The 2010 Foxley Family Holiday Update


Hey! FINALLY FINISHED ... of course, I really procrastinated this year with the Holiday Update. On top of having my hands full with other things, I'm realizing that my web-design/coding is pretty rusty. I've spent 2 days working on these GD Columns, and I'm tired of it.

I am uploading to just get it up ... and will be tweaking coding over the next few days.

Happy Holidays, Christmas. Whatever.

So I think this year maybe the cards were a bit obtuse for many ... I got texts from more than one person asking who the black guy was on the card.

It's never that clever when you have to explain it.

I even put a quip on the back of the card to kind of explain. Oh well.

Each year I try to pop something of newsworthy relevance into our card to spice things up a bit, but with only 7.3% of American households watching "The Decision" back in July ... maybe I chose something too obscure. Oh well. But Hey ... another year gone by. Nothing really earth-shattering happened this year ... frankly, that's always a good thing.



Upper left is our most recent 'family photo' ... we had some studio shots done a couple of months ago.

As you can see, Elyce's teeth are doing what all elementary kids' teeth do: fall out, resprout. All of the dental issues Elyce went through a while back (thanks to the SW's worst dentist, and the horrible experience we had there three years ago) have been resolved, and we're all pretty happy about that.


Gavin continues to grow up as pretty much a typical boy: punky, energetic, loud. But he's a great kid and is really enjoying school and a lot of new-found friends. He is very charismatic and is a social charmer ...

To the left is Gavin and Dad sliding down one of the huge indoor slides at Hoots - a local kid party place that we celebrated Elyce's 7th birthday at over the summer.

Elyce and Gavin both still enjoy the parks on the weekends, spending time outside, and their own versions/methods of enjoying the technology Dad loves to bring into the house: Gavin loves his computer games and Elyce continues to build her movie collection on her computer.

Gavin asked Dad for a Windows Phone the other day ... he read/heard you can play X-Box games on them? I don't know what he's talking about, but by the time I will let him get a phone like that, you will be able to do a hell of a lot more than play games on them.

Killing Me.


In August, "Poppa Fox" and Grandma Stacey came to visit. We were able to spend time with them for Gavin's 5th Birthday Party. It was neat to see them and have them over ...

This year was finally the year that we had our retaining wall built out back - by a professional. The guy who did the huge wall down the hill for Perfection Honda is the one who bid on ours. You can see pics of the whole process here.

We had been wanting to do this since 2006 when our area was hit pretty hard with monsoonal rains.
While our property was never really affected too much by those rains, we still felt we needed to make this happen.


The photos here don't show the final completion of the wall, which is a stucco coloring to match the house. Even though that was supposed to be the final piece, we still have quite a bit of work to do in the back ...

While a lot of work (um ... and expense), it has been really neat to see and gets more comfortable as time goes by.


You can see to the left that we are installing stairs and a lower decking. That part will eventually have more stairs leading to the bottom of the property in the back.

Up top, we will be putting in walkway to the house as well as some native grass. There's no question, it was a huge project that we've been planning and wanting for some time.

Down below you can see that our trees are starting to flourish. Latest count is 23 trees. You wouldn't believe that by seeing the pics here, but there's quite a bit of land left out of the pics.

Next year we should have more progress pics to share.


In the family way, Arun and Kim (Tina's sister) got married this spring.

Jeff's (Tina's brother) family had a fresh baby boy (sorry, no pics ... Jeff?).

Tina is still spending time volunteering at the kids' elementary school. She typically goes in two days a week to help out with various activities. The staff at the school, as you can imagine, really appreciate her help as a volunteer.


In September, Dave was selected for a workplace assignment which involved travelling for 9 straight weeks throughout Tennessee,
Kentucky, and Indiana to tour retail locations, Distribution Centers, and our Store Support Center/World Headquarters. The group was a team
of 6 from various disciplines of the company, and the focus was "Work Simplification". The travelling was pretty tough. Actually, it was gruelling: Fly out each Sunday morning - arrive late that night in some hotel in the middle of nowhere. Live out of the suitcase for 5 days. Eat at the same restaurants day after day. Fly home for the weekend.

And when I got home each time, I pretty much spent the first day doing laundry and recovering - and the second day preparing for the week ahead. By the end of the project, hotels and restaurant
staff in the areas knew us by name. I was even beginning to get recognized on the planes, too.

But the company was very good to us on the trip. Exceptional, actually. And, professionally, it was a tremendously rewarding and an awesome opportunity.

Additionally, I discovered the best frequent flier programs (and raked in the points BTW), the value of GPS, and the importance of not eating Salmon in a land-locked state.


It got to the point with the travelling that many of the hotels we stayed at came to know us by name. It was sad, really. To the right is a photo I took after entering my hotel room at La Quinta after driving two hours from the Nashville on a Sunday night.

As the doors to the lobby swung open, the guy at the desk said

"Hey Dave, welcome home!"


I grunted, and feigned a smile.

"You're going to love the room I got for you this week! It's a family room with three queen sized beds! Do you want a wake up call, Dave?"

Three beds? Are you kidding me? How depressing. I could think of no better way for someone to remind me daily of the lonesomeness of this project.

"Yeah, buddy. I'll take a wake-up call. Call me every hour on the hour so I can switch beds."

I took the above photo in Chicago on the way home some Friday night. You can see Sears tower in the Horizon.

Gavin started school as a kindergartner this year, and things are going smoothly. Reports are in, and the feedback by the teachers has been positive.

We began the school year a little concerned, wondering if we should have red-shirted him for the year - but he's adapted well. It seems that his rambunctious behavior from home has not carried into the classroom, where the teacher says he is well-behaved and engaged.


One thing is for sure - he is a character.




Elyce has taken to school - she is an avid reader and can pretty much rip through any book with little fear of pronouncing the Big Words. We are very happy about this - it is true that reading can take you anywhere. And Tina and I are both pleased to have both Elyce and Gavin be such arduous readers.

To the left, Gavin and Elyce geared up for another Halloween excursion.

This year, Halloween fell during the time Dave was travelling extensively; however, he was able to leave the day after Halloween in order to fulfill the annual obligation of taking them out trick-or-treating. That was pretty special and the kids were pretty happy.

This year, Dad took them to another area of town were there would be less walking, and some sidewalks. Dad figured 'better candy yield per steps taken'. The science worked as both collection bowls were filled. Awesome.

We also added to the entourage of crap used to scare off neighborhood kids on Halloween. So on top of the Fog Machine, Music, and Screen Projection that is put on the windows (I do this with a laptop and loops of Horror Movie clips, shining from inside the house ... it's pretty cool at night).


On December 17th we got our first hit of snow for the season. It was the last day of the kids' semester at school, and they ended up closing the school for the day - so the kids got an early winter recess.

We woke up to this ... and of course, the kids wanted to go out and play in the 'snow'. Man ... I can't wait to finish that back area this next year.

Hey - have a Great year in '11!

(Drop us a line if you're bored)


Oh ... and to conclude: