What a Year.

As this insane, crazy and difficult year comes to a close a update from the Kethel Boys and crew is well over due.

As the regular reader’s might of noticed I haven’t written much this year. The hectic pace of the year has left me with very little time to sit down and write. Hopefully next year I will have more time for writing and more adventures to write about.

So what have the Kethel Boys and family been up to this year? Well the short answer is lots. The long answer is below.

First thing first, all of us are heathy and well. Apart from the usual cold’s and flu’s of course. I was sick for a couple of weeks due to a virus which left me with no energy and fatigued. With rest and two weeks off work I recovered to live another day.

Covid 19 has been the hot topic this year. If that wasn’t enough of a ordeal for our family, we decided it would be a good time to do a major renovation to the house.

We started getting quotes at the beginning of the year as Covid 19 was just a news story from distant lands. Normal enough really.

As the lockdowns started we were having plans drawn up and getting serious with build details. The impact of the pandemic meant our builder and was able to start much early than anticipated, and as the builders got in to full swing on the demolition phase of the build we moved into a little old house in Manly.

What have we done to the house.

We enjoyed living close to the bay. However after 3 months with the 5 of us living in a very cramped house we were very happy to move back into our own home. Even if it meant Miranda and I have to sleep in the lounge room. The renovations are still going and will continue into next year.

Starting to look much better.

Before the renovations we had to deal with the lockdown and schools closing.

Home schooling proved to be a bigger challenge than expected. The problem we had was juggling a baby Hayden and getting the time to spend one on one with the kids. At the age of 6 and 7 we couldn’t just give Alec and  Siannah the work and expect them to self learn.IMG_7583

I don’t think we completely failed as teachers. We figured as long as the kids continued to progress we were happy.

Keeping the kids entertained while stuck at home was also a challenge. We started getting the kids more involved in the house chores. We brought small art projects and encourage them to go outside and get active. The climbing wall was a god sent. Alec and Siannah spent hours playing on the wall making up games, such as who could hang on the overhang the longest.

We have tried to stay active during the entire year not just during lock down. Siannah continued with her ballet. Doing remote classes at home when she wasn’t able to attend. Alec has fallen in love with soccer and has done a couple of after school programs. We plan to join a club next year. Hayden is always active. I don’t think she know how to walk. She just runs everywhere. She is now older enough to be a passenger on my bike and we have gone on many rides together. She absolutely loves it and get upset if I go for a ride be myself.

 

 

Sometimes being active doesn’t go to plan. Two times this year Siannah had to go to hospital.

The first time Siannah fell of her scooter and used her head and a steel post to stop. The big hit to her head gain her few hours under observation at the hospital.60930321258__51A06B69-B681-4D37-9CD0-1325DADBFFEF

The second time Siannah used the front brakes on her bike going down a hill. This sent her over the handle bars. The result a day off school, some skin missing and a x-ray on her hand. No major damage done.

Miranda was not impressed. Both times she was in my care. In the entire 8 years of Siannah’s life Miranda has never had to take her to hospital. I have done it twice this year.

Birthdays and easter were much smaller affairs due to the Covid restrictions. Alec was the only one that got a big party. A week after his birthday everyone was in lockdown. Siannah turn 8, Alec 6 and Hayden 1. It was really disappointing we couldn’t have a big party for the Hayden. But a small price to pay considering the alternative.

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Hayden dressed up for Halloween.

Camping trips were lacking this year. Apart from the two trips early in the year which has be written about, we only got one other in. We made a long weekend out of father’s day and toke the camper up to a family farm. It was great to get away.

This was also our first trip in the new camper. Well new to us. With the growing family I decided to upgrade. The new camper is actually 2 years older than my original one. Same brand but the larger model. I will have to do a write up on it one day.

Talking about going away, we a busy getting ready for Christmas and this year we will be spending it with Miranda’s family in Newcastle. Everyone is really excited. This trip has been planned for 12 months. But the final decision to go was only made at the end of November. Many times this year we were sure we would have to cancel. We are still a little apprehensive traveling across the border, but we will be keeping a eye on the news in case that is any signs of border closers.

Like most people we are looking forward to the new year. 2020 has been a year nobody will forget. The world has been thrown into turmoil and the stability of our lives thrown away with it. When simple things of visiting a relative or hugging a loved one is not possible your perspective on what is important changes, and with it your priorities. Christmas is a time to celebrate, catch up and re-connect. Don’t let it go to waste.

From our family to yours we wish you a Merry Christmas and a wonderful new year.

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