Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas Letter 2011

Greetings from Team Thompson! We hope this holiday season finds you well.

In 2011 we settled into a routine that will seem familiar to families with school-age children. With 2 kids in school plus soccer games and birthday parties we traveled less while learning more about the wonderful people and places in our local community. We relish our small town lifestyle where we can walk to school and ride our bikes to work and Stanford football games. We’ve enjoyed helping our children discover their own unique place in it all.

Ryan is nearly 2 and is the easy-going and gregarious diplomat of the family. He loves hanging out with his big brother and sister and, sometimes to their chagrin, interjects himself in the middle of their play. He’s ready with a “sorry, Mommy” when one’s needed and happily offers a hug after Jay or Claire gets hurt, usually caused by him piling on top of them. He and Claire share both tumbling and library story time each week.

Claire celebrated her 4th birthday in October and has one more year of Preschool before she joins Jay at St. Raymond. She can be incredibly charming (and, at times, challenging) and makes friends easily. She energetically busies herself working on art projects and with helping around the house. Claire is happiest when she's hanging from a tree, the uneven bars, or even Mommy. Shawn keeps saying she's going to get us a medal in the 2024 Olympics.

Jay, 5, started Kindergarten and takes golf and chess lessons after school. He played soccer this fall with Alysia as his coach. School has brought the best out of Jay and he’s voraciously learning to read and write including usefully telling Daddy the score and down of whatever football game is on. He’s grown taller and stronger and has shown himself to athletically adept both on the field and shooting baskets in the backyard.

Jay and Claire’s schools bring great communities and we spend much of our free time socializing with these fantastic people. Alysia had a little too much to drink at the St. Raymond benefit auction which resulted in us now having a full slate of dinner and play events paid for and scheduled for the spring. Shawn plays hockey regularly at the school gym with other St. Raymond parents.

We took a bit of a break from distance running after last year's half marathon fest but still made time for the Warrior Dash and Muddy Buddy (both opportunities to pay to crawl face down through mud). On the job front things remain the same as Alysia's still with Oracle and Shawn continues at Google.

On the home improvement front (and there always is one), we put more of the final touches in the side and back yards. We had built a pergola that shades us from the summer sun and provides a place to hang the screen for outdoor movies. Shawn’s very proud of the stone patio he built that supports his new commercial-sized smoker.

With Great Grandma Thompson now possessing home wireless and an iPad we’re officially moving our Christmas letter exclusively online. You can find it and other updates here on our blog throughout the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Shawn, Alysia, Jay, Claire, Ryan plus Moses and Bella the cats

Friday, July 1, 2011

Initials in the concrete

Our oldest Jay is named after my uncle who was a flight instructor in the Air Force and died in 1972 when his jet crashed on a stormy night while on a training mission. I promised my grandmother that I'd name my first after him.

My grandmother was a WWII veteran and was one of the earliest women to serve on active duty in the US military as a member of the WAC. If you went by her house after 1972 you'd notice her American flag flying 24/7, day and night, good weather or bad. One day the American Legion visited her and asked why she didn't take her flag down when it rained. Her response was that if her son could be on active duty at night in a thunderstorm then her flag could be as well. They never asked again. The flag at our house flies 24/7 as well.

A veteran himself, my dad sent me pics where Uncle Jay wrote his initials and the date 10/20/64 in the concrete behind the barn at the old farm. As we head into the anniversary of our independence, I'm glad to have this little remembrance and to have been able to honor Uncle Jay and his service by carrying on his name.

Sunday, March 6, 2011