Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

It was 6:30 this morning and I heard that all familiar sound from my cell phone. I got up to check and found a message from Siri. She wanted to tell me my snoring was keeping her awake. Now if you don’t know about Siri, she lives inside your I-phone 4. You can talk to her and ask questions or have her call or text someone for you. She is your own personal assistant right there in your phone. Normally she would not start a call on her own, but I guess if she needed her rest and I was keeping her up, it is understandable. There is only one problem. I don’t have an I-phone. I have an Android phone. I’m wondering if perhaps she was just visiting my phone and decided to spend the night. What is the gestation period for little Andrapples?
Before I could get back to bed and pull the covers up over my head, my phone went off again. This time it was a different ring tone. I got up again to check. This time it was my Android; he figured that since I was up and neither of us was going to get back to sleep, perhaps it would be a good time to start the annual Christmas Letter. I tried to get additional information from my phone about what had just happened, but his screen went blank and he reset himself. I’m guessing he wanted to wipe out his short term memory before he spilled the beans.
So, my friends, here I am. It is 6:45 AM and I am starting to put thoughts on paper. Have you ever wondered who is in control? Is it you or your electronic devices? I used to laugh about getting up to go to the bathroom and checking e-mail before returning to bed. Now, I have my phone reminding me that I should pay a bill or wish someone a happy birthday. I appreciate the help remembering, Lord knows I need it, but whose life is it anyway?
Pat is still working for the Secretary of State but is nearing retirement. Knee surgery is also in her near future. I am still House Doctoring in a semi-retirement mode. My body/mind wanted to retire long ago but my fiscal needs have not allowed it.
So, where should I start? If I followed the norm for social media, I would start with the most recent. I guess I did that with the opening, but for now, I’ll just be old fashioned and start with January. Did you ever wonder why the year starts in January? It’s winter, the days are short, and it’s cold. Why not start with a natural beginning like spring? What if we all started our own personal year on our birthday? Then we could go around saying, “happy New Year” all year. But I digress.  (What’s new?)
January in the Sriner household is the code word for Eagle watch, and we did our share of that this year. We spent many hours at the Havana Nature Center, resting inside while we scoured the skies for the majestic Bald Eagles. As they glided toward our sanctuary, we all headed out like bugs from a burning log. Cameras scanned the skies and shutters clicked in rapid succession. Then it was back in for picture viewing and comparisons. The more the river freezes, the more the eagles congregate around open water at the locks. We have had sightings in Keokuk of trees filled with over 50 eagles. What a sight. At times the branches bend under the weight and it would be easy to reach up and grab a lucky eagle feather. Unfortunately, doing so, might get us a stay with Governor Rod in a limited access federal housing facility.
With my 65th Birthday just around the corner, I had decided that a birthday gathering for all our classmates who would be sharing this Medicare Mayhem would be super cool! The date was set and Pat and I started the planning. What started as a simple “gathering,” somehow swelled into a $5000 class event. By March, we were so stressed out; we needed to get away for a while. Pat and I met up with Kim in New Orleans for a southern shores spring vacation. We traveled all along the coastline camping as we went. We saw the great golden moon rise along the beach in Destin while we were visiting Nancy and Bill Dillen along with a few other classmates; then we drove across Florida to meet up with Karen Waters and Bryan in Jacksonville FL.  It was an awesome trip and we got to see many old friends. Sometimes I wonder how they got so old!
May brought with it a new sprout on the family tree. Emily Seunghee Oh jumped out, hair first into the world. She quickly stole our hearts and continues to dominate the Oh family gatherings. Joshua turned 5 and he is a super big brother to Emily. Steve has a new position with a previous employer ICON. It was an advancement and now he works from home. Krystal is still teaching English at Pleasant Plains HS.
June marked the premier showing of the new TV reality show, “It must be Friday”. The pilot episode aired June 1st  and 14th. It started with me at my Primary Care physician’s office. He is looking into my right eye saying, “This is completely black”. This is followed by a flashback to a recent encounter with my previous optometrist who is saying, “No, you don’t have to worry about cataracts. You are a long way from needing surgery.” At this point we scan forward to the surgeon who would make the final decision regarding my ever-darkening vision. The third scene took us to the surgery pre-op. Draped in the customary hospital garb, I am shown getting the first of many eye drops before surgery. The camera zooms in and goes into a slow motion as the first drop hits my blinking eye. The drop bounces off the eyelashes and makes the first splash on my cheek. As the procedure continues, subsequent drops follow similar paths until there is a raging waterfall down my face and torso only to end up somewhere in that black hole known as the belly button. Then, I watch the walls speed by as I am catapulted down the hall into the operating room. In my semi-conscious mindset, I look up at the surreal picture where the stand of doctors and nurses look like a dense forest of tall trees. The bright sun above looks almost heavenly and I hear a voice from the distance. “I don’t like the looks of this! He isn’t dilated at all!” There was a pause as I drifted deeper into the drug induced bliss. The last thing I remember was a short discussion regarding the wisdom of continuing the procedure. With that the scene ends with the caption, “To be continued.”

The second half of the pilot shows the next day in the doctor’s office, I was asked how I was. I replied, “Fine, except that I can’t see out of my new eye.” One check of the eye pressure explained the problem. The pressure was 49 compared to my normal of around 17. Homeland security classifies this as explosive. One bump and I could blow up the entire clinic. The Doctor looked and said, “I don’t like this!” I told him it was a lot worse from my side. He described the next procedure in medical gobbly gook, but I got the translation. He was going to put a needle in my eye and draw out some fluid before I exploded and took half the city block. That ended the two part pilot. The show has continued the rest of the year with regular Friday appointments trying to fix the screw-up. I have had slits in my eye and excessive inflammation even down inside the eye. Every procedure seems to end in a lot of prolonged pain and irritation. We have been preempted most of this month for seasonal programming, but I will be back on next month with another “two slits and we are done” episode. I’m hoping this will be the last procedure.
After more than 6 months of planning, the SHS 65th Birthday Bash took center stage in mid-July. I was quite proud of the success but very relieved it was over. It started on a Thursday night with pizza at Gabatoni’s and went into full swing Friday morning with a golf outing. I spent the morning in a golf cart following the golfers around trying to police their play. They explained to me that it was OK to use multiple balls on each hole. I also found out that if the foursome agrees, your T-shot can be a “Gimmy”. I didn’t understand all the new rules for friendly tournament play. I did learn how much fun they had.
We finished Friday’s festivities with a casual mixer at the Comedy Club. Saturday started with an early morning behind-the-scenes tour at the Abe Lincoln Presidential Museum. Local ALPM members were able to get everyone in free. This was an unannounced bonus. At noon we migrated over to Cozy Dog for lunch and then out to the Elks Club on the lake for the afternoon and evening. Dinner included prime rib and a dessert cake with the now famous 65th Bash Logo!
The final event was a breakfast at Wanda and Dave Keil’s house Sunday morning. We played an adult version of hide and seek – stalker edition for a while, but with limited hiding spots, it was difficult.
With the Birthday Bash, also known as “Medicare Mayhem”, fresh in our minds, Pat and I decided to take the party to the mountains and had a mini-bash at Rocky Mountain National Park. We were joined by Carl Crouch and Jay and Joyce Kesinger. Kim joined us on this trip too and we had a great relaxing time.

There were several other gatherings for the SHS class of 64, including one for Dianne O’Keefe home from California with her family.
Our Christmas Gathering pictured below was well attended and enjoyed by all.

Somewhere around mid-year, Kim decided she would return to Springfield after graduation in December from SIU Carbondale. She would have her Master’s Degree in Counseling. She planned to move into Gram’s house, next door. The house, having been empty and unheated for 3 years and rented for 3 before that, was in complete disrepair. I made plans to buy the house and get it ready for Kim. This has been a true labor of love; OK, it is also an investment, but I don’t think I would have worked so hard if Kim were not moving in. It got a new roof, new drywalled ceilings, repaired plaster walls along with electrical and plumbing work. To cut costs, I have done all the work. Something about a 65th birthday party and carrying 90 pound bundles of shingles up onto the roof do not go well together. I called it my reality based stress test. Actually, the real stress has been the paperwork needed to complete the title transfer. It is still in limbo. Andrew Friedman, Kim’s boyfriend will be spending part of his holiday break with us. I hope his hand fits a paint roller. He is finishing his Doctorate internship this summer.
Steve and Krystal, not to be outdone, also needed help finishing their basement. Throughout the year between other work projects, I found myself laying ceramic floor tile, installing molding, electrical and plumbing. This is another project not quite complete. But just like Kim’s, it is now at least partially functional as am I!
This brings us to a close of 2011. As I look back, I see two major themes for Pat and me. One was a lot of hard work. The other was a year filled with the rekindling of friendships. In early youth, it is all about ourselves; in school, it is all about our friends. As we mature, it is all about our families; and now as we age and our kids are on their own, we find time to return to the old friends we had. For those who also find themselves in this period of life, enjoy every minute with friends and grandkids, because the next phase takes us back to the beginning. We do have an advantage our parents didn’t have and that is the ability to use the internet to connect with friends thousands of miles away. We can text and tweet, e-mail and skype. We can exchange thoughts with the speed of light through the social networks. It is amazing. So, whether you follow us on Facebook or one of my blogs, stay in touch. The love of family and friends is the only thing that can last throughout eternity. It is our wish that all people realize that we are all headed for the same ultimate destination; only our travel agents are different. To each and every one of you we wish you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or whatever blessing your faith embraces. May your new year be filled with Peace, Joy, good health and prosperity.

Love and Light,
Pat and Dulany

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Letter 2000


Welcome the new millennium!
Merry Christmas 2000
It seems to be that time of year again. Time for the yearly update of Sriner family events for family and friends.
During Easter break this year, we went to Grayton Beach, Florida so we could meet up with Krystal and her boyfriend, Mark. We spent a week on the beach enjoying the Florida weather and sunsets. Ask the family about driving 60 MPH in a 15 MPH zone to get to the beach for the last chance to see the sunset before we all went our separate ways in the morning. We came North and they went back to Orlando. It was a sad parting as usual.

 Is time speeding up, or are Pat and I just getting so old and slow that everything seems to be fast by comparison? We moved Krystal to Florida during the summer of ’99, but it seems like just last summer. Now that I think of it, it was just last summer but we weren’t moving her to Florida; we were moving her back from Florida. Looking back, I am getting frightened. The first time she moved, it was to a first floor dorm room. As years went by, she kept going up. By the fourth year, she was on the fourth floor and it was a walk-up. We got her moved home from college, and it was off to Florida. Before we were completely rested up, it was back to Florida to move her home to Illinois. She could only stand about a month of Thursday night leftovers before she knew she had to get her own place. Guess what? We moved her again! This time it was only four blocks away but it seemed like more because she is upstairs again! She is all settled in her apartment  and her new job teaching 7th grade English at Franklin Middle School but she is already talking about moving again! If I know her, it will be a walk up mountain hideaway. And guess who gets to carry everything up the mountain? She is definitely a moving experience, but we are proud of her independence, even if she is still bringing home her laundry. But not on Thursday night! Leftovers.
  Kim is in her own world either working on her computer or giving someone at school a piece of her mind if not the toe of her shoe! The boys know not to tell any “women belong in the home” jokes around her.
Science Fair project
Last winter, she was awarded an “exceptional” in the school science fair and a first place at the Regional. She moved on to the State Competition in Champaign where she received a second place! We were certainly proud of her. We look forward to a repeat this year!
After a boundary change for the new middle schools, many of the neighborhood kids had to transfer back to their old 6th grade school even though we were within walking distance of Franklin. Fortunately she was in the gifted program which was centralized this year into Franklin. Yes, there are two Miss Sriners at Franklin Middle School! I think they both like having each other around. Kim is doing well with all her classes and she is quickly nearing the end of my math expertise. The gifted program is planning an 8th grade summer trip to Orlando to visit some of the educational sections of the theme parks. We think it is a great opportunity but Kim is rather blasé considering all the time we have spent in Florida over the last two years.
After more than ten years at SIU School of Medicine, Pat has moved on to a secretarial  job with the Secretary of State, Senior and Community Services Department. The general atmosphere at SIU was getting worse all the time and most of the long time employees had left. She hung in there longer than everyone else. She likes her new job but says she doesn’t have enough to do. I guess you just can’t win. I know I like being able to pick her up at 4:30 and not have to wait for 30 minutes while she finishes up something. Only time will tell how it goes. I think it is a stepping-stone to another state job.
I am still inspecting homes, but with the soft real estate market, I have had more time to work on my web site. I love my computer, but I was born just a little too early to get into it at the right time. The kids today graduating in the computer fields have grown up with it. They are the true computer age adepts. I just need to learn to quit tinkering, but that is just my nature. I crash my computer on a regular basis but I am getting better at resurrection. My web site is
Last October we were able to be with my sister, Carol, and her family at the baptism of “Tanner”, Mike and Kathy’s new baby. It was nice to get together with the family. It isn’t until you get older that you realize how important family is. Carol and Tanner below.
That brings us to the present. There have not been too many changes unless you count moving, new jobs, state championships, vacations, and a potential trip to Florida. Just about the same as last year! The biggest and best change has been having the family together again. It is especially joyful at this holiday season. Below, Kim and Krystal decorating cookies on their “snow day.”
I hope this finds you all well. And may the joys of the season carry throughout the coming new year. May good health and prosperity be with you always.
With Love and Light,
The Sriners.
Dulany, Pat, & Kim

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas 1984 - 1999

Dear Friends,

It is that time of year again. A time you have all been waiting for. Sit back and relax while you read the sequel to last years widely acclaimed CHRISTMAS LETTER  1983 this years smash hit CHRISTMAS LETTER 1984. The title just came to me one night in a nightmarish-like dream.

You will recall from last years letter that we had decided to commit ourselves; to an annual Christmas letter, that is. We knew that was the best way to obtain peace and happiness. We promised you all an annual report on our newly acquired superiority. So, it is with "tongue in cheek” that we send this Christmas greeting.  (If by chance you missed last years Presentation, additional copies are available with a SASE)

1984 started out like a rock but as it rolled down the mountain of life it gathered no moss. I like the way that sounds, don't you? Pat has changed jobs again and the new job promises to be even better than her last one. (That's why she changed) Now she is with Project Quality. She is still working with district #186 it Lawrence Adult Center which is so close to home that she can come home for  lunch Project Quality evaluates the adult education Programs throughout the state. She has mastered the use of her new trash 80 computer. They sent her to school to learn how to use the word processer and out of a class of at least one she was the top student. We were all very proud of her. Her new job is on a ten month basis so she will have two months off in the summer to be with Krystal.  This new  Job also has the added benefit of Paying lots more than what she was making when she wasn't working.

In February of this year Pat was offered a job in Dallas Texas.  The position was with one of the largest banks in Dallas. The salary  was about twice what she makes here, so we thought we should at least go down and take a look. As it turned out the trip was a kind of paid vacation. The interview lasted all day. We  liked the  idea of the salary increase but we just weren't ready for the fast lane in Dallas. Housing costs were out of sight. We could get a real  nice little Place in the slums for under $80,000. It just wasn't the place for us!

You should remember Krystal was Put into a first second grade split class last year. We were somewhat concerned but it worked out well. She liked being with the older kids. In fact her boyfriend  is an older boy. He is in third grade now. They correspond regularly but she hides the letters. I feel she is a little young for serious entanglements but you know how it is with this new generation.  This year she is back with her friends in second grade. She  is doing so well that there is no doubt that she will be able to apply to Harvard or Yale for' college if she wants.

This year has also brought a new addition to our house. Some of you probably didn't know that we were expecting. The arrival  took  place October 13th. We are now the proud parents of a one proud turtle. His name is Timathy  T. Turtle. The T. is for Terrapin.  He  is a most beautiful green and yellow, Red Eared Slider.  Now some of you probably remember your pet turtles. They were about the size of a half dollar and cost about  the same. Times have changed this one  is  about six  inches across and costs considerably more.  Next  time  I  will  check  before  I  make promises. Timithy T. Turtle lives with Krystal in a 20 gallon aquarium half full of water. Now before you get a picture in your mind of a seven year old sharing an aquarium with a turtle, let me clarify myself. Timithy T. lives in an aquarium. The aquarium is in Krystal’s room. A couple of weeks ago we had a weekend guest with us. He/She (I forget to look) was a white guinea pig from Krystal’s class at school. Shep wanted to play with him but we decided that wasn’t a good idea. All in all, Krystal is growing bigger, better, smarter, and prettier with each day and I can say that with prejudicial honesty.

My year has gone stupendiously. I had planned to win a seat in congress but my ‘write in’ campaign fell a little short. I only got one vote. I guess the judges couldn’t read my name on the other ballots. I can’t understand what happened. I even got beat out by Wilby Nogood and he died two weeks before the election. I think he got the sympathy vote. You can be sure that this is only the beginning of my political career. Don’t forget! I write Christmas letters!

I am still house doctoring while I wait for a political appointment. I also started teaching again. I am teaching a class for the Adult Education Department. It is a 12-week class on basic home maintenance. It has been very successful and I will be offering it again next semester.

I am also taking a correspondence course from the Institute of Children’s Literature. I have only completed one assignment but it promises to be rewarding. You will probably be seeing my name on Time Magazine in the near future as the most promising childrens author of 1985. I think I have made more than my share of promises.

I am going to wind this up for now as I am expecting a call from the resident at the White House down the street.



YEAR 1985.


The next letter jumps all the way to 1999

Christmas 1999
Condensed version ( I know; Thank God!)

Doorway to the new Millennium

In preparing to write this, I looked back at that notorious first Christmas letter I wrote. It started like this:

Dear Friends,
For years Pat and I have read the wide varieties . . . . . . . . . . .  Next year we can tell you about all the good things that have happened in 1984. This year we will just have to tell you the truth!

A long time has passed since then. At that time, Krystal was just entering school. Now Krystal has entered a new school but this time she is the teacher! Looking back on this year, it is obvious that our life revolved around these changes. In May of this year, Krystal graduated from Augustana College in the Quad Cities with a Bachelor of Arts degree. She was certified to teach English in the upper grades. So, the early part of the year was devoted to graduation and all that goes with it. We had a nice party here and many of her previous teachers came to wish her well.  In July, The Florida statewide job fair was in Tampa. She flew down to that and on the second day she was offered and took a job at Lee Middle School in Orlando. She is now teaching 6th grade English.

With the summer half over, now we had to get her moved to Florida. The end of July, she and Courtney drove back down to Florida. She had new teacher orientation for the week before school and in her spare time they had to look for an apartment. They lived in the Marriott near the airport at the school districts expense. The end of the week, Kim and I drove down to take more important stuff (computer) and to pick up Courtney and bring her back up north. It was a quick three-day trip. As soon as we arrived home, I had to start packing Krystal’s furniture to take down in my small trailer. The trailer was open so I shrink wrapped EVERYTHING! Once I had it in the trailer, I shrink wrapped the trailer with all its contents. It was certainly a site but I wasn’t taking any chances. It was a long drive. So, the first week of August, Pat, Kim and I headed for Florida. 
Moving day, Krystal went to work; we went to move. We were aided by Wil and Elizabeth in this labor of love. Now picture this, a trailer full of furniture with shrink wrap holding it together, an apartment up a flight of outside stairs, the temperature was typical for Florida summer, high 90’s, humidity that made fog look dry and four overweight, over 50, movers. Kim was the only one that looked up to the task. As it turned out, removing the plastic wrap was as difficult as moving the stuff up the stairs. But we did it and just as the last item was in place, Krystal came home from work!

In the 1984 Christmas letter, there were only three of us. Kim was not even born. Now she is in 7th grade at Franklin Middle School.  She came home from school the other day telling us she was voted “the student most likely to succeed in life”, also voted “the best student in her class”, and voted “the biggest flirt”.  I’m still not sure which one held the highest regard!  We do know, she is an excellent student and gets high marks (Straight A’s) on her report card.  But, I’m still not convinced that was the highest of the three! She spends most of her time on the computer either gaming or communicating. She has friends all over the world. It certainly makes it a small world. She e-mails, chats and even has a voice chat program that they use to hear each others accents. She e-mails pictures and I assume it won’t be long before she will some how set up a picture phone. That’s my Kim truly in the computer age. She is always showing me how to do something on the computer. I can see in her eyes she is thinking “Dad, don’t you know anything about computers?” She has always been the one that had to show the teachers how to do something on the computer. Sure glad we have smart kids to take care of us.

On a more serious note, November 21st,  Pat received a phone call from her  (ex)sister-in-law, Judy, who told Pat that her brother, Jerry (age 54) had died of a heart attack that morning as he was getting out of bed. In talking with Jerry’s wife, it was apparent some harsh feelings were still there. This was echoed in the obituary that left out surviving siblings. Pat was glad she had made peace with Jerry a short time before. This was a sad end to an already sad chapter in her life.

This once-a-year letter brings with it peace, love, and joy for the very Merriest Christmas for you and your families and to wish everyone the most prosperous and happiest of New Years.  Bring on 2000…we’re ready for the New Millennium!

    God bless each and every one of you!
                    Love and Light,

                Dulany, Pat and Kim
                   (and Krystal in Orlando)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Sriner Annual Christmas Letter

Today starts Christmas week. One week from today is Christmas. To celebrate the week, I will publish copies of my Famous annual Christmas Letter. On Saturday, Christmas Eve, I will be posting this years creation. I hope you enjoy this look back at Christmases past.
The year was 1983 and the following was the first Sriner Christmas Letter:

Dear Friends,
For years Pat and I have read the wide varieties of Christmas letters from friends and relatives. Year after year, they come bringing good tidings and all the good news from the Previous year. They tell of Prosperity and good health. There is always a list of the many accomplishments of all the children and relatives. With all this in mind, it is obvious to us that everyone who takes the effort to write and send Christmas letters is always rewarded with another year of unlimited good luck. Now, we too will join this list of those who shape their own destiny by sending the Notorious Christmas Letter. You must keep in mind that this is our first wear so you might say we are just priming the pump. Next wear we can tell you about all  the good things that have happened in 1984. This year we will just have to tell you the truth!
The year started off with Pat's being out of work and my business being next to non-existent. Fortunately,  the winter was not too severe so it wasn't too bad without any  heat.  The Christmas candles we got for Christmas were a help, when they shut off the Power. The bean seeds that we had saved from the garden started to sprout in the basement; so we did have some green vegetables for a change. We let the dog out every morning to scrounge the neighborhood for his own food. By the time February came around, things started to get bad.  The candles were gone,  the bean sprouts were starting to mold and the neighbors started to  lock their garbage can lids. It was right then we decided;  NEXT YEAR WE SEND OUT A CHRISTMAS LETTER!!
Immediately things started to turn around.  Just knowing that things would be better seemed to help. My work began to pick  up. Pat got a new Job with a local law firm as a legal secretary. For Fathers Day, Pat registered me for a drawing at a local  Jeweler. To our surprise I won a $200 Gift certificate.  Krystal  started back to school. Now she was in the first grade. At  last she was going to school all day. This gave me more time to work  and Pat didn't have to worry so much. Our bills were caught up  and we were sitting on top of the world. Pat was on a roll; so she put our name in a drawing at a local department store and again we won first Prize. It was an all-expense Paid trip  to Washington, D.C. Things were going so well that we decided to get a new truck for my business as we now felt we could afford the Payments.  We took the trip to D.C. and enjoyed every minute of it. As the trip was for four People,  we were able to take my Mom with us.  When the time came to come home, we were simply overjoyed to think  of' how well everything was going. Things were so good,  we didn't think we would need to send out a Christmas letter after all.
That was a mistake! Krystal's class at school was split up  and she went into a new lst-2nd grade split class. She had to  leave most of her friends. She came down with a sore throat and since I was in the middle of a Job, Pat had to stay home with her!  Pat's boss didn't like that, and she was laid off!  PERMANENTLY!! I now we had a new truck and Payments,  with one  less Paycheck.  Pat's Parents left for their trip around the world in 81  days so we lost that regular free meal. Then the teachers went on strike and the schools closed down. By the time Krystal was back in school, Pat was ready for the funny farm. You know how it is with forced vacations, when it is too cold to Play outside - Disaster!!
It was obvious to us that  it was the old Christmas Letter Syndrone. We had to make a firm commitment to send one out.  So here it is.
Now, Pat has started back to work with the school district as a secretary. It doesn't pay as much as she is used to, but it is a doorway into the system. The work is enjoyable because she  is working in the refugees Program and she can work with people. She needs to feel she is doing something for People,  so this new Position looks to be very' rewarding in that respect. I  had been keeping busy with my work until this month, which is always a slow time. It gives me a chance to work on my new computer and get my books in order for the start of a new year. It also gives me a chance to write this Christmas Letter. Krystal is back in school and she loves it. She has really taken to reading and is reading way above her grade level. Being a Poor reader in school  myself, I really am glad to see her doing so well.  Looks  like we are settling back to normal. It is comforting to know;  now that we have sent out our first Christmas letter, we will no loner have to worry about the future. Now we have our thoughts in order.

Next year we will be able to tell you all  the good  news this letter has precipitated. But for now, let us say,

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
May the Glories of this Christmas Season fill you with love and Peace and may they stay with you throughout the coming New Year 1984.
With love and Light,
Dulany, Pat, Krystal
& Shep