Christmas 2003

Holiday Greetings from the Parker Fergusons – Byron, Toni, Nolan, and Kyra.  In 2002, the Ferguson’s pledged to do less in 2003- specifically trying to limit our number of activities to fit into two pages of Christmas letter.  Our font size is, however, rapidly decreasing, and we’re loath to admit that we’ve failed miserably in keeping anecdote and activity to a minimum.

In March, a major spring snowstorm buried Colorado in nearly four feet of white stuff. Nolan and Kyra, spending the night in Cheyenne (with their Aunt Mari and “Nama” Jackie), found themselves stranded.
Byron and Toni spent two solid days, working in shifts, digging through sparkly white stuff like crazed
badgers, only to stare in disbelieve at the huge wall of ice and snow stretching down the road. Our St.
Bernards, Molly and Gus, ABSOLUTELY LOVE SNOW, and gleefully bounced about the neighborhood
looking for lost travelers, serving hot toddies from their kegs. Several neighbors, served by the bartending dogs, remained just as trapped- but much happier.

Bobcats and pickups, not Saints, eventually saved the day, though. Several neighbors used their
vehicles to clear a path. Toni navigated the small path to retrieve our missing kids. Nolan and Kyra, out
of school for spring break, took full advantage of the snow to build and sled. With Dad’s help, Nolan and
Kyra tunneled an elaborate eight-room nineteen hundred square foot snow cave in the front yard’s
snowdrifts. A local realtor quickly turned a 250K profit on the elaborate snow abode. Douglas county
housing prices are out of control. Of course, the darn thing melted leaving the stunned and shocked
buyers sitting on a soggy plot of grass. We had to return their money and send them packing,. our
covenants strictly prohibit lawn ornaments.

In May, Byron and Toni finished directing and producing a school play. The two put on Charlotte’s Web
for Nolan and Kyra’s school- Challenge To Excellence Charter School. A special thanks to neighbors,
parents, and friends who helped. The cast of thirty kids (and a couple parents), rehearsed from January
through May- finally performing for four performances. Nolan, a real ham (he played Uncle the Pig),
stole the show, and Kyra perfected “spider” in the role of baby spider number two. Byron threw only
three J.L. style temper tantrums (throwing your script in disgust, and saying, “there’s no point in going
on until everyone has learned their lines. Although well received, Byron and Toni both have now sworn
off school shows and WILL ABSOLUTELY NOT BE DOING IT AGAIN! Well, after the next one, anyways.
Next year’s play will be “Snow White.” (Byron argued strongly for the musical version of Hamlet from
Giligan’s Island.) “To Be, Or Not To Be, That is the Question That I ask of Me …” After this one, I swear, we’re never doing it again. <Grin>

In July, Toni and Byron celebrated their 10th Anniversary a bit early (Its actually September 4th for those
of you keeping track) by taking a short trip to New York Oty. Apparently the opening of the play “9” with
Antonio Banderas held some sort of special appeal for Toni. Byron doesn’t see the attraction. Certainly,
Byron has everything that Antonio does- chiseled good looks, dark brooding eyes, and from time to time a Spanish accent. The only thing Byron doesn’t have is Melanie Griffith. Maybe that’s why Toni likes
Antonio. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Byron still doesn’t see the attraction- Melanie’s lips are far to inflated for
his taste.

After the show, Toni forced Byron to stand outside the theater with Broadway groupies for nearly an hour in anticipation of getting Antonio’s autograph, picture, or article of clothing. Byron, ever the dutiful
husband, stood on in silence snapping pictures of the various cast members until Antonio finally arrived
on the sidewalk. Unfortunately, most of the Antonio pictures were lacking- they featured the back of his
goofy stocking cap, the throngs of people between Antonio and Byron, or a blurry somewhat Antonio
looking blob. Fortunately, most of the pictures of Melanie Griffith came out great. She definitely looks
better in person than in the photos.

While in New York Byron and Toni, also got a chance to take in some other New York sites including the
Statue of Liberty, fireworks, Madam Tussaud’s wax museum, and, of course, Johnny Fox’s Freakatorium”, a venerable museum dedicated to circus and sideshow freaks. No, that wasn’t Toni’s idea- but she did think the two-headed turtle was cute.

In August, Nolan and Kyra began first grade, or as Nolan prefers to call it- eighteen to life with no chance
for parole. Actually, both kids are taking well to school. This year the twins were separated, really giving
Nolan a chance to do some of his own work, and Kyra a chance to try out her mothering skills on others.
Toni spent the first week of school humming her own little song- “All day, everyday, all day, everyday …”  Apparently she was ready for some time alone after a summer of full time parenting. Byron constantly
arrives home to find bon-bon wrappers and copies of soap opera digest strewn about the house.

This year’s Christmas photo features the Ferguson family’s highlight for the year- Walt Disney World!
We mugged for every single camera and said, “We’re going to Walt Disney World,” but unlike pro
athletes didn’t make a dime off of it. Instead, our own corporate sponsor- Byron’s sister, Diane,
generously underwrote our trip. In return for airline tickets and park passes for the whole family
(Thanks Di!), Byron, Toni, Nolan and Kyra wore shirts proclaiming rocks! It was great to
have some time with Aunt Di.

Walt Disney World was … well, Walt Disney World. Its crowded, tiring, and every ride exits through
another gift shop full of slick product tie-ins that your children have no way of living without. Ice cream
(shaped like Mickey, of course) for four is $20 and sit down fast food runs $50. And for all that- its still
Disney World. The magic of watching your children is almost better than going yourself. As they say priceless.

Fortunately, Disney CEO Michael Eisner, and Toni are old chums. Michael, or as Toni calls him- Mr.
Mickey, is the proud owner of his own St. Bernards- and the two have shared a few laughs at numerous
dog shows. So, when Toni asked Mike to let Gus partake in our trip, he was only to happy to oblige.  Gus is now officially the first dog to ride the teacups, slime several parade characters, .and have his picture taken with Mickey. We convinced several complainers that Gus was an employee dressed up as Nana from Peter Pan.

Recently, at the pet store, Nolan and Kyra determined they would like a cat. Byron, deathly allergic to
the little beasts, told the kids, “Sorry. No can do. The only way you’re getting a cat is over my dead
body.” Nolan, with the best straight face turned to Toni and replied, “Mom, after Dad’s dead can we
have a cat?” No respect. No respect at all.

In November, however, we got something that’s almost a cat – a Chinese Crescent 7-month-old puppy.
Byron swears the unattractive looking little puppy is in fact a cat, but is unable to prove it. Toni hopes to
show the little hairless rat… uh, I mean dog, at some dog shows. John Bald Jovi, while ugly, is a very
good-looking specimen for a Chinese Crescent. Which is to say, he’s pretty good looking for an ugly little

November was challenging for Toni and her siblings with the rather unexpected illness and passing of
their mother Jackie Perez. Admitted to the hospital for pneumonia, Jackie was in the intensive care unit
for over four weeks, and on a ventilator for a major part of those weeks. It had appeared briefly that she
might overcome her condition- but in the end, because of previous strokes and her diabetes, she simply
wasn’t strong enough to recover. Toni’s mom passed away on December 8th. We thank everyone for his
or her kind thoughts and prayers. The pain of loss passes slightly everyday, but Toni (and the rest of the
family) will miss their mother forever.

Finally, we invite everyone (with an internet connection) to visit our site and see the illustrated version of our Christmas letter. Byron would like everyone’s opinion on our new ugly dog. We hope your holidays are happy and safe.

Byron, Toni, Nolan, and Kyra Ferguson