To all of our family and friends, we wish you the absolute best this holiday season. For the Allison family, 2016 has been one of settling in and putting down roots. It has also been the year where Adrian has grown from being a baby to a full-grown toddler, with his own personality and opinions.

Last December, John got a job at Experis, which is an IT staffing agency. They placed him in Cisco’s Classified Network Services organization. For the first few months, things were hard and John almost gave up and quit. Simply put, there wasn’t enough work to go around, and if you know John, he’s not one to just sit and do nothing at work (he saves that for home). So, after some discussions with Experis and Cisco, they changed his position and put him in Product Development. From bored to way too busy in one stroke.

John is now working hard, and enjoying what he is doing. He’s basically trying to bring Cisco’s products and services to customers that operate in a heavily regulated market. Normally these folks would have to install their own systems and operate them with their own people, but John is helping change that to enable them to consume products and services through the cloud.

Just this week, John got formally offered a full-time position at Cisco as a Cisco employee. So, at the end of January, John will turn in his Experis badge and pick up a Cisco badge. He’ll be doing the same thing, but with a lot more opportunities and with significantly better benefits… such as paid time off (yeah).

Amy is still a stay at home Mom, and while that is her primary job, she’s gotten both herself and John into North Carolina politics, and into the local German community. She was an early volunteer for John McNeil’s campaign for Congress, and she worked tirelessly on getting the word out. Unfortunately John didn’t win in the election (NC is still working on the concept of democracy), but we now consider John and Kim good friends.

While it may sound odd, we are trying to teach Adrian German. It is a bit odd, since neither Amy or John speak German, or are German. We’ve always wanted him to learn a second language at an earlier age. Andrian’s Godparents are German, so we are going with German. Amy is now on the Board of Carolina Kinder, a local non-profit that supports teaching German culture and language.

Now for Adrian. Over the past year his language skills have taken off, and now it is possible to hold a conversation with him. We’ve had some ups and downs, and a few visits to the doctor’s (he hates doctors). He’s been making friends, and has a pretty good social life. For two days a week, Adrian goes to a German immersion day care, where they say that his comprehension of German is very good, although he still doesn’t speak it as much as we’d like him to. For Adrian, 2016 will be known as the Year of the Firefighter. He is completely fascinated by all things firefighters… he generally wears his fire fighting outfit when we leave the house, and he and Amy visit the local firehouse routinely. We even had his birthday parter there. We hope that 2017 is also the Year of the Firefighter, since most of his Christmas presents this year center around fire fighters.

This year we didn’t do Christmas cards or our normal news letter. I think you can see on Amy’s Facebook and here on AllisonTribe, what we are up to through the year. Maybe next year we’ll do cards… maybe not. In any case, we have made it past a year outside the Air Force and have settled in well into civilian life, with our newly adopted city and state. Life is good.


John, Amy, Adrian, and Nadia