Logan, Hayden and Madison all ready for their first day at their new school

It’s that time of year again when we send and receive Christmas cards and letters with updates from friends and family, so in that spirit here is the annual message from our tribe.

2019 has been a year of massive change for our family, with our big move to Bendigo after a change of roles for me.  The kids have displayed extraordinary resilience as they have said goodbye to their friends and started attending a new school.  Their transition to our new life has been truly remarkable. We have bought half an acre here in Bendigo and are excited about the prospect of building our dream family home there, along with a pool for the kids.

Our oldest son, Hayden, turned 14 in March and is now officially taller than me.  He has had another reasonably successful year with his sporting endeavours, although his footy team didn’t do as well as in past seasons.  He won school awards for cross country, athletics and footy, won the Christian Schools state title in the 400 and 800 metres and has enjoyed the challenge of playing Division 1 basketball here in Bendigo with a very talented team.  He started his first paid job this year as a boundary umpire for junior and senior Australian rules football games.  This has required a lot of hard work and dedication as he is often required to run over 12km during a match to keep up with the play.  It has been a great experience for him and he has enjoyed the freedom and responsibility of having his own money to save and spend.

Madison turned 12 in November and has had a wonderful year as well.  She is also very active, with a passion for netball, gymnastics and life in general.  She also did very well with her athletics and made it through to the regional level for cross country again.  Maddi has also dabbled in basketball and had her first taste of Australian rules football with her school team.  Her passion for life somehow also saw her being the driving force behind our family getting involved in parkruns, which I am grateful for.

Logan turned 12 in November as well (of course) and he had a great year as well.  He has continued to play basketball, developing a reputation as a defensive stalwart due to his height, despite often playing against kids 2 years older than him.  Bear has grown about 13 cm this year and is almost looking me in the eye now.  His wicked sense of humour continues to develop and he has enjoyed keeping in touch with a few of his friends from Melbourne via online gaming.

Karen has had a big year of change, having to leave the job that she loved to facilitate our move to Bendigo.  She has been the driving force behind our building plans and has juggled the changes with aplomb.  She still delights in watching the kids in their various activities and is an incredibly supportive mum and wife.

For myself, there have been huge changes, with a wonderful opportunity to work as a Customer Care Manager with a regional telecommunications company, which was based in Bendigo.  The role started in September and the first few months was a challenge as I spent my weeks in Bendigo, weekends in Melbourne with the family and the occasional trip to the south coast of New South Wales where some of my staff work.  I’ve been very fortunate with this role and love the people I work with.  This year has also seen me take up running for the first time, with 5km parkruns becoming a part of my Saturday morning routine.  My creaking knees don’t like it, but my overall health and fitness has improved dramatically since starting.

As a family, we love Christmas and can’t wait to celebrate the birth of Jesus together with the extended family.  I hope that you have a fantastic Christmas and festive season and thanks for your support and encouragement throughout the year.