Thursday, December 9, 2010

What!? AGAIN with the damn Christmas letter?

Merry Christmas from the Claytor’s 2010!

(here's a loud little video to recap the year)

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Man, didn’t we just talk to you people? Aren’t you getting sick of this posturing? You all have no idea the toll this “labor of love” takes on me…I hope you’re happy with yourselves.

We start this year with the Canine Extravadogza! Lupine Lollapalooza! Arfmagedon! Puptastic…oh never mind. The neighborhood expanded “plus one pet” this year to include Riley the co-op dog (she lives next door…). Less than a year old but already best buds with Otter and Sherpa and repeatedly climbs the fence between our yards to join in the four legged fun. Likely we’ll just cut a dog-door in the fence and be done with it. As for our dogs…it’s a treat eating, dirt rolling, fur shedding, butt sniffing paradise all up in here! They’re enrolled in a newly opened Doggie Day Care in town, and the report cards suggest that Sherpa is a hall monitor and Otter’s been dealing pot on the side. Good Dogs!

Kelly finishes the year having landed a permanent position as a Neurosurgeon at Northwest Community Hospital (wait…what?) Don’t worry, in her administrative offices they keep her away from the sharp objects and any patients worth saving. She still creates wicked climbing routes at Vertical Endeavors, and her skills as a landscape designer continue to be in demand at Knupper’s Nursery. Her garden grew cartoonishly large produce throughout the year; (Possibly some Zucchini-Louisville Slugger hybrid?) That creativity expanded to the rest of the yard; tons of shrubs and plantings and paver paths (oh my…) If only all the rain she brought with her on our vacation to Door County, Wisconsin could have been used to water it all!

It was a standard kind of year for Chris; the company's new offices are closer to Vertical Endeavors where he continues to work as an instructor and coach, while a couple of local trips to climb outside kept him from going completely bonkers. Early in the year he and Kelly joined Scott and Heidi Williams for a quick weekend to snowboard in Wisconsin, and in the summer, he and Scott teamed up to run the Chicago “Muddy Buddy” race as The Saltines (just a couple of crackers?). In addition to digging holes for all the new greenery in the yard, he and Kelly spent the summer installing a new deck. He still counts to ten every morning to make sure all the digits are there…

I know we have a daughter around here someplace…Carolyn? Chrysanthemum? Cartman? Oh yeah…Caitlin!!! We wouldn’t have guessed 2010 would be busier than 2009, but that’s what happens when the kid never says “NO” to anything. After finishing her Freshman Year with the Show Choir, she dove directly into a summer theater production of The Sound of Music. The Prospect Marching Knights Band DOMINATED the competitions in the fall, sending her all over Illinois to win State, take 4th in Regional, and Atlanta to take 10th in Super-regional. Check out their field show on our blog, you’re sure to be impressed. As soon as she’s free of the Honors Choir rehearsals, pep-band practice, play performances, orchestra concerts , show choir competitions and dance recitals she’ll get around to thanking all her fans for their support…she’s such a diva.

It was an active year for The Boy with an awesome climbing trip to western Illinois, bike trips, day hikes, a cool round of disc golf and a summer skateboarding camp. The usual Soccer seasons rounded out his athletic endeavors. He quenched his horticultural thirst by nurturing Vern, his Venus Flytrap for the better part of the year (Vern loves worms, is OK with flies and ants, but pork tenderloin not so much?) His handyman skills came bubbling up to the surface in July when he SINGLE-HANDEDLY assembled a new barbecue grill for Dad’s birthday. Actually we’re a little nervous about that…I smell gas, and it ain’t the usual sort we have coming from him…

Well I hope you’ve enjoyed this year’s effort. For in the land of the blind, one eye is the king. If you’re not flyin’ you’re not tryin’. Get off my lawn!

With love found just north of appropriate…

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