1999 letter


1996 letter
1997 letter
1999 letter
2000 letter
2001 letter

Greetings all!  For the first time in a few years, we’re starting our tacky holiday letter before Christmas.  It remains to be seen in which millennium we get this mailed, but we’re off to a good start. 

In looking over our last few Christmas letters, there seems to be a recurring theme:  new house, new baby.  So as not to disappoint, this year’s letter will be similar.  Yes, we bought a new house, and yes, we had a new baby.  We’ve no idea what we’ll talk about in next year’s letter, as we’re counting on neither of our old stand-bys to apply.

New house.  Having spent an entire two years in our previous house, we stumbled across a place  we liked even more.  So we now have 1¼ acres of flat land, a comfortable house with room to expand, 80+ rose bushes, and a long gated driveway for bike riding, all on a quiet street.  In short, this seems to be the perfect place to raise a family. 


New Baby.  Our big, big news is that Amber Allison joined our family on May 23.  She is a little blue-eyed doll-baby and is adored by all of us, although Ken occasionally has to be reminded that he’s the father of three children.  And he’s completely freaked out that he has a daughter. Jennifer recently caught him doing research on convent schools.  At this writing, Amber is cooing and laughing a lot and just today started to crawl (note to self:  move the Lego).





Siblings.  Amber was forced to get around on her own, because the alternative is having five-year-old Ryan toting her around the house.  Two-year old Sammy is trying to do the same, but he dropped her yesterday.  We’ve since imposed a “The Baby is not a Toy” rule.

Ryan had put in a request for a baby sister “because I don’t have one,” and had decided that her name should be MiG—not Meg, but MiG—as in the Russian fighter plane.  Sammy, just shy of his second birthday when Amber was born, remained clueless until the day at the hospital when he introduced himself to his hours-old sister by walking up and whacking her. 

Ryan, at 5½, is more fun than ever, and more talkative than ever.  This is usually a good thing, but is sometimes a wearing thing.  And very often it’s an amusing thing, like when he said, “When I get to Heaven, I will be taller than God.”  Ryan is the world’s leading five-year-old dinosaur expert, blowing us away on a daily basis with his knowledge.  Ryan’s birthday party was a dinosaur-themed one, complete with a dinosaur piñata.  But we forgot about getting something to hit the piñata  with, so we ended up using a tire iron.  You’ve never seen so many nervous mothers!  


Ryan and Mimi go to the library


Sammy.  Remember Calvin and Hobbes? Sammy is our little Calvin.  He can be an absolute terror.  But unlike the cartoon character, he can also be the cuddliest, most tender little boy you can imagine.

Cuddliness notwithstanding, much of the recent drama in our family has been Sammy-induced (tantrums in parking lots, calls to Poison Control [1] , etc.).  Take this Travel Horror Story, for example:  Jennifer and all three kids flew to Tucson in September.  Sammy revealed that he has a fear of flying by SCREAMING all the way to Los Angeles.  He was fine waiting for the connecting flight, but then started up again once we boarded the plane to Tucson.  His ears were fine; he was just terrified, as evidenced by the word he kept screaming:  “FALL!  FALL!”  Fortunately, our trip back was just fine, thanks to Skittles, praying grandparents, and drugs.



On the ferry after a trip to Daddy’s office          Amber Allison                      Home from the hospital


Ken’s job at Barclays Global Investors continues to go well.  The funds that his group created now have over $50 billion in assets.  His job involves a rigorous travel schedule, earning him the dubious honor of “1K” with United Airlines (again) [2] .  His trips can be grueling, like the time he left the Four Seasons hotel in San Diego, flew first class to New York, and took a stretch limo to his suite at The Plaza Hotel.  Despite the “glamour,” he would have much preferred being home, helping Jennifer take care of a barfing toddler.  At least that’s what he says.


Jennifer is still enjoying her job as CEO of the Kroner family.  The transition to life with three kids has been rocky at times, but mostly fun, and Jennifer considers it a privilege to care for and influence these three wee ones.  Despite life getting more complicated with all of the activities a family of five can expect, Jennifer tries to make down-on-the-floor playing time a priority.  There was a time when this involved “playing with dinosaurs and pretending they talk” ad nauseum.  Sometimes “play” really is work, and “work,” like making a creative meal (creative = non-macaroni-based), or rocking a baby, is a good break.

Please visit.  We’re just now finishing construction on a guest house.  Please come visit us soon and experience the fabulous cuisine and entertainment offered by Chez Kroner.

Ryan recently thanked Jesus for the fact that dinosaurs—especially the meat-eaters—are extinct; Sammy thanked Him for Jello.  We thank Him for each other and for all of you.  And we muse, once again, on the incredible significance of His decision to enter humanity 2000 years ago and on the wonder of His presence in our lives today.  Life without Him would be unimaginable.

Merry Christmas and Happy Y2K, from our family to yours!

The Kroner family

[1] Another note to self:  “child-proof” doesn’t mean “Sammy-proof.”

[2] This means that he traveled more than 100,000 miles with United during the year.