Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas from the Crossmans.
We experienced major changes this year and are happy to be blessed with good health and good friends.
The most unusual event for us this year was our summer vacation roadtrip to Montana - during the middle of fire season! It was strange leaving "smoggy" California for "big skies" of soot and ash. We did have a great time along the way seeing bears and geysers at Yellowstone, eating the best fries of our lives in Idaho, staying in Reno and Salt Lake City, and attending a friend's wedding in Helena. During the year, we also spent a long weekend at Disneyland for Riley's birthday, this year with Kevin's parents. Julie and Kevin took a well-deserved vacation for two and enjoyed a quick cruise in July. The year ended with a long weekend in Las Vegas with Julie's parents and brother.
Just when you thought that this letter would contain "more of the same," in March Kevin dropped a bomb by leaving SRI after more than a decade to take a Web Producer job with the intranet team at specialized staffing giant Robert Half International. It was most difficult leaving colleagues at SRI, but Kevin soon became acclimated to the new environment at RHI. Kevin was promoted to Intranet Project Manager in June and enjoys the benefits (fringe and otherwise) of working for a public company, rather than a non-profit. Kevin is also now able to work with a great team of people, rather than being the web "team" of one.
Probably the hardest thing for Kevin to leave behind when he took the RHI job was his active participation in the SRI Toastmaster's club. Early in the year, Kevin was named the club's Toastmaster of the Year and was also presented with that same award at the local Area and Division levels as well. He once again won the award for Best Toastmasters Website in the Golden Gate district. Kevin continues to pursue his "Narrow Interest Portal" websites and was interviewed for a national radio program and by the Los Angeles Times. Kevin also is an avid Academy Award fan and enjoyed coaching the "Waikiki Mai Tais" in fantasy football again this year.
Julie continues to teach 1st grade, but isn't sure for how much longer. She's tossing around the idea of a grade change next Fall. The idea of a bigger kid is appealing. In July, she attended a 1st grade conference in Anaheim, with a colleague. The two of them enjoyed both days of the conference, and an extra day at Disneyland. Julie came back from the conference inspired to plan for the approaching school year and she redesigned the 1st grade Spelling program for her school.
About the most exciting, new thing for Julie is that she gets to drive our new car. In October we bought a VW Passat wagon. We are all very excited about the amount of space we have in it, and Riley loves the improved views!
Riley grew in many ways again this year. He participated actively in Halloween this year, dressing up as Woody from Toy Story - and we later went to see Woody "in person" by seeing Toy Story on Ice. Riley loves to play with Brio trains, Hot Wheels cars, and any sort of construction vehicle. He also loves to have books read to him every night. He even memorizes (better than we can) many of the books to "read" them back to us. His latest favorites are The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs & Ham, and The Polar Express. Riley also attended the Circus for the first time this year.
We wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season.
Have a great New Year for 2001!
This page last modified on Tuesday June 08 2004.