Happy Holidays –
December 07 finds us very happy and thankful for the friends and family we have near and far – as always. Thanks for dropping by the site – assuming you found the address on a holiday card we sent you, or are simply being nosy. Welcome to our annual update.
Before pressing on, those of you who have visited over the past year have probably noticed a few changes to the site. Many long stories about the changes, but suffice to say that archiving and indexing skills have increased over the years, and we’re pretty sure the site is stable enough in its current form to usher in any changes without losing any prior files, pictures, updates, etc. At this time, Dave is still working to find missing links/files in the few old hard-drives laying around. The computer-building is a minor fetish, which has created many dilapidated computers laying around in the garage and the study closet. When he has time, Dave is pulling old hard-drives and trying to salvage old files from the past to incorporate back into the site. Dave is still working on creating a self running network that will automatically run back-ups. It seems everytime he gets closer, he wants to rebuild the main computer. And this year was no exception. Dave built, yet again, another beast of a computer this year. A dual monitored, 2 terabyte ROM, 4 gig RAM beast – all housed in a clear plexiglass casing.
Despite entering our 3rd year in our home here, we remain very busy with projects, painting, and planting.
The retaining wall that we began work on last year continues. Before the weather turned, we were at the point of constructing the stairs that transition from the lower part of the property to the house. A few pieces of the wall have had to be rebuilt, and Dave also tipped over a tractor while backfilling dirt. The project has turned out to be a lot larger than originally planned, but we are looking forward to finishing it in the spring.
The Never-Ending Wall
We planted over 19 trees in the back this year. On top of that, we have added many shrubs and plants around the exterior. To keep everything growing at a steady pace, Dave put together a drip system which extends to all areas of the property for current trees and future ones to come.
We spent a lot of time this past spring painting. Every room in the house was painted. We replaced all ceiling fans, and are thinking of re-carpeting the bedrooms soon.
Got a new garage door, after repeated attempts to resuscitate the old one. Seems not pulling in your SUV in far enough and having the garage door slam on the rear tire doesn’t help the door too much. So we contacted a local contractor, and ordered a nice composite wood door. It’s nice now that it is done, but we didn’t realize that we would have to stain it prior to installation.
The kids continue to grow.
Elyce is spending her last year of school-free freedom doing what most kids her age do: watching movies, playing outside, and fighting with her sibling. Dad, after finally getting her computer built last year, has been struggling lately with it. Elyce is not that versed on the impor tance of keeping her desk clean – so Dad has had to spend a few weekends rebuilding her computer. Dad has struggled to not throw it out of one of her windows or beat it repeatedly with various dolls and/or large plastic toys that are always strewn about her room. But with all of the hardware issues, Elyce is learning (we hope) about computers.
Stuck: Gavin between Elyce's computer and table after falling during one of his exploratory quests.
Gavin is another story. He keeps putting things in her computer’s DVD tray to see if they will work in the computer. Bread, while fortifying, will not run on/in a PC, by the way. He will have his own computer over the coming year, so he will be able to experiment on his own soon enough.
A pretty horrific experience hit us just recently with Elyce, though. Elyce, being born in Oregon, spent the first couple of years growing up without Flourinated Water. Oregon does not do so. So she ends up going to the dentist for the first time with way too many cavities. She was knocked out while the dentist went in and 'took care of everything at once.' It seemed like a good idea, but turned out pretty bad. The dentist we chose was obviously not very skilled, as we had to take Elyce back a couple of times -- and now we've switched to Dave's long-time dentist to fix it once and for all. While cute on one hand, it was pretty heartbreaking to hear a four year old say the day after “My teeth are falling apart, Daddy.” Cute in her happy four-year old tone with a smile, but heartbreaking to think what she thinks about that.
Gavin bustin' the pinata on his second birthday
Gavin is really turning into a little brute. Dad encourages this – as well as his constant need to eat things, as he thinks Gavin will one day go to the office wearing cleats and a helmet. In Gavin’s one-day appreciative gesture of his parents’ taking out a second mortgage to pay his food bills, Gavin will provide his parents with a guest box at his home team’s stadium. Dad is hopeful, demanding of one stipulation: not Dallas.
Mom seems to be getting restless now that the kids are less dependent upon the parental units. Mom sews a lot.
Dad started a new job this year, after spending some time back at school. He’s a retail ops district manager, and is travelling a lot more. He’s looking to get his BA in Comp Science one day soon – after returning hopefully this spring to finish off some classes on the weekends/evenings. What was once a four year program has turned into a four decade program. A college degree, in this state of the family’s history, seems more of a hobby than a necessity – but it is a hobby that won’t depreciate in importance.
Elyce on her birthday - dressed as The Little Mermaid.
Tina sewed the costume, and Elyce insisted that Gavin dress as Prince Eric (nice tights, buddy)
We visited family and friends in Houston in April. We decided to drive. Thank God for in-car DVD Players!
Out for a walk near my Sisters' Family's house in Cypress, Texas
Troy and his daughter, Jena, during the Houston visit.
In August, we met Dave’s Dad and Stepmother halfway between Albuquerque and Houston in El Paso, Texas.
Elyce at the pool
this year's Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta -- from our back yard
For the 3rd year, Dave barbequed the Thanksgiving turkey. One day Dave will get around to posting the recipe.
As always, to friends near and far, drop by anytime.
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