Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten - My Cousin Laurie

Christmas 2000 - A Letter from Paul & Laurie Loken


Well, yet another year has come and gone. We just canít believe how they fly by, but like most years a lot of things have gone on.....

Stephanie graduated High School in May and started college at Texas Christian University (TCU) in August. She is living on campus and has really dived into college life. We hardly ever see her, which is not what we expected since the campus is only 5 miles away. If food is involved, however, we can pretty much count on her being around! Her current major is Food Management. Stephanie has also volunteered to be the TCU mascot at sporting events or other functions that require a frog. This of course requires her to put on a Horned Frog costume (yes, the TCU mascot is the Horned Frog) and walk around energizing the fans.

Andrea is in her junior year of high school and doing well. She has her driverís license and has really been experiencing her new sense of freedom. As a consequence, Laurie and I seem to be alone quite often. One of Andreaís goals for 2001 is to get her first real job. Spending money has been a little tight with that new freedom thing!

Laurie continues to work at TCU in a job she loves. We have all heard about people that love their job, but now I live with one! Laurie had some medical problems this year that started with a seizure at work. After various tests and MRIís, the diagnosis of a Cavernous Angioma was made (a honeycomb of irregular blood-filled vascular spaces or caverns) in her left frontal lobe. She is currently on medication to prevent any more seizures and they will continue to monitor the area over time. The good news is that is has not really slowed her down and her spirit remains as strong as ever.

I continue to work for Lockheed Martin. I have worked on the Joint Strike Fighter program the last 4 years and hope that we win in the competition over Boeing. The government is planning to pick a winner in late 2001 after both companies fly prototype aircraft. My main focus at home has been the remodeling of the 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms. It has been going slow, but we now have a design that we are happy with and I bet by this time next year we will be finished. Of course that means that the next project can begin!

We wish everyone a happy and peaceful Christmas, and hope 2001 brings continued happiness and prosperity to your lives.

Paul, Laurie, Stephanie and Andrea