The Aldrich's Home Page

Our second grandchild... Adam Richard Strzelecki, Junior!

Our Family Christmas Letter For 1998!


Christmas Greetings from Texas. May life be fine in '99!

The past is "history," the future is a "mystery." Today is a gift: that's why they call it "The Present...."

Each year, I begin this writing by reviewing our letters from previous years and thanking the Lord for bringing us through "those times." It reminds me that He must be with us now in "the present" as well, and won't fail us or forsake us, despite what the circumstances may look like.

Presently, Amoco is merging with British Petroleum and we are being told that the personnel cutbacks will be "sizable." We will hear around the first of the year whether Jon will maintain employment within the new organization. This is an uneasy time for his engineering group. We ask you to pray that God's will is carried out and that we remain peaceful and faithful either way.

In January, Rachel and Adam in Chicago experienced a shock when Adam's dad passed away suddenly at the age of 53. They have been able to continue living in the home where Adam grew up, which has been a comfort to them and Adam's mom and sister are nearby as well. Our granddaughter Kayla Marie, age 20 months, became a "big sister" on June 29, l998, welcoming Adam Richard Strzelecki, Jr. ("A.J.") Grandma Sharon spent 12 days with them in July and Grandpa Jon Craig met his grandson the first week of December. Both Adam and Rachel are attending college, and Adam now works for a Union Pacific Railroad contractor after several months as a part-time UPS employee.

Rachel and Kayla came here for Easter, to the delight of her young uncles, and in May, Sharon's brother Gary and his two oldest daughters came from Minnesota to our house for the first time. They enjoyed touring Johnson Space Center. Then, we all went to San Antonio for cousin Laura's beautiful wedding. Sharon's mom and sisters from Iowa and her aunt and uncle from Toronto flew down as well. (Our new nephew, Gary's son Rodney Ellsworth Tweito, was born in February.)

Sharon continues teaching kindergarten in Texas City and serves on the Gifted and Talented Curriculum Development Committee. One major blessing this year has been Ana Salazar, who comes to our house every day providing child and home care for our family. Philip, 9, has enjoyed Little League and Fall Ball and now is beginning basketball season. (He reminds us of Grandpa Al in his love for baseball and those statistics.) A highlight for him (and his parents) was to sing the Star Spangled Banner with the Amoco Choir in the Astrodome for an Astros game. He likes third grade and having neighborhood friends come over.

Timothy, 4, and Benjamin, 2, enjoy Ana and each other very much and don't have the "rush" of day care life. They really look up to brother Philip and all three love to go to church at Grace Community. Tim and Philip also went to Bible School at nearby Bay Area First Baptist Church for a week in June, where Ben took his first solo drive in the car across the church parking lot. He made quite an impression on the fence at the far side of the lot. (Uff-da!!!!)

Hope the Holiday season finds you happy and healthy and enjoying memory building with family and friends. We treated ourselves to two delightful holiday traditions: a Mannheim Steamroller Christmas concert (WOW) and "Tuna Christmas" at the Grand Opera House in Galveston. ("Tuna" is a fictional Texas town and two men portray completely convincingly about 25 different characters. Their other two plays are "Greater Tuna" and "Red, White, and Tuna.") We also took the kids to see "Anastasia on Ice" Thanksgiving weekend and Sharon sang and played hand bells in seven performances of our church Christmas program the first two weekends of December.

Meanwhile, Aaron, 17, has this year taken us to a new level of "parenting".... places we never dreamed we'd have to go... We've spent a great deal of time and emotional energy trying to remedy what we cannot "fix" and have come to the conclusion that he will eventually "come to himself," like the prodigal son in the Bible. We have experienced some of the depths of feeling God must have when we, His many children, turn our own way. We are so thankful He responds to us with forgiveness and mercy, even when we deserve justice. We ask you to pray for Aaron that he will turn to the Lord through the consequences of his choices...and for us that God will give us wisdom and peace.... He begins a new job with Wendy's soon and we hope this will encourage him.

On a happier note, this has been a productive year for Keepsake Video. Drew Kraus and Quinton are now genuine "full-time employees," rather than independent contractors. Quinton married Kristina in October in Vermont and Jon got to go to the wedding. (We found out some of Jon's early American ancestors settled in Vermont.) Drew and Jon also attended the Wedding and Event Videographers' Convention in August in Miami Beach. They hope to go to the next one in August in Las Vegas, even though Sharon cannot accompany them because it is held the first week of school... Oh, well...

Sharon did get to join Jon for a trip of a lifetime in June. We first went to Germany for our niece Renee's wedding to Philip. (The reception was held in a castle near the Rhine River. You can see pictures from their wedding at our website: Then, we joined Jon's siblings for a tour of the Seven Churches of Revelation in Turkey. We experienced many Biblical archaeological sites including Pergamon and Ephesus, toured mosques, a Turkish rug factory, Istanbul's sultans palace, and the 3300 store bazaar. We cruised on the Bosphorus and bussed through the olive groves to Troy, land of the Trojan Horse. The cuisine and culture were fascinating and we would love to go again. We did not realize that very little Christian influence remains in what was a foundation place for our faith...

Joy to the World (including Turkey), the Lord is come. Let earth receive her King!
Let every heart (including mine) prepare Him room,
and heaven and nature sing!!!

Love from us all. Jon Craig, Sharon, Aaron, Philip, Timothy, and Benjamin

original letter