Thursday, January 3, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Blanshans!

       In case you didn’t know, I (Dale) am the gentleman in the center in the green shirt, surrounded by a lively, intelligent, and, as you can see, very good looking family. If you thought you saw a bit of bewilderment in the expression on my face, stemming, no doubt, from the size and character of the familial crowd there represented, you would be correct. It still isn’t clear to me exactly how all this happened.
       But if you sensed a bit of pride in that look, you would be even more correct. Look at that bunch! Now, I ask you, where could you find anything as diverse, talented, active, and involved, from that good looking grandma right down to those good looking grandkids? Why, even the sons in law are above average.
       Actually, the family is growing up and out so much that I’m becoming increasingly irrelevant. Linda makes more money than I do, Bob is taller than I am, the girls are looking at other men, Billy and Jimmy are on schedule to be way ahead of me in guitar playing, and my grandsons are much more handsome.
       Here’s an update on the major players:
       Linda became the general manager of the Crossroads Panera Bread store, and loves all 60 hours a week of it. She took me on a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina, for the Panera annual meeting, where I got to do the sightseeing with the other trophy spouses while she attended to business. This summer Linda also got her new house in Rochester, and is happily decorating.
       Bob, included in this letter by virtue of frequent visits and close proximity, wowed Jamaica on his first trip to the island this summer. He works as an activities facilitator at a local care and assisted living center, where, he watches old movies, plays bingo, sings songs, and gets laughs with the same jokes over and over. “I haven’t figured out why they pay me,” he says.
       Polly, a high school senior, started her second year of college this fall. She is in the college choir, traveled with its elite smaller group, Adoration, works at the Family Christian Book and Gift store, and maintains a typical college girl’s social schedule. She had her first trip to Jamaica this summer with her father, and had a great time.
       Peggy, a high school junior, started college this year, the youngest student there. She sings in the choir and was recruited for the college women’s basketball team. She took her driver’s training, sang in the Meadow Park Church Easter musical, and sings with the youth group band.
       Jimmy’s social schedule has expanded greatly. He attended two game banquets, trying frog legs and alligator meat at one and winning the grand prize, a 30-30 rifle, at the other. He’s been pheasant hunting in southern Minnesota and prairie dog shooting in South Dakota. He plays the bass guitar in the youth group band, and was a member of the church’s Easter musical cast and the Bible Bowl team. He also added a muzzleloader to his armament.
       Billy, who says, “nothing really that exciting happened to me,” plays the guitar in the church’s youth group band, has had several trips to Iowa and one to Missouri as a member of the Bible Bowl team, is increasingly relied upon for video projection and lighting as a member of the church worship team, does the layout for the youth group’s page in church papers, and recently completed his second performance as a magician volunteer at the Hope Lodge, a cancer treatment residence in Rochester.
       Being the technologically up to date family that we are, you can, of course, keep track of all your favorite Blanshans at the “” website. You may follow individual members, with the exception of laggards Jimmy and I, by means of their respective blogs, as follows:


       We wish you and yours a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. If you haven’t sent us an account of your 2007, we wish you would. May our circles be unbroken!


Carrie said...

We are quite the good looking bunch, aren't we?

Minkydo said...

What a fantastic looking family!!!

Help me out here. I can't remember what Jessica and James named their younger boy? Sorry!


Linda said...

Benjamin Grant Lyon, he usually answers to Ben

Abbi said...

It was fun to read all of your news.

Minkydo said...

Thanks Linda. I did finally remember his name a few hours later :)

Keren and Peggy said...

HEY! There is a serious mistake that was made in that christmas letter.