Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten - My Cousin Laurie

Hello and Merry Christmas 2009 to everyone!

Well, here we are as another year draws to an end, I should change that word it sounds like ‘have run its course’ or put to an end, make to cease, it ‘shut up shop’ ahhh, hang up one’s fiddle (I love that expression) but I digress... so the year is coming to a roaring finale as the curtain falls... Well, that pretty much takes up the whole of my letter, have a great new year! No, just kidding when have I ever not had more to say?

I have been feeling a bit less than inspired, ‘why?’ you ask (yes you did, in a more rhetorical way, whatever). Well, I discovered that this year begins the life of sharing holidays with in-laws.

Yes! I guess that is my way of introducing one of the changes here this year. Stephanie is getting married! (Maybe I shouldn't use the exclamation points) to a very nice young man, Richard. This will take place March 12, 2010. They will be spending Christmas with his family since Thanksgiving was spent (ready for this?) at Stephanie’s house! Yes! Stephanie bought a house! (Exclamation point allowed here).

There was quite a family reunion at this time, all areas of the country came together- California (sister Barb and Trish), Virginia (baby girl Andrea and Tony), Georgia (niece Barbara), New Mexico (Mom, Dad and brother Bob), and of course south Texas (Martha and Jeff). Needless to say, but I will anyway, Steph was smart to buy a house large enough to fit everyone! (What is the deal with the exclamations!?)

Everyone is doing fine and looking forward to gathering the clan once again in March, photos and stories forthcoming.

Andrea is continuing to work and go to school working toward nursing school and a great job she’s doing. College prepares you very well for college. What? Andrea has decided to take her BS in Social Work and go into nursing. They don't know how lucky they are.

Andrea and Tony joined Stephanie, Richard and Paul and I in Key West this summer as we chilled (I use that word only in the sense that we relaxed, you don’t chill in Key West) with the rest of the Van clan. We love the time spent in that home away from home. Thanks Dave!

Paul has decided that after spending how many years (who’s counting) remodeling the back half of the house he should tackle the kitchen. Since my gun license has expired he is safe for now. I will have to remind him of the upcoming nuptials... This might be a different kind of shotgun wedding(!)

As for me, staying sane tops the list. I am still at TCU (go Frogs) and raising more kids. I do love it and every December and May a few more tears are shed.

As ‘Fast away the old year passes’ Paul and I will be in Florida once again with mom and dad Loken to celebrate dad’s 80th natal day. It will be another time of family gathering and that is always a good thing.

So, though this year I haven't had the heart to put up the tree, or festoon the house with lights and my usual Christmas flair (yes I have flair!) I shall adjust and come back next year with decked halls, happy apparel (must be pc) striking choruses right and left, and something, something harp... oh, wait- strike the harp not the chorus! Oh well, they probably need a good smacking about... all that stuff about wassail and blazing Yule’s. I mean really, get a grip folks.

I would, on behalf of my entire family, wish you and all of your families the happiest and most blessed Christmas (Holiday for the pc) and hope that the coming year is good to you.

Now, pass the wassail and follow me in merry measure... Fa la la la la, la la la la! !! !! !! ! !! ! !! !! !! !


Laurie Loken
December 18, 2009