Dear Friends & Family,
The time has come...this is the year we are making the switch to digital cards! Please keep us updated with your current email address so we can continue to reach you over the years.
In the wise words of Harriet Tubman, “Every great dream begins with a dreamer. Always remember, you have within you the strength, the patience, and the passion to reach for the stars to change the world.” We have truly been living life to the fullest, dreaming big, and doing more of what matters most!
Madeline (16) entertained us over the summer with her roles in Les Miserables and is performing in Roald Dahl’s Matilda the Musical with StarStruck Theatre this January. We were blessed with the opportunity to adopt Lettie, one of our Guide Dogs for the Blind pups that was career-changed for low confidence. Madeline and Janine have evaluated and registered with Pet Partners to do volunteer therapy work with Lettie, who is turning out to be a fantastic ambassador and beloved pet dog. Madeline continues to raise puppies with Janine for GDB and they are currently working with Bayshore, an 11-month-old sweet, female, Golden-Lab cross. For fun and fitness, Madeline takes dressage lessons weekly and has enjoyed riding, caring for and learning from geldings, Maverick, Norman and Graham this year. Madeline will graduate from independent study public charter school, Connecting Waters East Bay, in May 2023, and continue her general education studies at Ohlone College in Fremont. She enjoys having her driver’s license and her parents appreciate not having to chauffeur to all activities!
Max (18) officially gets the “best hair” award in our family for the most luscious locks! What started out as part of his Les Miserables revolutionary role in his summer performances, has persisted as a long term hair statement. Max graduated high school in May and is now full-time at Ohlone College, planning to transfer to a four-year university to study Computer Science. He enjoys the challenge of his Calculus, C++ and Python programming courses. For strength and flexibility, Max took a yoga class this semester and was surprised by how enjoyable regular yoga practice can be. He has adopted a new healthy habit to complement his aerobic dog walking activities. Max will also be participating in the upcoming winter StarStruck show, Matilda, as a backstage tech and looks forward to supporting the cast. This spring will find us touring California college campuses as Max searches for a good fit for his transfer in fall of 2024.
Natalie (20) is momentarily home from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo after a jam-packed year of dorm life, food science courses, pistachio, jam (literally jam-packed) and chocolaterie internships, country line dancing, and concert serenades with the award-winning Cal Poly Women’s Choir. She is currently preparing to serve an 18-month Spanish-speaking mission in Morristown, New Jersey area for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Upon her return, she will head back to Poly to finish her bachelor's of science degree in Food Science. She will be departing for Mexico City for her Spanish intensive in mid-January, so be sure to send her your email if you’d like weekly updates while she is away. We are going to miss her but we know she will be a shining star to those she serves!
Janine never imagined she would find herself wanting another little one to tend to, but her dreams of having her own again have persisted...and we decided it was time! We will be welcoming a new member to our family in 2023! Sweet Marseille is a 1.5-year-old Spanish filly and dressage prospect from Ketcham Ranch. Marseille will be traveling down from Oregon soon to start her groundwork training and keep Janine occupied now that our human children are becoming more independent. In the meantime, Janine continues taking weekly dressage lessons and has been fortunate to partner in practice with Wynona, a Hanovarian mare, to continue her education and skills. She is grateful for the supportive community of barn managers, horse owners, trainers, clinicians, farriers and caretakers at Arriba Vista Ranch who make her horse world go round! Janine continues to teach, her 13th year with Connecting Waters Charter Schools, and has added a high school health course to her duties this year.
Abe is still employed with Google and mostly works from home. This year, he was fortunate to travel to Singapore to collaborate with colleagues. In his free time, he knits sweaters for his hot tea mugs, studies French and Spanish, plays guitar and piano, juggles, does yoga, hikes, cycles, kayaks, plays online chess, writes, reads, gardens and eats oatmeal with vegan butter every morning. When a butter shortage occurred, he tried putting olive oil in the oatmeal instead of butter because it was strongly encouraged as a healthier option, but found the perfect balance to be off when combined with honey and salt, so he held out by eating toast with peanut butter and honey until butter was restored to the fridge.
As a family, we traveled to Moloka'i, Hawaii, Costa Rica (minus Natalie who was at an internship), Thousand Oaks and Lake Tahoe. We also enjoyed hosting teen students from France in the spring and summer.
It’s never too late to start making your hopes, dreams and aspirations come true, with a bit of faith, passion, and plenty of hard work! We delight in hearing how your dreams are developing, celebrating your successes, and cheering you on! You got this!!!
Abe, Janine, Natalie (20), Max (18), Madeline (16), Sammy (14), Lucy (5), Lettie (2), Bayshore (11 months) & Catniss (10)
Weston Family Letter 2022 (PDF w/ photos)