Dearest Family and Friends,

Dearest Family and Friends,

Dan and I are always so delighted to get YOUR newsy Christmas/Channukah letters that this year we want to give back to those of you who give so unselfishly. It’s been quite a year for the Fessler-Friedmann family, 2009 will be a year we won’t forget!!!  Our son, Tim, is now 17 and he finally has the long awaited senior driver’s license. Ever since he was able to apply for his permit he has been bugging the crap out of us for his own car. Oh, that tenacious young man. We affectionately refer to him as our “PITBULL.”  He is doing well in his Junior year of High School where he does his utmost to procrastinate about anything “college.” You would think he would stay up long hours to do his homework and to study but half the time we find him in our “family” room bombing cars, throwing grenades and basically killing people as fast as he can with his favorite toy, X-Box.  He does extremely well on this games; we’re so proud!!! Tim is a Junior in HS now (“Sunrise, Sunset”) and he is making every effort he possibly can to alienate us,  frustrate us or make us seething with anger. He is moody, obnoxious, and arrogant. They call this stage “individuation” where the child is learning to separate from the parents, for this he deserves an A++.

Jillian, the baby of our family, is now 15. Where does the time go? Wasn’t it yesterday when she dressed up in her blue Cinderella dress and refused to take it off?  The hours between 4 and 6pm are so quiet now that those angry, sobbing and screaming episodes have ended. She is a delightful young lady, still saving all animals and fish, as a vegetarian with limited vegetable eating. Tim first called her a “Dairytarian” which still makes us all chuckle as pasta and pizza are her two mainstays.  Jillian is our fashionista and we wait for the UPS man with great anticipation to deliver her catalogue items before she models them for us. Jillian babysits and uses every penny she makes on clothing. (Where did that trait come from?) We think it’s a little bit of her precious “Granny Sue” that definitely skipped a generation with me.  She is magnificent in languages and is now taking French in addition to Spanish. Apparently,in her acting class, “Schrot, the teacher,”  is as entertaining as the class itself. Jillian doesn’t want to try out for a” regular play” but she may decide to try out for a comedy. Break a leg!

Dan is unemployed, he lost his job due to this horrendous economy. When not looking for a job he entertains himself by playing Beweled Blitz on the computer. Apparently that game is quite addictive. We’re so happy he’s having a little joy in his life.  Other than that, both cars needed major repairs, and you know what we used to say? We used to say that any single repair on a car was at least 200 dollars. Not for us!!! Both cars needed $1,200 dollars of work.  First was the driver that smashed the car Tim had just parked, lucky the little love bug was safe and sound. Second, the Altima needed several thousand dollars for various items that us girls don’t know anything about!! Brake pads, rotor cuffs, engine trouble….it’s all the same to us; it just means money,  big money.

Lastly, Laurie has spent the entire year of 2009 in medical distress and it still is continuing. To give you just a little sample, she has dealt with a badly sprained ankle with a chip from the bone dislodging taking up 9 months, followed by heel spurs in the same ankle and now is in a heavy, smelly, black cast to the knee. She has seen numerous Dr.’s in the city for her Hashimotos Thyroiditis, an opthamologist for her narrow angle glaucoma, the TMJ she tries to ignore. The exciting news is that Laurie’s Guru Dr. as we affectionately call him wants to up her 14 pills a day to a more powerful dose that would mean injecting a needle daily into her thigh. Wow, it’s something to look forward to. She also is having a needle of her very own blood, centrifuged, and inserted back into her heel in a few days. How cool is that?. Before the injuries she did take a class in Senior Pilates but flunked, but the dear old men and women in the class were so nice and so good!!! Cheers for them! Laurie is looking forward to her upcoming dentist appointment as her first outing without a cast. Joy.

Last but certainly not least, is our dog, Callie. She fills our lives with great joy and love….at least she does to Jillian and Laurie. She is going on 8 years old and it’s sad to see her fur turn a little white under her chin. She’s the most nurturing dog, a real love and we all adore her. Of course there was the time that Dan let Callie out and forgot about her….leaving Jillian and me shrieking and searching and hating all things male. The “boys” were not unhinged (as we were) and they didn’t seem to care. It was not a good family night to play Apples to Apples.  Luckily, Callie was found and remained upstairs with the girls for the rest of the evening.

All in all, it’s been a really great year.  Can’t you tell??  Filled with nothing but joy, tsuris (bad luck) and more tsuris.

Happy Holidays from the Fessler-Friedmanns

Dan, Laurie, Tim, Jillian and Callie the dog

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