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Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Christmas Greeting 2011

Here’s a short little note to wish you a very Merry Christmas. Christmas came quite early; the day after Halloween the tree was up and the kids were watching “How the Grinch Stole Christmas”. We’ve  been reading the book called “The Elf on the Shelf” about a little red elf who reports to Santa on the kids’ behaviour. (I am obligated to hide this elf in a new place for the kids to find each morning).  I have tickets for the Nutcracker Ballet with Maggie on Saturday, a story she is quite familiar with. There are so many side stories to Christmas, I hope that the kids will still remember about Jesus’ birthday, our reason to celebrate Christmas.

Maggie and AJ have their own advent chocolate calendar as a countdown to Christmas and Toronto! We'll spend a week long visit to see Grandma and my sister will visit us there as well. We hung up the stockings last night and once again they asked me if it was the "Night Before Christmas".

At 16 months he can sign a few words like “more” and “fish” and "please" (not necessarily in the same sentence) and even say “I want that” or "I want one" in that same whiny voice as the older sibs; and that's not counting all the body parts and standard words kids say like mama, dada and nye-nye (milk).  He celebrated his first birthday with a joint party for dad in the summer. He eats well with a fork and spoon, though sometimes it would be less messy to just eat with hands. He’s actually average height and weight for his age, which might make him seem big for an Asian because he can take down his older brother with a bear hug from behind.

He continues to amaze everyday with his amazing concentration with doing puzzles, mazes, writing letters and numbers, and even completing Maggie’s homework for music class. Earlier in the year, AJ did swimming lessons, nursery school, Baby Mozart class, and a toddler sports class; since September he’s in a Montessori School full day. His favorite toys are Buzz and Woody; favorite book is “Mad about Spiders“, and his favorite music is the “Batman Forever“ and "Spiderman“ movie soundtrack, the CD player he can manage all by himself. Christmas wishlist - Remote control car and Buzz.

Maggie attends a French Immersion JK class and rides a big yellow school bus. This is her second year of piano in the MYC program. She loves singing, especially in French. Actually she comes home and teaches AJ French, writing, and math.  Favorite toys, cooking in the toy kitchen and playing house with AJ. This evening`s newest culinary experiment, sliced dinosaur baked. Favorite music, "Ariel" disney movie soundtrack.  Princess Ariel also came to her 4th birthday party! Her favorite book, it`s hard to say because after such a long day at school she always falls asleep before we`re through with storytime.  Christmas wishlist - Barbie.

I returned to work in August after a full year on maternity leave; back to my Engineering post and met with new challenges.  It's always hard to return to work in the late summer.  My role changes at any given hour from Systems Engineer to Cisco Systems Network Administrator to smart shopper for small electronic components with the company credit card. I also studied Suzuki Piano Teacher Training in Las Vegas on a 10 day trip by myself! My piano studio has expanded to nearly triple the number of students from last year. I have a group class for ages 3-5, and the others are all private students ages 5 to 14.  I suppose I never sleep because I still manage to find a little bit of time to scrapbook and create greeting cards when I'm not buying or selling something on ebay.

Brian is on one year full-time French training since September. He just returned from a two week homestay program in Quebec City with a traditional French family. He continues to play soccer in three indoor/ outdoor leagues. In his spare time, reseaching for a new vehicle to buy or reading up on World War II history. Because of my busy teaching schedule, he's got a really good handle on the three kids when they have to leave the house to keep quite and go to Chapters, library, Canadian Tire, T and T, or the park. We're thinking that we may be posted in the Summer 2012 posting season but we don't know where.

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