Saturday, January 5, 2013

Greg's Christmas Letter

Here is Greg's yearly literary effort.  He really does love writing the letter, but I have to say he gives me the title of Editor without any of the authority.  I am more like a consultant- I have no real impact on the letter.  Which I'm sure, makes it more entertaining.

Family and Friends,
While the author has been scheming about this letter for months, the editor has been dreading the effort to reduce the author’s verbosity to a maximum of 2 pages and the inevitable disagreements over the factual history of the narrative. Let’s start with the part we can agree on: Lisa got 2 (the other one was late in 2011) speeding tickets this year and was pulled over a fourth time while trying to race past the author. It was difficult to explain to Mack and Andrew why I was laughing so much as I looked in the rear view mirror at those flashing lights. The rest of this letter’s contents should be taken with a grain or tablespoon of salt.  3 years ago we spent a miserable few days on the Oregon Coast during spring break. It was so cold and wet we figured the weather would have to be better next time so we returned this past spring break. It wasn’t. But on our last day the weather broke just long enough to get in a boat. We caught glimpses of whales in between glimpses of the bottom of the barf buckets. The landlubbers’ stomachs were just settling back on shore when we got in the car to head back to Idaho. A few hours later on a snowy pass Andrew unloaded in our 3 month old minivan. Welcome to the family!

Undeterred by the distance or smells, we embarked on a more ambitious road trip this summer with stops in Reno to see a sister, a drive through Yosemite National Park, a day at Disneyland with another sister and a day at the beach before returning home via a stop in Mesquite, NV to see my parents and to have Uncle Brad graciously teach Andrew to ride a bike.

We broke down and went to our first Boise State football game, but only because they were hosting BYU. Though I lost my voice by half time I don’t think I said anything in front of my kids that I would regret (the editor may disagree, but I’m the one writing). I thought I would get over that by going to the BYU game against Notre Dame but another close loss didn’t help things.

Natali (10) made me almond rolls yesterday to avoid razzing in the letter, earned a perfect math score on her ISAT (40/40), sings in multiple choirs, began babysitting her younger siblings (talk about exploitation of child labor!), ran a 5k, spotted wolves on our family trip to Yellowstone in May, and can’t handle losing at card games (sorry, I couldn’t resist).

Mack (9) played QB on his flag football team (Andrew was the center which led to some sibling debates whenever the snap was fumbled), played spring soccer, fall indoor soccer, winter basketball, and certainly would have added another sport had we consented. When he’s not playing sports or fighting with Andrew he can usually be found with his nose in a book. He, Natali, and Andrew were all named the top readers in their respective classes last year. Recently he and Natali have taken to reading on the toilet (must get that from the author) late at night. We often come upstairs and notice an empty bed. The toilet room has a separate door that shows almost no light to help keep their secret. For a little balance in life he started piano lessons and got glasses.

Andrew (7) and I enjoyed a trip to Yellowstone the last weekend in October. We just about had the park to ourselves as it received its first winter blanket of snow. One Sunday in church Andrew was looking through the hymn book and asked, “Why is there a song about old faithful (thinking of the geyser in Yellowstone)?” He was looking at “O Come All Ye Faithful.” One night I went upstairs at 10:30 in a rage to demand that the boys fall asleep, “Go to bed!” To which Andrew replied, “We are nocturnal!” It was hard to argue with that.

Kate (5) had the most fun at Disneyland without even getting on a ride. After the first month of Kindergarten she ventured from her teacher’s side at recess, but she has grown to love school. She switches freely back and forth between her big girl voice and the one that sounds like a chipmunk. She wears a dress almost every day and Lisa hopes that everyone knows that Kate picks out her own clothes—picture multiple combinations of colored stripes, sometimes mixing horizontal and vertical.

Emily (2) sings “Teach Me to Walk in the Light” every night with me at bed time, calls me Daddy-O, and recently finished potty-training (just when we were dreaming of the diaperless life Lisa got pregnant again). While I instinctively respond “no” to just about every request from the other kids, I remain an admitted and contented softy when it comes to our littlest “big girl.” I’d be more worried about the others getting jealous, but everyone loves to spoil Emily.

Lisa (32+7 months pregnant= approximately 60) has pink eye, a sinus infection, and probable strep throat, but there was no need to test for that since she was going on an anti-biotic anyway. Typing that last sentence made me a bit more sympathetic. The very least someone could do for her is pick a name for the daughter to be. On the first day of school Lisa was mistaken for a carpooler when 4 kids climbed out to attend the same elementary school. We are hoping to have a classroom named after the family.

Greg (34)—I’ve been working hard on a midlife crisis, likely to manufacture one if it doesn’t happen on its own. I spent my weeknights from January to May preparing lessons for an Economics course that I taught at Boise State. Though I loved teaching, it meant no time to plan adventuresome trips and my passport was unjustly neglected. That sounds like a good resolution for next year.

Favorite books of the year—Unbroken, Into Africa, Endurance, The Hunger Games, and The Continuous Atonement. Why do we like reading about people in such difficult circumstances? Hopefully it isn’t to prepare us for something similar!

I am thankful this Christmas season for a loving family. My kids don’t seem to realize they got the short straw when it comes to Dads, hopefully it will take few more years for them to figure that out. Lisa is a Saint—patient, loving, and capable—and I can’t imagine life without her. Our Heavenly Father is a God of miracles and though not always the miracles we want, or when we want them, they are there if we will look for them.

Merry Christmas, Love the Easton Family (Greg, Lisa, Natali, Mack, Andrew, Kate, and Emily)


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