I love the Christmas season and always enjoy receiving cards and letters at this time of the year with updates from friends and family regarding the year that’s just passed. Of course, I’m too lazy and disorganised to send out letters to lots of people and I would probably forget someone important, so you get my family update through my blog.
2015 has been another very busy year in our household, with the kids growing quickly and lots of change, so here’s our own annual family update.
Our oldest son Hayden turned 10 in March and was baptised last month, which was very exciting for him. He will be in middle school next year, which just makes me feel old. He had a great year at school with a wonderful teacher who helped him to shine. It was his second season of Australian rules football and he had another solid season, although he was hampered by illness throughout the year. His highlight was kicking the winning goal in the last game of the season in the dying seconds of the game. To see him being mobbed by his team-mates and coach after the game was wonderful. He has continued with his athletics and competed in the state championships in the high jump. Whilst he was quickly knocked out, it was a great experience for him. He also represented the school in numerous cross-country competitions across the state and absolutely loves running.
Hayden’s blog has continued to grow and he has now written about over 300 species of animal. Another highlight for him was getting a blotched blue-tongue lizard for his 10th birthday. Bartlett has more than doubled in size since he got him in March and he’s a beautiful lizard, although Karen still isn’t too sure about it. Unfortunately, since mid-August, Hayden has been slowed down by illness and has been extremely unwell. He contracted glandular fever at some stage during the year and has had a lot of abdominal pain, causing him to miss a lot of school and sport. Hopefully, he is past the worst of it, but your prayers for a full recovery would be appreciated.
Madison turned 8 in November and completed Grade 1 this year. She loves school and is doing very well. After a brief hiatus, she has returned to gymnastics and loves it. She came first in the floor routine of her local club competition which was very exciting. She got her own balance beam for her birthday which was a highlight for her, although it wasn’t much fun for me to put together. I just hope that she uses it, or it could become the world’s largest paperweight. She also really enjoys athletics and continues to improve as a runner. She came second in her school cross-country, which she was slightly disappointed in, but she did very well and always throws herself into her activities with a big smile on her face. Mads is very enthusiastic and hard-working, taking great pride in doing her work to a high standard, except maybe tidying her room, but that’s another discussion.
Logan also turned 8 in November and is really shooting up. He is a very capable student and is a very quiet achiever. He has continued playing basketball this year and although he won’t be in the NBA any time soon, he has continued to improve. He top scored with 6 points in one game, but his strength is on the defensive end, where his height and reach make him very difficult to shoot over. He has had a couple of great coaches who have been very encouraging to him and he really enjoys it. He joined a soccer club with some friends from school this year, but I don’t think that he’ll be continuing this next year as he couldn’t really get the hang of it. He also does little athletics with his brother and sister, but isn’t quite as enthusiastic as they are. However, he does his best every week. Logi Bear has struggled with similar symptoms to Hayden since August as well. Whilst he hasn’t been as unwell as his big brother, he has still missed a lot of school and basketball, which has been disappointing for him. Hopefully, he is getting better now, but please pray for a full recovery.
They are fantastic kids and we are very proud of each of them. They have great hearts and get on very well (most of the time) and it’s a pleasure seeing them grow older.
Karen has had a big year. She returned to the workforce this year, leaving the business entirely in my hands and working in an administrative role in a local school. Despite her fears, she quickly made her mar and has utilised her skills to continually improve processes and increase efficiency. She has been very fortunate to work with some lovely people and make some great friends, although i has been a big sacrifice for her as she does miss being a full-time mum. She changed roles mid-year so that she could get the school holidays at home and it’s great to have her around the house a bit more over the Christmas period. I certainly miss our regular lunch dates together. I’m really proud of her achievements this year. It wasn’t easy after 10 years out of the workforce and she has made a very smooth transition. Karen’s sister and their family are moving away from Melbourne and will be living in Bendigo, which is about 2 hours away by car. It’s been great to have them nearby for the past few years, so they will be missed.
We also had an addition to the family, with Dusty, the golden retriever joining our posse in March. She is a terrific dog, is much-loved by the kids and is a great companion for me during the day, especially now that she has out-grown the puppy stage.
For me, this has been a very interesting year. With Karen working full-time, I have had a very full plate. I transport the kids to and from school everyday and to their various activities every night, as well as run the business full-time. The first six months were crazy, but I gradually found my rhythm and feel more in control now, even when taking the boys to and from medical appointments over the past few months. To add to the busyness, I was asked to join the board of the kids’ school, which I tentatively said yes to. Whilst I am time poor and certainly wasn’t looking for something else to do, it’s probably a good thing that I get to hang out with others outside of the house. Working from home has its definite advantages, but it can be isolating at times. I also lost my dad to cancer early in the year, which was a difficult time and I would appreciate your prayers for my mum who has been extremely resilient, despite her grief.
All in all, it has been a tough year, but to be able to make a living doing something that I love, whilst making a positive difference in people’s lives is an enormous privilege and I feel very blessed to be able to do what I do. Whilst I haven’t had as much time as in past years to commit to this blog, I have been able to maintain my routine of a post every weekday and I finally hit the million views mark in September which was a huge milestone for me. This particular post is actually the 1500th on this blog and I’m excited about the future.
The entire family is looking forward to a nice break over the Christmas and New Year break before we crank things up again in early January. Christmas is our favourite time of year as we spend time with loved ones, eat too much food and celebrate the birth of Jesus together.
Thanks everyone for your support this year. Your prayers, comments and encouragement is much appreciated and I value every one of you!
From my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and pray that 2016 is even better than this year.
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