There is no way to justice to all that happens to each of us individually and as a family, in our community and in the world in one blog post but I want to stop a moment and think back on 2011 and record for the record some of the standout moments.
Davids' story of 2011 is the Tale of Two Schools.......the first half of 2011 was a battle of being bullied and me battling with his teacher over several issues.....it all came to a head and we made decisions we took too long to make. The agony of the departure from that school was helped immensely by David getting to go on a big adventure flying solo to Anchorage Alaska to visit with his cousins for 3 weeks. He had such a great time.
September brought a new school and a fresh start.......it has been so good to be at school close to home and the teacher has been amazing but David continues to battle through the damage done by months, if not years, of bullying and challenges at the old school. He has shown such courage and resolve in working through these tough things with an amazing therapist Kelly Kavanagh.
He continues to play soccer and his Dad is the Assistant Coach again this year. He also loves his Junior Youth Group which I ran for a year and is now handed off to a new leader. He went to Camp in the Summer and loved being with the cousins at Spring Break - fishing and running through the sand dunes. He got braces on and continues to have regular vision check-ups but has been mainly healthy.
He loved our trip to Hawaii and got up on his surf board first time out but needs to improve his upper body strength and swim skills before he tackles any bigger surf!
He remains our sweet, smart, curious boy as he enters the last months of elementary school. I can hardly believe he will be both a teenager and in high school before the year is out.
Lindsay's story of 2011 was France! She started back to school in January with a clear focus on raising funds for France and keeping on top of the academics and ended her Grade 8 year on the Honour Roll in every term. She amazed us with such a great transition to high school where she had no friends or alliances and quickly made many new friends and has a diverse and ever-growing group of friends.
She kept her focus on France in the Summer and worked as much as she could, mainly babysitting, and we held a garage sale to help her to her self imposed goal of $1000. She also went to Camp once as a camper and then again later in the summer as a babysitter. We almost ended the summer on a disastrous note with a parental misstep but the day was saved and we enjoyed the last days of the Summer in Portland and Leavenworth.
I gulped hard at YVR as I sent my girl away to France on a school trip. As much as I was excited for her and we celebrated this amazing experience it was a big leap of faith to send her off especially for a 5 day homestay in Brittany! BUT she had an incredible trip and came home with such a new a different perspective on the world. She wrote this guest blog which gives a glimpse of her experiences. She loved her homestay family and we will welcome Julia to our home in April which will be a great reunion for the girls.
Lindsay had a bit of a post-France academic crisis which we are digging out of and have confidence she will be back on track very soon.
Lindsay had a tough first half of the year in Musical Theatre studio but ended the year with good character and a couple of dance medals but it was time to find a new creative home. She is loving her new studio and the new approach to teaching and her joy in performance is back.
This lucky girl also came with us to Hawaii and fell in love with surfing and all things surfer/beach.Hawaii and longs to be back on her surf board!
She is out to a New Years lunch with a group of friends and we will continue to help this beautiful, smart, funny, teenage girl balance all the things in her life and navigating the sometimes troubled waters of Grade 9. Hard to believe by the time 2012 ends she will be 15 and in Grade 10.
I will leave it at that for this post - Allan and my flashbacks next post.