Monday, 29 December 2014

2014 In Review / 2015 Ahead

It's been a long and productive year by most counts, excepting the impartial measurement of time. It's sometimes instructive to look at the past year in preview and see what was then the future and how much of it came to pass. Though the future is notoriously difficult to predict, that should stop one from engaging in wild speculation from time to time.

Gaynor continued with being on casual call for work at local schools, everything from helping with disabled children to watching children over lunchtime at the kindergarten to manning the front office. In addition to this, they asked her to take on the grunt work of a study into reading and comprehension effectiveness with a group of children. She really enjoyed it and made it her personal mission to make sure each child improved in some way, with some of the children quite resistant to her pedagogical charms. Nevertheless, she persisted and I would get the run down at the end of each day with small victories or setbacks. Gaynor also taught early morning seminary almost every school day of the year. Class was 6:40 - 7:30am with a sizeable amount of preparation needed for each lesson. Finally, Gaynor was also quite involved in the house extension, overseeing colours, some design, and lending a physical hand when seminary and work left her able to do so. For 2015, Gaynor still plans to be on call for casual work and depending on what that amounts too will give her time for other pursuits, such as enjoying and finishing her new extension.

Joshua has been working on and improving his comedy career over the past while, including writing and producing a show with his partner in crime, Riley at the Canberra Comedy Festival as well as performing at the Melbourne Comedy Festival soon after. He also had his first headline gig at the Polit Bar as well as clocking over the big 21. 2015 likely promises the two festival shows as well as semi-regular gigs around Canberra.

Elijah helped work on the house extension until he left for his missionary work in Hamilton, New Zealand in early July for two years. He was a great help -- you'll see him show up in quite a few house building pictures -- but being in New Zealand is the right thing for him to be doing at this time. We'll certainly miss him while he's away.

Mara turned down an offer of a place to study dance at the Victorian College of Art this year to work part-time and continue her dance studies with her current school with the aim of re-auditioning for the two programs she strongly prefers to participate in. VCA doesn't offer enough ballet for Mara's preference and both the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) and the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) courses are highly regarded. QUT is particularly appealing due to its association with Queensland Ballet and that both sets of grandparents are nearby. If all goes to schedule, she'll be at one of them, commencing next year, for the three years of the Bachelors degree.

Ariana has completed a fine year at high school, earning a number of awards for her studies. She's a dedicated student as well as being involved in a number of extra curricular activities such as Tournament of the Minds, band, and debating. 2015 will see her commence Years 11 and 12 through the college system of the ACT. I'm encouraging her to undertake the International Baccalaureate Diploma so that it might be more easily transferrable if we end up moving again. More on that soon. She also continued on with her cricket and teaching herself the trumpet.

Bryna also enjoyed her schooling very much during 2014, including being a part of the school leadership team. She takes part in pretty much every sport going. She won her cross country race, played touch footy and cricket for the school, and also enjoyed learning the fife, playing in a multi-school concert event. Next year she'll move on to the flute and I don't see her sporting endeavours diminishing any time soon.

Micah has been going on in leaps and bounds with his reading and schooling in general. He's learnt to share a room with Ariana alone after being in the large room with Elijah and Bryna as well. After Elijah's departure and the completion of a new master bedroom, the trickle down effect meant there were only two left! Ari does a good job of helping him to learn the discipline of putting things away :) He's a sweet boy, always ready with a smile and a hug.

Fenton had a couple of things on the go during this past year. Commencing and (pretty much) finishing the house extension was a sizeable one, as was being called as the Bishop of our local congregation at church in April. With the addition of mostly holding down a full-time job -- with much thanks to his understanding and flexible colleagues and supervisors -- it made for perhaps the busiest year of my life[1]. Of course, I couldn't have made any of it work without so much help from all and sundry, including[2], but not limited to, Geoff and Margaret, José, Mischa, and Steve among many.

[1] Previous title holder was mid 1995 - mid 1996, which I won't bore you with details about now.
[2] excluding immediate family, most of whom have been previously mentioned.

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Christmas 2014

Wishing you a lovely Christmas and New Year. Bonus points for knowing which book belongs to whom.