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Monday, December 20, 2010

Holmes Family Christmas Letter, 2010 edition



Dear Friends and Family,    
                
This year was deceptively eventful around the Holmes household. We never felt all that busy, but, looking back, we find we were. Beth is still working as the law librarian at Partridge Snow & Hahn, LLP in Providence and ferrying Emma around to ballet, jazz classes, and friends’ houses. She spends as much free time as possible assembling digital scrapbooks. A couple of her layouts were published on the blog of a well-known scrapbook artist and graphic designer, Ali Edwards, which was a huge thrill. (See the post here -- I am the second Beth towards the bottom of the post: http://aliedwards.com/2010/05/week-in-the-life-reader-submissions-part-one.html) Beth also attended a scrapbooking conference with good friend Wendy Rees in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. They took lots of digital scrapbooking classes together, shopped the exhibits, and had a great girls’ weekend without the kids.

Beth remains a faithful book-club member. They’ve read some great books this year and continue to enjoy the company, wine, and discussion. (To see what we’ve been reading be my friend on http://www.GoodReads.com)  Beth became a godmother again in November to Rose Sillars Rakeman, the second daughter of our friends Jen and Ed. It was an honor to be asked!

Over Emma’s February school break, Emma and Beth spent almost a week in Summerland Key, Florida, about 25 miles east of Key West. Ron and Hazel had rented a house there. Despite the freakishly cool—for south Florida—weather, Emma spent lots of time in the swimming pool. They toured Key West, and Emma informed her grandpa she’d like to live there for a year to get a real sense of how the people live. We traveled to Stone Harbor, New Jersey, for family vacation over the Fourth. We enjoyed our time there, as usual, and visited with Jean, Kate, Ron, Nikolas, Amelia, and all of the dogs.

Jim was in Washington to speak at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the American Enterprise Institute, and the German Marshall Fund. He traveled to Milwaukee to lead a Great Decisions event at the University of Wisconsin, to New Orleans for the International Studies Association annual conference, to Nashville for the National Security Symposium at Vanderbilt, and to Taiwan to address the annual Regional Security Forum put on by the Ministry of National Defense. This month the Atlantic Monthly named his and his pal Toshi Yoshihara’s new book Red Star over the Pacific a Best Foreign Affairs Book for 2010. (See the full write up  – Jim and Toshi’s is the 3rd book featured: http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2010/12/the-best-books-of-the-year-foreign-affairs-edition/67994/ )

Miss Emma is in fifth grade and doing fine. She’s in the school musical and has a solo part. Their performance is in January. Emma started off the New Year with a trip to see the musical Wicked in Providence with Beth. Santa gave her tickets to see it as her Christmas gift. Emma got braces in March the day after Katie, one of her best friends. They like to coordinate the color of their rubber bands. Emma continues with ballet and jazz-dancing classes. She danced on pointe for the first time before an audience at her recital in June. It only for a minute or two, but it was neat!
She went to Summer sleep-away camp at Chimney Corners in Becket, Massachusetts, for the third year, and had another great time. Beth joined her for Mom’s Weekend towards the end of her four weeks there, and enjoyed the best weekend yet. This year Emma took two dance classes, swimming, climbing, arts & crafts, and games. She also spent a week at the Episcopal church camp in northwest Rhode Island with two of her friends from school and church. It was Emma’s second summer there and their first. She is reading all of Beth’s English Enid Blyton boarding school books for about the fourth time and spending lots of time designing and making board games about boarding school, and also writing schedules, curricula and class lists for make believe boarding schools.  She and Beth also both love to watch the TV show Glee together.

We look forward to keeping in touch with all of you in the New Year!

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