The Groah Family Christmas Letter

December 23, 2008

Every year Connie asks me to write a letter to accompany our Christmas card. This was my submission for Christmas 2008. I will post the card in a couple of days. I think it will be good for a laugh.

 

Cayden (aka Larry Thunder-Shields)- Cayden is no longer a little peanut. He’s grown several inches in the past year. Strangely, his weight has remained constant, completely disproving the theory that children’s snack foods lead to obesity. He is doing extremely well in school and is adored by everyone except his bully. Yes, Cayden has a bully, but don’t be alarmed- Cayden thinks of him more like a science project than an adversary. The kid has developed quite a sense of humor and keeps all of us in stitches around the dinner table. Mack received a Wii from Mum-Mum for his Birthday last year and Cayden has taken to it like a fish to water. He routinely whoops up on Connie when they play Mario Cart. Notice that Cayden beats his mother at a driving game; what does that tell us about Connie’s road skills? Cayden is a self-proclaimed indoor guy. He will go outside on occasion but he is happiest snuggled in HIS easy chair with his Nintendo DS, his mother’s laptop, or a Wii controller. Mack calls him a computer geek, but let’s wait a few years and see who has a healthier income. For Christmas, Cayden would like a magic wand, an ATV, and a massage chair.

 

Big Mack- If you haven’t seen him lately you would be amazed. He’s tipping the scales at 70lbs and is solid as a tree trunk. His hair is long and curly and most mornings it leans precariously to one side, menacingly threatening to crush all who would dare to oppose it. He is active in school- in fact he’s so active that his teacher mentioned it several times on his report card. Mack is also on the go at home. This year he’s been busy refining his artistic skills by dabbling in several different disciplines. Creating masterpieces with my cherished tools mostly quenches his artistic thirst. He then attempts to satisfy his “green” side by feeding my tools back to Mother Earth. Mack has yet to learn that a 16oz claw hammer is not biodegradable. He is also a lover of music. We started him on guitar lessons a few months ago and he is progressing nicely. His musical influences include: Billy Joel Storm Front, 80’s Hip Hop Dance Hits, and High School Musical II- fairly eclectic. A burgeoning percussionist, Mack rehearses daily by beating vigorously on his brother like a snare drum. Mack still passes some time watching Sponge Bob, but has widened his taste in film by including regular viewings of TBS Action Movie Saturday. I know 8 year olds shouldn’t be able to recite lines verbatim from “Die Hard” but he sounds so cute that it brings a tear to my eye. The big item on Mack’s wish list this Christmas is an authentic casting net, if nothing else shows up, he’ll be content. If the net is outside your budget then make a selection from Mack’s list of honorable mentions: a shocking hand-buzzer, X-ray glasses and a carton of fake cigarettes.

 

Connie has also been busy this past year. Barefoot Photography is poised for world domination and is revered as the premiere baby photography business in all of greater Annapolis. Thirty-four of her images were recently published in the Big Book of Babies, more than any other featured photographer. We’re all extremely proud of her. Now if she can just get our own kids to stand still for a damn Christmas picture we’ll be set. She has also been busy filling the gaps that have been created by my new job at the Pentagon. I’ve had to rely on her heavily as I’ve adjusted to making decisions that have global impact and effect the free world as we know it- and she has answered the call remarkably well. She can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan- simply stupendous. For Christmas, Connie would like 10 more hands and 12 more hours of sleep per day. She also asked for a Victoria’s Secret swimsuit body, but don’t worry about this request, she looks great and won’t need it for several more months anyway.

 

Yours truly- last year I told you I was retiring and growing a fu-manchu/mullet combo. Sadly, Uncle Sam failed to get that memo. In lieu of release from active duty, the Marine Corps sent me to the Pentagon. They did however promise to let me retire September 2009. I am holding them to that- if they don’t let me go this time I’m going to do something drastic like stomp my feet and mutter obscenities under my breath. The extra year hasn’t been all bad though so I shouldn’t complain. The commute to the 5-sided puzzle palace is awesome. I get to meet many happy, interesting people thanks to the public mass transit system. In fact, today I sat next to a gentleman who had an invisible friend- how charming. But the hours are great, the work satisfying and the surroundings awe inspiring- that is if you like long hours, confusing, multi-faceted assignments, and giant gray office buildings take your breath away. Don’t worry about me though; I will survive.  For Christmas, I would like a really well paying second career, preferably something that does not require me to pack heat and shave my head- suggestions welcomed.

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