This is the letter we included with our Christmas cards.  I’m posting it for those of you who we received cards from but did not have your address in time or at all.


MIKE:    Shortly before the beginning of 2008, in fact the day after Christmas 2007, I started a new job with Purkinje, which was once Wellinx and is now Essence Healthcare, as a Windows/Network/whatever Administrator.   I’m enjoying my work, as it has given me the chance to come in contact with new technologies and has encouraged me to continue my formal education and certifications. I’m enrolled at St. Charles Community College to earn my Associate in Management of Information systems, this fall I passed Linux and Visual Basic classes with A’s.  Next Semester I plan to take another programming class and a couple of basic computing classes that I may be able to test out of.  I mean, who doesn’t know why a twisted pair is called a twisted pair or what attenuation is?  Just kidding!


Then there is the saga of our kitchen remodel...  we gutted the entire thing at the end of July before Allison was born and it is still not completed.  I am sure Adria is going to strangle me the next time I tell her I need to go to Home Depot to get some miscellaneous screw, tool, or supply for the kitchen *Adria smiles and nods*.   We have done quite a bit so far and it looks leagues better than before, however, it was probably a bit more than we should have tackled without some professional assistance.  The last major item we need to finish is the flooring and then the Gratiot kitchen version 1.0 will be complete.  When money and time permits we have already decided some aspects of the kitchen need to be updated, such as the placement of the kitchen island, installing the cabinets the “right way”, and splurging on DuPont Zodiac countertops *Adria is grinning from ear to ear*.  Next year our yard will be the big project and “my” theatre room downstairs is a close second.


Jake turned 2 years old in June and he has been developing so rapidly both physically and mentally in the past 6 months.  It has been difficult for us to see him as our baby boy anymore, most people think he is almost 4 years old according to his size and he can count to ten, name colors, knows most body parts, knows his alphabet (although not in order yet), and is starting to form complete sentences.  Jake loves to sing, his first song was Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.  Jake and Adria would sing it over the phone together while Adria was in the hospital after Allison’s birth; it was a precious moment we’ll always remember.  He is the only child we know that likes brushing his teeth, taking baths, helping his little sister, and of all things asks to be tickled.  He is also considerate of other people by saying please, thank you, you’re welcome, excuse me, and sorry.  This year has been the year of Disney’s Cars and Little Einsteins, specifically Rocket.  He loves his rocket ship toys, but he REALLY loves his cars.  Adria found a set of the Cars matchbox toys and he carries them around everywhere.  When we bought the movie Cars, he wanted to watch it twice a day for the first week we had it; it’s a good thing Adria and I like the movie.  Jake even re-enacts the car races (especially the opening race with the big pileup) and is quite accurate with which cars crash in which ways.  I’m not sure how we were so lucky to be blessed with Jake, I feel he is an exceptionally special child, but I guess all parents say that about their children.


The most exciting news of the year was the addition of our lovely daughter Allison Lucille; she was born September 12 at 8:03pm. Allison has been the complete opposite in temperament from Jake since she was conceived.  Adria didn’t feel well through the majority of her pregnancy with Allison and she could feel Allison practicing for the Olympic gold quite often.  Her birth was the fastest I have ever heard of, it was less than three hours from the first contraction to delivery.  For awhile she did not like to be held by anyone except Adria and at times not even Adria.  After about six weeks she calmed down quite a bit and you can now quite often find a huge smile on her face, Adria even heard her giggle last week.


ADRIA:  Mike covered everything I wanted to say about Jake and Allison.  I even shed a few tears reading about how Jake is growing up so fast because it’s so true, I try to get all the snuggles out of him that he will allow.  And Allison is a little bundle of warm snuggles, at night when I’m in her room and the house is quiet I think of how lucky we are to have her.  There isn’t much to say about the past year from me, I didn’t feel well during my pregnancy with Alli the majority of the time as Mike mentioned above and only went out for groceries and to take Jake to playgroups or Parents As Teachers activities.  Now that Allison is three months old and sleeping longer at night I have found a wealth of energy and have made a New Year’s resolution to “catch up “ with friends and to get to know our neighbors better. 







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