Christmas Letter 2012


Team Johnson 2012

Dear Friends,

It was a year of very high highs and very low lows.

We were most proud to purchase our first home. It’s a charming mid-century bungalow: lots of room, a fenced backyard, and a full basement. We are very proud of it and the many improvements we’ve made, including full bathroom renovations upstairs and down, a new roof, interior painting, waterproofing, downspouts, built-in bookcases, and a drainage system that Monstro and Lynn and the boys dug by hand. Lynn even diagnosed why the washing machine died mid-load, ordered the replacement part online, and fixed it herself!

We made many accessibility changes to the main floor of the house in hopes that MFM (Lynn’s mom) could move in with us. Unfortunately, her Parkinson’s and her resultant dementia worsened this summer, to the point that she could no longer remember how to stand up. At the end of July we made the painful decision to move her to a skilled-nursing facility. We are happy to report that she has settled in nicely and is receiving excellent care.

Lynn is thankful for the work she’s gathered from clients old and new since then. She joined the Junior League in autumn. Lynn is continuing to perform stand-up comedy and has earned hearty laughs at many open-mics in the area.

Monstro continues to teach at a local University and while it’s not much of a match for his prodigious professorial talents, it affords him a lot of time at home to write, which is good because he’s got four books mostly finished: his revised dissertation, a treatise on university education, and two novels. He also plays a variation of Dungeons and Dragons online with his high-school buddies once a week. We hope 2013 will bring him a Warhammer 40k gaming group!

We are both very thankful for our children. Lex is 7 and excelling at first grade. His teachers say he’s a joy and we mostly agree. His birthday party at a local roller-rink was the hit of the season. BK is 4 and in pre-K; he has inherited his father’s imagination, his mother’s uncanny ability to find Waldo, and a cuteness all his own. We all enjoy attending a local church and look forward to lighting the congregation’s Advent wreath on Christmas Eve.

We would appreciate your prayers for 2013 and invite you to come visit! Cleveland is a terrific city with great food, amazing tourist attractions, and welcoming hosts.



Seven Points to No-More-School-Shootings

My ideas to end school shootings,  in no particular order because they’re all important:

  1. Metal detectors at the entrances of every school. In particular, metal detectors that sound the alarm school-wide –fire-alarm style– if someone tries to bring in contraband. (While we’re at it, let’s add them to malls, too.)
  2. Nationwide ad campaign to the effect of: Don’t be Nancy Lanza. If you have a mentally ill person in your household, get rid of your guns. Follow it up with the promise of being charged as an accomplice if someone uses your gun to threaten/kill someone else.
  3. Nationwide ban on assault weapons. Nobody needs them. If school-shooters had to take the time to reload, fewer people would die. Anyone who doesn’t agree is a potential murderer of children.
  4. [Plainclothes] police officer at every campus, from before school until the end of after-school programs. When I spoke with the principal at my first-grader’s school today, she said she would advise against having police on-campus because they don’t contribute to a sense of normalcy for children. Guess what? If a cop is on-site all the time, every day, that becomes normal. “To hire one police officer for every single public school in America it would cost the taxpayer $4.9 billion.” Otherwise known as .13% of our national budget: just over one-tenth of one percent. I know that’s how much *my* kids’ lives are worth, even on a bad day.
  5. Limit ammo purchases the same way we limit Sudafed sales, and institute a single nationwide database of ammunition purchases.
  6. Teach children to tell a grown-up if they hear anyone make threats to do harm to a school.
  7. Increase resources to diagnose mental illness in schools.