Dear Friends & Family,
We hope that our first Christmas letter finds you all in good health with lots of happiness this Christmas season. 2005 has been a wild year of change for the both of us, from the time we met it seems that we haven’t had a still moment.
Hopefully most of you were able to attend the wedding in March; it was great to see everyone, even if we didn’t have a lot of free time to spend with you. For those of you who were able to attend, we hope that you enjoyed the wedding as much as we did. Once the wedding was over we headed to Little Rock where we spent the night at the Holiday Inn Presidential – Presidential Suite (compliments of Brian Rogers) prior to us heading down south for the rest of the honeymoon. Needless to say the honeymoon was awesome and a much needed vacation for the both of us. We plan to have all of the photos from the honeymoon on our website shortly after the first of the year for everyone to see.
The Monmouth Plantation in Natchez, Mississippi was beautiful and the food there was probably the best we had on the whole trip. Cotton was attacked by Mallard Ducks prior to us leaving so that made the trip to New Orleans from Natchez a lot shorter because we laughed the whole way as we looked out for more ducks. Once we arrived at New Orleans we stayed at the Saint Louis Hotel, one of the nicest French Quarter Hotels down there, compliments of James Johnson. We also had some great food while we were there and we are pretty sure that we saw everything New Orleans had to offer at least twice, and it is probably a good thing considering Katrina would visit a few months later…
One side note on the New Orleans trip, while Cotton was attacked by Mallard Ducks in Natchez, the pigeons on Bourbon Street weren’t much nicer and several times picked Cotton from a large group and swooped in on him a few times, who knows why? We figured it must have been his cologne so we have since changed that. Donna was a little embarrassed by the bird attacks and found it hard to enjoy her sandwich at the outdoor restaurant while the birds were swarming Cotton and people were starting to stare at us. The both of us were a little afraid to head home with the top down on Cotton’s car.
Once the first week of the honeymoon was over we returned to Arkansas where we met up with Dustin, Bridgette and Larashleigh, Donna’s sister, brother-in-law and niece, then headed to Batesville to meet up with Mark Martin, Rusty Wallace, and Kurt Busch. Cotton’s company does a lot of work for Mark and his dealership. It was a fun time and Donna had her picture taken with Mark at the dealership, it was great. No sooner than we were able to download the pictures we had taken on our trips we headed out again, this time headed north…
When the two of us first met, Donna had already been working a lot with the student ministry at The Church Alive in Conway so Cotton kind of fell into place there too, although with a hectic work schedule it is sometimes hard for him to attend youth gatherings as much as he would like to. No sooner than we returned from the first leg of our honeymoon in Natchez and New Orleans, we set off to Winter Park, Colorado with a group of other adult leaders and youth from the church for some snow skiing at Mary Jane. The trip was fun, one highlight of the trip came when Cotton and one of the other Adult Leaders crashed head first into each other doing about 60mph down a “black” advanced slope. His ears would ring for a few days after that one. The Rocky Mountains were beautiful as you can imagine and the entire group had an awesome time.
In 2005 we also were taught valuable faith lessons, both of us encountered health issues, Cotton would fight high blood pressure and anxiety attacks while Donna would battle Lupus head on a few weeks prior to the wedding. We are both pleased to report that our health has been restored through prayer and we want thank all of you who remembered us.
In addition to the new marriage, 2005 was also a big change for Cotton’s business as well. Cotton’s company, Powersite, was able to purchase another company, Webworks, and pick up a large number of new accounts. In addition he was able to branch out with two of his friends Greg and Stephen Smart and form a new web hosting company, PLETH Networks, LLC. Pleth hit the ground running and it appears that after one year of hard work they will have 4 servers online with hopes to add more sometime in the first quarter of 2006. If it weren’t for Greg and Stephen, the extended honeymoon would not have been a possibility, they are great partners who Cotton has a whole lot of confidence in and we both feel that great things are ahead for PLETH in 2006.
Anyone who knows Cotton knows that he is a huge NASCAR fan. Through their relationship and proven track record with Mark Martin, the guys were asked to visit North Carolina twice to meet with Team Caliber, who at the time was owned by Roush Racing and would later be sold to NASCAR. Team Caliber was interested in PLETH’s successful e-commerce software and would later contract the guys to develop an entirely new wholesale portal for the company as well as restructure their existing retail presence. The entire process on this NASCAR project would end up being more than the guys could imagine, it seemed that opportunities from this project will bless the guys on into 2006. Cotton was able to return to North Carolina again later in the year with his partner Greg, this time they had a little more time to see everything they didn’t get to see the first time around. The project with NASCAR is still rolling and the guys seem to think that great things will come from it down the road.
Donna has also been quite busy in 2005. In addition to working as a youth leader at The Church Alive, she was also asked to be on the praise and worship team. She fits right in with the rest of the team and has performed a few solos throughout the year. She managed to make it halfway through God Bless the USA this year without crying and did a great duet with Greg Hendrix one Sunday.
As youth leaders, the both of us would end up spending quite a bit of time on the road having fun with the youth, including a few UCA games and even a trip to 6 Flags over Texas where Donna convinced Cotton to ride the big roller coaster they have there, something he has traditionally not been a big fan of. So much for trying new things… The Church Alive Revolution Ministries keeps a pretty full calendar of events, and in order to do that we rely a lot on fund raisers. Of course Cotton would find himself right in the middle of these fund raisers, once he cooked “chick-a-bob’s” at the Toad Suck Daze Festival in Conway and was pounded by golf ball sized hail earlier that morning setting up, and probably the hardest work Cotton got into all year long was during the annual fireworks tent where the guys all wheeled and dealed with customers over fireworks. Cotton did manage to incur the wrath of “The Donna” a few times as he, Ryan, another leader, and few youth learned to make explosives from sparklers. That’s right, it was pretty impressive to say the least, the guys would eventually go on to blowing up several watermelons, a box of chicken, a huge impressive hole in the ground and almost a landscape nursery. Thankfully Garth, Scott, and a few of the other adults were on hand to help Cotton and Crew chase down the lose flames before they had an opportunity to spread. Cotton also had a brush with the Bouncy House Police as he paid the group a visit to the fireworks tent to shut down the bouncy house that Scott had picked up for the smaller children to jump in. Thank goodness Arkansas has enough surplus in our budget to fund the bouncy house police or else they would pop up all over the state and children might have something fun to do…
During the summer we spent a lot of time back and forth between Arkansas or as our niece, Larashleigh, pronounces it, “Arksinaw”, and Oklahoma spending time with her. She is a precious child and we both love her dearly. Her Uncle Cotton and Aunt Donna went with her to the Zoo in Oklahoma City and arrived at see all of the animals with her, it was a blast. She also came to “Arksinaw” and spent a week with her favorite Aunt and Uncle. One highlight of the week with Larashleigh came when Cotton was in his office working and all of a sudden Larashleigh came running into his office with big tears running down her cheeks after Aunt Donna had used that “no” word. Needless to say Uncle Cotton had to help her convince her Aunt Donna that “no” is a bad word. She also made it back to Oklahoma and told her teacher that she didn’t have to do what the other kids had to do because she is prettier than they are… Wonder where she heard that??
Probably the two biggest highlights of the summer was our big get together at the Hoerz Castle (Donna’s Grandparents) on Greers Ferry Lake. We grabbed a pontoon boat that morning and stayed on the Lake pretty much the whole day, it was a blast and the weather was nice all day… Well, most of the day. Cotton and Dustin finally convinced the parents (Donna’s and Cotton’s) to get on the pontoon boat and ride back with them to return the boat to the Marina. The clouds had started rolling in and you could hear thunder in the distance as the long trip to the other side of the lake progressed. Probably about 45 minutes before they would return to the marina the clouds had gotten considerably thicker with rain streaming down and the occasional blast of lightning crashing into the lake. Needless to say Cotton’s mom was a little concerned and began calling loved ones telling them that she loved them when the storm really set in on them, finally Cotton shared more good news when he looked down and noticed that the boat was pretty close to running out of gas. The group aboard the USS Minnow would barely make their way back to Shiloh Marina on fumes. Definitely a highlight of the summer and on the way back home the entire carload of wet people managed to start singing the song “Mississippi Squirrel Revival” for no apparent reason. Still don’t know how that happened?? When we returned to Bakie’s we all got dried up and headed home. As a few of you probably already know, we lost Donna’s Grandpa later in the year, but we can all be pretty sure that he enjoyed that weekend quite a bit and we will cherish the time that we arrived at spend with him as well.
Cotton was also a judge at the BBQ Contest in Helena’s King Biscuit Blues Festival again. This time he brought in some reinforcements to sample the meat w/ him including Dustin, Don, Dad and also Garth, who probably enjoyed it more than any of us there. Cotton and Garth would soon start BBQ’ing on the side for members of the church to perfect their “ribcooking-mojo”.
Also this year a big celebration took place in Oklahoma for Larashleigh’s birthday party. We all headed out to Oklahoma where we arrived at see her be a part of her Christian schools homecoming court, (because she is the prettiest girl at her school). She did great and even after homecoming was over she still had enough energy to change from her homecoming dress into her cheerleading outfit and help the cheerleaders out a little bit. The next morning we went to Olympic Gold Medalist Bart Connors Gym where she takes Gymnastics and had her birthday party. It was fun; Uncle Cotton enjoyed the Bouncy House while Grammy Bakie would impress everyone there when she turned a flip.
Donna would also find herself getting involved with BeautiControl Cosmetics with some of her girlfriends from the church and had a few spa parties this year. She has had a few parties in Conway and Helena, and even managed talking Cotton into letting her give him a Microderm Abrasion. Over Halloween we headed to Oklahoma for a spa party, (and to see Larashleigh). We went to her Fall Carnival at her school had a really good time, Donna convinced Cotton to bid on a basket at the auction and ended up winning another basket full of stuff for the house. The next day Donna and Bridgette put on a spa party for a bunch of women. Pappy, Dustin, and Cotton locked themselves in the bedroom and watched NASCAR and Football all day. It was a blast.
Over Thanksgiving we all headed down to Cotton’s parents house on the Little Red River in Heber Springs and had a great time. Cotton’s dad gave him his birthday present a little early, a smoker, and he even showed us how to “smoke a bird”. The food was delicious and the highlight of the trip was probably either watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade or when Cotton’s mom woke up in the middle of the night and ate every bit of the candy that Nonie (Donna’s Mom) had brought down with us. We are blessed in many ways but family is probably one of the biggest blessings we have and we are looking forward to many more years together with our parents spending time together like that, and of course watching Mojo chase Eddie around the house and growl at Pappy (Donna’s Dad).
Well, that pretty much wraps up a full year and also brings to a close the first annual Rohrscheib Christmas Letter, we hope that you have enjoyed hearing about our year and again thanks to all of you who have been a part of our lives at some point or another. We both feel the Lord brought us together and has a lot of great things in store for the both of us, we will continue to seek those plans and blessings and serve in whatever capacity we feel led.
We wish you all a peaceful, healthy, and prosperous 2006!
Cotton & Donna Rohrscheib
Dear Friends & Family,