Thursday, December 22, 2011

2011...a Family Review

Brendan...has been busy this year working (still) as a city engineer in Birmingham, leaving early in the morning but coming home for dinner consistently (he doesn't have to stay late at this job, thank goodness!). He said he won a "major award" for some project or other, but it never made it home to our front window. Brendan also:
  • ran a marathon in October because his father-in-law asked him if he wanted to (and who can say no to a father-in-law)...I don't think he really wanted to at first...
  • And now he is crazy...he runs 10-15 miles on the weekend "just for fun" ... even though he's NOT training for another marathon. He's just crazy:)
  • instigated an ongoing game of "Nerf Gun Fighting" between him and the kids...started last Christmas when he got the gun in a white elephant exchange. The excitement (for everyone) has not really worn off yet...
  • enjoys doing art projects with the girls, and instigated a "Sunday art" time on Sunday afternoons
  • learned to change car oil, and has been taking care of our cars
  • did a few triathlons this past summer (before the marathon)... teaching at Daycroft Montessori school, and keeping the house (mostly) running smoothly. She loves teaching, and she loves being home. She loves that being a teacher means lots of vacation time! She also:
  • just got an iPhone!!! And has quickly realized how dependent she will soon become on it
  • Misses cooking real meals, but is getting faster and more efficient in the kitchen.
  • Is not a running-fool like her husband, but likes to run a few miles here and there...Will probably never run a marathon, but will run a (shorter) race or two every summer:)
  • Realizes that she leads a full but rather "unexciting" life. She looks forward to doing exciting things at some point in the future, when the kids are older and life is less hectic. That day will come, right??
Geno....has had a nice year in 3rd grade so far. He is learning alot, and has made some good friends at school. Everyone likes Gene- he is friendly, fun to play with, and good at both sports and schoolwork. He treats his classmates well, and plays with everyone. He also:
  • Has learned to run (it's been a family thing lately!) and thinks running a mile is nothing. He "accidentally" ran a whole 5k without stopping, when he was really going to run just 1. 5 miles and then walk a while
  • loves to play Wii sports, and chess on the computer
  • likes to sing, and was in the school choir this year, following in the footsteps of Grandpa Hendricks.
  • plays basketball in the driveway against the garage door 9but just got a Nerf Hoop for inside, and has been playing with it constantly!
  • never wants to wear a jacket
  • is plowing through the Suzuki piano book...tried for the first time to play Go Tell Aunt Rhody "hands together" three days ago, and now can play the whole thing, quickly and with no mistakes.
  • is very kind to Jane and Lucy, when he wants to be:) Otherwise he can be a tease...
  • loves to play games, and not by himself anymore. He gets the girls to play with him...and they can! in her 1st grade year at Daycroft. She is a "social butterfly" I suppose, and has lots of friends. She tends to choose one friend to be her "best friend" of the month, and it switches periodically. I don't know if her friends know who is Lucy's bff at which moment...she is still pretty friendly to everyone. Lucy is doing really well in school academically- her teachers just comment on how slow she can be at times. She is a thinker and project-planner, and has trouble focusing on what someone else wants her to be doing. But she does really nice work when she tries. And we're working on speed at home:) Lucy also:
  • thinks "a pillow pet is actually more useful than a stuffed animal"...trying to convince us she needs one
  • likes to sing, is not old enough to be in choir yet, but is in a (annoying to certain siblings) stage of wanting to sing out loud (but to herself really) in the car, in the bathroom...basically anywhere she is
  • loves to collect bugs, but really wants a pet hamster
  • has started to hide in random places around the house, wait till someone comes by, and then yell, "Ambush!!!" and jump out, preferably with the nerf gun mentioned above.
  • is fascinated by things like a taken-apart dustbuster
  • got a little button that said, "Smarty Pants". Gene said that's because she was the smartest...she replied, "Yeah, cause sometimes I act like the mom of the house."
  • makes us laugh every day with her witticisms! in her second year of preschool at Daycroft, as one of the older kids this year. She has become very social as well. Last year she played mostly by herself, and didn't participate during group times. This year she is friends with lots of children, talks often during group times, and is learning to share her best friend with other children in her class. She is our only child who has gone to a real preschool, and I think this age is tricky for figuring out friendships. She spends almost 8 hours every day with these children (much longer than I'd prefer in an ideal world), whereas Gene and Lucy at her age played with a friend for maybe 2-3 hours once a week. So, she's doing fine all things considered:) She's at the top of her class academically, and is enjoying herself very much. Her biggest accomplishment thus far is learning to write numbers and letters... She also:
  • does not like to hear a toilet flush, and will cover her ears every time
  • can make toast and peanut butter sandwiches, and loves to
  • used to cry if she saw a bug, then changed her tune once Lucy started collecting them. Now she loves bugs!
  • finally is learning to put her face in the water...may be a fish next summer...
  • loves to be fancy. Loves her (now broken) pink gel sandals that really have no business being worn in the winter. Loves them so much that she cut off the broken strap, cut the other one to match, and wore them all day yesterday, inside and out.
Well, there are many more things that could be mentioned...but if you're curious, just scroll down and read some past posts. At least they'll give you a glimpse of what we were up to! Many more pictures will be posted in the coming year, now that Hannah has above-mentioned I-phone, that can take good pictures and is easily portable...

Merry Christmas everyone reading this! May God grant you boatloads of love, joy and peace in the coming year... We love and appreciate all of our family members and friends, and look forward to sharing our lives with you in 2012!

~The Cousinos

Monday, December 19, 2011

5 minutes or less...

To cover the last 2 months...hmm. Here are a few thoughts of what I remember from that time, in no particular order:

-nobody has been sick (until this morning...Jane is sniffling)

-the girls have stuck together like glue, creating art and building blocks again.

-Gene is up to Go Tell Aunt Rhody in Suzuki book 1. He is basically going on his own, with a little help, until piano lessons resume again probably in the summer. He has thrown in a few Christmas carols from a book he found in the piano bench.

-the girls can (and did) wrap their own Christmas presents for their teachers. I am pretty much not needed...and the presents actually look pretty good:)

-Gene ran a 5K on Thanksgiving, without stopping(!) and Lucy ran a mile. Jane was going to run a mile, until she got assigned to be with her grandma, and conned her into giving a piggy back for much of the race!

-everyone has secret things they're making at school

-we rang the bells for the red Salvation Army bucket, and sang Christmas carols for an hour with my sisters and dad.

A few quotes and stories:

-Gene and his friend Mitch call each other "Dude" a lot now when they're together. Lucy had been overhearing, and one morning she commented to Jane while they were coloring pictures: "They call each other Dude. Maybe we should call each other...Dudette."

-Jane, playing chess with Gene, "Now my kings are SUPER mad at your kings!"

-Gene didn't see the gallon of milk that was on the table with the cereal boxes when he came down for breakfast one morning. When I came down, there were two (almost full) gallons on the table. His only comment, "I just didn't see it!" (Grandma he following in his Grandpa's footsteps in this way as well?")

-Jane was moving things around in the box we had given her to keep her special things in. She explained, "I am organizing Treasure Land."

-Lucy and Jane were playing/exercising with the small weights we have in our family room...5 lbs each. Lucy put them on the couch for a moment, and for some reason lay down on the floor right next to the couch. I heard a thud and a cry, and when I ran over she was sobbing on the floor with a huge welt on her forehead. Needless to say, there is a new house rule of where not to put the weights, and the girls are getting 1 and 2 lb weights for Christmas!

Over and out.