Happy New Year!

Hello Everyone! We’d like to wish everyone a Happy New Year! …and share what we did through out 2002.

Alex is doing great in school.  He finished up 4th grade in 2002 with all A’s for the entire year.  He’s currently in 5th grade. He’s getting mostly A’s and 1 or 2 B’s. He has lots of friends, and they all like to play at our house. They frequently can be found in the back yard on the trampoline, or inside in front of the Playstation 2.  Alex also has a computer which they spent a few weeks this summer in front of making music with a program called Acid Pro.  Alex’s friend Mikey wrote a movie script called “Dead Before Dawn”.  The kids acted it out while Lang was cameraman.  Click to download & view Dead Before Dawn. (it’s 30 MB so it will take a while! It’s length is 10 minutes.)

Alex enjoys playing basketball, He played at Home Court America this summer and will start on a team at the JCC this season. He’s growing up fast, and we can’t believe that he’ll be 11 soon.  Alex made his first solo airplane trip this summer to see his grandparents in Michigan, where he got to visit with his friend Ryan, and fish for blue gill with his Grandpa Larry and Great Grandpa Dayne.

2002 might go down in history with the most frequent flyer miles earned.  We made some great trips this year!

Lang & Maria went skiing in Park City (Utah) last February. We were there right before the Olympics. It was very quiet – we almost had the whole place to ourselves. The skiing was great and we stayed at a Marriott (of course!) right at the base of the mountain! Perfect!

In April, Lang also went to San Francisco to visit Michael Kahn, an old friend from Ada, MI.  They drove to Tahoe for two days of excellent spring skiing.  For those of you who knew Michael, he had been living in the Czech Republic teaching English for a number of years, then went to grad school in journalism in Chicago and now works for Reuters News Service in SF.

Lang & Alex went to West Palm Beach in June to see his folks. They went surfing and played tennis (till Alex sprained his ankle).

This summer we all made a trip to London England.  We had a great visit with Lang’s high school friend, Dave Mcdowell, who attended London Business School and now lives there.  We also made some day trips to Stonehenge, Oxford, and Paris!  Lang didn’t remember any French from high school, but we got by.  It was a great trip – we recommend it to everyone.

We also went to Chicago. Maria, her birth mom Jeanie, sister Gayle, and friend Richelle all ran in the Chicago Marathon in October. It was a great experience (much better than my first one) and a very fun weekend. Maria’s Time: 4:13!

Maria made it to LA to see her sister Gayle and get certified to teach Tae Bo. She trained with Billy Banks for an entire weekend and is now certified to teach it in San Antonio. She is still teaching Cardio Kickboxing (and Tae Bo). “I enjoy teaching fitness – It is a small contribution I give to myself and my students every week.”

You may have noticed a theme to our life.  It seems to be oriented around health and exercise.  Maria is definitely more extreme (you could say obsessed) then me.  Maria competed in over 5 adventure races this year with Richelle.  I gave up on the adventure races after the Wild Onion in 2001, but joined an adult swim team while preparing for my black belt test back in March.  Yes, Maria and I tested in March!  I no longer am taking karate, but I competed in a few swim meets and finished a triathlon in September.  Maria has been lifting weights with a personal trainer for about 4 months and is ready for the cover of a magazine! :-)   Maria remains a vegetarian now for over 2 years, but she now eats fish.  After 1 1/2 years, I’m back to eating meat.

Maria is enjoying her job at Marriott.  It is challenging and it keeps her busy.

Lang is still working out of our home maintaining his travel web site and developing his shopping site as well.  It works out great, as he is able to be home when Alex gets out of school.

Have a great year – Lang, Maria & Alex

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