2015 Christmas Letter

Thanks for stopping by to read our 2015 Christmas letter!

Jen_kids_noSammyThis year has been a whirlwind year for us at Team Rose headquarters. We have had a lot of ‘firsts’ – some good, some bad – but feel we are finishing up the year on a high and are very much looking forward to all that is in store for 2016.

As far as ‘firsts’ go here are some good, and then some not so good:

  • Noah started high school
  • Caleb started weekly tennis training
  • Phoebe got accepted into the preschool at Caleb’s school
  • Aaron completed his Masters program
  • Jen gave birth to her fourth (and last!) baby


  • Sammy became our first child admitted to hospital, when he was only four weeks old
  • Caleb became our first child to break an arm (or any bone)

A more detailed run down of the year for each of us follows.

Samuel (SamJam, Sammy, Sammy Jammy, Sambo Jambo, The Sambinator)


By far the highlight of the year was the birth of our fourth child – Samuel James – on June 6th. Sammy was a big boy and a week or so before he was born Jen was admitted to hospital for a few days for observation. She was discharged to bed rest and about a week later we were back at the hospital to give birth. Since he was so big, Sammy needed some encouragement to be born and almost ended up as a Cesarean section, but he lined up at the last minute and was delivered (with a little help from forceps) in the operating theatre.

Sammy spent the first four months of his life not gaining weight as quickly as he should, and since he was showing all the right signs that he was ready for it, we started him on solids at four months, and from there he has been putting on record weight, and has lifted from around the 8th percentile for weight to the 30th percentile in the two months since starting solids.

He is such a cute baby and loads of fun, and the three older children all love him (Pheebs some times a little too much).


Pheebs at YoghurtLand2015 was a big year for Pheebs. She became a big sister, turned four and is looking forward to starting preschool next year. She’s had fun going to a few different playgroups, including an ‘Americans in Canberra’ playgroup where she’s made lots of friends. She loves helping around the house – whenever you’re doing anything she wants to help, from sweeping the floor to cooking to installing a car stereo. She also potty trained much to everyone’s relief.¬†She is a handful but we love that about her and look forward to seeing her really start to take off as she starts school next year – she is already recognising many letters and learning how to spell all of our names and making connections between who has an ‘o’ in their name etc.


CJ_broken_armCaleb has had a great year at school – representing his class on the SRC as well as receiving the highest award at the school in Term 3 for outstanding work.

Caleb (up until he broke his arm!) loves tennis training and looks forward to starting competitions next year. We are hoping he’ll be able to attend a week long training program during the school holidays to get back on track (he can’t play again until after Christmas because of his arm).

He continues to love all things Lego and is looking forward to his first overnight school trip early next year as he goes into Year 5.


Noah_rubiksIt’s been a massive year for Noah this year, and as usual, he’s taken it all in his stride. He started high school at Lyneham High, where he was out of area so didn’t know a lot of people in his year, but has (as expected) made lots of friends. He started learning French and bass this year and has really picked up both quite quickly. He went on three different excursions this year – Year 7 camp in Jindabyne, a day trip to Sydney and band camp down the south coast.

Noah_ballkidHe also joined a choir at his school (Lyneham High Voices) and started ball kidding for tennis, and was able to help out at a couple of tournaments here in Canberra, including getting to ball kid for world number 30 ranked (and fellow Canberran) Nick Kyrgios, which was an amazing opportunity for him, but he, as always, remained calm and wasn’t phased by it. He is looking forward to going into Year 8 and starting tennis training in 2016.



Jen_PheebsThe majority of this year has been consumed for Jen by trying to keep Sammy well fed and happy. We thought by the time we had a fourth child everything would be straight forward but that couldn’t be further from the reality. As mentioned above, Sammy wasn’t putting on weight properly, and this led to Jen trying many different things on advice from doctors, nurses and lactation consultants to try to increase her supply. None of these things seemed to help, but we’re happy now that he’s putting on good, consistent weight.

Typical of our marriage. Sammy has the fan blowing in his face and he sticks his hands out. At the same time as Jen says “Superman” Aaron starts singing the theme from Titanic in his best Celine Dion voice.


Aaron_SammyThis year has been somewhat of a blur for Aaron too. He finished up his Master of Computing Technology Extended with the University of Southern Queensland and received quite good grades considering his study environment wasn’t ideal.

With the government finally lifting its restrictions on employing external staff, things now look up on the job front, and Aaron had a number of interviews throughout the year, and has been offered a position in a government graduate program, which he is very much looking forward to starting in the new year.

pheebs_Snow2015 certainly hasn’t been smooth sailing for Team Rose, but we have made the most out of the opportunities and challenges we’ve had. We are certainly looking forward to a big 2016 – Caleb turns 10, we have our 15th wedding anniversary, Sammy has his first birthday, Aaron has a big birthday (cough 40 cough) and starts a new job, Noah becomes a teenager and Phoebe starts preschool and turns 5.

Jen_Sammy_hospitalWe wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy and safe 2016. We hope to travel more in 2016 and wish we could catch up with you more often than luck has allowed us to these last few years.

Please drop us a line to tell us what you’ve been up to and maybe we can catch up one way or another!

Lots of love from
Team Rose