Christmas Letter 2003

Season’s Greetings,                                                                     December 2003

             Hey remember us?  I hope the holiday season finds you all in good health.  We decided to restart our holiday Christmas letter after several failed attempts over the last two years.  Seems every time I sat down to write the letter something would come up & I’d never have time to finish.  Okay…I was lazy…but let’s see if we can get you up to speed on the latest happenings in our lives. 

            For those of you who have no clue as to our whereabouts – the rumor of us entering the witness protection program has been greatly exaggerated….we are in California!  Some people have compared us to the nomads of the past.  Since separating from the Air Force in the summer of 2001 we’ve moved five times. We finally achieved one of our goals and purchased our first home.  Nestled nicely in the small city of Lodi is our 4 bedroom 2 bath casita.  Most of our time is now spent making home improvements.  The first project was painting the inside.  We veered from the norm and used variety of color schemes.  Our den is red, kid’s bathroom is yellow, Alexis’s room is purple and Nicholas’s room is blue.  I know what you’re thinking…sounds a little crazy…but we did use a neutral desert sand color for the living and family rooms.  The next big project was replacing the hideous carpet.  Let’s just say the prior owners were not the neatest of folks.  The carpet was so bad, Grandma Elida would leave her shoes on when entering the house, that way her feet wouldn’t get dirty!  We also cut down 2 large trees blocking the view in the front yard and got rid of the vast decorative river rocks surrounding the house.  Needless to say this is only a start; Cathy’s honey-do list is never ending.           

            Alexis and Nicholas are great & growing way too fast.  Their adventures spirit keeps us young at heart.  Alexis turned five this year and continues to surprise us everyday.  She is a bright, fun-loving little girl who isn’t shy when it comes to making friends (kind of sounds like her mommy).  These days when she isn’t making forts our of every pillow & blanket in the house, you can find her riding her bike, reading a book, watching Sponge-Bob Square Pants or trying to escape the clutches of her little brother.  Speaking of Nicholas, he is quite the happy, inquisitive, energy bunny that you would expect from a three year old.  If you are looking to get his attention just sit down & reach for a book on animals, play with his scores of dinosaurs, alligators, and snakes or just put on your wrestling shoes, because the kid loves to tangle.  Uncle Mark always seems to be wresting with the both of them.  Still not sure who gets the worst of it…The best part is watching the kids play together.  They really enjoy each other & it’s unusual to find one without the other (unless of course they’re fighting like brother & sister)…The kid’s enjoy going to park, playing at McDonalds play land or going to Grandma & Grandpa’s ranch.  While at the ranch Grandpa Jose takes them to see the ostriches, cows and horses down the street.  They also get their fill on all the fresh fruits they can eat.  Nicholas prefers a peach in each hand as he eats & Alexis loves the fresh watermelons. 

            Our time here in Cali has been filled with a number of adventures.  This summer we took a trip down south & visited Disneyland.  It was a surprise the kids really enjoyed.  I can still hear “It’s a small world” playing over, and over, and over…We stayed at cousin Olga & Steve’s new palace…Last year we hit Reno and Lake Tahoe with the Grandparents (Mary, Elida &  Jose).  Of course nobody hit it big but we sure loved the buffets…Grandma Mary visited again this November and we took her on a magic carpet ride around San Francisco.  For those of you not familiar, you’ll have to visit to sneak a peek…We took a trip to Toledo this summer and had a blast.  The BBQ at Diane/Jeremy’s house was great because we got to see just about everybody.  The week there always goes too fast.  Cathy & I still crack up about the trip to the lake and Diane “losing her shoe”…I also took Cathy on a surprise birthday get a way to Las Vegas.  She had no idea where we were headed, so thanks to everyone for keeping the surprise a secret.  We had a great time, ate dinner at a 5 star restaurant at Caesar’s Palace & capped the night off with 2 tickets to see Celine Dion’s “A New Day”.  If you are ever in Vegas we would definitely recommend the show. 

            As for Cathy, she just started work as a Federal Employee at Travis Air Force Base.  She is still a reservist and has to work one weekend a month.  Her weekends are kind of nice because the kids and I get to go up and stay at hotels and swim all day while mom works.  Isn’t that how it should be?  She won’t go for the idea of doing it during the week too!  Cathy has about an hour commute to get to the base and spends the time jamming to the tunes on the radio.  One perk Cathy now enjoys is that she can wear civilian clothes Monday thru Friday.  After years of putting on the uniform everyday, she is thoroughly enjoying the variety of clothes she gets to choose from.  Take it from me, she sure looks good in the new wardrobe.

            I’m currently working at the Defense Depot in Tracy as a contractor.  I’m doing some system administration work and for now I’m happy with the position.  Most of my spare time is spent working on the house or fiddling around some project on the computer.  If there was just four more hours in the day I bet I could get more things accomplished.

             Well that’s about the latest from here.   Now you have a little idea about our lives over the last year.  Please keep in touch with us and let us know the goings on with your life.  Our home phone: 209-365-0566, Address:  2133 Starling Way, Lodi, CA, 95240.  I’m in the process of updating our web site, so in the next couple of months take a peek & I’ll try to keep it updated with photos. (www.monteon.com).  It’s a work in progress so bare with me.  You can always send us email too:  Jaime@monteon.com.

 We pray God's blessings will be as evident in your life as they have been in our lives.  Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!                                                                     

                                                                Jaime, Cathy, Alexis & Nicholas…