Is it really Christmas 1999 ALREADY? It seems like our babies have become young men in the time it takes just to do a good jigsaw puzzle.

Marvin sold his interactive design company, and is now working in downtown Atlanta for a company called Arcadus where he continues to produce stunning graphic designs and business solutions. The work and the commute don't leave much in the way of spare time, but this past year he and his father worked together to build a BIG deck and a storage shed in our back yard.

Dylan, our 8-year old wunderkind, has advanced way beyond the simple "why" stage of asking questions. In fact, I really need a compact, lightweight set of encyclopedias to carry around with me…either that, or a big tee-shirt with "I Have No Idea" printed on it. When not pondering the solution to world hunger, Dylan likes to rollerblade, perform magic tricks, play computer games, tell jokes and teach his little brother anything and everything Pokémon. He's in the cub scouts this year, just started some martial arts training and is excited about violin lessons that will start right after the Christmas break.

Kemper is three this year and outgrowing his clothing as quickly as he outgrows his vocabulary. My boy loves to tackle and gives the best cuddly hugs as he takes you down. Aside from totally rejecting all my attempts to trick, bribe and cajole him into sitting on the potty; Kemper also loves to sing, carry on conversations with his imaginary friends, play computer games, and pretty much copy everything his big brother does. (Those who told me that toilet training son #2 would be easier than the first…I need revised advice.)

Me? I finally bid adieu to the last of those pregnancy pounds and now get to wear the same jeans I wore in high school. I "also-finally" retired this past summer to become an EBUP (extremely busy unemployed person). When not chauffeuring to and from school or in the kitchen whipping up tastier, healthier food for my children to refuse… I may be leading Dylan's cub scout den, teaching a computer lab at the kids' Montessori school, at the bowling alley or practicing my "New Year's resolution-to-be" which is to communicate frequently with old friends (not old as in OLD, of course, but as in good-as-gold special to me). I am really excited about starting CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate) training early next year. This will ease the heartache of having to give up foster parenting several years ago and point me back toward fulfilling my call to "speak up for children".

We'll be in Las Vegas for Christmas and New Year's, as will all my siblings. We're also planning a short trek down to Phoenix to see Marvin's folks and brothers et al. Seems we spend LOTS of time in Vegas lately (since my parents retired there). Maybe it's the great entertainment and free babysitting? If you're ever headed that way, let us know and we may just meet you there.

We're praying for a holiday season filled with joy for you all. Know that we think of you often and hope to hear from you soon. It's so easy...e-mail or call 770.386.8273.

Very merry, Dolores ~ Marvin ~ Dylan ~ Kemper