Fingerle Family--Dec. 012001 in review

Another year has passed by, but at least we have something to show for it!

On May 27th, God gifted us with a healthy and beautiful daughter--Leah ('lay-uh') Elisabeth. It is an awesome experience to watch her and help her learn what we usually take for granted, such as the use of hands and speech. She had colic in the beginning, which was quite a challenge, but things are great now. She is so beautiful, every time I look at her, I am so amazed! She laughs a lot of the time, which really brings joy to our hearts. It is nice to spend so much time with her, but I miss my job more and more all the time. Kinda boring being at home all day every day. She and I are walking every street in Seengen, and marking it on the map. We only have some really steep streets left to do.

Unfortunately, life is such that as new humans come into it, older ones go out. During the past year, we lost both my grandfather and Mathis's mother (who at least had the joy of meeting her first grandchild). When "Grappy" died last March, my cousin Jodie and her husband Drew were visiting us. Even though their visit was very short, I was glad to have them here.

Mom and Steve came in June to meet and help with Leah. We made a few excursions (such as to Bern and Luzern), but mostly stayed around the house and worked in the garden.

On September 11, we were shocked with the rest of the world at the horror of the terrorist acts against the U.S. For the first time in my life, I was glad to be in Switzerland--a nice, bland, neutral country! Shortly thereafter, I read Zephaniah 1:14-18. It gave me chills.

We felt the affects of the damage to the airline industry. You might have heard about the problems of Swissair and the SAirGroup, Mathis's employer. He still has his job, but was unable to make a planned move into a more promising position. Despite the troubles, we were still able to fly with Swissair to Florida for a six-week vacation in the fall. The flight and service were great, as always, and we hope that when we travel in March, it won't be the very last quality travel we enjoy.

In October, we took Leah to the United States for the first time. I was nervous about flying with her, but she was a great traveller! She was so good on the plane and in the car! We took her everywhere and she never complained. We made some road trips around Florida, and I was worried how she would react to being in new places all the time, but she loved it.

We flew from Zurich to Miami, where we met up with my brother John and spent the night with him and his fiancee (now wife), Suzanne. Then we drove to Clearwater, where we spent most of our time enjoying Mom's generous hospitality. We also visited the Suwannee River, Destin and Cedar Key. As usual, we went to our family reunion in Chipley (No Jodie! No Jillian!).

Many kisses,
Stacey, Mathis and Leah

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