Christmas News 2008!
Well, another year has gone by and once again I am sitting here thinking ‘is it really Christmas already???’ Yes it is…and time for some news from us. This year has been relatively quiet compared to the last two (not that that would be hard). So what have we been up to?
Al & Murray's News
Murray is still working for the police and still playing squash (some things will never change) . Alison returned to work one day a week back at ACU which she has really enjoyed (who knew that at work you get paid to do less work than you do when you’re at home with the kids???)
Other than that life has revolved around preschool, therapy for Ashlea, trying to get to church…the usual family stuff. We have loved having a bigger car and are very thankful to the people from church who gave us their van last Christmas.
What else has happened this year? Al had shingles….we put up the table tennis table….we thought about painting the house…we thought about ripping up the carpet….we thought about going on the treadmill…(we told you it was a quiet year – lots of thinking not much doing)….Al read the bible from cover to cover…..Murray killed many thousands of orcs and found lots of treasure (unfortunately only in his alternate life in LOTR online)….Al watched way too much TV….we all ate way too many donuts….that’s about it really!
Emma has had another enjoyable year at preschool. She turned 4 in March and will have another year at preschool next year and start big school in 2010 (Mummy just isn’t ready for having to be at school EVERY day by 9am). Emma and Audrey are great mates and enjoy riding their bikes, jumping on the trampoline and making little craft messes, sorry projects. Both Emma and Audrey have started swimming lessons recently which they really love. They also love going to the shops to eat donuts…I wonder where they get that from???
Emma has enjoyed seeing Colin Buchanan and The Wiggles this year and is really looking forward to the fireworks courtesy of the Lord Mayors NYE picnic for special needs children. She also has a wild desire to go to Luna Park….Mummy’s dizzy head is not so keen about that!
Emma’s bright and talkative nature keeps us all entertained.
Audrey has had another big year and is now a walking, talking, running, jumping, perfectly healthy, developmentally normal 2 ½ year old. She has grown 10cm and is now 92cm tall and weighs 14.5kg. She is on the 60th centile for height and has nearly caught up to Emma who at 97cm is only on the 3rd centile. Occasionally people think Emma and Audrey are the twins….and once I was even asked if the girls were triplets! When she turns 3 in April Audrey will start preschool.
Audrey really is our walking, talking miracle child. You would never know she had been so premature and so sick. Audrey does not receive or need any ongoing therapy, although she will continue to be followed up until she is 8. She is now a cheeky monkey and loves to follow Emma around all day…even if that means following her into mischief (which it usually does). They love to play hide and seek and chasings, and they both love to see the moon and stars. They are both still obsessed with all things penguin and Happy Feet.
Ashlea has been a busy bunny as usual. She has grown 9cm and is now 81cm tall (below 3rd centile) and weighs 11.5kg. She has been quite well most of the year and has had far fewer hospital admissions this year (although that has still amounted to 4 admissions including 2 trips to emergency and 2 general anaesthetics). She has been very busy with her therapies - physio, OT, speech, vision and hydrotherapy. We are ALL looking forward to a break from therapy over Christmas.
Ashlea's kidney function has declined somewhat over the last year, and if it continues to decline in the new year then a transplant could be closer than we originally thought. Please pray that her kidney function stabilizes again. The plan is still for Murray or Al to donate a kidney to her, but hopefully we can put it off for as long as possible.
Otherwise she has been stable and developmentally has been making some huge improvements. She is now a champion roller and rolls all around the house. She loves to roll down the hallway and open and close our squeaky doors. She is VERY close to crawling – she can get up on her hands and knees and rock, and sometimes even sort of crawl backwards but hasn’t got the hang of going forward yet. And the most exciting thing of all is in the last 2 -3 months she has started speaking. She has around 8 -10 words and 3-4 animal noises.
Thank you again to all those who continue to pray for us and especially for Ashlea – we really appreciate it. If someone had of told us 5 years ago that we would have a child with severe disabilities we would have freaked out. Never could we have imagined it would happen to us….and that if it did happen that we would love her to death and thank God for her everyday. We thank God everyday for all our girls and hope and pray that they grow up knowing and loving God. Having Ashlea has given us a new perspective on things….on what is and isn’t important, and it has given us a renewed longing for heaven where ‘He will wipe every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain’ and might I add no more cerebral palsy or blindness or developmental delay or kidney failure.
We wish you all a merry Christmas as we remember the birth of Christ – the one who makes all this possible.