Another year has gone by - definitely a busy one, for sure - and a new year has come!
So much has happened since last January, that I can scarce remember all that happened! We've had so many blessings through the last 12 months, including visits from my mom, Rosemary, from Australia last April/May, and a visit from my dad, Gerry, and step-mom, Michelle, from Bermuda over the Christmas holiday. And last June, we had a mini family reunion when my sister, Rebecca, and her hubby, Mark, finally tied the knot, allowing me to return to Bermuda and see so many missed friends and family, including my brother, Matt, his wife, Brenda, and to meet my niece, Lexi, for the very first time!
Tommy turned seven, graduated from Crofton Infant School and moved on up to Crofton Junior School, where he is excelling, especially in history and the continued study of life during World War Two. He started swimming lessons and karate, and has reached the level of yellow belt. He hopes to reach orange belt in the next several months, at which time his daddy, Andrew, has promised to join him at his karate classes.
We've seen amazing growth in Jonathan over the last year, especially. When we first moved to the UK 18 months ago, or thereabouts, he was still only two, but this last November, he celebrated his fourth birthday! All glimpses of babyhood are now gone entirely, and his speech develops in leaps and bounds every day. Last January, he started attending school half-days, first at Fitzwilliam Primary, and then moved to Crofton Infant School this past September. He is still mad about Thomas the Tank Engine, Lightning McQueen, Buzz Lightyear and Woody the Cowboy.
Andrew continues working hard at St. James in Leeds. It is certainly a challenging post, especially as he has to deal with far more paperwork and has far less patient interaction all the time. He also sometimes takes on extra hours in other departments and hospitals in the Leeds district.
We were privileged to enjoy the trip of a lifetime this last November - the same weekend as Jonny's birthday, in fact - to Disneyland Resort Paris! I, very surprisingly, won a trip with Ford, which included 2 nights accommodation, 2-day park hoppers for all of us, £140 in travel expenses and €200 in Disney Vouchers to spend in the parks, as well as access to a private, after-hours party at Walt Disney Studios! The boys were over the moon, and Andrew and I were certainly enthralled, as well, enjoying the rides and meeting the likes of Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Donald, Aladdin, Sulley (Monsters Inc.) and Jessie (Toy Story 2), as well as seeing Goofy, Winnie the Pooh and Woody, among so many others.
What am I up to? Well, the last few months have had their challenges for me, including knee surgery and a two-week stay in the hospital for kidney stones, which kind of pulled me out of the thick of things for a while. Hopefully, though, with a new year, I'll be able to resume volunteering with the Parents and Friends Association at the Infant School, as well as make it to a few more community meetings. I do continue to write as a neighbourhood correspondant for the Hemsworth Express, a volunteer job that keeps my finger in the ink.
Fitzwilliam has certainly made some changes for the better. Andrew says that part of it has to do with me taking a stand, but for sure, the increased involvement of several in the neighbourhood, as well as heightened attention from the local policing teams, is what has made the difference. When the new Neighbourhood Policing Pledge and Neigbourhood Policing Teams were launched around a year ago, little Fitzwilliam was placed high on the list as a top priority for dealing with the trouble anti-social behaviour we had been facing, however, in the last couple of months, thanks to a quieting down of these issues, we are no longer a priority! GOOD NEWS, I think!
We're looking forward to 2010, with blessings already on the horizon, including the arrival of a neice, courtesy of Rebecca and Mark, and twin nephews, courtesy of Matt & Brenda, due to all arrive at the beginning of March, as well as a visit by Andrew's sister, Pat, from Bermuda this spring as well. We're also continuing to pray that God will see fit to sell our house here in Fitzwilliam, and show us the direction he wants our family to go.
God's blessings on all of you this year!