Saturday, December 21, 2013

Season's Greeting from the Wicke Family

(As written by Mr. Wicke, who agreed years ago to take the task of the christmas letter.)

We begin our Christmas greeting by sharing some inner workings of the Wicke household. Inevitably our December starts with a discussion along these lines:

Laurel: What are we going to do about our Christmas card picture this year?

Thomas: I don’t know, what do you think?

Laurel: I really want to get a nice family picture taken.

Thomas: Yes, that would be nice….


Laurel: Honey, you have GOT to get on the Christmas letter and we never got the picture taken.

Thomas: I know, I am going to write the letter. I will think of something for the picture…

Since we’ve been married for twenty years now, such trivial things rarely erupt into an argument but there is no doubt that Laurel’s concept of the ideal Christmas picture is more than what I was able to produce with my remedial Photoshop skills. That being said, the moustache craze is sweeping the nation, and we decided to have some fun with it. Much to Laurel’s chagrin, the children were enthusiastically behind their dad’s idea. So, if you find yourself thinking, “Wow, that family has a rather distinguished look to them,” or if the word “debonair” came to mind when our card arrived, you will recognize the power of subliminal messaging. In the end, we just wanted to bring a smile to your face (by bringing a moustache to ours) and whisker you a Harry Christmas! Don’t get us started!

So we stubbled, I mean stumbled, into another year of change but have gotten our feet underneath us after our transition in 2012. In February I received my own campus and began oversight of Everest College, Torrance. I grew to love the faculty, staff and students very quickly and felt like I found a second family. The smaller campus gave me a chance to learn all the details of the position. The 75 minute drive each way on the famed 405 freeway was the only unfortunate element of my job. It would have been nice to shave this off (the drive, not the moustache) but both Laurel and I are finding that driving is very much a part of Southern California culture. A frightening reality when we realize Logan is only four years from driving. Just about a month ago, my commute and my position took an unexpected change as I was asked to take over the much larger and much closer Anaheim campus. I left my Torrance “family” and engaged in new challenges. I look forward to making a difference here.

We might not qualify as an educated family but we are definitely an educational family. Hence the “Wicke Academy” reference. Unlike the fake moustaches, the job descriptions have some validity to them. I may be president of a school and Laurel really is a teacher, but she fills every one of those “unofficial” roles in the laboratory that is life. After teaching music and literature at Carden Hall, she begins her second shift whiskering Logan to young women’s or Griffin to gymnastics. Her constant shadow is Lincoln, who loves being with his family unless they engage in some unappreciated behavior whereupon he is quick to declare “you're fired” or proclaim “you're ruining my life.” Laurel keeps our family running between Newport and Mission Viejo. She was able to chaperon the 8th grade for the second time on their trip to France this past summer. Carden offered Laurel a full-time position, which allowed us to move Logan and Griffin to this amazing school where, along with an amazing character based curriculum including daily French, music and school uniforms, their mother teaches a few doors down the hall. Attending such a school is a blessing we never could have foreseen.

Our family travels provided many memories as we spent two weeks on the east coast. We saw much of Washington D.C. and mastered the Metro when our hotel turned out to be a bit more distant than it seemed from the online travel site. A private tour of the Capital building, the Smithsonians and the Newsuem were favorites (although walking to and from them was not). We spent a day at Mount Vernon, a day at Jamestown and then several in colonial Williamsburg. These all made an impression on Logan and Griffin, but Lincoln was most taken by the many hotel pools we frequented at the end of our long days. We spent a few more relaxing days with dear friends in North Carolina before returning to home sweet home and afternoons on the beach at Newport or Laguna.

We live in a magical place and a prosperous era, to be sure. Not everyone is entirely satisfied with our condition, however. Lincoln, now four years old, is very aware of our proximity to Disneyland and is growing more dismayed with his parents who have not yet provided him opportunity for entrance to the “happiest place on earth.” In disgust he finally declared, “I keep asking and asking and no one will take me!” Somehow he has been blessed with a personality big enough to compete with his older brother and sister. There is rarely a dull or quiet moment in our home. Rather than reading more of my ramblings, I have included several pictures (below) showing some of the activities of the past year.

Somehow life seems to continue at an ever increasing pace. At times… no, very often, we feel like we can’t keep up. As we enter the thick of life we continue to be amazed how quickly it is passing by. Our failure to stay connected to our friends and family as frequently as we would like is not our intention, and we beg your forgiveness. We are weighted down more than you know when we hear of your struggles and sadness’s. Your successes bring great satisfaction and happiness to us. We love you, and we cherish the experiences we have shared with you. Life is about people because people make our life meaningful. You make our life meaningful. At this Christmas time, we thank God for the gifts of family and friends. Laurel and I are better people, we are a better family, because of your influence. Our home continues to be open to you whenever you can come to visit and our hearts are open all the other times. May God bless you this season and throughout the year.

All our love,
Thomas , Laurel, Logan, Griffin, and Lincoln

The family at Mount Vernon

Logan at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.

Mr. Wicke, Griffin, and a tired Lincoln at Arlington

Griff at the Library on Congress

Attending an outdoor symphony concert

Enjoying the Pinewood Derby

Lincoln at play

Still willing to give kisses.

Laurel and Logan were both in a production at our church.

Griff was the big winner at Pack Meeting!

Another fun day at the beach!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love reading your posts. Please write often. The pictures are great. You had a busy and exciting year. Happy 2014
Love to All, Dot