Holiday Newsletters

December, 1989

Holiday Greetings!

     Many of you haven't heard from us since last January's holiday greeting letter, so I'll play catch-up from there and summarize the Bishop's activities for 1989.  It has been a good year -- we have all been blessed enough to remain basically healthy, happy, and whole.

     Shannon and Sara are in 8th and 7th grades and they stay adequately busy.  Both girls have been involved with the golf team, Jr. Lifesaving, volleyball, Confirmation Class, and German lessons two mornings a week before school in hopes of traveling to Austria for three weeks in June.  Sara's main new activity is playing piano in a regional Youth Orchestra. I hope she stays with it, because where else is a 15-year-old going to wear a long, black, velvet skirt?  (It doesn't fit me.)  Shannon continues to pursue gymnastics and French.  Voila!
     Jefferson is in 4th grade and has just started this business of extra-curriculars this year:  in 1989 he went to two summer camps (horse camp was the favorite), and he began intramural sports and piano lessons.
     Although this crazy list of activities creates some very crowded boxes on the calendar, we still  manage to sit down together most nights to eat and share a few laughs.  That anchor in our hectic lives seems to hold it all together.

     The summer was filled with various camps, lessons, sports, and a family vacation to Montana.  Two new outdoor activities (for parents this time!) are biking for me and remote-operated model airplanes for John.  Shannon and I biked 150 miles to Duluth in June, and Sara and I did a 50 mile tour closer to home in July.  (Ol' Shannon got me in to scuba-diving in '88 and major biking in '89.  What will it be in 1990?)  I fill the lull period between biking and cross-country skiing with some racquetball  to stay active, buy my real love is being on that bike.
     John is serious enough about his interest to have asked the kids for a model airplane periodical for Christmas.  So although he has yet to solo, I imagine that we'll have one of those noisy little critters taking off on little pontoons from the lake in front of the house one day soon!
     The girls were both on the golf team last spring, band John plays his share of golf, but I do believe that Jefferson and I played  more holes in 1989 than any of them!  There was little that he would rather do than golf last summer, so whenever I could go with, he hit the local links.  No doubt the years are numbered when I'm a contender as a playmate. 

     This is my third year of being a non-working, stay-at-home  mom, and while I still find the general pace and greater personal freedom very much to my liking there's not a lot of time on my hands.  The picture albums are still not caught up, nor are all the storage areas overly neat and organized.  But I decided the latter situation was not totally my fault -- we just don't have enough room -- so we're adding more space!  It has been quite a project.
     This 18-year-old house needed new siding and shingles, so "While We Were At It ..." Dangerous words!  A wider garage, expanded decking, cedar closet, the associated landscaping, and then some.  Work didn't begin until October, and as of this writing (early December), we have some old shingles still on, some new, and some lovely tar paper on the roof; NO siding, old or new; new garage with a dirt floor; open joists where decking will go in the spring; nails and scraps on and under the snow in the yard; men outside pounding as I write; and remember about the likelihood of little green apples in Indianapolis?  How could I possibly consider working outside the home and still supervise this construction project to its present stage of readiness for the Minnesota winter?  I'm needed HERE!

     As I have learned from so many of you in your holiday communications, you also have had no fights, tears, disappointments or failures over the years.  So let's hope that both your family and ours continue to have equally active, fulfilling, rewarding lives in 1990 and beyond!

Merry Christmas
from the Bishops

John, Jill,
Sara, Shannon, and Jefferson
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