Last night Caity, Jayce, and Grandpa Beaver were having a great time with a couple new toys. The kids were blowing their train whistles from their train visit. Then when Grandpa Beaver took his turn blowing, Jayce collapsed with laughter.

There is a story behind those whistles. Donna and Beaver took Caity, Jayce and Alena to Elbow Lake to see the Canadian Pacific Railroad Christmas Train Thursday night. The Christmas train started in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and will arrive in Vancouver, British Columbia, on December 23. (Donna's report of the event follows.)

The kids were very impressed with the long train pulling into the crossing, all lit up. Beaver and I held them up high to see as it approached the town, lit from one end to the other, very easy to spot! It stopped directly in front of us and they pulled the side doors open. There were several lights and decorations on stage, along with some microphones. First, a couple and their 16 year old daughter sang; then she sang a song alone. Then another woman came out and sang a song and then a set of brothers -- looked like they might be twins. Then the whole group sang Silent Night together, with the crowd joining in.

As we'd waited for the train to come, they were giving out cider and donuts and the town's band was playing carols and many were singing along. It was a fun time! Beaver said they had a pick-up truck sitting, waiting for donations. By the time the crowd left, the back was entirely filled with groceries! So, I'd say their train did its job ... drawing people out to help others.


Lori told me of a web site that you can visit to register votes to support Toys for Tots ( I have been visiting every day to vote. She says their company has quite a few charity Christmas drives at work. (Her comment: I can finally afford to participate.) The company held a raffle and bake sale, took donations for VEAP this year. The department she is in decided to sponsor a family in need and were able to get them very nice presents and gift certificates for the holidays!!! Very nice!!!!!


School Activities & Plans

A paragraph of a letter from Lori:

I just finished up studying for and passing (yippee!) another insurance test. This one was called ARe 141, which is for my new field of reinsurance. It was a tough test, though, so I'm glad it is over! There are three more in this series to receive my ARe designation, so I still have a lot of work to do in the future.


Whitney is getting ready to do a presentation (PowerPoint) on light therapy -- planned for Wednesday, the 18th. Good luck!


I asked you students for your new Semester Classes. This is Eric's response. He will be taking Freshman English II, Introduction to Psychology, Business and the American Economy, and Fundamentals of Music. He is now a regular student again and says he hopes to be done at NHCC in less than two years!!!! I am thrilled for you, Eric. Be sure you let your Grandma and Grandpa Working know, too!!!

Leona is working toward an English Major and Political Science minor. These are the classes she is taking to get there: Black Women Writers in America, Chinese Politics, Congressional Politics and Institutions, Survey of American Literature, and Survey of British Literature.


Chris had a final for each of his 5 classes. He says he thinks his teachers got together and decided that he should have a final in every class -- to end up his requirements for his degree with a big bang!!!! He is almost done; still has not figured out his plans for after graduation -- but he will keep us informed!!


Dan had his first basketball game. All was going well 18 points, 10 rebounds, 2 steals -- a twist of the ankle and a facial grimace -- only about a minute left of the game... Yes, you guessed it -- he sprained his ankle. So no game this week ... he's benched. In fact he chose not to go to school, cuz of not wanting people fussing over him!!! (That was a Wednesday report; I expect things are pretty well back to normal by now!)


Rachel played a great game, too -- she had 7 points. She had rebounds and assists and -- the best part -- she had so much fun. It is starting out a far more encouraging year in basketball for her than last year!!! I guess that tells us all when pursuing something we want -- don't give up -- stick in there!!!


I want you to meet Jessy: Her full name is Jessica Colleen Wolf. She is from Hettinger, North Dakota. She is in her third year at Moorhead State University and is majoring in elementary education. She is pretty important to Chris!! I quote some of his comments: things are going really well between us, and we get along great. We have been seeing each other for about three months now, but I have actually known her over a year. We are going to have to make one difficult transition, though. I think that I will be moving to the cities when I am done with school, so we are going to take a shot at a long distance relationship thing. It may be difficult, but I think that it will work!!!

I am sure things will work out just fine for you two. I can hardly wait to meet Jessy.

This is what Chris's mom said (in answer to my request for a description of Jessy): Jessy has dark hair, she's tall with a trim body and is VERY good with the kids!!! They took to her immediately and I feel she'll make an awesome elementary teacher!

General Information

These are just some news items about various ones of our family. I guess almost all of you know this -- but I will make it an item in case anyone missed hearing it. Eric and Leona have planned their wedding for August 16th -- a Saturday. They are including this news in their Christmas letter.


Donna had a "sleep study" one night this week. She said it made for a strange night, trying to sleep with cords attached to several places on her head, face, chest, side, and legs. She had to wear a mask with oxygen or whatever. They will get back to her about the results.


Lori is looking forward to the holidays. She is looking forward to two separate family days -- her dad's side the weekend before Christmas and the "Andersons" side after Christmas. She says her shopping list is growing by leaps and bounds ... and she loves it. Okay, to be honest, "I love shopping, in general."


We are looking forward to our Minnesota visitors. We hear it will be three!!! Mindy is riding along with Donna and Beaver and will spend her Holidays (like Ary calls vacation) with us. That should be a fun visit!!!!!!!! We are really looking forward to that visit and just hope the weather will cooperate!


Have a good day -- and thanks for all the mail. I hope to hear from the rest of you college kids as to your next semester classes.

The Editors:
Mom and Grandma