December 21, 2006
Dear Family and Friends,
It’s hard to believe it’s Christmastime 2006 already! It seems like just yesterday that I was writing my 2005 Christmas letter!
Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to each of you!
Now for a family update:
Mom and Dad celebrated their 39th anniversary on December 15th! Tommy took them out to Red Lobster (Mom’s favorite place). It was a last minute kind of thing; Tommy called for me to join them, but I was at Andrew’s 8th birthday party, along with Caleb, and 15 other kids!
Dad turned 69 on December 16th! He's in good health and still enjoying retirement and his grandsons! He enjoys doing ‘stuff’ around the house and helping out Mom. He’s such a good man!
Mom's birthday is December 5th and she turned 62! We celebrated with dinner at Mom and Dad’s. I made barbeque, Wendie made a salad, Corie made the cake, and Tommy got the soda and ice cream. Mom loves spending time with her grandsons. She and Dad typically watch Benny and Matty for a few hours one or two days a week and Caleb likes to stay overnight whenever he can! If it's a school night, Dad takes him to school in the morning. She and Dad love and adore their grandsons and love spoiling them! Mom will retire in April after 20 years with Pennsylvanians for Right to Work. She came in the office to help us out on a volunteer basis. We hired her not long after – she’s good! She’s the detail-oriented, organized one!
We celebrated Corie's 38th birthday on November 15th at Mom and Dad's. Corie’s business (www.coreofficesolutions.com) is growing! I’m so pleased for her. She hopes to be able to buy a house soon! We’re looking forward to having her and Caleb with us this Christmas. Caleb is in 3rd grade and doing very well! He turned 9 on August 17th. He played baseball again this year and made his first double play! He caught a fly ball and got a runner out at second base! A very proud moment for Mom, Dad, Corie, and me – we were there to see it happen! He also hit a double earlier in the season! Caleb is an active Cub Scout and enjoys all the activities. Sometimes, Uncle Tommy participates with him.
Ben, Wendie, and the boys are doing well. Ben continues to work for I.B. Abel in York as an electrician and teaching an electrician's class two nights a week. He loves his wife and boys and it’s so evident! We are blessed to have him in our family. Wendie loves being home with the boys and enjoys selling items on eBay on occasion. Ben will be 38 on March 21st and Wendie will turn 37 on March 25th.
Benny turned 4 on July 23rd and is still quite the conversationalist. He can tell you about metamorphosis! He started Preschool in September and he loves it! He enjoys all the crafts. He's a sweet boy, and he loves Thomas the Tank. He’s asked for only one thing from Santa this year – a magnet Thomas the Tank. He got to actually ride Thomas this year! Wendie sent us the pictures through Snapfish, I ordered most of them, and made Benny his very own 7x7 album of his visit with Thomas! Wendie did all the journaling! Matty turned 2 on November 15th. He’s growing up too fast! I love it when I go to their house and both Benny and Matty run with their arms up for me to pick them up!
My "little" brother, Tom, turned 35 on December 18th! He's working for Wackenhut Security as a senior supervisor, having 16 years with the company. Our nephews adore him. Matty calls him “Hommy!”
I celebrated my 21-year anniversary at Pennsylvanians for Right to Work on May 2nd and celebrated by 41st birthday yesterday! How is that possible?! We celebrated Dad’s, Tommy’s, and my birthdays on December 16th at Mom and Dad’s. In March of this year, I signed on to become a Creative Memories Consultant, and I love it! I enjoy helping people preserve their memories and being able to attend conferences and meetings to learn new things.
I continue to be active at Country and Town Baptist Church, though I’m taking a break as Church Clerk and no longer post the Sunday School attendance. I'm chairman of the Missions Development Council and teach the Preschool II class on Sunday mornings with Cindy. I’m also taking a break from playing Bunko, though I am signed up as a substitute. I’ll rejoin the woman's small group in January that meets on Sunday nights. We’ll be studying the book of Daniel. I’m looking forward to participating, when my schedule permits, in the newly revived Women’s Ministry at church.
The Alvarez kids are growing up, too. Ashley is 16 (she’ll turn 17 in April), a junior, and has a steady boyfriend, Travis. She has a job at TJ Maxx. Andrew is 8 and in 2nd grade. He’s a Steelers fan and enjoys video games AND doing homework! Austin ,my little buddy (I was in the delivery room when he was born!), is 6 and a half and in 1st grade. He also enjoys video games and tormenting his older siblings! He had a really bad stomach flu this year and following a sonogram, found out he’s missing a right kidney. He’s the one who gets sick the most in the family, just recovering from another cold. Caleb, Andrew, and Austin had two sleepovers at my house this year. They love coming to my house, I think just to torment my cat, Penni! We always have fun together! On their most recent stay over, we played Monopoly! Scott returned safely from Kuwait in July and has settled back into his working and home routines. Vickie got her driver’s license right before Scott returned home! Now I can call her up and say “Do you want to meet at Starbucks?” or any other place! And she now has “wheels on her behind!” She is always out running errands or shopping! We still get together on Tuesday nights for dinner out or at her house.
That’s it for now. Let’s remember the Reason for the season and to keep Holy in the Holidays! I’m sure trying….and trying to not get frazzled! If things I want to do don’t get done, they don’t get done. Life goes on!
Luke 2:11 - Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; He is Christ the Lord.
(If you'd like the email version of my Christmas letter that includes pictures, send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) and I'll be glad to send it to you.)