Christmas, 1995

Dear Friends,

The year has been a long one for the Congiundi family. But we are thankful that we have each other and we are all in good health.

Ellen continues her work as an aerobics teacher at the local YMCA. She has expanded into substituting for the swimming instructor at the community college. Also she still works at the Methodist church as a daycare person during Mother's Day Out.

Anthony and Joseph were 15 years old this past April. They are now bigger than me (they passed Ellen the year before). As sophomores in High School, band activities still demand much of their spare time. Now that football season is over, they have concentrated on playing in the concert band. They occupy the first two chairs in the trombone section. Both have competed and earned spots in the regional bands composed of the area's best. I almost forgot they have a Learner's Permit to drive a car now. We'll wait and see how that turns out.

Samuel turned 5 last June. He goes to kindergarten every day at a Catholic school. We are very pleased at how well he is doing there. He recently read his first book on his own. Every week Samuel goes to Sunday school at the temple. He has learned many Hebrew words and is learning about the Jewish religion. This year Samuel got his first experience at organized sports activities. He played T-ball in the spring, and this fall he played on a soccer team.

Lisa is still the baby of the family (I guess she'll always be). She has mastered potty training at last, thank goodness. Lisa goes to pre-school (she calls it "pretty school") and loves it. She recently had her 4-year birthday party and received a Barbie doll, which she has grown quite fond of. Now if we could just figure out how to keep Samuel from bugging her.

We have had our share of sadness this year. As we age, so do our parents and grandparents. In May, Grandpa Wolff, Ellen's grandfather, passed away, seeming to just lose the will to live any more. He was 95. So far Ellen's grandmother is doing well at age 91.

Little did I know that my father's visit to Houston this April for the twins' birthday would be his last. After a two-year battle with melanoma, Dad passed away this June. We all miss him dearly and wish there were a way to have prevented this loss. Dad's and Grandpa Wolff's funerals were on consecutive days.

My Grandmother turned 91 this past October. We have moved her to Pensacola, FL, to be with my brothers and sister. She left her house in Trenton, NJ, where she had lived for 60 years.

I am now working for ABB Industrial Systems in Houston. ABB manufacturers and supports the distributed control system (DCS) that I took care of when I was at Hunstman. So far the job has been very interesting, having gotten me into new processes and new areas of the business I hadn't experienced before. The only downside is that I have done quite a bit of traveling. (This explains why I didn't get the Christmas cards out on time.)

I have discovered the InterNet and the World Wide Web. But, I haven't figured out a way to explore it for not much money. Any ideas?

We all hope that the year has been a good one, and that your family is healthy and happy. Please don't hesitate to visit if your travels take you to Houston. Our house is set up for guests and we would more than welcome your visit.

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

PS:

Our mailing address is:

#6 Thornhill Oaks Drive

Houston, TX 77015-2060

phone:

(713) 453-0625

E-mail addresses:

congiundi@aol.com

Web Home Page:

http://home.earthlink.net/~congiundi/

Web Family Photos Page:

http://home.earthlink.net/~congiundi/snapshots/