our friends and family:
The last year was pretty interesting; we added a
son-in-law, sister-in-law, and a grandson. It started off with the
wedding of Marieke to Curt Nickisch, in Boston, right after Christmas,
following a wild blizzard.
In January, MM traveled for her job first to Atlanta for the annual NCOD Conference
to DC for the March
In February we got a respite from the winter and went on a Missionary
Awareness Trip with the Christian Foundation for Children and Aging
Nicaragua. Very interesting! It was our first trip to Central America,
and we went back into the jungle to see how people lived. Namely, just
This is our sponsored person, Maura. She had never been to the big city
In April we went to the wedding of Jim's brother Greg to Maria
Hernandez in Chicago, and took Jim's dad along. Good time!
On the way back, we visited Jim's sister Mary (these are his nieces
Brittany and Somer in the tree), MM's niece Chrissy and her boy
Gabriel, and MM's sister Eleanor.
In July we joined the long planned Van Hout Family Reunion
in Belgium with our
children and grandchildren, but we stopped in to see the the Sellers in
Later we spent a few days in the Sauerland
of Germany meeting newly-found relatives
and enjoying the beautiful towns of MM's ancestors. Then we dropped in
on Jim's brother Steve in the Netherlands.
Leo and Katie write: "This was a big year. Six days after booking our
flights to Europe for the Van Hout Family Reunion, Katie found out she
was expecting! So once again, she was unable to experience
the fine beers of Europe! In June Leo, Katie, Avery, Annika and our
friend Coves drove to Toronto to catch a plane for the girls' first
European adventure. The girls were amazing and handled the time change
much better than the adults. After flying for 7 1/2 hours we landed in
Germany where we met Katie's parents, sister and brother-in-law. The
Kalinowski side of the family hung out with friends in Germany for 3
days, then we and Coves were off to Paris, which included all the
touristy sites as well as Euro Disney, which the girls loved!
After Paris we departed ways from Coves and drove to Belgium where we
stayed with Michael, Sandi, David and Anton Robberechts for the Van
Hout Family Reunion. Good times were had by all!
"After a fun-filled summer, Avery started all-day Kindergarten at St.
Rita's school, which she absolutely loves, and Annika returned to Pre-K
4 where she was happy to see her friends. This is Avery's Halloween
costume, mimicing a pose by her Aunt Marieke and grandmother.
"Then in November we received our biggest surprise. On November 7th
Vaughn James was born! We do not like to find out the gender of
our baby prior to birth. Therefore, after months of thinking the doctor
slipped and said we were having another girl, we were completely
surprised when the doctor told us 3 times that it was a boy! Now we
have a little prince to bless our family with sleepless nights! His big
sisters are totally smitten with him and daddy can't wait to toss the
football in the yard with him. He is the greatest blessing of the year.
An epic year in the hip adventures of Jan-Luc! It started with a move
to Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Shortly after, in April, he broke up with
his GF and moved elsewhere in BK. Jobs on big ol' commercial sets
occupied Springtime. A Summer trip to Europe included Italy,
Switzerland, Germany, Belgium and Nederland (Amsterdam and Uncle
Steve's place in Limburg). Write him for blog link
(video to come). He's developing a tech platform for a freaking awesome
new form of entertainment - location based storytelling. Oktoberfest in
his Bushwick Beer Garden was whimsical. Follow janlucvd on Twitter and
be his FB buddy
for updates on all his latest greatest exploits in NYC and beyond.
Marieke and Curt Nickisch were married last December 29, in
Boston, between major snowstorms (the honeymoon, in Bavaria in July,
however, was warm and beautiful). This year, they made progress on
their degrees at Boston University (Marieke on her Masters in Museum
Administration and Curt on his MBA) and did some interesting things at
work (Marieke is now Deputy Director for Development and Planning at
the Old State
and Curt continues to be heard on WBUR
as the Business and Technology
reporter). Their travels (some together, some apart) took them to
Chicago, the Kentucky Derby, Belgium, Germany, Austria, London, and
Maine. They want you to come and visit them in Boston, but suggest
traveling in the summertime.
Kateri has been up to her usual antics, working at
LensCrafters in Syracuse selling glasses and at Radioshack selling
batteries to keep out of too much trouble. There were a few trips this
year, she went to Chicago for a family wedding and was able to go to
the Van Hout family reunion in Belgium. She's still dating her
boyfriend, known as Bummer, and together they made a great beer called
the Damme Ale for the holidays. So, Cheers and Happy Holidays everyone!
One day in August, Mary Margaret decided to
retire-at-the-end-of-the-year from being Director of the Syracuse
Catholic Deaf Community
. She can't wait! She'll still do occasional
ASL interpreting...and who knows what else?! So much to do!
Here she poses with a flower grown from seeds she got in Cobbenrude,
Germany. This photo won a prize (a jar of dandelion honey) from the
MC, our 22 year old deaf cat, mostly complains and sleeps, but
still hangs on.
Jim is running out of projects at Stiefvater
, so next year looks like retirement. (He thinks that
every year.) Here he is at the deaf camp
in the mountains, where we got naming
rights to the canoes.
And this is just a random picture of toadstools. (We work on the
garden, not the lawn. )
If you want plenty more pictures and stories of Nicaragua, Europe,
grandkids etc., you can write us at the address on our home page (no
We hope you are healthy and happy. Best wishes for 2012!
Margaret/Tunkin, Leo & Katie & Avery & Annika & Vaughn,
Jan-Luc, Marieke & Curt, and Kateri