I thought I'd share the letter we sent with our Christmas cards this year (and if my scanner worked, I'd share the family photo as well!):
This past year has been a busy one. Our family has done some traveling, including a spring break trip back to Arizona, where we visited with old friends, visited tourist attractions like the Grand Canyon and Sedona, and soaked up the sunshine. This past summer, we did a whirlwind tour of the east, starting with Niagara Falls, continuing on to Schenectady, followed by several days in New York City, and finishing with a few days in Connecticut. The last stop was a visit to our dear friends the Bs, who are now Anya’s godparents, as she was baptized while we were there.
D. (13) continues to be a multi-sport athlete. He ran track in the spring, and is quite fast. This fall he played both football (wide receiver) and soccer, followed immediately by basketball. He continues to be a great student. He has passed Paula up and continues to grow taller every day. Most importantly, he is turning into a terrific young man that we find a joy to have around.
J. (11) also plays both soccer and basketball. Her basketball team has been undefeated 3 years in a row! She continues playing piano and flute, is a terrific student and a talented writer. She is the favorite of her younger siblings, who adore her for her nurturing ways. She encourages all of us to savor the special moments we have together as a family.
L.(10) is an amazing soccer player and truly loves the sport. He is also doing extremely well in school and continues to play the piano. He is the kind of person that everyone, young and old, enjoys being around. He is fun and funny, sensitive and caring.
I. (8) has begun gymnastics this year, which she loves, and is steadily progressing from level to level. She continues to play the piano and does very well in school. Last spring she made her First Communion, which was a very sacred occasion. This past summer Paula took her to Chicago for her birthday to visit the American Girl Place, where they had tea and saw a live musical. They also shopped the Magnificent Mile, because I. loves both fashion and shopping. She always looks good and advises the rest of us on what to wear.
T. (5) began kindergarten this year, and is really enjoying it. She is following in her siblings’ footsteps academically, having just begun to read and demonstrating a real understanding of both addition and multiplication. It is so exciting to watch the world of words open up to a child for the first time! More than anything, T. enjoys being with her family and tells us that often.
K. (2) is a precocious toddler. His language skills are excellent, so he is able to communicate well and absorbs everything going on like a human sponge. He loves being outdoors, spending time with his favorite sister Jasmine, and playing with duplos and action figures. Lately he has been doing some testing, seeing just what happens when he hits or pushes A., as she has recently become a walking person with an attitude herself.
A. (1) has just learned to walk, and is about 90% biped, 10% quadriped. She toddles around using the adorable stiff legged gait of a new walker. She has also become quite opinionated , but unfortunately lacks the vocabulary to communicate her every whim to us, which sometimes leads to shrieking. So far, she can say Spot, uh-oh, mama and dada, and is an avid pointer, accompanied by the all-purpose “eh! eh!”
Daryl has had his busiest year ever. It’s hard to believe that he could be any busier, but he really was. It included a lot of business travel, including trips to Germany and China. In addition to teaching and running his laboratory, he devoted time to serving on several department committees and heading up his department’s internal review. Both of his companies have grown and progressed as well. NIT has developed to the point where it is ready to be sold and several large companies are interested, NNT has begun to make enough money to support itself, and is continuing to grow very rapidly.
Paula ran a 5K turkey trot this past November, beating her time from 4 years ago by 1 minute! Her level of activity matches everyone else’s, and she continues to be the household manager, chef, chauffeur, nurse, accountant, etc. and is enjoying every minute of it!
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