Aloha Friday Message – MERRY CHIRSTMAS!!

Todd Family 39th Annual Christmas Letter 2008
2008 has gone by faster than Santa’s Reindeers! So many things have happened. First, look at that number up there – 39! On November 4, 1968, Crucita and I met in San Antonio Texas at Lackland AFB. We’re coming up on our 40th wedding anniversary in April. Tim is 30, Maria Cereza is 28. The grandkids: Willie, 5, Chaz, 4, Miranda 2.

The big news this year includes two goddaughters. Our first goddaughter, Meghan, spent a semester in New Zealand. She’s wonderful, bright, and beautiful, doing really well in college and 20 this year. We are so very proud of all her accomplishments as well as her persistent and exemplary Faith. This year we also had the joy of welcoming a NEW goddaughter! Her name is Lily Mae. She will be six months old on Christmas day (lucky kid!). She is the daughter of our dear friends (who also happen to be co-owners of the business I work for and therefore my bosses). Her baptism was just so thrilling for us. And of course we have to spoil her as much as we can!

We also had a visit from Timothy and his girlfriend, Chanson. She is a delightful young lady who makes elegant hand-crafted glass beads. Tim continues to work for Higher Balance, Inc., and is doing well in his work. The economy has impacted their business some, but so far they are holding their own. Tim and Chanson are scheduled to be on the Big Island (Hawaii Island) in June, so we may get a chance to see them again soon.

Tommy, Maria and their kids all moved to Tennessee this summer! Things got just terrible for them in Phoenix early in the year, and Tommy’s sister drove out from TN to pick up the whole family and take them back. Tommy has several family members living in that area. Willie is excited about his new school and really likes his new teacher too; but, the best part: He gets to ride the BUS to school!! Chaz is excited about being able to start school soon, too. He’s adjusted pretty well to all the moving, and emulates his big brother’s school lessons. Some of you may recall that Miranda has had some developmental problems. She has made great progress in the past year and continues to progress with PT and additional clinic visits there in TN. Tommy’s working part-time with his brother, and Maria is pretty sure she can get a job at the care home close by.

Now, another big event for Crucita was her Road Trip!! She flew to the mainland and stopped in Phoenix. She spent some time with two wonderful and close friends (and their families) – one for our Clinical Laboratory days and one from her teaching days in Mesa – and just enjoyed wonderful visits with them. But, she also gathered up Grandson #1 – William – and headed off across eastern Arizona including a stop just outside Sanders to stay with a friend in her ho`oghan then all the way Albuquerque to visit with family there and then on to her hometown of Española, NM. They had a BLAST! Crucita rented a Hyundai Sonata, and loved it. She and Willie visited lots of friends and relatives, ate bunches of good food (William is a very good eater, even loves salad as did his mom). The renewing of friendships, the family visits, the time together on the road with Willie, the things they got to see and do … it will be the source of many fond memories for years to come. That Willie is something else!

Crucita has had an … interesting … school year. We have noticed over the past couple of years that the attitudes of high school students are changing. Some seem to be actually hostile toward the idea of being educated. Apathy would be a relief. Instead, they refuse to do any work, refuse to learn. She is teaching Math again this year, prealgebra, and as we near the end of the first semester, she is finding that some of the students are actually learning MATH! Not all students have this attitude of hostility about learning, and for those that do not – well I believe they cannot help but learn something when they are in Mrs. Todd’s classroom. How great is her classroom? Well, she’s got technology like most teachers could only dream about. She’s got a 32″ TV she can use for a computer monitor or to get educational TV programs, an electronic camera device that can project a live image onto the whiteboard, and a whole bunch of other goodies. Except for her microwave and mini-refrigerator; they made all the teachers take those home!

And the Old Man? Feeling it, that’s for sure! This was a very long year of touch-and-go battles with JCAHO – The Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. That’s the main part of my job – Performance Improvement Manager – the rest of my job descriptions read “Does everything else nobody else wants to do.” Well, not really. I am blessed to have a job where they pretty much let me do whatever I want – accreditation, personnel, safety, infection control, computers, you-name-it. And to top it all off, I work with people who are so terrific, wonderful enough to be friends. It’s no exaggeration to say I love the people with whom I work – like my bosses are also my Compadres, that is we share the baptism of Lily Mae. I haven’t been back to the mainland in a while, but that’s OK. I’m very, very happy here. Crucita and I have been real active in our parish here in Kapa`a (St. Catherine’s) and have lots of wonderful friends there, too ranging in age for 2 to 92! Our house is just wonderful (and will be even better after Christmas when we hook up our Home Theater System we got for Christmas). The ‘kittens’ – Mimi, Hercules, Zoë, and Frankie the Fat really enjoy having us hang out in their life-zone. Crucita even built them an outdoor Cat Condo this summer, and also a four-tier lounge! She continues to do most of the repairs around the house, got some pretty nice tools for that sort of thing, and also got a new sewing machine, OH! And she loved the Hyundai Sonata she rented so much that when her 2000 Chrysler Sebring Convertible croaked, she replaced it with a 2008 Hyundai Sonata. It’s a great car! And that means I am now driving the 2007 Mazda pick-up. Detroit: Take a message.

We’ve been fortunate to have friends and family come visit us (seems going to the Todds’ house can be a desirable destination), and for Thanksgiving Crucita’s great-nephew and his girlfriend came up from Maui (where he works a construction job). I think we finished all but about 2% of the leftovers around mid-December. Our Christmas will be spent here on Kaua`i, and I’m going to take a couple of extra days off before getting back into the JCAHO Festival after the first of the year (have to make it at least sound like it’s fun!). Just enough room for our traditional closing:

May Hope, and Peace, and Joy, and Love be yours through the coming of the Christ Child!

God Bless you all, and Merry Christmas!!!


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About Chick Todd

American Roman Catholic reared as a "Baptiterian" in Denver Colorado.

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