a race, a hike, and a playdate

Yesterday was a great day for anything outside - including a race.  Emily, Sophia, and Rachel (with her dad's help) did the 1K alongside scores of other kids.  We were proud of Em and Soph for their effort, and Rachel gave us huge smiles with her ride. Thanks for cheering with us, Aunt Rhoda!

Janneke and I did the 10K together - and yes, she finished ahead of me.  But I almost went ahead of her at one point.  At the 5K mark, the front wheel rolled off, and I stumbled over the top of the stroller.  Thankfully, the wheel was easy to pop on, and I was thankful for the help of a bystander that came to assist me.  

While the wheel falling off has happened before when I have gone along the canal, it has never happened during a race.  The race was enjoyable, and I loved seeing Janneke take in the sights, but I think it will be one of our last for a time.  I will continue to run with the girls, but I am not feeling safe about racing while pushing.  In yesterday's race, I sensed the risks with my fellow runners; too many ran too close to me without realizing the potential for tripping or falling.  Until I have a better gut feeling about this, I will keep our shared runs to the canal -and trying racing on my own.  That will feel strange!

What better to finish the race than to visit with Opa and Oma?  All four girls enjoyed seeing their grandparents; we loved the tenderness shared between Dad Pot and Rachel. Interestingly enough, Janneke wouldn't stop making sounds during the whole visit.  

She hasn't made sounds for that length of time ever (other than crying), but for an hour yesterday, she made a sound from the throat accompanied with a grin.  It was priceless!

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Earlier this week, Rachel went along with the SK (Beacon) class to visit Heartland Forest.  This park has become so familiar to our family in the last six months; any chance we have to visit is worth it.  I loved the excitement on the kids' faces as they greeted Rachel in the parking lot, and I appreciated all the help with pushing Rachel through the forest.

When we spent time in the treehouse, listening to Amy talk about the different animals, it was very important to the class that Rachel have a chance to touch and feel every skin or fur that was displayed.  I loved how they insisted Rachel be a part of the whole experience.  Before leaving HF, I had a chance to talk with the founder, Dan, and we were once again awed by his determination to make the park accessible and memorable for all who visit.

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I also had a five year old friend visit me for an afternoon last week.  Zekijah is a companion for Rachel. Born within a few days of each other, Z has attached herself to Rachel for the last two years.  Z walks with Rachel whenever she sees her, wipes her drool, takes her in the lift at church to Sunday School, and asks to see her every day.

Having Z around reminded me of the days with Em and Soph at that inquisitive stage.  Z's questions and comments kept me laughing for the afternoon:

She insisted I wear my seatbelt the second I sat down in the van.
I must drive the speed limit because that was very important.
I should consider having another baby because we need more kids in the house.
She really actually hated (her words) the Fred Penner music I was playing.

Oh, to be five and share exactly what you think.....

After Rachel went to school, Z chased Janneke around in her walker, and peppered our nurse Kirsten with lots of questions. We finished off the playdate with a visit to the library.  A good visit for all of us.

Peace for your week.