Holiday Letter 2008

This is a summary of the events in our life this year. Enjoy the photos and the stories. After you're done here, please browse around through the photo albums and family trees, there's lots more to see!

Helena's News

Helena is an imaginative, thoughtful, happy 2nd grader. She still loves reading (currently reading the Ramona series). She really loves to draw. She is great at making up fantastic stories in imaginative play. She likes to "interview" friends and family and put on "shows." She loves legos, tinker toys, any building toy. She still loves American Girl, Hanna Montana, and Littlest Pet Shop, as any indoctrinated 2nd grader girl should!

Helena LOVES school! She is in Mrs. Blair's class. One of her favorite projects this year so far was an animal habitat project. She had to make an animal habitat in a shoe box for an animal of her choice. She chose her beloved manatee. The manatee is one of Helena's "causes." The kids save part of their allowance for charity. Helena has contributed to the Save the Manatee club ( ) every year.

Helena is still taking dance. Ms. Lori's class is more and more challenging every year, however, Helena loves dance and is willingly sticking with it. This year Ms. Lori is focusing on technique and independence. She no longer gives hints back stage during the girls are actually looking forward! Helena is close to her ballet class...we go out to Pizza Perfect once a month.

Helena is a Brownie Girl Scout. The girls focused on camping this fall, earning three Try-Its, culminating at Camporee. In this photo at Camporee, Helena is rock climbing! Now the troop is thinking about service to others. One project they are working on is collecting pencils to donate to a school that does not have enough for it's students. Can you believe that there are children that do not have enough pencils? Helena's goal is to collect at least 100 plain pencils. ( )

Helena has matured a lot. She is not longer the young, shy kindergartener. She has celebrated losing 4 teeth this year...finally! She may be getting glasses soon. She is thoughtful and respectful. What a JOY!

Xander's News

Xander is an active, joyful, quick thinking kindergartener. He loves legos, tinker toys, dragons, dress-up closes (esp. super heroes), star wars, and Knights. He really, really likes Bakugan (those little magnetic balls that when pressed against their magnetic Power card open up to a superhero/villain dragon, eagle, etc). Unfortunately, his parents don't like the tv show and won't let him watch it, but fortunately, Xander has a great imagination and has quite a good time playing with them.

Xander also LOVES school. He is in Mrs. Jeffer's class. We are lucky in that his best friend, John, is also in Xander's class. (And Zoe, John's brother, is in Helena's class!) Xander is a good student and enjoys all aspects of school.


Xander LOVES the outdoors. He and his friend John have play dates when their sisters are at Brownies. This is a special time for the boys to explore nature, the back yard, play legos, watch movies, etc. etc. etc. Xander also enjoys sports. He played soccer last spring and T-ball this summer. He took a break from sports this fall. This winter he will try Basketball.

Xander has a great vocabulary and is constantly defining big and little concepts that he has heard about in conversation. "Mama, a cul-de-sac is the neighborhood you live in close to your house, right?" (We live on a cul-de-sac.) "Almost Xander, it is a round ending to a street." "Daddy, compassion is when you love something that is hurting, right?" What a JOY!

Special Events

Spring Break: A trip to Chattanooga

Kristin and Eileen took the kids to Chattanooga for spring break this year! We went to the Tennessee Aquarium, ate Ben and Jerry's and then stayed over at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo hotel.

At the aquarium, we really liked to feel the sting rays.

At the butterfly room a large butterfly landed on Helena's shoulder. Wow!

We even got to eat Pizza for dinner in a train car! It was really great fun!

Helena's 7th Birthday and a trip to Indiana and Chicago

Helena had a great birthday this year! Instead of having a "friends" party in Nashville, we drove to Indiana, picked up cousins Grayson and Miles and Aunt Kimberly, and drove to Chicago for a party weekend! At the American Girl store we had a wonderful party. We all ordered lunch and then they brought out a cake and sang "Happy Birthday" to Helena. Everyone got a little gift bag too. Helena had requested American Girl gift cards for her birthday and bought the "Kit" American girl doll. She was VERY excited.

We also took a bus to visit the Shedd Aquarium. Xander was a bit nervous about the bus ride...we realized that he had never remembered riding a bus before! All went well...and now he rides the bus home from school every day. We liked the aquarium, especially the baby beluga whales and the dolphins.

We also enjoyed walking around down town Chicago and admired the beautiful architecture. We visited the Lego store too!

Xander's 5th Birthday

Xander had an Avatar birthday this year. We borrowed Jon and Julie's water slide and had his friends over for a great time! The piñata was a BIG hit!

Later that day the family came over and we had dinner and cake. We were lucky to have Aunt Anna and baby Kianna join us all the way from Hawaii!

Visits to Cheekwood

I don't know if your family have a favorite spot to visit. This year ours was Cheekwood Botanical Gardens.

Cheekwood has excellent outdoor exhibits for children throughout the year. When looking through the photos for the year, I realized just how many times we visited! Last year it was the zoo, this year Cheekwood, I wonder what will capture our attention next year...

Day to Day Activities

In a normal week Helena and Xander go to school during the week and have "Momma and Daddy Days" on the weekend. Everyday Grandma Ann picks up the kids at 3 and watches them until we get home. This is a tremendous gift and blessing for us. And Grandma Pam and Grandpa Tommy routinely have Helena and Xander overnight - helping our trade show routine, as well giving us time to ourselves. Everyday we are amazed at how lucky we are in the family department.

Nathanael and Kristin, and Kristin's brother Jon, are still working at BIOQUANT Image Analysis Corporation. ( ) BIOQUANT develops and sells image analysis software that is used in academic and pharmaceutical biomedical research, especially for bone diseases like osteoporosis and brain diseases like Alzheimer's. The company continues its exciting growth, reaching new people all the time. It's wonderful to be able to work with your family, make a contribution to society, and be able to support your family.

We continue to be active in the Greater Nashville Unitarian Universalist congregation ( ) Nathanael is involved with the Worship committee this year and is in charge of 4 services. He also enjoys doing the "Event for All Ages" (children's story during service) once a month. Kristin is now chair of the Children's RE committee and Finance Committee. This year both Kristin and Nathanael are doing Youth Group again, but this time only once a month.

Congratulations are Due

We are excited about all of the new change with family members that happened in 2008:
  • Jonathan and Rebecca Reveal had Laura Donna Reveal in April.
  • Brian Hollenbeck and Amy Feiker had Julia Charlotte Hollenbeck in May.
  • Jared Hasfjord and Katie Foti were married in June.
  • Our good friends Min and Guangzu's daughter, Linda Zhang, was married in June.
  • Malina Reveal, Nathanael's sister, graduated with her Masters in Forensic Anthropology from Dartmouth University in England. Way to go Mel!
  • Malina Reveal and Rich Granillo are engaged! We will let you know when the date it set!
We are also overjoyed at the new change with family members scheduled in 2009:
  • Jon and Julie Hasfjord are expecting their second child, a baby girl, in February.
  • Nicholas and Juliette Volk are expecting their second child, a baby boy, in February.
Congratulations to all and our best wishes in your new adventures!

Closing Wishes: Wishing for Peace

We are mindful of the places in the world where people are in danger. We hold in our thoughts and prayers the hope of peace.

We wish all the best to you and your's in the coming year.

With love, Kristin, Nathanael, Helena, and Xander

"Hatred does not cease by hatred, but only by love; this is the eternal rule." Buddha
Subpages (1): Holiday Letter 2007