Merry Christmas
Aaron Posing We're already late starting the newsletter and we're a bit pessimistic that we will finish it today. Tommy is mixing up gingerbread cookie dough but has needed assistance locating the cinnamon, ginger, brown sugar and the margarine. ("Mom, what's confectionary sugar?") Stephen is working on a new art project involving saran wrap, cardboard, markers and foil. (It is possible to get the entire roll back into the box even if the cardboard tube is lost.) Andrew is in need of chocolate milk, a bandaid for his lip, and a turn on the computer! Aaron needs to try out a new magic trick on us and make a turkey sandwich with gingerbread cookie dough spread instead of mayo. And we are in need of a nap! This pretty much sums up our year.

But then the Christmas season arrives and we realize that inspite of all the ups and downs and around and arounds of the past year, all our Christmas wishes have come true!

This Christmas Aaron and Andrew are Griffins!

Tommy & Stephen Annie did graduate from high school and is doing very well in COLLEGE! (And Becky and Bert are still speaking to each other!)

And, inspite of several hospital stays and threats of a more restricted lifestyle, Bert's dad has bounced back and is out "chasing trains" again.

And Grandma Maxine is flying in for the holidays and her (and Dennis') birthday.

The boys got the experience of having an aunt "living nearby" when Beck acted as campground host at a nearby lake this summer. Dennis got to fish more than in any recent summer and Bert thought it was so cool to have her drop in for coffee. And Dennis and Bert got to go away on the train for five whole days WITHOUT any children. We swear Beck knows more people in town now than we do! We have the camp trailer she stayed in and are looking for a rig that can pull it and seat six. Do you know how much used Suburbans cost?!

We're still dancing, swimming and playing baseball. Tommy and Stephen (and Annie) participated in a dance competition in Las Vegas in July. We survived the 114 degree weather, watched a whole night of thunder, lightning and flooding, and the boys had a great time performing with their GIRL partners. Tommy has added ballet lessons to his schedule and Stephen still enjoys cub scouts.

Aaron and Andrew want to be BIG. We have to "check muscle size" after every PB&J sandwich is consumed. They want to know everything times two. They too are working on their arabesque and pliť jumps in dance. Last summer they progressed from watching swim lessons from the pool deck to hurling themselves into 5 feet of water with big grins plastered on their faces.

Andrew & Aaron at Dog Lake We're already dreaming of taking the boys to Grandma and Grandpa's on the train next summer and there's a dance competition on the Oregon coast and Aaron and Andrew are looking forward to kindergarten and Tommy and Stephen may be on the same baseball team and Dennis wants to teach Bert to design webpages and who knows? You might decide to come visit! And that would be a treat for us because we count YOU among our many blessings!

Bert's typical "To Do" list

Here are some more pictures!

Griffin Family Page