The Farmer's Christmas 2000 Newsletter

Dear Family and Friends: We share our family news again and enjoy your cards and letters too.

News: My sister, Helen passed away on Sept.24th from a massive heart attack, which is the same thing that took my sister, Marion in"1981". She will truly be missed. Helen's daughter, Bonnie, continues with the day care that Helen started over 35 years ago. My great aunt Helga Grothe died in March just a few days before her 102nd Birthday. My mother is still at Leo and Stella's Adult assisted living home in Lynnwood, where she receives excellent tender loving care. Bob's father lives in Tenino with his brother Perry's family. Bob's family is in the process of selling the Tacoma house. Dave is engaged to be married next summer. Grandson Larry won 2nd place at the Roller Hockey Nationals in Texas. Bob's brother John moved to Bremerton and is currently living in our motor home until he gets settled.

Carol: I've never traveled outside the U.S.A. until July when I flew to Ecuador and spent 15 fun-filled days with our son, Dan. The highlight was a 3 level river rafting trip 15 mi. down the Jatunyaca River, which runs into the Amazon. We also enjoyed a 4-hour very challenging jungle walk, visited the Ingapirca ruins, several churches, and a trip to Isla de Plata in the ocean and on our way there saw a 50 ft. humpback whale very close to our boat exciting! Nice to have quality time just Dan and me. Being a Stephen Minister and lector is very meaningful to me. My friend Joanne and I enjoyed the musicals at the 5th Ave. in Seattle, and also dinner at special restaurants before the show. D, my housekeeper, does wonders in helping with housework and gives me support. She's one in a million! For 11 years now I've taken piano lessons and currently learning Sunrise Sunset and Cannon in D. I'm so slow to learn but with lots of daily practice, I will succeed. I think that when you are older, it takes longer to learn anything

Bob: He is trying out retirement again. His computer skills are in demand at home with the grandchildren and me (like doing my Christmas letter) and as a volunteer for the church and community. Our home has 3 computers networked to each other and connected to a high-speed cable Internet service. He is the web master of the Children's Memorial Wall and volunteers for the Max Foundation and it's bone marrow/stem cell registry VidaMax/MaxLife.

This summer we had a fantastic time at the Year 2000 Patients Reunion and 25th Anniversary of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center. It was a 3-day event at the University of Washington and Safeco Field. We were treated like VIP's. Each of the approximately 200 patients received a free copy of "Survivor: Taking Control of Your Fight Against Cancer" by Laura Landro. She is a Wall Street Journal Senior Editor and was the keynote speaker at the opening ceremony. Bob and Laura have a lot in common because they both had a bone marrow transplant at the Hutch for the same kind of leukemia. While doing research for her book, she found Bob's cancer web site on the Internet. He was very surprised to find himself on page 100. Laura autographed his copy of her book with these words, "To Bob Farmer a Real Survivor". Bob's web site is http://oc.itgo.com

Cathy, Jeremy, and Jacob: Cathy and her boys, Jeremy, 13, and Jake, 5, are sharing our home. She is great in helping around the house and yard and so clever with decorating. Jeremy is an 8th grader. He is 1st chair on the clarinet in the school band. Things like computer games, roller hockey, and biking occupy most of his playtime. Little Jake goes to Head Start program preschool and he also love to do the computers. Since last spring I have taking Jake to swimming lessons at our athletic club. We love the water and it's fun and good exercise too

Dan: He is on his 2nd yr. of teaching 8th graders in a private school in Ecuador. He loves Latin music and recently joined a Cuban band. He was home last Christmas and again for 2 weeks in August. Dan and I enjoyed the EMP (short for the experience music project) funded by billionaire Paul Allen in Seattle. What a place!

Belinda and Larry: They live 15 miles away in Poulsbo and recently moved from a 2 to a 3bedroom condo that has a wonderful view of the Olympic Mountains. Larry, 10, plays coronet at school, and enjoys roller hockey, bikes, and his unicycle. His team won 2nd place at the Roller Hockey Nationals in Texas.

Dave: He is engaged to Lynn and they plan to get married next summer. She has a son Skilur, 6, and a daughter, Brianna, 10 months so they have their hands full.

Travel and fun: We took many one-day trips this year. Long Beach kite festival, Mt. Rainier, Puyallup fair, where we saw Harry Bellefonte, and visits with friends and relatives. We enjoy dancing at the Elks Club; daily walks with our dogs, and workouts at the Tennis club. Next year we hope to travel across country to visit our family and friends.

We wish you a Blessed Holiday Season filled with love, happiness, peace, and good health.

Love: Bob and Carol