Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Reflections on 2009

It’s been a year today since my fun and loving grandmother left us to go be with my grandfather. I never got around to a Christmas letter last year, as her loss brought with it the blessing of a nice family reunion to celebrate her life, and I got to catch up in person. So I am going to try the electronic version this year, and hope that she, the rest of my grandparents, and my Dad enjoy it.

It’s been a great year. Bookworm started it off by turning 8 and being baptized four days later. I still have a hard time figuring out how my toddler turned into this lovely young lady. She continues to be a voracious reader, and loves to work new vocabulary into conversation. I’m also thrilled to have our piano receiving regular use again since she started lessons at the end of the summer. Hearing her playing Christmas songs for the last month has been a real treat.

The rest of the winter was a blur of Girl Scout cookie sales…being troop cookie manager was a workout, but the really memorable part was Aslan taking a bite out of a Tagalong and having her first major allergic reaction. So when she started preschool in September, she got to take an Epi-pen along. She has taken it in stride, though (helped by the fact that Mom has finally mastered the art of eggless cake baking) and loves the art projects, songs, and playtime with friends that she eagerly reports to us after each class.

Spring brought the long, long, long-awaited day that Doc received the title in earnest. After whipping out his dissertation in about three months, he received his Ph.D. in education leadership, and is well on his way to turning that dissertation into his first professional publication. He celebrated by landing the principalship of the largest middle school in our county a month later. We are thrilled that not only does he finally get the opportunity to captain the ship, but he managed to do it at the only secondary school in the county closer to home than the one we moved here for.

Summer was a typical whirlwind, especially with Doc working to get ready for his first school year as principal. We did enjoy a short trip with the kids to Pennsylvania Dutch Country on Daisy’s first birthday, and whiled away much of the rest of our time on park and library trips and lessons in art and dance. I spent a few mornings each week staffing a preschool-age summer camp, and though it was a lot of fun I resigned my toddler-fitness instructorship in the fall to spend more time at home. So now I have to get my professional fun at the National Air & Space Museum, where I still volunteer when I can.

Almost before I knew it, Buzz was following Bookworm onto the bus for her first day of kindergarten. She is taking it on with her usual enthusiasm, and I never have to work too hard to get her to tell about her day. Her teacher reports that in addition to being a diligent student, she has an excellent memory…in fact, she can always be relied on to remember any reward promised to her or the class, no matter how much time has elapsed since the promise. She definitely has a future in any profession requiring sharp negotiating skills. She is also very proud of her daddy’s academic prowess, dubbing him “Mr. Dr. Dadhead.”

Daisy has been busy this fall too, learning to walk and demonstrating her determination not to allow being the littlest to keep her out of anything she wants to get into. She is fiercely independent, but also very social and loves the attention she gets from her big sisters, who still think she is the coolest plaything we ever brought home.

So that’s the year in a nutshell. Best wishes to all our friends and family for a happy, safe and blessed 2010.

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