Elizabeth Anne VanderPutten,
Christmas 2004
A Letter from Robert and Christine



Christmas 2004

Dear Friends and Family,

As the year draws to a close and we prepare to ring in 2005, we would like to update you on some of the exciting (and sometimes exasperating) events that occurred in what was, for us, a very busy year. We hope that 2004 has been as kind to you all as it has been to our family.

The year started with a January trip to Washington, DC, to celebrate Robertís birthday. Christineís sister Lori and brother-in-law Mike joined us for a wonderful weekend full of sightseeing and way too much celebratory food and drink. Christineís work travel schedule continued to be very busy throughout the year with many trips to Washington (as we all know this was a politically-charged election year), Michigan, Missouri, Chicago, Texas and again to Hawaii, just to name a few places. We did manage to fit in a couple of quick vacations between her business trips and during Robertís college breaks. In May we went to Dallas along with the rest of the Vander Putten clan to celebrate Robertís sister Marthaís graduation from radiologic technology school. In September we took a quick trip to Phoenix for a Giants-Diamondbacks baseball game. (Robert was hoping Barry Bonds would hit his 700 home run in Phoenix, but Barry waited until a couple of days later when he was back in San Francisco.) Las Vegas was our destination in October and we spent Thanksgiving in New York City and Connecticut. The highlight of the Thanksgiving trip was seeing Saturday Night Live with Luke Wilson and U2 live at Rockefeller Center and a matinee of ďThe ProducersĒ on Broadway. Our New York hotel was located directly across the street from the World Trade Center site and it was very eerie to look out of the window and see Ground Zero.

April was a huge month in the Lung-Vander Putten family with the addition of a beautiful niece, Emma Claire Privett. Sheís the daughter of Lori and Mike, Christineís first niece and Robertís fourth niece (you can tell that it all about the girls in our family). Being in Connecticut on April 5th to welcome the newest in a long line of redheads was certainly the high point of Christineís year and seeing this wonderful little girl at almost 8 months old during the Thanksgiving holiday made Uncle Robertís 2004 complete.

Our biggest project in Albuquerque this year was our back yard landscaping project. After being in our new home for over a year we rolled up our sleeves and started digging, building flowerbeds, planting, laying a brick patio, rolling sod out and hauling tons of gravel. After four months of blood (from both of us), sweat (mostly Robertís) and tears (mostly Christineís) we now have a beautiful, desert- friendly and water-conserving back yard to enjoy.

As you can tell our year has been blessed with healthy family, fun travel, challenging work for Christine and exciting college educational opportunities for Robert. We look forward to a wonderful 2005 and wish you all the very best that the New Year has to offer!

Robert and Christine
(And merry meows from Morgan, Merlin & Egraine)