December 2001

The leaves are almost all off the trees, the nights are frosty and for the past two weeks the days have been cold (for those of you from cold climates this means in the 50’s), so we feel as though winter has finally arrived. As we approach Christmas and the New Year we all stop to reflect on our many blessings. You are part of those blessings.

As usual the year has flown by with so many activities involving the “kids”. The summer was unusual with all of us in different states or countries. We also had an exchange student with us for 5 months. (Lillis is the daughter of Patty’s longtime friends from Finland, and the younger sister of the girl who lived with us for a year 6 years ago.) Patty and Jenk celebrated their 25 th wedding anniversary with a three-day cruise to Mexico, a first for both of them. Another joy was a party celebrating what would have been Patty’s grandmother’s 100 th birthday with relatives arriving from as far away as Washington state.

Marc is in his third year of biochemistry studies at UCLA. He moved into an apartment just off campus with 3 other students in the fall since he could only stay in the dorms for two years. He continues to be very involved with the marching band and has traveled as far as Alabama with them. (Jenk and Patty went to most of the home football games at the Rosebowl to see the band perform.) At UCLA he works in one of the libraries a few hours per week, and when he is home “on vacation” he continues to work in the customer service department of the Magic Mountain amusement park.

Beth’s life is one of continual motion with non-stop activities. Along with long hours of nightly homework she continues her involvement with the marching and jazz bands (she was again drum-major of the marching band), various honor societies, Girl Scouts, volunteer work at the hospital, running (She came in first in her age category for the Santa Clarita half-marathon in November.) with the school track and cross-country teams, etc. She doesn’t sleep enough, but she is happy. In her “spare” time she tutors math to earn some extra money.

Jenk has spent many fewer hours at school this year than last year - hurray! Although we stay at school later than I would like, he has only seldom gone to school on the weekend! In his spare time Jenk’s two favorite activities are genealogy research and learning Linux (a computer system). Part of his Christmas present was a router that enables him to have several computers on line at once - a joy for him since Beth seems to spend much of her at-home time on the computer.

Patty has had another healthy year, missing only one day of school the whole year! Teaching school, along with keeping track of where everybody has to be and when keeps her busy. The high points of her year were the cruise and her short visits with good friends during her stay in France and in her days with the Watts in North Dakota.

In June, Jenk left to drive to Texas. He spent nearly a month visiting his brothers and sisters there and in Oklahoma. Marc worked all summer, but did take a few days off to fly to Arizona to visit friends. Patty took a group of her students to France to live as exchange students for a month and Beth went too. They both lived with (different) wonderful families and made many new friends. Patty’s family will be coming for two weeks in the spring with a group of French students.

Since Marc’s return from school yesterday we can all join together to wish you all a very Merry Christmas, and may 2002 bring the world and us all peace!