Merry Christmas 2005

For those of you who don't get this in the mail ...

2005 was another busy year for the Schaefer family.

In January Audrey turned 6, but she still looked 4 1/2 because she's so small. Emily and Doug took a trip to Toledo. Doug and his Dad went to Detroit in a snowstorm to the Auto show and Emily got to spend a day with Grandma.

February was a pretty calm month. Doug and Maria celebrated 12 years of marriage and Jessica turned 10.

In March, Maria and the girls did a lot of things together. She took them all to a mother daughter day at school and Mom won a day at the spa for her and a friend. She took Doug's sister later in the year and they had a great time. The girl scout campout with Jessica was not so fun, at least for Mom. It was cold and rainy and the Mom's did all the work while the kids played. Jessie had fun though. At the end of the month, Maria's brother & family came from Missouri. They were meeting Hannah's sister who lives in New Jersey. Columbus was a convenient meeting place. We got to spend time with them at their hotel before and after our trip to the Schaefer's for Easter.

In April, we went to a family fun day at school where the kids did crafts. We got treated to a huge rainbow outside our house. Audrey lost her first tooth. She's since lost both bottom teeth and gotten new ones. One of the top one's fell out just last week and the other's loose. Maybe she'll need her two front teeth for Christmas.

May brought Emily's 8th birthday. On Mother's day we went to the local Mother's day kite fly, as is our tradition, but there was no wind so no kite flying. At the end of the month we went to Missouri to visit Maria's family. We spent a day in Illinois visiting Maria's Grandma, went hiking at Rock Bridge park in Columbia and visited Devil's Icebox cave.

In June, Audrey bridged from Daisies to Brownies in Girl Scouts. Emily participated in a school talent show with her best friend Felicia. Despite the fact that their background music wasn't right, their dance went very well. We also made a trip to Toledo this month for a bittersweet weekend. We had planned to go celebrate Doug's Aunt & Uncle's 25 the anniversary, and we did. But the same weekend brought the funeral of Doug's Grandmother. She had turned 90 last December and was still very active, even working nights as the head usher at the Stranahan Theater. But in late May she had fallen and broken her hip. The doctors gave her a good prognosis for recovery, but she developed a severe infection as a result and passed away on June 5th. She was an amazing, active woman at 90 years old. She had worked at the theater since it's opening, over 35 years. Dozens of folks who'd worked with her came to pay their respects and the theater is dedicating a seat in her honor. She will be, and is, greatly missed.

We started July by finally making the trip downtown to see the local fireworks display, Red, White & Boom! Maria's wanted to go since we moved here in 1996, but Doug was leery of the crowds. We arrived in mid afternoon before most of the half a million people showed up and hung out with friends. It was a great time. Right after that, our best friends, the Gillaspie's, flew Maria up to Wisconsin to be in the delivery room for their second child. Maria was there when Laura was born, and Jeana wanted her there for baby #2. Delenn came into the world on July 5th. At the end of the month the whole family drove up and spent a week on the 103 acre Gillaspie farm. The girls loved roaming around and 'exploring', little did we know that the older two made it to the far field at the top of the hill – about a half a mile from the house! While we were in Wisconsin, we took the opportunity to go visit Maria's cousin for the day in Mauston. On the trip back to the Gillaspie's, we were tracked by a terrible thunderstorm. Slow, white knuckle driving for over 2 hours.

In August we went back to Illinois for Maria's family reunion camping trip. At the last minute, though, we abandoned the tent and got a hotel room as a 65 mph thunderstorm approached. The rest of the time it was nice, though. We also went to the Ohio State Fair to see Doug's Mom dance with her dance troupe and spend the day doing fair stuff (eating fair food and riding rides,) August also saw the arrival, after ordering 11 weeks prior, of new wheels for Doug's 1960 Thunderbird. With some money he got from a side project at work, he got Boyd Codington 17" x 8" Junkyard Dog polished aluminum wheels. They totally changed the look of his car and he's pretty excited about them. The girls started back to school: Audrey in first, Emily in third and Jessica in fifth grade. The also decided to start gymnastics instead of going back to dance…a decision that Jessica would come to regret (fortunately, Miss Judi was great and let her sign up during Winter Break. Yeah!

September brought a couple of firsts. Emily learned to ride a two wheeler and Jessica took after her father and started clarinet lessons. We also began a remodeling adventure, deciding that we'd stay in this house for at least the 5 years until Audrey is out of elementary school, probably longer. What started as a couple of rooms of new carpet, a little paint, a shed and a new patio ended up as all new carpet, new master bedroom furniture, two new loft beds for Emily and Jessica, painting all the bedrooms and Maria's office (including dozens of colored circles), a new dining room table, a new patio, a new shed and new French doors to the patio. Nearly every single aspect of the project needed some repair – the carpet needed fixing, Doug's dresser had misaligned drawers, the shed door latch sticks, the table extension doesn't operate smoothly, most of the chairs rock and the French doors, well that's a story in itself. Let's just say they still remain held shut by a 2x4 waiting on the correct door frame, which just arrived this week after four ordering attempts by Lowes. Hopefully this one is right. Is all remodeling this painful? More adventure is to come as we plan on doing the basement in 2006.

October brought Maria's birthday and another trip to Wisconsin for her, this time for a scrapbooking retreat with Jeana in Milwaukee.

November brought Doug's birthday at Thanksgiving time and a surprise visit from the Gillaspie's for about 24 hours for a wedding. We've been blessed to see a lot of them this year, and we'll get one more chance in late December.

December means we'll see some of you in the Schaefer Holiday Tour, 2005 where we head to the Schaefer's in Toledo, meet the Gillaspie's in Illinois, the Steeves' in Missouri, Maria's Grandma in Illinois, back to Missouri and then home to Columbus.

We hope your year was a happy one and that we get the chance to see you this year. We wish you the best in 2006.

Doug and Maria
Jessica (10), Audrey (6) and Emily (8)
And the cats … Pleiades, Cally and Midnight

1 Comment

Doug, are you coming to the Auto Show this year? Hubby's working it this year for WDIV, we might be able to meet up and say hello!

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