Happy New Year from the Lavender-Mulkey Clan!

Well, another year has passed, and what a year it’s been. It will be intriguing to see what 2017 will bring. In the meantime, Shonnie, Gracelyn and I want to share what we’ve been up to in 2016. And, if you’re willing, we’d like to hear what’s going on in your life, too.s-g_home

First of all, Gracelyn started Kindergarten in late August at Evergreen Community Charter School, which incorporates many of the principles of Outward Bound. Gracelyn loves her teachers Ms. Ona and Ms. Juliana, and she’s made some fast friends with whom she’s already had a number of play dates. Gracelyn turned six on September 7, and she lost a couple of baby teeth shortly thereafter. She also learned to swim this past summer.

Shonnie’s parent coaching practice continues to grow. Her article “Could You Be Shaming Your Child Without Meaning To?” was featured on The Huffington Post (5,300 likes), and her accompanying video has been viewed almost 55,000 times so far. She also started a worldwide community of moms on Facebook focused on mindful, peaceful parenting—The Conscious Moms’ Circle, which now has more than 2,300 members. In her spare time, Shonnie was head coach for Girl’s on the Run, a transformational learning program for 8- to 13-year-old girls, at Gracelyn’s school. And of course, she spends lots of time playing, reading and just hanging out with Gracelyn.g-b-french_broad2

For the past two years, I’ve been working on a memoir and have now completed my proposal for A Tale of Two Fathers: The Memoir of One Man and His Two Daughters Born 42 Years Apart. I have a brief blurb about the book on my website, if you’re interested in learning more. I recently received an introduction to a NYC literary agent who has a deep interest in fatherhood. My proposal is now in his hands, and I await his decision as to whether he will represent me in the publication of my memoir. I also continue to write about personal and political matters, including “Talking the 2016 Post-Election Blues” on The Huffington Post, “I Don’t Mind Growing Old, I Just Don’t Want To Be There When It Happens” on The Good Men Project website, and “The Family Dance” on my website. I’m still playing handball a couple of times a week and going on occasional trail runs with Shonnie. And the three of us love heading to the mountains when time and weather permit.

Newton family during 2015 visit to Asheville

Newtons’ 2015 visit to Asheville

My daughter Lilla and her family are all doing well, too. Lilla, son-in-law Brandon, and grandson Jack are all in the midst of a three-year deployment to Seoul, South Korea. Brandon is a colonel in the U.S. Army, Lilla supports families who have a member deployed overseas, and Jack is a senior at Seoul American High School, where he is on the cross country team and recently came in second in DoDEA Far East cross country championships with a personal record of 17:04. Granddaughter Molly is a junior at Colorado State University, where she is studying microbiology, has a boyfriend, and enjoys hitting the slopes whenever she gets a chance. We plan to visit the Newtons in Seoul sometime next summer and hope we can get Molly to Asheville for a visit during the next year.

Well, that’s all for now. We wish you all the best in these challenging times. For remember, they know not their own strength who have not met adversity. And I’ve got a feeling we’ll be confronting some adversity.

With love and gratitude,

Bruce, Shonnie & Gracelyn

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