Christmas, 2000

Dear Friends,

(click on the picture to see a detailed view)

As promised, we moved into our newly-constructed home, albeit a little later than we had anticipated, but at least it happened. That was February 21st. No sooner did we complete one nine-month project, we began another one. That turned out to be our newest family member, Sarah Nicole, born November 15th right here in Lake Charles. Needless to say, the thought of Mark becoming a father at age 47 and Ellen a mother at 40 was quite a surprise. But the baby is very healthy and growing steadily from her birth weight of nearly 10 lbs. She is pure joy to all of us.

The house turned out nicely. We had to work out a few kinks but we are generally pleased with the result. We are comfortable living here.

baby sarah


Mark still works for CONDEA Vista Company. The job has proven very challenging and rewarding. Although there isn't much traveling involved, he did make one quick visit to the CONDEA sister plant in Brunsbüttel, Germany, which was quite interesting. To help out the energy crisis, Mark acquired a used Honda ST-1100 and drives it to work mostly.

Ellen, of course, is not working at the moment. She had been substituting-teaching in the kids' school until May. Now, with the baby, she's a full-time mom again and loves it. She has joined the local YMCA Fitness Center and is active in our Synagogue here.

Samuel, age 10, is still playing both soccer and basketball. He has found a piano teacher in the city and continues with his lessons and several recitals. Samuel has really gotten good at chess, benefiting greatly from membership in the Chess Club. He has been playing opponents from around the world on the Internet, too. All this chess prowess makes it hard for his dad to beat him any more. He won several more trophies this year. One surprise is Samuel's interest in horticulture. He has been growing many plants from seed and tends them daily. Maybe there is a career in there somewhere.

Lisa had a birthday party for turning 9 years old inviting several of her neighborhood friends to play Putt-Putt golf and sleep over. She still does her dance lessons, and participated in a wonderful dance recital this year. Lisa's interest in drawing continues to grow. To the left is the cover for her party invitation that she designed.

Joseph and Anthony are juniors in the Chemical Engineering program at Texas A&M. The coursework has gotten more challenging but they continue to have a stellar gradepoint average this year. Last summer Joseph worked for Raytheon in Dallas as a summer intern. Anthony again worked for Baker-Petrolite, in their pilot plant facility in Deer Park, Texas. For the first time in their lives they had to live in different cities. The experience seems to have pulled them even closer. Now they are planning their final summer jobs before their careers begin officially. It's a good guess they will be working for the same employer.

There is some bad news to report. Before we moved into our house, our pet cat Jesse ran away. But it was not the same without him, so we have taken up with a new pet. His name is Luke. He has proven himself to be a very entertaining character, behaving more like a dog than a cat. But we've grown quite fond of him.

We still have our own domain name where you can find this Christmas newsletter and all those from previous years. Just go to our Web Home Page and click on the Christmas tree near the bottom of the page. Please note our internet addresses below, as well as the new street address. Meanwhile, we all hope that the year has been a good one, and that your family is healthy and happy. Please write (snail mail or email) or stop by for a visit if you're in the area. Lake Charles is not much on shopping but the food is great.

We hope you are all healthy and feeling lots of joy. We wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Mark, Ellen, Anthony, Joseph, Samuel, Lisa, Sarah, and Luke the cat


Our new mailing address is:

1212 Bayouwood Court

Lake Charles, LA 70605-3340


(337) 480-0625

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