Sunday, June 29, 2008

nice day - boring title :)

We did it! Yes, thank you Lord for a wonderful day. I didn't know how it would go but it went great.

The day started with me doing more work on some rhubarb pies that I ended up not having time to bake in the morning before church. Then make some scrambled eggs for breakfast with Mark, Andy and Sarah.

Mark arrived late Fri. night cause of some bad traffic in Van. that day. He helped Andy with some more of the 'to do before campers arrive' list that he's been working on.

Then church. Camp Tulahead staff led the service - the worship and a few spoke of how camp has impacted their lives. Then our pastor shared a message focused towards the staff - about not getting discouraged, or what to do if you start feeling that way.

Then Andy and Mark caught rides back with some staff and Sarah and I went to a friend's house in town - Rhian and Martin. They have 12 year old twins and Martin works at the other camp near Princeton - Rockridge Canyon - as their maintenance/facilities person. Rhian has been working a few days in the office here at Tulahead. They also attend our church. We had a great lunch with them - chilli and veggies, bread and fruit. Sarah loved the cherries and grapes.We then played some with some 'littest pet shop' toys and visited and then time for our church picnic.

I got some money out of the bank for swimming, we had a potty break at Pharmasave and we bought some ice to keep our salad from wilting. I hadn't brought the cooler and Andy had picked the lettuce this morning. I'm including all the details because on a hot day like today (37 degree C) every thing you do seems significant.

We had put on swim suits and sunscreen at Rhian's house, so were ready to get in the pool right away. Rhian's family brought three girls from their neighborhood and the youngest needed an adult to be within arms reach of her at all times in the pool. Rhian and Martin were not planning on swimming, so Becky, the 5 year old, swam with Sarah and I. It worked out good because she was also a little timid of swimming. I said I could watch them if there was always one of them wearing a life jacket. We spent a lot of time on the stairs and then eventually did some 'tours' which involved me having a floating girl in each arm (wearing life jackets) and we'd talk about what we saw in the pool as we went to the other side and back. I'd encourage them to kick and at one point one girl was floating on her back and one on her front in the jackets. We pretended we were turtles on the stairs as the sisters and friend would pop by and say hi and encourage Becky to come further out (but not away from me:). I said they were fish and we were turtles because we weren't swimming in the water all the time. Don't they call beginner swimming classes 'turtles'? I remember in school not getting into the stingray group, I think. I remember taking one 'animal' class twice, cause I wan't ready to move to the next.

At the pool we saw my friend Alesha who is due within a week of when I was due. She is really getting out there (tummy-wise). I got to give her a hug and visit a very tiny bit.
Then it was time for our church picnic which was at the park next to the pool. Most of the people were situated under the shade of a large willow.

Becky didn't have a change of clothes and she was very thristy so we watched her walk to the picnic people and then we went back to change. I felt bad for those girls because they didn't have any parent to make sure they had sun screen on and they were so red and laying on the blankets after the picnic - I'm sure they had sun stroke.

It was very fun having the two girls to swim with and seeing both Becky and Sarah get more into the water in their own ways. Sarah liked making washing machines with me, with our hands and Becky was funny in that she would pretend she didn't like water one moment and sit on the deck of the pool and then she'd say, "I like water" and jump in.

The picnic was nice. A little more hanging around visiting would have been nice, but Sarah wanted me near by the swings to push her or whatever. The times she sat down and ate were the times I got to visit. It was nice overall. They 'remembered us' (they said) and made tofu dogs...nice.

Then home. Before we started driving I put ice cubes into S's waterbottle but they pretty much melted instantly. She was really good about drinking lots of water to stay hydrated. She was quite flushed in her face and I didn't know if she was burned, but once she cooled down at home I could see that the new 30 SPF sunscreen for kids worked well. I used the same kind because I'm suspicious the sunscreen I adopted from camp is out of date.

Anyway, on the way home she spilled on herself and she was wearing a hat and a thin scarf (not winter scarf) over the hat to shield the sun from her shoulders.

Then on our driveway, we saw Mark driving up to leave for home in his van. He had had trouble starting it and if he hadn't we would have missed him. It was very nice to be able to say bye and Sarah answered his questions about the picnic with nods or shakes of her head. He liked that she was finally communicating with her.

Mark had brought some leftovers from a potluck he had with his ESL students and it was a dish from Ethiopia...injera (bread) and amazing spicy sauce with chicken in it and also hard boiled eggs. We had that for lunch Sat.

On Sat. Sarah and I went to the "Racing Days Parade." There were horse races in town that day or the day before. The parade had a few too many loud sounds for her and she enjoyed the art show we went to directly afterward. We both got to vote for our favorite painting.

So then, this evening, I gave her some ice to play with in her little kitchen unit with a sink and some ice to eat. Then we had cold soup with rice cakes for dinner and a great bath to scrub sunscreen off and cool down more. Then fall asleep under a sheet with only underwear on.
She said today felt like an adventure. Definately. She said, "We spent a lot of time together today." Yes. Also, "You definately know about my day, today, because we were with each other lots." She said that just before I talked about her day, which we do every night before bed. I think she must have like being together all day. She mentioned it twice.

We also tried some of Andy's homemade iced tea when we got home and she liked it and said it tasted like juice...I guess that would be the sugar and lemon?

We had a message on the phone that Grandad is coming to stay the night/morning, as he will be star gazing in Manning Park this evening. Sarah asked what we were doing tomorrow and I didn't have anything special to we do. We don't have any bread in the house, but we'll be ok. We have 2 rhubarb pies :)

Campers came today. The first age group - 8-10 yrs. Andy is watering camp or maybe our garden currently and I am thankful for the fan that was installed in our house a week ago approximatly. It is drawing cool air up to the upstairs.

I do need to slow down a bit more, but with increasing energy it is tricky.

Thanks for the great day God and for all the friends in town and those reading about my day here or there. Goodnight.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

A few indoor pics

One evening Sarah was sitting in a box and we were playing ball. We took this pic after that.

A special snack I made for Sarah one night.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Father's Day

We had a picnic dinner at Allison Lake, 10 min. down the road. We tried to take a family photo and Andy was being goofy...we laughed so hard.
Which one do you like best?


Hello.Things have been busy here with staff training, so I may not be releasing my detailed story for awhile.

I don't have any deep words of reflection about the fact that today is the one month anniversary of our 15 week old 2nd child's death, because I haven't been doing any deep reflecting/writing. We are doing camp right now. I can say that I am thankful for increased energy and when I compare the levels from post hospital to now, it is incredible.

I got to help lead a session on cleaning this evening. It was fun. I had the idea to draw different pictures of the different aspects of the bathrooms that need to be cleaned (sinks, counters, mirros, toliets, walls, heaters...) and Sarah helped me color them. I then had volunteers come up and stand in a line holding their sign and flip it when I was talking about their area. I love teaching and telling people things in interesting ways so this was fun. Then Andy filled in the blanks with where to find all the supplies. We are having breakfast and dinners at camp and that is a good time to talk to people.I made a rhubarb crisp with our own skinny rhubarb a few days ago which was also a lovely highlight, some of the first fruits of our area. Saskatoons are on the bushes and are green.Tired, should call it a night, so I will.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

yummy bits

Hello. Recently things have been really enjoyable:

Sharing my testimony at camp with the staff and worshipping with them. That was yesterday...and today, hearing other's stories. Sarah and I went to church today and I got to stand up and thank people for caring for us during this time through bringing meals, sending cards and cleaning our house. We get another house cleaning this week but said the meals could stop since our garden is picking up and we can eat at camp now.

Salad! Our garden is producing excellent lettuce and spinach. Also some brocolli raab we steam and we had our first brocolli tonight which received a thumbs up from Sarah. I weeded for 1/2 hr. in the garden before dinner. Bye weeds, let the veggies grow. Some were getting quite big...Andy can't keep up with them all.

Just finished "A Deeper Shade of Grace" by Bernadette Keaggy (thanks Denise). Bernadette is the musician Phil's wife. She had 3 pregnancies that ended before the child reached term. Then they had 3 other children later. I am starting Beth Powning's "Shadow Child: An Apprenticeship in Love and Loss". Very well written.

Tomorrow is the one month anniversary of the death of our second child. I am finishing editting the detailed story. I am thankful for being alive and getting more energy as time passes.

Sarah had a swimming lesson in the tub last night. She brought up the idea to do this. She floated on her back with almost totally relaxed head/shoulders and she blew bubbles out her mouth and nose. First try she got water up her nose so we practiced blowing out lots. She was so excited, after I dried her off, she jumped up and down in the hallway about 20 times, clapping her hands and then was asking when we could go to the Princeton swimming pool because, 'now I like floating on my back' and she'd raise her hands and put her head back in the air while saying, "like this, whoop" (like a little sound effect, you know?). We are making a plan although the public swim time are fairly limited...we are talking about our lake, but it is so cold...This is all very exciting for me because she doesn't like water in her face or ears, so I sees this as progress. May have been heavily influenced by the book we read last week many times a day about a chicken who learns how to swim and does blow bubbles in the bathtub. "Olvina Swims" by Grace Lin. I recommend it for people who are a little scared of water/swimming. It's a penguin who teaches her to swim while they are in Hawaii after the annual 'bird convention.' Cute eh?

On a less positive note, I am having trouble sleeping (bladder calls again and again) and my afternoon naps just don't seem long enough.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

lay down already :)

Hi. I'm physically getting better, but now I have the challenge of continuing to listen to my body and stop doing things when I feel tired/dizzy/headachy. And Andy is so busy with camp work right now that it is hard for me to leave a pile of dishes for him to clean up who knows when. We had laundry on the line for 2 days, for, in a few ways I feel it would be nice to have someone here taking care of us again. But, the main thing is that I need to be disciplined to slow down and actually lay down. Andy takes Sarah to work in the afternoon and then I sleep for an hour or so.
We had a date yesterday. There are very few restaurants here in Princeton and out of those few, I can probably say none of them we are excited about going to, so we got pizza and ate it in the car by the river. Sarah was crying when I left her at the babysitters and then she ended up sleeping for an hour while she was there. We had had a big day in town for some appointments as well.

We had visitors today - A Mom I know from town and her 3 boys. two 3 yr. olds (twins and a 5.5 yr. old.) The boys loved our trails, chickens, we showed them our brocolli plants and went to the beach. They all left with wet feet :) They also really enjoyed playing with the Playmobil set in the house. This was the first visit I had from people from town and it was great to see them.

I'm getting a few pictures in the scrapbook and it's neat to see it come together.

Seeing my Mom's camping trip makes me long for an away from home break/vacation, but that will have to wait, as we are heading into our busy season. We watched a kayaking video from the day it would be fun to try that.

So, we appreciate prayers for me to rest when I need and us as camp starts. Staff arrive this evening.

Ever since putting the greenhouse plastic on, Sarah has been afraid of the wind...even if hearing the trees way up above being blown by the wind. So, for our sanity and hers we are avoiding the extremely windy times of day outside and still getting out there, of course, to hopefully get her used to the wind again. I end up wrapping her up, but even the breeze on her face she doesn't like...hmm. We talk about what the wind is good for - keeping the mosquitos away...and I introduced the song with the line, "...and the trees of the fields will clap their hands..." which can only happen with the wind's help. Taking the pinwheel outside has been good too.

Lay down time :)

Saturday, June 14, 2008

spring brought joy, summer remembers

Hi. Well, I'm checking in here. A lot has been happening with us.

I never got around to sharing that I was pregnant. I kinda wanted to tell people more personally, rather than make a blog announcement, but here is the announcement I was working on, but never quite got posted:

May 22, 2008
Hello, It's been a long while. I suppose I have lost my heart for blogging in a way, with spring (equals lots going on with garden, camp prep, chickens (chicks growing in the house - 50 of them). Anyway, the big news that I wanted to share is that there is a little one growing in me. I am pregnant and we heard our second child's heartbeat yesterday when we visited our midwife. The heartbeat was picked up right away on the doppler because I am already 15 weeks along. We are so thrilled and thankful to be on the journey again to having another child.

June 13, 2008
So, we were due mid-November and looking forward to cozying up in the late fall and winter while getting to know the new member in our family.
But our little one's life has already ended, here on earth. On Fri. May 23rd I miscarried our 15 week baby at home. The doctor in Princeton stablized me and then I took an ambulance (no lights) to Penticton.

From an email sent probably the week of May 26th:
"I got back from Penticon hospital Sun. (May 25) and am pretty low energy because I lost a lot of blood. The doctor said if I take it easy for 2 months I will probably be feeling my old self again.
We are grieving yet are so thankful for the amount of joy this baby has brought to our family during my pregnancy. Sarah loved counting all the people in our family including our baby, as she'd point to my stomach.

So, I am resting a lot. My Mom has been up for over a week and has been a super big help with cleaning and baking etc."

June 13, 2008
Latest physical things are a few short headaches and some dizziness. I usually get these when I'm too tired, even prior to this sad event.
We are working on a scrapbook - Sarah and I - to remember the joy brought to our family during this pregnancy.

People from our church are bringing us meals every other night and today, well, read below.

I am steadily increasing in strength, for which I am very grateful. I contrast that with the fact that I thought I might die, when we arrived at the Princeton hospital, directly after loosing our baby. Our baby's body is in for testing to see if they can determine any reason for the miscarriage from that, like abnormal chromosomes. I was in my 2nd trimester and miscarriages in the 2nd trimester are fairly rare, so this was a shock to us and others. More details may be coming in the future...Andy and I will confer. Now I will move on to a little story/reflection from today.

June 13, 2008
Thankful today. The pastor's wife, Shawn, and daughter, Bethany came today and cleaned for 2.5 hrs. Bathrooms, kitchen, vacuuming, even the fridge, which had been bothering me.

Tonight as we were getting ready for bed Sarah was arranging her dolls in the cradle we just moved upstairs from being situated downstairs for some time. She helped Isabelle go pee on the training toliet we still have kicking around because I'm hoping to locate the missing piece and give it to the thrift store (it leaks, so I'm not saving it or passing it on to Aimee). So Isabelle got tucked in with a purple satin blanket and Elsie got propped up at the end of the cradle because, 'she's still having her snack.' Isabelle was wearing a newborn shirt my Mom had sent up for our anticipated November baby. Then the dolls got eye covers too. I sleep with an eye cover, for darkness, so Sarah's dolls all get them too. Then she gave them each a toy to sleep with. Isabelle got two toys. The flying squirrel was found and given to Elsie. 'See,' Sarah says, 'weee,' while making the squirrel fly. And then, "I can even wipe my face," and she makes the arms (it's a pupet) move the hands to wipe the squirrel's face. I was sitting on the edge of the bed watching her the whole time and I said, "You know what Sarah?" "What?" "If we have another baby I know that you are going to be a wonderful sister." "Why?" "Because you are so gentle and kind to your dolls and you like to show them things that are interesting." "If we have another baby I could bring this talking bunny and show how it can go like this," she says as she holds the bunny up by the ears with one hand. I got tears in my eyes. The conversation probably went a little bit differently, but that is the gist of it. We are hopeful and resting in Jesus care.

A prayer item is for us as parents, because since my Mom left, we've been dealing with outbursts of crying and sometimes screaming when Sarah doesn't get her way with a few things. We had a conflict and resolution time today which involved all three of us and for that time I am thankful. We've had lots of practical life situations to talk about obeying and apologies and how throats become sore after screaming. I know a few are praying re: this already, so thanks.

Another 'Sarah note' is that she has become more sensitive to how other's are feeling. She always says, "I hope you have a good rest" as I'm laying down and she asks how my rest was after.
One day she decided to come give me a hug before she went downstairs after I apologized for saying her name too loudly. I said I was sorry and she paused and then said, 'I'll give you a hug.' Then she came over and we hugged. It was beautiful.

Thanks for listening. We know a lot of people are praying for us and if God has been leading you to do this, thank you for being used by Him. We truly are in Jesus' hands, just like our little one is, but in such a different way it seems.

To see pics from my Mom's visit to go


Computer advice?
Inexplicably, a month or so ago, we've not been able to open any webpages with Firefox. We had to load I.Explorer again, so we can use the internet, but now I can't post pics on my blogs with this set up. Any one have any ideas? thanks.