Our Family Christmas Letter For 1987
303 Creek Bend
League City, TX 77573
JOY TO THE WORLD! THE LORD HAS COME. LET EARTH RECEIVE HER KING. LET EVERY HEART PREPARE HIM ROOM AND HEAVEN AND NATURE SING.
Joy to your world from the Aldrich family, League City, Texas. I’d rather see you face to face and hear your voices and hug you tight, but, instead, I will have to ask you to close your eyes, cross your arias in front of you, wrap your arms around yourself and squeeze for me. Go ahead. Do it right now. I’ll wait...
So, how have you been? How are you and your loved ones? What’s the news from your part of the solar system/planet/country/city/house? We have been fine. Jon and I were home in Waukon briefly over Thanksgiving weekend for my sister Anne’s wedding to Daniel Reisen. I was the matron(ly) of honor. We had a great time meeting Dan’s family and seeing our families again.
It was especially good to be with my brother Gary and his wife Michelle following the birth of their third daughter, Vanna Kaye Tweito. She was born with spina bifida on November 8. She had eight hours of surgery on November 10 doing skin grafts to close her back. That is presently healing well. She was released from the hospital December 4 and, because big sisters Samaratha and Tiffany, ages 2 and 4, have been sick, she is presently at Michelle’s folks in Spring Grove, a much closer drive than to LaCrosse. Please remember them in your prayers as they deal with this beautiful new little person and her special needs.
Meanwhile, back in Texas...it’s the doorbell, the phone, the major appliances, the cars, the alarm clock, etc.. I found my lost watch in the clothes dryer. This year, we have had to replace the dish washer, the transmission, the Honda brakes, the oven element.., the list is very long and each has its own amusing anecdote along with it. You’ll probably see the plot on some upcoming sit-com...
Jon has changed positions again at Amoco and is now in Purchasing, true type casting if I ever saw it. He enjoys buying catalyst and chemicals, dealing with vendors, seeking the best prices and services, etc. Meanwhile, in his spare time, he transfers 8mm home movies to video, videotapes weddings, and orders more equipment to enhance the capabilities of Keepsake Video.
Rachel, age 12 and in sixth grade, has taken up the flute in band, in addition to her piano lessons. She continues to help Dad with video work and is a member of the sixth grade choir at school. Aaron, six years old and a first grader, has really taken off with reading. He loves playing with the neighborhood kids and riding his bike. Last weekend, he wiped out and required a trip to the doctor for three stitches on his chin. Jon told him to tell his friends at school that he had ‘cut himself shaving”.
Thursday night, we took our children and two friends to First Baptist Church in downtown Houston to their Pageant. It had 700 cast members. The facility is enormous, holding 3500 guests, live animals, the Egyptian desert, the temple in Jerusalem, the manger of Bethlehem, the angels of glory, and 400 choir members on stage at once. It is being broadcast on television (perhaps even in your area), so I hope you can see it as well.
Many of our family activities center around our church — Grace Community is a “generic” church with the motto, ‘Come as you are. You’ll be loved.” Our friends here have been a wonderful support group, as we share our needs and pray one for the other. Jon does the audio taping of the services, I sing in the choir, and we host the League City Home Fellowship group on the fourth Sunday of every month. Last week, the church choir had four performances of our singing Christmas tree. The tree was comprised of 75 regular sized Christmas trees and filled the front of the sanctuary from floor to ceiling. We stood inside as “ornaments,” singing the good news of Christmas: that Jesus is not a tradition, or a past historical event, but a present reality, Emmanuel — God with us.
again provides fresh challenges. We added a seventh section of kindergarten at
my school, with 21 students in each class. There continues to be the wide
variety of needs: all the way from fluent readers to those who did not realize
the difference between numbers and letters; medical and emotional needs; four
sets of twins. My co-workers and I attended a kindergarten teachers institute in
Dallas this summer and were given a bunch of new ideas to try. I will be working
with my first student teacher next semester.
Jon’s sister Marilyn and family from Germany, came to visit us this summer. My uncle Chuck Anderson from Toronto had an overnight visit to Houston. His daughter Julie, an archeologist, is presently at a dig in the Sudan. My former college roommate Cynthia Blossom and her husband have moved from Houston back to the Miami area. Bev Brandt Bachelder is a new mom: Stephen Edward was born Nov. 3, Rachel’s birthday. Our nieces and nephews are proud parents, too, with Nathan and Karen and Kari and Gary having sons this summer. My sister Sandy is looking forward to an internship in interior design at an as yet undetermined location. We enjoyed our 15 year high school class reunion and the Tweito family reunion, both the same weekend last summer.
This will be our first Christmas by ourselves. Jon’s folks have opted to stay in their cozy red house on the hill in Northgate. Who knows... perhaps I will have to try my hand at lefse, or lutefisk... We can always reshingle the roof with the results, if need be...
And so, we come back to the manger to kneel once more and ponder the glorious truth of the Gospel: "There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the Law could not do, God did: sending His own Son... And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose... to become conformed to the image of His Son... For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord," from Romans 8, New American Standard Bible.
We wish for you and yours the best of Christmas presents --- the presence of Jesus.
Happy Holidays from Jon Craig, Sharon, Rachel, and Aaron