2001 has been a very busy and difficult year – not only for our family but the entire nation. The year started off with all of us waiting on the new little addition to our family. Shannon gave birth to Christopher Charles Sumner on April 30th. He has been a real mover & shaker during his young life! His favorite activity is moving and since he’s learned to crawl and pull himself up on everything, moving has become more important than ever! That, and finding the nearest thing to chew on! He has two teeth and can say “Mama”. Granny & Grandpa are tickled with the little guy! His two aunts and uncle spoil him horribly whenever they see him! Shannon has spent the past year in Wylie, The Colony, or Dallas. We keep her in our prayers and hope that one day she “figures it out”.
Teresa is now 18 and will complete her senior year December 21st. Graduation ceremonies won’t take place until next June with the entire class of 2002. Her plans include going to Stephen F. Austin University in Nacogdoches, Texas (this is still a “maybe”!) and studying to be a child therapist. She will enter college in the Fall of 2002. Until then, she plans on working full time. She is still very active in the church youth group and the youth choir.
James turned 16 in July and will start his driver’s ed course in January. Stay off the roads!! He is a sophomore at Lewisville High School and remains in the band playing bass trombone. He spent a little over a week at Boy Scout Camp this past summer in Arkansas. He is working hard to get the ranks & merit badges he needs in order to move on to Eagle Scout. Once a month he has been camping with the scouts and has taken many Junior Leadership Training courses. He is still focused on attending Iowa State University after high school and going into law enforcement. He is active in the church chancel choir, youth choir, choir chimes choir, the youth group, and helping the Men’s Fellowship cook breakfast once a month.
Jasmine, 11, is in 6th grade – her first year in Middle School. She has maintained an A/B average during this year and has blossomed into quite a young lady! Some of her top priorities are N*Sync, Boys, and anything to do with animals! She is a very good debater – which will serve her well if she does pursue her dream of becoming an attorney! She is active in the youth choir and youth group at church.
Both Teresa & James attended the Youth Group’s trip last June to New Orleans. They participated in a “Paint & Patch” project and scraped, bleached, primed and painted a double shotgun house for a needy family the week they were there. While in Louisiana, they also got to visit other historic (& spooky) sites and attended the dinner held the last day of the church conference on a riverboat. It was an experience they will always remember!
Our family took a two week vacation to visit family in June/July. We spent a week at Wendy’s mother’s home in Beavercreek, Ohio. While there we visited other family and toured the Air Force Museum (again!). We followed that week up with a week at Charles’ folks in Mendon, Missouri. Since they live on a farm out in the country, everyone was allowed to shoot off fireworks and noise makers on the 4th of July. It was the highlight of everyone’s vacation (except for Mopsey - our poor dog - who was traumatized!).
Wendy remains employed by the church part time. However, she turned the Sunday School superintendent position over to someone else early in February as she had served her maximum terms. She has been very active with the local parent support group of ToughLove International – serving as PR chairperson from January – June and coordinator from July – December. In January she will resume PR duties. She helped organize the 2nd annual Community Leader’s Meeting in October attended by local police officers, ministers, family counselors, school administrators and the city mayor. In November she attended a very intense weekend at a ToughLove workshop given by the founders of the program and came back with a lot of information to share with her group.
Charles is still employed with Alcatel USA in Component Engineering. With the economy’s fluctuations, many there have been laid off so we feel very fortunate that things are okay with us. He doesn’t travel like he did when he was with Nokia but he does go to different buildings in the area quite a bit. He is still President of the Men’s Fellowship at church, sings in the chancel choir and is one of the “guitar guys” that play for the kids during Vacation Bible School and Intergenerational Sunday School. He has spent most of his spare time doing odd jobs around the house and working on the vehicles.
There were two low points of our year. Wendy’s uncle passed away on June 13th in Illinois and then she found out her brother had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. She flew to Alabama, meeting up with her sister and mother there, to visit him. We all prayed that he understood what we were saying and how much we loved him. The following week, Wendy got the call. Jim passed away on August 31st. Our family flew to Alabama for the funeral that weekend. My mother, cousins and sister also drove or flew in for the weekend. One of my cousin’s summed it up beautifully when she said that there was a joyous reunion in heaven this year between our grandparents, aunt, aunt’s husband, uncle and Jim.
Early in the year, Charlie laid new tile in our kitchen, bathrooms and pantry area. The tile in our kitchen looks like a parquet wood. The bathrooms have gray marble tile in them. In the spring we had new wall-to-wall carpeting installed. We picked a light gray color that looks blue at times. These “new” improvements were made possible due to the plumbing work we had done at Thanksgiving a year ago. We also installed a new dishwasher as the two-legged kind we’ve had for about 8 years – went on strike! ha ha! Our next major purchase will be furniture – probably before spring time.
We hope your family has had a good year. Let us hear from you in the new year! Being electronically “plugged” in – you can all find me online at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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