THE CHRISTMAS KAZETTE 2009 

Happy Holidays everyone! 2009, as usual, was a busy year for us. It both started and ended with surgery (Doug) and all turned out well.
I received two early birthday presents – Kat ended our nursing relationship, and Doug gave me a Wii!  And around the same time, Doug and I also signed up on Facebook. We had seen so many requests to join in Christmas cards, emails and in person, we finally caved. And we’re happy we did. If you haven’t already succumbed, we’d love to see you on there!

We did a bit of travelling in 2009, starting with a trip to Troy for the “Big Red Freakout” (college hockey game at RPI) – which included an impromptu Facebook-fueled reunion – and ending with an end of summer trip to Hershey Park. In between we did some camping in NH, visited (on the same trip) for 7+ hours with friends in CT, went to Skyline Caverns , Monticello and Poplar Forest (all in VA), met up with an Omaha friend in Lynchburg, VA, went to Baltimore, MD to see the Red Sox and even more visiting with old friends, and drove to South Carolina for a family vacation of sorts with my parents and my sister and her family.  All in all my 4 yr old car has 55,000 miles on it… while Doug’s 10 yr old commuter car has only 81,000!

Erika finished up elementary school. She and a fellow classmate were picked to represent their school for an Environmental Conference which culminated with a presentation at an Earth Day Fair. She also had a good Spring season on her soccer team, playing mostly defense. She earned a ton of patches through her Girl Scout troop and even participated in “Relay for Life” – our second such outing.  Erika and I did a karaoke puppet show for her elementary school’s talent show which was well received.  In the summer Erika went to her first overnight camp and had a fabulous time! Fall arrived and so it was time for Erika to go to Middle School… she was a bit anxious about the change, but after a few days she relaxed and started to completely enjoy herself! She even got a part in the school play “A Christmas Carol” and did a really great job as “Mrs. Winslow”.  All her report cards this year have been very impressive and we’re so proud of her.

Kat continued to worry us regarding her talking – or lack thereof. Actually, it wasn’t so much that she wasn’t talking, but that when she did, she pronounced almost all her words starting with an “H”.  Doug was called “Haddy”, cereal was “hereal”… you get the idea. We had her tested on her 3rd birthday in August and she was recommended to the speech therapy program through our local school system. After 3 sessions her improvement has been noticeable and remarkable. Would she have made this breakthrough on her own? We’ll never know. But we’re so glad she is finally making headway. It was frustrating for her and us when we couldn’t understand her.  In every other area Kat has been wonderful. Through all our travels this year she was a total trooper, never complaining and always a good companion. Though a bit shy with people she doesn’t know well, she is a warm and loving girl and is always quick to give hugs and kisses to Doug, Erika and I.
I reluctantly left the group I was singing with due to scheduling difficulties, but happily ended my duties as Room Mom and Box Tops for Education Coordinator at Erika’s school. Not that I didn’t enjoy these posts, I was just ready to be done with them at the end of the year.  Having taken a bit of a break from volunteering, I’ve jumped back in, this time helping out our HOA.

Doug seems to enjoy his job, though I think he’d like a little more time at home to use his ever growing tool collection in his woodshop rather than spend time on his long but almost stress-free car/train/Metro/shuttle commute.  He did get to do one of his favorite things this year…. cook Thanksgiving dinner, ONE week after knee surgery! A few days later he saw his orthopedist and his physical therapist and they were both impressed with his progress.
Check out our latest news at dutchohana.com ! In the “Kids” section is the ‘Katablog’, which I try to update every couple of weeks. If you’re not on Facebook that’s the best way to see what we’re up to.
Our whole family wishes you a happy and healthy New Year.