24 Dec 2014 03:43 pm

Posted by under Dave's Thoughts,Photos

Merry Christmas!!

Merry Christmas!!

Christmas Eve – another Christmas is upon us and we are grateful for the days off that we have to enjoy a break at the end of a busy year.  2014 was a year of change for us as we made a move from our place in Chestermere into Calgary.  Although  our place in Chestermere was very suited to life when the kids where small, with a large yard on a quiet cul-de-sac, as the years went by the burden of driving back and forth to Calgary mounted. By the autumn of 2013 it was clear that a change was in order, so we began the search for a new home in Calgary and in January made an offer on our new place.  We chose to buy in Calgary before listing the Chestermere house to allow us to stage and list the old place in the summer time.

We moved into the city in March, then spent about 5 weeks getting the Chestermere house cleared out, cleaned up, repainted and re-carpeted before staging the house and listing at the end of April. We had quite a bit of interest and had offers to consider within a couple of weeks, eventually selling in mid-June.  There was a bit of a scramble towards the possession date in July, but on the 18th we handed over the keys and ended that chapter of our lives after 15½ years.

With the move behind us, we took a week off in August out at the west coast to one of our favourite holiday destinations – Thetis Island.  We met up with Brenda’s brother and family and had a great week enjoying the relaxing, welcoming environment of Capernwray Harbour.  It was a real treat for the kids to be able to spend the week with their cousins swimming, working on crafts, exploring the woods and all of the other fun things on offer under the supervision of the staff.

Once the vacation was over we turned our attention to getting settled into new routines for work and school. Part of the impetus for moving into Calgary was to gain access to some better schooling options for the kids. Steven and Alyssa are now attending Master’s Academy which is only a 6 block walk from the house.  Steven is in grade 12 this year and has settled in quickly and well to the new school.  Of course, he is in the midst of contemplating his options for post-secondary education and is find that to be a big challenge. At this point, SAIT’s information technology program seems to be a front runner, but we wouldn’t rule out a bit of a “gap year” for a few months of work or travel to broaden horizons.

Alyssa’s transition into the new school was a little rocky – Grade 7 can be tough at the best of times, and being one of the “new girls” doesn’t help.  Fortunately, there are quite a few new girls in her class and by November Alyssa had started to find her niche with a group of nice kids and has settled in. As she grows, her interests are expanding a bit into some baking and sewing projects – expanding on her repetoire of creating and crafting.

Mark’s transition has been quite different, the traditional classroom has always been a difficult for his learning style and needs, so this year he is trying a virtual school program.  St Paul’s  Academy offers teacher-led online classes that seem to work really well for Mark, he has much more control over his schedule and can manage his energy much more effectively.  His grades are good and it is very encouraging to see him doing well.  The one downside is the social aspect of not seeing friends at school, so we are glad that Mark is able to keep in touch with  many of his friends from last year either online or at the youth group he attends each week.

As for Brenda and I, what would you expect but another year of interesting adventures? Brenda spent the first half of the year working on the grand opening celebration for the Calgary Airport’s new parallel runway, gathering an impressive display of aircraft – everything from a vintage Gypsy Moth, to Harvards, Stinsons and even the brand new 787 Dreamliner.  The event was a wonderful success despite some dodgy weather.  Brenda followed this up with supporting the tour of the Arizona CAF  B-25 bomber across western Canada, including a week in Airdrie. It made for a great bucket list year as I got a Harvard ride in June, then Brenda, Steven and I flew cross-country from Red Deer to Airdrie in the B-25.  …oh yeah, I also worked on contract at TransCanada Pipelines.

We do wish all of our friends and family all the best for this Christmas season and the coming year.


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