Christmas 00 Volume I
Merry Christmas
    It's Christmas time again. The season to share with family and friends. Since we won't be seeing most of you for the holidays, we wrote this to share a little bit of our lives with you, and to let you know that we're thinking of you. This year we decided to be a little creative with our newsletter. Between, work school and all of extra curriculars, we're surprised that we even had time to write this paper. So here we go, down the road to the past year of the Porras Family through the lost items, new interests, lost weight, new winnings, and all of the best and worst things that have happened. Merry Christmas!
Aaron Takes Bronze at Jr. Nationals
    Aaron won the bronze medal at the U. S. Tae Kwon Do Junior Olympics in San Antonio, Texas to top off another successful year. Other highlights of the year were: 1st place in intermediate sparring and 1st place in black belt sparring at the Midwest Open in Des Moines, Iowa, 2nd place in sparring and 1st place in forms at the state tournament. His TKD school also won the award for Best Junior Team in Des Moines. He is a deputy black belt now and he will be testing for his black belt in September.
    Aaron is in fourth grade and he does well most of the time. He is up to the Webelos level in scouts, and he is working hard on achieving his pins. He enjoys playing sports, Nintendo, and Gameboy and he is an avid Pokemon fan. photo
On the Road Again (and Again, and Again)
    We set a family record for road trips this year. We drove to the TKD tournaments in Des Moines and San Antonio, and we also drove to San Diego in October. We drove through rain, heat and a little snow, and except for a lost retainer (Ashley), a lost glasses lens (Danielle) and a flat tire, the trips went well. John only got stopped for speeding once, but he didn't get a ticket!
    The Des Moines trip was made on a Thursday-Sunday, so we didn't do much besides drive and watch the tournament. However, John's sister, Cheryl, and her husband, Tom, drove from Milwaukee to see us and watch Aaron compete. We had a great time with them and the other TKD parents. Aaron especially liked getting drinks at the bar with Uncle Tom to celebrate his victories.
    We combined the San Antonio trip with a family vacation. The Riverwalk area of downtown San Antonio was nice and the Alamo was interesting, but we did not care for much for the rest of the downtown area. We went to Sea World of San Antonio and Schlitterbahn Waterpark, and they were nice, but hot. Texas in July is not fun. 2 photos
    We drove to San Diego for John's Dad's 70th birthday. The party was great. Lots of food, people and relatives. The next generation of kids are getting so big. Most of all, it is always nice to see and spend time with our San Diego relatives. 2 photos
John Loses 10 lb on Low Fat Diet
    At the advice of his doctor, John went on a low fat diet to reduce his cholesterol. So far, it's been working, but he has a little more to go. As a side benefit to the diet, he has lost 10 lb. Hopefully he will be able to keep it off.
    John's company started a new work schedule where they work an extra hour Mon-Thur. and have every other Friday off. It made some nights more hectic, but he likes having those three day weekends.
    John is still the assistant den leader for Aaron's den, and he helps out with the church's web site. photo
Ashley Enters High School, Makes JV Swim Team
    This year is Ashley's first year in high school. As a freshman, she was totally freaked out at first, but once she found some of her old friends and made some new friends, high school is becoming a great experience. Ashley is also trying new things. Ashley joined ThunderRidge High School's swim team and is on JV. Ashley says practice is a lot of hard work but is worth it at meets. Ashley usually swims in relay races such as the 200 freestyle. Besides school and swimming, Ashley loves hanging out with her friends. She also has developed an interest in journalism writing and art. Ashley's friends often say that she's perfect, but she automatically denies it. Ashley says "I don't know everything , but I know one thing, Merry Christmas!!!!! photo
Margie Gets Promoted to Assistant Manager
    It took an offer from another company and other internal moves but Margie got a well deserved promotion at Nordstrom. She is now the Assistant Manager of the Customer Service Department. She has been with Nordstrom for 4 years-August. Although she has been in the Customer Service department for 2+ years, her new position is giving her a new perspective, in addition to gaining management experience.
    Besides work, Margie is still involved with Danielle's Girl Scout troop as an Assistant Troop Leader. She enjoys working with the girls to give them new experiences but the camp outs are questionable.
    Other activities that keep Margie busy are volunteering at church for Religious Education, Bread Making & Sewing Baptism garments plus helping out with Aaron's TKD Parents Group. photo
The Best School Year or Not?
    Danielle's 6th grade year seems to be the best year of her whole life. Her teacher is a good teacher to be with and he is funny. A lot of projects have encountered her as the year goes by. School is her favorite thing of her days as a sixth grader. Not alot of things have been exciting so far of this year. She wants to get out of elementary school and move on to something different.
    At times, 6th grade has been difficult for Danielle. Her teacher is deliberately tough on the class in order to prepare them for middle school and beyond. Danielle is working hard though, and she will definitely be ready for next year.
    Danielle still plays the piano, collects Beanie Babies, and is in Girl Scouts. Like her sister, she also likes to listen to music, particularly N'Sync and Backstreet Boys. photo
Same Address, New Zip
    You may not know this, but Douglas County is one of the fastest growing counties in the United States. Of course with all the growth comes more traffic, rising housing costs and new zip codes. Ours has changed to 80129. Be sure to mark it down.