2017 Holiday Letter

Dear Family and Friends,

Some reflections on a dramatic year:  hurricanes and evacuation due to wild fires, the natural disasters hit home this year.  We are very grateful that our home was spared and also that so many of our friends were ok.   Despite the craziness, we had a wonderful year.

One of the highlights of the year was a great trip to Southern California with the boys.  We spent 2 weeks in Mission Viejo and took several day trips to all the great amusement parks including Universal Studios.  Then the boys and I took a road trip up Hwy 101 and stopped off in Morro Bay and Monterey, visiting friends along the way.

Also, Cobus and I took a fabulous foodie vacation together to Vegas without the kids! The kids were at a sleepaway camp at UC Berkeley.  In November, we celebrated our 15-year anniversary with a weekend getaway to Timber Cove on the Sonoma Coast.  And the really big highlight was our kitchen remodel and adding a deck to the house.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words, so feel free to browse around this site.

Cobus spent most of the winter in Switzerland working with his clients but was able to spend more time working from home in the last few months of the year. This will be my last year of running the after school program at Browns Valley Elementary and serving on the PTA board.  Colin moves on to middle school in August so I am getting ready to wrap up my commitments at the elementary school and figuring out my next gig.  Life is always fun and busy with two boys.  Daniel (12) is in seventh grade and Colin (10) is in fifth.  I thought I would share a little tidbit about each kid.

Daniel has become a subject matter expert in Rubik’s cubes this year.  His passion for solving them has sparked an interest in algorithms and different types of cubes.  He wants to go into aeronautical engineering just like his grandfather.   He is playing violin and French horn and has been writing some of his own music on a little electronic keyboard synthesizer.  Middle school is going well and has pushed him to work hard.  Daniel is known for his ability to take a deep dive into a subject matter and also his blue-sky creativity.

Colin has carried on his unending love affair with Star Wars themed Legos. He loves building these Lego creations and has developed many of his own creations too.  Colin really cares about design and is very detail oriented.  He still sports his uniform of red, black and gray occasionally surprising us in orange.  He is playing soccer and will soon start Lacrosse.  Fifth grade has been a good year for Colin and he is loving math and reading.  He is currently working on a project to build his own computer with a budget of $50.  Watch the website in April to see if he was successful!

My favorite part of the holiday season is receiving the beautiful cards and letters from all of you and seeing what everyone has been up too.  If you are thinking of coming to Napa, please let us know!

Here’s to a wonderful Christmas and a Happy New Year.  I hope you have a great year and remember to keep in touch!

Best wishes,


Maureen, Cobus, Daniel and Colin


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