Yo Ho Ho!

Well here it is December, and as I sit wondering just where in the hell year has gone, I know I can no longer procrastinate and must write this letter. Who knows? Perhaps Iíll even mail it before Christmas this year. I love to shock those I know best!

Speaking of the passage of time, I have been officially graduated from High School for 10 years this past June. Christopher, sport that he is, attended the festivities held in recognition of this momentous event. The event was OK, but the 10 year mark was wonderful incentive to get in touch with a lot of old friends, and take several walks down memory lane. Iíve decided I had good taste in friends even back then! One of the many blessing I have to count this year.

Christopher (for those of you who know us well, please donít be shocked and donít say this too loudly), is still at Picker Intl. It will be three years in July, and while he still scans the paper weekly, appears to be satisfied for the moment. He, with a multitude of swearing and assistance from his children, brought the mighty red boat, AKA Marauder roaring to life this summer. It is currently in driving, but not stopping condition. As my car has a multitude of maladies, I have been trying (unsuccessfully) to convince him to let me drive the Marauder. While that scenario is highly unlikely, we may be building a garage early next year!

The house, AKA life time project, is continuing it forward progress. Over last Christmas we removed the walls, drop ceiling, and old flooring in the kitchen. Christopher sanded the floor and it looks great. Much to my mothers dismay, weíve made no further progress. However, I secured a roll of butcher paper, and the girls, and our assorted friends have made some stunning wallpaper. Christopher also sanded the upstairs hallway and I finally finished stripping the woodwork, railing, and balusters (with tiny round crevices) up the stairs. With the help of some wonderful friends I wallpaper all 2 1/2 stories of the stairway, the front entry way, and the upstairs hall. I wisely chose very plain wallpaper that I wonít get tired of until Iím rich enough to afford to hire redone! We also carpeted my bathroom and it looks like a real room We replaced the upstairs bathtub in the hall bathroom. It wasnít a priority job, until in the process of fixing a minor leak, Christopher, the plastic tub, and the reciprocating saw had an ugly encounter. As good an excuse as any to redo another room! When heís finished with the tile, Iím contemplating the painting of the alphabet all over the walls! We put the girls in bunk-beds in one room, and Iíve covered it with Sandra Boynton characters. The other room is their playroom. Our next major project is our bedroom. We also did extensive gardening this summer. I eliminated all of our island gardens and did some nice specimen gardens, as well as enlarging the herb and vegetable gardens respectfully. Of course it was one of the luckiest springs on record. Donít worry, I only have maintenance intended for this Spring, thus you can look forward to nice weather!

The girls continue to be a delight. Talia was 4 yesterday and so grown up. She can write all her letters, count, say her ABCís, and read some basic words. She is in preschool twice a week, and loves it. It is a co-op, so parents are required to volunteer time. Christopher is there currently with her. She was very proud to be taking her daddy to pre-school. She loves her computer (currently a faster variety than mine! However, her daddy reformats hers, sells parts, ect. I like having a quote on quote slow piece of trash Macintosh! He keeps his grubby mitts off! Talia has also learned the great art of tell jokes, the way only preschoolers can. "Why did the chicken cross the road? Because of the bubble gum." Followed by great amounts of hysterical laughter. I love it.

Olivia is quite the copy cat of her sister. Gone is the sweet angelic baby of last Christmas. As predicted she learned to crawl in a day, walk in a day, and her first word was a complete sentence, "I want cake!" She is very determined and single-minded. She seems to have a daredevil side as well. She jumps off the stairs, the higher the slide the faster she climbs. Everything is a great discovery. She too loves books and babies. She is very careful with her babies hugging them, feeding them, and then she get side tracked, dumps on the floor and moves on. Everyday when I pick her up after school, she runs to the play kitchen and brings me a cup of coffee. She loves Taliaís preschool too. Other parents had trouble getting their three and four year olds to stay, I have to carry my year and half old out of the room kicking and screaming! She attends all the parties (as I am the Party Mom - what a great title!) and loves it.

My traveling was limited this summer. I went to NYC to visit my friend Sandy with Biz in June. We saw a play, and ate dinner out on a sidewalk cafe, and thanks to my mother, I didnít have to change a single diaper for 5 days. Yea. I also went to WY with my dad, brother, and youngest sister in July. We also made a multitude of the mini trips to Rochester and Dayton. We also made a brief Chicago visit this Fall. My travels will once again be cut short this summer as I was formally- conditionally accepted to Notre Dame for graduate school. They claim you must complete a few classes before you can be fully accepted. Iím not sure if thatís so they know you can do the work, or pay the tuition. I guess Iíll find out in January. Iíve also joined a womenís reading group I really enjoy. I think it is helping me be a better teacher. I continue to teach fifth and sixth grade Reading, and have been blessed with some really nice classes this year. It makes such a difference!

I hope the coming year finds you healthy and happy. With best wishes,

The Cobbís

(please note the lack of specific holliday, this still maybe a New Years Greeting!)