1994 Christmas Letter

Christmas 1994

Merry Christmas from the Crossetts:

Long Hard Winter

This past winter was one of the more snowy winters of recent years. It was reminiscent of the winters when we were all younger!

French Exchange

February brought a student (Marion Lavocat) from France to our home as the first step of an exchange with a companion school in France. Megan was the host this time. Marion seemed to fit into the family and playing various board and card games seemed to be the activity that drew everyone out the most.

Jeremiah on Mission to Chile

February brought another opportunity to go to the Washington Temple. We had the opportunity of accompanying our nephew, Jeremiah Curtis, to the temple preparatory to his leaving for a two year mission in Chile, Santiago South mission of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was good to get away from the snow and visit Melodie Arrington again while using her family room floor for sleeping quarters.

Chris is Accepted at Ricks

In March, we finally received word that Chris had been accepted at Ricks College. Ricks College in Rexburg, Idaho (a church school) provided Janus with good growing experiences prior to his leaving on a mission. We hope it will be equally fulfilling for Chris.

Bob Teaches Faculty Computer Classes

The first of two introductory computer classes for the faculty at Thetford Academy were taught in the spring by Bob. Teaching computer classes or attending computer classes is certainly among the most favored activity for Bob. He finds great pleasure and satisfaction in both.

Janus is Out One Year as Missionary

As we move to the middle of 1994, we realize that Janus has been in France and Belgium for nearly a year. The time goes quickly! And as we write this letter we find that there are but six months left. He has reapplied to Ricks College to continue college study there. We are looking forward to our SECOND phone conversation with him on Christmas day. We have been writing letters to him on a weekly basis, but nothing is better than to hear his voice!

No More Farm Animals

Due to diminishing numbers of children at home, it became necessary to end our farm venture. We have had bad luck with baby chicks for several years due to hungry cats and raccoons. The milking chore was becoming more onerous as our family became busier in other activities. We had the last of our cows converted to hamburger for our freezer in January which was a welcome relief.

Chris Graduates from High School

On June 10th, Chris received his high school diploma and three scholarships which should help him pay for books and other expenses. Chris spoke at the Baccalaureate service held the preceding Sunday. He presented his feelings about scouting and the church in a very thoughtful manner.

Chris Landscapes Front of Home

As his final quarter English project, Chris chose to landscape the front entry to our home with flower garden beds and a brick walk-way. The brick walkway has made the entry to our home much more pleasant in muddy times as well as winter. Chris had to do the planning, labor and make an oral and written presentation of his accomplishments for his class. He added a light at the end of the walk to make night entry much more reasonable.

Kids in Hello, Dolly! Musical

Jonathan and Megan were involved in the school musical this year. Neither had major roles, but were involved in much of the singing and dancing as well as set preparation.

EFY Again!

Well we are back from EFY and another Fun Run has come and gone. I was a few seconds slower due to the layoff during EFY. I ran once on the Daytona Beach Shores area in Florida. It was easy flat running. I even had a tail wind on my first leg of the run. My shin seems to be holding up with limited use. I’m a little uncertain about increasing my mileage quite yet. We put 4000 miles on the conversion van to do the EFY trip. We drove to Virginia the first day and camped in a KOA since we were late. The next night we camped at a Carolina Shores State Park which was on the coast of NC. The mosquitoes were really bad and it was hot to boot. The boy slept in the tent and that was the best option. I got really bitten up. After dropping the kids off at EFY, Robbie, Mom and I went to my sister’s home outside of Orlando, Florida. We found a nice state park there and spent a few hours visiting my sister and seeing her new home. The next day we went to Daytona Beach Shores for a day in the sun. Lots of pelicans and we saw a group of porpoises swimming off the breakwater. The next day we drove to Mom’s friend in Bainbridge, Georgia – Toni – and spent two days with them. The second day they took us down to Wokulla? natural spring where the were lots of alligators, osprey, turtles and various swamp type life. The swimming area here was just across the water from where we saw alligators but they don’t seem to bother swimmers. The next day we drove to NC again and stayed in a Motel 8 since we were late and needed to pick up the kids at 7 AM the next day. We drove from NC to PA and camped there and then drove the rest of the way home the next day. We got Chris a large duffel bag type luggage for college – it has wheels, a shoulder strap and handle with lots of space and pockets.

Robbie Goes to Montreal

As a part of the 5th and 6th grade, each year there is a trip to either Montreal or Boston. This is one of those opportunities for Robbie to feel like he gets to do things too – rather than feeling that the older children get all the opportunities.

Lots of Changes of Staff at TA

We had an unusually large change in teaching staff at the Academy. Two of the changes took place in the math department (50% turnover!) with my running partner choosing to retire at age 61 and another math teacher taking a year’s leave of absence. It took lots of time to find replacements for these individuals.

Bob and Chris Run in the Boston Marathon

After training all winter and spring with Larry Drew (math department member) to go to the Boston Marathon, Bob developed shin splints in March which required a reduce level of training rather than the needed increase. However, he decided to run in the marathon despite the injury and managed to get beyond the half-way point at 13.5 miles. It was a very satisfying event due to the supportive spectators along the way. With no training at all (except for cross-country skiing in the winter), Chris decided that he would give the marathon a try. His youthful endurance got him to about the 17 mile mark!

Biking Overcomes the Family

At the doctor’s recommendation, Bob began cross training to give his shin splints time to heal, to maintain his running fitness, and to develop his shin muscles more. He began riding Pattie’s new bicycle which she had bought earlier in the spring to use to increase her fitness. By spring break he had decided it was necessary to get a bicycle of his own. Jonathan was anxious to spend some of his saved money and wanted to get a new bike as well. We were able to locate two bikes at a local bike shop which met our needs. We found a used bike for Megan at a local bike touring company.

Summer Projects Successful

Bob spent his summer working on a long list of projects around the home that needed attention. Most summers seem to just drift away and it seems as if nothing gets accomplished even though we are very busy. The project approach helped to focus some of our energy and the children enjoyed crossing items off the three foot long list posted on the refrigerator. One much needed project was to redo the linoleum in the bathroom which was difficult but accomplished by Bob, Jonathan and Robbie.

Pattie Works at Dartmouth

During the summer, Pattie worked full time at Dartmouth College since there had been some reduction in staff in her office.

Chris at Joseph Smith Memorial

Chris began the summer working on an �as needed� basis at the Joseph Smith Memorial in Sharon, VT. He was fortunate to have the opportunity to move to full time work part way through the summer due to the loss of one of the full time summer student workers. The money was a blessing in being sure that he had enough for college and to help pay for some of his college expenses.

Bob Accompanies Yet Another Missionary to the Temple

In August, Bob had another opportunity to go to the Washington temple as a extra driver for a very quick three day trip. Our Bishop, Joseph Mender, was going to accompany Todd Sparks to the temple since he had no other way to get there. Bob volunteered to go along since it would require driving all night on Thursday, spending the day in the temple on Friday and returning on Saturday. We spent Friday night in Melodi Arrington’s home, returned to the temple Saturday morning early and then drove home.

Chris Goes to Ricks College

We put Chris on a commuter plane to Boston as the first leg of his flight to college in Rexburg, Idaho. He had never flown before, so this was a little nerve racking for his parents. We asked him to call from the various stops he had in his flight, but we did not hear anything from him until the day after he had arrived in Rexburg. He had trouble making phone connections which accounted for the unneeded anxiety on his parent’s part.

Back to School

The end of August brought us back to school with Megan a senior, Jonathan a sophomore, and Robbie in sixth grade. Jonathan ran cross-country. Bob timed soccer games and XC meets. Robbie played soccer at the elementary school with a large line-up o game for his age group. Megan helped with the set work and back stage for the fall two act play.

New Heating System

After 22 years of using only wood as our heating source, we purchased a used hot air furnace in April, had the furnace installed in September, and Jonathan and Bob completed the duct work in November – just in time for the cold weather. Fortunately, we had a very mild November which allowed the duct work to be done with less stress. We still use wood as our major source of heat, but the oil keeps the house a stable 55� in the late night and in the daytime when everyone is at work or school. It has been a blessing as the temperatures have become more seasonal in December.

Pattie’s Last Class

As Pattie continues working on her masters degree, she has taken her final class before beginning work on her thesis. It is somewhat of a relief to have the course work done so as to relieve some pressure on an already too busy life style. Her thesis will be on the topic of �youth, college, and war years� in the life of her mother Barbara Read McIntosh Neill Corwin.

Pattie and Bob Go to Washington Temple

In a rare opportunity, Pattie and Bob got to go to the temple together during October. It was teachers’ convention weekend so there was no school and Pattie was able to miss her class and two days of work. It was a particularly productive trip since we were able to take a family for their first trip to the temple and Bob was able to do the temple work for his two grandfathers while there. We stayed at Melodi Arringtons house again! We are much appreciative of her hospitality during this past year, even though she may enjoy the visits a little!

Thunderbird Finds New Home

Grandpa and Grammie Crossett decided to sell their two mid-80s cars for one newer model. The dealer was not giving them much money for either car even though they had been well taken care of and had low mileage. So in an effort to forestall future car emergencies, we decided to buy the 1985 Ford Thunderbird as a back up to our 150,000 mile 1988 Dodge Caravan which has treated us very well despite the high mileage. With the future bringing two students in college and one on a mission, we will never be able to do much in the car area for a few years. In a couple of more years we will have four children in college or on missions.


This was a small Thanksgiving for our family in that there were five from our family, Grammie and Grandpa Crossett, and Jessie Curtis’s family made a total of 12. Four of the usual children were either in college or on missions and other family members were unable to come. It was a pleasant day and it was nice to have a mostly adult or young adult crowd to make conversation easy.

Changes in Church Callings

Janus has served as senior companion and district leader while on his mission. Pattie has moved from Gospel Doctrine teacher, to a member of the Relief Society presidency, to a member of the Young Women presidency. Bob moved from Ward Mission leader to a member of the bishopric. The children are involved in their respective age group activities with Robbie looking forward to turning 12 in July so that he can attend Young Men activities!

Miscellaneous Items

The cellar looks more and more like a fitness center. Jonathan is learning to play the guitar. Bob has stuck with a vegetarian diet since July. Rob had a cat sitting job during the summer which he enjoyed greatly.Megan did much baby sitting during the summer. Megan was a KIT leader at church Girl’s Camp during the summer. Bob, Chris and Megan took two days off from school in April to participate in a youth temple trip to the Washington Temple. Bob was one of the adult drivers.That is a total of 4 trips of 1000 miles to Washington in one year!

Our Best Wishes for a Peaceful Holiday Season and New Year. Joyeux No�l Tout le Monde

Bob, Pattie, Janus, Chris, Megan,Jonathan, Robbie