summer days

A tender moment between Opa (Ralph's dad) and Janneke

We are thankful the humidity has subsided somewhat this week. I suppose we shouldn't complain about it being so hot because in a few months we'll be feeling so in a land of extreme temperatures! We did try to fry an egg on the sidewalk - wasn't hot enough. We considered baking cookies in the van; Carla's family (friends in MN) was successful with their windshield. Instead of complaining, be creative!

With the temp dropping a few degrees in these last few days, we took the girls to visit Ralph's parents. Emily and Sophia had a great time with two of their older cousins, Shannon and Abigail. How we love the attention and care Shannon and Abigail give to our girls - kind of like big sisters giving Em and Soph a break away from our home.

As we anticipate the next few weeks, we are excited about all the fundraising efforts for our van. Please visit the AppealforWheels website for more info. This week, Ralph has been meeting with different individuals to choose the van and then create a blueprint for the modifications. We can either purchase a passenger van or a cargo van, and we would then work with a specific company to modify the insides and develop a lift system (side lift, back lift, arm lift... lots of choices). It will take time to purchase and order, so it is important to have the details determined in advance. We continue to be amazed at how God has provided for us through you.

Thank you so much for your generosity and kindness.

Here are a few shots from the last few (more tolerable) days with the girls outside:

a special moment with Brenda

Swim time is always a good time!

It has been a decent summer season so far for our family. We are thankful for the invitations to swim, and we have noticed that both Rachel and Janneke are not so stiff in their limbs with all the hydrotherapy (swimming). Obviously, Emily and Sophia are also thrilled with being in the water, and it is especially rewarding to see Em and Soph hold their little sisters in the NPCC pool (Tuesday family swims). The pool is shallow enough for the older girls to stand, so we give them a chance to "carry" their sisters. Both Rachel and Janneke show a distinct, happy, change on their face, so I know it is a treat for all.

I arranged our nursing and respite care so that we have help six days a week for July and August. The extra set of hands each day gives us a chance to spend time doing normal things. I sometimes feel a bit frustrated that I can't just pack up and go for a playdate spontaneously; everything still needs to be planned ahead around feeding schedules. We do take Em and Soph on their own, but they prefer to be with the whole family too.

Here's a photo from my kitchen the other day. One of our nurses likes to make me laugh by creating fun out of the mundane. These are some of the syringes drying - at attention.

Peace for your week.

Postscript: I had a chance to visit with my Oma last week. I am thankful for those hours I could spend with her, and I grieve the effects of aging - when the body no longer does what it's supposed to do and one feels confused with the events of the day. I pray that God will bring Peace soon.