Oh! You'd better watch out, Christmas is near...
I really don't have time for a letter this year...
Nicki's been home sick for two weeks!
She's there when I am sleeping; she's there when I'm awake; She knows if she is bad or good,
She'll still be there for goodness sake! Oh!
To sympathizers far and near:
1998 was the year the kids discovered the musical...following their debut in My Fair Lady last winter, was a rousing Cabaret in June, and a whirlwind Wizrd of Oz in August with even Nicki masquerading as a munchkin. Currently the house is alive with The Sound Of Music-the kids insist on singing every song loud and clear! We've found that adjusting the lyrics slightly pretty much covers life as we know it-so try humming the tunes as you read along with the songs.
(You are Sixteen Going on Seventeen...)
Kris is nine years going on ten years...the mall is a sacred spot.
New clothes are cool: We bought them for school...
So why are jeans all she's got??!
She is nine years headed for teen years...fourth grade sure seems tough;
Sleepovers rule and friends can be cruel...
I think that I've seen enough!
(Raindrops on Roses)
Snowdays on school days and food filled with sugar
Bellbottoms, skateboards, and cool words like" booger"
Funny old movies and crushing with Dad
These are a few of Will's favorite fads.
When the kitchen's closed, when there's a dress code,
When he's feeling sad...
We simply give in on some favorite thing,
And then we don't feel so bad.
Kevin dear, was it the tubes in your ears? Every morning you wake us.
Cheerful but loud, you're heard in a crowd. Why does quiet forsake us?
Bundle of nerves, may you keep all your verve,
Keep all your verve forever.
Kevin dear, though we no longer hear...bless your loud laugh forever.
(Doe, a deer, a female deer...)
Oh, our Nicki, our willful Nicki; Pray a drop of patience more
"Pee" a word, I hear a lot; "Ha!" a favorite nonsequitur.
"No!" a favorite of us all; "Ma!" a word to follow "No!"
"He", a favorite one to blame
Which will bring us back to Oh, oh, oh,oh...
Oh! PRAY! PEE! HA! NO! MA! HE! OH!
(Climb Every Mountain...)
Play every golf course, Drive high and far;
Follow every fairway, till you shoot under par.
A par that will need every hour you can give...
Every weekend of your life, for as long as you live.
Phil started the year off on the infamous Atkins diet. I had good intentions of joining him, but 10 hours into Day One he informed me of the "no vino" component and I was out. CHEERS!
After three weeks without carbs, Phil was a lean, mean (and I mean, mean) workout machine which made for some rousing conversations: "56 reps, you don't say?" Of course it was all worth it as his golf game came within a stroke of the club championship in September and an envy-producing 73 at Augusta two weeks ago. As for work, well let's suffice it to say there's a good reason why they call it that!
(High on a Hill was a Lonely Goatherd...)
Out in the car was the crazy mother, lay--eeo-dl, lay-ee-o0dl, lay-ee-oo
Driving back and forth, the chaufeer, their mother, ley-ee o-dl, lay-eeod-l, lay-ee-oo...
Actually this year my new motto is Carpool or Bust!
After a taste of indolence during seven sweet weeks on the Jersey Shore with no to-do list,
I've begun to appreciate the beauty of a half-full calendar, and time set aside for the 3 Rs: Reading, running, and relaxing with Phil and the troops. This is not to say that there isn't always something I should be doing ...only that I'm not necessarily doing it as much as I used to!
We have a lot to be thankful for this year: a 'both sides of the family' reunion in Sea Island Georgia last spring (the site of our first date for those who are interested). Thanksgiving with my whole family, and Christmas with most of Phil's. Not to mention that three out of four kids can tie their own shoes, ride their own bikes, and wipe their own...well you get the picture!
Our house is filled with the sound of music, with songs they have sung a hundred times...but the house fills my heart with the sound of children; my heart wants to savor every song it hears.
Wishing you and yours a joyous holiday and New Year!
With much love,
Gretchen, Phil, Kristen, Will, Kevin, & Nicki