Dear Family and Friends,
We hope this letter finds you well and happy. Sorry our letter is late. We wanted to save on postage this year, so we decided to wait and see who would send us letters first, so we would know who to send our letter to! (grin)
We have had good times and sad times. We mourned the passing of the husband of Calvin's sister Terry, Kim Andersen, of cancer. Calvin's cousin, Mike Adair, also succumbed to cancer this year. Both men were in the prime of their lives and left young families. We pray for their families.
Calvin's parents returned from their mission in Argentina last spring. We were particularly delighted that they could come out for a visit and attend Stan's graduation from high school. Later on in the summer we took a trip up to the Hill Cumorah Pageant in Palmyra, NY. We got there very (very) early and got the pick of our seats. The pageant was spectacular. Even our teenaged son, Ryan, liked it. The next day we went to Niagara Falls. We took the Maid of the Mist boat ride, which was awesome!
We really (really) wanted Stan to go away to college. We sent him to Utah where his uncles, aunts, and grandparents helped him tour several colleges. He even got free tickets to a USU basketball game--and sat with his cousins, Matt and Aaron. In the end, however, Stan decided to stay at home and go to the local community college. USU was just too "rah, rah" for him. (Can this be our son?)
Stan won the competition to design the high school's literary magazine cover. You can see a full-size version at his website: http://members.aol.com/staniel13
Stan's rock group participated in several battles of the bands before it broke up. We were not broken up, however, that the practices in our basement ceased.
Ryan has gone gothic on us this year. He only wears black clothes. He has grown a pony tail (but still tricks his Dad into shaving the sides of his head). We keep telling ourselves "ungothic" is only 1 haircut and a change of clothes away. He got his learner's permit. He now must get his grades up to get the good student discount on insurance--or pay the difference--before he can get his real license.
Ryan is our AOL king. He spends more time on AOL than the rest of the family combined. We apportion the cost of AOL and the extra phone line out proportionate to usage. Needless to say, he does not earn enough money to support his habit. This puts him at the mercy of his Dad, who makes him work off his debts doing dirty yard work. This kind of work is not so kind to his well-manicured gothic fingernails, but it keeps him online. Send fingernail condolences to firstname.lastname@example.org. (Der Edgar is his name in German Class.)
Brooke turned 14 right after Christmas, and is starting to act like it. Eighty-five percent of the time she is sweet (down from near 100%just two years ago). Every once in a while her Dad will say a word like 'it' or 'the' and she will storm off to her room crying. We just have to have faith that the people who say this is normal for teenage girls are not lying to us. She went to her first Stake Dance on New Year's Eve.
Brooke played a spring and a fall season of soccer and did very well--she plays forward and does a lot of the scoring for her team. We noticed, however, that her soccer coach does not use the words 'it' and 'the.' This fall Brooke made the all-county middle school chorus. She babysits her brother Trevor, while Janet teaches piano. This means she does not have to do fingernail-breaking yard work to use AOL. She can be reached at email@example.com.
Chelsea finished the second grade and is now in the middle of the third grade. She got baptized on her 8th birthday last April. She is a bundle of energy, and does a great job at playing with Trevor, especially in the evenings when he is grumpy. She also takes piano and dance.
She is really showing her intelligence. We have a Hearts card game on the computer. She kept losing until she figured out she could change the opponents (and their skill level). Now she wins at Hearts much more often. That's using the old noodle.
Trevor has gone from a little baby to a little boy this year. He didn't start crawling until he was 9 months (he just expected the rest of us to carry him); and he didn't start walking until 14 months (for which we were grateful). His first word was "balloon" pronounced "boooon." His favorite word is "doggie," but he doesn't want them to get too close. He learned the words "ice cream," "marshmallow," and "chocolate" with one exposure. His pronunciation is off, but we know what he is saying. His best articulated word is "see," which he sings. "Seeeeee" is what he says when he needs assistance getting into things.
At his last check-up he was at the 75th percentile for height and the 10th percentile for weight. Stan calls him "the long one." Stan has also been giving Trevor drum lessons, since before he could sit up. We are really happy about that. Trevor's dad calls him the "chunky monkey," the "chunk monk," or just "skunky" for short.
While Trevor was nursing, Janet taught piano 4 afternoons-a-week but for a shorter duration. She is now back on her 3 afternoons-a-week schedule. She spent most of the year organizing weekday activities for the 10- and 11-yr-old girls in the ward. Just before Christmas she was called to be the Primary Secretary. She has told the family several times, that Christmas is the exact wrong time to go into a presidency whose job it is to manage every child moving to a new class the first Sunday in January.
Janet is holding our new computer hostage. She says we can't have one until a deck is built onto the back of the house. Because of a recent deck collapse, the new county code is to put the posts 6 feet into the ground. We are hoping Ryan uses AOL a lot.
Calvin is just getting older, grayer, chunkier, balder, and is now starting to grow hair out his ears. He wants to know why it is people are supposed to want to live longer. Who wants to spend an extra 5 or 10 years in a nursing home? If they have laptops, then it would be OK.
His big project this year has been to build up his web site. In fact, this Holiday Letter is just a grey scale page printed off from the color version on the web site. The talks and lessons portion of the site now gets about 5 hits a day. You can find it at:
He has had people from Texas to Japan send him email about the site.
Well, we've droned on far enough. Happy New Year!
LOVE, THE ANDRUSES
(Back to Our Holiday Letters)