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
Year 3 - May 2001 ~ May 2002
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
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.
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
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
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 - 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.
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.
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.
May 22, 2009
pictures to be added at a later date (if I remember to take some :)