Another wonderful year has passed, 2018 for us has been very exciting and has seen us grow and learn some more …

As always our year has been full of travel. Our trips this year have included a two-week adventure to Sri Lanka in April, with an action-packed stopover in Kuala Lumpur! We have not had much opportunity for camping, but managed some glamping at our annual Wharncliffe Mill weekend in June with a large group of school families. During the October school holidays, we went on an east coast adventure, starting in Melbourne during the AFL Grand Final week, then on a road trip via Canberra to Stanwell Park near Sydney to stay with the oldest Wood sibling, Peter and family. The kids always love staying at this beachside town. (more photos: Facebook | Instagram)

Canberra’s Floriade Festival

Olive is turning into a beautiful (and tall!) young lady. She has had a very busy and rewarding year final year at primary school. She has been active playing netball and getting adventurous with Scout activities and camps. She loves music and singing and has been very active in the school choir, highlighted with the One Big Voice Choir event. Most importantly though, she has graduated from Primary School, and what a festival it was, with dinners and ceremonies, and lots of excitement. We are very proud of her winning the Language Award at her graduation ceremony, as well as doing well in the GATE testing and being accepted into the Academic Program at Shenton College. She is a little nervous, but mostly very excited to be going to high school next year. The highlight for her is probably getting her ears pierced, perhaps signalling that she is now officially grown up.

Olive loves science

Jetson is now 9 and is still the comedian of the family. He is an absolute sports fanatic, and if you asked him what the best part of the year is, he would tell you all about his amazing goals in the lunchtime soccer matches, even ‘Megs-ing’ someone!! He is loving playing indoor soccer with his schoolmates and playing master blaster cricket. He dabbled in some golf lessons early in the year, and he even starred in the WA Disabled Sports Track and Field Championships. He’s a passionate collector, having lots of AFL and cricket cards, as well as having quite a collection of Pokemon cards! He also enjoys his weekly adventures with Cubs and through that has been more involved with community events.

Jetson at the Disabled Sports Track and Field Championships

Casper looks up to his older siblings but is making his own mark. He loves school and is an exceptional student in both behaviour and ability, a favourite of the teachers and fellow students. He continues developing his art and craft, but sport is also taking up more of his time now. He has played Auskick, master blaster cricket, as well as indoor soccer. He was the third-fastest sprinter in his year, which got him a spot on the interschool team, winning first place in the relay. Finally, some of his dad’s sporting prowess coming through.

Casper’s Edudance performace

With Clare still working for the WACA, her time is not surprisingly dominated by cricket. Her contract changed to solely working with the women’s team at the start of the new season in June. She has travelled with work a couple of times, to Adelaide for the WBBL grand final in February and a conference in Brisbane in May. Life is still a juggle between work, taxiing the kids around, and spending time with Nina/Mum who is declining in health with a diagnosis of Dementia. It is not all work and family, even though it feels like it sometimes. She got away to Broome with some girlfriends in August and has even done some fictional reading. 

Clare on a camel in Broome

Rob is still happily working from home, juggling family duties and work on his websites, always striving for the perfect work/life balance. With a large amount of holiday time, there seems to be a lot more ‘life’, than ‘work’! He visited John/Dad in Melbourne in June as he moved permanently into aged care. He celebrated father’s day with a fun game of disc golf, which he won of course. He has also really enjoyed attending many of the local Fathering Project events, and is due for another trip away with the dads!

Rob relaxing in Sri Lanka

We had an extra family member for part of the year, but little Squeak the guinea pig did not stay around very long. Luckily we were able to look after some of his pals from the neighbourhood so his cage was not always empty. In the last couple of days, we have taken procession of a new tenant, a little bunny called Latte. Maybe the kids will be inspired to help out more with this one as it is soooo cute and fluffy.

Olive and Latte

This year we also got a long-overdue upgrade to our car. The Holden Astra had served us well, but the extra seating and pulling power of the 7-seater Mitsubishi Outlander is going to serve us well into the future – ferrying kids to sports on weekends and maybe to tow a caravan around Australia one day.

We spent the Christmas break home in Perth, catching up with family and friends, and getting ready for another busy but undoubtedly exciting year! We look forward to catching up with some of you in the coming year (especially if you are in New Zealand in April!)

Love from the Travelling Woods

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