Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Who am I kidding?  The chances of me posting out the Christmas newsletter have now dropped to zero.  Here it is instead:

The Christmas Newsletter!

Once again I am stunned that another year has gone by so quickly!
Thankfully this year has been less eventful than the last. The girls are the ones with the most news so I’ll start with them.

As usual Ashlea has the most news. She has had a wonderful year and is thriving since her kidney transplant. She has enjoyed good health all year with no trips to the Emergency Department and no hospital stays (so far anyway). Her kidney function is still spectactularly good with her last blood test (on 10/12) showing a creatinine of 43 (down from 500 pre transplant). Such stable kidney function has bought us our longest break between blood tests for years – we have a whole TWO MONTHS OFF!!!

Ashlea loves to practice walking all around the house when we are at home and has recently learnt to stand up on her own and set off walking. At school she is in her walker all day and rarely uses the wheelchair.

She has enjoyed school this year and participated in the Support Unit Percussion Band at the School Arts Festival. This year she has played Boccia, got a specially modified bicycle, a special supportive suit to help her posture and been to the Opera House to see Peppa Pig. She even finished off the school year by getting an award for Academic Achievement.
Her love of all things Talking Tom has continued unabated and I think I have single handedly kept that enterprise afloat with all our purchases.

Next year we are hoping to get a touch screen computer for her to use at school and a Power Chair for when we are out and about. Even though she can walk she can really only cover short distances with her walker and she can’t self propel a manual chair so the next step is powered mobility. Look out world – if you thought you were in danger of getting mown down by Ashlea before - just wait until she has power!

Audrey has had a lovely year in Year 1 at school. She sang and danced in the school Arts Festival and also had the opportunity to sing on the Opera House stage with the Australian Girls Choir which she LOVED. She has also had a ridiculously healthy year and still loves all things dressing up and princesses – although she has also learnt the finer points of how to play Minecraft from her big sister.

Audrey also finished off the year with an award at school presentation day for Consistent Effort and Applicaton in all Key Learning Areas. Does that not just sum up my little Audrey perfectly?

Emma has also had a good year at school this year. She too participated in the school Arts Festival in both drumming and dance. She did well in her Naplan tests, received 2 distinctions and 2 credits in the ICAS tests and also earned another Principal’s award at school.
Emma could easily qualify for a PhD in Minecraft and Pokemon as they have become her passion this year. Apparently being a computer whizz is genetically inheritedJ

Grown Ups
The grown ups have rather less to report. Murray is now officially medically retired from the Police and recently finished up with them by being presented with a certificate for his 25 years of service.

I am still working at ACU one day per week. My exciting news is that due to the generosity of many friends I was able to get a Thermomix (fancy cooking / blending machine) and some Tupperware this year - although my highlight for the year would have to be seeing Julie Andrews at the State Theatre!
We got a new car half way through the year which was very exciting. It’s very big! We are currently applying to the Variety Club for assistance to get a wheelchair lifter put into it to save my back. Hopefully that will happen in the next few months.

We also replaced our old bathroom with a new accessible one for Ashlea. Not having ever renovated anything before it was a bit of an eye opening experience but it is great now that it is finished and will hopefully make life easier for Ashlea and again for my back

The most exciting installation of the year though was a new swing set for Ashlea. She loves it and would spend all day out there if her parents had the patience to be out there pushing her all day!

Once again I want to thank all the many, MANY people who have helped us along the way. I am not going to name you all as there are too many people and therefore too high
a chance of accidentally forgetting someone. Please know that if you have helped us in any way over the last year we REALLY APPRECIATE IT.

As I read back over this newsletter I realize it is rather boring. Thank God for our boring uneventful year where I get to tell you about all the ordinary little things my children have done!! Please pray for another boring uneventful year next year!!

Merry Christmas!
Alison, Murray, Emma, Ashlea and Audrey

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