Thursday, December 25, 2014

Christmas Letter - 2014


I thought I’d fill you in on our family life this year. Since there is so much to tell and I’m too lazy to write it all down in each and every Christmas card with a pen, you’re getting this note.

#1 is now 22 and is a Senior Chemistry Major at Virginia Military Institute. His senior thesis is about some bacteria I can’t say never mind spell and the effects of spices on it.  Cinnamon is the spice that works best to kill it – so my advice is to sprinkle cinnamon on everything.
He is an S2 Lieutenant, which – in my world - means he gets a sword, has a whole lot of embroidery on his sleeve, and marches up front for Parade. #1 continues to play the tenor sax in the Jazz Band. He is headed to Florida – to the beaches and Disney World for a week with the Jazz Band in just a few days. It certainly pays to be in the Jazz Band at VMI!
He spent a good part of this past summer in Fort Knox, Kentucky at LDAC – the Army’s Leadership Development Assessment Course. He scored an E for Excellent and came back “Army Strong”! Upon graduation, he will commission with the US Army and will be headed to Arizona to become an Intelligence Analyst – his first choice pick. His training there should last about six weeks and then he thinks he will be placed at Ft. Meade in MD for his first assignment.

LLB is a Sophomore Applied Mathematics and Physics Major at VMI. She continues to play the trumpet and is a member of the Regimental Band, the Jazz Band, and the Brass Ensemble. LLB has had an amazing year. She is also a “ranker” and holds the office of Corporal. As far as I can tell, that means she has some embroidery on her sleeve and gets to tell the Rats what to do. She has embraced all that VMI has to offer and has figured out how to “make it pay”. She is on the Recycling Committee, is a tour guide for the VMI Museum, and plays jazz gigs. Emma will be headed south with Matt and the rest of the Jazz Band to see Mickey and lounge on the beach. I’m sure they have a gig or two to play somewhere in Florida. When I find out where they will be, I’ll post it on Face Book.
This past summer, she spent a month learning about all the great things the US Navy has to offer her upon graduation. Sub Week was her favorite, Aviation Week came in a close second, but Marine week and Surface Warfare Week tied for last place. Needless to say, Submarines are where she wants to be.
LLB is back at the Episcopal Church in Lexington this fall – she missed the liturgy and the traditions of the church we call home here. Because of that, she acquired a new host family but also managed to hang on to her original host family, as they are terrific people. The new host family comes with a cat and a 4 year old. She loves it there!

Mr is still busy working. He enjoys sawing fallen trees with his chain saw and mowing our acreage with his tractor in his spare time.  He continues to play bass guitar in the Church Gospel band, and rings bells in two choirs.  I still direct a handbell choir and am active in the Prayer Shawl ministry at a local United Methodist Church.  Mr and I are involved in the VMI Parents Council and a half dozen other volunteer committees. Basically, we keep busy.