Saturday, December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas Everyone

Dear Friends and Family,

This year we're going to try sending out Christmas letter out as a blog. We've had quite a bit of excitement this year and are grateful as we look back at 2006.

Family News

We took a couple of family vacations this past summer and they revolved around fishing and camping. In July we went to Long Island Sound, where Paul was working on a research project (for the curious - it's about scientific visualization - you can find out more at On the way to Long Island, we stopped on the Connecticutt side of Long Island Sound and took the whole family fishing for striped bass on Kingfisher Charters. Everyone caught some fish and we then spent a week together on the grounds of Brookhaven National Lab. There were some terrific trips to the beaches on the southern shore of Long Island.

Later in the summer we went camping at the Thousand Islands, where we did some fishing, Tim and Will did some running and we played a game called Nertz.

Elsa and Paul celebrated their 20th anniversary on November 22. In those 20 years we have had 4 terrific kids and have lived in 6 different houses. We had quite a dramatic celebration - we spent time repainting our family room and replacing our couches. We did take a big trip earlier in the year when we went to see Tim perform with the Grammy Band - more about that below. Here is a picture of Elsa at the corner of Hollywood and Vine. We also visited the Santa Monica pier and watched the dolphins playing in the water.

Tim had quite an eventful year that included a trip to California in February to play with the Grammy Jazz Band. You can read about the program at Grammy in the Schools. He returned to our home in Rochester, NY, in time to go through the audition process for music school and is now enrolled at the Eastman School of Music, where he is studying jazz trombone and music education.

Will spent the year growing and running. He is now the tallest in our household and enjoys driving his remote control car. Earlier this fall, he found out about a place with hills and curves and a racecourse for remote control cars. We went to a park and followed the directions he had for wandering through the woods and we found it. Here is a shot of him from the Cross Country Sectionals at Mendon Ponds Park just east of Rochester. Will cut 1'45" off his average time from last year and was given the Coach's Trophy as the outstanding member of this year's team. He will be a captain next year and his goal is to make the New York State races. He thinks he needs to cut about 45" off his time to get there.

Michael loves to fish and play his drums. He plays in the band and jazz band at Gates Chili Middle School and he also plays drums for the praise band at our church, Parkminster Presbyterian Church. In addition to our family fishing trip to Long Island Sound, Michael did a lot of fishing in a neighborhood pond, where he caught a 2.5' pike one afternoon. Paul and Michael also went fishing in a stream that runs through an old lock of the Erie Canal one Sunday. Michael caught a fish with just about every cast (about 10 small mouth bass). Paul caught one, but had a lot of fun watching a master at work.

Emily loves to read and work all kind of handcrafts. Our home is decorated with much of her work, including some stars and a latchhook rug of a tiger. I've also added a picture from her birthday party. One of her gifts was a french horn soloist playing Mozart.

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