Our Family Christmas Letter For 1993!

January 1994

Dear Family and Friends,

We are so thankful for each of you and pray God has blessed you with a wonderful Holiday Season and may 1994 be a healthy, happy new year. Once again, it's time for another thrilling episode of the Texas Aldrich Family Yearly Update. This installment opens with a pop quiz for all you education fans... see how well you score on this one!

Which Aldrich took his wife to a beautiful bed-and-breakfast outing for their wedding anniversary (June 7) only to be greeted by the news that he would be adding on to his family in February?

Which Aldrich suffered from the consequences of 'No Pass/No Play?'

Which Aldrich worked as a waitress at Papa John's Steaks of Texas and got an unusual education in public relations? Which same Aldrich backed into the neighbor's truck?

Which Aldrich thought it would be cost effective to send birth announcements and graduation announcements in the same envelope?

Which Aldrich can trash his bedroom in less than three minutes?

Answers to these questions (and more) may be found below.

Our biggest, little update: we ARE anticipating the arrival (on or about February 10) of Aldrich Baby #4!!!!!!!!!!!!! Ultrasound at our 30 wk. checkup indicated "a boy"... we'll keep you posted. We also have a precious ultrasound photo of our baby 10 weeks past conception with beating heart, tiny fingers and toes. We are fearfully and wonderfully made!

Meanwhile, Rachel, the senior in high school, has been working this year at Papa John's Steaks of Texas, taking college entrance exams, narrowing down her choices for colleges, etc. She made the 'A' Honor Roll the first quarter with two 95's and five 100's at her school, Faith Christian Academy. Uff da! Her 18th birthday featured 18 long stemmed red roses, a 30+ course feast at Sonny's Crazy Cajun Restaurant, and the gift from dear friends of a three day cruise to the Bahamas which she took in early December and will never forget. For spring break, she plans to attend the senior class trip to El Salvador in March.

12 year old, seventh grader, Aaron learned some valuable lessons this year about being responsible to hand in assigned work, etc. Initially, he was prohibited from trying out for the basketball team due to low grades. His second six weeks has been much better than his first at Creekside Intermediate. His grades are way up and he just made the basketball team and is excited and thankful. Earlier, he wanted to try out for football, but his doctor discovered a hernia requiring surgery, so that was taken care of in Sept. He sang "Jingle Bell Rock" in a boy's trio at his school's Christmas concert. He loves sports, particularly basketball.

During Thanksgiving break, Philip came down with chicken pox. He is such an amazing four year-old and entertains himself nonstop with trashing the house. In his Christmas program at Sonshine Day Care, they did "Christmas Around the World" and he wore his Norwegian sweater, waved the Norway flag, and said, "God loves Norwegians!" He visited the hospital nursery this week to get ready to be a big brother, just like his big brother.

Our family had a relaxing drive home to Iowa this summer. We took time touring Hot Springs and Eureka Springs in Arkansas, and Branson, Missouri where we enjoyed the Shepherd of the Hills and the Passion plays. (Philip did get very upset by the pending crucifixion and loudly informed the audience around us that he was going to cut off the heads of "those bad people"...)

It was great to see family and friends again at home in Iowa. Sharon's folks had a 40th anniversary dinner at the Landmark Inn. Sharon stayed with sister Anne a few days and took the 3 year old cousins, Jacob and Philip, to the grocery store. It was fun to watch the faces of oncoming shoppers as they swerved to avoid us!

Teaching kindergarten keeps Sharon busy, as did the 7 performances of our church's Singing Christmas Tree program. The kindergarten kids are at eye level with her expanding tummy and are asking all kinds of questions! Our renovated school has been wonderful to teach in so far, even though it was not quite finished opening day and we had only a few hours in the building before school started Aug. 17 to get things set up and ready for students...

Jon has been superintendent of the lab at Amoco for almost a year now. The challenges presented to him in this position have stretched his development into new dimensions. His other business, Keepsake Video, continues to prosper and he gains a lot of satisfaction serving the public in this way. He maintains close contact with Russell, age 19, who worked with him this summer and is now away at Christ for the Nations in Dallas. It's been so fun to hear 'seminary talk' again like I used to hear at Luther in days gone by....

It is such a treat to hear from family and friends. Recently, a phone call came from a Luther classmate that I had not heard from in 20 years. His name stayed in the "B" section of the original address book that I started at Luther College, 21 years ago... many names now have thick labels one above the other with changes of address... some listings are no longer current... others are home with Jesus with an eternal address...

In Barbara Johnson's book "Splashes of Joy in the Cesspools of Life," there's a chapter titled, "Let my words be tender and sweet, for I may have to eat them one day." For me, Derrick Bracy's call was a splash of joy. He is an art teacher in Gary, Indiana and, seeing my name in a Luther alumni teacher directory had reminded him of a word spoken to him long ago. At this time of year, we are reminded afresh, "THE WORD became flesh and dwelt among us full of grace and truth." And, if we know Him, our "names are written in the Lamb's Book of Life" and He is presently preparing our eternal home. As Christians, we do not have a hopeless end; we share an endless hope!!! We encourage you to boldly proclaim the GOSPEL:

G od so loved the world that He gave His
O nly begotten
S on that whosoever believes in Him should not
P erish but have
E verlasting
L ife.

The tiny hands in the manger grew to be: the healing hands that cleansed the leper, the blessing hands that broke the bread, the praying hands that reached the Father, the pierced hands at the cross. Let His hands touch you, then let your hands be His hands in the world today. Whatever He's gifted and called you to do, do it with all your might.

Emmanuel is with us. Merry Christmas to you all... all year long!


Jon Craig, Sharon, Rachel, Aaron, Philip & ???