The Garrett Holiday F.U.N
(Family Update Newsletter)

Happiness Abounds
Provo, Utah (AP)—The Garrett family, comprising Annemarie (mom), Jared (dad), Thomas, Hintze, Lily, Nathaniel and Benjamin, continues to experience remarkable happiness in the face of challenges, a sometimes too-small home, and strangely friendly neighbors, according to several sources who asked to remain anonymous due to the sensitivity of the issue.
Thomas attends fourth grade and Hintze attends second grade in Freedom Academy, the best local charter school available. Sources claim that Thomas won the third grade spelling been last year at Freedom Academy and that he comes into this year’s season of spelling bees with lofty goals indeed: he intends to win the fourth grade bee, the school-wide bee, the regional bee and he even intends to make it to the national spelling bee. Thomas says, “I know it’s not likely, but I’d like to be the first fourth grader to win the National Spelling Bee.” Hintze plans to show the rest of the second graders that spelling is his domain; in short, he will spank them with his knowledge. More details on this issue as they emerge.
Both lads are passionate about reading, imagining exotic new worlds, playing Super Mario and drawing the worlds that their self-created stories take place in. Thomas will turn ten in April and Hintze will turn eight in March. Hintze says, “I’m really excited to be baptized in a few months.” Sources confirm this statement.
Lily attends kindergarten at Wasatch Elementary, the school that is just a few blocks away from the Garrett Homestead. This self-titled ‘Best School in the Land’ has a Chinese immersion program that begins in first grade and Lily will be participating in said program next school year. She has recently discovered drawing and showers her parents with pictures of happy people. She has also begun reading and takes great pleasure in sounding out words. Oh, and she loves dresses, pink, purple and animals. Especially the family cat, Tally.
Nathaniel will be a Sunbeam in Primary starting in January, 2010. However, his family avers that Nathaniel is already a sunbeam, as this little boy seems to be smiling all the time, he gives very high-quality and frequent hugs, and he lives life with effervescent enthusiasm. Sources also point out that Nathaniel is enjoying learning the sounds of letters, loves to play with the family cat, and is a great older brother to Benjamin.
Benjamin lives in crescendo. He rushes to hug his daddy’s legs the moment Jared arrives every day, but he is also quick to make it very clear when he doesn’t feel he is being paid attention to. Benjamin, affectionately called ‘Benny’ and ‘Ben-Ben,’ has recently joined the family at the main dining table and loves to toss his dishes onto the floor. His favorite activities include running around, playing with marbles, blocks and cars, and pulling on Annemarie’s legs.
Annemarie continues to pursue her interests in laundry processes, child nutrition, cooperative book reading, floor cleanliness sciences, chicken and cat husbandry, and Japanese patent translation. She is gratified, sources insist, that Jared is nearly finished with his MA and excitedly anticipates a steady income. Her hard work with the chickens continues to pay off every day with three to five delicious, all-natural, organic eggs. She has recently received the coveted Garrett family award of “Best Mom and Favoritest Hugger.”
Jared is finally finishing graduate school in 2010. His MA will be a combined degree in TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages—no, we’re not kidding) and Instructional Design. With multiple projects on his plate, including a continued commitment to writing fiction, Jared’s newest friend is called Microsoft Outlook. Mr. Outlook showed up on Jared’s desktop some years ago, but Jared only recently initiated the burgeoning relationship. Mr. Outlook is useful to Jared because he must plan his day rather tightly to fulfill all of his duties. These include family time, Church calling (he is the President of the ward’s Elders Quorum), homework, MA project issues, his role as the Publications/ Marketing dude for his department’s Graduate Student Society, teaching for BYU, working as a Pedagogical Consultant with a professor, and fiction writing. Mr. Outlook makes all of this possible. Jared says, “Thank you, Mr. Outlook.”
In short, the Garrett family is busy—but not so much that life is passing them by. Nectar is being drunk, flowers are being sniffed, mountains are being appreciated and laughter is plentiful. One anonymous source says, “Yeah, they seem alright. I guess they like raw milk.”
You’re right, that has nothing to do with anything.
A Sister Act
Provo, Utah (AP)—Emma, Jared’s much younger sister, now lives in Provo. She is informally engaged, babysits the Garrett kids for free, showers love and hugs on all of her loved ones and is an all-around class act. An aspiring actress, Emma works full time in SLC but can be seen on the audition circuit and is currently shooting an indie movie for Wolf Films. It’s great to have her around. She is much loved.
Dreams In Action
The Garrett family has not let their busy lives get the better of them dream-wise. Annemarie is seeking ways to carve writing time into her days—which Jared is very happy about. Says Jared, “In raw talent, she’s loads better than me. Now she just needs the time.” Jared maintains multiple blogs, intends to launch very soon, has completed three novels and is now working on his fourth. He is publishing this most recent novel, chapter by chapter, on his writing blog:

We wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Marvelous new year filled with blessings and prosperity! May the tender feelings of this season fill each day with joy, peace and gratitude.