Last Day of 2019…

Today is the very last day of 2019! The year has just flown by! i hope your 2019 has been good; filled with joy and laughter, successes and harmony, and even the not-so-good parts, i pray you will be able to look back upon them with wisdom and peace.

Here’s our reflection on our 2019:

Hihi

How are you? Hope this finds you well and enjoying this festive season with loved ones. Do remember to say a little Thank You to Jesus because He is the reason for the season.

Various changes in our own situations and at church have meant that 2019 has been about finding our way through some uncertainty. But by the grace of God, we have managed to get through the year, and things are looking well.

In January, Sandra increased her involvement in SCBWI (Society for Children’s Books Writers and Illustrators); managing their blog and being part of a conference planning team. Tobias and Sandra, together with Lexi continue to attend dog school. At the same time, we started looking for a dog sitter for when we would be away in summer.

February saw us in Laax for our annual ski trip. This time we brought Tobias’ friend with us and it was the first time we had a dog with us. Due to issues with her knee, Sandra did not ski but enjoyed lots of walks with Lexi. As Tobias is going into the next stage of school, called Gymnasium (junior college for people in Singapore), we also attended a couple of school meetings and Tobias had to make a decision on which core subjects he would like to take in the next school year. Walter also spent some time in Singapore with his family.

Lexi went into her first heat in March and it was a learning experience for us. But it was not as terrible as some had described to us. For Sandra, conference planning for SCBWI kicked into high gear. Sandra’s poly classmate, who was travelling with her mother, come to stay for a few days. It was such a nice time of catching up.

April was a difficult time as Lexi had an accident; her tail got clamped in the door which leads to the garden. We rushed her to the emergency vet. Repeated infections saw our poor little dog go through 3 operations, ending with a much-shortened tail.

The SCBWI Europolitian Conference took place the first weekend in May and Sandra was away, helping in that conference for 4 days. Walter and Tobias, together with an injured Lexi, managed quite well by themselves. We also celebrated Tobias’ 15th birthday. It was a quiet celebration; he chose to go watch a movie with a couple of good friends. Good news came at the end of May, when the vet gave the all clear for Lexi’s injury and she didn’t have to wear the cone anymore.

Inspired by the conference, Sandra took part in her very first writing contest in June. She didn’t win but it was a good experience. Lexi got to go back to dog school and spent a trial night at a pet hotel; it all went well.

Just before we left for our summer holidays in July, Tobias met his new violin teacher and he has been quite happy with his new teacher. His previous teacher would be retiring and said it was good to move to another teacher as he is also moving to the next stage of school. Our annual visit to Singapore was very eventful this year as we took Tobias’ best friend with us. It was interesting showing him around and watching him enjoy all the food. This year we only stayed 3 weeks because Lexi was at the pet hotel and we didn’t want to leave her for too long and could not really afford pet hotel for longer.

In August, Tobias was, finally after all these years, able to go to his other best friend’s birthday celebrations (usually we get back from Singapore much later and miss it). Walter started taking on a bigger role in the Pastoral Search Committee at church, as well as continuing as an elder and worship leader. Tobias started his first year in Gymnasium in the middle of August and likes it. He is in the bilingual track (German and English) with biology and chemistry as his core subjects. Tobias has continued with his squash lessons and of course, violin with the new teacher.

Sandra was able to catch up with her university housemate, whom she had not seen since leaving uni, in September. Her housemate was travelling with her parents and was only in Switzerland for one day, but they managed to meet up; it was lovely.

In the middle of September, Sandra’s father was warded into hospital (he had been in hospital a couple of times earlier in the year but only for short periods) and has been there since there had been a couple of complications. But now it seems that things are stable and there’s a positive outlook. We would like to thank all our family and friends for their wonderful prayers and support through this difficult time.

October saw us spending a quiet time here during the school holidays. Sandra started making blackout curtains for the church and became part of the constitution rewrite committee. Throughout the year, Walter has been travelling for work (not as much as last year, thank God) but this is the time when it gets hectic for him.

As always, November is a busy time. This year made busier by the sewing of curtains, many meetings for the constitution and search committees as well as fundraising activities by the Sunday School for our missionaries in India. Sandra has continued as missions coordinator and as a Sunday School teacher so she does her best to combine the two whenever possible.

And finally, we are here, in December, getting ready for Christmas and the end of another jam-packed year. We are grateful for all that we have experienced, the good and the bad, and we pray that we have learned from these experiences and become better for it.

A Christmas Prayer for you and your loved ones:

We pray your spirit is light with hope, your heart is filled with joy and your days are blessed with the glory of God. May His Love bring you peace at Christmas time and always.

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

With love,

Walter, Sandra, Tobias and Lexi.

We wish you all a most blessed and fulfilling 2020! Let’s make it a year filled with love and kindness, with many moments of shared happiness.

syc

Looking Ahead…

… actually i looked back… just a little… to see where this blog has come in the last couple of years. i also had a quick look at the summary of 2013 which WordPress does for me each year (with very nice graphics i might add).

And do you know which posts got the most views? Our All from Asia series, which advocates for families adopting special needs orphans from Asia.

And on March 20th 2013, we got 157 views with the most popular post of that day being ‘Many Hands… We Need…‘ – which is an appeal to help bring 2 very special orphans home.

It is so interesting that many things i had planned for this blog didn’t get published or even written. Instead God took it and made it something which shows His wonderful plans at work.

The highlight for me in 2013 was this post, ‘He and She are Home‘, in which the very first two special needs orphans i prayed and advocated for, arrived safely home with their forever families. Every time i think of them, i smile.

So what would 2014 hold for this blog? i pray that it will be a platform for much more orphan advocacy as well as how it affects our lives to be part of this wonderful work. And to reflect that i have updated our Tripping Along page.

Of course, you will still hear about our daily happenings, our travel, reading and writing adventures.

i would like to start 2014 with this wonderful quote from the book “Wonder” (which i will review in the next post).

Quotation-R-J-Palacio-choosekindsyc

PS: How do you like our new look?