Merry Christmas! This has been an exciting year for our family.
Elissa is a domestic ninja. She’s been teaching Dan piano, helping Dan and Will get way ahead in math, making sourdough bread, sewing dresses for Marie, instigating a new tradition of Sunday post-Church family board games, and more. Not to mention moving from San Antonio to Houston in February, or being pregnant the last few months—we are expecting a baby around June 3, 2023! Also, her young adult fantasy novel “Nightwalker” has had several thousand downloads and a Whitney Award nomination (buy and review here!), and she is working on the next one.
Marie is two. Her favorite toy is her baby doll, which gets a lot of love and care. She loves eating, eating sugar, and climbing things to steal sugar to eat. She’s probably the best dressed member of the family, and I’m afraid she knows it. Her favorite book is probably “Hippos Go Berserk!” by Sandra Boynton, which has been read to her enough times that she more or less learned to read numerals from it.
Will is five, and he started Kindergarten this year. He loves the “Dragon Masters” books, his rock collection, and making cool duplo creations. His growing culinary repertoire includes toaster waffles and microwave quesadillas.
Dan is seven, and in Second Grade. He read the Harry Potter series this year, along with more Rick Riordan books than I knew existed. He’s also a big fan of the “What If” books (Randall Munroe) and the “Alcatraz vs. the Evil Librarians” series (Brandon Sanderson). He’s a helpful guy to have around, for cleaning, baking, making chocolates, and more.
I (Tom) took a new assignment at the Valero Houston Refinery at the start of the year, hence the move to Houston. I’m currently Reliability Manager, trying to help keep the stuff inside the pipes and keep the electricity on and things like that. It’s great when it works. At home, I’ve achieved by far the highest dollar handicap in our ongoing family Monopoly competition. I’ve also read a bunch, as usual, and spent some time working on a science fiction novel. The first draft is at about 45,000 of 130,000 words, progressing at around 1,000 words a week, so don’t hold your breath waiting for it. But it’s been fun.
In the coming year, Elissa and I will be team teaching the 10 year old class for our local congregation of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. And we are excited to welcome our new baby in the summer!
As we celebrate this Christmas season, we remember our Savior, Jesus Christ. Thanks to his birth, teaching, atonement, and resurrection, we look forward to eternal life together as a family. Merry Christmas!