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Kristi is 16 and a sophomore at Los Alamitos High School.  In the spring, as a freshman, she swam with her sister Katie on the Los Al swim team.  It was bittersweet as Katie was a senior and Kristi planned on leaving swim at the end of the season, thus ending 10 years of swimming.  Kristi is currently pursuing her interest in drama and music.  She tried out and made the Improv team, which has weekly practices and regular performances.  She is currently working on strengthening her vocal skills to try out for a musical in January.

 

 

This year was filled with milestones for Katie. In June, she turned 18, graduated from Los Alamitos High School and traveled on mission to the Dominican Republic with the Gundhus family’s church, Parkcrest Christian Church for a week, after graduation. There she served alongside a church located in the DR’s capital, Santo Domingo and built a wall at a girl’s home, served the children of that home, and helped outreach to the community of Cotuí. Her favorite memory on summer vacation with the family was taking pictures of the sights in the Caribbean and the north east coast. In August, Katie moved into her dorm at Life Pacific College in San Dimas, California and is loving school there, as hard as it is, she is working towards earning her degree in Transformational Ministry and hopes to become a children’s pastor and lead children’s ministry someday. She comes home every once in a while and is finding balance between being home and being at school. When Katie isn’t studying, she is knitting, sewing the girls’ on her floor ripped clothing, or finding new ways to organize her room.

 

As a lot of you know, we lost Renee’s dad on June 29.  He was 85.   He got pneumonia in late May and just wasn’t able to bounce back.  We are thankful he and mom were able to celebrate their 50th anniversary in March.  We miss “Poppy” as Katie named him when she was two a lot.  He loved Christmas, especially the trees and lights.   Mom is hanging in there and continues to live in the assisted living facility they were both at.  In January, we sold the house they had lived in for almost 50 years.  That was beyond sad.  On a lighter note, a highlight of the year is always running in the Long Beach Half Marathon in October.  Renee and John ran together, finishing in 2:19, Katie and Kristi went with us and cheered us on.

 

John hit 22 years with Nestle and 9 years on the Telecom team as the lead.  The softball team is still going strong after 57 seasons together.  The average age is 52 so we’re considering changing the name to “Will Play for AARP memberships”.  Some of the highlights of the vacation for John were taking 1st on the cruises ping pong tournament, relaxing in NY’s Central Park and playing shuffleboard on the cruise with Kristi while Katie took photos (Renee was busy being pampered in the ships spa).  John continues his dream of being an AV geek by volunteering at his Church for:  camera, computer and lighting support during the services.
 

   

 

We enjoyed a great vacation this year.  In July, we flew to Newark, New Jersey, and took a cruise that stopped in Bermuda, St. Maarten, San Juan Puerto Rico, and Labidee, Haiti.  After the cruise, we drove down to Virginia and visited our friends the Mullens and then spent a few days sightseeing in New York City.  Highlights of New York include seeing Idina Menzel in the Broadway musical If/Then, lunch at Tom’s Restaurant (from Seinfeld), taking the train into Hoboken, New Jersey and spending a great day in Central Park.  We spent 3 hours standing in line at Carlo’s Bakery (aka The Cake Boss).  The goodies we got and an autographed cookbook were well worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

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