Pismo Ampsurf event. Mario has become an avid surfer, and Julie has been instrumental in helping Ampsurf in many ways. She arranged for restaurants to donate meals every night for us during our week in the San Diego area. One of the places that donated meals was the Wave House in Mission Bay. The Wave House has an artificial wave (2 pictures). The wave is developed from water that is squirted up a contoured wrestling mat. Willy tried flowboarding with the other Ampsurf instructors and fell hard every time. Another event was held in Santa Cruz. The last picture was taken the day before the event, showing the cliffs in front of Steamer's Lane. The event was a success, but cut short for safety reasons, due to the swell size.
Deanna and Willy went to Arizona twice in 2009 to visit Willy's parents. In the spring, Willy's brother Garry and family, along with Sheri's sister Cindie, and her son Clinton met us at his parents' place in Phoenix. We drove to the Tonto National Monument and saw the indian cliff dwelling there. We are pictured outside mom and dad's church. Deanna and Willy returned for Thanksgiving, bringing Chad and Nickole, and met Kirk and Melanie there. We took a side trip to Sedona. Of course there was a scorpion hunt on both trips. Ask if you are interested, in the honeybee vs scorpion outcome.
Chad did it again. He carpeted the outside of his car. This is number 3!
Deanna cooked lasagna for our family Christmas dinner this year on the 19th of December. Oops! Willy calmly said "I have everything I need to make spaghetti in 15 minutes." Chad said, "Well, much of it hasn't actually touched the floor..." Deanna, the dental hygienist, responded, "I'm game if everyone else is game..." Much to Willy's amazement, the visitors were polled and a decision was made. Willy's sound judgment was again over-ruled by the hungry crowd and we all ate the lasagna you see pictured. What a touching Christmas memory to pass down through the years... We had a quick gift exchange in San Luis at the trunk of Chad's car during Deanna's lunch hour. Kirk spent Christmas with the Tolans in Kona, and Chad with the Sutters near Sacramento California. Deanna and I went to the Baker house to see what Santa brought Rilee for her 2nd Christmas. She also enjoyed the singing Christmas puppets this year with Auntie and G-ma!
|Involvement with New Life Church www.newlifepismo.org this year included Deanna singing as part of the worship team and choir. The last picture is the ensemble for the Christmas program. Deanna and Willy built a maze with our mats in Berry Gardens for a Halloween outreach event. Willy went on a men's bike ride, a men's retreat and operates the video cameras for some of the services. When Deanna isn't singing she does the audio recording for the church. Deanna and Willy also camped this year at Hume Lake again with about 70 of our New Life friends. We also still meet regularly with our longtime friends in our small Bible study group.|
Lucky was not lucky enough to make it through 2009. Her back legs stopped working at the end. It was very hard to say goodbye to our family pet of 15 yrs. That is her pictured in her wheel chair, donated by an electrical supply company. For Christmas, the Sutter family gave Chad a chocolate lab puppy that Chad named Echo. We are all in love with her sweet and gentle spirit, much like her predecessor. Hence, she is an "Echo" of our Lucky girl.
|There was some more fishing this year. Chad shows a 22 inch Bass from Santa Margarita Lake, and I show a few trout from Hume Lake.|
Actor Ed O'neill is pictured speaking before the Gracie family at a memorial for Helio Gracie
that Willy attended. Grandmaster Helio passed away at the age of 95 in January of
2009. Helio is widely credited with the development of Gracie or
Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. He became the 10th degree black belt (highest
achievable rank) which is actually a red colored belt. Helio made
martial arts history by developing a system where a small person could
overcome a much larger opponent. At 140 lbs, Helio proved his art
throughout his life. Willy has witnessed him at age 90 make young
strong 200lb men look foolishly helpless. Rorion, his oldest son (shown
wearing the red belt) conceptualized and started the Ultimate Fighting
Championship as a proving grounds for the art that Helio developed.
Congratulations are in order for promotions in 2009! Ricardo Miller www.paragonbjj.com (leftmost at table) promoted Chris Lovato (left of Willy) to black belt, Katie Weilbacker to black belt, and Willy to purple. Willy is proud that a female student (Katie) that started in his garage made it to black belt! Kirk returned to the mat this year and started training at Renzo Gracie's Brooklyn School. www.renzograciebrooklyn.com After a few days of training Kirk decided to enter the 2009 Renzo Gracie Invitational. After his first two matches, Kirk was exhausted and laying down. Officials were calling his name for next match. The referee came over and asked him if he was going to compete. Kirk indicated to the referee that he was done and not returning. Kirk's team had a different idea. They carried him out onto the mat and said that he was going to compete. Kirk got up,won 3 more matches, and took first place. Days later, Peter Lawson promoted Kirk to Purple. Willy teaches 3-7 classes per week in his garage.
The Keizers and Staabs came and visited with us. The Keizers also brought Jessica's cousin Catherine. Willy went to Hearst Castle with Darwin and Terri. Willy taught the girls to surf. That's Becky Staab on the pink board. It should be noted that Jessica Keizer, one of the three surf students was 19, and has lived a block and a half from the beach in Hawaii her whole life. Willy even keeps a board in the garage of her Kailua residence. Funny that she waited to learn in the chilly waters of Pismo Beach! Dave & Ellen Hicks came for a short visit from Colorado, and we went with some of their friends kayaking at Shell Beach. Ellen was sent to our area to help with a satellite launch from Vandenberg AFB.
Washington & Idaho
Willy flew to Washington state and visited the Staab and Bliss families. Finally after thousands of relentless invitations from Sandy to visit their Idaho ranch, Willy rode with Sandy to see it. On the way we visited Chadd Bliss and his wife Janelle in West Richland, Washington. He came with us to see it. We toured the 160 acres and caught some tiny trout in his creek. Willy, Sandy and Chadd all met each other in the '70s while attending Naval Nuclear Power School in Orlando Florida, and were subsequently assigned to submarines in Pearl Harbor.
Kirk and Melanie have set their wedding date. The day is June 21st, 2010, the longest day of the year. The wedding will be at the Mauna Kea Resort on the Kona side of the Big Island of Hawaii.
|We hope you all have a great 2009. Please give us your latest contact information. Come visit, call, mail, or e-mail us. We want to know what you are doing! Each of you has impacted our lives and are blessing to us. May our Lord richly bless you all in 2010!|