December 23, 2009

Merry Christmas - 2009

December, 2009

Dear Friends and Family,

Another year another letter… This year we have had sorrow. John’s father passed away in November, and although very sad he was suffering from Alzheimer’s. John was able to be with him during the final days, and we all went for the service. The kids are heart-broken – they really loved “grandpa” – but are recovering. We also lost our beloved dog Lucy. She passed away in October. That was tough for the kids, and especially Alex.

John and I are happy and healthy, but still trying to get through this economy. I work full-time and although the work is not so enjoyable – it does pay the bills. John is still running the rental department at an Aspen based realty firm – but rentals are not doing as well as expected. He is also licensed to buy and sell real estate in CO – but Aspen is feeling the credit crunch too. It has to pick-up at sometime right?

Lots of good news - Courtney was just accepted early decision at the University of Pennsylvania. This has been her dream since she was three. We are so proud of her and all her accomplishments – she really worked for this and I am so excited for her. She will be going to the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences – no idea what this means – I have a BA in History. She is a great person – kind and caring.

More good news – we have an Olympian in our family - Alex!! Alex is a sophomore at Basalt High School – and although we are still working (fighting) about her academics, she is doing very well in the non academics. She was the Manager of the Boys football team and is playing on the JV (and C) basketball teams. She is still very involved in Special Olympics and was recently selected as one of 28 athletes to represent the State of Colorado in the National Special Olympic Games that will be held next July 18 – 23 in Lincoln, NE. She is a runner and can sprint faster than me…Really a great honor. Everyone is invited to join us next summer in Lincoln!

To memorialize this year in Alex’s life I have started blogging. I find it very therapeutic, but also want to reach out to other families with children with special needs or just other families. Although our life is different than we expected – it is still incredibly rewarding. I have developed a bit of a following – with over 3,000 hits so far. If you want to follow our story – I call it “The Ordinary Life of an Extraordinary Girl” check out this link:

Tom is great –he is a freshman at CRMS – the local private school that Courtney attends. He is finally challenged academically – as the local public school did not have the same academic standards as the IL schools we left. He is a “dude” type of a kid – with snowboarding leading the pack of activities he enjoys. Perhaps another Olympian in the making (doubtful…but then again – I never expected Alex to be one either). He is also kind and caring, a nice boy.

So that’s a year – good and bad. Here’s to a great 2010 - happy and healthy – us and the economy!

Tons of Love,

Gary and the Gang

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