Dear Friends and Family,
Happy Holiday greetings 2001 from the Kentucky Longs. We hope that each of you will rejoice in the spirit of the season, and can reflect back on a wonderful year.
This year has been a remarkable and eventful one for our family. In February we bought our lovely home and moved in. It has many little things we will have to change, but has served us well so far.
In July we took a trip up to New Hampshire for Andyís math workshop. On our way we had a nice visit with friends Marek and Vivian and family. In NH, we spent almost a week at a fine bed and breakfast. Tchapo and I spent our days fishing, walking around, and eating, while Andy did his thing on campus. One day we went whale-watching, but halfway out we had to turn back because it was too foggy Ė rats! We spent the rest of our day in Maine instead. It was a nice family trip.
After New Hampshire we headed off to the Cline Family reunion in Syracuse, Indiana. We had a fun-filled week of visiting, playing soccer, basketball, volleyball, and swimming. We had a lot of fun: itís always nice to be around the Cline family.
Next we went to Chicago and spent a night with our friends and former neighbors Becky and Larry. The next day Becky drove us out to OíHare airport, so that we could board a plane to Togo, West Africa. We spent three weeks there, in the company of our friend and former Peace Corps volunteer Craig Haas. The three weeks was spent visiting family and friends, participating in a few ceremonies, and going to markets. It was especially nice to be around my family, because I hadnít seen them for two years. Upon our return Becky was kind enough to pick us up and put us up for another night.
The highlight for us this year is our new addition, Thaddeus Tchein. Thad joined our family November the 2nd, at 10:04. Itís been fun having the baby around the house. Thad is a very good kid: he only cryís when his diaper is dirty or stomach is empty. I guess he decided to take it easy on us because we havenít dealt with a baby for 16 years. Smart kid.
Tchapo is a tenth grader now: hard to believe, but true. His soccer season is over with, and he had a good time with that. He wanted to play basketball but we decided he needed to play academics instead. He is busy working hard to bring his grades up to a level more in line with his soccer ability. Tchapo remains the "Lady birdsí" guy (the school mascot is the Bluebird), although he broke up with his girlfriend of nearly a year not long ago. Heís being a great big brother for Thad, taking his turn at "tummy time" and even changing him from time to time.
Andyís in his second year of teaching at Northern Kentucky University. He just got a couple of grants to run some summer programs. One grant is to design and build a "function box", a pedagogical tool his father has been thinking about and wanting for quite a long time; the other grant is to build a small "super computer" out of a cluster of ordinary PCs. This means that he will stay out of trouble this summer. Iím so happy he got them, although I wish he werenít going to be so busy all summer. Right now he is preparing for next termís courses, and happy to relax after a busy fall semester.
Iím a stay-at-home right now, busy getting adjusted to a newborn son. I am finally getting back to my cardio-kickboxing, though, in order to get back into shape. No plans to head back to work any too soon, but I may occasionally if Thad permits.
Merry Christmas and a happy New Year! May the coming year be better than ever before!