Merry Christmas:

Another year already! Who pushed our fast-forward button? Our year can be summed up as follows: A wedding - grandkids - & doctors, doctors. doctors!

Our son Steve married Jenny on July 19 in an outdoor wedding between thunderstorms in beautiful Maymont Gardens in Richmond, Va., with immediate family in attendance. They are now living in the Tidewater area with Jenny's children (Andrew 12 & Sarah 8) from a previous marriage. Steve left Honda to take a new job with ATK, a NASA subcontractor, and Jenny recently got a new job at the same firm.

Cindy & five grandkids (aka "the thundering herd") arrived on June 28 from Israel via Florida where she and Israel had attended Israel's father's wedding (he lost Israel's mother to breast cancer 2 years ago). Israel soon joined us for the summer when he was denied entry to Israel. Bottom line: Pending visa resolution, they relocated on Oct. 1 to the Phoenix area where Israel's company, Galtronics, has a small office. He is now vice president of antenna sales for the United States and Europe. Late news: On Dec. 1, Cindy delivered number six, a little girl named Faith Song. Details at www.erols.com/ldmark.

As for the medics, I won't go into the grizzly details except to say that after numerous tests & many doctor visits, Mary finally found out what was causing her left leg problem (a herniated disk). She is getting cortizone shots, hopes to avoid surgery. As for me, the main thing was cryosurgery of the prostate in late November to zap a low-grade cancer.

Not too much else new at the Mark household. Another year of gardening & soccer. And, no progress on that patio!

I'm so very sorry to report that we lost my brother-in-law Gordon on Sept 30. He was 74 & a wonderful guy. There were some very moving funeral services that recognized his many accomplishments, his keen sense of humor and his unique personality.

Oops. Forgot our South America trip! In late February, we went to Chile before traveling by bus and boat to Bariloche, Argentina, on Lake Nahuel Huapi. Next was Buenos Aires where I bought my Boca Juniors cap (some pluses but some thumbs down from some misguided River soccer fans). From there we flew to Iguassu Falls, the high point of the trip. Considered one of the greatest natural wonders of the world, these
three-mile-wide series of falls between Brazil and Argentina drop 250 feet in spectacular cascades of water. Mary talked me into a helicopter trip for a fantastic 10-minute view of these falls (they put Niagra to shame!). Final stop was Rio, where Mary celebrated her birthday (last year was in Paris! - is this a trend?).

License plates of note: NO MAND8; 4CHUN8; SOO COOL (10-yr-old 560 MB convert); 4T9R; H20 SKIS; 2X RET; MOTV8R; NACL H20; YBBLUE; GR82CU; YSAVEIT; DANC4JY; IM-TEXN; LVYN LYF; MS POKE; RU2TAXD; LOOAVUL; XX1CENT; and (Mary spotted this one) IX-XI.

Oops again; forgot my awards! On May 17, the Springfield Youth Club presented me with the Paul Westlein Award "in sincere appreciation for your true spirit of volunteerism, significant contributions and dedicated years of support and service to the club and the youth of Springfield." And in October, at the USAHA annual meeting in Reno, Nev., I was recognized for my information and web work with that organization.

One final question: Did your 2007 New Year's resolutions go in one year and out the other? Wishing you and yours the very best for 2008!!              - Mary & Larry, December 2007