Friday, October 26, 2012

A most unexpected gift

At the very end of June, Levi had a check up with his E.N.T. in Stratford. Ten minutes before I was heading out the door, Peter came in and said "Hey, will you be back in time for chores? Want me to come with you?". It took me all of .025 seconds to agree to this new and unexpected plan and, after adding his fishing rods and tackle to the diaper bags and blankets in the back, we were off. Levi's doctor is semi-retired and totally old-school so he thinks our family and homeschooling are pretty awesome. We think he's pretty awesome (grin). Still, heading off to Stratford with 4 kids and a nursing baby for a doctor's appointment scheduled right before lunch was not something I was anticipating to be high on the scale of fun. But the addition of Farmer Husband turned a doctor's appointment into a family date! A picnic lunch courtesy of Subway followed by lots of climbing, strolling, fishing and playing together and we had one of the most fun family days we had all
 summer - and we were home in plenty of time for chores! I am a total planner...but I'm learning that sometimes God's best gifts come in the unexpected. So thankful for this day.


Many words will come from their mouths 
about how good You are.
~Psalm 145:7~

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Strawberry Fields Forever

Strawberries were not easy to come by this year. Thankfully, my mother-in-law came across some beautiful, amazingly priced, pre-picked berries on her way out to visit Grandma, so we were able to have a couple flats to work our way through. 

I was so grateful to get the strawberries that we did. I'm so thankful for all the jam in our cellar and freezer.
I still remember how much we all enjoyed the strawberry sandwiches and smoothies.
I also remember that, by the end, my littlest berry and I had had enough.
Not sure what I was thinking when I starting making jam with a 2-month old baby in the house? 
Oh, right! How glad we would be when we devoured the sweet, sticky, jam-my goodness this winter. 
We already broke into our strawberry stash and, guess what?
The crazy? It was totally worth it.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bits & Pieces of June

 // An appointment for Jude in London brought big changes in our world! After seeing his surgeon, who was unhappy with some of the outcomes of his colostomy reversal, we were looking into possibly doing further corrective surgery but, after consulting with a colleague, it looks like we won't have to go that route! Thanks to the recommendations of a wonderful gastroenterologist and some diet additions and changes, we now have potty-trained 2 1/2 year old!! Can we get an amen?! Some days are still a bit of a struggle (making a strong-willed toddler eat and drink everything you put before him doesn't always go our way) but we really see how, down the road, when Jude understands the connection between what he eats/doesn't eat and how it affects his bowel control, that continency will definitely be possible for him. From the beginning, we had really been aware of the fact that Jude could eventually need a permanent colostomy, so this feels like such a victory! So thankful to the incredible doctors and amazing health care we have available to us. And loving having another little bottom in 'big boy onderbroeken' :)

 // A sweater knit by my Opa VanVliet's mom. Seeing Katie snuggled in stitches made by her great-great grandmother makes my heart swell.

 //Peonies, mock orange and spirea. I love collecting snippets of beauty from the gardens and bringing them in the house. Even if the flowerbeds are getting overgrown and in need of a serious weeding, the bouquets always look beautiful :)

// Mini Grandpa


 // This climbing vine is slowly taking over. I've heard they're bad for the brick...but I love how they look!

 //Tante Ada, close your eyes!! Our net-less trampoline with a tarzan rope just got even more fun (dangerous?) with the addition of a sprinkler underneath. Hours of wild, cool, and wet fun :)

 //A hotdog party on the porch.

 // Jude's first fishing trip with Daddy. Two very excited boys!

 // A little unsure about this fishy business :)

 //Dance classes at the Palmerston CRC

 // Fishing trip for Dad's birthday. Two excited big boys :)

 //Squeezing in a quick family picture in the canola before church...Pete loves when I ask him to do things like this. Good thing I have other admirable qualities that let me get away with requests like this :)

 //Someone didn't get the memo that it's nap time!

//Home after a great night at the Twilight Meeting. Thanks for hosting, Rien & Anja, we had so much fun!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

When We Forgot Who the Kids Were

 Jude loves spending time with Mama-Mama. Look at those faces! 
These two are very good at scheming up fun and giggles when they're together.

When we celebrated Dad's birthday back in June, Christina had the incredibly thoughtful and amazing idea of bringing along a jumbo bag of water balloons for the kids. It was a beautiful summer day and, after a delicious BBQ lunch with the family, the kids suited up and headed out for some fun.

Grandpa, Grandma and the 'tante's were quickly enlisted to join in the fun:

Whose crazy daughter is this?!? :)

Beautiful sisters

After astonished giggles, the kids quickly loaded up for attack - because no one sprays their Grandma and gets away with it!! (By the way, I think Dad forgot the memo that he's 57. Can't you just picture him back in Jr. Youth doing this very same thing? Some people just never really grow up ;) Dad's shenanigans started a war that had everyone again him. You better start running, Grandpa! 

In the end, Michelle delivered the retribution and the grown ups, soaking wet and possibly a little red in the face, went inside for dry clothes, cake and coffee. Not a bad party for an old guy ;) We love you so much, Dad, and are so blessed by the way you love and care for each of us. God has given our family such a gift in you and we are so thankful to have a dad and grandpa like you. Happy birthday!