Highlights 2005

November 17, 2005

25 Rio Robles East Unit 219, San Jose, CA 95134
(Until June: 20488 N Blaney, Cupertino, CA 95014)

The best to everyone this holiday season and for 2006 and beyond!

As you can see from the following photo (taken at the Big Bunny Run in March), we’re still doing our best to stay healthy and active. This was the only race we participated in during the year, but on any typical day we try to get out for a jog, walk, bike ride, swim, or workout in the gym. We also did some active group hiking trips during the year: one to the Grand Canyon in March and the other to Yellowstone in September.

Big Bunny winners
Big Bunny winners

Both of us had both staff and consulting jobs this year. I left my staff job at Mercury Interactive at the end of January, and Dick just left his full-time job at Pillar Data Systems, although he’s now consulting with them on a part-time basis. I did websites for a couple of non-profits during the year, and I consulted with the Stanford Graduate School of Business over the summer. We’ve both taken some technical courses, too – I did about six website design and development classes through UC Santa Cruz, and we’re both in the Web Technology Solutions certificate program through University of Washington (distance learning). In our business you have to keep learning!

We’ve also been involved in (and thoroughly enjoyed) a number of significant family events this past year. Here are some of the highlights…

Below are Liz and Tim “dressed up” as bride and groom at their October 29 wedding. I say “dressed up” because many of the guests came in Halloween costumes, which made for a very lively party! The event was in the community room of our new apartment building (we moved here in June). We’re glad to welcome Liz into the family and to see the newlyweds looking so happy! Tim is still doing website development, and Liz is doing photography gigs and taking courses at the Academy of Art in San Francisco.

Liz and Tim, bride and groom
Liz and Tim, bride and groom

Jill and Mike’s biggest news this year is their baby expected to be born just before Christmas. We’re all pretty excited about that one! They moved into a new house in Chandler, Arizona, in April, and Jill started a new job with the Attorney General’s office around the same time. However, they decided soon after that to move back to Minnesota (right after Tim and Liz’s wedding). They’ve rented a nice townhouse on Carver Lake in Woodbury near St Paul. We can’t wait to see the new little one, who has gone by the name “Fireball” during the entire pregnancy. If he/she lives up to his/her name, look out!

Mike and Jill at Liz and Tim's wedding
Mike and Jill at Liz and Tim’s wedding

The Livengoods have also had a very busy year. Matthew turned nine in July, and he’s now in the 4th grade at Silver Oak School. He played baseball again in the spring, and Rick was one of the coaches. Recently Matthew got a book on Dragonology, and I think he already has it memorized! Miranda turned six in June, and she’s in the 1st grade at Silver Oak. She’s starting cheerleading lessons and keyboard (as is Matthew) through the YMCA after-school program. After many years with only one family pet (Maynard Louise, the squirrel-eating cat), the Livengoods got two new kittens, Morgan (Miranda’s) and Sparky (Matthew’s).

Livengood family
Livengood family at Miranda’s kindergarten graduation

One family event we all enjoyed was Ellen’s 40th birthday party at Disneyland. She was expecting to see her own immediate family and many of her Los Angeles friends there, but her extended family’s participation was a surprise. We all had a good time, and it was nice to get re-acquainted with Ellen’s friends that we haven’t seen in a while.

Ellen's 40th birthday
Ellen’s 40th birthday

Ellen and Rick are still very busy in their jobs, Ellen at IBM and Rick at Intel.

We’re looking forward to taking Matthew and Miranda to Washington D.C. next April. They both love museums, so we think the Smithsonian and Air and Space Museum should have lots to keep them amused.

We experienced one very sad event this past year: the death of our beloved friend of over 60 years, Netty Meertens. We’re so sorry for the Meertens family’s loss, especially Jan, who has counted on Netty for most of his care and support since he suffered a stroke over 20 years ago.

Next Monday (November 23) we plan to drive down (via Sequoia National Park) to the Palm Springs area to pick up Helen and take her down to Dick Van Raaphorst’s house on Mission Beach in San Diego. We’ll have Thanksgiving dinner with them, visit other friends and family in the San Diego and Los Angeles areas, and then come back home in time to repack our suitcases and head for Buffalo. We hope to visit a few friends and relatives we haven’t seen in a while both there and in Michigan, do a little family history investigation and a little sightseeing, and then head for Minnesota as soon after “Fireball’s” arrival as we can manage.

In general, we had a wonderful year (and it’s not over yet!) and hope you all did too. Next year we’re hoping to take some more trips like the one to Yellowstone (see picture below).

Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park
Grand Prismatic Spring, Yellowstone National Park