Tuesday, May 26, 2009

All Done Year One

Still catching up ... May 15 marked the day of Rob's last exam for Year One. Time really does go rather quickly (except when it's exam time), but when we look forward and think "four more years" it seems like forever ... more then half-way through his schooling, but only half-way through our time here.

I don't think Rob got all that excited about being done school ... at least not in outward appearance, I'm sure he really was, guess the effects of stress take a bit of time to wear off ... but the kids sure were thrilled. They woke up that morning saying "Daddy's done school today". They have very much been looking forward to having their daddy back, knowing that now when he is home they will be allowed to "bug" him and do things with him. Plus they had a present for daddy they had been working on for some time which they were very excited to give him. But I'm guessing the real reason they were so excited was because at night we would be having a barbeque and some of their friends would be there ... and Marietta was doubly excited because one of them would be sleeping over that night.

After the guys finished their last exam the wives, children and faculty had a potluck lunch. I can't imagine how it must feel for those who just finished their very last exam ... I know it sure felt good to know we made it through one year ... even if we didn't have the marks yet to confirm whether he'd be allowed to carry on to year two.

It's nice that the college is small, it makes it more relaxing as I don't have to worry about Matthew all that much. He just wanders around and enjoys himself. On top of that he's made a few buddies over the past year who like to take him for a walk, play a game with him, or just watch out for him ... so cute!

Here he is practicing for his future calling ... Professor! :)

After school we had a quick snack before we headed off for our barbeque in Guelph. At that time we gave Rob his gift. Each year after he completes his last exam we try to have a little celebration, usually a special dinner, or we go out for dinner and each year the kids give him a little something ... like a big huge bag of droopies ... nothing extravagant, just something to celebrate.

Like Rob's perplexed look on this picture as he tries to process what his gift is?

Here is what it looks like:

Why is he perplexed? Well since when did the Proof Texts come on a cd? Where did we get this? Just to clarify the Proof Texts are pages of texts that the guys have to memorize. Each is related to a specific topic (e.g. the Trinity) and divided into subcatorgies and they have to memorize these so they know where to find them when the topic/issue arises. This cd held the proof texts from one year, about 17 pages of texts, a total of 70 minutes once it was completed. It was not until we put the cd in the cd player that Rob understood where this cd came from. The girls and I had been working on it for the past couple weeks ... and lets just say this was not as easy as we thought. We had hoped to get all three years done, plus I wanted to go back and do the Heidelberg Catechism for him (which he memorized this past year)... but we only got one year done.

Rob, has made a list of items he'd like to tackle during his year off and on that list is to work on memorizing the Proof Texts ... something he can do ahead of time that will ease up some time and stress later on. He had gone to the library and photocopied all the texts in preparation for this. The idea came up about three weeks before Rob would be finished school that it would be a great gift to put them on cd for him to listen to while he drives back and forth to work (he has often asked me to do that for the catechism) ... seemed like we had plenty of time. Well we ran into the problem that there could not be any other noise when recording and since my computer is in the dining room ... well it's not that often that there is no other noise. The girls only had a couple hours after school to do their recordings, this was further complicated by the fact that Matthew made too much noise. So one girl would entertain Matthew downstairs or outside while the other recorded. Next came the issue that during those weeks we had a lot of other stuff going on and we weren't home all that often after school. To make matter worse, Rob who almost always studies all day at school, decided this time around he was going to do his studying at home ... so ya ... we only got one cd done on time. Hopefully we will get the others done soon and we hope that these will be effective in helping him.

Next it was off to the barbeque where we all had a great time eating, socializing and just kicking back and relaxing. We hardly seen the kids the whole time, they were having so much fun. We left shortly after 10pm and Matthew was still have a great time, wandering around and playing so nicely.

Matthew was thrilled by these bunnies. Unlike our bunny they did not run away, snarl, bite or scratch when he started showing his love to them. Not to make our bunny, Thumper out to be a real meany ... it just isn't all that much of a people person and prefers to be left to do it's own thing, something Matthew doesn't understand. So Thumper just sees Matthew coming and she has her defense guard up and turns on her nasty nature ... it is slowly getting a bit better. These bunnies however let Matthew give his pats and hugs and chatters without so much as flinching.

To bad this lawnmower did 't actually work ... I think Matthew would have easily covered the front half of the lawn (many times over) during the evening.

Right: The kids spent a good part of the time on the play structure, we pretty much didn't see them the whole evening. Evenings like this are so much more relaxing now that the kids are getting older.

And finally it's time to head off home ... but the fun is not over, since Marietta is having Jessica over for a sleep-over. They tried there best to stay up till midnight, but they were asleep a couple minutes after the light we turned out ... they almost made it, it was about 11:50 when they finally settled under the covers

The report card has since arrived ... the marks are satifsfactory for Rob to carry on to Second Year ... congratulations on surviving another year dear hubby.


THIS ...

... plus a few tears


Always busy, always going ... always full of scratches and bruises ... such a little boy!!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Marietta's Tulip Festival Pictures

Marietta wanted me to post some of her pictures from the Tulip Festival also. I told her to pick out the ones she wanted posted. Once I seen the list she made I figured it would be easier to just make a separate post. So ... just for you Marietta!! :)

Tulip Festival

Just catching up on my blogging.

A few weeks ago Cecilia so nicely showed a few of us the tulips at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  We met there in the evening and had a nice walk through the park.  It is so wonderful to see and be surrounded by the beauty of God's creation.  I must say that Hamilton sure has a lot of places right in the city that bring this beauty out, something we thoroughly enjoy and are very thankful for.  There always seems to be something new to check out or see.

The second pictures is deceiving ... really Evan was having lots of fun and wasn't bored ... actually the kids barely sat still while we were there, they were so busy running around and checking out every corner.

Matthew loves animals and has no fear of them.  He had great fun chasing this goose and it took some time to convince him to come back to the rest of the gardens with us

Just some various shots from our walk:

It was a lovely evening.  Marietta especially enjoyed it.  She took "her" camera (the purse/kid's camera) with and had fun taking lots of pictures.  She loves to try and take professional photos ... I guess she will need a teacher to better help her in this area as I really have no idea on that end ... I just point and shoot!  

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

10 Years

Very long post ... sorry dial-up users

May 22, 1999

If someone had told me before we got married what our first 10 years of marriage would have brought, I am sure that I would have run the other way. How amazing it is that the Lord upholds us through all things and gives us the strength to go on each day again. The past 10 years have definitely had their difficult times, but these difficulties do not overshadow the good times and blessing that have been bestowed upon us.

Year 1 - May 1999 ~ May 2000

Well I was certainly the butt of many jokes when we arrived home from our honeymoon in St. Maarten's and I had a broken leg ... fractured knee cap in three spots to be more precise. Rob's explanation for this was simply "She wouldn't listen!!" :) My explanation ... just clumsy Steph who wiped out on the wet floors after our room had been cleaned ... really was not a big fall, but obviously I fell just the wrong way. Thankfully it was on our second last day of our honeymoon and we still remember the honeymoon as being a very enjoyable time.

Our first home in Wainfleet

Year 2 - May 2000 ~ May 2001

Our first child, Marietta Rose, joined our family in July 2000

December 2000

Year 3 - May 2001 ~ May 2002

December 2001

2001 was a "quiet" year of just normal life until the end of the year when Rob decided to make a change his career, which in turn involved a move. From being a mechanic Rob went to being a pig farmer. We moved from Wainfleet (Attercliffe) to Wardsville (Chatham) were Rob became the manager of a sow barn.

A few months after our move, in March, we welcomed Rebecca Lynne to our family.

Year 4 - May 2002 ~ May 2003

September 2002

At first the pigs were just way to loud for Marietta to see any enjoyment in visiting them (even with her earmuffs on). But eventually she became a regular figure at the barn door ... waiting for daddy, and hoping for a visit to see the pigs, especially the weaner rooms where all the little piggies were.

September 2002

Year 5 - May 2003 ~ May 2004

October 16, 2003 announced the arrival our third child, our first son, Justin Gerrit. Born at 27 weeks gestation after a life threatening case of toxemia (HELLP Syndrome) Justin was only half the weight he should have been for his age and after three weeks of struggling he passed away on November 7, 2003

Sledding with the girls in Owen Sound

November 2003

Year 6 - May 2004 ~ May 2005

It was not long before Rebecca also became a figure at the barn door ... waiting for daddy .... but not because she wanted to go in the barn. For the longest time the furthest she would go was into the barn office or to look at a piggies through the barn window. But shortly before we left the farm she began to warm up and would go with daddy in the barn, although usually observing from a distance

November 2004 - the girls were flowergirls in Uncle Nathan and Aunt Aileen's wedding.

December 15, 2004 (this pictures is from March 2005) we welcomed our fourth child, our second son, James Robert. James arrived two weeks before we made another move.

Our third home, in Hamilton. Again Rob decided to make a career change, this time to be a university student ... with the long term goal of the ministry. On December 31, 2004 we moved from Wardville to Hamilton so Rob could attend McMaster University to achieve his B.A.

Since Rob had been out of school for more then 9 years he was not allowed into University as a full-time student, but could only be part-time until he proved himself. From January 2005 to September 2005 Rob worked full-time trucking while doing night school. Needless to say we seen very, very little of him during those months.

Year 7 - May 2005 ~ May 2006

July 2005

In September 2005 we sent our first child off to school. Marietta was quite thrilled about going to school, and especially loved to ride the bus (for a short couple minutes)

Even more fun was when the girls could ride the bus with daddy. In September 2005 Rob also began to go to school full-time. It brought another change in our house as we had to get used to him studying all the time from early morning to late, late night, six days a week. At least we could see him from breakfast and supper.

A visit to see daddy's school.

October 2005

October 2005 - 6.5 years of marriage

Year 8 2006 ~ 2007

Life took at turn again as we began to realize that our dear boy James was not just an extremely fussy eater with some odd and funny habits, but was seriously ill. In March 2006 he was hospitalized for the first time and this began a new life of adjusting to the medical world and the hospital life.

It took three months to get a diagnosis of LPI (Lysinuric Protein Intolerance) for James, at the time it seemed like forever, but afterward we could be very thankful that we were able to find an answer so quickly for such a rare disease. Unfortunately having this diagnosis did not keep James out of the hospital and we found ourselves repeatedly in the hospital for various lung symptoms ... it would take another year before we got a diagnosis for this part of his disorder.

November 2006

Year 9 - May 2007 ~ May 2008

Life did not get any easier for us or James over the next year and after a long hospital stay we received a second diagnosis for James ... PAP (Pulmonary Alveolar Proteinosis) secondary to LPI. I will never forget the day the doctor told me that James had a terminal illness with probably only a year to live without treatment and that they would try their best.

Three weeks after receiving this diagnosis for James we welcomed another addition to our family. Our fifth child and third son, Matthew Ian. Poor Matthew got lost in the shuffle of things during those first months of his life. Matthew spent two months at home with us before he moved for two months to the home of Steve and Cecilia who took wonderful care of him while we lived in Toronto with James for the last days of his life.

The doctors did indeed try their best, but the Lord had better plans for James and on November 23, 2007 we said good-bye to our dear sweet loveable little boy who we still miss so dearly to this day.

February 2008

Year 10 - May 2008 ~ May 2009

During the midst of all these things Rob still managed to achieve his BA on schedule and this past year saw Rob attend his first year at the Theological College. We were told that as tough as University is, it's a walk in the park compared to the college ... I'd say this is a pretty good description. But he survived the year.

October 2008

May 22, 2009

pictures to be added at a later date (if I remember to take some :)