Since all of them have been safely mailed and the appropriate people have seen it first (not that I don't love you, Interweb, it's just for... um... political reasons), I think it's safe to share this now. Here is our Christmas card for this year. (A stolen idea from a board game we own.) It begins thusly:

Instead of one of those letters that informs you of all the minute details you don’t care about which happened in our lives over the past year, we thought we’d do something different... and sum up the minute details you don’t care about in pictures. Well... "A" picture, to be exact.

----- or -----

NG got a new camera at work last month.

See if you can find:
  • Four balloons: (Red, Purple, Blue, and Yellow) KingofHearts and The Dormouse went to a Wiggles concert. The Yellow Wiggle called in sick.
  • Knife: KoH and Matt turned the backyard barbecue into a forge and began their blacksmithing careers. Neighbors were unimpressed.
  • Thermometer: Dormouse made her second trip to the emergency room with 106 degree fever. Sat in waiting room for three hours then left with no medical service provided. But the hospital felt it necessary to charge us for the visit anyway.
  • Misshapen Glass: KoH’s Valentine day gift to NG: a glassblowing class. Thereby adding to the myriad of Really Expensive Hobbies she wants to continue.
  • Alamo: KoH both remembered and visited it when he went to a conference in San Antonio (unlike Ozzie, however, he did not pee on it).
  • Gates BBQ Rub: NG discovered that there really is such a thing as good barbecue at her conference in Kansas City.
  • Diploma: KoH graduated from college. He received a $10,000 pen and $35,000 mug, making his tuition more than worth the cost, obviously.
  • Pink Slip: Because he graduated, KoH lost his job at the university and faced unemployment.
  • Gun: After an exhaustive world-wide job search, he finally did become gainfully employed - a mere 40 miles from where we already lived.
  • Rock: Visited Harper’s Ferry, West Virginia. Surprisingly, there’s no ferry but, according to The Dormouse, lots of great rocks.
  • Clippers: We stole some from a West Virginia farm while picking pumpkins at Halloween but returned them when we went back to cut down our Christmas tree.
  • Pacifier: After a lengthy bribery process, The Dormouse gave up her "bop" at bedtime.
  • Liberty Bell: Attended the 4th of July Fireworks Show in Philadelphia at the foot of the steps Rocky climbed. (But in a twist of fate, never actually saw fireworks.)
  • Computer: NG desktop-published her second real book soon to be sold on
  • Same Computer: KoH began writing a novel. NG has yet to read it. He is miffed by this.
  • Still Same Computer: Sent KoH's son a computer this year to help him do his schoolwork. Jury is out as to whether he's doing any schoolwork or just using it to play video games.
  • $50 Bill: The IRS took 18 months to notice a $600 mistake on our 2004 taxes... and then gave us three weeks to pay up.
  • Baby Socks: We are getting ready to welcome Monica's baby (actually when I wrote that we were getting ready, by now we have not only welcomed her, but seen so many pictures she may have a future in modeling) – The Dormouse is excited to have someone to boss around.
  • Bear Magnet: The Dormouse’s never-ending quest to cover every wall in the house with stuff she made at "class day".
  • Skeletons: Dormouse discovered one of mom’s favorite musical obsessions – Oingo Boingo’s "Dead Man’s Party" Album.
  • Vitruvian Man: Successfully watched and read "The DaVinci Code" without losing our faith in Christ.
  • Three Candles: Dormouse turned three.
  • Pumpkin: She decided her birthday would be a costume party entitled "My Halloween Birthday".
  • Green Truck: KoH's beloved truck, El Sapito, broke irreparably.
  • Polka Dot: Purchased a new car, which NG immediately defaced with Polka Dots.
  • Turkey: We tasted our first deep fried Turkey for Thanksgiving and may never go back.
  • Tools: Remodeled the bathroom and created a downstairs music studio.
  • Diaper: Which we no longer use, because Dormouse managed to get herself potty trained.
  • Soda: Tasted our first Turkey & Gravy flavored soda – something you won’t mind missing.
  • Animal Crackers: Visited the new baby Panda at the National Zoo – multiple times.
  • Lady Bug: Attended the Bug Faire (yes, it’s spelled with an "e") in State College, Pennsylvania.
  • Misty Book: Went camping on Assateague Island - fed wild deer and begged ponies to come dine with us.
  • CD: Saw Gladys Knight – no Pips – with friend Donna.
  • Bonsai Gardener: The Dormouse’s B.F.F., Linnea, moved to Japan. Sniff!
  • Dickens: Saw our friend Judy and her family in a production of A Christmas Carol.
  • Canned Chicken: Dormouse’s new obsession: Chick-fil-A. Her parents' new obsession: avoiding Chick-fil-A.
  • Laurel Wreath: Went to the Renaissance Faire and KoH won prizes in the feats of strength.
  • Chain Mail: Another of KoH's Seriously Abnormal Hobbies.
  • Same Chain Mail: KoH's son: obsessed with the Eragon books and anxiously awaiting release of the movie.
  • Violin: NG began her fifth season with a local orchestra.
  • Fire Truck: Almost burned the house down. Thank heavens for firemen.

Merry Kwanzhannakristmacafestidan and Happy New Year!