2016 was a year of rebuilding our shed into a little cottage room, planting around our property Stoneleigh, and continuing to settle into the Burrumbuttock parish, the people of which we have grown to love and learn from. The highlight of 2016 was getting ready to welcome Bethany Anne into the world.
Sarah Joy was magnificent in continuing the children's education at home, while bearing Bethany. We had a fantastic obstetrician, Dr Simon Craig, who prepared us well, and delivered Bethany in what seemed record time. Bethany was born a Victorian (no comment), like most children in this southern region of NSW.
I continued working about a day a week at the Gardens Medical Centre, keeping up my general practice skills. A particular highlight in the parish was preaching a sermon series on the Ten Commandments and leading a bible study series called Big Questions looking at the church's response to the social and bioethical issues of Abortion, Euthanasia, Refugee care and Just War. I continue to serve the wider church, being on the NSW District Church Council and the LCA's CSBQ (Commission on Social and Bioethical Questions).
Gregory Lewis. Enoch and Abigail now regular play for services in the parish. This year it's Andreas' turn to join the piano lessons. Enoch joined the Brock/Burrum Saints under 14 football team, and Abigail the under 12 netball team. Andreas also played in the Auskick competition for the Saints.
Thomas continues to enjoy the outdoors, and everything 'Bear Grylls'. Sophia is coming along brilliantly with her maths, and Noah continues to be adorable as he learns to speak. Bethany is a joy, and last night slept through for 7 hours (great start to the new year)!
In May we had a great holiday in the Blue Mountains seeing the sights, bushwalking, visiting second-hand book shops (my hobby) and catching up with Sarah Joy's Dad and family friends, Danny and Annette Wotherspoon, and also my aunt Waltraud from Sydney.
I've read some fascinating books this year, several in German, including Hans-Dietrich Genscher's Errinerungen (Memories). He was Germany's long serving Foreign Minister, who served through the 1970s to the early 1990s, including the era of Mikhael Gorbachev's Perestroika and Glasnost, and the reunification of Germany. I read his book just after he died last year, unbeknown to me at the time. It was fascinating and troubling, to see his dream of European unification, even towards a United States of Europe, continue to crumble this last year! His impromptu balcony speech to his fellow east Germans (he grew up in Halle, the birth place of G.F Handel) who were seeking asylum in the overcrowded West German embassy in Prague in 1989 still gives me goosebumps.
This April 5th Sarah Joy and I will have been married 15 years. For this I am truly thankful. So now it's time to look for some crystal!