Tag Archives: Poston Family

The Poston Family 2014 “You Gotta Belize Me”

31 Dec

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Once upon a time a long time ago there was a young man that escaped his boyhood home and made a place for himself in the idyllic islands of Hawaii. He fell in love with the green mountains, white sands, blue waters, and one particular local gal. The two of them got married, had a houseful of kids, and made a rich life in a colder environment. But the tropics remained in their hearts and occupied a good portion of their minds. As they began the transition from parenthood to grandparenthood, they knew it was time to reclaim their place in the sun. And so it came to pass that they bought a tropical island where they lived happily ever after.

This fairy tale is the overarching theme of this year’s update. As official “resident retirees,” Billy & Richele spent a good portion of each month at Royal Belize entertaining friends and family, overseeing renovations, catching rays (both kinds), and getting to know our wonderful new family members that live on island. It is a special place that we want to share with all of you. Come for a visit.

Real life happens back home where the world turns faster than ever. “Bully” gained another grandson and lost his Suburban in the transaction. Marshall Jack Kory was born in July and he and big brother Walker like riding in style. Both babies came for a five-day visit right before Christmas that required both their aunties and their uncle to pitch in. “Gigi” fell right back into parent mode, throwing a party for 60+ people with a twenty-one month old on her hip after four sleepless nights. Gigi’s got it going on. That doesn’t mean that everyone wasn’t ecstatic when Jensen and Sarah showed up late in the day on Christmas Eve to reclaim their little angels.

Charisse had a bucket list year at Tulane and is one semester away from graduation. As the short one with blue-green-purple hair, she was the ~*hot popular n cool*~ one on the Homecoming Court. (Her hair is now its natural color but, of course, her head is shaved.) She was named Senator of the Year in student government where she considers “agitator” to be an honorific. After teaching middle school in NOLA last summer she has decided that is her future. If her Fulbright Fellowship comes through she will spend a year in Turkey teaching English. If not, we’ll resume the conversation on the differences between a “job” and a “real job”.

Cheyenne was the surprise salutatorian of her high school class. The subtle message of her graduation speech was “I Am Never Coming Back.” After a celebratory trip to London and a brief flirtation with the idea of becoming a full-time SCUBA guide in Belize, she began her freshman year at Stanford. The Big Bang Theory is a lot more fun now that she explains the formulas on the whiteboard in Sheldon’s apartment. A committed Cardinal football fan, she has taken to assigning statistical probabilities of success to each play. She is thankful for the concept of the Gaussian distribution, her bicycle, and the phở in the Stanford dining halls.

Little brother Jacob is in his junior year and no longer requires much parenting. As long as there is food in the pantry and gas in the tank, he can handle the rest. He splits his time between school, swimming, League of Legends, and his friend-who-is-a-girl. He made it to the state swim meet as a sophomore, spent some time this summer training with Olympians at USC, and is on track to dominate this year. As the only remaining object of his mother’s parental attention, he is beginning to dream of college and may someday soon be able to articulate which one may be of interest to him. Good Wi-Fi seems to be his number one selection criteria.

Richele added “island hostess” to her job description this year. This role involves a lounge chair, a book, and a beverage. She still serves on the board of the local education foundation where she played a role in something called “Purse Mania.” As far as we can tell this involves drinking wine and buying purses all in the name of philanthropy. Billy thinks there is a profitable business model in there somewhere. The family’s slobbering lab experiment came to a sad end this summer as Tyson left us after a quick downhill slide. Richele is now the devoted caregiver to Cheyenne’s left-behind beta fish, Minerva, but it is really not the same.

Billy continues to plot and scheme. His consulting firm Kalypso is going strong and growing fast. He is developing the ability to be in more than one place at a time. He taught five courses of Housley at three universities this year while starting two new businesses, expanding Stelos, speaking, and writing daily. After spending 55+ days in Belize this year, he has the island bug and talks non-stop about building an empire in the Caribbean. After a failed attempt at delivering his new boat from Florida to Belize, he went to Cuba (before it was cool) to scout resort locations – and to drink lots of mojitos and daiquiris. He got a real good tan for Christmas.

In addition to Belize, Cuba and London, we got in family ski trips to Telluride and Snowmass, enjoyed a couple of weeks on Anguilla, and spent Thanksgiving in New York. Billy and Richele got away for a birthday week in Las Vegas and hosted the annual “Aloha Summer” luau for the tenth year in a row. Belize, however, was the destination of the year. We took a total of ten groups of family and friends down to enjoy the island on different trips. Diving, snorkeling, fishing and laying around are the favorite activities.

Home base continues to be the Texas Hill Country where we go to check the mail and pretend to be normal. Paradise is wherever we happen to be at the moment. The year ahead will bring new adventures and milestones. The calendar is already filling up with exploration and excitement. Stay tuned for news ahead and come join us for some craziness. It will be fun. You better belize it.

Catching Fire Family Update

31 Dec

Family 2013

The Poston family candle not only burns at both ends, this year the whole thing caught fire. Just thinking about 2013 is exhausting. We work hard to cram a lot of living into every day of the year. We made some memories worth noting in our search for perfect peace, hit some milestones on the journey of life, and chose to ignore a lot of nonsense going on in the world. Catching fire is fun.

In March, Jensen’s “grand surprise” came in the form of grandbaby, Walker Rye Richard. Jensen and Sarah are wonderful parents and we think grandparenthood is – like hyperbole – the best thing ever. As Gigi and Bully, we get all the good stuff. Walker FaceTimes with Richele so much that he seems confused when she appears in three dimensions. Billy even changed a diaper, raising his lifetime total into double digits. We are setting aside money for Walker to deal with the inevitable body image issues that will surface later in life from being called “little fattie” during his first year. In all seriousness, this is one big, happy, roly-poly baby.

In her junior year at Tulane, Charisse assumed parental responsibility for three underprivileged fraternity boys and is housing them in the Pine Street Projects. She spent the summer cruising the Mediterranean and doing “field work” in Marrakesh, Mykonos, Malta and the like. Charisse successfully navigated the train system in Italy and acquired the “best tan of her life.” For this she received nine credit hours. Remember college? Ever the activist, she went on a hunger strike to protest the government shutdown this fall, although it only consisted of not using real mozzarella on her pizza bagels. Her honors thesis is on the effect of hairstyles on social interaction in developing economies. Charisse has it all figured out. She is teaching us to properly pronounce “summa cum laude.”

As a senior, Cheyenne combines brilliance and discipline with an “act like you’ve been there before” attitude about her most exciting accomplishments. After studying the Theory of Relativity this summer, she decided to attend Stanford University next year, likely on her way to a Nobel in some field of science that we don’t understand. The subject of her application essay on a historical event was a critique of Luke Skywalker’s destruction of the Death Star. She is the MVP of her high school swim team, star of Academic Decathlon, and won 1st place in a state chemistry competition named NaChO. (Surprisingly not an eating competition.) We bask in her glory and hope that she doesn’t try to explain covalent bonds or wormholes to us again. The Force is strong with this one.

Jacob passed his driving test with a score of 84. This gives him the highest score in the house by ten points, parents included. With his license and vehicle he has become a free-range teenager. We are not sure what life will be like next year when he is the only one left in the house, but he is encouraging us to take lots of weekend trips alone. Jacob has become a serious swimmer breaking records and hearts meet after meet. His swim team honored him with the “Charger Pride Award” in the spring making him the first freshman ever to earn this recognition – if you don’t count his sister. If you can overcome the gravitational pull of his laptop, he loves adventure. After spending a week in the summer catching sharks, he spent Christmas SCUBA diving with them.

After retiring from her long career as a taxi driver, Richele changed her occupation to community volunteer (and exercise fanatic.) She got hornswoggled into a seat on the Boerne Education Foundation Board of Directors and quickly learned the oxymoronic definition of legislative leadership. Politics are vicious when the stakes are small. Her new role as grandma Gigi is destined to be a classic. Oh yes, we will remember it well. Richele is also the reluctant primary care giver for our narcoleptic Labrador, Tyson. That job requires almost as much love and understanding as her ongoing struggle to get Billy to finally complete obedience school.

Billy may have gone over the edge. Since the name of his consulting firm is Kalypso, he and his business partner decided to buy their own island. They keep talking about brand support or some other nonsense to justify it. We don’t really care as long as we get to go. You can go, too. Check it out at www.royalbelize.com. Ask for the friends and family rate. In addition to tropical ventures, Billy continues to teach the Housley Principled Leadership course and will be at three universities in the spring. He is active blogging about innovation, supporting a couple of startups, raising money for Stelos Alliance, and serving Texas State on the Development Foundation board. He manages to squeeze in work between frequent trips searching for snow, sun & fun. He remains disobedient.

We moved around as much as ever this year with family trips to Deer Valley, the Inauguration, San Diego, Lake LBJ, Kiawah Island, New Orleans, New York a couple of times, and the Bahamas for Christmas. Richele and Billy left the kids for a week of sailing and diving in Belize, a long weekend in Cabo, a party in Monterrey, and a first time trip to Palm Springs. We also went to Chicago for a taping of Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me. And then, of course, Billy travels for “work” to places like Saint Martin, Belize, Monterrey, and Cabo San Lucas. Nana and Papa celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in Houston in July with a sunset cruise.

Home base continues to be the Texas Hill Country where we go for peace and our version of normal. It may not be the Utopia we set out to create, but it is pretty good when we are there. The family is growing while the number at home will shrink further in the year ahead. Who knows what the future holds? You may have to come visit us on the island where we will be spoiling grand kids.

Jens

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