2011 Christmas Kazette

2011 was a relatively quiet year.  Kaz spent the first part of it continuing to recover from her surgery in September 2010 and the follow-up gamma knife (radiation) treatment in December.  June brought the first MRI checkup (scheduled 6 months apart) and the results were SO good, the neurologist waived the December 2011 MRI and said to come back in 1 year.  Hurray! Kaz also started her second year as co-leader of a Girl Scout troop.

Doug continued working at SPA and even got a promotion this year.  He enjoyed taking time off to go camping in NH this August, and helping to make sets for the Middle School Spring play.  He has volunteered time for the budget committee at Kat’s school and is keeping a close eye on both girls’ schoolwork, especially Erika’s science and math classes.

Erika continued her excellent grades from 7th to 8th grade. She played the part of one of the orphans in “Annie, Jr.” in the Spring of 2011, Felicia in her middle school’s VTA Fall competition play “A Dream in Midsummer” (based on the Shakespeare play), and “The Old Woman” in the Fall school production of “Beauty and the Beast “ (non-Disney, non-musical version.)  She is looking forward to trying out for the Spring musical “The Music Man”.   Erika attended a Summer “Midnight Madness” Girl Scout overnight camp, along with several short sessions with a local theater group on various topics.  She also spent some of her volunteer hours for her upcoming Confirmation teaching Mah Jongg at a local assisted living facility.  Kat, Kaz and sometimes even Doug would accompany her and I think a good time was had by all.  Unfortunately school and the plays cut off that activity once Summer was over, but we hope to get back to visit with our new Mah Jongg friends.   Erika is also active in our church’s Youth Choir, where she sometimes gets to Cantor and also sing some solos.  Middle School, for Erika, has been a breath of fresh air.

Kat started school this year, attending Kindergarten in our area’s BRAND NEW elementary school.  The building is BEAUTIFUL with lots of windows and light, and thankfully also tons of room.  Most of the schools in the area are at or over capacity, so it was especially nice to start off with a wonderful ‘roomy’ environment.  The teachers and students alike seem to get energy from the newness of the school. Kat’s Speech Therapy continues and as a result she seems to be speaking ever more clearly and sometimes even loudly! Her reading ability continues to impress all of us; she *can* read chapter books, although her comprehension is somewhat below that.  She challenges Kaz all the time – although Kat’s favorite color is RED – her next favorite is one of Kaz’s least favorite: Pink.   Kat is looking forward to ‘helping’ the Youth Choir sing “Christmas Lullaby” for Christmas Mass.

Doug, Kaz and Erika got to see “Wicked” at the Kennedy Center, all 4 family members helped a friend of Kaz’s from high school with a local symphony ushering opportunity, and we all survived the East Coast earthquake and Hurricane Irene unscathed.  We had a good time going Christmas Caroling in the neighborhood to round out the year.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us, to all of you!