Monday, December 26, 2011

2011 Tavares Tutida Newsletter

I started this post last year... it's now 2012 so HAPPY NEW YEAR!  I suppose there is a lot more I could/should add about 2011 but that's ok.  Got too much packing to do right now so struggling for time!

As the year is coming to an end I have been reflecting a LOT on the year and its happenings.  Of course I look back and wonder where the year has gone yet as I reflect I can't believe all that has happened this year!  Better write it all down!!

Estella Ruby Tavares Tutida.  

This little girl celebrated her 1st Birthday in January.  My little placid, easy going dolly has turned into a crazy, cheeky, but adorable little girl.  I think her first trip to Brazil earlier this year taught her some defence tactics.  She spent most of her time in Brazil fending off "in your face" Brazilian women (mostly her Brazilian Grandmother) by pinching and biting!  She now uses the pinching on her brother to make him cry.  In August she had surgery for her hip dysplasia, wore a cast for 10 weeks, a brace full time for a month, then was allowed 4 hours a day and now whoo hoo for Christmas- she only has to wear it to bed!  Estella has been such a little trooper and has shown such resilience and determination.  She has shown that she will be the type of person who never lets things stop her from doing what she wants to do!  This year I've also seen her show more interest in books and she has the cutest little pencil grip, enjoying drawing and painting.  She is also more interested in baby dolls and cute little bears.  She absolutely adores her Grandparents.  Grandma is always first choice but as the extended family have been together for Christmas she is getting more familiar with everyone else and enjoys socialising.  I think she has a little soft spot for Uncle Mick!  She also has a soft spot for the Sayers family.  Jacoba and Kaea started coming over once a week after school to entertain Estella while she was in her cast (and to give me a breather) and every now and again Ezra and Max would join the party too.  And on Sundays Rachel would help out with Estella in Nursery.  What a blessing this family has been!  Absolute champs!  

Minol Sebastian Tavares Tutida.  My 3 year old going on 16.  This kid has an amazing memory.  He loves learning and often surprises me with things that he knows.  He loves music and dancing (kinda breakdancing) and has learnt to do cartwheels (lots of hanging out with the Sayers clan who he TOTALLY LOVES).  He has progressed in his swimming lessons.  He is now confident to dive under the water (took him long enough!!) and loves the water.  Shame he doesn't love to have baths as much these days!  Still loves Batman.  Minol had his 3rd birthday in Brazil this year.  He started speaking portuguese while in Brazil but since he has been home doesn't speak much.  Daddy tries to encourage him especially when skyping Brazilian family.  I try to encourage him too by getting him to teach me!  Minol is very mature and thoughtful.  He was especially very mature when he went in to have his second surgery on his lip.  And since then he has also been prescribed glasses to wear as his right eye is weaker than his left so to even them up he will need to wear glasses probably for only 4 years if they do the job.  He is eagerly awaiting their arrival as we chose black batman glasses.  Might prove a problem when he wants to wear his mask though!!  He is such a big boy during his visits to primary.  Only gets a bit frustrated when I can't pay him all the attention!

Minol Tavares Tutida.  Daddy Minol.  This year he enjoyed spending three months with his family in Brazil.  He got his second stripe on his black belt (so he's a black belt 2nd degree now) and loved training with Master Wilson and his students in Brazil.  While we were in Brazil Minol was asked to teach BJJ at a new gym in Melbourne as they were looking for an instructor and someone suggested Minol.  So seeing this as a great opportunity we decided to go for it and move to Melbourne.  But because of Estella and Minol's surgery we decided to wait until the new year to move so in the meantime Minol has been flying to Melbourne once a month to take classes at the new gym- EVOLVE MMA.  Minol will be leaving Paul to continue the club here in Tassie.  Minol competed in the Melbourne International BJJ tournament in November.  He won both his weight category and the open weight.  I feel very proud of his efforts as I know he doesn't get the chance to train as much as he would like but he did so well despite that.   Minol turned 30 this year!
some of the Tassie gang
the Melbourne gang

Esther Kay Tavares Tutida.  Me.  This year has been amazing for me.  It has been a trying, tiring year but I have been blessed beyond measure.  My testimony of my Savior has grown as I've had to rely on Him through my trials.  I've had to rely on an eternal perspective to get me through.  In Brazil I received my black belt from Master Wilson- that was pretty awesome. For me three months was too long but it was lovely to spend time with Minol's family.  It was also nice to have mum and dad in Brazil with us for a visit!  It was a year of turning 30.  I hit the big 30 just over a month before Minol so I got a lot of slack from him until he turned 30 himself.   One of my favourite things this year has been serving in Primary.  It has been the best and I'm going to miss serving in Rosny ward Primary so so so very much.  I have just loved getting to know the children and love the teachers who are so dedicated.  And I have especially loved serving with Nikki, Chris and Anna (who when first called as secretary was computer illiterate!).  I have been so impressed with those that I serve with and have learnt so much about SERVING, and leadership, and loving.  

I have also loved teaching my girls only BJJ classes.  This group of girls have become such good friends and are very much like family.  It's such a wonderful thing to see each student learning and growing and improving.  Since I first started the classes we now have 4 female blue belts and another not too far off.  
The end of the year has had me busy while Minol was taking trips to Melbourne I was making invitations, engagement decorations, at one stage had a talk to prepare and give, a video to make, more decorations for the ward christmas party... all of which I totally enjoyed doing and feel blessed to have so many opportunities to serve.  I have to say that serving for me is such a privilege.  The blessings that come far outweigh the time and effort it might take!
Anyway, another highlight of the year was to witness the graduation of Miss Collette Gibson receiving her Masters Degree... cough cough... what am I talking about... the highlight of the year was witnessing THE WEDDING OF THE YEAR... Miss Collette Gibson to Mr Hayden Bell!  Was pretty awesome.  __
As crazy as this year has been I have been so overwhelmed at such love and support from all those around me.  Whether from family, friends at church, friends from training, friends on facebook (haha) I have been so strengthened.  

dollhouse but no doll

For ages I've had this dolls house to do up and finally not knowing what to get Estella for Christmas decided to pull my finger out and do it!  I don't have any before pics but here is the after.  Fresh paint, old carpet out, new wall paper, new felt/paper/grippy floors.  Mum got Estella some furniture to put in it for Christmas too.  Shame she doesn't have any dolls to live in it yet.  Got a birthday coming up in JANUARY though (2 years old!!!) so maybe some dollies are on the cards!  

Monday, December 05, 2011

Estella update.

Ok, so when Estella had her cast taken off and was fitted for her brace, the specialist predicted that she would need the brace on for two months full time and then would need to be weaned off it from there.  After only one month with her brace on full time, and after the specialist looking at her recent xray he told us that we could now give her 4 hours a day without her brace on and then at Christmas we could take it off during the day and she'd only need to wear it to sleep in.  Whoohoo.  He then said that if everything still looked as good at her next appointment on January the 6th then we'll be able to get rid of the brace.  This news came as such a wonderful surprise considering we were prepared for the long haul.  (Mum came with us when Estella had her cast off and when she asked the surgeon how long Estella would be in the brace he laughed and said "ask me in 6 months").  I nearly cried in the car on the way home from her appointment as I knew that it was a total blessing that Estella's hip was healing so well and I knew that lots of prayers had been said for this little girl.  I'm so glad that when I look back at her time in the cast it's just a big blur!  I just remember how tough it was to begin with but that's the thing about trials- somehow you survive them even when you think you just can't- and then you look back and realise how much you have grown and learnt and realise just how blessed you are.  

(I totally love it how you hold a camera up to Estella and she sticks her thumb up!!  Thanks for teaching her that Daddy!!)

Estella and Minol

Estella and Minol, Minol and Estella.  These two crazies are just that- crazy.  Estella can give so much love to Minol one minute, and then it's attack out of no where.  Minol is very tolerant of his little sister- too tolerant sometimes!  But it's nice to see them playing together and I just know as they grow up together Minol will be that protective older brother!