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"As long as we have Icehouse the party will never be over." -- comments accompanying a mailing list signup

Thursday, January 3, 2002
by the Wunderland Toast Society

What's New?

What's Going On? Jenelle's Christmas Bat Mitzvah

Well, a lot of folks have already taken down their colorful lights and placed their trees out by the curb, but here at Wunderland.Earth we're still feeling the holiday spirit. The way I figure it, the season isn't over until after the last of the 12 days of Xmas (i.e. Jan 6th) has gone by, and since we're still working on our holiday mailing and other overdue tasks (like this update), we just aren't ready to declare the holidays over. Our online store will remain closed for the holiday overhaul until next Thursday, and we're just gonna keep on enjoying the holiday season for another few days. So, more eggnog and gifts for everyone!

Our tree this year was decorated with a variety of bugs and insects. Doesn't it look lovely?

Of course, we emerge from the holidays with a big pile of cool gifts, and I'm not going to try to describe them all here. We also gave away whole bunches of neat stuff. As is our tradition, we created a small new gift item which we gave to everyone; those of you who got one know what it is, and the rest of you will just have to wait. I also made cookies and many bars of my famous homemade fudge for everyone.

Meanwhile, Alison made big fuzzy booties for everyone in her family (with some help from Leah). Here you see her dumping them out for everyone to choose from, after a big Christmas breakfast with her parents at our house (I made sourdough pancakes). That afternoon we had Christmas dinner at my parent's house, where we got many other gifts including a giant Golden Snitch filled with cookies made for us by my nephew Eric.

My niece Sharon loves airplane rides. Her twin brother James loves the toy chain saw we got him. (He would only put it down now and again, usually to go for airplane rides).

As soon as Christmas was over, we threw some clothes and a few more gifts into suitcases and flew to Texas for the Bat Mitzvah of Jenelle Levenstein. Jenelle is Kristin's niece, so Kristin's parents were there too, and of course there were lots of Levensteins.

Even though, being family members, we were participating in the service (reading English translations of the Aliyah) this was the first time either Kristin or I had ever been to a Bat Mitzvah, so here you see Ruth (Jenelle's mom/Kristin's sister) briefing us on where we were supposed to stand when our parts came up during the service, using Icehouse pieces and a Rubik's cube as props. (Notice also Ruth's giant cardboard Icehouse set in the background... she brought it to the reception dinner that night, and we played a few games of IceTowers with it.)

Of course, we played lots of games throughout the trip... in the photo below on the left, we see Jenelle playing Fluxx with two of her cousins the night before her Bat Mitzvah; on the right, Alison is playing Chrononauts at the reception dinner with Mikey and Meredith, neighbors of the Levenstein's from two houses down. (They got so into our games they came over to the house the next day to buy some of the samples we'd brought along.)

Anyway, lots of other stuff happened as well during National Play Week this year, and while we didn't get to just kick back and play as much as we might have liked, it was nonetheless a grand and fun and exciting week. Here's hoping your holidays were equally fine.Andy

Happy New Year!


the story so far

Thought Residue
It seems like airport security is growing tighter before our eyes. Between going and returning to Texas they added a new restriction: no carrying-on of bottled water unless you took a swig of it to prove that's all it is.
My hair's gotten quite long, and since she just got a rather drastic trim, I suddenly have longer hair than Gina!
"Be happy, optimistic, calm, because you are heading for a deed God loves and will accept. It will be the day, God willing, you spend with the women of paradise." -- Mohamed Atta, hijacker-pilot of the plane that hit the North Tower (who apparently despised both tall buildings and the women of earth), in a memo to himself entitled "The Last Night"


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