Life in Singapore, Raising Children

Electronic Christmas Letter

...and a happy New Year!
We wish you a Merry Christmas!

You may call it lazy. I will call it practical. We love to send out Christmas cards and letters every year, but this year we had too many things get in our way. Therefore, I am blogging my Christmas letter this year. How very 2011.

Here are our highlights for the year:

We had a very successful school year with Kate finishing kindergarten at Thornhill and Isabel finishing up her threes program at Broadway Children’s School. We made some wonderful friends and we miss them dearly. In January we filled in one of the terraces of our backyard, built a new retaining wall and planted some grass. Fun times were had by all as spring and summer rolled around.

Joel had a very successful year at Paypal, culminating in being asked to run products for the APAC region, a job based out of Singapore. We were more than thrilled, but had very little notice of our move, a mere three weeks. We quickly packed up, said a brief goodbye to friends, and rushed off to Singpore.

So far we are very happy with our move. The kids’ school is great, and the hours I spent agonizing over schools at 3 am before we left paid off very well. The girls are learning so much now, it blows me away. Kate went from being a beginning reader to being able to pick up anything and read it. She scored extremely well in her MAP assessments. The school is an IB school, which stands for international baccalaureate, and they follow the inquiry based learning approach. It is amazing how much more Kate is interested in school since we have been here. Her teacher is Australian, and Kate is picking up her accent. “Mummy, I cahn’t find the lift!”

Isabel is also doing really well. She is learning to read at school too. She knows how to spell Mom, yes, no and a few other words. She is gaining confidence and making new friends. It was a hard adjustment for her. She missed her friends and routines. However, she finally seems to be feeling happy and is enjoying school. I can’t tell you how happy we are with the school. The teachers are great, the kids are sweet, the families are welcoming and friendly. It has been wonderful.

Singapore is a fabulous place. We are learning how to speak Singlish, lah! We are grooving on the forever summer thing. The shopping is superb, albeit expensive, the food is really wonderful, and the people are friendly. Who needs fuzzy jackets anymore? Not us! Our condo has the perfect pool for us. I am getting pool time almost daily, and the kids are swimming after school with their friends. There are a few downsides. We miss our families and friends. It is terribly expensive here. Television and movies are censored, and they really do focus on cutting out the best parts. As a result our shows are delayed by months. We don’t always understand Singlish, and asking people to repeat things gets tiresome. Overall, though, we are really enjoying our time here and we look forward to traveling in the region.

Unfortunately, the picture is not all rosy. Both Joel and I lost family members. Joel’s grandmother, Netty, passed away, and then a few weeks ago so did my father. They would both want us to carry on and enjoy our lives, so that is what we are trying to do. We have our sad moments, though.

Overall, our year has been a bit of a roller coaster. As we unpacked I ran across Christmas letters from the past, and it was funny to see the similarities. Again, big move, new job, new school, miss our friends, miss our family. Such is the life of a bunch of vagabonds. Thanks for being a part of it.


  1. Happy New Year to you and your family! Glad to hear all is well with the transition. While we are worlds away, life as an ex-pat in the Netherlands has many similarities to yours. I told Sara to stop by in Amsterdam when she goes to visit you guys…but I know it’s a bit out of the way. Let me know if you make it to the EU anytime soon. We are around for 2012. ~Rachel

  2. What school(s) do your children go to? My family will be relocating next summer and finding schools is number one on our list! thanks in advance for your help!

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