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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Our Christmas Letter, written by Mark

Seasons Greetings,
Beau is now 16 and a junior at Pittsford Mendon High School.  He has been dating Mai, a friend he met at school, for the last 8 months.  He continues to play the saxophone and soccer and is going through the process of getting his driver’s license.  He’s actually a good driver so there will be no wise cracks about warning everyone to stay off the road.
Teale just turned 13 and she passed Ellie in both height and weight last spring. She loves Justin Bieber and talks of him coming to our house to sing and play. In August she was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease, a thyroid condition, so we have been dealing with regulating that. In July she began attending the School of the Holy Childhood, a small private school for children with various special ed needs. As most of you already know, we are thrilled to have her there.
Gwenn is in 3rd grade and at 8 years old she sometimes drives her Mom and Dad crazy, but most often she is a true blessing.  Gwenn enjoys singing and experimenting on the saxophone, piano and recorder.  If you are lucky, perhaps you will get to hear her beautiful voice; she is quite hesitant to sing out when she thinks anyone other than her immediate family is listening.
Ellie began a blog this year as a means to release some stress.  Go to if you’d like to check it out.  She figures that she has now been married more than half her life after 22 years of marriage.  Her busy life includes many volunteer activities and, of course, managing a very active household.
I continue working at Child Care Council and playing the saxophone.  Wanting to avoid the Cats in the Cradle syndrome, I look to spend quality time with all the kids and Ellie. Beau and I went to Pittsburgh in June to see his Red Sox take on my Pirates, I visit in Teale’s classroom, and it is not unusual to find Gwenn and I enjoying a game of catch or working out a song on some instrument or another. 
And, the family matriarch, my mother, Ellie Bradley, Sr., continues to live with us. Ellie Jr. does a wonderful job of managing Mom’s needs with the help of many friends and family.  Having her here is both a challenge and a blessing, as her increasing needs require our attention but having that direct and immediate knowledge of her well being is comforting.
We hope that you enjoy the holiday season and that our paths cross so we can catch up with each other in coming year.

Love, Mark, Ellie, Beau, Teale and Gwenn

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