Time & distance may come between us,
But I'm a computer geek you know.
It's been so long since you've seen us,
So catch up on our news by reading below!

Melanie turned 26 this year. And since her boyfriend lives in Indy, she has been trying to find a job down in Indy for quite some time. And this summer she was able to find a new job at a company called Ball Systems Technologies. She is working in their marketing department; I think she is their marketing department. So she & her boyfriend are renting a house down in Indy along with her cat and his dog. This also gives us a place to stop over when we go down to Indy to see the Homestead Spartan Alliance Marching Band perform at Lucas Oil Stadium.

Brian participated in graduation from IU in May; but officially he needed to complete either an internship or what is called a "capstone" project. Since he was unable to land an internship on time, he is working on his two semester "capstone" project. He should have that complete by May next year. All while this is going on, he is still trying to land a job in the field of Informatics; it is a computer technology field and he can do anything from project planning to computer programming. And to complicate matters just a bit, he & his girlfriend split. He is determined to succeed and prove that he can make it on his own. He will definitely make it through this and appreciate his successes even more as he continues to meet the milestones of life. One of those milestones is that he just turned 23 in November.

Michael Victor also had a birthday in November and he is now 17. For Spring Break, he got to go to Williamsburg, VA, Busch Gardens, and Washington, D.C. with the Homestead Spartan Alliance Marching Band. He finished his sophomore year in high school by the end of May. Then he attended a week of drumline mini-camp. Finally he made the snare line! Three weeks before school started in August, Michael attended band camp everyday from 8 AM to 4 PM. This year's program was called 'Of Fire & Ice' with music from Dante's Inferno. At the Bands of America Regional competition in Toledo, OH, the Homestead Spartan Alliance Marching Band took first place. And this year marked 31 consecutive years of making the Indiana State Finals and this year they placed first! The State Finals were held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. And a week later they performed in the Bands of America Grand Nationals also at Lucas Oil Stadium. But they did not make the cut of 12 bands to perform in the finals; they came in 13th. Michael's girlfriend continued as a member of the color guard in the band this year!

Wendy left her job at KPC Media this year. But she started a new job at the Fort Wayne Newspapers. Wendy is the Customer Service Team Leader. For Wendy's birthday, her sister Tonya & brother-in-law Doug invited us to stay with them at their timeshare in Las Vegas called Tahiti Village. We took a bus to the strip everyday and checked out the casinos at places like The Tropicana, MGM Grand, New York-New York, Treasure Island, Mirage, & Harrah's. Playing blackjack or Let It Ride at the card table was more fun than playing the slots. New York-New York had a chocolate martini bar that I thought was fabulous. And we got to see Jeff Dunham, the ventriloquist with Achmed the Dead Terrorist. It was a great week.

I am still working at Raytheon in Fort Wayne, IN. We did not win the follow-on contract for AFATDS. However, we still have plenty of work helping out programs from the NorthEast (Massachusetts). We travelled to Buffalo & Rochester again; for Memorial Day we helped celebrate my next oldest brother John's 60th birthday. When we were in Vegas, I placed a bet that the Buffalo Bills would make it to the Super Bowl and another bet that the Buffalo Bills would win the Super Bowl; it looks like those bets aren't coming through!

We are thankful for all of our friends and family. We wish we could see you all more often.

Wishing you a season filled
with all the special things
that a bright
and Merry Christmas
and a Happy New Year brings!

With Love,

Jim & Wendy
Melanie & Brian
Michael Victor

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