Christmas 2007 Newletter

Friday, December 14, 2007

Here is the Christmas newsletter that I composed for 2007.Merry Christmas everyone! As 2007 draws to an end, we thought that we would have a look at what happened to the Heron family this past year.

We were very happy that Grandpa and Aunt Betty paid us a visit in April/May. We were glad to be able to spend some quality time them in addition to show them our home and the “new” neighborhood. Darryl went with them to Scotland and Paris. Aside from wanting to see Scotland, Darryl has wanted to go to Paris for many years, so he was pretty excited about both trips. They were here to witness our new stone patio being put in. Darryl’s father had a heart attack in October and ended up having a double by-pass. He has since returned home and appears to be doing well. Darryl was able to fly back to Michigan to be there for the surgery, so he did get to see his sisters and their kids briefly as well. On a sadder note, Darryl’s Aunt Helen passed away last summer.

Our family did some smaller trips this year. We went to Zurich to celebrate the first communion of Felix (Christine’s godson) and visited Europa Park on the way back. Anna was really excited about the rides and Sarah was a little more apprehensive. They both look forward to going back next year when they should be able to do even more rides. We visited Ute and her family in Holland as well as visiting former neighbours of ours from when we stayed in Belgium. The girls really enjoyed both of those trips.

The girls have adjusted well to their kindergarten and have made some friends in our neighbourhood. Both girls are attending a local dance class and are currently working on a Smurf dance to be performed as part of the Carnival celebrations next year. They’ll be angels in a nativity play performed by their Sunday school group at the Christmas Eve service. They just recently joined a church choir. Anna is looking forward to starting first grade next year. Sarah is still very much into princesses. Anna started wearing glasses a few months ago and likes them a lot (some what of a fashion statement I think). She also recently got here ears pierced. And for those you who were wondering, Anna’s new pink diamond ear rings go well with her glasses!

Christine started teaching again last year and it continues to go well. She decided to participate in post graduate program on Teaching German as a Second language, so every six weeks she spends a Saturday in seminar. In addition there is an online component to the class, complete with a forum. Christine should be finishing it up early next year.

In January, Darryl found out that he has type 2 diabetes, so while he doesn’t take insulin injections, he does take medicine and has to watch what he eats. He has been busy with the family blog. He regularly updates it and posts pictures to Flickr and videos to YouTube. He also started up a productivity blog and is trying to make a go of it at the moment.

We’re looking forward to 2008 and hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season and a great new year.

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One Year of Blogging

Thursday, December 6, 2007

November 27th, 2007 marked one year that I have been blogging. My first blog post was about getting our first house. Most of my earlier posts have been pictures with some description sprinkled in. Later I started to put more emphasis on writing. Earlier on I saw my blogging as a good chance to show some pictures of the girls. As time has gone on I saw more of an opportunity to really write about things in my posts. When I look over the past year, my blogging has really evolved.

In September I started Systems-Overload, my newest blogging effort. I decided that a lot of the things that I wanted to write about didn’t really fit into the dcheronfamily blog, that it would be too much of a stretch to put these post there. I decided that I wanted to post more about productivity, organizing, and some other topics more removed from our family. The new blog is a more serious attempt at blogging than the dcheronfamily blog has been.

Why do I like blogging? I’m sure that question has been asked by a lot of bloggers (if not openly, at least there has been some thought given to the topic). One of the dreams that I had as a child was to be a writer. There have been several periods in my life where I have kept a journal solely to write. I wrote several short stories and like many others I have wanted to write the “Great American Novel” (who knows maybe one day?). For me blogging is a natural extension to my writing. It provides a lot of opportunities that conventional writing just doesn’t offer. In traditional writing, if you’re published, someone can pick up your work many years after you have passed on, and maybe there will be a connection to what felt or thought when you wrote it or to your message or they can even spin the ideas into a whole different direction. While traditional writing does still exist, Blogging seems to be a natural evolution. You can create a post and due to the magic of RSS, search engines, and various other things that would probably have seen totally foreign to Jules Vern, the post can be read immediately by anyone on the internet. Unlike newspapers and magazines that have a short shelf life, your posts can be found on Google months after you wrote them. Ideas that you write about in your posts can be taken in totally different directions by people that you have never met (and maybe never will) in other posts. It also gives you the chance to let your feelings and opinions be known that didn’t really exist before. It has brought a common man element to writing that hasn’t really existed before. You can also write about what you want to write about. If you want to write about the color, shapes, and sized of your button collection, you can.

With my new blog I have wanted to be more of a professional blogger (or at least a more serious one), this has been a lot of work that most people don’t see, not would they understand the effort put into it. As I’m not a trained web designer, coder, marketer, and so on, these are all things that I have had to tackle (and in many cases am still tackling) by myself. This has taken a lot of time that isn’t always visible to the average reader when they see a post. I have always liked learning new things, so it is interesting to learn about all the things that you need to run a successful blog (or one that I hope to make successful). When you create a post, you do want an audience, that it to say, that you do want someone to read what you wrote. How do you find an audience for your posts has become a challenge of many bloggers, one that has led many to market their blogs.

As I embark on my second year of blogging, I look forward to what life will bring. I look forward to what I will learn. I hope that I will be able to interact with my audience more and am able to continue to grow. I hope that you will give me comments on what you liked and what you didn’t and how you think that I can improve my writing. If like what you read be sure to let others know about it. Please come with me on my journey.

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