Christmas Day ---- December 25. 1990
Greetings from Texas! It's a chilly Christmas morning and Rachel is playing Tetris on the Nintendo, Aaron is sifting through the remnants of last night's wrapping paper blizzard, and Philip, in his drop-seat red pajamas, has just slid down the steps on his belly saying "momma." The lutefisk is having a leisurely soak on the kitchen counter and Jon is working on the computer in the video production room.
Earlier this morning, we enjoyed breakfast featuring toast prepared in one of Aaron's Christmas gifts; a four-slice toaster. We missed the yulekage, but had our traditional oyster stew last night, much to the dismay of the kids...! Can you believe it? Another year just whizzed past. Uff Da!
So, it is our second Christmas with little Philip. As we were chasing him around the auditorium at Rachel's dance recital this month, I was wondering about the second Christmas for Mary and Joseph. Were they strangers in Egypt wondering when they would ever get to go home? Was Toddler Jesus learning to talk? What were his first words? Did Mommy have to tell him, "No,no, baby, that's ouch!" Did she have to run after him and pick up his toys? How did Mary survive without a microwave, freezer and disposable diapers? Did His squealing drive pappa Joseph nuts? The Bible doesn't tell us much about His childhood, except that He grew in wisdom and stature and in favor with God and man, and isn't that our prayer for all our children...
We were also told about Jesus' trip to the temple when He was twelve and his parents realized he was not with the travelers after all and they had to go back to find him... Anxious moments, I'm sure...I remember how odd I used to think it was to find my mom still up when I had been out late at high school activities.... Well, now I, too, feel the apron strings stretched to their limits as Rachel, age 15, is a freshman in high school. There are few words to describe what life is like with our teenager. If you've been through it, praise the Lord; if you are in it now, our prayers are with you; and if you look forward to that day, hang on to your hats and keep the kids in the family boat on the rocky rapids of the adolescent river ride!!!
Anyway, Rachel has kept busy with band (flute), dance lessons, drama, church activities, phone calls, and friends. She enjoys "malling"-- spending the day at the mall...If she finds something to wear that is not too gross, I'm happy. (Her style of dress vascilates between trendy and frumpy...) Recent excitement for her has been getting toe shoes for ballet and having her picture in the Houston Chronicle as part of the backstage crew for the faculty play, "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown!"
Aaron, age 9, loved basketball camp this summer and can hardly wait to begin playing basketball, which starts up in January. He's been doing very well in fourth grade, helps around the house a lot, and has fun antagonizing little brother. Aaron reminds us of Bart Simpson...He is all boy and loves Nintendo games, sports, math and drawing.
Jon Craig is now Marine Superintendant at AMOCO in Texas City. He supervises the docks where oil tankers and barges load and unload crude oil and refined petroleum products. Nights and weekends, he is devoted to Keepsake Video. He has thoroughly enjoyed the upstairs we added on in '89, having ample room for an abundance of gizmos and gadgets. This year, in addition to film-to-video transfers and weddings, he has done dance recitals and high school reunions.
Sharon continues teaching kindergarten in Texas City, thrilling to each student's successes. She has 22 kids in the morning and 21 in the afternoon session and a teacher's aide (this year) for which we are very thankful. She has put a lot of miles on the 1990 Pontiac Bonneville we bought while in Waukon for vacation this summer. Sharon's parents (Al & Irene) drove it to Texas for us, had a brief visit, then returned home on AMTRAK. They had not been down since Aaron was a toddler, so we appreciated their trip very much. After taking a year off, Sharon has rejoined choir at church and just finished giving five performances of our 8th annual singing Christmas tree.
We enjoyed our yearly repatrionage to Iowa in June. The Tweito family had Sandy and Tom's wedding. They now live in Des Moines. The Aldrich family had a nice reunion at Northgate with uncles and cousins coming from the East Coast...We got to see Marilyn from Germany and her first granddaughter Seline. Niece Renee has been in Peru with Wycliff translators. Niece Liz and Richard went to Korea to pick up their new daughter Kressa.
In mid-November, we enjoyed Jon's mom (Adelaide) visit with us...fresh bread, cookies, conversation and coffee.... She brought the lutefisk in the suitcase and my mom sent lefse along too, so we are in good shape for the holidays. (For those of you who had not heard from us since last year, Jon's dad passed away on December 19, before our plane landed that day. Alvin is greatly missed by us all.) She returned to Waukon last Saturday, having seen two singing Christmas tree performances, the blooming hybiscus in the backyard, Sam's Wholesale Wearhouse, the farmers' market, freeway traffic, and the flurry of activity around our house in December.
At this time of the year, we look forward to hearing from many of you once again and pray your holiday season was filled with wonder and a fresh revelation of Jesus, who lived His earthly life by the same Holy Spirit available to us by faith. May we not leave Jesus out in the stable, telling Him there's no room in our crowded inns for Him. Let's invite Him in to dwell with us on the throne of our hearts; Wonderful Counsellor, Prince of Peace...
Psalm 23: walking through,
Jon Craig, Sharon, Rachel, Aaron, and Philip Aldrich