December 2000

Here is this year's installment of our 150 times a sesquicentennial Christmas Letter. As usual, we started the year with a home improvement project, we extended our family, changed careers, bought a Bavarian built BMW, traveled across three territories, and appreciated our continued health and well being.

After six years in our house, we have begun to run out of home improvement projects (although, there is always something). Difficult as it was, we did demolish the hallway until immediately after Christmas. This space was formerly occupied by the freight train furnace and wonderful water heater. We lengthened our linen locker, crafted two REAL closets, and, for the piece de resistance, built a beautiful wine closet. After we finished installing the sliding door (oh yea, another project), we spread our talent to family and friends ... Rob and Caroline's new house got a modular closet system, in-wall speakers, and Ethernet. Julie and Kurt received a new shed, windows, sprinklers, garage attic space, and a stone block wall. Lori's Mom was the beneficiary of new window moldings. Our neighbors have us on call to install phone lines, Ethernet, alarm, etc. For a quote, please call 1-888-JANZ

In April, Julie and Kurt told us they were expecting! On October 19th, Ashley Emma Schumacher was born. We challenge anyone who says they have a cuter niece. If you want an impartial opinion ask her grandparents J Since raising a new baby is such a boring and uneventful experience, we helped them capture two 5 week-old kittens who were living under their house two weeks before Ashley was born. Timothy and Titus now bless us with their cuteness and abundant energy.

This year we made career changes. Lori left Lockheed Martin to pursue a management position at Intel. She is now managing the Software Project Controls Group and learning what it is like to work for a company that puts more emphasis on HW (although without SW, the HW is only a paperweight). Mike returned to Lockheed Martin to become Lab Manager, System Administrator, and general do-it-all He still has a definite interest in following Lori into management.

This summer we decided to buy a fun, fast, flashy car. After much research and soul-searching, we made the "mistake" of driving a BMW convertible... then we had to have one of our own. What we didn't realize was this is easier said than done! We tried to buy one in June, and after calling every dealer in the USA, the earliest we could see our beautiful Steel Blue convertible would be late November! We were even willing to fly to Germany to pick it up! Lori's Dad (thanks Dad!) did some hunting in 'Zona, and discovered a dealer with a slot open for a late August delivery. We put our deposit down, and picked up our car over Labor Day weekend ... in Tucson! It is a blast to drive, performs great, and we get withdrawals if we don't drive it frequently enough. We are dreading the rainy season!

Vacations this year were limited to the exotic USA west. We caught up on some sunny snow skiing since we completely missed last season. We spent a wonderful week in Tahoe (although one day Squaw actually closed down due to high winds!). For our six year anniversary, we took our new convertible for a short drive. We went west until we hit the Pacific Ocean, then turned right and made it halfway through Oregon before returning home to attend a Sharks game (GO SHARKS!). We had no set destination, drove topless (the car!) and enjoyed the ocean and forest the entire way. We highly recommend this coastal drive to everyone. Be sure to stay at Gingerbread Mansion and Tu Tu' Tun Lodge as they both earn two big thumb's up on the Mike & Lori scale.

This year has found us in good health. All of Mike's check-ups to date have shown him to be cancer free! We are looking forward to his 2nd birthday in January and continuing that trend. We did lose Puff, our wild dove, to old age. So far, Cleo and Magic have NOT blessed us with a replacement. Cleo and Magic are still catting around, causing trouble to neighborhood dogs, and chasing each other around the house - need to duck when they are in one of those moods!

Next year we plan on traveling to the Caribbean and Hawaii, helping our neighbor remodel their house, and watching Ashley eat cake for her first birthday! Feel free to email us at our new email address or visit us at

We hope you have a safe and wonderful holiday, and the coming year finds you in good health.


Mike, Lori, Cleo, & Magic