Dear Family and Friends,
Whew! We've survived another year. Spring brought us a deck on the back of the house and fall brought us the job of power washing and sealing the deck. Oh joy. Calvin dragged Janet and the kids to Philadelphia to see Independence Hall, the Liberty Bell, the Mint, and Valley Forge (it rained). They got back by dragging him to Hershey Park (it rained). In between we stopped in at the Amish farmer in Lancaster County who was building our new kitchen table.
Janet's mother came for a visit in the fall. Too bad Janet and Calvin weren't here to enjoy it. The kids got to have Grandma's wonderful cooking--including homemade noodles, taffy, and bread, while the parents visited friends in Paris for a week (it rained).
While Trevor turned three in September, he has yet to shed his terrible twos. When we asked him how his first day at pre-school went, he responded, "I only hit one kid." He can be a nice kid when he is watching cartoons by himself. His vocabulary exceeds his intelligence. He was supposed to take a "G" word item into preschool. On his own, he suggested 'garlic.' Two days later his mother showed him some garlic. He asked what that stuff was. She said garlic. He then asked, "What's garlic?"
We would like Chelsea to ease off a bit on her social calendar. She organizes some get together nearly every week. It would be nice for her to clue us in earlier than 5 minutes before she needs a ride--or before a garrulous gaggle of girls gather in our garage. She did cheerleading this fall, and is a bus patrol and mediator in the fifth grade, and believes she must attend almost every extracurricular activity at the grade school.
Brooke sponsored a spaghetti dinner on the deck for the combined high school men's and women's cross country teams. The kids were quite well behaved, except when they tried to see how many teenagers would fit in our hammock. They induced a catastrophic performance failure upon exceeding the design specifications. Brooke has begun practicing to be a "mall babe." She will be getting her license soon after she turns 16 at the end of the month, and wants to know how to get a reserved parking space at the mall.
We are hoping this is Ryan's last year in high school. Algebra 2 should stick this time. He has finally discovered how satisfying it can be to be at the top of a class--he excels in the computer applications and computer programming classes he is taking. He cleaned his room once this year. We believe this is a record. He keeps his guitar in the basement so he can find it if he wants to if he wants to play. Ryan has also set up for himself a little workshop in the basement he uses to destroy non-functioning stereo equipment his friends have discarded.
Stan's drum set overflowed its corner of the basement this year. His friend’s parents are grateful his friends have moved their large guitar amplifiers into our basement. They have connected a midi keyboard and a mixer. This allows two people to make the music of 5 or 6 people. You sorta havta be here to appreciate how the effect this efficient effort creates an all-enveloping effluent experience for the environment in our home. While going to school in electronic graphic design, Stan has worked part-time at Musicmaker.com (one of those .com companies). They laid him off last September with a 3-month severance package! In November they re-hired him, gave him a $3/hr. raise, and didn’t even ask for the severance package back.
Calvin has had a change in assignment at work that has taken him back to headquarters after three years working in an outbuilding. Going back to headquarters doubles the commute. This last year he was interviewed as part of the largest internal investigation that has taken place at his employment. He chaired an Information Technology conference in Virginia Beach and presented a Project Management paper at a conference in Anaheim. While in Paris he pushed Janet to a state of exhaustion trying to see every ancient building, every grave, and every old painting there was to see. He went so far as to take Janet to see a little monument that contained Charlemagne's horse’s comb. You can decide who is more weird—the makers of the monument, or the people who visit it!
Janet continues to teach piano. She is so successful, she opened up an IRA. As if tackling in turn the twin terrors of teenagers and toddlers weren’t treadmill enough, she takes refuge by trundling on the treadmill nearly every morning. Janet’s assignment at church has changed from Primary secretary to Valiant 11 teacher.
Love, The Andruses
David Calvin, Janet, Stan, Ryan, Brooke, Chelsea, and Trevor
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