Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas 2014


Seasons Greetings to all of our friends and family.


I’ve just had a read of what I wrote for our 2013 news and am trying to think back and reflect on what 2014 was for us. 2014 saw much less adventurous travel than 2013 – that was always on the cards though with us moving home! We still managed to get in a number of holidays and had a great time.


This time last year we were living in a rental property in Stirling and looking to buy somewhere. We had missed out on a few properties but just after Christmas we saw a property that had been on the market for a while but had changed agents. Gary had viewed it (in August 2013) but I had never seen it. We checked it out on the net and then organised to come to see it with a private viewing in January. We both loved the house and had a 2nd visit on a 37 degree day in February where the wine cellar seemed to be a balmy 22! After some negotiating with the agent, we signed a contract in February with a settlement date set for April. Finally after 6 months of intense looking, we had found our family home! We are so happy to be here and to finally unpack fully. The house is set on just over 3000 square metres of land and is on quite a steep hill (where the garden is). We have grand plans in terms of what we will do with the garden, and there is a bit of work to do on the inside, but it is really liveable and will give us some projects to go on with over the coming years when cash flow will allow it! We are all quite settled here and really do feel like we have our home.


 View from our balcony….


Responsible parenting – allowing the kids to climb trees in gumboots….


During the year, we had our first camping trip – just for 1 night, in February. The kids both loved it and are keen to go again. It did seem to go well. We will get there again – there just seems to be so much on – the issue of life – too many things to do and not enough time!


In April, we went for 4 nights to the beach – a beautiful town called Normanville, not that far from Adelaide on the coast. We had a great little apartment and had the pleasure of a visit from Leone and John – friends from Singapore who now live in Victoria and were on their way to Kangaroo Island.


In May, we had our first and only trip on a plane for the year – we headed to Sydney to go to a family yoga weekend. It was a beautiful and relaxing weekend – much enjoyed by all.


In July, we went back to Normanville with the Walsh family – we had 2 apartments side by side which was a fabulous trip despite it being winter!


In August, Gary had a quick trip home to the UK to see his family – the direct flight from Adelaide to London via Dubai working out really well. The kids and I coped with Gary being away pretty well except for the fact that we were late for school nearly every day – thankfully Tara’s class were pretty relaxed about start time and also, we weren’t the last ones to arrive (which made me feel slightly better!!) Gary managed to catch up with his parents and his 2 sisters in the UK.


We have a week by the beach planned for next week which should be really relaxing too.


The beginning of the year saw Tara begin ‘big school’ for the first time. She had a great time and it has been amazing to see her progress through the year. Alex finished year 1 this year and also had a great year at school. Both kids seem to be really blossoming at school which we are really thankful for. Alex turned 7 in July and discovered a new found love of AFL (Aussie Rules Football) during the year. Due to the influences at school, he decided to go for Hawthorn – I am still working on him supporting the Adelaide Crows but he was delighted that Hawthorn won the grand final! Tara will turn 6 in 1 week – she enjoyed doing dance through school and also joined with me in supporting the Crows (that’s my girl!)

1st day of school – 2014 (for Tara).

My 1 year contract at my old job finished in July of this year and I was lucky enough to find a new job which is part time – this has always been my dream since having the kids and I was lucky enough to be offered a new role at The Beachouse at Glenelg. It is a really flexible role and I tend to work my hours around school hours. I work with an amazing team and have a great boss, so I feel really fortunate to have this opportunity.


Gary was working in a contract role till October and is now on the lookout for something new. Fingers crossed something interesting will come up for him workwise in the New Year.

We made our first foray into pet ownership in August getting 4 12 week old chickens. The ‘girls’ are now laying pretty regularly and they are very confident – always looking for scraps and loving human interaction.


I am very grateful that we have all been very healthy this year – long may it continue! I hope that your Festive season is a good one and that 2015 is a good year for you all.


Love Jo, Gary, Alex and Tara xx

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