Dear Family and Friends, 12/25/2011
We wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful 2012 as we review our 2011 and celebrate the 94 years of life of John’s mother, Betty who passed in December of 2010, the births of Kate Forker and Owen Maher, my sister’s engagement to Pete, and the growth of our six grand children one year older and more wonderful. We were very moved by Tim, our brother-in-law’s, Ordination as Deacon of the Catholic Church. 2011 was split between grand-parenting fun, volunteer work, and travel.
John is 2011 President-elect of his 80,000 member professional group, IEEE Computer Society, and that has added to his travel schedule both in the US and out for presentations and meetings. In February we had meetings on the Queen Mary in Los Angeles and then headed to the beautiful and surprisingly lively desert for a few days on the way to the San Diego meetings.
We went to in Boston in January to join John’s family and visit my sister, Judy and her family for a short time. The winter UHaul trip home by way of Columbus, OH was hair raising as it was icy snow on the roads. We were thrilled to get home in one piece. Next, the relaxing SCUBA trip was with Sarah and Ryan in Grand Cayman Island. It was awesome! In August we joined IEEE work in San Francisco with a wonderful vacation in Yosemite national park, complete with a forest fire diverting our exit home! October, John attended The Smart Grid World Forum in Beijing, China. On a day trip we walked the Great wall of China, took a wild toboggan ride to the base, ate at a family restaurant where they pulled the fish from the pond and cooked it for you, walked through tombs. We took an overnight train to see the amazing Terra Cotta Warriors. While John worked I toured taking the subway to downtown Beijing visiting the Forbidden City...
Late November we left for our 3 week trip to India where John spoke at IEEE meetings in 4 cities. After every event, we were honored with photo requests and wonderful gifts of each region. We met kind, helpful people as we saw the amazing diversity of people, colorful markets, spices, lovely cloth, and intricate architecture. We were blessed throughout our adventure in New Delhi, Agra, Ahmedabad, Udaipur, Jaipur, Ranthambore Tiger preserve (saw rare leopard and sloth bear, 2 mongoose and many lovely birds), Bangalore, Hyderabad, Mumbai. We are very thankful for my friend who moves into our home when we travel so our little dog, Lizzette, does not stress out with our leaving.
My sister Sarah, niece Heather, and I provided our 8th 3 hour graduate level class in Joliet, IL. Our speakers were outstanding! We are working on the exciting 2012 class Differentiation for Diverse Learners. My sisters and all children and grandchildren joined us in July for our 35th annual vacation in Watervale near Frankfort, MI for a week of fun, sun and wonderful conversations. Ann and John attended a delightful Fostoria 45th High School Reunion with a lovely walk down memory lane.
It was a very healthy awesome year and we can't wait to see what 2012 brings.
Ann and John