The Schwindt Christmas Letter
Episodes of "Blippi"
Cups of Coffee
Emergency Room Visits
We have survived the year 2021. As part of the unspoken social contract, this gives us the right to send out one of those annual
brag-fests Christmas letters.
You might ask yourself, after a year of almost no attempt on our part to maintain a human relationship with most of you, why we would foist several pages of sentimental, overly-familiar text on you out of the blue, riddled with inside jokes that will be funny on our end but will only confuse you, or maybe make you a little uncomfortable. And even if you are one of the elite with whom we have had actual contact this year, you might wonder why we would make you read a bunch of stuff you already know as if it were news.
These questions have haunted the readers of Christmas letters since the beginning of time, and so I will leave them unanswered, as some mysteries are just better left unexplained.
For now, let’s just focus on the completely one-sided conversation we’re about to have about the most
generic middle-class interesting family in America.
We are adorable. What’s that? You don’t think so? It doesn’t matter. We can’t hear or see you. In our imaginations you are speechless with admiration and you just can’t get over how cute our kids are.
We may or may not have gotten COVID-19 this year. We were never tested for it, and not knowing for sure if you have a disease is basically the same as not having it at all, I think.
We moved to Hope, Kansas in September of 2020. Lots of people confuse it with Mount Hope, which is a different town and nowhere near ours. Ours is not near very much at all. It has been a year of adjustment and “settling in”. It is a lot different living in a town of just over 300 people, and although it has its challenges, we’ve enjoyed making the property our own. We have a post office, a gas station, a library, several playgrounds, and a church, all within walking distance.
We have space to garden, to keep animals, and acres for the boys to run around. We were thrilled to discover a few apple trees producing fruit, but the squirrels ate everything immediately. We were also thrilled to find a row of pecan trees and were looking forward to the fall harvest but again, the squirrels. Our only “win” was that they left all the blackberry bushes untouched.
Here is a video we made that’ll give you a preview of the city of Hope:
Daniel works as a web developer. He secretly hopes you will notice how this Christmas letter is itself a website that he designed, causing you to marvel at what a great idea that was, at least in comparison to all of your old-style paper Christmas letters, handwritten by the mom of whatever family you are in, since only her handwriting is legible and also because no one else in the family cares enough to put in that kind of effort.
In addition to the web design, Daniel continues to write things. Right now he is slowly revising and transferring his 1700-page manual of philosophy over to an online format for easier management. If you are bored or just looking for a way to punish yourself for something, you can preview it here. Aside from that, he does not publish anything anymore. As it turns out, he doesn’t actually enjoy talking to people about philosophical stuff as much as he always thought he would. Also, as it turns out, other people don’t actually enjoy hearing him talk about philosophical stuff as much as he always thought they would. Another one of those inexplicable mysteries…
Last but not least, Daniel finally has a dedicated reptile room for all of his snakes, and this summer he had his first success breeding and hatching Bullsnakes. Here are a few of his specimens:
Lindsey has had her hands full with the kids, but has still found time to sew blankets for the local orphanage, volunteer at the retirement home, and lead a poetry group for underprivileged teens. Wait…sorry that was some other person that was featured on Oprah the other day.
Lindsey is just pregnant. Her third trimester, in fact. We are happy to share that it is going to be a girl, so keep that in mind as you shop for all the new baby gifts you were planning to buy us.
Although Lindsey doesn’t actually work with underprivileged teens, she does work with two pre-pre-teen boys and one post-teen husband who all think they are underprivileged. This means she spends most of her time being super-mom and super-wife. Some of her exploits this year are:
- She has started experimenting with homeschool curricula and is really enjoying getting to spend that time with Gregory. If you are a homeschooler and have a favorite curriculum, we’d love to hear about it.
- Daniel was pre-occupied with his pig-farming this summer (more on that below) so Lindsey put in, maintained, mulched, watered, and preserved all of our garden produce this year. You can’t beat her homemade salsa.
- Her first ‘home improvement’ project in the new house was to redo the master bathroom, which is pretty much complete now.
Here are some pictures of that stuff:
Theodore is two but possesses the hand-to-hand combat skills of an adult koala, which he demonstrated just a few days ago in a sneak attack against his older brother, which ended with a special visit to the eye doctor. Everything turned out okay.
He was in no hurry to start talking but has become a lot more articulate in the last few months, so we’re getting to see his personality unfold. All good things.
His favorite shows are Blaze and the Monster Machines and Blippi.
His favorite food is bananas.
His most favorite thing is getting chased around the house by Da-Da.
His least favorite thing is wearing pants.
Aside from that…I don’t know. He’s two, so we have a limited amount of material to work with here.
Gregory attended part-time pre-school this year. We’re homeschoolers generally speaking but Gregory absolutely loves to socialize. We are at a loss as to where he inherited this trait and can only assume that one of our distant ancestors also liked people. Regardless, a bit of school time seemed like a good thing to enrich his life. The negative side is of course the occasional virus he brings home with him. He just got over a case of “hand foot and mouth” which I did not even know was a thing humans could get.
As for actual learning, his stance in 2020 was that he “does not have a brain” and this was the explanation for various things. In 2021 his argument has become more sophisticated: he now admits to the possession of a brain but insists that “it is not working very well” and we usually agree with him, although I suspect that he is going to turn out okay in the end. He is learning to read and is making some good progress.
Gregory’s favorite food is pizza. His favorite toy is his Ninja Turtle figurines. His favorite book is Captain Underpants. His least favorite thing to do is take naps.
Aaand more pictures:
Daniel wanted pigs this year so we bought two. His reasoning was that raising our own meat is surely more economical than purchasing it from the store. Cut out the middle man. He performed approximately zero minutes of research in order to confirm this assumption, which turned out to be completely wrong.
For starters, he forgot to realize that pigs have to eat. Feed is almost $10 per bag and is consumed at a rate of one bag every 4 or 5 days. Plus the veteranarian. Plus the cost of the pigs. Plus the butchering. Plus the additional freezer. You do the math, but don’t tell Daniel because he can’t be bothered to think about these things. The bacon is really good though.
1 month old
8 months old
9 months old
Thank you for reading, it was really nice catching up with you. We should do it again next year.
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