2009 Christmas Newsletter

25 12 2009

Happy Holidays from our family to yours!

Time really goes by quickly. It is almost 2010. As we’ve done for several years now we would like to give you a brief update of what we’ve been doing. In April we went skiing in Morillon, France in the Alps. Jeff is still quite impressed to ski in the real mountains compared to his youth skiing in the relatively flat Midwestern United States. The kids continued to improve their level at the week long ski school. David succeeded and received the coveted “première étoile” or first star badge. Gabrielle moved on to the second star or “deuxième étoile”. Jeff has rated himself as a “debutant confirmé” or “skilled beginner” and marked the occasion with the purchase of ski equipment. Considering that this is a nonexistent classification I gather he was just looking for an excuse to buy skis.

I took a few days off work to participate in an international social work conference in Dubrovnik, Croatia. The brief hiatus and the region were very interesting. In fact, I enjoyed the area so much that I suggested we spend some family vacation time there next year. During one of my dance shows I had muscle tear. I had to walk on crutches for weeks along with a couple of months of physical therapy. In spite of the “dangers of dance”, as Jeff says I am not letting that stop me from doing what I love to do. Hobbling around on crutches made this year’s summer vacation a little rough. Despite my mobility issues we still spent one week camping in Milau, France with friends. We had a great time. Jeff made a neat Video Slideshow chronicling the fun. Now that the kids are a bit bigger they were able to take sailing lessons. They had 5 days to learn to sail on optimist dinghies and explore the Arcachon Bay in the south of France. They loved it and want to do it again next year. While we were in the south with my parents, family from Poland came to visit. It was nice seeing them again.

Summer fun behind us we moved on to a new school year. Gabrielle successfully made the transition from grammar school to junior high. She continues improving her English with private tutoring. David too is motivated to speak English like his big sister. He fortunately passed on to the 3rd grade. 2nd grade with David presented us with some difficulties. So in an effort to work past these and ensure his educational progression we had a “sit-down” where we discussed what was expected of him along with the reward he could attain with his successful completion of the school year. The goal that kept him motivated was the hope of having a pet at home. He lived up to the details of our agreement and moved on to the next grade. He earned his reward and we now have a kitten. Peatch is her name and we’ve welcomed her in our family.

Both Jeff and I are working at the same places for the last 3 years now. Though we’ve made few changes the kids chose new activities this year. Gabrielle surprised us by taking ballet classes. That’s my girl. She has also started stamp collecting with a club at school and she is still actively involved in the Girl Scouts of American and her drawing classes. David has moved from the more sport like wrestling of judo to the more self-defense striking techniques of karate. He has also moved from tennis to table tennis. They are both quite active.

This holiday season as always we wish you the best. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.