Christmas Letter 2004

 Season’s Greeting,                                                                                                                                                                    December 2004

                 Wow – another year has come and gone.  Can’t believe we’ve actually maintained the same mailing address for over a year.  I must say I enjoyed not having to pack up our house into the U-Haul..  We’ve done so many things this year it’s hard to know where to start, but here goes anyway.

                 So much for the idea that our kids will stay little forever.  Alexis started Kindergarten this year.  Of course mom and dad were sad that our little girl was growing up.  Alexis was excited and pretty much told us to leave her classroom.  I had to take Cathy to breakfast afterwards to drown her sadness with a stack of pancakes.  It’s amazing the interest Alexis has in school.  Within the first month she was already reading…She has more homework than I did in high school.  What happened to the good ole days of the kindergarten I remember?…deciding between white or chocolate milk, figuring out how many more times you can slide down the slide after the recess bell rang and showing your friends paste really does taste good.  Other than school Alexis loves riding her scooter, singing all of mom’s favorite songs, reading her books, playing with her Care Bears and telling her younger brother what to do.  I never knew my little girl had such a competitive spirit until I saw her on the soccer field.   I tell you what, you better get out of her way, because she is going to score!

                 Nicholas, also known as “Dash” from the movie The Incredibles, is doing great as well.  He has a sense of humor than can make anyone smile.  He still spends his time playing with his Hot wheels and dinosaurs.  He loves any kind of animal and doesn’t understand why we can’t have a pet alligator!  Nicholas played T-ball and soccer this year too but wasn’t as thrilled as his older sister.  Unless you were holding his hand on the soccer field while the game was on he was more content finding bugs in the grass…such a boy.  When he’s not reading or coloring you can find him on the computer playing his games…it’s scary because he gets around on a computer better than mom.

                 Speaking of Cathy...The “all can do mom” continues to be the glue that keeps us together.  She’s still working out at Travis Air Force base, at least until the end of January.  She is calling it quits so she can spend more time with the little ones.  She’ll still continue to serve as a reservist but that means only one weekend a month…If you are looking to find her…check out any nearby Diet Pepsi fountain machine, the Outlets or her tanning salon.

                 The kids got to experience their first trips to the snow this year.  It was tons of fun renting the cabin with our neighbors.  Leave it to the Toledo chick (Cathy) to show us how to properly build a snowman.  Alexis and Nicholas really loved zooming down the mountain on the inner tubes…We had Mary come out and visit us for Easter.  The Easter egg hunt for the kids and adults was a blast.  We plan on making the second annual event even better…While Mary was here we took her and Elida to Napa to visit a few wineries.  Nothing like spending the day in a beautiful part of the US enjoying a glass of Sauvignon.

                 Summer time was extra special this year because Diane, Jeremy, Tommy, Kyle and Jared flew in from Ohio.  We took them to San Francisco where we visited Pier 39, China Town, the Golden Gate Bridge and rode the cable cars.   Along the way to SF we stopped in Santa Cruz and spent time eating junk food and riding some rides on the Boardwalk.  Our trip also took us to South Lake Tahoe and Reno.  Too bad none of us hit it big while we were in Reno.  We did some slipin and slidin at Manteca Water Slides...Alexis and Nicholas loved going over to Mark’s house to visit his new pool.  Alexis can now swim without the need of a life jacket.

                                 Our last major trip of the year was to Mexico.  It was the first trip there for Cathy and the kids.  It was so nice to visit Jose and Elida’s winter home in the town of Mexpan.  Cathy was a little nervous about visiting Mexico but once we got there she felt right at home.  Little did she know the amount of family she would have to meet.  Jose and Ramon got a kick out of getting Cathy to try all the new fruits at Mama Lupe’s home.  Don’t mention “Nanchi” to her!!!  Amazing how she and the kids could communicate with others even though they couldn’t speak the language.  The kids couldn’t believe how many cousins they had.  The best part of the trip was seeing Jose and Elida.  We all were able to spend 3 days and 2 nights in Puerto Vallarta at the Marival Resort.  It sure was rough with the free drinks, free food, 90 degree weather and ocean water that was just as warm as the pools.  Alexis and Nicholas never spent so much time in the water.  The first night we played in the ocean until 10 pm.  The kid’s pool kept them occupied the whole time there.  By far, Vallarta was one of the most relaxing trips ever.

                 This year especially, we’ve come to realize how special our time on this Earth is…We are blessed to have an amazing family and great friends to share our lives with.  Although we not physically close to all of you, you are near and dear to our hearts.  Please keep in touch and may the Lord’s blessing be with you always.

Love – Jaime, Cathy, Alexis and Nicholas…