Dear friends and family: December, 2014

Once more the Christmas season is approaching and this year we have a treasure chest of news to pass on as well as our warm wishes and greetings.



Merry Christmas                 and                 Happy New Year

Ginny & Twins

Jeremy & Twins

from the


Valeriotes
ElinorEliVan

Twins in Maui

This has been an astounding multi-highlighted year – our first year as grandparents of identical twin girls, Nina and Rose, Elinor’s first year in her new home, Jeremy’s first political campaign and successful election as a Gibsons Councillor,  our first week-long trip together without Elinor that we can remember, and Ginny’s return to her management/engineering job in Vancouver after a year’s maternity leave, with Jeremy planning to be primary caregiver.


It wasn’t 100% triumphs, however.  No sooner had Gene and his sisters settled their dispute with the City of Guelph, received final ratification by the Ontario Municipal Board and put their Guelph property on the market, than Guelph passed another bylaw, which is now being appealed to the OMB, postponing all development in the area so we have decided not to try to sell it this year.







Elinor moved into EliVan, the new home that she shares with Vanessa DelGrande and two live-in caregivers (Joan and Cynthia), on Irma Street in the Gorge area of Victoria.  She moved in part time in April, with her stays progressively increasing - so far to six days a week.  Shekinah Homes Society (an offshoot of L’Arche)  manages staffing and care through a Home Coordinator, Lindsay, a Licensed Practical Nurse, who schedules additional staff as needed and also provides some direct care herself.  We have been very blessed in contracting with such an excellent organization and competent and caring staff.  It has been a more difficult transition for Elinor than we expected (perhaps unrealistically), including a broken clavicle (for which she showed no pain) and some nervous disturbances, which now seem to be improving.  The cooperation between EliVan staff and Lillian at Elinor’s day program has been wonderful and Elinor seems to be very happy in both places and has built beautiful  friendships, with Chantal, Teri and Lillian through her day program, with Lynn who has been with us now for seven years and now, at Shekinah.
Group

We and the Del Grandes, continued to work on the house even after the girls  moved in – first finishing the inside and then landscaping the front and rear gardens.  The front was completed and much of the back but we only managed to seed the rear  lawn in November and could see some tiny clumps of new grass by the end of the month.

Mary & Twins

Development of the twins has been fascinating.  With their first birthday upon us December 13th, they have progressed through crawling, tentative standing without support, readily greeting us with “Hiya” and markedly different sunny and complementary personalities.  They seem to enjoy each other with little apparent conflict.  We can only guess which will reach the next milestone first and will probably be surprised. Nono corrupting Nina

The week away together was at Ginny’s parents’ Maui home where we did some baby-sitting in exchange for overwhelmingly luxurious accommodation.  It was a good sunny and warm holiday and we enjoyed it, even though – or perhaps because – activities were limited by colds and (Jeremy’s) flu.  Jeremy and Ginny went to Maui with the twins right after the Gibsons election (in which Jeremy won convincingly) and we joined them a week later.

OathJeremy took a leave of absence from his Sunshine Coast Regional District management position to run.  The favorable outcome  means that he must resign from the SCRD but allows him, as a part-time Councillor, to also be primary caregiver, which is just what he wanted, and allows Ginny to go back to work comfortable with their daughters’ care, which is just what she wanted.

After so many meetings last year, the hyperactivity of the last few years should finally subside.  Mary has just taken a break from Board work for a while and we had a few brief vacations in the summer – on Savary and Pender Islands and at a Rett Conference in Seaside, Oregon - but Gene has just joined the Shekinah Board and we’re still keeping fit, so we’re not entirely moribund yet. 

We have again enjoyed the visits of family and friends over the year and we are happy to have any of you visit in this beautiful part of the world.   We look forward to hearing from you and we wish you all a healthy and fulfilling 2015.

GM signature

Gene and Mary


5495 Parker AvenueVictoria, B.C.V8Y 2N2250-727-7636 geneandmary@valeriote.ca

For photos of Elinor's house in progress:
 EliVan - Irma Street


Giftbox


Instead of buying Christmas Cards, a donation was made this year
to Médecins Sans Frontières