Ben and EstherPersonal information: (as of 10/28/15) I’m 51 years old and I’m married with two adult children (in the photo).

I live in the Chicago area but since early 2013 my husband has been working in Singapore for 2-4 weeks at a time and I usually go to Singapore with him.

Musical interests: I love music, especially classical; I play the piano and violin. Years ago I played in a community orchestra until I got too busy with the children. I picked up playing again when they were a little older, first at church; more recently I was playing in the Windy City String Ensemble (WCSE) along with my children – a group led by their violin teacher. I decided to step down from playing in the group and return to being a parent-supporter of it a few years ago.

My children are both very musical My childrens’ involvement with music gave me opportunities to play too. Sometimes I played the piano accompaniments for other violin students in their violin and viola studio. When they were younger I accompanied Ben and Esther in all their recitals until their accompaniments became too hard for me. More recently Ben accompanied Esther until he went away to college.

Other things I love: mountains, lakes, waterfalls, reading, cats, people who are relaxed and can see the humorous side of life.

You would know if you heard me talk: that I was born and grew up in England. I moved to the Midwest with my husband Steve, after graduating from college (I like it here except that it is sooooo flat!). My Dad is British; my Mom is American (first generation; her parents are German Jews who left Germany and settled in the US in the early 30s).

Volunteer activities: In the last few years I’ve helped with a few non-profit organizations’ websites but lately I’ve done less of that, partly due to health problems (Crohn’s Disease) which limit the time and energy I have available for activities outside my family.

My profession-before-children: I’m a qualified actuary (no, it’s not a home for dead actors! – it’s a professional who uses statistics to estimate the risk of future events). That means I took even more exams than accountants have to and I have the letters F.S.A after my name.

Before I had children I worked full-time for six years for a consulting firm, working out how much money our client companies needed to put in their pension plans to keep them legal and helping the clients make design changes to their plans, when they wanted to or were forced to by tax law changes. If I do go back to work at some point, I’m not sure I’d want to return to actuarial work. I’d rather do something more ‘people-oriented’ – although I have no training in that type of work.

My beliefs/doubts: I was a committed Bible-believing Christian from young adulthood for almost two decades (about 17 years). Then I began to have serious doubts about my faith about fifteen years ago. As a result I’m no longer actively involved in any church or Bible study groups. You can read more about this here: Why I don’t go to Church Anymore.

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