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This Month's Releases

18 April 2002
Weekly news - Finally a little sunshine this weekend after two long weeks of grey skys, the sunshine's peeking through and we are finally thinking of our new home. We signed papers this past week and now it is just a matter of arranging the move. There is some preparation work to do on the place before we can move and it probably will be another month or so before we are ready but the die is cast and we are crossing this new bridge. We'll see if we can post pictures on the web for you to view as soon as I am able.

It's an individual house with some yard to play in, across from a small park and near the local markets in a small village about 10 minutes from the metropole and 5 minutes walk from the surrounding countryside where one can get lost in one's thoughts by oneself if one so pleases.

It will be good for the girls and well for us it is a fixer- upper. It will be closer to Yiota's work but a lot farther from mine. I suppose that will mean we will have to get another vehicle. And of course we still have to manage all the financing but that is another story for another time.

Best to you all ...

7 April 2002
Weekly news - Sorry that it has been almost three weeks since an update but we were either busy or away on the weekends. Last weekend we were in Athens visiting David Silcox and his wife who was visiting from london. We also visited the brother-in-law and family while there. There will be a FOT in Athens this year.

We still have not moved into our house yet, but it should not be long now. The girls are growing and developing their minds as fast as ever. They are doing well as school which is good news.

Till next week...

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Last Month's Releases

17 March 2002
Weekly news - Well last week I did not get to update the site. So I will try to catch up. Last week-end was rainy and miserable. We rented video's for the girls, stayed home and ordered in. This week the girls wanted to see the film Bug's and Cinderella. It took three video stores but we finally found a copy and that is what they have enjoyed this weekend.

This weekend is a long weekend with a "Clean Monday" holiday as the greeks call it. The beginning of the period of Lent on the Greek Orthodox calendar and so they traditionally eat meat dishes on the day before since they "fast" from eating red meat for the next 50 days. More interesting is the tradition of flying kites on Monday which the girls enjoyed last year and we will probably do again this year. Hopefully daddy won't find himself climbing kite eating trees again this year.

Till next week...

3 March 2002
Weekly news - Greetings to our readers. It has been week of nice spring weather, and I have been enjoying eating my breakfast out on the balcony. Everyone is quite busy as most people are in the springtime. I have got a heavy teaching schedule this spring and Yiota has little time for herself after her construction work has started full tilt. She is building four homes and preparing another one.

As for the girls, they have discovered spelling words this week. They have been playing for a while at making letters of the alphabet, this week they started to combine them to make a few words like water, etc. Of course in Greek, that is.

The other major change is the girls bedroom. They slept in bunk beds until a week or so ago when suddenly they discovered monsters on the ceiling and walls, or at least they think they see monsters. Neither one wanted to sleep in the top bunk, so we finally seperated the two beds on the floor side by side. It leaves little room for walking in the bedroom, but the compromise appears to be working for the present. Till next week...

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Prior Releases

23 February 2002
Weekly news - It has been a busy week for all with new classes starting up and Yiota starting the digging on a new big building project. All in all not much news otherwise except for the Olympic scandals which do not seem to make much headlines here in Greece. We only have the winter olympics on one channel, and even then it is mostly just highlight out- takes which miss out most of the action that built up to the highlight. Watching a hockey game in which one is only shown the respective goals all in about 4 minutes is not really what watching winter sports is all about. All this in a country which will host the 2004 Olympics.

The girls are growing as fast as ever. They have so much energy, never want to sleep nor do they have time or interest much in eating yet they seem to be healthy enough. What I can say about this winter it that overall it has been mild and amazingly enough, no one has got sick. That is a first so far as I remember in our family. Touch wood as they say.

Well till next week... Michael and the Family.

17 February 2002
Weekly news - I missed last week's update as we were occupied at home with other things. A friend from France on a business trip to Greece dropped in unexpectedly and we sat up late talking about old times. Everyone is fine and busy as beavers. The girls are always busy with playing, pre-school and fuzzing with each other when they are tired but even then we certainly do not want to go to bed. I guess all kids are like that. Mom is busy setting some building contracts for some houses outside of town about 10 minutes away. A new teaching semester is starting up for me and all the work that entails to prepare new classes.

I suppose the only news for the website, is that I will be online as webmaster on Sunday evenings at GMT 4:00pm + 2 hours (that's 6pm local time in Thessaloniki. If you go to my web page you will see at the bottom of the page the ICD online notice for my website chat service. Normally a chat box should automatically open up if I am online. We can chat directly using text or if you prefer to talk in real-time we can connect using Netmeeting 3.0 from Microsoft which allows us to use the Internet as a video telephone service. I will try and send you my IP address which is all you need to dial me over the Internet. If you want to know your own Internet address just out of curiosity, and you are running MS Windows operating system, just go to the start button and select run and then type in "winipcfg" without the double quote marks. It should launch the Windows Internet Protocol Configuration program which will display on screen your Internet Address (IP) such as 195.252.138.28 or something similar. To telephone someone, assuming you know their Internet address, just open NetMeeting, select Call and New Call and type the number into the address box, click on ok and wait for the other person to accept your call (that is assuming they also have opened Netmeeting on their computer as well). While the process is not that difficult, it is not always simple to get the other person's IP address to start with since it usually changes everytime the user logs onto the Internet. This means that the next time you are on line, your address and the other person's address will have changed. You must find a means to communicate this address everytime you want someone to connect to your computer.

There are a number of ways to do find someone's address. The most common is using an Internet Locator Server such as ils.bytebeam.com which I have often used. It will allow people to find other people very quickly. The downside it that there is a lot of "adult" lewd messages usually displayed all over the Server's bulletin board which is hard to ignore while you search through all the names for the person you wanting to find. I prefer using the direct method of communicating my IP address over my website on a each-new-connection basis. It avoids having to use an ILS server. Of course it goes without saying that if either party types in incorrectly the Internet address, it won't work.

Another method to find someone's address is to use a service like ICQ which both parties must have running on their computer and which when configured for the user you want to reach allows you to chat with them directly by text. One can send the IP address that way. But since I have not worked with ICQ yet, I will leave this experiment for another day. Until next time...

yours, the family.

2 February 2002
Weekly news - You may have noticed that I have changed the links on my web site from http://michael_wells_gr.tripod.com/*.* to http://members.tripod.com.michael_wells_gr/*.* While both links will work for most people, I found that my new ISP provider's server claims the first link is illegal with underscores in the host computer's name. Until they get this bug worked out I will change the links to the second form which is the only one of the two forms that will work with my ISP for the moment even though I prefer the former.

I missed about five months of updates due to my attention being just elsewhere. I guess, I felt that unless I emailed the updated news page to my parents, then probably no one out there in cyberspace was reading them. I could just as well update the parents with my weekly internet Sunday 6pm our time telephone call with netmeeting on ils.bytebeam.com This is called burnout from lack of perceived response.

Still having thought the matter over, I think I will try and continue the news simply as a family journal for historical purposes if nothing else. I have also archived, as you may have seen news from 2001 in a news archive page at: http://members.tripod.com/michael_wells_gr/news2001.htm

So, now in order to bring it up to date, I will say that the last recorded update occured just before the 11 September events in NY. We had thought of joining the FOT group in Istanbul about a good day's drive from our home in Thessaloniki, Greece since the Greek FOT had been cancelled last year due to insufficient numbers of people registering. Following the attack on the US by terrorists, we decided it would not be the best timing to attend a FOT in an islamic country. Therefore I spent the first FOT ever at home.

Yiota was very concerned about the world events unfolding at the time and preferred to place herself among those who feared the end of the world was upon us even though events since have tended to belay that fear. It probably upset her more than me since her work as a Civil Engineer building homes was likely to be drastically affected by a world at the brink of war, as were no doubt many other people's jobs and business that depended on people's notions of security. I, too, found myself quite concerned about the situation as I am sure most people in the west did as well.

The girls are now 4 and a half years old and going on five. They are fairly oblivious to world events at their age and still have difficulty with understanding the concept of tomorrow, sometimes substituting the word yesterday in its place. Their English is coming along slowly but steadily with Walt Disney animated videos like Pinnochio which I got them recently. They seem to find no obstacle in watching the same videos over and over and over. Yiota finds them great medicine for parental exhaustion at the end of the day.

In the morning time the girls go to a day care center run by the University of Thessaloniki. It is only a half day, but Yiota thinks their special program is worth it in spite of the fact it severly limits her flexibility to work as she would like. The girls seem to be responding well to the "pre-school" classes and the teacher gives them top marks.

Other than that the girls are growing rapidly like weeds, they fight and fuss with each other like most children but do not like to be separated if they can avoid it. They recently started to argue about who would sleep on the top bunk bed since they spent one night talking about imagined spiders on the ceiling. Now neither wants to sleep up. Well let's hope it is a phase.

They are able to read their numbers fairly well, write simple things like their names, and tell people their telephone numbers, names, etc. They also seem to have little fear about talking to other people. Which I guess is a good thing as long as they are careful about strangers.

We have started them on some alphabet learning books for writing and they really enjoy cutting things out of pages in magazines, etc. They like helping cook in the kitchen. In fact I made Raison and Cinnemon (spelling) Oatmeal cookies with them today.

Yiota is busier than ever trying to seal two new building projects that she will undertake herself. It is a big step and comes with some risks, but that is what business is about and if successful, we will probably be able to afford a house not too far away from Thessaloniki with our own yard, etc. If all goes well we may move in March of this year.

It is not a done deal yet, but it looks like it will happen. We have outgrown our flat and have every nook and cranny stuffed with our "junk".

As for dad, teaching has been somewhat of a difficult year this year since the student enrollments was seriously in decline due to shifts in the private education market in Greece over the last few years. We will have to make adjustments next year and I may have to make some adjustments in my job. That is however, the natural course of all professional careers, ups and downs. I have been teaching myself Visual Basic programming the last few months as part of a course I am teaching.

There is not much other news to add. The winter was early in coming and early in leaving this year. At least we had snow in early December and now in early February it is warmed up to where I only take a light jacket outside. The weather has been strange the last few years. It may get cold again, we will see.

The only other major news in our life was the resignation of Dr Stavrinides from pastorial responsibility in Greece. He feels he can better focus his energies elsewhere now that there are fewer than 4 members in Greece. Not that he does not appreciate working with us in Greece, but he feels we can be better served from Britain with more regular visits than by himself whose age is not allowing him to travel as he used to. He will be sorely missed, though we will try and keep in contact. He spends a lot of his time speaking in inter-demoninational gatherings trying to promote greater inter-church dialog and understanding.

Well, I think that brings the last five months up to date as far as major news. The daily epics and sorrows will have to go unwritten about. I will see if for posterities sake I can keep updating this page this year.
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Copyright 2000, 2001, 2002 Michael Wells Family Website This page was last updated:3 March 2002