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Well another year has gone by, and hopefully we've all grown a little wiser, but stayed young in spirit

2002 was a huge year for us. In January, two days after my birthday, while holidaying in the Whitsundays, we sailed back to Airlie Beach and decided to marry there on the beach, barefoot and casual. The only guests aside from our witnesses were the girls, my nephew, David and several hundred seagulls.

This was a tough pregnancy mobility-wise. But Jordy is the greatest reward for all that difficulty and discomfort. He's still a great baby, smiling and giggling to us everyday. Both Monte and I look at him in awe each day and remark to each other how lucky we are that we have been blessed with such a beautiful, healthy and happy baby boy. Okay, he's got a temper in that little body of his, (his Dad's, of course - not mine!) but he's also got the most beautiful smile I've ever seen. He does that little lopsided Elvis grin at times, and it just melts my heart. (I suspect he's going to melt a few more when he reaches adulthood). For some reason, perhaps its the fact that we're older and more confident around babies, but we talk to him constantly. I don't remember doing that with the girls. I only remember those exhausting late night feeds where you needed matchsticks to hold your eyes open, and all you wanted to do was climb back into bed and not hear a baby crying every couple of hours. I remember questioning myself over and over on whether I was a good enough Mother, why was I feeling so tense? Did they hate me? Why wasn't this baby happy? Was it me?

It's truly amazing that they let you take home this tiny defenceless human being, when you've had absolutely no experience with babies, and trust you enough to take care of them. But somehow, it all works out okay. Right now, he's so perfect, it seems like he could never be obstinate, that he'll never argue back, and that the terrible two's will happen to other people's children. He has so much love around him right now, surely he'll never become insecure, weighed down with the baggage of imperfect humans, or be naughty. Dreaming, huh? Well I'll live in this fantasy world for a few months longer, thank you very much!

We've kept ourselves busy bringing the house up to date. Once Monte's finished the garage extension, we'll be able to convert the garage area to our office. I have this vision of perfect organization, a place where our office will be separate from our homelife, but I suspect I'll be putting a sofa out there for him to sleep on at times. I'd wanted to set it up for training purposes as well, but somehow I think we're going to end up way too busy with our other operations to even think of teaching from there. Right now I'm supposed to be working on an accounting practice set for Universities and Colleges, but I seem to be finding a few excuses to put it off. I've even got a publisher who is eager to see it, but I'm still trying to pull my finger out and get to a draft stage to give her something to work with. Right now I'm down to teaching one subject, and this was supposed to be my opportunity to get the spare time to write, but it hasn't happened. I enrolled for a second Masters, this time in E-Commerce, so I've probably already bitten off more than I can chew. And 2003 sees me working on two new projects, one marketing gift products to Japanese, and the other an idea I want to spin to a local business. I've also got to recommence my Peace Studies after a one year break, but let's think of that again in February!

Do you ever have that desire to want to opt out of city living? Move to a rural area and become self-sufficient? It's not even so much the idea of living on a property, but moreso that I'm getting tired of being so reliant on local services; utilities, electricity, water. Lately, I've been having this fantasy about selling up everything and we'll move to 20 acres a couple of hours away. Somewhere close to the ocean, where we can have a permanent bore supply, rainwater tanks, solar panels on the roof, raise chickens and grow our own vegetables. Ok, I'm having a hard enough time right now trying to keep the tomato plants alive, but if you're starving, you'll get it right, huh? Monte mentioned something about meat, (I knew he was trying to bait me), but I think I'd have to become vegetarian. Once you name them, they've got a long and healthy life ahead of them! The chickens would be pets, and I know I'd be fighting Jess for eggs to eat, because she'd be hiding them to raise baby chicks like she did last time. About two years ago she hid 26 eggs from me thinking that if they stayed warm long enough we'd have a cluster of baby chicks. It didn't matter that none of the hens were clucky, we experimented and kept the eggs on an electric blanket for a month!!! Needless to say, we disposed of many unhatched eggs and my electricity bill was huge!! So maybe the whole fantasy is a pipe-dream and the reality is really a lot of hard work, but it's a pleasant thought that has been sitting at the back of my mind quite frequently in recent months

We're booked to return to the States in early February. It's been a long time since Monte's been able to see Justin, Crysti and the grandkids, so I know how much he's looking forward to it. The girls will take nearly a month off school, and they're quite excited. Finally Jordy will be able to meet the rest of his family. Though Crysti says she's going to kidnap him and not let him come home. Dream on, girl!!

Well, that's about all I've got to bring you all up to date. I hope you've enjoyed our site this year. Next year I will continue to add to it. We welcome any contributions any of you might have. Please keep in touch and keep checking back in here. Till 2003, may you and your family have a happy, healthy and safe Christmas.

Love to all and God bless

Ros, Monte, Jess, Kahni & Jordan

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