January 2005


Happy New Year to our friends and family. We hope your Christmas was filled with joy, love and lots of goodies! After a busy end of year, we have finally found the time to let you know how things are going here in AZ.


Alysoun (15) made the jump to high school this year and is doing well. She participated in swim team and found out that swimming the 500 (yd) really isn’t that bad. She is planning on swimming next fall also, especially since it counts for PE credits. She continues to sing in the choir at school and plays the piano. She found that playing the piano at home and being an accompanist are two different things. Her greatest thrill is Driver’s Ed. this semester.


David (12) made the jump to Jr. High this year. He played 7th grade basketball in the fall and realized how much time extracurricular sports can take from his schedule. So he is taking a break until baseball season this spring. He plays percussion in the intermediate band and once again he is taller than Alysoun. Now being 12, he is a Deacon and enjoys collecting Fast Offerings and going to youth activities. Tyler thinks it’s cool David gets to pass the Sacrament, also.


Kara (9) made the jump to fourth grade. She has packed her schedule with extras - thank goodness for carpools. Monday is Activity day for church, Tuesday is Jazz/Tap class and Wednesday is sewing. She loves swimming and art class at school. She also is growing rapidly - can those legs get any longer?


TJ (6) made the jump to first grade and full day school. His favorite class is PE. He has picked up reading quickly, and as I type this he is reading over my shoulder, constantly questioning his pronunciation of hard words. He loves all sports. He got a new bike for his birthday, swims as much as Kara, and is trying basketball for the first time this winter.


As for Laurie, she is still adjusting to AZ weather. She has now survived a whole year here. It helped that the summer wasn’t as brutally long or hot as last year. Fall was a little bit longer and cooler. And winter has actually brought frequent rains from Northern California. The biggie for her this year was on August 12th when ALL four of her children walked out the door for a full day of school. What does she do with all this free time? (Ha-ha!) She goes to religion class once a week, continues to help in classrooms, helps Michael with paperwork for the company, and has found the kitchen counters for the first time since TJ was born. She serves in church by team teaching 12 year old Sunday school and will be in charge of Girls’ Camp this summer for our ward.


What about Michael? He enjoys buying “Ugly houses” and having some flexibility with his time although being the President, Accountant, Construction Manager, Buyer, Sales Agent, Vendor Manager, Office Coordinator, and Secretary can wear thin. He is thrilled to have Laurie helping at the office now.  The year started off rough, but ended well. He is hoping it continues so he can recover some of the early losses; begin staffing some of those other jobs, and start golfing again. He is still serving as 2nd Counselor in the Elder’s Quorum and enjoys camping with David and his scout troop.  Last summer he did so well as the assistant chef at Scout Camp, they have asked him to return as Master Chef. One may ask… “why can’t we just eat at the dining hall?” Well, there would be no steak dinners and ice cream sundaes! And yes, he finally shaved that beard after more than a year.  It was one of the first night anniversary presents (see below).


Some of the other highlights of our year once again include travel. Last February we went up to the White Mountains and the kids learned to ski. After a day of lessons there were few tears and now they all enjoy it thoroughly. We returned in March for a long weekend. Laurie and the kids spent 3 weeks in California in June, with Michael flying back and forth for quick visits and to help drive. It was wonderful to see family and friends in a relaxing stay. The end of July was Ludlow Family Reunion. Horseback riding, blindfolded canoe races and lots of cousins. It was great spending time with everyone. The beginning of August brought “Back to School” for the kids, and a surprise for Laurie, a one week trip to California for Michael and Laurie’s wedding anniversary. They visited Santa Clara, Tiburon, Santa Cruz, Monterey and Burbank, all locations from previous anniversary trips. It was a blast! We ended the year by giving the kids a ski trip in Utah for their Christmas present. We spent 10 days visiting friends, hanging out playing games, and honing our skiing skills.


We hope everyone is doing well and has a prosperous new year in all your pursuits.



M, L, A, D, K, & T