At Home with the Harlands                                                        Christmas 2008

Now once again its Christmas time … the year has positively flown past for us, with all the usual activities, and then some, it seems! With no-one starting school or finishing a significant stage this year, this is probably about as normal as it gets for us. It did mean that we had four performers at the time of the biannual school ‘Tattoo’, including a munchkin, a Spice Girl, a 50’s rocker and a drummer --- thankfully it will be two years before we have to do it all over again!

Jeremy has just completed Year 1. He has had enjoyed a lot of things, with the highlight probably being an excursion to Rippon Lea, an old mansion. He is building up a large collection of soft toys, which makes his bed look like a zoo! He really enjoyed dressing up and singing at the Tattoo and some other concerts, but if he wants to keep the songs secret from the rest of the family, he will have to learn to stop singing them around the house …

Emily has just completed Year 3. She has often being found doing her homework well before it is due (with occasional lapses!), and enjoyed a lot of her studies this year. She has continued with her dancing and added a singing group this year as well, which meant that on one of the performance nights, she had to sprint from one end of the school to the other to appear in both items. She must have run faster at some point in her life, but we don’t know when!

Timothy has just finished Year 5, which is his first year in a class for boys only (which will continue to Year 12). He took up Japanese this year, and did very well at it. This means that he has a fighting chance of understanding the stream of near gibberish that his elder brother comes out with. He also started playing school sport, with tennis, football, soccer and athletics. He took a great deal of delight in knowing that his shoe size is now the same as his father’s, which may explain why he drives around the local go-kart track with the speed and expertise of a Grand Prix driver!

Joshua has just started Year 11, having completed Year 10 a few weeks ago. He joined the Pipes and Drums band this year, which  won the Victorian School championships this year for the 25th year in a row. This meant quite a busy year at concerts, assemblies, speech nights, and other events, which has meant quite a few occasions in a kilt. Despite all this, he has kept his academic progress, and hopes to go on the school trip to Japan next year. Our ‘Big Drummer Boy’ (now taller than his father) has continued playing basketball, where he is no longer one of the shortest on the court.

Linda has had another busy year at work, although she was very pleased to finally hand over responsibility for timetabling the largest school in the southern hemisphere to someone else in November. This means far less weekends spent over a computer, and hence a lot more free time.

James has done his share of travel (again!), but has managed to hand over the Vietnam and Malaysian activities to others, so that will mean more lectures and exam marking next year. Looks like ‘back to the classroom’ could be a theme next year …

With best wishes from all of us for a refreshing Christmas and a prosperous New Year,

James, Linda, Joshua, Timothy, Emily & Jeremy Harland