Happy 2021

I will start this year I have started some years… With our Christmas letter from the year which just closed behind us.


HIHI

What a year we have had! I’m sure you’re tired of hearing that expression. Yes, we have had an unprecedented year where the world was held captive by something which can only be seen under a microscope, and we found our lives dictated by the rise and fall of the number of people infected by this virus called Covid-19.

But that’s not all that happened, the year is not all about the pandemic. Under these strange and difficult circumstances, lives were still lived. We hope and pray that your year has been filled with more good moments than bad ones. At this Christmas time, let us think about the small precious gifts of a positive word, a smile shared, a heart warmed, a Saviour come to earth.

In 2020, we have carried on with life as best we could.

Sandra went, on her own, in January, to visit her family in Singapore because her father had been very unwell and in hospital for many months. Walter and Tobias, along with Lexi, managed quite well by themselves for 10 days. It was good for Sandra to have been able to spend this time with her family as she tried to help as best she could in that short time. The good news is that Sandra’s father was discharged shortly after she returned to Switzerland. While he did spend more time at the hospital in August, he is now better and at home. We would like to especially thank family and friends who have so helpful and supportive through this tough time.

At the end of February, our church welcomed our new pastor and his wife, but 2 weeks after that, lockdown happened. Everyone had to find new ways of doing things. It really makes you realise the things we take for granted, such as the ability to meet whoever we want whenever we want. It makes you miss simple things like walking into a store without worrying about the limit on the number of persons allowed inside.

Being shut-in gave us the opportunity to learn and polish skills such as mask-making and baking. Walter worked from home and Tobias attended classes online. For Sandra, home was always where she worked at, so being home is the norm for her. However, we did have to find a new rhythm of working and playing as there were now 3 persons in the house all the time; each with a need to have their own space and time to do what needed to be done. One family member did absolutely love having all at home – Lexi! She could run from person to person all day along to get the attention she wanted. She is a happy girl and fills our days with joy, barks, cuddles and laughs.

Tobias spent his 16th birthday at home as everything was closed but we made birthday cupcakes and delivered them to his friends. Then at the end of July, when restrictions were eased, we were able to celebrate with a paintball afternoon with some of his friends. A rather painful but fun experience.

Walter went from travelling a lot for work to working from home, to working short-time; where the office was officially closed for a couple of days a week, pay was pro-rated to save the company money. Then in September, he went back to the office 100%. But that was short-lived and now he is working from home a couple of days a week. It’s worth noting that this is the first time in all the years Sandra and Walter have been together where Walter is NOT constantly flying off for work.

We thank God that almost everyone we know has remained healthy, although a few did test positive in Tobias’ class and he had to quarantine for 14 days at the start of November.

Tobias is now in the second year of Gymnasium (junior college in Singapore) and seems to be enjoying his classes and time with his friends. Unfortunately, he has not been able to play squash for several months now. His squash teacher is in the at-risk group so he has stopped teaching. Tobias is thankful that his violin lessons have carried on as that’s done through his school.

Church went from being online in March to being in-person again from the beginning of summer but with limited numbers in the sanctuary and online streaming. The work to rewrite the church constitution, which Sandra was involved in, was paused during lockdown but restarted in June and we are glad that it has been successfully concluded with the church adopting the new constitution in November. Sunday School classes are also functioning again; Tobias attends the teen class. The Sunday School even managed a fundraiser for missions in the last couple of months. Walter continues his work with the worship team and eldership, as well as helping our new pastor to settle into his role in these unusual times.

Another church member and Sandra had arranged for a speaker to come and give a seminar about Revelations 2-3 but it had to be moved online due to Covid restrictions which prevented the speaker from flying in. It was slightly stressful and quite educational to have to make adjustments and coordinate such an event.

Speaking of flying, we could not go to Singapore for our annual visit in summer this year because while there were flights, we would have had to quarantine for 14 days on arrival and in a specific quarantine facility, which would then leave only a week to see family and friends. So we stayed here and did a couple of overnight trips to nearby cities in Germany.

So much upheaval in 2020 and maybe life will not go back to exactly what it was pre-pandemic, but the one constant in our lives is God; Jesus has been, is, and will be with us through all our ups and downs and we are so thankful for that. We pray that you have been able to and will continue to see His Love manifest in your life always.

Faith makes all things possible,
Hope makes all things work,
Love makes all things beautiful.
May you have all three this Christmas and always.

Do keep in touch and let us know what’s happening for you.

With love,

Walter, Sandra, Tobias and Lexi


Looking for Winter…

It has been a non-winter this season (reason? in my opinion, it’s climate change – it can not be denied) so, during the winter-sport holidays, we went looking for some snow. And we did find some, but high up in the mountains. The road leading up is usually paved in snow but not this time (actually, it wasn’t last year either). Still we managed to enjoy a snow day out.

Here’s a few photos for you to enjoy:

All is not lost – winter has made an appearance in the last 2 days – late but at least it felt a little more like winter. But it was really just for all of 2 days, we are back to sort of spring type weather now.

What does this mean for spring and summer? i am not sure. i do hope we will have a decent summer because i am a sunshine person. Are you a sun-seeker or does the cold suit you better?

syc

The End of the Tail Saga…

6.5 weeks, 3 surgeries and lots of antibiotics, cream, bandages, and diapers later, we finally got the all-clear from the vet. Lexi’s tail is healed, at last!

In case you didn’t hear about it, Lexi’s tail got caught in the door to the garden the Sunday before Easter (14 April) and because of an infection which would not go away, the vet had to do 3 operations (14 April, 25 April, 8 May) before we found out the exact bacteria and got targeted antibiotics. i wrote about this at the end of April; read here.

After the second op, when things didn’t go well yet again, i became slightly obsessed with her wound and started taking photos of it twice a day to make sure it was healing properly after the third op. You can see some of the many photos i have taken here.

lexitailsaga20190612Our last appointment with the vet on 28 May was quite funny. Our vet had been on leave for a week so we saw her colleague for a follow-up on 21 May. At that time, Lexi’s wound still was not looking great, which is why when i gave her the thumbs up sign on the 28th, she only half believed me because we have had just the worst luck with the infection before. Then we had Lexi on the examination table and the vet could get a good look, she looked, smiled and said, “Hallelujah!” It was really a laugh-out-loud moment.

Of course, there was just one more goodbye present this stupid bacteria gave Lexi. Because she had to be on antibiotics for so long, it wiped out the flora in her digestive system and so it was diarrhea for a couple of days after we stopped the antibiotics. Good thing it was an easy fix with tablets to rebuild her flora.

The vet bills, needless to say, are HIGH! But i think we can manage it. Now i just hope that Lexi stays strong and healthy. We have her on an immunity booster at the moment, which should help.

However, dealing with her doggy teenage antics is a whole different matter 😛

syc