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Christmas 2001

December 2001

Dear Family and Friends

We feel very blessed, the Lord has been good to us this year.

Katrina - November 2001

By far, the biggest blessing is the birth of our daughter Katrina on March 6th. Any baby would have been wonderful, but we (in out humble and unbiased opinion) think that we were given an especially wonderful baby. She is intelligent and always looking around observing us and her surroundings. From the first couple months, a personality has shown through. She lets us know quite clearly when something is wrong or needs fixed. Initially, this was confined to "my diaper is full", "I'm hungry", or "I'm tired". As she as gotten older, she has added sounds for "This world is so wonderful, I love it" and "I'm bored, play with me".

At her current nine months of age, she is starting to get around and into things. She has learned how to open drawers and cabinets and is working on walking. Sonia is convinced that Katrina says "Hi". However, Katrina will give you a kiss on cheek after which you need a towel. She hasn't quite perfected the mechanics of kissing, but it warms our hearts nonetheless.

Old Town Montréal

I had never been to Montréal, in Eastern Canada, where Sonia grew up. She has wanted to show me the area since we were married. In August, we took a ten day trip to the area, the first half of which we spent in Montréal. The second half of the trip, we took a road trip through the Atlantic Provinces. We had a lot of fun traveling together and seeing the sites. I got a a flavor for Sonia's homeland, and as always, Katrina traveled wonderfully.

While we were in Montréal, Katrina and I were able to meet Sonia's Grandmother before she died. We played tourist and took a walking tour of the downtown area, some of which dates back to 1642. Sonia showed me here old neighborhoods and haunts that were significant to her. We ate at several wonderful restaurants. (If you love good food, go to Montréal. They have California beat hands down for quality and price of dining.)

Our road trip - 1800 miles
n our road trip, we took a long loop from Montréal along the Saint Lawrence River, out around the Gaspé Peninsula, down through New Brunswick, to Prince Edward Island, and then back to Montréal. It was an incredible trip with lots of beautiful sites. We saw innumerable little fishing villages, walked out to the famous Percé Rock, drove through the countryside of Prince Edward Island (think Anne of Green Gables), and waded in the Atlantic Ocean. We had a marvelous hike in the Bay of Fundy National Park through the start of fall foliage to a waterfall and pool where we went swimming.

Sonia has been busy being a mother. She had lots of experience being a Nanny and an older sister, but there has still been lots to learn. She has also gone back to school and found the going rough for a while as she got started again. She enjoys her large family and we are looking forward to the wedding of her sister in a few weeks. She was recently asked to teach the eleven year old girls primary class at church and is enjoys the interaction with her girls.

It is a wonderful life that I've got, but it keeps me busy. I am a stake missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, so I go out one or two nights a week doing various assignments.

I have worked for Everyone.Net since June of 1999. However, with the current economy, in October I was laid off. I have enjoyed the time at home with Sonia and Katrina and I've had the opportunity to work on a couple projects that are allowing me to extend my skills.

I am excited about a new position that will give me a fresh set of challenges. I have been looking in the western United States for a Web Applications Developer position. I would like to leave San Jose for a more rural area, but we will take a job were it comes.

I've enclosed a copy of my resume for your review and use. Please pass it along to friends and associates that you think would have an interest in it.

We wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.



Ben, Sonia & Katrina Mathews


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