Christmas 2009

Do the Slemps post a Christmas blog out of environmental consciousness or laziness? You decide 🙂

The best way for me to sum up my feelings about 2009 is this T-shirt: we survived. But rather than focus on the challenges that faced us from January to December, we’re going to count our blessings.

  • Chris was so busy with his new job that, as you can see by the lack of entries on this blog, there wasn’t much time for extra-curricular stuff. This gives us a sense of job security that few people have these days. He’s working on a “social network” (like Facebook) for internal use by Microsoft employees to get all 100,000 of them better connected to each other. The project is called “Mingle,” and it’s challenging, interesting, and very popular within Microsoft.
  • Mabel got to have some extended family around her for Christmas, for the first time in our married life. Her sister Mary, niece Laura, and Laura’s new husband Brian are staying with us and seeing just how many outlet malls they can ransack in a week.
  • Alec found his hobby. After attempts at everything from trumpet to bagpipes to swimming, it was the Rock Band video game that led Alec to what we think is sticking this time: the guitar. He is teaching himself and by all accounts has made impressive progress thanks to friends that inspire and encourage him. Mom and dad were so impressed with his dedication that we splurged for him on a proper guitar of his own for Christmas (a Fender electric-acoustic). There’s some video of Alec playing at the bottom.

Rebekah finally figured out division, and is doing really, really well with swimming. She’s up to Pre-Competition 2 (one more set of lessons before joining the team) and is better at the butterfly stroke than Dad ever was at the crawl. She also loves her 5th grade teacher, and has learned to love learning. She also has more friends than ever, and some of them are boys. Dad’s not so sure that’s a blessing.

  • Fiona is making lots of new friends in 3rd grade, and has really turned the corner with her reading. At the same time, she continues to develop her artistic talents and is taking an art class with Rebekah from our good friend Tone. Mom and dad were pleasantly surprised with some nice works of art for Christmas.
  • We got to have an extended vacation in Scotland, starting with Laura’s fantastic wedding day. We put well over 1000 miles on a brand new Mercedes rental, driving the length of the British Isle to see York, Devon, Bath, and Alton Towers along with the customary visit to the Highlands of Scotland and Glencoe.
  • Chris and Alec are training to climb Mt. Rainier next year. Alec gets to learn new skills and do something he’ll always remember, and Chris gets to re-live his youth. If he can get his butt to the gym more often, that is. Here’s pics of the latest rock climb.
  • The usual fun trips to the zoo, science center, Wild Waves, and camping with the girls
  • AIR CONDITIONING. Our summer heat wave was so bad that we invited friends to stay the night a couple times so they could get some sleep.
  • A fun new car: our 2010 Kia Soul. It’s got funky speakers that light up with the beat of the music 🙂
  • Using some of mum’s inheritance money on a treat for the family: a hot tub!
  • Facebook, for making all of this old news for most of you. We love keeping in touch! And, last but not least…
  • We’re thankful for the gospel of Jesus Christ in our lives to make all the stuff we didn’t mention easier to bear.

God bless and keep you all in 2010.

1 Comment

  1. Nicely done, Chris! Mom and I are sitting in the terminal at San Diego airport, waiting for our flight home. It\’s been a nice Christmas, spending it at my mom\’s. She really appreciated our visit. We have been especially thankful that all involved have remained healthy throughout this period – even Emily\’s kids – not even a runny nose! And we especially appreciate your schlepping us to and from SeaTac. Not only did it save us in parking fees, but it was a huge stress avoider, too. See you soon…

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