Welcome Family and Friends to another thrilling holiday update from the Foxleys.
I sit here tonight knowing that I must get this completed quickly, as our Holiday Cards are sitting patiently in our mailbox, flag up, waiting for the mailman to take them for distribution in the morning.
Overall, it was a pretty boring year for us. We didn't go on any of them fancy vacations, cruises, or long road trips this year. None of us won any awards or certificates or community plaques. Yes, another year without winning the lottery, let alone even playing it. Dave is still working the same gig, Tina is still a stay-at-home mom. Elyce and Gavin are a year older than last year at this time, and the weather here was pretty much the same as last year. But in accordance to the rules of Holiday Letters, we must gloat about all of the truly miraculous things that happened to us over the previous twelve month cycle:
- Dave and Tina bought a new bed in the summer. One of those Tempurpedic beds. We like it and hope to continue doing so as we work to pay it off over the next four decades.
- In May some guy knocked on our door and offered to re-stain our front door. He also said he would take care of the wood features above our garage. He did a pretty good job and we paid him with a check.
- We spent about $5,000 on teeth this year.
- Dentist: "Oh, let's take a look and see what we've got here."
- Dave/Elyce: "Aghrghgh"
- Dentist's Assistant: "Why, yes! We do take American Express!"
- Dave bought a new mouse for the office computer. It's nice.
- Sprint overcharged us 3 times by over $1,000. No, not as a total, but with each mistake.
- Elyce entered Kindergarten in August at Enchanted Hills Elementary School here in Rio Rancho. For months she had been pointing out the school to and from our home, and it's big green roof. While Mom went shopping, Dad took her to her first day and was a pansy about it. Elyce really likes school. So do Mom and Dad (and Gavin, who now plays in her room and eats candy all day without her around to share with).
- As Monday is Dave's "Office Day", Tina has been volunteering at the school's' library each week for a few hours.
- Dave continued school this year, knocking out two courses over the second half of the year. There are only 3 courses left that Dave can take at a community college, and then the rest have to be done at UNM. So he's going to have to man-up and pay some REAL tuition soon. Still debating whether to commit to BS in Computer Science or Engineering. What remains are fun courses like Calculus II, Linear Algebra, Circuits 238, Computer Theory 362, Statistics 345, etc.
Dave thinks it's funny to sit in class with kids younger than his nephews ... and his professors are getting younger by the semester. At this rate, he may graduate college before his grandchildren - Hopefully
the graduation ramp will be wheelchair accessible.
- Dave saw Gregory this year in Austin on a work-related trip. On the way there, I rented a car with one of those GPS Systems in it and almost threw it out the window. It kept telling me to turn right, when I was on the freeway with no exit in sight. But breakfast was good with Greg, once I found him. I think he appreciated the extra four hours of sleep he got prior to my scheduled arrival, thanks to the GPS system. But it was great to see Greg.
- Like everyone else who has money in the market or a 401k, we got killed in October with stocks. Absolutely slaughtered. I pride myself on making some pretty good trades and the like with the money, but October was so paralyzing ... ugh. Let's change topics before I take a fork out of the kitchen drawer and repeatedly shove it in my eye socket.
- Tina is still gardening.
- Having a three year old boy is a lot like having an insane little old man running around the house -- an insane little old man that rambles incoherently, poops in his slacks, plays in the mud, pees in his bathwater, and screams bloody murder at night when the cat is in his room. But, like caring for an insane little old man, the government also allows tax credits for supporting a three year old boy.
- We purchased four new tires for our SUV in the summer. They are black.
- Dave's 20th High School Reunion was this year. He missed it due to some work conflicts - but was lucky enough to have his best friend show up and tell everyone that Dave was Bald, Gay, and Unemployed - not that there's anything wrong with that, mind you.
- Last year at this time, Sam (our cat since 1993 who had traveled with us from Albuquerque to Santa Fe to Portland to Rio Rancho) went missing. Tina found his collar in the spring. We think he was eaten by coyotes in the area.
- Our Internet went down in November. Upon contacting the ISP, we were told "file sharing" was happening. Oops. Our home network is completely open, with our router non-encrypted. So I've had to change that. and Dave quickly changed encryption settings on uTorrent.
- So we got a new cat in the summer. Elyce named her Wallie.
- Dad has found a way to enhance his technological fetishes of building more and more computers in the house for the kids' benefit. Elyce and Gavin have their own PCs, have their own home page. I restricted the router to only allow them to access certain sites which we have reviewed together. But sometimes this gets a little overwhelming - especially on the weekends. I feel like tech support -- running around the house dealing with some of the issues. Gavin has managed to download a virus, and can get pretty frustrated with Flash-based games.
- Dave just realized that he has not worn a tie for the entire calendar year 2008. That's his first entire year without neck garnishment since 1991.
For 2009, I hope to take the kids up to the mountains to begin snowboarding lessons. Depending if '08 taxes are willing, a trip to Disneyland would be fun. But, hell, I'd be fine with another boring year (as long as we don't have another month like October of this year).
As usual, you can see pics from the year here, or videos here.
All of our best!
Dave, Tina, Elyce, and Gavin
(the cat who has yet to be eaten by coyotes but will suffer such a demise should she keep scratching various things in the house like flesh, finely finished wood pillars, sofas that cost a lot of money, wooden doors, $4,000 mattresses, fine linens, and other items that can be added to this list at any time at Dave's discretion)
Contact us, if you're bored!