Holiday Greetings!

This will be more of a New Years letter verses a Christmas letter! The problem is that I fell in love with an 85.00 Christmas dress for Talia. Since I wouldnít spend that kind of money on a dress for myself, I convinced my talented mother to copy the dress for me. It arrived with the flu over Thanksgiving. Thus our picture taking and receiving was moved back to December 22.

Talia has arrived at the magic age of two earlier this month, and our sweet little baby is now a busy big girl! Her favorite words are no and ouch. Both of which she uses liberally and to her advantage for an audience. Shopping when sheís not in the mood is a real treat. She has become a big helper and likes to put the silverware away and set the table as well as rearrange the clothes in her dresser and mine. She sits at the table, and sleeps in a big girl bed. She has become duck obsessive and we travel everywhere with five yellow ducks. Talia could also apply and win the award for worlds biggest Scoooby Doo Fan. Barney look out! She loves to read books, sing, dance, and is starting to count. Our next big adventure is the potty. We have two and have spent countless hours sitting on them, reading books, singing songs, and generally having a good time. Immediately upon pulling up her our pants she potties in them.

Christopher has changed jobs again. This time he wanted to learn more about UNIX. He is currently working at Picker Intl. with his childhood friend Rob Logan. The two share a cubical and ooze computer geek goo everywhere! He recently purchased a new toy, in the form of a motorcycle. Talia and he think itís the niftiest thing in town. In my old age I have visions of skin and pavement having an unattractive encounter.

We have made great strides forward with the house. The downstairs looks like a real house. Last year at this time we were under major construction. We sanded all the barn red floors on the first floor, replaced molding, put in a new fireplace front, wall papering the ceiling (in a very cool textured paper), and painted. With my mothers help, we have beautiful furniture. Christopher and I scavenged through trash cans, rummage sales, garage sales and flee markets looking for the right stuff. With my mothers magic it all tied together and looks great! I framed several family phonographs and found some fun Victorian prints and old frames to finish things off. With the help of my babysitter/best friend Ann, I painted and stenciled the front porch and one of the upstairs bathrooms. We also stripped the four French doors and two kitchen doors. I have the banister stripped and sanded and about half of floor molding stripped.

However, Christopher and I found that our attempts at conceiving a second child were successful much quicker than expected. So our planned June baby will be arriving in early March. This put an end to chemical construction. Iíve moved Talia into Chrisís old computer room. I painted it blue and painted several of Suzy Zoo Ducks and other characters on the walls. I also found an old bed and put some of the same ducks on it. After the trauma of sanding floors last year, I talked Christopher into carpet for her room.

I am still working part time at the local middle school teaching fifth and sixth grade advanced reading and tutoring seventh and eight grade delinquents.

I am enjoying the challenge of it. Itís nice to be able to have the best of both worlds.

We hope the new year finds you happy and well.

Jo, Chris, Talia, and the new to be baby.