Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas Newsletter 2014

Hello friends and family,

Christmas is coming, and that means it is time for the annual K family newsletter!  This means we get to gather our many accomplishments of the year onto a piece of paper to wow you all.  

Ryan spent about a zillion hours on homework, and earned his master’s degree in Educational Leadership the end of July.  As anyone who has earned a doctoral degree is called “Doctor,” he insists on being called Master Ryan.  He found he loved extra school work so much that he went on to do his Administration certificate to become a school principal.  His year-long principal interview internship is going very well if you ask his supervisors.  By the beginning of November, he has put in 486 hours out of the 540 required hours (he started in August).  I asked if that meant he could be done by Christmas break, and he laughed at me.

Emma is full-fledged middle schooler, with braces and a flip phone.  Emma wanted a smart phone, and Ryan wanted to get her one of those cell phones with the bag attached (think 1990s), and the flip phone was the compromise.   She is in STEM, Science Fair club, and band.  Her current form of parental torture is called the clarinet and piano.

Elizabeth is in 4th grade now.  She started raising hogs with Emma for 4-H.  We realized what a great decision that was when she had to use the nebulizer every day she was at the fair so she could breathe.  Elizabeth is excited about everything, except getting up in the morning.  But she stays in bed with zeal.  Elizabeth loves her craft projects, and joined a knitting club at school.

Annie and Maddie started kindergarten this year.  Being separated all day at school has been hard on the twins.  They are smart girls and they work together well in many ways.  One day Maddie had an eyelash in her eye, and Annie started punching her sister in the leg to help Maddie get more tears to wash the eyelash out of her eye.  Ryan and I realized we had arrived as good parents the day we heard Pherrell Williams song, “Happy” on the radio, and the twins started belting out, “Because I’m tacky….” (That would be from the Weird Al parody.)

Ryan over-estimated my enthusiasm for pulling weeds this year when he planted our garden.  This was the one year Ryan listened to me, and only planted 4 zucchini plants instead of the usual 10.  Of course, this was the year we bought the seeds at Walmart instead of Johnny’s online, and every last plant died.  We made up for this extreme lack of zucchini in tomatoes, berries, garlic, onions, potatoes, beets, pumpkins, squash, peppers, and drying beans.  And weeds.  Pulling weeds in 95 degree weather is a great way to get sunburned and covered in dirt, and get neighbors to drop by unannounced.

During our one week vacation between Ryan’s continuing education projects, we went on a trip to the Oregon coast this summer.  It was a great time to relax with the kids, and discover that Ryan and I are perhaps too old to be sleeping on the ground in a tent.  At least, not without a whole lot of padding.  Ow.  We loved freezing our feet off in the ocean, covering sisters in sand, and poking around old lighthouses.

We adopted a kitten from a local veterinarian a year ago.  They told us it was a boy, so we named him Merlin.  Imagine our surprise when Merlin gave birth to 5 kittens on Mother’s Day.  Only one kitten survived.  We named this one Emrys, and this cat really is a boy.  I wonder if anyone can guess the kids’ favorite BBC show on Netflix earlier this year?

Our poultry population is booming.  The two turkeys we had at the beginning of the year grew to 14.  Between butchering and selling, we are now down to 7 birds, plus 14 chickens.  I have learned that turkeys are almost as good as cats at catching mice.  The only downside is the turkeys leave the dead rodents when they are done playing with them- on the road, on the porch, or wherever.

We are so blessed to have you all in our lives.  We wish you peace and love and laughter this Christmas and in the New Year.

Love,  Ryan, Danae, Emma, Elizabeth, Annie, and Maddie 

No comments: