Christmas, 1996

Dear Friends,

Well, another year is behind us and we have much to be thankful for. The year has been a good one with a few rough edges here and there.

Ellen still teaches two nights a week as an aerobics teacher at the local YMCA. But, she has taken on a day job working as a Teacher's Aid at the Catholic school where Samuel attends. Lisa is now attending there as well. Needless to say, Ellen doesn't get much spare time.

Anthony and Joseph turned 16 this year and have been driving since this past April. So far no tickets or crashes. They have been excelling at school, both academically and in the Band. Still playing trombone, they made it to the All-Region competition. They also had plenty of opportunity to march with the band on the football field, as their high school team advanced all the way to the State semi-finals. Now we are planning for college, thinking about the choices of school (maybe Texas A&M) and major (leaning toward Chemical Engineering). Both boys received their lifeguard certification and worked at the local YMCAs (yes, there are two) during the summer.

Samuel is 6 now. He still goes to St. Pius Catholic school and is doing well in First Grade. He has shown a strong interest in reading books, which we are encouraging. Every Sunday Samuel goes to Jewish religion school at the temple. He now asks all his friends whether they are "Catholic" or "Jewish." When we ask Samuel that same question, he says he has not yet decided. Samuel began piano lessons this year and seems to be picking it up quite well. He also stayed busy playing soccer in the spring and fall.

Lisa just turned 5 and, as I mentioned earler, is attending pre-school at the same school where her mother works and her brother goes. She, too, is interested in books and knows all the numbers and letters and is hoping to learn how to read soon. This year Lisa started dance lessons, and it is a sight to watch her and her fellow students do their stuff.

My grandmother turned 92 this past October. She has gotten accustomed to her new life in Pensacola, FL. Last August, my brother and I went to her old house in Trenton, NJ, where she had lived for 60 years, and moved the furniture down to her townhouse. The old house was sold in November. With it went many childhood memories. Fortunately, Grandmom is doing well, having recovered from a bout with the shingles in October. She is ready for Christmas.

I have been extremely busy in my work at ABB Industrial Systems. Between the many projects I've worked on and learning their new distributed control system (DCS) things have been quite hectic.

On the Internet front, I have taken on World Wide Web publishing as a hobby. You can view the fruits of my labors at and if you click on the little computer at the very bottom of the page you'll get to view a little surprise.

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


Our mailing address is:

#6 Thornhill Oaks Drive

Houston, TX 77015-2060


(713) 453-0625

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