Looking back on the year that is coming to a close is always good for me. I feel like it all went by in a big fast-forward blur so it’s good to think of the events that actually did take place.
The biggest and most thrilling thing that happened to our family in the last 12 months happened in February, when our Alinya was born. When I saw that she was a girl, I immediately said (I thought it was just to myself, although later I realized that it was said aloud) ‘what are we going to do with a girl?’ This curious reception aside, she has been welcomed into our family with great enthusiasm and has barely survived the kissing, hugging and being generally smothered with love on all accounts. She rewards our behavior with sunny smiles and general good humor constantly. She is developing a quirky little personality that makes us laugh loudly and often, which just has to be good for you. She is taking her time with development, still content to sit up and play with toys given to her by her brothers, selected with great care as to not cause any choking. They are very protective of her and she is nuts about them.
The boys are doing fine in school. I try not to get too hyper about the daily ups and downs that they bring home, things others did/said, things their teachers did/said to make their day what it was, good or bad. This is something that is a challenge for me and I find myself muttering under my breath a sentence that our mother threatened almost every week of our school career ‘well I am just going to have to call the school’. We responded with NO MOM, please don’t call the school, so maybe she was just actually testing us to see whether it was really serious or not. Hey, I just caught on now. Duh. Hannes is in third grade and finding it very interesting as well as challenging. He has a new teacher this year and she is very serious about rules and regulations which is right down his alley! Once you catch on to how her classroom works, things are fine but it does mean for a rocky start. Hannes continues piano with varying degrees of enthusiasm! Dylan also has a new teacher in first grade and he seems to be meeting the challenges as well. Their classroom is very full this year, making the available space limited…..Dylan needs lots of room to move around so that is difficult for him sometimes. He loves recess and gym the most but is making progress in reading and seems to have an aptitude for math. They both started soccer this year and seem to love it. Their involvement in that extracurricular activity has given me leverage to ensure their cooperation in less interesting matters (clean rooms, completed homework, good attitudes….) that I needed! Liam has started preschool once a week. He likes to go and has learned a lot of French so far. He tells us a lot of stories about ‘his friend’ at school, many of them fabricated I suspect. He has a great imagination, maybe he is adding events to make up for the parts of the conversation he misses through the lack of French skills, I am not sure. It is entertaining and for the most part harmless for the moment. He is still the little happy guy we know and love but has had bouts of the ‘terrible fours’ too.
Ralph and I continue to try and manage this family to the best of our knowledge and ability. He has plenty of work for the moment and it seems like he has reached his goal so far of gaining at least one new client per year. He loves time spent with his kids and usually spends it kicking a soccer ball, hitting a tennis ball or building lego creations. Life is busy but good. Exciting events are few and far between so we just try and enjoy the daily routine. We did spend a weekend in London in November, a good friend turned 40 so we marked this occasion with a big ‘VanDenBerg surprise’ for her birthday. It felt good to be surrounded by English again and to stroll around that big beautiful city taking in the sights, sounds and smells.
Wonder what you’ll be putting in the oven this holiday season? We are looking forward to a slew of visitors, food, fun and games. Thinking of you and yours, The Meyer Crew