Monday, December 21, 2009

Christmas Letter

(The following is our annual end of year letter which typically goes out in Christmas cards. If we missed anyone this year, here's what's going on!)

Hello again, Christmas 2009
You likely received this a little late this year, as the Foster family has become quite time impaired these last few months. It’s been a busy year, and just getting busier as we go.

Been a big year for some Fosters. In June, Zack graduated High School up in Washington, and now that we’re back in Arizona, has started his life as a college student. He’s pursuing a criminal justice degree as if it was a speeder in a red ‘Vette. Indeed, the Foster formally known as “The Boy” (hard to call him that when he’s 6’2” and 210 pounds) has basically become “that guy who lives in my spare room.” He’s also working and driving, and seems to actually be a productive member of society. Let me please take a chance to look at those who doubted us back when he was still in diapers and say, “ha.” He’s a good man actually applying his potential with the intention of making the world a more just place. We should have gotten him a Cape for graduation. Very proud of him. (Though around the house I still call him “The Boy.”)

Hannah has also gone through a transition since we’ve returned to the land of mesquites and paradoxically bad Mexican food; the younger Foster has turned 15 and started High School. Indeed The Daughter is currently attending her parents’ alma mater and even in the same JROTC Battalion in which her dear Dad was a cadet many, many years ago. Oddly, my too-brilliant, overly sarcastic daughter is taking to her military class very well, perhaps applying her love of Orwell to the idea that no one is safer from The Man than The Man. Wherever did she get the idea a snarky non-conformist with a sharp tongue could actually be happy in a military setting? Do you hear that? That’s my glee buzzer from when I see her in uniform. It is so good to watch her truly enjoy something in our incredibly poor public education system.

Speaking of education, did you hear I’m dating a co-ed? The Lovely Jennifer is not only getting her Associate’s in the Spring, she’s already well into her Bachelor’s! Now, the flip side to having a wife who is a smart, hot college girl is that she’s also a smart, serious college girl and her workload is staggering. I don’t know how she does it, but she’s taking a full class load and still keeping Zack, Hannah, and I out of jail and the hospital. It does mean shoving 26 hours into every 24 hour day, but she’s tearing it up and only rarely taking tension relieving swings at my head. All this while putting up with the fact Sierra Vista, Arizona has neither a Thai nor Indian restaurant. She is definitely looking curry deprived.

Dodging those blows has kept me fleet of foot however; quite helpful with my new hobby. For those who don’t know, my 37th birthday brought me the realization My Firm (which I do truly love) was trying to make me old before my time. So to convince myself I shouldn’t let the Army break me down I decided to run a marathon. Training is going well, with a target date in May. I am running about the 12 mile mark right now. Looking forward to June when I get to sleep again. Oh wait- I am starting a Master’s in February, so I will be joining the three out of four Fosters submerged in academia. So much for sleep…

And a sad note- we lost our dear dog Cleo this year after 10 years of her being the best dog in the world. A month before she died though she got to go on a big road trip and even ran with horses and dogs in Idaho. We miss her, but we know that dog lived her life well-loved. Her cat misses her too.

So, as we bid good-bye to 2009 and look forward to 2010, I don’t think we’re going to find all those hours we lost, but when we do finally catch up with ourselves, the future is looking… pretty OK. And not just because of that groovy new Star Trek movie.
Much love to you all, and as always we pray that next year be better than last year,

Daniel, Jennifer, Zack, Hannah and Patches

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