Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We hope this letter finds you healthy and happy. For three years I have bought Christmas cards, made lists, and had good intentions all of which have come to naught. This year I am going to try the generic rout and see if we can make more progress.

Christopher and I have had a busy year. He is employed at BP as a full time computer consultant. A new contracting firm just took over the contract. They kept Christopher on, which makes him a little higher on the totem pole. It also requires that he wear a suit and tie daily. I think it’s handsome, he feels choked!

We also bought a house this year. We have moved about 30 miles outside of Cleveland, to the town of Hiram (home of Hiram College - and little else!) Our house has what my parents call potential. The original structure is 93 years old, and ‘new’ addition is about 60 years old. (This fact being determined by the age of the news paper clippings found in the walls) It has 4 bedrooms, 3 full baths, a living room, dining room, den, kitchen and pantry. None of which are finished. After much trauma and drama we moved in in August. Rather Christopher moved us in in August - I was visiting Biz and Todd in Hawaii, and leading a ruff life in the tropical heat. Bizzer and I had a great time, and flew to Seattle to spend some time with our parents, and the Walsh side of the family.

I am still teaching second grade in the inner city, and loving it. I learn something new from my kids every day. The last few weeks have be ruff, we seem to be seeing a lot more violence. We have had several fights, some knives and nijia stars. How some of these children survive daily life is beyond me.

Christopher and I are also expecting our first child - with a hope and prayer it will have arrived before this letter finds you! We are not modern parents in so far as we did not find out if it is to be a boy or a girl. (Much to the disappointment of my students, who assume everybody knows what they’re going to have!) We currently call it baby Elmo. Considering some of the name discussions we have had, it may well be named Elmo before were over and done with this. I have found few redeeming qualities to pregnancy. I have never been fond of pain, or being sick, and both seem to be constant companions to pregnancy. We are both getting excited about the birth. We have the nursery ready, and my bags packed. Christopher deserves a medal for his patience and help through out. The children at school help too. I have one young man who is very concerned about what color this baby is going to be. He just doesn’t like the idea that it is going to white. They also want to know if it is going to be born feet first. (On some sitcom there was a cabbage patch doll born feet first) They are very fascinated, and are never shy about making comments or touching the baby. They call it their baby, and want to know why it can’t just come to school with me when I return.

The baby is due December 14, but may be induced as early as December 6th, because of all the complications that I have had. Please keep us in your prayers - and the hospital staff too! We are intending to spend a quiet Christmas at home with Grandma, Grand-dad, Uncle Jimmy, and Aunt Mek.

We hope your holiday season is blessed and full.