Late Winter and Into Spring, Claire’s Baking

Haven’t posted in a while now. With a lack of snow and a lack of a job, we haven’t done much except stay around the house. The kids have had their usual stuff, basketball and martial arts and instruments and so forth. We only went skiing once, and it was just a local trip. Winter appears to be closing out now, so looks like we won’t get much more in this season.

Clare’s local JCC basketball team won their little conference, and her Recreation team, which I was coaching, did alright and finished third of 8 teams. Adam also says he enjoyed playing, and his team won all but a couple of their games too, so they did well.

France was here for a week and the kids had fun playing games and showing grandma everything new. One new surprise was Claire suddenly took a strong interest in baking and cooking. She helped grandma make an apple pie, then made her own blueberry cobbler with no real help, and it was very good. Since then, she’s made biscuits and eggs, and more on her own, with no prompting. We’ll see how long it lasts.

Adam has also picked up a new “habit,” he’s taken to dribbling a ball inside the house a lot, just like Claire does. And they both play their own made-up version of volleyball inside too. Perhaps he’s starting to become more athletic-interested.

Kids report cards all came in strong as usual, and we have teacher conferences tonight but I don’t expect anything to come out of that.

We made a last minute decision for Dwight to take the kids to Toledo, to see G&G. They had a lot of fun as usual, a lot to do at grandma’s.

Claire wasn’t a fan of Triominos, at least at first
Adam has improved in skating since last time.
Playing catch with grandpa

Late snow. Note giant snowman in background.

Easter was relatively quiet, Justine and the kids made eggs and the Easter Bunny came after church.

Easter

At school, the kids did a very large section on immigration and emigration, studying where our families came from and learning about Ellis Island and the great migrations from the 18th and 19th centuries. They had to dress up in period-costumes, and then they had a simulation with the entire school coming in on the “boat” (in 3 ticket classes no less) and going through the immigration process at a simulated Ellis Island. Justine and I both volunteered along with a lot of other parents, many who were also in costume. It was very elaborate, and the kids all had bio’s of people to pretend to be as they went through the process. Really something. Really gave the kids more of a hands-on feel for what it might have been like.

Costumes and all
CIS Immigration Event – Ellis Island
Yes, we volunteered

A little later, they held a “Foods Around the World” buffet where kids brought in dishes from their homelands/families. Claire and Adam took in Crepes. Then they held an event with dancing and telling stories they wrote themselves based on their characters in the simulation. Adam and Claire both read.

Adam did a robotics “competition” at school.

Adam loved playing with the robots

I still haven’t found a job, so we’re staying pretty low key for the holidays. No plans for Memorial Day, we’ll see what happens.

Late edit: I should add that Claire has continued to make things for herself in the kitchen. Not so much baking, but cooking. I suspect she would bake too with a little prodding.

2018 Reflections

I usually put down some reflections for the year on how the twins have changed and grown. It’s getting harder to pin down specific changes year to year. Overall, they are both strong in school, happy, healthy, still learning and trying lots of new things, respectful, and responsible kids we can rely on. I’m not aware of any lying yet, and we never get any really negative feedback from school or other parents. We are pretty lucky parents.

A typical week now includes instrument practice, homework, doing dishes and setting table, cleaning up rooms, and generally helping out when asked. That on top of the usual sports practices and games (still one of each per week). Neither of them complains or fights keeping up with their responsibilities, much, and even play their own music when doing dishes to make it more fun.

But when “screen time” comes, off they run. Both kids are still into their iPads for YouTube videos and sometimes a game. XBox gets plenty of use too for Minecraft and sometimes another game. Mom didn’t let them play Fortnight, which is a huge hit for teens/kids, since it is a shooter game but Adam hasn’t complained. I expect that to change soon – he’ll want to do what “all his friends” are doing. Cartoons on TV rate a distant third, they are more likely to watch them on YouTube.

The kids are finally at an age where the typical PG family movie is enjoyable – so I’ve started getting some of the older classics. Besides the Harry Potter and Star Wars movies we binge watched at Christmas break, and the newest Spiderman for their birthday, we watched Pirates of the Caribbean and other “classic” movies. Makes it easier to pick from Netflix. Similarly, both are reading much larger books and series, and they are finding their own material without help from us.

Adam continues to make new origami and paper airplanes every day, the house is littered with them. He still makes electric circuits with his kits, and sometime plays Legos. As expected, he is starting to show interest in coding.

Claire reads and dribbles a ball around the house. That’s the routine. She’s probably read my Calvin and Hobbes books a hundred times, but they still are scattered around the house. She still loves writing, but mostly at school now. She did sit down at the computer to start typing a story into her google drive over break.

Adam wants to play Clue or Exploding Kittens (card game), or Uno. Claire sometimes can be talked into it.

Adam continues to be about “cute and fuzzy” things. he still sings a lot when he’s happy and just around the house, sometimes to put himself to sleep. He’s still not big at understanding the game in sports, but also not playing bad. At this age, some of his peers are really playing a real game, whereas many are still just running around blindly. He continues to develop skills though, and sticks with it. He says he likes his martial arts, basketball and soccer, and now is talking about playing baseball this spring again. He’s not the competitive type like Claire. Adam told me this week he wishes he had a close friend in the neighborhood – he’s been playing with the younger kids but doesn’t seem to want to be with some of the slightly older boys. His best friend(s) are not nearby. He has peers in his grade up the street a ways too, but doesn’t play much with them. Probably too late since they have their own friends/groups, but maybe that will change. He is getting much better at chess (although we don’t play a lot). He has a hard time keeping secrets and not sharing his thoughts with everyone much as he always has.

Claire is quite tall for her age, and continues loving sports with balls and all things cats. She is at the top of the groups in all her sports, and loves to play at home with her whenever possible. She has close friends in the neighborhood, although they have been shifting around over time. She likes to take charge of things and is very competitive still. Claire continues to be outgoing and a good friend, always trying to help people. She talks a lot and is not shy at all. She likes to bug her brother, although Adam is more of a “pest” than she is. She will also sometimes help mom in the kitchen cooking when it’s something special or she’s bored on a winter weekend.

Both personalities seem to be pretty stable now. They continue to get along, mostly, and are very close siblings. Dinner table conversations are mostly Adam talking about the latest video game plays, some facts from YouTube videos (science stuff), inventions or designs, or some “would you rather” questions they make up. Lately he’s been into aliens having visited earth (tv and youtube influences). Claire gets some talking time in too, but Adam tends to dominate. Which makes it hard for him to get eating done.

Christmas and Birthdays, 10 Years Old

With the loss of my job, Christmas became a more subdued one this year. We didn’t spend as much naturally, and didn’t make any last minute flights or changes to our original plans, which was just to stay home. We had seen both extended families a lot this summer and fall, so it was a quiet, mostly green Christmas. The kids got lots of Harry Potter things for gifts, which they loved. We spent time playing Harry Potter Clue, cornhole, and rediscovered Uno. Claire got into a new 500-piece puzzle, then opened a 100-piece and found out it was much harder so I finished it (it was a Harry Potter one). We did a Harry Potter marathon, watching all the movies, and also a Star Wars marathon, also watching the complete series. Kids loved both.

For their birthday party, we invited a few of their closest friends to a movie (Spiderman – Into the Spiderverse) which the kids loved, and then a late dinner at home with cake. Claire continues to play with Annie from around the corner a lot, and Adam still is best friends with Aiden. We also had Maria, Demitria, and both Bryce’s from the neighborhood.