Family Christmas Letter, 2009

Hey You Guys!

Well, it's "The Holiday Season" time again! [We would say "Merry Christmas" but we met some lovely Hebrews on our tour to New York this year and they do some other "holiday" there] Funny!

We hope this letter finds you all in great spirits and with happy memories of 2009. And, boy was 2009 another roller coaster year for our family? As our favorite Patriot Warrior would say, "You betcha!" So much happened but here are the highlights:

Sam attended swimming lessons between January and March, but whilst he enjoys water on the whole, he doesn’t seem to be too keen on letting go and swimming for himself. Silly kids. I say just THROW 'EM IN! They probably ain't gonna drown or nothin'!

Stephanie and a new friend, Derrick, flew to San Francisco for a visit with her friend, Christine, at Santa Clara University and an evening with her Uncle Jim and Aunt Jackie. We'll miss her! We know Steph will stay "careful" if you

The menu of our Christmas dinner will compose wholly of beef with gravy and corn bread. Our mess is afraid to try anything new, as it might throw us headlong on the sick list in the busy season of house building.

Andy didn't go anywhere the city bus didn't take him, or that he could walk to this year. So I guess we can't brag about that. But Andy's 4th novel is out this year with Stone Garden Publishing. That's something to brag about! Read it and then you can brag too.

Pam has been learning the marimba at weekends: a large xylophone on legs and wheels that spans over three octaves, attacked by up to three players with two beaters each. Sheesh! She has introduced it to some of the senior students, and the children respond enthusiastically.

In Colorado last August, one guy, Omar, whose family was in Iraq, used to encourage us to say blessings on the water we drank. He would say, "When you drink, think of all who thirst..." We can't provide all of humanity with good water to drink or good food to eat, but we do try to spiritually send the strength of water and food and affection to all who feel hunger and thirst and love when we drink. We are the lucky ones....

The dreaded Trigeminal Neuralgia seems to have receded, although John had some pain in the early part of the year which flared up in February, probably due to too much sun on the ski slopes. Since May of this year, he has been pain free. This is the first long time without pain for over 5 years. Hopefully this will continue. Bless!

So, what do you think, does that out-do last year's Christmas letter? Hard to say. This has been a couple years of extreme change, and once again, we survived all of our blessings. Maybe next year will be a little more calm and boring. We certainly hope not!! For now, though we just have to say thank you to all of our friends for your love and support, and Merry Christmas! [To the Hebrews too!]

The Hardaway Family, 2009