Sunday, December 24, 2017

2017 Year in Review- Dimit Family Christmas Letter

Merry Christmas 2017 from the Dimit Family.  This year for our Christmas letter, I thought I would reduce my carbon footprint ;-) and crank out a blog post in lieu of sending our Christmas letter through the mail.  Please note that Lester is authoring this blog post (since Elizabeth is not feeling well), so this Christmas letter will not have the literary flourishes you would get from Elizabeth :-).

Lester:  It has been an interesting year.  I completed by 22nd year at Intel, still working in marketing as the ecosystem manager for Intel's fabric business (fabric, as in supercomputing fabric ;-)).  I also had a very fun 11 week sabbatical this summer, enjoying time with the family.  Finally, I was called as the Elders Quorum president in our ward, so I have been very busy this fall learning my new calling.

Elizabeth: What a year!! It felt divided in two--before sabbatical and after. It was definitely the highlight of 2017, especially since I got to see 15 state capitols! (Good thing New England is so small!) Other than that, I spent time working as a freelance business writer and working on my children's book. I also volunteer at Brandon's middle school and teach an early-morning class about famous authors. I teach Relief Society at church, and have fun hanging out with the kids and Lester. Happy New Year!
VA State Capitol- Richmond, VA
Alexis:  Alexis got her learners permit in the spring and has been practicing her driving with Elizabeth and I.  Alexis also earned her 1st college credits last spring by passing her AP test for AP Human Geography.  She also started her sophomore year at Aloha High this fall where she is taking advanced Algebra and AP European History.  She is looking forward to turning 16 in a couple of weeks.

Brandon:  Brandon turned 12 this year and received the Aaronic Priesthood and is currently serving as the 1st councilor in the Deacons Quorum presidency.  Brandon is doing well in 7th grade and is doing very well in his classes (mostly A's).  He is also in 9th grade math, which is challenging for him.  He is also doing well in scouting, enjoying his 1st summer camp, and earning 12 merit badges and his Star Scout rank this fall.

Sabbatical 2017:  We had a great time on our 11-week sabbatical this summer, visiting 23 states (OR, CA, NV, AZ, UT, ID, VA, MD, DE, PA, WV, NJ, NY, MA, CT, RI, NH, ME, VT, OH, MI, IN, IL), 15 state capitals (for Elizabeth) and driving ~8,000 miles (not including the plane trips to Washington DC and from Chicago to Portland).  It was a very fun (but long) trip(s) where we got to build a lot of fun family memories.  Highlights are below :-).

Engstrom Family Reunion (6/26-7/1):  The sabbatical got off to a fast start with an Engstrom Family Reunion in Lake Tahoe.  On the way home, we took a little side trip to Crater Lake, OR.

Girls Camp (7/11-7/15):  Lester had the privilege of volunteering at our stake girls camp and spent the week making memories with Alexis. I helped run the rifle range, which was a lot of fun!!

East Coast Trip (7/18-8/16):  We took an extended trip to see the East Coast.  We flew to Washington, D.C. where we toured for 4 days before we started our State Capital Extravaganza :-).  Some of the highlights of the trip were Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia; Gettysburg; NYC; Boston; New England; Palmyra, NY; Niagara Falls; Kirtland, OH; the Pro Football Hall of Fame (Canton, OH), and Chicago.
White House- Washington DC
Lincoln Memorial- Washington DC
Gettysburg, PA
Liberty Bell- Philadelphia, PA
Lower Manhattan from Empire State Building
Evening Cruise of NY Harbor

9/11 Memorial, NYC
Old North Church- Boston, MA
Hill Cumorah- Palmyra, NY
Niagara Falls, NY
Pro Football Hall of Fame- Canton, OH
Kirtland Temple- Kirtland, OH

 Dimit Family Reunion (8/20-8/31):  Soon after the East Coast Trip, Lester struck out on his own for a 10 day road trip through ID, UT, AZ, & CA.  I saw the eclipse in the zone of totality just north of Boise with Matt & Becky Swain's family (Elizabeth's cousin).  Then it was off to SLC to visit with Sharon Parks (Lester's Utah mom) and meet up with Dan Dimit where we did a whirlwind tour of Arches NP, Monument Valley, UT, Lake Powell, Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, and Sedona, AZ.  It was great to spend time with Dan exploring the beauty of Southern Utah.  We made our way to Mesa AZ for a family reunion with the Dimit side of the family.  Ian and his family from North Dakota flew in for the reunion, it was great to see him and his family (and to meet his 2 youngest kids :-)).
Solar Eclipse- Boise, ID

Horseshoe Bend- Page, AZ
Antelope Canyon- Page, AZ

Landscape Arch-Arches NP, UT
Delicate Arch- Arches NP, UT

Monument Valley, UT

Dimit Family Reunion- Mesa, AZ
Lester spent the last 2 weeks of his sabbatical puttering around the house, spending time with my beautiful wife Elizabeth, and recovering from all of the travel.
Hug Point, OR
We hope that you and yours have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and prosperous New Year.

Love, the Dimit Family.

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