Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

Here is the Christmas newsletter for 2009...sorry to those who haven't received their snail mail copies yet...

Well ‐ it’s that time of year again! The tree is up, the children have already sat on Santa’s knee three times, parties and concerts are in full swing – it must be time for some Christmas news.

This year has been our least eventful since the twins were born! Life for the grown ups has continued on without much change…Murray is still working for the Police, still playing squash and killing orcs in computer games. Alison is still working for ACU, chauffeuring children around and eating a lot of chocolate. The most notable event of the year was appearing on ‘RPA Where Are They Now?’ We were really happy with the story and the way it showed all of Ashlea’s achievements. Don’t worry if you missed it…I have it on tape…come over for a cuppa and I’ll subject you to it we can watch it. As usual we have time off after Christmas and would love to catch up with you if you are around.

One new hobby for Al this year has been starting a blog (that would be this blog...just in case you're wondering). For those of you who want to keep up with our news you can read along online. Actually for those who read the blog there is nothing new to write in this Christmas letter – you are already up to date!
Emma is now 5 years old and off to big school next year – we have purchased the school uniform (all size 4 and WAY too big) and are just psyching ourselves up for getting her there by 8:55am As you can guess by the size 4 uniform Emma is still a tiny thing at 104cm and 16.4kg. I asked her what her highlight of this year was and she could only recall as far back as the weekend – the special party with Santa, presents and a chocolate fountain. Emma has continued having swimming lessons this year and has also recently started learning the piano and just ‘performed’ in her first concert. Her other passions include playing Wii (she is the family champion) and watching Escape from Scorpion island. She keeps telling me that I won’t be able to find her when she is eleven as she’ll be on Scorpion Island.


Audrey is catching up to Emma fast. She is 99cm and 14.8kg. She started preschool in April which she has absolutely loved. When I asked her for her highlights of the year she said she likes: chocolate fountains, playing at preschool, ice cream, swimming and doing bubble cheeks ‘so I don’t get water up my nose’. She still loves all things penguin although letting her watch March of the Penguins proved to be a bit of a mistake.

Audrey is now officially caught up in terms of her prematurity. When she turned 3 she had a developmental assessment and scored well within the normal range for all areas tested. Audrey’s only drama this year has been developing a little bit of asthma but so far it is pretty minor.
Ashlea has had an AMAZING year. As usual the smallest person in the house has the biggest news. Ashlea is still little at 15.1kg and 91cm. We have tried hard this year to get her to grow – but have only had success with her width rather than her length! She has continued with physiotherapy, occupational, speech, hydro and vision therapies. The only new thing this year was that she had botox in her legs to help reduce the spasticity. It has worked really well, however it only has a short term effect so she is due to have more next March.

In February this year Ashlea learnt to crawl and hasn’t stopped since. She is very fast – especially if there is an open door in sight. Since then she has also learnt to W‐sit (she still can’t sit on her bottom unsupported), has recently started pointing, has learnt HEAPS of words, has had stable kidney function and NO hospital admissions.

But wait – there’s more! Our wonderful church purchased a walking frame for Ashlea during the year so she can now potter around in the backyard with Emma and Audrey. Ashlea has also developed some definite obsessions preferences this year. She is addicted to In The Night Garden, loves her toy turtle (actually if you are ever out shopping and hear a child yelling ‘T U R T L E ‘ at the top of their lungs come over and say hi – it is undoubtedly us), and her favourite song is Dancing Queen. Actually all the girls love to play Abba Singstar with Aunty Carolin.

Next year Ashlea will start preschool 2 days a week. She will attend the same preschool as Audrey, and will have a special needs teacher or assistant with her at all times. The preschool have purchased a standing frame, chair and floor seat to accommodate her needs. We have applied for funding for a wheelchair (which has been approved ‐we are just waiting for availability of funds) so she will attend preschool in her chair and we will probably take her walking frame as well so she can have some freedom to walk around to the different activities just like the other children do. We are very excited about her starting preschool and hope it is a great experience for her.

A big thanks again to all the people who help us along this journey – the washing folders, child minders and Ashlea’s assistants at Noah’s deserve particular mention, as well as all those from church who contributed to Ashlea’s walking frame and those who pray for us regularly. We couldn’t do it without you all! We appreciate your prayers for our family and particularly for Ashlea’s health and development.

We have recently studied the book of Revelation at church and been reminded of our great hope for the future. Al created this picture for an exhibition at church based on Revelation…it sums up what we are looking forward to. Not just the day that we will be healed and whole, but also the day when all our sin will finally be behind us.

Oh what a feeling!

We hope you have a wonderful Christmas as we celebrate our Lord’s birth and look forward to the day He will return.

Lots of love

Alison Murray Emma Ashlea & Audrey


Sarah said...

Hope you all have a safe and great xmas and new year. xxx

Susan, Mum to Molly said...

Lovely letter Alison.

Happy Christmas to you all!

Don't worry too much about the size 4 uniforms - our Lucy at 7 and having just finished year 1 is still mostly in size 4 (but only school unifroms - all other clothes she's size 6 to 8).

Take care, Susan

Belinda said...

Great newsletter Alison!

Have a wonderful Christmas! xx.