Finished Christmas cards today. We’re sending out a picture along with a form letter that gives everyone the update as to what’s going on. Many readers of this blog will be receiving said letter within the next couple of days. But for those of you who won’t, because I don’t know your name or address, here’s an expurgated version suitable for public consumption. (The names have been changed to protect the flatulent.)
We invite you to review the photo that came with this letter. Behind the wheel of the train you’ll find Mrs. Cornell, without whom this family would get absolutely nowhere. She somehow juggles the responsibilities of full-time motherhood with per diem work as a physical therapist, service as a Sunday School teacher, and all the responsibilities of coordinating the elementary school book fair. She sleeps occasionally, but not often.
Directly above her on the roof of the train is Cornelius, a six-year-old Reflections Award-winning author for his magnum opus Worm Man II: Fox Man Returns, in which superhero Worm Man befriends longtime nemesis Fox Man and both jump on a trampoline together. Cornelius enjoys soccer, basketball, and losing teeth.
Just to the left is Cornelius’ elder-brother-by-two-minutes Corbin, who, while still in first grade, has already begun preparations to play quarterback for Brigham Young University beginning in 2022. He’s convinced that his red blankie will survive the intervening decades, but the prognosis is not good. Corbin likes his waffles hot and his hair spiky.
Next to Corbin on the ground, you’ll find Stallion, who now has a job renting vacation condos on the island of Kauai. He lost the goatee, though, because it was starting to itch.
Stallion is holding his two-year-old son Stalliondo, who no longer sleeps in a crib and has taken to crawling into bed with Mom and Dad so he can kick them in the head. His vocabulary continues to grow, as do his feet.
At the front of the train is eldest daughter Cleta, the world’s only ten-year-old teenager. She is an accomplished pianist, a voracious reader, and a surprisingly experienced babysitter with diaper-changing skills of girls twice her age. She also knows everything there is to know about American history and/or Calvin and Hobbes.
Next to Cleta is eight-year-old Chloe, a fine pianist in her own right, as well as an artist, writer, photographer, soccer player, and American Girl Doll enthusiast. Last spring, she appeared in a ballet production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, wherein she danced divinely and tried – and failed – to resist the temptation to wave at her parents.
Hope all is well with you – we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!