Category Archives: Thoughts

Things that i think about or occur to me as i live life…

Looking Back at 2015…

As i have done in the last couple of years, i am posting my Christmas letter here as a way of reflecting on what 2015 has brought me and my family…

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Christmas 2015

HIHI

How are you? We hope this finds you well and enjoying this holiday season together with family and friends; celebrating the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ with great joy!

2014 was a year of new things for us and 2015 is a year for settling in.

We have been in our new home for 11 months now! Time has certainly flown by. We celebrated with a little house-warming party in May. We are settled in and really liking living in the middle of the village and being much closer to the shops and bus stop. We have lovely neighbours and get along well with each other. Tobias has only a 5-minute walk to school which is fantastic.

It is also only a 5-minute walk to the playgroup which Sandra runs every Thursday morning. Publicity was done in the months of February and May and there was interest but only 4 have been registered. Although there are only 4 kids for now, it is a nice little group with 3 boys and a girl. The children were unsure at first, as was Sandra, but now it’s running along nicely.

Even though it is only one morning a week, it still takes time to prepare each week and this means that Sandra has had to spend less time on her online shop, www.angelcraftsshop.com, which helps to raise funds for special needs orphans. She hopes to sort out some time management and get new crafts into the shop to boost slightly sluggish sales. As well as continue to advocate for special needs orphans as much as she can.

Tobias is now in 5th Class or 5th year of primary school. There is a lot more homework and more emphasis on academics than before. The school is gearing the students up for taking the major exams in the middle of their 6th year, which for Tobias is in about 13 months. Those exams will determine which stream of studies he gets to go into.

Because of the heavier homework load, Tobias and his friends have had less time outside of school to meet up and play. But most Friday afternoons, they find some time to do something together.

He has given up Unihockey as of the end of September and is now enjoying Hip-Hop classes with his best friend. He continues to go to Chinese class every Saturday morning and is getting better at Mandarin but he still is reluctant to use the language. I suppose there is little opportunity to do so here. Squash is still very much part of Tobias’ weekly routine and although he does get frustrated at how hard it is to be good at squash, he carries on.

In our last letter, you read that Walter had developed a thyroid issue. He had been on daily meds for almost 2 years and recently his doctor decided that he was well enough to stop taking the meds. We are very pleased with that progress. He continues to play football with his colleagues when they can and badminton too.

Walter’s role as elder in our church has seen him more involved in church-life with many meetings and much prayer involved. Walter also continues to lead worship whenever he can. And Sandra teaches Sunday School. She has also stepped into the role of Mission Liaison for the church and is loving the contact with all the mission partners and hopes to help the church be more involved with missions in a more practical way.

Here’s our one piece of sad news: our 3 remaining mice passed away in early September. They had lived a nice long life and it was time, even if it was sudden. However, we weren’t without pets for long. In October, we welcomed 3 new Gerbils: Belle, Jules and Claudia. They are cute and lively and certainly very entertaining.

Our family travels this year has included a trip to Liverpool, a place we love visiting, in April, to catch a football game, and yes, of course it’s a Liverpool game! It was wonderful to experience a live game, especially for Tobias.

Then in October, we went to the Expo in Milan, Italy! It was an eye-opener. Very tiring on the legs with all that walking but well worth it. We also got to spend lovely time exploring a bit of Milan with some friends.

Of course, our annual visit to Singapore is not to be forgotten. This year it was extra-special because we were able to attend a dear friend’s wedding! It was lovely! And we, once again, stuffed ourselves with wonderful local food. Our stay there was extended because Sandra’s father went into hospital unexpectedly and we stayed on to make sure he was recovering before Sandra and Tobias flew back by themselves. Walter stayed on even longer so he could catch up with his best friend whom he hadn’t seen for years.

Walter’s work travels this year have included South Africa, and other parts of Africa, Slovakia and other parts of Europe. He still enjoys his work and looks forward to the coming year.

Well, that’s it from us.

Wishing you a most Blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

Please do stay in touch and let us know what has been happening for you.

With love,

walter, sandra & tobias

email: mesandra@hotmail.com, hawkeyesgp@hotmail.com

blog: http://trippingdifferently.com

Picture:

 t11birthday20150528e Us on Tobias’ 11th Birthday!

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What has 2015 been like for you? i know there has been ups and downs for everyone. i hope you have had more ups than downs and i pray that 2016 will bring you and your loved ones a whole ton of blessings!

syc

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12 Years…

Yep, it has been 12 years to the day since my beloved husband and i said, “I do.”

How has it been? Well, it has been up and down, it had its highs and lows, as well as laughs and tears. So pretty much a normal marriage 😉

Any wise words after that number of years? i’m not sure i have wise words but i can share some of what i have learnt.

1) Marry someone who makes you laugh. This is most helpful during the stressful times, the times he/she makes you so mad you wanna … (you fill in the blank here), also great during the times when you are sad, or simply crying over a sad movie (yep, that’s me). Plus being able to laugh at hard times is so essential to surviving those times.

2) Fight fair. Never used past sore points (you were supposed to have forgiven and forgotten that last time), never pick on their weaknesses or belittle the other person. Stay on topic. One thing is not related to another – at least not when a couple is fighting. Be clear what you want – do you just want to be heard? Or do you want to see specific actions taken?

3) Communicate clearly. Make sure you close that feedback loop when talking to each other so you are both on the same page. Feedback loop? Well, for me that just means repeating back to the person what you are hearing from him/her. You will be surprised how you can be hearing one thing and the other person really means something different.

4) Close both eyes. Especially in matters of who leaves what chaos behind them and who does or does not clean up after themselves. Don’t even bring up the matter of the toilet seat. Some things are just not worth fighting about. You married the person so accept the person wholly; the good, the ugly and the wonderful.

5) If you have children, always present a united front. Never undermined your partner’s authority if he/she has already addressed an issue with your child, even if you do not agree with what he/she has done. You can talk with your partner later, out of earshot of the kids. This will give your kids security, knowing that mummy and daddy are one unit and they don’t have to worry about things collapsing. See here for a bit more details.

6) Everybody needs alone time. Respect that. You do not have to do everything together all of the time. (This was a hard one for me to learn.) Teach your children to have alone time / down-time, there is no need to go go go all the time. You can never give of yourself to another person if you are not wholly satisfied or complete in yourself. You have heard, “A happy mummy is a good mummy.”? Well, same goes for the daddy and even the kids.

7) Love and Marriage are hard things to do. But so worth it. Yes, marriage needs work and love causes pain. But they will also brings joy and happiness. See the following article for where i draw my strength and inspiration from… You Never Marry the Right Person | RELEVANT Magazine.

There are many other little things i have experienced and learnt from in the last 12 years, many of which apply to our specific circumstances but i think the above 7 points pretty much covers most of them.

What about you? Do you have anything else to add about marriage, love and staying married?

i leave you with this picture… taken a year before our wedding… (why not from our wedding day? Cos we don’t have one of just us alone and facing the camera… hahha…)

Oh my, how young we looked... i am not sure what happened to that pig... i really did like it very much...
Oh my, how young we looked… i am not sure what happened to that pig… i really did like it very much…

syc