Pfaffenhofen, December 1997

Dear Family and Friends,

Christmas is approaching; it’s snowing and the smell of ginger cookies permeates the house. Something like peace is starting to flow into our home after a very busy year: our little Christoph has serious health problems, chronical bronchitis of unknown cause, that even led to an adenotomy a few days before his first birthday, and sleep apneas, which in turn made us sleep very little for almost half a year. But it appears now that we found a way to cope with his almost constant infections and life can return to normal.

But aside from these troubles we also had many joyous experiences this year: we spent a hot summer holiday at the North Sea, where Christoph learnt to walk and to love the mud (as can be seen on the picture to the right).

Bettina now enthusiastically attends kindergarten and starts to bring friends home from there. She loves to draw and also signs her pictures with her name.

Each day she grows more intelligent, which is not always an advantage, in particular when she is asserting her will. When Mummy was reading a book in English, she wanted to have it read to her; Cordula “you won’t understand that” - Bettina “oh yes, I will; I do have ears!”. Or after the kindergarten celebrated a Thanksgiving mass Betty told us the Monday after “today we went to the church again; but God wasn’t there” (we suspect she meant the priest).

Christoph also makes great progress in speaking. He says “doctor” perfectly (which amazes every physician), and also names all important vehicles, like cars, lorries, trains and cranes.

We sincerely hope you are all well and wish you a Merry Christmas and a very Happy and Successful New Year.

Cordula, Joachim, Bettina and Christoph