Sunday, January 16, 2011

Maxwell Christmas Letter 2010

We decided to jump into the Christmas update circuit this year.

At right, Pam is flanked by Oto (red) and Tomas (gray), with Laura (white) and Beverly (black) in front. Chip is the disembodied head below them.

Chip. Recovering politician. Won races for state legislature in 2000 and county board in 2004. Lost re-election bid for county board in 2008 and race for city council in 2009. Political virus is in remission but he’s still a carrier. Descent through Dante’s concentric circles of hell began with law (two years clerking for the Nebraska Court of Appeals and a brief stint at an Omaha law firm), then journalism (editorial writer at the Omaha World-Herald), then working on the staff of U.S. Senator Chuck Hagel from Nebraska, then elective office, then lobbying. That appeared to be rock bottom – until he began hosting a local talk radio show. Has tried to redeem himself by working for the Jesuit Middle School of Omaha (development and PR for school serving at-risk, inner-city boys), the Nebraska Coalition for Ethical Research (doctors, researchers, and ethicists who love stem cell re-search but don’t want human embryos destroyed to do it), and the Fatherhood-Family Initiative (promoting fatherhood and father-son relation-ships). Also enjoys teaching an American government course at a local college.

Pam. Thriving in her fourth year teaching Spanish at Creighton Prep. Already has had several careers: sales rep for Honeywell, deaf education teacher, and principal of a Catholic early elementary school accommodating Spanish-speaking families wanting to learn English. Next “career” move was returning to the home front fulltime as Beverly and Laura joined the family. Kept teaching as a volunteer at the county jail helping Spanish speakers learn English, and tutoring junior high kids in Spanish in our home. Joined Prep’s faculty when our youngest hit fulltime school. Enjoys the personal/spiritual dimension of teaching at a Jesuit school. Will be one of the faculty moderators for the Prep delegation at the 2011 March for Life in D.C. Also a faculty moderator for a Prep student trip to Europe in 2011.

Tomás. Junior at Creighton University majoring in psychology on path to masters in organizational and industrial psychology (corporate world as opposed to clients in a counseling office). Enjoying Creighton (better be, given the price) and making good friends – including one who will remain anonymous until we find out how his visit to her family in Iowa went this week. Those who haven’t seen Tomás since he was a tyke might be amazed at the handsome and gracious young man he has become.

Oto. Freshman at Benedictine College in Atchison, KS. Oto, too, might surprise those who haven’t seen him since he was conducting processions and building forts, but he’s the same gregarious Oto who is passionate about his faith. Managed to squeeze in classes while participating in just about every extracurricular activity at Creighton Prep. Announced that he was going to lie low and ease into college life. By the end of September he was elected to the student council and was off and running, but he also produced a solid set of grades for the first semester.

Laura. 6th grade at St. Cecilia’s, our parish school. Great soccer player and discovering she’s good at basketball, too (Chip coaches her team). Usually the smallest on whatever field of competition, so she tries to be the fastest/strongest/smartest/bravest. A “fixer” at home and school, trying to fix problems between people. Beginning her babysitting career and is much in demand as she is great with little ones.

Beverly. 4th grade at St. Cecilia’s. Loves to sing and dance. Very “spirited” child. This is her world and the rest of us are living in it. Very alert, the kind of child who breaks parental code-speak and will remember what you said about something months or years later. Fun to watch play soccer and basketball because she has the imagination and ability to create scoring opportunities for herself and teammates.

Pam’s and Chip’s parents are alive and well in Omaha and are a major part of the children’s lives, as are two generations of aunts and uncles. We are blessed to have them in our family life.

Still celebrating and agonizing over the fortunes of the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Creighton Bluejays, Boston College Eagles, Notre Dame
Fighting Irish, New York Yankees, and Boston Celtics.

Still marveling at the way God brought this family together, and grateful to all whose prayers and other contributions helped make it happen.

Still smiling at memories of special people and places. Thank you for being a part of our lives.

Merry Christmas! Happy New Year! God's Blessings in 2011!

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