The 2008 Christmas Kazette

The year in pictures.      Because, ya know, ink is so cheap.

(update - ink *IS* expensive and so are color copies... 

so those who got this in the Mail only got the text that comes after all these pictures!)

Kat in Sue's hat, early 2008

This year we went from this…

(January)

Antlered Kat on swing, late 2008

...to this. 

 (December)

Girl Scout Father Daughter Dance pair 

Sometimes we got a little dressed up.

(Doug and Erika for the Girl Scout

Father/Daughter Dance)

January - Doug's work dinner dance

Even Kaz got into the act.

This is Doug and I dressed for his company holiday party (in January… smart company).

The lovely red background is a sheet we hung to try to keep heat in a room where we had a space heater… because our furnace was broken for almost 2 weeks in January! Brrrrr

Erika wins a 'Guess How Many' contest... again.

Erika turned out to be a BIG WINNER when it came to ‘Guess how many ____ in this jar’ games at our bank.

Here she is with the jar and loot from her second win!

This also instigated our getting fish… and moving them from this bowl to a large aquarium.

 

Kat's first haircut

Kat’s first haircut. This terrific smile came before I cut anything. There were less happy faces along the way,

but overall it went well.

 

Easter Egg hunt in matching dresses 

The girls enjoy their Easter Egg Hunt in semi-matching dresses.

 

Erika at her Girl Scout Awards Ceremony

Girl Scout Erika at her Awards Ceremony.

Erika's hand made tie dye shirt

Erika learned

how to make a tie-dyed shirt at Girl Scout camp..

On a Segway!  Boy, do we wish we could afford one or two.

…and how to ride a Segway in Baltimore!

Our brand new aquarium - before the fish were put in.

Erika’s birthday present.

An aquarium. With 5 fish.

We have 3 now, and only 2 of them are ‘original’

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Kat’s birthday present.

A bike!  Well, really, a trike. With a pushbar.

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“Camping in the Outfield” on “Scout Night” with a local minor league team.    Way fun!

Our old playset that came with the house

Fall came and we exchanged our old playset…

New to us playset, from our neighbors

…for our neighbor’s old playset! (New to us!)

One of many Lowe's Kid's Clinic projects done this year

Erika spent some quality time with Daddy building stuff…

Erika and Doug enjoy a baseball game

…and going to baseball games (Sox and Nats)

Lisa is sitting down, btw

 Here’s Erika with Lisa Loeb!

We went to a bunch of concerts this year and often returned with pictures and signed CD’s.

Us at the END of the corn maze - it was fun!

Our second annual trip to a local Corn Maze.

Erik and Kat with Halloween Gingerbread house

Erika and Kat

admire the Halloween Gingerbread House that

Erika and Kaz built.

Erika shares Baby Ant (thanks Amber!)

Sister love.

No matter the season, the 2 of them have had a great year together. Here is Erika sharing one of her favorite stuffed animals with Kat.

                                   Holiday headgear

 

And on that note I’ll leave you with holiday love and wishes for a very happy new year.

 

Kaz, Doug

                           Erika and Kat


Here is what was in the Mail version of the Kazette this year:

The 2008 Christmas Kazette

I’ve tried to be very good about updating our family’s web page, www.dutchohana.com, so I feel as if I’ve already written ‘the news’ this year. For those of you who have been keeping up with us online, thank you! This newsletter, with a few extras, will be posted there soon. For those of you who don’t get online very often (or at all)…. here’s what we’ve been up to this past year.

I’ve been busy being a stay at home Mom with/for Erika and Kat. I’ve been volunteering in various roles at Erika’s school, both in her classrooms and with the PTO. Now that we’ve been in our house for a year and a half, I feel more comfortable as part of our neighborhood and have some really good starts on (what I hope will be) lifelong friendships. I also joined a singing group; I love to sing and I have very much missed being a part of some kind of choir for many years. Unfortunately, scheduling pressures may interfere with my continued memberships in this chorus… as it was, this Fall we went straight from the bus stop to Erika’s voice lesson, take-out from McDonalds eaten in the car (with maybe a little homework thrown in); Erika changed for soccer and had practice and then I handed off the girls to Doug either at the soccer field (when I was lucky, which was most of the time) or at choir rehearsal if Doug was running late. Crazy!  And speaking of crazy, I took the helm of the “Box Tops for Education” program at Erika’s school. If you don’t have school-aged children, feel free to send me the Box Top coupons that you find on everything from cereal to toilet paper – I’ll love you forever!

Erika, who turned 10 in May, enthusiastically tackled everything in her path this year. She continues to excel in school, and after a long break from playing soccer on a team, signed up this past Fall and really enjoyed herself. Her team only lost one game and Erika’s personal skills improved very much. She’s looking forward to playing again in the Spring.  Erika also is enjoying her time in Girl Scouts. Through Girl Scouts she sold cookies of course, went skiing and camping (and to a Girl Scout summer day camp with a “Harry Potter” theme), went to a Father/Daughter dance, Scout Night basketball, soccer and baseball games (the latter included camping overnight in the outfield, which our whole family did) and much more. Erika started violin lessons this year through her school, and is also learning guitar in music class. I also call her “The Bestest Big Sister in the World”.

Kat, who turned 2 in August, is busy being a fairly typical 2 year old. While she still isn’t talking, as in making sentences on her own, she is learning many many words and is quite good at identifying most of the alphabet. She’s a fan of most kid’s shows, including but not limited to Sesame Street, Dora the Explorer, Zoboomafoo and VeggieTales. She is well into the ‘I want to do it myself’ stage. At lunchtime I can hand her a yogurt and she will bring it to the table, get out a spoon, climb into her high chair, buckle the seatbelt, put the napkin in her lap and sometimes even reach for her bib.

Doug is about halfway into his second year as a civilian. He works for a government contractor just outside of D.C..  His commute takes nearly 2 hours door to door, but he’s shaved about ½ an hour off that with a recent move to a client’s office, which is nice. He’s basically working at the same place he did when he left the Navy.  He’s enjoyed going to Red Sox (and Nationals) ballgames with Erika, and working in and on his basement woodshop.

As a family we have enjoyed quite a few music concerts this year: friends Siobhan and Michael, a band called “Trout Fishing in America” (twice!), Lisa Loeb, “Half-Seas Over” and of course, mine. We went to a great Jim Henson exhibit at The Smithsonian, got a goldfish aquarium and a backyard playset, and a second TiVo.

We hope you all had a great 2008, we wish you Happy Holidays, and a successful New Year.

                                                                                      Kaz, Doug, Erika and Kat