1996 letter


1996 letter
1997 letter
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2001 letter

Dear Friends,

After entertaining lofty hopes of doing a Christmas letter this year, only to see Christmas come and go sans a Kroner newsletter,  we are now acting on the not-so-lofty hopes of doing a New Years/Valentines letter.  We were inspired by all of the wonderful cards and letters we received from you, so if you find yourself thinking, “That sounds familiar…”  as you read this, it probably was plagiarized from your own recent writing.

Compared to many of you, ours has been an uneventful year.  The only excitement in the first few months was an almost-move to Boston and Ken’s official resignation from the University of Arizona.  Yes, we’re staying in California—at least for a while.  We’re sure that this is best for our family (for now).   Ken is enjoying his job.  We’ve settled into our church, and we’re establishing a great network of friends and falling into an enjoyable routine.


In June, we celebrated Ryan’s second birthday, which was made even more special by the presence of Jennifer’s parents, who flew in just for the big event.  Ryan enjoyed his cake and ice cream, but cried when we sang “Happy Birthday” (“No, no, no song!”).   At one point, he decided that he had opened enough presents and declined any more for a while.  He has since recovered fully—he tore through his Christmas presents with enthusiasm—and now loves the “cake song,” as he calls it.  Jennifer is often requested to sing it about various friends, relatives and cartoon characters.

Ryan is a healthy, happy little boy, who eats like a horse—to the delight of some (like grandparents) and the horror of others (like the staff at restaurants, and us, when the bill comes).  He is a little blondie, and for some reason we always have to explain this to people.   Cute Story:  When Ryan was still in the one-word stage of his linguistic development, Jennifer frequently did number flash cards with him.  One time, when he got through to number 10, she began to praise him profusely.  He was obviously enjoying this, so Jennifer continued to heap it on, telling him how smart he was and that he would be able to be anything that he wanted to be—even President.  His response was a big smile and  the word “Woof!”  Hmmm.

Also in June we took the plunge into the California real estate market and bought a house—our first together.  We were fortunate enough to find a small development of new homes (new homes are rare in Marin County), with the perfect house and the perfect lot still available.  So we “bought” the house in June and waited and waited and waited and visited the house every weekend, sometimes every day, and made all sorts of changes to the design, and picked tile and carpet … and finally moved in just before (American) Thanksgiving.  We thank God every day for this beautiful home He has given to us.  And we can’t wait to have houseguests!

We continued to do some interesting travel this year as well, both for business and pleasure.  Ken had trips to 25 cities, including Zurich and London.  We all joined Ken on his London trip (two weeks), and had a great time.  While Ken worked, Ryan and Jennifer went to museums, parks, palaces, churches, etc., and felt very accomplished as tourists.  They took the Underground every day, which  was the highlight of the trip, as far as Ryan was concerned.  In fact, because most destinations required making at least one train change, Ryan came to expect “two choo-choos,” and if only one was required, he became quite upset.  We managed to do some things as a family as well, on the weekends when Ken was not at the office, and even went to Paris for a day.  This was not a well-thought-out trip, though:  once we got on the train, we realized that we’d have only about 2½ hours actually in Paris.  So we ran past Notre Dame (“Look!  There’s Notre Dame!”) through the Louvre courtyards (“Look!  There’s the Louvre!”), through the Tuilleries, down the Champs D’Ellysses (“Look!  There’s the Eiffel Tower!  Look!  There’s the Arc De Triomphe!”).  It was not a trip that made us proud of our touring abilities, but nonetheless it was memorable—after all, we were in Paris!

We also enjoyed some smaller family trips—to Tucson, to Monterey, to Santa Barbara, to Edmonton—and having friends and family come out to stay with us.  We are still enjoying the San Francisco area and are becoming more and more adept at playing tour guides, something which we really enjoy. 

Oh—one more thing.  We are expecting our second child in June of 1997.  Needless to say, Ken and Jennifer are thrilled, but Ryan is not so sure.  He’s quite pleased with the status quo.  He did say at one point that he wouldn’t mind a baby sister, but as he doesn’t know what one is, we aren’t putting a lot of weight on that.  Several of his colleagues have baby brothers, and he’s quite sure that he does not want one of those. 

This year we have been reminded constantly of how good God is.  We hope that we would be just as aware of this in not-so-good times.  We try to keep perspective by remembering the transient nature of everything, and we remind each other that nothing in life is owed us—not even life itself—and that very few things are truly earned.  Yet God has chosen to give us wonderful parents and families, good friends, each other, a healthy child who brings endless joy, another on the way, a great home … we could go on and on.  But even as the Christmas season comes to a close, we continue to ponder that most precious of blessings—the gift of the Word becoming Flesh and dwelling among us. 

Wishing you and yours a blessed 1997.


Ken, Jennifer & Ryan Kroner