Friday, November 24, 2017

happy birthday, kate and glory!

 Dear Kate and Glory,

Happy 9th birthday--your last of the single digit birthdays! (Why does it always go so fast for your poor mom and dad?!?)

This year you are in 3rd grade in separate classes and are absolutely thriving. Kate, you have Mrs. Nybo and Glory you are in Mrs. Barker and Mrs. Farley's class. You love to read and your teachers laughingly shake their heads as they tell me about you sneak-reading during class. You are both especially addicted to the Harry Potter series. Kate, you have made it through the entire series and are making it through all the movies; I'm hesitant to say "enjoying" because some of the suspenseful parts are too much for you and you have to leave the room. Glory, you triumphantly made it through the 3rd book and are now officially as hooked as Kate and Noah. You love playing "Harry Potter" with Noah and Ellie, running around with wands and casting spells on each other.

You "earned" your birthday puppy this year by diligently taking care of Brookie. Kona was born on June 17 and came home to us in early August. She is fairly laid back for a lab puppy, but gets very excited about playing with you guys, especially in the snow! She is now 40 pounds and fairly strong and during the last snow, she dragged Kate on her belly across the snowy yard while trying to say "hi" to walkers on the frontage road. Kate, she seems to think you are her co-puppy and you get the brunt of her wrestling  and play bites and scratches. Glory, she sees you more of a dog-mom authority and you can get her to settle and obey. You take turns feeding her, walking her and picking up poop--all the glamorous things of having a puppy. You have done a lot of reading about dogs and can tell me about how their body language shows what they are feeling; you like watching "Cesar 911" on how to deal with dogs with behavior problems.

Since having a puppy is so much work, Dad and I have managed to persuade you to limit your extracurricular activities to swimming and music. This year you big kids are swimming with CAST in Coeur d'Alene. You have made friends with Maggie and Tillie, daughters of one of the coaches, and have a blast at swim meets. You are swimming faster than ever! Kate, you are especially speedy, and made it to the final swim-off at the Moses Lake meet. Dad is back coaching and loves this extra quality time with you. Grammy helps keep track of you at all your swim meets and loves this new "Swim Grammy" role--it even helps her get her 10,000 steps in a day while she has to find you for your events! Once a week, you have dinner with Aunt Ris and Uncle Mark. Aunt Ris lets you pick the menu for dinner and you drink all the Kool-Aid your bellies can hold.

You both continue to grow in music. Glory, you outgrew your curved-headjoint flute and now have a full-sized flute. You love working with Clara and she arranges songs for you to play. You love playing hymns like "We are Many Parts" and "We Walk by Faith"; you are currently working on Hedwig's theme. You are diligent at practicing; you love to use your flute cleaner as a Harry Potter wand. Kate, up until 2 weeks ago, you hated practicing piano but loved performing. You are never ever nervous at recitals and look like a pro. Recently, Rita gave you a great pep talk and after you realized that you had made it through the toughest part of learning piano (scales, both clefs, both hands), you now want to play piano forever! You are especially excited that you are working on "Ode to Joy".

This year you celebrated your First Holy Communion and received the sacrament of Confirmation. Because of an odd schedule, we prepared and celebrated with Our Lady of Fatima parish instead of St. Augustine's. Ninang (Kate) and Marilyn (Glory) were your confirmation sponsors. Kate, your confirmation saint was St. Katharine Drexel and, Glory, yours was St. Jeanne Jugan. Ninang got you notebooks with prayers written in them and, Glory, you sometimes use yours to take notes on the readings or the hymns at church.

 Being a twin means always being lumped together as a pair, which is a good and a bad thing. You two are alike in so many ways, but as you continue to mature, the unique aspects of your personality become more apparent every day. Glory B, you are a helper. You always ask if I need help doing tasks around the house and you will even start washing the dishes without being asked. You have a soft spot in your heart for little kids--you work hard to entertain C & B, Neil and you won over "I only love my mom" Toby when he came to visit this summer. You are a rule follower and love to be the rule enforcer. I see my 9-year-old self in you--a little bit bossy, a little bit of a know-it-all.  You balance it better with kindness than I ever did. You have a perseverance in you that is impressive. Even when tasks are challenging, you don't give up once you have set your mind to it.

Kater Tot, when you are engrossed in a task, you have laser-like focus. You don't like to be interrupted or do multiple things at once. When you have a job, you want the finished project to be perfect. You usually balance this fairly well in our chaotic family dynamic and we are working on ways to remind you that your best effort is all that is needed, not perfection. You are a reading addict--devouring books as fast as you can get your hands on them. You remember the plots in photographic detail. You have a special soft spot for Ellie and tend to show her extra love when she most needs it.

 You both amaze us with your kind, thoughtful actions every day. You always have time for a hug or a snuggle. We are so blessed to be your parents.

Mom and Dad

P.S. Notice your dark hair? We dyed it for Halloween since you were Hagrid and Harry.

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