Christmas 2003 – Thank Goodness Your Family is Normal

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Yes – it REALLY is that time of year again!  Time for shopping, eating and of course, the annual letter from the Gurnett household – which makes everyone feel that their household is not quite as insane or weird as they thought – do we give a great gift or what?!  This has been a hectic year – as usual – so much going on and everyone going in different directions – not that anyone has moved out yet – they just all run around a lot!  Pat and I are coming to terms with the fact that our children are never leaving home – some have suggested that we buy a smaller house and then they would have to leave – this suggestion is usually made by people who haven’t actually seen our current house!  Believe me, if our children are willing to still share one bathroom in our little house – they would all live in a tent with us – as long as they didn’t have to pay rent.  Rent – that was another suggestion – but I have a problem charging my children rent and then having them turn around and “borrow” money from me until next payday – seems kind of silly.  Not to break with our family tradition, we did go on vacation this year to Gunnison, Colorado.  Unfortunately, Jenny and Bob were unable to come with us – strangely enough, we were not concerned with what they were doing while we were gone – again, one of the perks of having a small house – not really big enough to have that “huge” party that all kids dream about – plus, we only left them enough food for the week for the two of them – and no extra money – so, I’m thinking their friends probably weren’t into frozen pizzas and milk – just a guess on my part.  They probably did have a huge party – but since there are no police reports and the neighbors haven’t complained – ignorance is bliss!  The rest of the family had a great time in Gunnison.  We spent a lot of time driving around to see family and to show the kids where my mother was raised above Telluride.  Tim and Becky did decide that at times it was too much like a history lesson – but they passed the test at the end of the vacation with flying colors!  We did a lot of fishing, or I should say, Pat and Tim did a lot of fishing.  I think the fishing contest was split between the two of them – Pat for most, Tim for biggest.  Becky even caught a little rainbow trout one day – which really irked Tim because he hadn’t caught anything all day!  Pat’s mom came with us, so we showed her the sights – went over Little Blue into Paonia and Hotchkiss, drove up to the Alpine Tunnel and the Alta Mines – any place which was high with a narrow road and no guard rails, just to scare the children – that was our goal!

Jenny, age 21, is now a licensed cosmetologist and working at a local salon.  You would think having a stylist in the house, we would all look perfectly groomed all of the time – dream on!  I have to make an appointment with her just like anyone else – granted we can have our hair done at home – but I think I’m paying top dollar for my hairstylist – I know my old stylist didn’t hit me up for gas money, movie money, food money and rent!  I figure my total cost for a color and cut is a little shy of $1000 each time – and I don’t even get a massage thrown in!

Bob, age 19, is still trying to “find himself” and determine what he wants to be when he grows up – when he figures it out, we would like him to tell us how he decided, so we can do the same!  Bob is working at Super Target right now – but reminds us that this is only temporary until he finds his true calling – which is probably writing movies for Steven Spielberg or writing a best seller like Stephen King (hmmm – maybe we should have named him Steven instead of Bob!).

Tim, age 17, is a senior at Millard South and will be graduating this spring.  Tim has decided to join the armed services – probably the Marine Corps.  We are hoping he understands that this is just a little more intense than Boy Scouts!  Tim insists he has a plan – let the military pay him for driving a Jeep AND for college – such a deal!

Becky, age 15, is a sophomore at Millard South.  She is involved in volleyball, choir, drama and band.  Becky has become our travel bug – she just returned from the National Catholic Youth Conference in Houston, Texas – and has informed us that our vacations are boring – we need to go to exciting places like Chicago, New York, etc.  As usual, our response, was “when you pay for the vacation, you can choose the spot!”

Pat is doing great – you would not recognize him since he has lost over 100 pounds!  He is always on the go – and with the new energy, I have drawn up a new list of home improvements – which shouldn’t take 5 years like the bathroom!

Me – I’ve decided that I just don’t have enough going on in my life, so I decided to go back to Creighton University and get my Masters in Business.  So far, so good – I figured the kids don’t like me around anymore (unless I’m handing out money) and Pat will be busy with the list of projects I have given him – so what better time to go back to school! 

We hope your holidays are full of fun, craziness, frivolity and love – mostly love!  Now – go give your loved ones a hug and a kiss – and say “Thank goodness, our family is NORMAL!”

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