19 Feb

Christmas Letter – 2006

Dear Friends,

This year we don’t have any big events to report, we don’t have a new address (unfortunately), we didn’t take any big trips, and we didn’t win the lottery. So, this year we are going to try to entertain you with some stories about our children.

Rebecca is fourteen and in the eighth grade at Regis Middle School.  Rebecca is in band, dance, volleyball, traveling volleyball, basketball, traveling basketball, track, and softball.  I think she’s trying to get us to exceed Peter Gilbert’s record, a guy from Glendale WI, who put one-million miles on his 1989 Saab in 17 years.  If there’s something going on Rebecca wants to be there.  Whether it be rides to school, practices, dance, Cribbage Club, Builders Club, Varsity Girl’s games (which she is one of the managers), Varsity Boys Games, eighth grade boys games (not only one team but both teams), etc.  Last week I put on over 220 miles just driving around town, and that doesn’t include the running that Darell and Grandpa Bob did.

Rebecca is our social butterfly.  So imagine my surprise when I was at parent-teacher conferences this fall and her science teacher made the comment that Rebecca was really coming out of her shell this year.  “Coming out of her shell?”  I didn’t think that Rebecca had ever been in a shell.  I had to verify that she was talking about Rebecca and didn’t have her confused with Rachel or someone else.  When Rebecca was in kindergarten she knew all of the kids by name in school. This fall she had to have ‘A Summers Over/Back to School Party’.  She was counting the days until school started.  School means socialization, being with friends, and having fun. Her science teacher went on to say that her personality was really starting to blossom.  I guess it’s always good to get an outsiders opinion.

Rachel is twelve and in the sixth grade at Regis Middle School.  Rachel is quiet.  The teachers told us that they were going to have to get her a microphone so that they could hear her when she talked because she is so soft spoken.  We’re also working on getting her to be more aggressive on the basketball court.  You know you wouldn’t want to touch or hurt anyone.  (Unless they’re your sisters.)  No fouls on the court for Rachel.  Darell tries to bribe her with money for points scored and fouls made but even that doesn’t work.

Rachel is in dance, plays volleyball, basketball, traveling basketball and softball.  She plays the trumpet in band.  She is also in Cribbage Club.  In math one night she had to do every third problem for homework.  You could do the problems in-between for extra credit.  Rachel did all 60 problems and wanted me to check them.  Rebecca told Rachel, “Mom doesn’t have to check every one.  Live a little, it’s okay to get a couple wrong.”  Rachel and I are both left brained.  Rachel and I need order, are organized and pay attention to detail.  Rebecca is more like her Nana, right brained and creative.  This type of person drives me crazy.

Rachel is the middle child, very motivated and driven.  Whether she’s pitching or shooting she can outlast Darell (or anyone for that matter).  Papa and I are also middle children, we can relate, can you?

Sarah is eight and in the third grade at Immaculate Conception.   She has adjusted well to her new school and classmates.  St. Olaf closed last year and Sarah was the only student from her class that switched to Immaculate Conception.   Sarah is in dance, girl scouts, and softball.  Sarah is the baby and a princess.

Last week Sarah asked me if I had a different name growing up.  I told her no, it’s always been Renee.  When I asked her why she responded by saying that Renee just doesn’t sound like a little babies name.  She must not have been convinced because a few days later she asked me the same question again.

For the scholastic book fair I gave her enough cash to buy two books for herself.  When I picked her up from school I asked what books she had purchased.  She told me one for herself and decided to get one for her classroom.  I told her that was something that I would have done and that I was proud of her.  She responded by saying, “Sometimes you have to think outside the box,” as she was drawing a box with her fingers.

Well that’s enough kids stories for this year.

Wouldn’t you just hate to have a house for sale the way the market is?   Me too!  We bought a one-acre wooded lot near mom and dads in April, put our house on the market in May, designed a house, cleared the lot, and we’re waiting … and waiting … and waiting for our house to sell.  We’re hoping that by next summer we’ll have a new address.  Maybe the good Lord knows that we still have too many boxes to move.  This year I did get thru some old boxes of paperwork.  I threw out an old Sunbelt catalog from 1990!

Amid the hustle and bustle of the holidays, may you find time to pause, to reflect … and to rejoice in the true meaning of Christmas.

Darell, Renee, Rebecca, Rachel and Sarah

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