We knew this year held another international move, including some significant travel in July. Despite being able to move back into the house that we'd left last year, it turned out to be a stressful move. I found it really hard to leave Australia and ended up with an only-just-now resolving stress-related problem in my oesophagus.
Aside from that mid-year stress we all readjusted back to Japan well. Our boys have loved being back in Japan and at their school.
Probably the biggest surprise I can't write much about, but it concerns our eldest son's struggle with adjusting to the higher standards required of Yr 11 students (second last year of school). It's something that's caused a lot of stress for the whole family, but through hard work and perseverance (and some changes in goals) we can see a little light at the end of the tunnel.
We also had my parents visit us here in Tokyo and were able to show them around our little corner of the world a little.
We began the year with one "numerical" teenager, end the year with two. I can say with certainty that our household is more "teenager-like" this year than last.
Our youngest also hit double digits this year. I got "progressive" glasses this year (so I can read and see distance with my glasses on).
This year we saw our eldest son win the Australian National Championships for his weight in the Cadet category of wrestling (16 and 17 year olds). That wasn't something we could have predicted.
We also saw our youngest son be crowned the school athletics champion for his age group and take up trumpet as his new instrument.
Our middle son started high school in February and then middle school in August. He ran for the school in cross country here and also got braces this year. He doesn't like me talking or writing about him, so to avoid putting my foot in my mouth, I'll quit here.
From February to June David was a university-level lecturer. That was definitely unexpected.
- had a number of camping adventures, in Australia and Japan, with friends, family and on our own
- went to Canberra (some of us twice)
- did more driving around Queensland
- said a temporary goodbye to new and old friends (some quite painfully)
- said hello to old and new friends
- went to Thailand for the first time (for four of us)
- I learnt how to make bread rolls and stuffed bread rolls
- we bought a shipping container and moved our Australian stuff into that for storage
- we were attacked by a dog twice and survived
- I completed a large cross-stitch project for my parents
- I went to a 25th reunion for my high school class
- I'm now the second shortest in the family, and close to the second lightest
Last year we celebrated New Year's eve with friends from the late '80s and early to mid '90s. This year we'll celebrate with friends we met in August! Different, but both good.
We've hit a fairly stable part of our lives, yet we're thinking about the near future when our "birdies" will start to fly from the coup. 2017 is when our eldest graduates from high school, tomorrow that will be next year!
It's only 2 ½ years till we fly back to Australia for another 12 month stint. This is a little earlier than usual, primarily due to educational reasons. I'm thinking about maybe starting some study during that time...we'll see. But we'll also be working with our eldest to ease him into tertiary studies and life on his own in Australia.
I think that's enough for a "brief" look back! As for looking forward to 2016, I'll blog about that in the next couple of days (remind me if I don't).