Thursday, November 27, 2008

2007 Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas from the Claytors!

Listen up people…this will be the LAST paper Christmas letter we will mail out. It’s not that I don’t love creating it, and personally have nothing against the US Postal service, but since I went and married a bunny-loving, tree-hugging, crystal-gripping hippie? I kind of feel bad for killing this tree to make you all smile. We’re going digital next year…details to come (I hear there’s this new thing called an internet?) So down to business!

It’s been a while since we’ve actually STARTED with The Boy hasn’t it? He’s doing great in first grade getting good marks and leading his class in impromptu sing-a-longs (whether his teacher likes it or not…) Colin loves being outside, hiking, canoeing, biking, snow-shoeing, snowboarding, skateboarding, or just running in random patterns. And he played another season of youth soccer, where he loves playing goalie so he can practice his touchdown dance. Yes, I know, wrong “football” but don’t correct him. I’m really banking on the whole “no child left behind” thing…

Caitlin has made great strides in math and science, putting her on the fast track to a career where she can struggle searching for that elusive mystery of life: government grant money. She wants to be a wildlife biologist (which makes sense, having seen what all’s growing in the fetid corners of her room.) She has also continued her equestrian studies, and spent a week away at summer camp riding horses, roasting marshmallows, and growing into a teenager. That part wasn’t in the brochure, but I’ve been advised to just leave it alone. Apparently it can’t be helped. Pity me?

Sherpa and Otter, that dynamic dog duo have continued running the house as they see fit. Otter tests all the couches, beds, and laps while Sherpa fiercely guards the frontier. They’ve joined us on all adventures, going to the beach, hiking through the woods, playing in the snow. They keep each other company during the day, and the yard has been rabbit free for most of the year (not to mention mailmen, Jehovah’s Witnesses…)

“Wicked Stepmother” Kelly (she’s worked long and hard to earn that title…) has continued working as a land planner. She’s kept busy taking Caitlin to her riding lessons, keeping up the garden, the endless list of home improvements and landscaping. With the occasional outing to go climbing, canoeing, biking, or just walking the dogs, she’s the one that makes sure we’re all having fun during our mandated “Happy Fun Nights”. And don’t get her started on “Project Runway”…that one dude was TOTALLY robbed!

Last but not least, is the man of the house! King of the Castle, Master of the Domain, Leader of the Realm, yes it’s “He Who Must be Obeyed” Chris. If you believe any of that, you must be new here. As usual it’s all he can do to hold himself upright and get his clothes to coordinate. There have been plenty of bright spots this year: Work is good (still airline service industry) Climbing is good, with another great competition at Vertical Endeavors, and a new role coaching youth climbing teams, and his fist trip to Red River Gorge in years with Kelly and friends, Bela and Heidi.

We’ve all enjoyed the expanded garden this year (if we make it any bigger, I think we have to call it a “farm”) We have had some great visiting guests; especially Farmer Carrie and German Mike. We’ve spent more time in Chicago going to the beach, parks and museums, and are always trying to get outside and live the active lifestyle we love. As soon as we’re successful, we’ll let you know!

We all wish you a safe, happy, holiday season. Just remember: wherever you go, there you are. Keep you underpants clean and your powder dry – we’ll write back next year with more news. Have a great 2008!
~ Chris, Kelly, Caitlin, The Boy, Sherpa, and Otter~