We are in Fayette, Maine at the old farm for the week between Christmas and New Year, celebrating the completion of 2005 and the beginning of 2006. We've asked each of our daughters to write a few words about their families.
This picture was taken at Family Night at Kathy's a little while ago: from left to right Kathy, Ruthie, Hilary and Megan.
Once again, I asked the kids to help me with our portion of the annual Christmas letter by asking them what their favorite memory of the past year was.
Heather with her cousin Sarah
favorite thing was going to Ohio to Cedar Point Amusement Park and riding
on the carousel.”
Heather will be ten in March and is now in the fourth grade. This is the only year that all three kids will be in the same school. She continues to love reading and is finishing up the Harry Potter series in preparation to re-reading the Series of Unfortunate Events. She has continued with Girl
Scouts, this year as a Junior. She played soccer in both the spring and fall, although she has already informed me that she does not plan to play next spring as she would like to try swimming, gymnastics, and ballet. Although she continues to decline my suggestions to rejoin the choir, she has recently become an acolyte, serving for the first time at our recent family worship service. She was very nervous, but she did a great job. Also, she will be performing in this year’s church Christmas pageant, “Wee Three Kings.” She decided she was ready for a somewhat larger role this year and was very excited to be assigned her first choice, Mary.
favorite thing was my first roller coaster ride!”
Mikayla is seven and is in the first grade again. She really had some trouble last year so we thought it best to give her a chance to catch up. It was clearly a good decision. She is enjoying school much more this year and has made huge strides with her reading. Kayla and I have continued with Brownies and have enjoyed many fun activities. She played soccer in the spring, but decided to take a season off this fall. She’s really pushing for gymnastics and ballet.
favorite thing is everything.”
Nathan is five and started kindergarten this year. Since we only have half day kindergarten in Chelmsford, he spends the other half of his day with his daddy and has really been enjoying their special time together. Although he claims not to like school, he certainly is doing very well. Like Heather, he played soccer this fall and seemed to enjoy it, however, he’s informed me that he doesn’t want to play in the spring...he wants to play baseball.
As for me, I have lots of great memories... our now annual trip to Cedar Point to play on the roller coasters, the Cape, the farm and lake in Fayette, going camping for the first time with the kids, Nathan’s preschool graduation, the arrival of Kate Marie, Kayla reading her first chapter book, and Heather’s gallery of animal pictures on the wall by her bed. It’s been a good year, and we’re looking forward to the coming one and lots more opportunities to make memorable moments. From all of us, to all of you, best wishes for a happy, healthy, and joyous new year!
Tara Jean holding Katie
Sarah and Nathan
Megan and Dan
Emma Ruth and Abigail Elizabeth
Dan and I were
delighted to welcome our twin girls into the world on 12/1/05. Their
arrival was a bit earlier than anticipated (their due
date was 1/6/06). However, they were born healthy, weighing 5 lbs. 1
oz. (Emma) and 4lbs. 4 oz. (Abigail). We were upset when Abigail was
transported to Tufts- New England Medical Center due to some difficulty
breathing. However, she was fit to return to Lowell General within a
short period of time, and is now sharing a crib with her sister. The
girls came home in time for Christmas, and are doing great! We have chosen
middle names for the girls in honor of our mothers: Emma Ruth
Elizabeth. The reason we chose to do so is because they both are
strong, intelligent, generous and thoughtful women, who we are proud
to have as role models and advisors for our girls!
|Dan continues to enjoy his work as an audio technician for Fox Sports Net New England. I continue to work as a social worker at the Department of Social Services. It will be interesting to discover how my perspective of the job will change now that I am a parent. I am looking forward to the “reprieve” of maternity leave. I anticipate taking off about three months from work. Dan will take the two weeks that are allowed by his employer, to help with the transition home from the hospital. Dan has been my rock throughout this whole experience. He has been supportive and encouraging and patient. He has generously pampered me and he has taken over many of the household chores. He has comforted me through the grief of leaving the girls behind in the hospital. He is already a fantastic father! I adore watching him with the girls.
Dan and Sarah
|I am working towards the completion of my master’s degree in Gender and Cultural Studies at Simmons College in Boston, MA. However, after an intense summer class, I chose not to take a course this semester. I think I chose wisely, as I have been pretty tired at the end of the day- not particularly conducive for higher learning.
Overall 2005 has been a joyful, busy year. We’ve shared many wonderful experiences with family and friends. Each year that passes reminds us of the preciousness of our relationships. We are looking forward to experiencing the joys of parenthood, and of sharing those joys with our loved ones- especially those who are willing to help comfort a crying twosome (me and Dan or the twins). Happy Holidays! May love and happiness fill your lives in 2006!!!!
Hilary and Scott
|Kate Marie was born on August 28!! She is beautiful!! It amazes us every day how much she looks like Sarah did at her age. She’s definitely her own little person though and reminds us often that she is a top priority. She is four months old now and we are rewarded with many smiles and giggles as well as Kate trying to turn herself over and follow all of big sister Sarah’s activity. She has slept through the night several times and we are looking forward to the light at the end of the “not a lot of sleep” tunnel.
Sarah is almost three now and a wonderful big sister! She looks out for Kate and helps to calm her and cheer her up when she cries. She likes to read to Kate and sing to her as well. Sarah loves her books! We are so lucky to get books on a very regular basis from Grammy and Kathy and the kids. Sarah asks to be read to, and then she “reads” to us by trying to remember the story she just heard. She has an excellent attention span and memory and we have to remember that she can’t actually read yet. Sarah also loves to paint, dance to music, play with her dolls, and play outside. She looks forward to regular visits to the library for story time and also play dates with her cousin Shannon and her friends Matthew and Emma next door. I am particularly happy that Sarah enjoys our Family Nights as much as I do and anticipates it every week. She has so much fun playing with her cousins and seeing her aunties and grandparents.
Scott is enjoying his two girls. They have him wrapped around their little fingers and he is a wonderful daddy. He loves to read to the girls and to roughhouse and tease with Sarah. He is entering his seventh year with Mellon Financial. The company is doing very well and he is busier than ever. The summer was especially hectic, as turnover forced him to replace ten people on his team. At the same time, his largest client awarded Mellon a substantial new piece of business (their 401k plan). Scott spent many extra hours working to rebuild his team and train them on the new plan. Though it was a struggle, the team has made solid progress and continues to get stronger each day.
During his limited spare time, Scott has been working on refinishing the basement. Progress is slow, as he is lucky to have 2-3 hours on a weekend to devote to the project. Regardless, he really enjoys the work and the sense of accomplishment he gets from building it himself. Dan has spent many hours helping Scott, which has made the work a lot more fun. Sarah is also always willing to give the guys a hand building her “playroom” in the basement.
|I am lucky to be able to stay home with the girls. It has been a terrific decision. I have especially enjoyed spending so much time with Sarah (she used to be in daycare ten hours a day, five days a week) while Kate is in her mostly sleeping stage. I have really been enjoying Sarah’s personality. She is such a teaser and loves to laugh and be silly (cool, so do I). Not working out of the home has been a big adjustment (financially and emotionally), but although it’s not always easy, we have had more good days than not and I wouldn’t change a thing.
On a very sad note, Scott’s dad, Al, passed away in November. It was unexpected even though Al had been undergoing treatment for cancer for the past two years. Al had been doing well; he always had a positive attitude and never complained about his condition. Scott’s parents had been planning to spend the winter in their newly purchased property in Florida. We are happy that Scott’s mom, Barbara, will still be fulfilling their vacation plan and we are planning to join her in January for a warm, long weekend retreat. Al will be deeply missed, and although he met Kate before he passed, we are saddened that she will never know her wonderful grandfather personally. Luckily, there are many people in our lives that will help the girls to remember their Grandpa.
We are very excited to welcome Emma and Abigail to the family, and as always, we take this time to appreciate how many special family members and friends we have and to be thankful for the time we spend with them. We wish you all many happy times with your loved ones and a wonderful new year.
Ruthie and Bill
Ruthie and Sarah
Bill and Heather
Another eventful year has so quickly passed! We’ve shared in the wondrous births of three new granddaughters, and in the great loss of a man, Al Stevens, Scott’s Dad, who was truly a pillar of his community. Bill and I were glad to be part of the support for Scott, Hilary, and Al’s family with the many mourners at Al’s funeral.
Kate, Emma, and Abby will
now get to grow up together, sharing all the childhood events and memories.
Sarah is a protective big sister to Kate, and she’ll
probably take Emma and
Abby under her wing as soon as they are more mobile. The new little ones will soon learn there is a support cast of thousands, well, many cousins, aunts, uncles, and friends in their lives.
Bill is constantly busy, mostly with either model train or computer-based projects. The range of projects runs from several websites that he manages, some e-bay work he’s doing for a friend, family site updates, and some preparations for the next Evans Reunion. The website work seems to have grown exponentially, because it involves photographing items, sizing them for the site, designing the site layouts for best sales exposure, writing copy, and recommending sales strategies. Most recently he’s been enjoying using his engineering skills in redesigning an adapter board for S Helper trains.
Again this year, The Heather C. Clark Fund benefited an elementary school in Lowell providing many new books for the children to enjoy. We value our friendship with the Abraham Lincoln School and the help of the principal, faculty, staff, and students from the school, and the help of family and friends donations that help keep Heather’s fund functioning.
My life is full and happy.
I enjoy my work with the students and faculty of the grant-funded Links Program,
and I get to see immediate family, minimally,
once a week at Family Night, but often more frequently. Sometimes I’m
able to watch over grandchildren while my children get to do something else.
We’ve enjoyed many family get-togethers, including our trip to Arizona
to spend vacation time with our Arizona and California family, a trip to Ohio
and Cedar Point with more wonderful family, and to the Cape for the annual
week together. Some of us traveled to Maryland for the annual Spencer’s
Friends Foundation Golf Tournament. Needless to say, I enjoyed the family and
Maryland, but I’m not a golfer! Life being as busy as it is, I only regret
not taking more time to spend with my sisters and other friends. I’m
able to stay in touch with some of you at a distance through e-mail [email@example.com],
and we look forward to visits from you. We’ve loved Dick Clark’s
visits in the spring and fall, and try to get him to extend the visits each
year! Spending more time with my sisters and friends will be prominent in my
New Year’s resolutions!
Bill and Dan listening to another Red Sox victory!
Over the coming year, we wish you the wealth of happiness that we have enjoyed this year!
There is a .pdf version of the hardcopy version of the letter that we mailed to people who don't have email here. There is also a jpg of the picture page from the hardcopy letter here.
We hope this letter finds you in good health and spirit, and off to a great 2006!
Ruthie and Bill; Abby, Emma, Megan and Dan; Kate, Sarah, Hilary and Scott, Nathan, Mikayla, Heather, Tara Jean and Kathy.
Nathan at the Soccer Field
Megan got a lot bigger than this! But they are both back to normal now, and we have 3 more wonderful granddaughters!
Mikayla, Nathan, Heather
Scott, Sarah, Katie, Hilary
Heather giving the old man a chess lesson!