Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Griffith 2007 Christmas Letter

Our Christmas Letter Photo

Welcome to the Griffith Family Christmas letter for 2007. We continue our tradition of writing in the third person and sending electronic greetings in this holiday season. As always keep sending us your seasons greetings however you compose them, we love hearing from you. This year seems to have flown by, perhaps looking back they always seem to. It was a year of enjoying the great outdoors, (as summed up by our family photo this year), and a year of family gatherings, for weddings, funerals and reunions.

(pardon the formatting, but scroll on down for the rest of the letter)


Pleased as Punch
I stand supreme Liberty Bell and Washington Pass
The fam Comfort
50 Golden Years
Boat Driving Girl Corn Man Gathering at the Graveside
Happy Halloween Bonnies Big Play - 2 Ready to Go A field of red Sofi and Kiah

In January Mark spent a week as a vegetarian, paying off what will hopefully be his last sports bet. Later the family gathered in Boise where my sister Jeni got married, her and Sean increased their family size to seven kids in total and they now drive a M.A.V (Mormon Assault Vehicle) for transport. We continued to have snow storms, even down at our lower elevation and we got out often to play in the snow up in the mountains.

Miles fascination with trains continues; in February we visited the railroad museum in Snoqualmie, Miles loved riding the train out to Snoqualmie Falls and climbing around on all the old trains that were lined up on the tracks.
In March as the snow melted and the spring began thawing we went on several hikes as a family on Cougar Mountain, jumping in mud puddles whenever we could.

For spring break in April we did a family backpacking trip to Shi Shi Beach on the wild coast of Washington, twas a magical time on the ocean. In May for Memorial Day we drove over the North Cascade Highway, seeing the grand mountains with the snow retreating for spring. Stac and the kids finally convinced Mark to get one of those old timey photos taken, despite his reluctance for costumes.

In June we visited Cannon Beach in Oregon, later that month my Grandfather Lindquist passed away and Mark flew to Logan as the family gathered for his funeral on Stac's and Mark's anniversary. Later in June Sofi, Kiah and Mark went on our annual Daddy Daughter camp out to Cooper Lake.

For the Fourth of July weekend we drove to Utah, where we celebrated Stac's parents : Roy and Emilies 50th wedding anniversary. We then drove down to Provo for a family reunion, where we played at Seven Peaks water park and in Provo Canyon. Both Stac and Mark got matching copies of Harry Potter and read the final chapters of the series along with the rest of the world.

In August the family went on a camping trip to Ross Lake, we had to drive 40 miles down a dirt road through Canada, and then boat in 20 miles. We loved the solitude and beauty of the back country lake wilderness. We didn't have much luck catching fish, but we had a great time jumping off the dock and swimming in the lake.

September brought the return of school and a fall with more rain than we wanted, but we did get out picking tons of huckleberries, from which we made jam and still enjoy in pancakes (frozen).

October we visited the Puyallup Fair where we gorged ourselves on fair food, and sadly following her husband, my Grandmother Passed away. The entire family drove down gathering with extended family once more for her funeral. Halloween was a grand time as usual, and we enjoyed getting together with friends and picking pumpkins. Just before October closed Mark went camping with Sofi and Miles. What was to be a rainy event, turned into a snowy trip full of memories that included whining and crying.

In November we stayed in Issaquah for quiet Thanksgiving, we fried up some awesome potato donuts and reveled in the annual Turkey bowl, though the adults lost to the youth.

December brought the first major storm of the season, our neighborhood fared much better than last year, however central Washington was ravaged by floods. Mark and the young men helped with the cleanup in Centralia. And the holidays approach, for our heritage its a Christmas season, where amidst all the consumerism we try to remember why and what we have to be grateful for.

Getting Old
John C. Pinkerton
Broken Sky
That Orange Glow (by Mark Griffith)
Into the Devil's Creek
Against the Ridge
Against the Dawn (by Mark Griffith)
Edge of Forever

Mark continued his work with the young men in his church, they went on many outings : winter camp out, biking and camping at Ancient Lakes, Father and Sons camp out and Ross Lake canoeing High Adventure. In the fall Mark got a new calling with the church teaching early morning seminary (Sunday School) to high school kids before school. This means no more beard, shaving regularly for the first time in 15 years and waking up at 4:40 am.

Last year Mark went a 1000 miles under his own steam, this year he attempts to do the same, but this time with no biking, on Christmas Day he has 29 miles to go. In pursuit of his getting out goal, Mark went on countless hikes (ok actually it was around 137) including some memorable longer outings : Guye Peak, Denny Creek carrying Miles, an attempt to climb Mt. Adams. While in Utah he climbed to the top of the Wellsville mountains, which he has dreamed of doing since he was in Jr. High and stared up at them every day walking to school. During their family reunion he hiked the 15 mile Timpanogos loop with his family along the narrow trail to the summit and back. Mark signed up with Summit for Someone to climb Mt. Olympus to benefit inner city children, it was an spectacularly amazing trip, where he witnessed one of the most fantastic sunrises. Superlatives don't do it justice, nor do the pictures. Much thanks to all those that donated to allow Mark to take this amazing journey and help get kids into the outdoors. In September Seth and Mark set out for Mt. Daniel and Cathedral Rock, only to get snowed on, but it made for some amazingly beautiful photos. October was another thru-hike to the Enchantments with Kyle, again in snow but with beautiful blue sky.

Mark continued working at Amazon for the Fulfillment By Amazon team, (see a day in the life)where he works hard and engages in push-up contests. He had the opportunity to travel to Japan and then China, visiting Beijing and climbing the Great Wall was a dream come true after studying Chinese history in university. In November Mark turned 40 this year with a forest fire of candles and his wife gave him a helicopter ride for a present. Middle life has found him in better health than in his 30s, here's to 50!

As the year closed, Mark ran 22 miles on Christmas Eve day only to return to his car to find it had been broken into and his Bible, wallet, cell phone and camera had been stolen. At least he has everything else, but he's bummed that he wont have his camera for a while. Mark is looking forward to a better 2008 and a new camera.

relax, unwind, unplug
Other side of the coin
The Eyes I Love

This is Stacey and once again I am not writing in the 3rd person. I refuse. This year as Mark mentioned above has gone by very fast. It seems that just yesterday we were celebrating New Year's Eve with friends here at the house, eating yummy Chinese fire pot soup. This year I have watched my oldest baby go to High School, be in a play (that I would never have dared to try out for when I was in High school)and start learning to drive. I watched Sofi turn 8 and be baptized by her father and start 3 grade. I've watched (and experienced first hand) Miles run a million miles a minute. He does not stop. He keeps me going, makes me laugh and I relish all the time I have with him before he too goes to school (I have another year and a half with him because of his late birthday).

I continue to be impressed and in awe of Mark's dedication to experience all the beautiful wilderness that surrounds us. I know that he receives peace, serenity and happiness while hiking, running and climbing and that makes me happy. I'm waiting for the kick in the pants that will get me up and doing even a small fraction of what Mark does in a week.

I continue to read all the time. There is never a lull in between what I read. I still knit hats like crazy, especially during the cold months. I've learned to Crochet from my friend Heather and I keep making baby blankets for all the babies that have been born in our ward. Being at Mark's Grandma Lindquist's funeral this past summer made me appreciate my family even more. I still have my parents around. They visit us each Christmas, they came to Sofi's baptism and we see them every summer for two weeks while we visit Utah. We have good health, happy and kind children and at times peace in the home (when the kids aren't fighting,when the house is clean and we are all together eating dinner). Wishing you all the peace and happiness that you deserve this coming year!


Beautiful Daughter
Gotta Dance
Beautiful Girl
Crazy Cousins

Kiah is a beautiful mature 15 year old this year, she is finally in high school and happy to be there. Seems that the further she gets in her teenager years the longer it takes her to get ready when we go some place. She is a diligent student, always organized and on top of her homework. (Where she got that from her Mom and Dad always wonder since they were never like that in high school). She has almost completed her Drivers Ed class and has been bugging Mom and Dad to drive at any chance she gets, she won't be able to go solo until she turns 16 next year.

Kiah was involved with the high school musical production of Singing in the Rain. It was a big time commitment and a lot of work, but she loved being on stage and learning her lines and the dances. Kiah really enjoyed being with her cousins this year at our family gatherings. Kiah and Stac went on a mother daughter trip to San Francisco this fall and had a great time reconnecting with the bay area that we left 4 years ago. Next year brings full on driving and dating, so we are sure its going to be an interesting one for both us and Kiah.



Grins Wide
New Do for School
The perfect angel

Sofi is in 3rd grade this year, she is a great little student and everyone in class wrote nice things about her in a class project, describing her as the "best jump roper in the 50 states" and "the nicest person at school". Sofi's got lots of spunk and is cute as a button. She will occasionally humor Dad by going on a hike with him and Miles, but is a bit leery after the snow camp out where she almost led Miles in a mutiny.

She turned 8 this summer and was baptized. She is slowly moving away from dolls into clothes and music. She is quite the snappy dresser and always gets compliments on the outfits she puts together. One of her big wins against Dad this year was convincing him to not steal all her Halloween candy.

Sofi could do crafts 24/7 if she could. The minute she gets home from school she wants to make something or show Stacey what she learned in school that day. She came home before Christmas break and asked us if we knew what "Roy G Biv" was. We said no. She then told us it stands for the colors of the rainbow, Red,Orange,Yellow,Green,Blue,Indigo and Violet. She loves to tell us stuff we can't remember anymore. She on occasion loves her siblings and plays (until someone gets hurt) with Miles really well. She is a strong willed kid, with a bit of an attitude that makes her who she is. Our beautiful,Strong,Curious and Determined child. She is going to be one fun teenager!!!


Miles of Smiles
Happy to be Camping
Fly me to the Moon
"My Hair is Gone"

Miles turned 4 this year, he is still into trains, especially Thomas the Train who he dressed up as for Halloween and who Miles got to see this year at a special event. He is also really into Transformers, this year his number one present he wanted for Christmas was Bumble Bee transformer. He has declared that he no longer gives kisses to anyone, that phase of his life is over for at least the next 12 years. He is full of a fantastic amount of energy, keeping Mom busy at home. He'll start pre-school in January for which Mom will be grateful. Miles best friend is Maggie Rennie, though they can be quite a handful together, this year at the church Christmas Party while chasing each other around Maggie ended up with big gash in her forehead and 11 stitches.

Miles is always ready and willing to go hiking with his Dad. They went on many hikes together this year, one memorable outing was when Dad skipped work and they went hiking up Denny Creek together, where they "rock climbed", hunted pirate treasure and visited the land of ice and snow. They also went camping in November up to Talapus Lake, where despite the rain they managed to stay dry and have a great time.

Stac and Mark look forward to his continued intensity and excitement for life, and hope we can keep keeping up with him.

As we've looked back, the year has indeed flown by, we look forward to 2008. We hope and pray that your new year finds you well, in good health and good company.

The Griffiths

Mark, Stacey, Kiah, Sofi and Miles


Blogger amusings_bnl said...

i love your christmas letter and am honored to have been invited to come read it again.

merry christmas, sorry about the theft on christmas eve... but all things happen for a reason as we know. not sure what it is here... but. maybe someone will read your bible and find the Lord.

happy 2008 to all my favorite griffiths.

4:17 AM  
Blogger btezra said...

All the best to you and your family in the New Year to come!

5:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

wonderful letter. You have a beautiful family (from BarnYard-Babe)

5:45 AM  
Blogger CameraDawktor said...

thanks for sending me this link, it was great!

1:30 PM  
Blogger CameraDawktor said...

thanks for sending me this link, it was great!!

1:30 PM  
Blogger Lou said...

great to read all your news - thanks for sharing your yr.

6:33 PM  
Blogger Just Plain Jane said...

Much more interesting than the average Christmas letter we receive from friends and acquaintances.

May 2008 bring more good memories and much enjoyment of each other and the world in which you exist in such an interesting manner. Keep it up!

7:11 PM  
Blogger Jill said...

Merry (belated) Christmas to you and yours! Best of luck completing your last 29 miles of the year, Mark!

9:03 AM  
Anonymous Seth said...

Rock and roll.

3:24 PM  
Anonymous nickd said...

Excellent Mate but could use more pictures. ;) Healthy and Happy New Year!

9:02 PM  
Blogger vijay said...

Happy New Year!

thanks Mark for including me on the list. And you have a beautiful family. All the best in the new year from vibha and I.

8:46 AM  
Anonymous PaulGideon said...

Lookin' good, Mark! Your outdoor itinerary is very inspiring. I'll try to get out more often next year and follow your example.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

- Paul Taylor

9:06 AM  
Blogger qmn007 said...


Thank you for sharing; I'm honored.

If you're ever in Yosemite area, contact me.


11:37 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home