Season’s Greetings to all our friends and family,

It is that time of the year again; time to share our adventures of 2015! We started the year finishing our expatriate life in Bali. During our time there we did a lot of travelling, so this year we have settled a little and kept our feet firmly planted. In the last few months of our time in Bali, we finally had some visitors, and lots of them. First Clare’s mum, sister Sharon, and her son Samuel, then Clare’s brother Paul and his 3 kids overlapped this visit, making it was a complete Reilly catch-up. Then with only weeks to go, a group of Rob’s friends swung by for some Bali adventures as well. It was great to show everyone around with our ‘local’ knowledge, and a great time was had by all!!

Rob and his mates ready for some whitewater rafting
Rob and his mates ready for some whitewater rafting

On coming back to Australia in April, we detoured via Victoria for a Wood family catch-up in Rosebud, and then back to our old neighbourhood in WA and settled very quickly back to school and family life with our good friends of Mount Hawthorn. We acquired a great rental house, much bigger and better than our last place here, and it has been really comfortable living.

Wood Family Reunion in Victoria
Wood Family Reunion in Victoria

Rob even gets his own office space so he can lock himself in to work on his websites, and has had a productive year. Rob turned 49, and is feeling his age after having to finally succumb to knee surgery to repair the damage from years of neglect. He is on the mend ready for his big 50th birthday this year.

Clare spent the year finishing her online sports nutrition diploma, successfully passing, albeit much more challenging this year without all the hired help of Bali! Now it’s time to get a real job to utilise the extra skills, and will now have more time to do so. She attended the Sports Dietitians Conference in Melbourne, and stepped up for another challenge volunteering as a board member for her professional association SDA. Clare also enjoyed a sneaky girls ‘foodie’ weekend away to Pemberton in September.

Casper has grown up so much, and is totally ready to start kindy this year. He is super excited about it all, and he can’t go wrong with his new teacher Mrs Smart. He has started riding his bike, and loves puzzles, drawing and dressing up. He continues to be a creative, clever, sweet and thoughtful kid, and we are confident he will excel at school.

Pink Lake WA
A stopped at the Pink Lake on the way back from a trip to kalbarri

Jetson is entering the big school – year 1 this year. He loves sport, and last year played in a special needs Auskick squad which had lots of perks, playing at half-time during an Eagles game and a couple of WAFL games. He really enjoyed getting involved, but he is also interested in trying out soccer, maybe cricket, and loves the golf set he got for Christmas after demonstrating exemplary mini-golf skills. He is quickly gaining confidence on his new bike which was custom designed for him, and he has recently started swimming lessons. With all this exercise, he is still as skinny as a rake! He is due to have tricep-to-bicep muscle transfer surgery in April, which will be a really exciting step for his upper body function. With the help of modern medicine he has made amazing progress.

Olive is growing into a teenager too early, at only 8. She is super curious about the world around her, and still inhales books at a rate of knots, and her computing skills will be superior to Clare’s very soon! Her extracurricular activities this year included Auskick, drama and netball. She has actually missed her friends and the school in Bali quite a bit, after being the one who was most enthusiastic about coming back.

Annual wood family photo
Annual wood family photo

We have really enjoyed being back and settled in Perth, though we still squeezed in a trip in July to Victoria for a first time snow play for the kids, which they absolutely loved! Around WA we camped in Kalbarri in the October holidays with family, followed by a quick visit to the kids’ favourite township of Donnelly River, then Manjimup before Christmas and Ledge Point with friends to celebrate the New Year. With a ‘relatively’ quiet year on the travel front, we have big plans for 2016 including a month in South Africa. Bring it on!

Clare, Rob, Olive, Jetson and Casper

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