This is the holiday letter that my kids and I wrote to mail out whenever we bought stamps. (We have decided to call them January Letters.)
We are attempting our first ever Holiday Family Letter, especially geared towards those of you we love that are far away. We’d love to catch you up on our shenanigans.
First off WE LOVE YOU and MISS YOU. That’s the main reason we are writing you.
Aubrey has braces now, and started Tae Kwon Do again. She just earned her yellow belt. She’s in 8th grade and we’re trying to find the perfect high school for her artistic talents, and one where she will thrive.
She’s still taking Japanese lessons, loves anime, manga (her new favorite series is “DRRR!!”), drawing, reading, wearing black, and skeletons. She loves music, but nothing girlie. Case in point: in this year’s school talent show, she’ll be singing either “Leave out all the rest” by Linkin Park, or a Japanese song. She still loves Harry Potter. She’s dreamy, elegant, dark and talented. I love her so much.
Robert says he’s doing “pretty good,” and is fitting in at school, which he says is “very nice.” He loves video games (“Of course, ‘course, ‘course!”). His current fave is Minecraft. If he has to read, his favorite is The 39 Clues series. He’s finished the first whole series and has moved on to the next series (within the series.) 39 Clues: Cahills vs. The Vespers. A Garfield connoisseur, he’s recently moved on to Calvin and Hobbes.
He has a permanent retainer; his braces came off years ago. He’s a 6th grader at a charter school that has a combined elementary and middle school that keeps the same teacher two years in a row. He’ll get a new teacher for 7th and 8th grade. He still doesn’t like to brush his hair and gets only one hair cut a year – a buzz cut during Spring Break. He still likes Legos, and still wants to paint his room grey (it’s bright yellow right now).
He’s funny, curious, quirky, and compassionate. I love him so much.
They both play Dungeons and Dragons with their dad and friends weekly.
We’ve been in our rental house for a year now. It’s a cozy and lovely fit for us. We’re planning to get back to some suburban homesteading this summer: gardening and chickens.
Valerie just got a new job using her massage therapy license finally – at Chi Spa (a place specializing in Chinese massage, reflexology, and detox techniques – like FAR infrared saunas and ionic foot baths.) She’s been building up her editing clientele with Yellow Pen Editing ( http://valeriewillman.com ), and continues to facilitate and co-chair the Mid-Valley chapter of Willamette Writers’ monthly meetings. She also has a work/study position with the Bikram yoga studio in town, and has a weekly yoga and ecstatic dance practice. (She recently treated herself to a blind contour drawing/writing class “just because.”)
Her biggest and most heartfelt news is there’s a new relationship in her life – a Turkish man named Ali who writes for a living, collects art, loves dogs, and has a great laugh.
She’s put money down on an acre of land in Costa Rica, and plans to move there full time after the kids are out of high school. Aubrey says she’s looking forward to visiting on college breaks and Robert said he might live there “if it’s cool.”
Merry Christmas and Happy Solstice. We, today, just hiked to the top of Mt. Pisgah in Eugene, Oregon to watch the sunrise on the shortest day of the year – the beginnings of a new tradition? We’ll see.
May you find loads of peace and joy this coming year. We’d love to hear from you.