Thursday, December 24, 2015
For those of you who have been the unwilling and/or unwitting recipients of this end-of-year epistle in the past, you know that you usually reach the end of reading it even more confused than when you began. It’s sort of like if you packed for a big trip while heavily medicated: once you’ve reached your destination, you open your suitcase to find that you’ve ONLY packed three different shoes (all for the left foot), an oven mitt, and the centerpiece from your dining room table; and your carry-on is full of nothing but chocolate chip cookie dough. Well, you’ve been warned – read on.
Sam has had four major events take place in his life this past year: (1) he finished his first year of high school back in May; (2) he made the honor roll both semesters in his freshman year; (3) he obtained his learner’s permit back in August; and (4) he has surpassed his old man in height. While the last item isn’t exactly something he had much “control” in accomplishing, we think it might be the one of which he’s most proud. (Not to steal his thunder, but it’s very possible that his father is shrinking – so he got some help on that one.) We had the chance to attend an awards ceremony for his honor roll accomplishment, and while we were beaming with pride to see our son being recognized for his hard work, we were also a bit surprised to learn that there are twelve different ways to spell “Courtney” – for both guys and girls, some of which defy all rules of phonics and cultural traditions.
Earlier this year, we were . . . shocked, frankly, to learn that not only did Jack get accepted to two colleges with great engineering programs but received a scholarship to one of them. A month or two later, he received his assignment to serve a two-year mission for our church in Iquitos, Peru. All of this was done BEFORE he had actually graduated from high school, which he did, fortunately. With his college options and scholarship deferred, Jack spent the summer getting himself ready to depart for Peru in August. Many of these preparations were arduous and exacting, which included going to the local doughnut shop and setting a record for the number of doughnut holes he could stuff in his mouth. (The number is 15 for those of you are up for a challenge.) One of the other things he had done to prepare himself was taking our Ford Ranger off a jump – he admitted this to us at the airport on the day of his departure. He’s now in Iquitos where it rains 10 feet/year, and he’s eaten grilled anteater. Send him an email at email@example.com.
Erin got roped into heading up the women’s organization at church this year, which means Sam and I have to make ourselves scarce at the house on occasion so Erin can have women come over to eat cake and talk about secret women stuff. We’re fairly sure they’re plotting an overthrow of a small third-world country – for the good of the people, of course. Earlier this year, I had enough grey hair appear in my head to cause the folks at church to bump me up to the oldest men’s organization – you don’t get out of this one alive, if you know what I mean.
Our door is always open to you. Even though, as I write this, it’s warmer in New York City than here, this is still a great place to visit. Be careful how you pack, but rest assured: we’ll make good use of the chocolate chip cookie dough.