Merry Christmas!

from the Hartmann Family

Copy. Paste. Same stories - New Year.

Honestly, we just put the Christmas decorations from 2013 all the way "away" in September - but here we are again! Our family continues to be blessed and busy; and though we've had some loss and a few challenges lie ahead - we truly do have Christmas hearts all year long. A "real" Christmas card is in the mail (or will be - maybe - I guess don't look for it), but I also wanted to share a few more pictures and pass along our yearly scoop. Please note - in the spirit of Christmas we do choose to highlight the obnoxiously awesome parts and leave out the general debauchery of our daily reality!

David celebrated the 20th Anniversary of the Brooks Center in 2014 and continues as Department Chair, working almost every night, dreaming of retirement and a future job at Lowe's! He enjoys everyone he works with but misses being in the classroom full-time. In his spare time, he cooks dinner for his wife EVERY NIGHT! He also watches a little bit of football. His fantasy football team, the Over-the-Hill Gang, is struggling this year, which makes for stressful weekends at our home. Thankfully, he enjoyed one fantastic trip in the Spring to an all-inclusive resort in Mexico to celebrate the marriage of his friend Scott. Rylee tagged along to keep him out of trouble! Next month he is off to NEW YORK CITY to "shop" shows for upcoming Brooks Center seasons.

Griffin is a SENIOR at Brown University and will be graduating in May with a Neuroscience concentration. Although I had hoped to share his plans of becoming a bartender (he took a master's class this summer) or a professional "dancer" (wink, wink) - he has been hired by Brown University to continue the research he's been doing the last couple of years. He says he'll use this "down time" of working full-time to possibly study for the MCAT as he considers med school next year. Griffin continues to dance for two companies: Impulse and Fusion, enjoys film making with Brown Motion Pictures, is on an intramural inter-tube water polo team named "TUBE Hot to Handle", and has learned the love of teaching through his role as Teaching Assistant. I stole this recent quote from his Facebook page about his teaching - "Today, I finished up teaching my final section for Introduction to Neuroscience. Wow, what to say... Teaching this semester has been the highlight of my year. It has been truly inspiring to see people fall in love with the material and approach the class not as another grade on a transcript, but as something they care about. Thank you, thank you, thank you." This has been Griffin's first year out of a dorm so he is living life big in what he and his roomies refer to as - Chez Angell - their 3 story home. We're thanking Jesus that he is finally 21. Obviously, we have concerns that he isn't socializing enough.

Rylee is enjoying her sophomore year at Winthrop University as an Elementary Education Major. Winthrop Education Majors are placed in classroom settings early in their college track and this semester Rylee was in a 4th grade classroom and loved it! She spent the summer working full-time at Winthrop for the Residential Life program doing MANUAL LABOR! Yes, our princess was side by side with the big boys: inventorying mattresses, moving furniture, changing light bulbs, and doing maintenance on dorm rooms. She supported herself and pocketed some cash to pay her sorority dues. This semester, in addition to her 17 hour course load, she has been a nanny for a local family. Rylee recently planned the Sigma Sigma Sigma Family Day event and was elected as next year's Director of Education for her sorority chapter. This buys her a bedroom in the 100+ year old SORORITY HOUSE next year! She is also keeping company with a great guy, whom Daddy and I have deemed "acceptable", his name is Matthew.

I, Lisa, was honored to be named Teacher of the Year at Northside Elementary School and one of the top 8 Teachers in the School District of Oconee County. I am the Lead Gifted & Talented Teacher, teaching 3 ELA classes (and 2 remedial math classes). I really enjoy making cross curricular connections with literature and history and I'm proud to be one of the only teachers in the county that teach to such events as 9/11 and the Holocaust. The most interesting/oddest thing I did this year was preside over my first wedding ceremony, marrying my friend Patti to her husband Jimmy. It's amazing what can happen when you know a couple of drunk judges! Eh - I also had my 30th high school reunion and had a fun weekend in Middletown, Maryland with besties from high school: Theresa & Kit, Traci & Brian, and Gene & Lori!

In Remberance of Andrea . . .

In March, the Taylor Cousins joined together, along with masses of friends and family, to celebrate the well lived life of our beloved cousin, Andrea Lee Taylor. My Cousin "On" battled a zillion different cancers for more than 20 years, succumbing ultimately to breast cancer. Andrea was a gifted teacher, a valued friend, a loving daughter, wife, mother, and COUSIN - and was a ray of sunshine to everyone she met! She will be missed.

Grandma Shakes Her Bootie - Travels to Brown University

My Mom and I headed to Providence, Rhode Island in early March to see Griffin's IMPULSE dance show at Brown University. Grandma was very popular with 'da boyz!
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Humble Manor Camping

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Meramac State Park, Missouri

22 in attendance this year - from Oklahoma, Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Georgia, and South Carolina! David's 34th year, Lisa's 24th year, Griffin's 21st year (started when he was 2 months old), and Rylee's 20th year (started when she was 7 months old).
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and a blessed & Happy 2015!