Merry Christmas, friends and family!

Well here we are coming up on yet another blessed year!  2011 has been very good for us indeed...not that I want to look back on it too much.  Some things are better left forgotton.

This Christmas, we are spending more time with Danielle, with her finally out of rehab.  After being expelled from middle school, we didn't know what to expect, but she's back on a great track, only smoking regular cigarettes, and the occasional dip of chewing tobacco. With a little more discipline, we're hoping she can stick with school (5th Grade) and she may end up being able to make it to High School and graduate after all.  That would be such a treat!  It was touch and go there for a while, as we didn't know how many years her sentence would be.

Colleen and her family have been doing very well.  We don't get to see them nearly as much since they moved out, but we try to go over to her trailer a couple times each week and we just adore babysitting the grandkids when Colleen is at work.  Frankie, being a free spirited young father, has decided to move out and live back with his parents, so Colleen, being a single parent, can use all the help she can get.  I don't know how she does it, balancing a part time job, while raising 2 kids, and going to middle school (7th Grade), all at the same time.  Little Billy (4 months) is a very unique and happy baby, looking a bit like his Grandfather.  He giggles a lot, and sleeps well through the night.  Samantha (13months) is just adorable and loves to hold her little brother.  She sometimes just sits by Billy's crib and stares at him for hours, with that steady stare as in her photo below.  It's wonderful to have a house full of kids, and we're so happy we didn't throw out the kids baby clothes!

Billy - 11/2011

Samantha - 12/2011

Andrea is still employed as a glorified electro-shock theapist, placing needles in every conceivable place on the patients bodies...nooks, crannies, under rolls, between flabs, and yes, even in the stinky spots.  It can be grueling work indeed, but it is about to get much better now that they've voted one of the crew off the island.  It's a stressful job, but she was able to get an employee discount for Neurological surgeries, so she had an elective labotomy which has since relieved her stresses almost completely.  While she may not have the passion of her youth any more, she now has the dedication of a labrador retriever who's stuffed with dog biscuits.

Tim is continuing his downhill slide as he works deeper into his golden years.  He continues to drive, even thought it causes his turrets syndrome to flare up.  The winters are especially hard as he sometimes bruises his left hand on the window glass as he signals nearby drivers.  He spends much of his free time working as a volunteer, along with the guys from work.  They volunteer and provide support for under privileged 20-something young dancers, teaching them financial management with their charitable donations. It keeps him busy, and when he finally comes home he's usually exhausted.  At home, he enjoys playing with Colleen and Danielle, teaching them how to drive, and enjoys spending lots of time in his throne room.  He's installed wall-mounted iPads next to every toilet in the house, and with the help of Netflix, that provides him with hours and hours of uninterrupted entertainment.

Yes, lest we forget, we still have Charlie, our Golden Retriever.  He continues to be a very happy dog, with perhaps the cleanest Christmas balls ever.

So that's what's up with our family this wonderful holiday season!  We hope to see you all this coming year, preferrably early in 2012, because according to the Mayan calendar we won't be around for next Christmas!  Prepare for December 23, 2012!

Love Tim, Andrea, Danielle, Colleen, and Charlie...and don't forget little Billy and Samantha.