Jayawardhana Christmas Letter 2011

We do hope this letter finds you in good health and that you have had an enjoyable Christmas and a Happy New Year. We have very much enjoyed this year as a family and have been able to go on quite a few holidays together. Our Mapleton trip that we had planned for mid-January was postponed until just recently due to the torrential rain they also experienced up there during the floods. The funny thing was that it rained the whole week we were up there anyway! But the trip was still very enjoyable. Other family trips included one to Springbrook in April and we were able to stay in the house where PJ proposed to Gwenda (we were even able to watch the Royal Wedding); Canberra and Perisher/Smiggins Holes Ski Resort in September where we all got to experience snow for the first time; plus PJ also got to take Gwenda, Taruna, Rasika and Prashan on individual holidays to a location of their choice.

Gwenda chose Cairns as this tied in with us going to a friend’s wedding on the beach at Port Douglas whilst we were there. We also very much enjoyed going on the Cairns SkyRail both looking down on the rainforest canopy and seeing the Barron Falls. A bird even came and hovered at our cable car window. Taruna chose Townsville as this meant he was able to spend time with his cousins who live up there. Rasika chose Sydney and both of them climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge, went on the Ferry and visited a school friend of PJ’s. Prashan also chose Sydney and they visited the Sydney Aquarium via a double-decker train.

Early on in the year PJ also got to take Taruna (12yrs) on a Father-Son Adventure at Mt Tamborine (www.fatheringadventures.com.au). This enabled them to spend some good quality time together and to further strengthen their father-son relationship. Rasika will also get her chance to go on a Father-Daughter adventure in early 2012. Taruna enjoyed his first year (Grade 7) at Grace Lutheran College, Rothwell. He settled into the new school environment quite well and has made some lovely friends with similar interests. He plays percussion in the Concert Band and may join the Percussion Band next year. He also went to Canberra with the Grade 7’s for a week in June.

Rasika finished off Grade 5 at Aspley East and also had a great year. She very much liked her teacher and she stayed active playing Netball, T-ball, singing in the Vocal Ensemble and singing in the Australian Girls Choir.

Prashan also enjoyed his school year (Grade 2) and he had a lovely teacher who truly nurtured his abilities and understood his personality. Hence, Prashan made good progress in his reading and writing this year. He is naturally very good at maths, sport and music. He joined the Birralee Choir, played outdoor soccer and received the Most Improved Player award, and also learnt the ukulele. Next year he progresses onto the guitar.

Gwenda continued to teach Grade 5 RE and at the end of the year we put on another whole school concert with the JAM (Jesus and Me) group coming to perform and McDonalds, Bracken Ridge kindly helping us out with feeding 650 children and parents! We were very thankful to the volunteers who came to help us hand out food to such a large number of people.

PJ was very much instrumental in making the end-of-year RE concert happen and he was also kept busy with his roles on quite a few committees this year (Crown Financial Ministries, Seed to Trees, The Me I See Foundation, Aspley East Chaplaincy Committee, Grace Lutheran P&F, etc.). He continues to consult to the Mining Industry regarding GIS and provide customer support for our Acclique Accounting Software.

We have been thankful this year for the opportunities we’ve had to strengthen our family unit. We’ve been particularly conscious that our children are growing up so quickly and so we have deliberately put aside December 29th as a day to bless our children and to speak into their lives through affirming how much we love them and what we see as their strengths and God-given talents and abilities. It will be a very special day and a great way to end the year.

We pray that you have a Blessed Christmas and a wonderful New Year!

With Love and Blessings,

PJ, Gwenda, Taruna, Rasika and Prashan