Thursday, January 1, 2009


Hello, and welcome to the annual Burton-Lyford-Menze-Lyford yearly newsletter update.

As is the case with everyone these days, we had a year of change, transition, and tradition since 2007 ended. And to make a change from the usual tradition of holiday letters, we'll forgo the introductory prattle and transition to the important stuff. Let's start the round-robin, shall we?

Eva parted ways with C.P. Morgan this year, just as the house building business imitated a Cubs playoff hope. She passed her PMP exam mid-year then landed on her feet (we hope they were hers anyway) at Delta Faucet, where she got work as a plumber. And, she's still working in project management for IT and marketing. She has certainly kept busy, blogging as Ejly at the Evagation Blog, twittering, posting at Mike Moran's Biznology site, performing with an improv comedy troupe, and fighting her iPhone addiction happy with her new iphone.

E started 3rd grade at Montessori School and is the head boy at the school this year and doesn't mind telling you about it. He's doing quite well in school; during the standardized tests, he scored in the high school level for math and science. He's reading more and has hit the modern-day childhood milestone of googling his mother and asking for an explanation. He also achieved a brown belt in tae kwan do.

O started 1st grade this year and has shown his aptitude for languages is no fluke. He tested at a junior high level in English and is keeping Eva and Richard on their toes in the words they use to describe assorted people they encounter. He's also grown like a weed, got his purple belt in tae kwon do and is now tall enough to drive go-karts at our local track. He's shown a lot of talent with this and with Guitar Hero for someone who just recently turned 7. (He'll be either incredibly successful or a 6th year baccalaureate candidate in journalism.)

Richard started the year working at Allison Transmission, which had just been sold by GM, for Global Touchpoints on a contract-to-hire with EDS. (Should we break out the org chart here?) EDS was in the process of being bought by Hewlett Packard, so with the reduction in head count, Richard soon switched to WDD, a software company in Indianapolis, writing software for Monsanto's agricultural business. So, after working hard all his life to leave the farm-and-factory town of Seymour ("The Crosroads of Southern Indiana!"), he leaves a transmission company to write software so people can sell seed to farmers. This is known as progress. And, dare we hope, job security as seeds seem to be in demand still. He is also writing humor posts for, to rave reviews and, with the frequent puns, a groan or two.

We did many things as a family this year, often involving food. (Turns out the boys like Indian food; who knew?) We went to King's Island in May; Oliver is now motivated to eat food that will help him grow so he can ride more rides. We also visited Brown County and hiked through the hills a few times. And the boys saw their first cave: Squire Boone Caverns, near Louisville. So after all the Lord of the Rings, Dungeons and Dragons, and Neverwinter Nights, the boys now know what caves are REALLY like. We went to the Indianapolis 500 qualifications and the boys ate Smoked Turkey legs and have been begging for more since. We took the gang down to Bloomington to see Bill Cosby at the IU campus, and much to O's surprise he wasn't white. We attended Spamalot and Eddie Izzard's Stripped concert sans children, just to show our good judgement and parenting acumen. They also got to go to Colts and Pacers games this year and are becoming proper sport fans. Now, however, we have a Wii so we are just staying home.

In 2008 we also started to foster dogs for the Humane Society of Indianapolis. We got our beagles, Perl and Beauregard, from HSI and we're always in danger of taking every dog home with us when we go there. It's been fun and keeps us busy, and it's a great way to help an animal who needs a break. It also lets us "test drive" other types of dogs and work on dog-training skills. We're definitely a beagle family, but adding another type of dog to the mix is never boring. The first was Hugh, a pointer mix (we think); then came Dewey, a beagle mix; Bowie, a border collie; Sophie, a dachshund; and Lunar, a bluetick coonhound. Eva and I have gotten a lot out of it, and the boys have learned a lot about human behavior by watching all the dogs interact. Beauregard and Perl like it, too; they're always excited to meet new dogs and welcome them into the pack. Just remember that Perl Is In Charge! Seeing a female beagle hip-check a coonhound, and doing so with an air of a sergeant-major with strict views on discipline, is a a sight to be seen.

We hosted a traditional Polish Christmas Eve dinner this year. This included mushroom soup, oplatik wafers and wishes, You should try it sometime; with the amount of food a Polish family puts on the table, they won't notice another person or two sneaking in to eat. It was wonderful to see all the family gathered together in one place, for one night, for each other.

Our house went on the market this autumn, in a fit of poor timing. We are looking for a new home in the Indianapolis area that will reduce commuting times and give the beagles a new set of squirrels to chase. Yes, the housing market is not healthy right now, but if you're going to buy up, now's the time to do it. Stay tuned; film at 11.

In 2009, the boys will be moving to a new school, we hope to have a new residence, foster a few more dogs-in-need, perform, write, enjoy a few more travel adventures and sports and comedy events and report continued gainful employment in rewarding careers. We hope that you too will have an excellent 2009, as we plan to do.


Karen said...

Have a wonderful 2009! One question, though... When do you sleep??

Jay said...

That's a lovely update, thanks for posting that :)

Glad the boys got to see their first "real life" cave, that would have been awesome for them.

I had a traditional Polish dinner for Christmas, too...oh boy, those 12 meals... ;)