Saturday, December 12, 2015

XMAS 2015

Merry Christmas from Round Rock

Of course, 2015 was another busy year, although we spent a bit more time having fun.

As soon as school let out in June, we flew out to Pennsylvania to visit Curt, Kelley, and Thomas. The trip included several swings into Philadelphia, a trip to New York, Boston and Salem, MA. The museums in Philly were terrific, as was Valley Forge. We stayed two blocks off of Times Square in New York – which was just as frenetic as you might imagine. In Boston we stayed near Faneuil Hall and had time to take in a “haaabaaah” cruise. 

Favorites from the trip: New York pizza by the slice, Chinese food in Chinatown in Philly, and ice cream from a working dairy near the Spanglers’ house. But the biggest highlight from the trip was our tour bus being hit by a NYPD car. The kids checked the box on visiting: NY, NJ, PA, CT and MA.

That was just a warm-up for the rest of the summer. Phil and Holly went to the water park a few times and had friends from California come out and visit.

Holly spent the year on Music and Sports. She’s playing clarinet in symphonic select band. That means we pay a lot of money for private lessons now. We have been to several concerts, but a huge (Yuge!) all-day event at the Round Rock sports complex was the best. She is also in the advanced Choir. She has found a true love for music.  

Holly has continued playing basketball but decided not to try out for the 8th grade team this year. She will be ready next year… and will probably still be one of the tallest girls on the court. Jr High has certainly agreed with her. She is doing great in school. She scored in the top 3% for math on the Texas standardized test. She loved Boston so much she wants to go to MIT. (Retirement is overrated).

Phillip started the year off fast, with Boy Scouts, basketball, and soccer. Funny, we left Washington to avoid the rain, and Phillip’s soccer season was entirely rained out – culminating in the Memorial Day flooding. Since school restarted, he has spent lots of time honing his YouTube and Minecraft skills. He did get to host an epic birthday party – complete with video gaming truck.  He is doing well in school and has earned a spot on the honor role for the last three years.  Intelligence is not his problem; motivation seems to be hard to come by. He really is a sweet and loving boy. Holly and Phil are close and that makes Christy happy.

Christy is working as a florist again and really loves what she is doing.  She is only working part-time but has booked about 1000 hours this year. It is good to see her so happy with what she does.  I’m trying to keep her busy because she is talking about showing dogs again. 

She continued working on the house. More paint, flooring, draperies, wallpaper removed from the kids’ bathroom… (It never really ends). Highlight of her year – a solo Trip to California, to spend time with her girlfriends, which turned into an impromptu road-trip to Disneyland. Her Garmin fitness tracker said she slept 4 hours over three days.

I spent the year as a professional chauffeur, pool boy, and landscaper. If I could speak Spanish I think I could charge more for my service.  

Last year I was certified as a 4-H rifle coach, and this year I earned his pistol coaching certificate. Lots of time at the range means I can hit the broad side of a barn. Phillip and I continually discuss strategy for the zombie apocalypse. 

I am enjoying my job on the Mergers and Acquisition team at Dell. You may have heard – we have a really big deal going on. Christy says it much better being around me now that I am no longer with Microsoft.

Daisy, Meg, and Olive are doing fine.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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