Click the Play button to hear "Auld Lang Syne". Depending on the audio plug-in you have installed, however, you may need to click your right mouse button over the player to display a pop-up menu from which to select your playback options. Since this is a MP3 format file, it is 1MB, so it will take longer to load on dial-up connections. Please be patient. You can also listen to more samples of "Auld Lang Syne", purchase a MP3 version of it, or purchase the entire collection on CD at NewYearsEveSong.Com. The MP3 sample used here is by permission from George Reynoso from AllThatMusic.Com.

<BGSOUND SRC="4traditionalsample.mp3" AUTOSTART= "FALSE" LOOP="true"> "Auld Lang Syne" plays in the background.

The Michael L. White Family
Newsletter for 2005

By Rev. Michael L. White

The 2005 New Year began as usual for us -- without fanfare, the way we have every New Year for the last several years. In fact, since I'm actually writing this to you on 31 December 2005, I can safely say that the 2006 New Year observance will be more of the same, but that's the way we like it.

Anyway, this year has been another bitter-sweet one for us, involving about as many disappointments as pleasures. We had great joy in celebrating the first birthday of our first grandchild, Makenzie Leigh. That was most definitely one of the sweet moments. Like most grandparents, we think we have the most adorable little grand-daughter in the whole wide world, and we've got the pictures to prove it!

Another bitter moment this year came when I was passed over for promotion to the rank of Major a second time. I must admit, it dealt quite a painful blow to me. I will have to leave the Army, effective 31 December 2005, though I will transition into the Army Reserve, where I hope to get promoted, but that remains to be seen. Just pray for God's will to be done, no matter what.

After a disappointment like that, I was due for a sweet moment, and it came when I learned the news that I would pastor a congregation northwest of Mobile, AL. It comes with a comfortable salary, and I start on Sunday, 15 January 2006. Now, all we have left to do is find a new home to move into with all our belongings.

Thanksgiving this year was rather disappointing. One of the companies in my battalion committed a big no-no and caused the entire battalion to be locked down and called in for work until the problem was resolved. The only bright spot in the day was the traditionally lavish meal the mess hall put out for us. While there's no substitute for being with extended family I rarely see any other time of the year, sharing the Thanksgiving meal with troops (even initial entry trainees like those in the 2d Battalion, 19th Infantry Regiment) is truly an event to cherish.

Christmas was particularly special this year, because my brother and his family came to visit from Oklahoma. They get to do that only about every couple or so years, so it's very special when they do. I took a weekend pass, and we went home to visit with our families in Dothan, AL, though we missed seeing some of the other folks we usually get to see. We all enjoyed exchanging gifts, of course. Once again, I shopped for Ellen, and she shopped for everyone else. That's just the way we both like it, too.

Ellen and Josh are both doing okay. They are excited about finding our new home in Mobile. Josh finally passed the math portion of the Georgia High School Graduation Exam, so he now has a regular diploma to take the place of his special education diploma. His dream now is to pass the ACT to get into college. Once again, it seems clear to me that God has a plan.

Well, that wraps up another year in the life of the White Family. I'm finishing this up on Sunday, 1 January 2006, and we're all getting ready to go to church in a few minutes. What better way is there to start a New Year?

I hope your year in 2005 has been at least as happy as ours, and I wish you all a very Blessed New Year in 2006. Until next year, as Dickins' Tiny Tim would say, "God bless us everyone!!"