Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Results of Last Months Poll is in...

Little did you all know, in anticipation of this momentous decision, we dyed his hair green and got him on video singing "banana phone". But clearly you all must hate us, as the results indicate you would like the boy to take up the drums. So NO video for you!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Yes, it's that time again...it's the annual CHRISTMAS LETTER!

Alright now…this is the second year in a row that the famous (infamous?) Claytor Family Christmas letter is on-line HERE so if you’re reading this on paper…shame on you! Your carbon footprint is showing! And I died a little inside…

Has the letter ever started with Chris? I mean…like, EVER? Work has continued to expand, and beginning next year comes: A roomier desk! A bigger warehouse! A longer commute! Oh well, his occasional bike-to-work days may be over, but his job has also let him travel to England, The Netherlands, and Washington DC. All three trips being great opportunities to learn new languages (Cockney, Dutch, and Republican.) With greater involvement at Vertical Endeavors Climbing Gym, there’s not been much opportunity to get in any real “outside” climbing this year. Something that definitely must be remedied in 2010…or else he may actually climb that clock-tower and start shooting!

So how many times this year did you update Kelly’s “work” phone number before realizing how futile it was to keep up with her? She was all over the place! Including working for H.A.R.P.S. (Hoofed Animal Rescue & Protection Society) feeding and caring for rescued horses, ponies, anything with a “hoof” etc. You get the picture. Her winter position at the local hospital has allowed her the opportunity to read up on foreign objects in body cavities, and route-setting at Vertical Endeavors has kept her busy and active. Aside from all the painting, crafting, gardening, and sewing (yes, remember the Midget/Clown/Shark?) her work at Knupper’s Nursery as a Landscape Designer renewed a long-dormant passion for plants and flowers (i.e. more holes for Chris to dig.) If you see a headstone in the yard, somebody please tell my story to the world?

Has anyone seen Caitlin anywhere? Yeah, us neither…she wins the award this year for busiest family member by a LONG shot. She finished up that last pesky year of Junior High with a role as The Duchess in “Alice in Wonderland” and played a Chorus Girl in a local community theater production of “42nd Street”. Then it was off join the Prospect Marching Knights, which meant spending all summer at band camp. Eight hours a day. That’s Eight. Hours. A Day. Then there was Show Choir camp. Eight. Hours. A Day. Her freshman year of high school has been academically challenging as a member of the gifted “Talent Development Program,” but she still finds time to hang out with friends. She rode horses for a weekend in North Carolina with Kelly and Cousin Brenley, and made her own dress for her first Homecoming Dance. Chris and Kelly are still adjusting to that last one…give them time.

Not to be outdone, The Boy also stayed busy this year attending a Vertical Endeavors Climbing Team session, and a couple rounds of Soccer. He’s eerily diligent about getting his schoolwork done as soon as he gets home, and has become as avid a reader as his big sister. The backyard has become his favorite playspace…there’s been all manner of rope swinging, hammock hanging, fort building, and we think maybe a Particle Accelerator. A weekend in Wisconsin snowboarding with Dad was safe and uneventful, but his latest adventure landed him in the ER for stitches on his finger. And since no one had “nearly slices off finger with scissors” in his ongoing injury pool, each entry is up to $10.00. The winner splits the prize with him (to help pay for the doctor visit…) DANGER BOY HAS RETURNED!

The dogs Sherpa and Otter made it to the beach with us a few times this summer, as well as tackling miles of Cook County Forest Preserve trails and the leash-free prairie at Fermilab. All that fresh air seems to have helped the middle-aged Sherpa to drop a few critical pounds, and turned Otter into a lean, mean, squirrel-chasing-machine!

Keep in touch with us on Facebook (yes, we all submitted to its charms) and follow monthly-or-more updates on our Blog. We’re just so dang tech savvy, ain’t we?

If we loved you any more, it’d be creepy…and Merry Christmas!

Chris, Kelly, Caitlin, The Boy, Sherpa, and Otter