Another year in the books, and here's looking forward to a healthy, happy and productive 2012. We should all count our blessings and while doing so remember those who are enduring major life issues and problems.

Sometimes - make that often times - we get so absorbed in our relatively minor day-to-day trials and tribulations we tend to forget about those who are forced to constantly deal with life-altering concerns that make our quandaries seem trivial - and by comparison they are just that.

The biggest news for the Fromm family in 2011 was the birth of Jacksyn Fromm Feb. 21. A bouncing, bright-eyed boy with a sweet demeanor and inquisitive nature, "Jack" represents the first male to be born into the tribe and all of us agreed it was about time.

With six nieces and four granddaughters already in the fold, we were hoping our son David and his wife Cari would have a male of the species this time around and our wish was granted. Now don't get us wrong, we adore our nieces and granddaughters to the max, but c'mon already ... a boy's input was needed to bring a certain perspective to the family. To balance things out if you will.

This new year promises to be an exciting one centering around the upcoming marriage in June of our youngest son, Zach, to Decorah native and Luther grad Stephanie Sutton. Chances are those of you who read this are probably related to Stephanie since the Suttons have been part of Decorah and Winneshiek County since Lassie was a pup, and just about everyone who comes up in conversation is either a cousin, aunt, uncle or whatever. Such is the way of small-town life and it's all good. Wouldn't have it any other way.

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