S: Aviles 2011 Newsletter
BC: Happy Holidays! Medel, Milen, Martha, Martin and Moses
FC: Aviles 2011 Newsletter
1: 2011 seemed like a perfectly ordinary year. There was nothing astonishing nor earth-shaking that marked the year for our family. It was simply a year of ENJOYING and LOVING LIFE with FAMILY and FRIENDS and chasing a few PASSIONS here and there.
2: We started the year in the US. We spent Christmas, New Year and Martin’s birthday with with Mae (Medel's sister) and Bong in California. Even as we enjoyed theme parks, sights and shopping, the best moments were our secret Santa exchanges, finding the perfect Christmas gift for each other, our gingerbread-man-decorating contest, and simply cozying up together as a family in the cold winter weather.
4: It has become a tradition for us to start the year with our boys’ birthday party. This year, we were able to bring a petting zoo in our own backyard! It was a big hit and everyone enjoyed (except for the animals!). It has also become a time for us to gather our dearest friends and their families over to our home.
6: Our vacation in Davao and Manila in the summer was a good time to bond with our families. Our outdoor activities, beach adventures, tennis and music lessons, and of course, Filipino food trips, made it not only a refreshing break, but more importantly, a time to reconnect.
8: We are blessed with friends who have become family in Dubai--- with whom we find every reason to celebrate--birthdays, new babies, and new assignments.
10: Martha had found her passion in the summer—wakeboarding!! We were very proud of her as she quickly learned the sport despite its major challenges. In Dubai, she took surfing lessons, and continues with her Tennis and Trampolining. In school, she started middle school last year--adjusting, and gaining good ground. She had a very memorable birthday celebration too with her very best friends. Martha has physically grown so fast in the last year that we sometimes call her our “giant little girl”.
12: Martin has also pursued his passion relentlessly— Skateboarding!! He has become so good at it that his teacher recommended him to join the competition next year. Martin is also into playing the electric guitar, and continues to play tennis. He loves spending the afternoons outdoors with his friends.
14: Moses continues to excel in school. Still very bright and excellent at his work. He is into tennis and skateboarding too. But Moses’ real passion is in playing!!! (if you can call that a passion) Moses is quite popular in the playground with friends his age or older. He has grown to have an amusing personality and is very charming.
16: Milen continues with her usual routine of being the kids' driver. She's very happy with her regular prayer group which has helped her a lot in keeping her faith alive in the face of challenges. This year, she has had several visitors from her family--Mommy in April, then her cousin Cory's family and sister Yappi just before Christmas.
17: As for Medel, he was asked to extend for another year in Dubai which the family welcomed. However, on the work front, the year proved to be extremely challenging. Personally though, it led him to reflect and put things into perspective. Now things have gotten better at work and hopefully, he has come out of this tough experience a stronger person.
18: On our fourth year in Dubai, we continue to enjoy everything that the city offers.
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20: During the big Eid holidays, the family visited Yappi (Milen's sister) in London. We had a “lovely” time exploring both the beautiful English countryside, as well as the museums and, castles in the city. | A very memorable trip, it is one of our best which we will reminisce about for a long time.
23: On second thought, 2011 was anything but ordinary. ...Remaining together as a family (a luxury millions of overseas Filipinos still dream of) ...Having good meals and roofs over our heads (when many around us have lost theirs) ...Continuing to enjoy excellent health ...Being able to go on family vacations ...Our children receiving excellent education ....Being surrounded by friends and family whom we love and love us back The year that passed was filled with blessings and was, in fact, an extraordinary, amazing, wonderful year! And there is only One to be thankful to. Wishing you and your family blessings of LIFE, LAUGHTER and LOVE in this season and in the coming year.