2004 Year in Review

Alan & Brenda Brandhofer 

holly Well, yet another year has passed in the Brandhofer household. Just when we didn't think there was a lot to report, we realized that we really DID do a lot this year.

The first thing was Brenda decided to go on a big diet, so she joined
Weight Watchers. Then Weight Watchers came out with a new diet to go along with Flex Points, called the Core Plan, which she has adapted to their new lifestyle. She ended up losing 25 lbs, and wanting to get in on the action, Alan ended up losing 18 lbs also! To go along with the "health" aspect of our lives, we decided to get a hottub. So, Alan, being a do-it-yourselfer, began plans on the new deck. We got all kinds of supplies at Home Depot and Lowes, and finally got it built. Alan had the bruises to prove he did it himself! We go in it every single night, and it has proven to be a great stress reliever for both of us. Early in the year Brenda got a new car! It is a 2001 Toyota Rav 4. It is the perfect size for her.

Unfortunately, we lost some of our family in 2004. Alan's first cousin Jim "Skeeter" Faulkner passed way while riding his motorcycle in Utah. We do not know much about what happened but we understand he may have had heart trouble and help was unable to reach him in time. Brenda lost her Uncle Robert. Robert lived in Florida and had a history of health problems.

In July, Alan planned and orchestrated what Brenda always wanted, but never thought would happen. Since her mom and dad and mother-in-law and father-in-law lived on opposite sides of the country, we planned a
gathering! We took Brenda's Mom and Dad to California to meet Alan's Mom and Dad, stayed for a couple of days, then go to Phoenix, Arizona to see Alan graduate from the online university there. Alan's mom was sick and they were unable to go, but we left Los Angeles to drive to Las Vegas to let Charlie gamble off all his frustrations. We thought Alan was going to steal the rental car we drove (a Cadillac) because he loved it so much. It had satellite radio and that was great too. Barbara almost burnt her butt up on the way by turning the heater to her seat on by accident! We're STILL laughing about THAT! We saw a little road rage in LA, and, needless to say, the freeways were their least favorite thing on the trip! Barbara's favorite saying was "Do we have to get on that freakin' freeway?" But we all survived, and that was a trip to remember! Then we were off to Phoenix to watch Alan graduate with the first online class of University of Phoenix. Alan has studied, non-stop, since the year 2000, to get his Bachelor of Science Degree in Information Technology. He finally got his reward ! Congratulations to Alan! We were glad the festivities were indoors, since it happened to be 111 degrees outside!

First part of November, we had a
70th birthday party for Charlie, Brenda's dad. It was at a room in Endless Caverns in the Shenandoah Valley. He was surprised and never expected the party was for him. We had told him it was for our cousin, Kirsten, since her birthday was seven days after his. He had a lot of friends that came and gave a lot of gag gifts. It was a lot of fun. Brenda even got up and gave the top 10 things that she's learned or heard from her dad. We're glad we still have all members of our family with us this year. Especially since Alan's mom had to have a pacemaker put in a couple of months ago. She's doing well and her health has improved since getting it!

So, all in all, we've had a pretty nice year! Oh, forgot one thing. The newest addition to the family is a 53" widescreen TV. Well, we don't have any KIDS to leave our money to, so we've pretty much decided to spend it while we're still on this earth!

Alan is still working for
Computer Sciences Corporation but is now on site at an interna, facility in Falls Church, Virginia. He takes the car pool to work each day, as it is 55 miles north of the house. Brenda is working for Smith Thompson in their customer service department. They sell toy train and collectables. Their office is only six miles from home so Brenda has a short commute.

Health wise, just two items to share. Alan had surgery in July on his
ankle. This surgery was needed to help him with some problems he was having with a bone spur and arthritis. He was off work for one painful week but the surgery completely healed and without complication. Brenda's big health event was much more dramatic

In November, Brenda was having pains in her chest, so left work one day for the Emergency Room. Turns out, when you're having chest pains, you get faster results there. Alan was at work, so it took him a while to get there, but managed to get there to offer support. They took an Ekcocardiogram and stress test and EKG, but found nothing. They said it was either a virus or acid reflux. While having tests, she had to stay for 24 hrs in the hospital. She just went to the doctor and he said the virus is gone, but still has swelling in her chest cartilage. The condition is called Coscochronditis. Alan thinks that's a disease where you aren't allowed to go in Costco anymore. Maybe he should study medicine instead of computers.


So that is our year in review! It has been a good year for us overall and we are very blessed to have what we have. Our wish is for you too to have a great 2005. Please stay in touch. You can email Alan at
alan@brandhofer.com or Brenda at itzmebrenda@excite.com. Hope to hear from you!

Alan & Brenda Brandhofer