Tuesday, December 22, 2009

My Christmas letter

WOW what a year we have had! A family holiday, a wedding, an admittance, an awesome overseas holiday as well as good health.. That in a nutshell is 2009 for us. Last Christmas, we were blessed to have everyone home. It was wonderful and enjoyed a great time together.

We started 2009 with just one focus in mind. Clare and Shane’s wedding. The time slipped quickly past and before we knew it we were off to Brisbane for a hens night and then over to Straddie for a week of holidays and then the wedding. The week was great. We had an old B & B, where we all stayed, so plenty of room for all. A fantastic view over the beach and just perfect weather. We did have the threat of a cyclone, which never eventuated and the threat of containers of some disgusting stuff being washed up on the beaches but that too did not eventuate. God was so good. Clare was the perfect bride. So easy going and when even the beach washed away, she took it in her stride and we found a beautiful grassy headland overlooking the beach. Much better for access, with my Cinderella shoes. It all went well and a great day was had by all. It was lovely to catch up with so many family members. A huge thank you also to our own Pastor Jeff Frankham who stepped in and married Clare and Shane. A big effort but so appreciated. After that it was back to normality.

Alan working at the Salvos, I still at the library and Aj still at Ballina High. She is now also the school Chaplain. A role, that complements her Scripture teaching role. We really see very little of her. She has a hectic social life, and with Boot camp and swimming it really is go go go. We are very grateful to her for taking such great care of our baby Molly and all the other animals and the house whilst we were in NZ.

I did fit in a surprise quick trip to Mundubbera for Chari’s birthday. I had never been there for her special day and I had a wonderful weekend. So exciting to be there when she opened her pressies and blew out her candles.

Just before I went Overseas I became the proud owner (or at least I am paying Optus) of an Iphone. O my Gosh it is fabulous. It warra nts a paragraph all to itself in bold and Italics. I LOVE IT!!!

All too soon it was time for a quick trip to Canberra for Clare to be admitted to the law society. Danny and Del put us up in style and we got to meet the new Grandpuppy “Ellie” a miniature schnauzer. Very cute. We were so proud of Clare and as she stood and took the bible to swear her Oath, I felt such love and pride in her. She had worked hard to achieve this and it was great that we were able to see her be admitted. As she was admitted in Canberra she is admitted to the law society as well as the Bar….impressive.

We also got a chance to catch up with my precious Aunty Joan. She is in a nursing home and is very frail. It was so good to see her. Clare was very sad to see her, as she had not seen her since she became ill. We were sure she understood about Clare being admitted. I so love Aunty Joan. We also saw Uncle Geoff and cousin Peter, which was great.

From then on it was a downhill slide to our NZ holiday. We were so excited.. There were a few dramas with me getting my passport, but eventually I held it in my hands. YAY. The day arrived and we were off. We had an amazing time. We drove over 3,000 kms saw some fantastic sites. Baby seals frolicking in a waterfall pool, went in a helicopter, sheep, seals ever so close, sheep, morning sunrises, sheep, deer, snow on mountains, played in the snow and some sheep. While over there we had the sad news that a young man we knew was killed in a motor bike accident. Really threw us a blow and left us in shock. My blog actually has a day by day update of our holiday if you are interested.. www.ginnysspot.blogspot.com

So we returned 3 weeks later, excited and so in awe of what an amazing country we had just visited. We arrived back in Brisbane to be greeted by Clarey, Kirsty and all 3 of our grandchildren. What a surprise. When we finally got back to Skennars Our Molly puppy was so excited to see us as was AJ, our precious at home baby. It really was hard to tell which one was more excited.

Kirsty, Natty, Chari and Sammy stayed for the next 2 weeks and it was so nice seeing so much of them. The sadness of having them live so far away is a daily thing and we love when we get to spend time with them.

We came back feeling that we would like to really do something different with our lives. Not just sit back here at Skennars till we retire. So who knows what the future will bring. We have prayed a great deal about it and know that God hears every prayer and will answer us.

Our children, their wives and their husbands are all well. Grandchildren well and just amaze me how quickly they are growing up.

Kirsty and Michael and kids are still in Mundubbera, Kirsty working at home, scrapbooking and then working at the NAB a few days a week. Michael, who had his gallstones removes this year is now really well and has been promoted to be in charge at Mundubbera Parks and wildlife. Also just a few weeks ago they became new parents again with the arrival of Daisy. A shihtzu maltese 8 week old puppy. They are all besotted with her and we are looking forward to meeting her at Christmas. Although I believe toilet training is a not so happy event, currently.

Danny and Adele continue to work hard and much to my dismay continue to be really happy in Canberra. I keep hoping they will move this way. As mentioned earlier they have puppy Ellie who is O so cute and really very loved and spoilt. (naturally)

Clare and Shane had a wonderful wedding and then honeymoon in Hervey Bay and did so many exciting things. Shane has just finished at Aldi and is commencing in a blind cleaning business with his brother. He is really happy about it and we hope he does well. Clare is still at HBM lawyers and would love a change in the new year. She continues to be a great Tupperware dealer and certainly is kept very busy. We get to see her fairly regularly, but nowhere near enough for us.

Kim and Beth continue to go well. They are the leaders of the young adults program in our C3 Church, where they are helping to make a direct impact on peoples lives. Bethy is still working with the photographer and Kim now works with Life without Barriers. He seems to be enjoying it and I think very good at it. He has a high tolerance level and often sees the humour in some difficult situations. They have recently had a Bali hut put up in their yard. It is amazing and Alan and Kim did the decking for it. It’s fabulous. They also have had a new fur grandbaby a bunny named “Sunny” but after I was left to babysit it, I have renamed it Houdini.

We will be spending some of Christmas day having Breakfast with Kim and Bethy, and then off to Brisbane for lunch with Clarey and Shane and hopefully Christmas desert will include the Piper family. Naturally AJ will be with us. The only ones missing will be Danny and Del. Danny working 7am-7pm (sucks to be him) Lucky Del has her family all down there.

We were shocked early in the year to hear of my cousin Julies sudden death. So young. It really rocked us and we really think of her family at this time of year. It will be a hard Christmas for them.

We continue to pray for all our families, both Alans and mine for health and happiness. We both managed to catch up with our families during this year and hope that 2010 will be the same.

Happy Christmas to all..may you be blessed and really enjoy this amazing time..

Love always and many apologies for my really quick letter but it was this or none at all..

Smiley of the Moment