1997 letter


1996 letter
1997 letter
1999 letter
2000 letter
2001 letter

Holiday greetings!!  We hope 1997 has been a good year for you.  It was a good year for us:  we’ve settled into our new home; done some traveling; and, oh yes, we’ve become a family of four! [1]

Population explosion

Our biggest news first:  Samuel Alan Kroner was born on June 10!  He arrived via emergency c-section, which sounds scarier than it actually was.  Sammy checked in at 8 pounds, 6 ounces, and 20½ inches.  He has blue eyes and dark hair and a very sweet disposition.  As we go to press, he’s almost 17 pounds, is rolling, sitting fairly well, and laughing a lot.  He loves his big brother and probably smiles more for Ryan than for anyone else (except Mom).  

Samuel Alan Kroner, June 10, 1997

Ken “Moonbeam” Kroner

We hired a doula—kind of a labor coach—to be with us for Sammy’s birth.  She was a big help, but the most memorable thing about her services was how she hounded Ken to take his shirt off and “bond” with the baby—skin-to-skin—as soon as Sammy was born.  Now, if you know Ken, you’ll know that this just wasn’t going to happen.  He spent the hours immediately following Sammy’s birth creatively avoiding this kind-hearted woman.  Ken and Sammy have since become good friends, current bonding theory notwithstanding.


Ryan turned three just two weeks after Sammy arrived.  He quickly got used to having a little brother and is quite protective of Sammy.  Before one of Sammy’s pediatrician appointments, Jennifer told Ryan that we were “taking Sammy to the doctor.”  Ryan was very quiet for a while and became weepy for no apparent reason.  After a bit of this, he whimpered, “Sammy will come back later!”  Ryan apparently thought that all good things must come to an end, and we were returning Sammy to where we got him.

Ryan and Sammy, October 1997

Ryan’s climb to the presidency began last month, when he enrolled in pre-school.  Jennifer is wondering why he isn’t learning the classics yet, and Ken is frustrated at Ryan’s inability to do simple calculus.  But his teacher says that he’s pretty good at spinning.

Howdy, Pardner!

Ken got a promotion this fall:  he’s now a Managing Director, which is his firm’s title for a partner.  When he starts to feel too important, though, Jennifer hands him a damp baby or Ryan requests an escort to the potty.  Or, Jennifer simply reminds him that his son sleeps with a bucket on his head.



Ryan and his cousin Alex on a backhoe           Suburbia             With friends (the Farrugias) in our hottub


The Money Pit

When we moved into our house last November, the yard was comprised of rocks and dirt and construction debris.  But after the bulldozers, backhoes, bobcats, drills, cement trucks and dump trucks (talk about a three-year-old’s dream-come-true!) finished their work this summer, we were left with grass (Ken and Ryan even have lawnmowers), a patio, a play structure, flowers, trees, and a spa set into our hill.  We’re looking forward to star-gazing from the spa this winter.  Wouldn’t you like to join us?  We have lots of room (both in the spa and in the house).

Itchy feet again

We weren’t home much this fall.  We spent several weeks in San Diego, where Ken was on sabbatical at UCSD [2] .  We were there for Halloween, but Ryan wasn’t into this Halloween thing.  He refused to wear his Thomas the Tank Engine costume (he wanted to be the Pilot of the Plane).  So Jennifer had to carry his costume as they did the candy rounds.


                                                Costumeless Ryan           Sammy bouncing

Two weeks after coming home, we headed off to London and Geneva for a couple of weeks.  While Ken (of course) worked, Jennifer and the kids and a friend who came along to help played tourist.  By the end of our trip, though, the “world traveler” thing was a bit old—and expensive—so we came home.

Christmas [3]

Christmas has taken on new meaning for all of us this year as we have been trying to put the story into words that Ryan can understand.  Having to explain what a manger is (a food dish for the cows and horses) and why Baby Jesus was in one, has made us think more about that first Christmas than we have in a long time.  The Word became Flesh—God entered time and space—all because He loves us.  Amazing.

Merry Christmas, from our family to yours.

   Ken, Jennifer, Ryan and Sammy Kroner



[1] Emily Post would hate this form letter, but she’s dead.

[2] Though he seemed to spend as much time on the road as he did on campus.

[3] Parenting tip:  don’t go Christmas shopping with a three-year-old.  They’re inclined to announce the purchases as soon as they enter the house.