This is a quiet, reflective time, now, after a fall full of work and a year full of transitions and moves.  This is our first Christmas in our Vermont house since 1990!..when our sons were age 7 and 10.  That was the year before we moved to Italy for a year and spent Christmas with my brother and family in the snowy Alps. After that, we moved to St. Louis and rented this Vermont house for the following 20 years.  Our sons are now 29 and 32 and we have a new grandson.  It is said so often, but it is remarkable how fast it seems that time moves.  Looking back, I never imagined that our lives would take the turns that they have.  And, I am grateful for every one.  Vermont, Italy, Reggio Emilia, St. Louis, and all the educators with whom we have worked along the way and work with now, from Indianapolis to Chicago to Portland, Oregon.

And, it feels gratifying to come full circle, to come home to a place where we began all those years ago.  Today, it snowed and snowed.  We watched the snow white world around our old, new house and ventured out on cross country skis on a loop into the old orchard where our house is and into the fields beyond.  And then, returned to our beautifully lit tree, roaring fire, candle light and cozy family time.

With all the difficulties, sadness, and challenges that we face in education and in many aspects of our lives on this beautiful planet, we are grateful for the beauty and quiet of the season and the love that we share.  We send you all our warmest greetings as 2012 finishes and we open a new year, full, once again, of hope and promise and all possibilities.

Louise and Ashley