Roundup of 2009

Looking back on last year’s roundup, I’m pleased to say that both Steve and I seem to have achieved our goals for this year. Anna came close, but will have to re-take that dratted exam! Still, that gives her slightly more time to prepare for her grade 6 practicals and have time to get used to a new cello. Anyway, here are some highlights from the year with details added by various people.

In February we had a great holiday in Spain – the first time on an aeroplane for the children! The villa was fab, the weather was sunny, it was a lovely and very relaxing week. Josiah particularly liked the giant chess and hot tub at our holiday home.

We were able to meet up with our online friends en masse not once but twice in the year – an added bonus for me as they are my best friends, despite being so far flung :)

Geocaching has been fairly fun this year, and we’ve introduced a couple more of our friends to the sport! Josiah says he only likes the interesting ones, like Kerplunk and Exon Quest (email me for the password!), but I like them all ;)

Cache number 4

We saw Steve through a whole season of motor racing – he came 3rd in the Wiscombe Hill championship and 2nd in the Association of South West Motor Clubs championship. Not bad for his first proper season of hillclimbing, unfortunately he’s good at it and enjoys it so we’re in for the long haul here I’m afraid.

Some birthdays happened this year, as usual! Mine and Steve’s were fairly boring but the kids all enjoyed theirs – Abbie especially! She went to see Miley Cyrus in concert as her birthday treat with a friend, on one of the snowy icy days in December. Steve and I went well prepared even for spending the night in the car (luckily we didn’t have to!). I took this photo at an indian restaurant that we went to on Steve’s birthday and I think it’s one of my favourites from the year …

Happy Birthday Steve!

We had a couple of other holidays, camping at Ashburnham and then in Wales – Josiah says he really enjoyed his kids’ group at 28:18 this year. Anna said that watching a rally in the pouring rain shouldn’t count as a holiday, though …

Music has been important in our house as normal – where to start on the highlights?! This year we’ve had a new cello, flute, and piano arrive in the house! Various lessons have continued (piano, cello, flute, violin, bassoon) and we’ve had the addition of drums into the mix for Abbie, and she’s now playing percussion in the orchestra. Josiah passed his grade 3 violin with distinction, and Anna passed her grade 5 piano with distinction too.
Exeter Children’s Orchestra is an even bigger part of our lives than before, with all three children as members and me now chairing the committee, it’s busy and hard work but absolutely brilliant all round.
The children all enjoy various choirs too, and Joe took his love of singing further this year by ending up in the cathedral choir and therefore changing schools as a result!

School, argh … we end the year being involved in four schools between us, which is far too many really (especially for someone who’s really still a home educator at heart)! Anna’s winging her way through Y8 at St. Luke’s while Abbie is relishing every moment of her last year at Pinhoe (sniff!). Josiah has moved to the Cathedral School which has been a brilliant move for him and he’s enjoying it, although he does miss old friends. Meanwhile I changed jobs at my school, moving out of a class base and into a cover supervisor role, which is interesting, and I’m really enjoying the challenge, even if it does mean that I don’t get to go to Donkeys any more!

Despite a wobbly start to the year for a number of reasons, both the sales site and the workshop have done very well, which is simply amazing given the current financial climate. Steve has started selling a few camper vans too which is proving to be good so far.

Other general highlights:
Probably the Panto Society’s Summer Show for Anna – she did so well at this. Both girls are now involved in the pantomime itself, which is on during the second week in January. They’re having great fun – I’ll be glad when it’s over, though, as rehearsals have been long and late.

Decorating and moving rooms around – not only upstairs but latterly the back room before the piano arrived.

The chorister thing – we’re just so pleased for Josiah to be at a wonderful school, enjoying every minute of the music there. It’s also rather nice (both for him and for the rest of us!) to have the occasional night when he boards!! I’m also not-so-secretly rather pleased that for the next five years I’m not going to get any arguments out of Steve about attending church on Christmas day ;)

The family agreed that they liked having goals for the year ahead so, starting something of a tradition, here are our goals for 2010:

  • Steve: Beat the Cosworth at Wiscombe
  • Sarah: Find another 100 caches! Work hard at home, school, and orchestra. Make time for faith stuff that is important to me. Lose a bit of weight/get fit/stop driving up the road to school!
  • Anna: Pass Grade 5 theory. And 2 Grade 6 practicals. Get some sort of music place somewhere, hopefully. To have my own room (that’s not going to happen), okay then, to get more allowance!
  • Abbie: To improve in music, to make the most of the end of Y6 and have a good change to a new school in September.
  • Josiah: to meet Ewan (a friend from Pinhoe school) every holidays. Have fun at school.

And some more of my favourite photos from the year, one for each month, just for good measure :)

Abbie and Robyn Kids and Snowman Mother's Day Self Timer shot! Joe at Haytor Quarry

Yes, what a great umbrella! Anna & Jim Neat cornering Bexhill Seafront

Running Abbie Self timer 2 Singing My lovely family!