Christmas, 1993

Dear Friends,

It is now the end of 1993...where did the time go! Lisa, now 2 years old, and Samuel at 3 1/2 are growing up fast. Both are attending morning Mother's Day Out twice a week, and Samuel goes to pre-school the other three days. His class recently sang a Christmas concert which was quite impressive. Both kids are very much into Barney the polyurethane dinosaur, so we have been eating, sleeping, and breathing Barney all year long. This year Samuel got his first bicycle and Lisa her first kitchen play set.

The twins, Anthony and Joseph, are now teenagers, and we've caught them talking to girls a few times (yes, the girls even call them). By and large, their interests are still innocent. They have excelled at trombone playing, not only making the top regional band this year, but occupying first and second chairs. Their band director is agonizing losing them to high school for the next school year. The twins have also become more knowledgeable of computer programming. They have written a portion of an adventure game program in BASIC. It runs on their Commodore 64, and lets the user play the game by typing complete sentences to query and command the computer.

We took a summer vacation to Arkansas in July. The three days we spent in Hot Springs were most pleasant. The old bath houses are a sight to see. Then we jaunted through the heart of the Ozarks to a small town called Eureka Springs. The quaint town was charming. It is nestled so beautifully in between the mountains, you almost feel in another world. Just outside the town is an outdoor theatre presentation called The Passion Play about the last few days before the death of Jesus Christ. It is excellent to see, if you're ever there.

For Thanksgiving holiday we traveled to Bay City, Michigan, to visit Ellen's family. While there, we attended the Bar Mitzvah of one of Ellen's cousins. This was quite an interesting experience for me, seeing the tradition and the celebration surrounding this major event of a boy's coming of age.

Ellen is still participating in aerobic exercises at the YMCA, and still has her part-time job at a local day care (the same one Samuel and Lisa attend). She organized a party for about 50 of our friends this October, to "celebrate" my turning age 40. I personally saw nothing to celebrate. She has no plans to go back to formal teaching for at least a couple more years. Being a full-time Mom is keeping her always on the go.

My job at Huntsman Chemical has gone well. I have been able to make contributions to the plant's control system which have improved the reliability and stability of the operation. The company has expanded, too, almost doubling in size since I joined them last year. Major acquisitions of Texaco Chemical's assets and some of Monsanto's assets were announced late this year.

This year Ellen and I did three organized bicycle rides. As the kids get older we expect to devote more time to this recreation. But we are having a great time; these rides are fantastic ways to make new friends.

This Christmas we are thankful for our children, our friends, and the opportunity to be together as a family. We hope that all had a great year and are happy and prosperous in the coming year. Ellen and I welcome visits, so if you're ever near Houston, just holler! We'd love to see you.

Mark, Ellen, Anthony, Joseph, Samuel, and Lisa


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#6 Thornhill Oaks Drive

Houston, TX 77015-2060


(713) 453-0625

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