The Switzer 2007 Holiday Newsletter

This marks the 5th installment of our online holiday newsletter, to go with the creative photo cards that Carrie puts together every year. This year's card's theme is "family traditions" as we share one of ours with you. If you didn't find your way here because of the photo card, you can see a picture from it below in the family section of this newsletter.

We hope this online newsletter finds each and every one of you well. May your holidays be a time of happiness spent with family, loved ones, and happy memories.

Two special notes from the past year, an example of the circle of life in a way. While we celebrated the new life of Kaelina at her August baptism in Marble, Colorado, Carrie celebrated the amazing life of her 102 year old grandfather who passed away the week before - may he rest in well deserved peace.

Before you dive into our family news and events, I have two things I would like to share.

  1. My favorite non-family blog entry of the year - "Stop and smell the roses". Read the linked article (and listen) if you didn't catch it before - I promise you that its well worth your time and might just brighten your day.

  2. My new favorite all-time holiday song. (MP3, 4MB)

    Just click the link - should play directly in most browsers, and turn up your speakers!

    This beautiful song came from the holiday episode last year of the now cancelled NBC show - Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip. The show was about the making of a weekly comedy show similar to Saturday Night Live - talk about a show within a show, eh? The holiday episode featured real-life displaced New Orleans musicians that came together to create a heartfelt holiday jazzy version of "O Holy Night".

    Note: I'm not sure how long this link will be here. I've asked for permission from NBC.com to provide this song that was originally free, but they did not respond. So, I'll leave it here for the time being unless I'm asked to remove it.

Wishing you a happy and safe holiday season,

The Twizzlers



Ashley

Ashley is our 19 year old University of Colorado sophmore. She had a successful first year there, and in her second year, she has traded the dorm life for an off campus apartment. In the photo to the right, she is proudly standing by her front door. She has been dating Britton, who is also a CU sophmore for nearly a year now, and they are quite smitten with each other.

Ashley continued her summer lifeguarding job, but made a few changes. She left our small local pool after 4 years there, and worked exclusively at a bigger, private pool that she split time with last summer. She also applied for a position as a swim team coach and won that job as well. She even gave her brother several private swim lessons which were very helpful to Tobey and a joy for Carrie and I to watch as they interacted.

This fall at CU she is working part time as an office assistant on campus, when she is not in classes. We enjoyed having her here over Thanksgiving and she helped keep the family tradition of making gingerbread cookies going strong by making the cookies with her boyfriend Britton and then having him participate in decorating them with us. We look forward to having her back for a few weeks for the upcoming winter break.

Lastly, I will grudgingly admit that Ashley won round #2 in the Father/Daughter Alumni College Bowl. She did pay up for round #1 by wearing CSU clothing during the most recent game, but I will be doing the same during next year's game.

 

 

 



Tobey

Tobey is our precocious and precious four and a half year old.

We've seen many changes and a lot of growth, both physical and mental out of our little man this past year. He has continued to thrive at Montessori school, even after losing many of his best friends this fall to kindergarten and transfers to other schools. Tobey will begin kindergarten himself next year. He's reading on his own, which is a very exciting and fun to witness as he gains confidence in trying more difficult books that his Grandma Teach sends from her days as a teacher.

Tobey spent around 5 months doing Tae Kwon Do over the summer and fall. He earned several belts during that time, and participated in a tournament where he won his first trophy for participation. He decided to "retire" right around Thanksgiving, but I'm hoping he might pick it up again when he's a little older as he truly seemed to enjoy it. Tobey also nearly learned how to swim thanks to his big sisters awesome instruction and a week of swimming for hours a day in our condo's pool when we were in Florida in August.

Tobey is very much looking forward to the holidays, and it is contagious to witness his excitement for Santa to visit this year.

Weblog entries involving Tobey in the past year:

Boys Night Out

Day at the Museum

Auto Show - 3rd annual event

Happy 4th Birthday

Tae Kwon Do



Twizzler

Twizzler is our 10 year old chocolate labrador retriever.

We celebrated her momentous 10th birthday with ice cream on a hot September evening. She's added some more grey under her chin, and she's finally added a few extra pounds to her thin frame, but she's aging as gracefully as one might hope. As long as she gets her daily walk, she seems to be one happy dog.

More pictures of Twizzler



Family Photo

2007 was another busy and exciting year for Carrie and Alan.

In May we gathered with most of Carrie's family in Niagra Falls to celebrate Celine's birthday. In August we took a special trip to Cocoa Beach that coincided with a Space Shuttle launch, and were graced with an in person viewing of the exciting, flawless launch - no easy feat! Special thanks to Steve Tyler and his family for taking us onsite at Kennedy Space Center!

Carrie continues to work at Catholic Health Initiatives as a consultant, while I went thru 3 different jobs in the last 12 months - Strategic Computing, Thomson Healthcare, and now Oppenheimer Funds. Each job has been better than the previous, and in early 2008, if you have any Oppenhemer funds in your retirement portfolio, you'll be able to directly see my work when you manage your account! It's been a journey of ups and downs for both of us, but we are both thankful to be employed in the turbulent IT field.

We've realized that we'll be staying at our Englewood house of 10+ years for at least another 10-12 years, so we've taken on some remodeling projects. We started with the upstairs bathroom, and are planning to tackle the master bathroom early next year, with the kitchen to follow. Carrie is also painting various rooms to give them a new look, and is the driving force behind most of these fun changes. When we are recreating, we enjoy playing video games with Tobey, visiting Ashley at college, family movie time, attending Denver Nuggets and Colorado Rockies games, and setting up playdates with Tobey's friends and parents.

Next year will be a few more "tens", following in Twizzler's lead, as we celebrate our 10th wedding anniversary, and ten years in business together with DecaTech Solutions.

A few highlights and trips from the past year in our family weblog:

Niagra Falls

Endeavour shuttle launch

Halloween Bash