Welcome to the 2012 Tinkleflick Holiday Letter
Well, here we are again! It’s the end of the year and it’s time for the newest holiday letter. In the world of Facebook, Twitter and other such services, our little website does not serve the same purpose that it used to but we decided to maintain it just for our holiday letter.
The big news for 2012 was the massive undertaking known as The Flick Family Trip to Paris. Actually, it was Mano and Paco’s trip and they graciously invited us to join them. We lived in a real Parisian apartment just two blocks from the Louvre. The apartment was large by Parisian standards and plenty large enough for the six of us because we spent most of our time exploring one of the most interesting cities in the world. Noah liked it so much that he claims he will go to college there! We’ll see. Hopefully, our college savings account will be worth enough to buy him his plane ticket. We saw many of the sites that you think of when you think of Paris: the Eiffel tower, the Louvre (for 15 minutes…it was way too hot in there), the Musee d’Orsay, Musee de l’Orangerie, le Infidales (Napolean’s tomb), the Arc de Triomphe and, of course, all of the cafes, shops and other great Parisian experiences. It was great to actually live in the city because we were able to go shopping in the markets (Noah went to the shop every morning to buy the day’s baguettes) and at least partially experience what it is to live in a place like that. Another highlight was a short trip to Normandy where we saw Omaha and Utah beaches as well as Point du Hoc and the amazing tapestry in Bayeux. Two weeks is a long time and we experienced much more than we can write here. It was a trip of a lifetime.
Noah will be turning 10 in January (yes, that’s right, our little puffy cheek boy is growing up quickly). He’s tall, loves baseball, football, Star Wars and, of late, Minecraft, Minecraft, Minecraft and, oh yeah did I mention, Minecraft. What is Minecraft, you ask? Well, it’s a computer game and if you are interested in learning more about it, check this out. It’s actually such a phenomenon that they have conventions for people who play it. If you have a 10 year old boy who has not yet heard of it, hide this link for as long as you can! School is going well for Noah this year and he only has a year and a half left until, yes, middle school! Noah is going to upgrade from recreational baseball to full-scale little league in the Spring so we are going to be looking for an agent for him as he plans to either be a professional baseball player or a Lego designer. How’s that for career options? Noah has also expressed an interest in camping and fishing! We’ll see how that goes. Thankfully, there is no shortage of great opportunities for outdoor experiences in the Pacific Northwest. We don’t know much about how to tent camp but we will be getting out and giving it a try in the Spring.
Looking back at the first of the holiday letters in the archive, Natalie was just a newborn. Not anymore. Natalie will turn 7 right before Christmas and she is growing like a weed and taking on the world. Natalie is a natural athlete and her sport of choice is soccer. If she could play soccer 24 hours a day, she probably would. Practice is not her favorite thing to do but she loves playing the games and she’s pretty darned good at it (or so she will tell you). When her coach was handing out the trophies and awards for her team, before saying her name, he said that he would not want to have to meet this particular player in a dark alley and Natalie just got up to get her trophy. There was no doubt who he was talking about. Natalie is in First Grade and loves school. She loves being the “person of the day” and she methodically counts the days until her birthday. In addition to soccer, Natalie played T-Ball for the first time this last year and she is learning to read and write and does very well in school. Like Noah, Natalie is in Adventure Guides through the YMCA and may be looking to try Girl Scouts next year.
With Natalie in First Grade and in school full-time, Wendy has started doing other things when the kids are at school. Rather than just reading cook books, she decided to start her own food blog. If you are interested, check out http://www.greasycamera.com. Wendy also works at the Gig Harbor YMCA in the welcome center and at the membership desk. It’s great having an insider at the Y since we seem to spend most of our time there. Wendy’s new nickname in the family is “CENTCOM” (a military acronym for “Central Command”). Her gig at the Y and her blog are just distractions from the day job of managing the family calendars (there are two…one is a secret to the rest of the family and holds classified calendar information) and activities which is more than a full-time job.
Ralph continues to build his law practice which is a full-time occupation now. When we first moved to Gig Harbor, we never thought Ralph would hang a shingle and have his own law practice but that’s what we’ve done. If you are interested, you can find him at http://www.rwfesq.com. The law practice is the day job and thankfully offers more flexibility than a career job and that leaves time for him to make breakfast most mornings, coach some of the teams and make movies about them for the kids, publish the newsletter for the PTA, serve a term as President of his Rotary Club, be the “Navigator” of the Gig Harbor Adventure Guides and a few other things. The big news for Ralph, though, is after returning from Paris he decided to get back into the gym (in part because Wendy threatened to cancel his YMCA membership and did not believe that he would actually go) and lost 50 pounds. See the before (yuck) and after. We’ll see how it is going next year in the 2013 Holiday letter. Hopefully next year’s picture will be more likely to be the “after” than the “before”!
We got our dog, Jake, last year (see last year’s holiday letter) and we celebrated his “birthday” (his one-year anniversary of living with us). Jake barks a lot, especially when Frank & Lucy (the pugs down the street and Jake’s mortal enemies) walk by but, other than that, he is a great addition to our family and we are so happy to have him. Sometimes I wonder what Jake thinks of us but, for the most part, I think he just sees us as things that occasionally drop food on the floor. We joke that the best day of Jake’s life was the day that a mini taco fell on the floor at dinner followed only by the day that a hunk of parmesan cheese fell to the floor when we were trying to shred it.
Until Next Year
Well, that’s it for the 2012 Holiday Letter. Thanks for stopping by our website and for suffering through reading the latest installment of our holiday letter and for helping us to keep tinkleflick.com alive for another year. We should have lots of fun stuff to report on next year. We are planning another Disney cruise (this time to Alaska) in the Summer and we will be having our foreign exchange student, Gabby from Chile, staying with us in the Spring. No shortage of stuff going on here at Tinkleflick World HQ. We say every year that we are planning to update our website more often but, as a practical matter, if you would like more frequent updates, we’ll see you on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, etc. but check back next year for the next Holiday Letter. Have a safe and happy holiday season and best wishes for the New Year!Ralph, Wendy, Noah, Natalie and Jake