birthday time

Moving on from swimming to celebrating... In the next 10 ten days, Sophia turns 6, Emily turns 8, and Ralph, well, he is also getting older. Sophia has already planned most of her "harvest" party, complete with small gourd display she made from Aunt Rhoda's collection of gourds. This afternoon, she made giant paper pumpkins, so the guests could play musical pumpkins. Emily's party is still in the planning stages; her party is later on in the month. It's fun to see how excited they can be and how grown-up they are in planning their parties.

And sometimes we wonder if they had to grow up too quickly with the arrival of their special little sisters. They are amazingly flexible now with sudden changes of plans due to health concerns. They know they have to scrub their hands as soon as they walk in the door from school or other places. They help with giving flushes (syringes of sterile water) to the girls when we can't. They love to cuddle with their sisters, and help with suctioning, giving comfort if Rachel or Janneke is scared. They teach Rachel how to play, and try to get Janneke to hold toys. Today, Sophia tried to cheer up Janneke by putting on a finger puppet show complete with ocean animals and songs. Tonight, Emily is making toe jewelry for Rachel.

They don't ask too often about how different things are in our home now; it's normal to them. We love you and we are thankful for you, Em and Soph, and we hope God blesses all of us with many more years for you both.