Friday, December 19, 2008

Christmas 2008

Dear Family and Friends,

Greetings! It is this time of year again! The centuries just seem to run together. We hope 2008 was happy, safe and fruitful. We’ve reviewed the 4Cs (camera, checkbook and credit card) for this year’s news:

Spring break in March took us to Kansas City. There are Civil War battlefields there! The girls were soooo excited! There are also nice museums, fun parks, Union Station and great barbecue.

Rachel was 14 on June 15. She is in 9th grade at Jefferson Junior High. In spite of Hank’s ‘help’ she manages to do well in honors Geometry and make the honor roll. She plays baritone in the marching band. She missed the MU and high school homecoming parades due to a sprained ankle, but marched on the coldest day of the year in the Christmas parade. She plays slide trombone in the school jazz and pep bands. She competes in the city’s under-16 soccer league and ran the 800 and mile on the track team. In late July she travelled with the church youth group to Louisiana to help with rebuilding in Katrina’s wake from 4 years ago.

In July we vacationed in California. We visited Yosemite, Monterey and Mary’s sister Jan’s family in the Bay Area. Everywhere the views of smoke were very nice. Uncle Brian took us sailing on the bay and both girls piloted around and under the Golden Gate bridge.

Jessica turned 10 on October 1. She is in 4th grade at Rock Bridge Elementary. She has one of Rachel’s former teachers who does a great job with Jessica’s energy and temperament. Jessica plays soccer and basketball. Her soccer team does lots of face- and hair-painting and always looks very ferocious!

Also in October, we added a hound from the pound to our pet ensemble. Casey is a one-year-old purebred mutt. She gets lots of attention until its cold, dark, wet and time for a walk.

In November, Mary followed Rachel south and did some post-Katrina demolition and rebuilding with the 4th annual church mission trip to the Gulf coast of Mississippi
Mary and Jessica made a whirlwind trip to Washington in early December. Jessica stayed with Hank’s folks for a long weekend while Mary attended a conference. The plan was to miss 2 days of school but then classes were cancelled due to winter weather!

Hank’s parents, Chuck and Elise, are doing well. Chuck suffered a hip injury (like son – like father) and had his gall bladder removed this year, so he’s been ‘on the mend’ and missed a lot of golf this year.

Mary’s folks, Richard and Sue, are doing well. They’ve repressed this year’s Wisconsin Badger and Green Bay Packer sports news and are looking forward to better football in 2009.

Mary works MWF at the University‘s Thompson Center for Autism and Neurodevelopmental Disorders writing grants and journal articles.

Hank still works in the University computer department providing e-mail to the students, paychecks to the faculty and passwords to everybody.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!