Friday, December 24, 2004

Dear Friends and Family,

As the holiday season approaches, our family would like to share news of the extraordinary changes and growth we’ve experienced this year.

As many of you know, my husband, Frank, has been prone to embarrassing bouts of intestinal gas after meals. This year, Frank finally got off his duff and went to see experts at the Mayo Clinic. The doctors concluded that Frank had a piece of rotting cabbage caught in his the wall of his large intestine. Apparently, it’s been slowly decaying in there for years! Fortunately, the doctors were able to dislodge the cabbage with a metal probe. Frank pooped it out the next day and our lives have happily returned to normal.

This year has brought about many challenges for our two children as well. As the local newspaper has so meticulously detailed, our oldest daughter Sara was caught shoplifting by the security guards at Lord & Taylor. Despite this painful revelation, Sara remains a bright light of our family. Her rambunctious spirit and an incredible sense of humor have gotten her through this arduous experience.

With a modest bribe, the juvenile court judge was gracious enough to grant Sara a sentence of public service. So this year, Sara spent most of her afternoons picking up glass bottles and aluminum cans strewn about on the side of the highway. The experience has humbled Sara tremendously. Sara now claims she wants to work with street orphans in Bucharest, Romania, when she graduates from high school. To think, just last year Sara couldn’t stop cutting herself and now she wants to be a missionary!

Our youngest child, Stewart, is growing like a weed. I can hardly believe he is in the fifth grade already! We have recently put him on a sugar-free and wheat-free diet hoping that will control his mood swings and temper tantrums. We are keeping our fingers crossed and hope to see some tangible results in 2005.

Stewart’s teacher says he still struggles with reading. Somehow, he still can’t grasp the idea that individual letters form words. But Stewart’s teacher says not to fret about it too much. “Every child learns at their own pace.” But still, I wondered if there wasn’t something I could do to coax him along a bit. So this fall I marched down to the local library, filled out the paperwork for a library card, and returned home with sacks and sacks of books for Stewart. I wish you all could have seen me! I looked like Santa Claus! To my dismay, Stewart took the books and threw them around the room like Frisbees. Our little Stewart caused quite a commotion! He knocked over our Tiffany lamp with The Giving Tree and hit his sister in the head with Where the Sidewalk Ends. Then he just glazed over and went back to his PlayStation game. Boys will be boys. What can I say?

As for me, I can’t complain. My slipped disk still pinches a nerve in my lower back. As a result, I still can’t stand up entirely straight. But I’m learning how to cope and take care of myself during flare-ups. I find warm bathes and any album by Enya soothes and nurtures my spirit, preparing me for the many challenges that lie ahead. Being a mom is the greatest most rewarding job in the world full of so many gifts and surprises.

At this magical time of year, we wish you and your family a safe and healthy holiday and a new year filled with joy, love, peace.

God bless,
Jenna, Frank, Sara, and Stewart Kinsley

Julianne Flynn was too busy to write a biography; Y.P.R. therefore assumes her to be someone very important, perhaps a diplomat or superhero.

Some Holiday Cards

Season's Greetings The bruises are starting to fade and I feel lucky this time.
The Stanton Family Christmas Newsletter The kids are doing OKAY. Jimmy has a restraining order against him by his third wife, Melly.
The Annual Holiday Newsletter from the Guy Who Does the Voiceover for NBC Primetime TV Previews It’s been an EXPLOSIVE 2004 for the Jones family. You WON’T BELIEVE when you hear what’s been happening. First, in a SHOCKING TWIST ...

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