new beds and a haircut

December 1.  December again.  Time flies.

So, the tree is up, decorated and lit - yep, it's real.  It's only fallen once in the last week, so here's hoping it lasts the month.  The homemade decorations remind us of holiday memories and former students (ornaments given as teacher gifts).  As I wrote last year, the tree and its memories remind us of God's grace through the years.  I love that.

I am not loving the possibility of Janneke running into the tree with her walker, but so far the prickles of the branches have kept her away.  Both Rachel and Janneke were initially intrigued by the lights and the colours, but they have since moved their attention elsewhere.

Emily and Sophia worked with me on the front window with our annual Christmas painting.  Last year, we painted the back window, but with Janneke spitting and touching the window, we figured our picture might stay in better shape on the front.  With the old-style double pane, it is a bit hard to see from the road, but I am proud of the girls and their work.

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With the painting done and the tree up, Em and Soph are now enjoying the extra jumping surfaces in our livingroom....  Our bed is temporarily in the livingroom, making for a great performance of vaulting over the couch and onto the bed.

So, why the bed in the livingroom?

Well, some might say Janneke and Rachel have received an early gift for Christmas.  President's Choice Charity has purchased new beds for our girls.  We are very thankful for this wonderful gesture.  The beds are designed to last a lifetime, adapting to the girls as they grow.

To make a spot for the beds, Ralph and I had to move our bedroom out into the livingroom.  This created an empty space for the construction of the beds. Now this weekend's job is to move what we can from the girls' former room into the new-beds bedroom, so Ralph and I can gain a bedroom back for our stuff.

With this generous gift, we can now save the additional money fundraised this summer for home renovations and the girls' RDSPs - we don't have to set aside the cost of the beds.

If you are curious about the beds, click this link (  We have two IDA beds.

The reality now facing us: We will need to make some significant changes to the home soon to better accommodate the equipment our girls need and to help us provide better care for them.  We are currently dreaming about those changes.

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Not only did the girls get new beds, Rachel had her first hair cut!  Shannon came over and used her experience with hair care to give Rachel a beautiful new 'do.... perfect for someone whose hair was constantly getting stuck in the bib buttons.  Now we hope her hair will also get thicker and stronger.

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I've got Handel's Messiah playing just about every day - that and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra.  I am considering waiting with holiday cards until the van arrives - a belated greeting in January or February.

But, for the Christmas cards I do send out, I hope to use the ones Niagara Peninsula Children's Centre is currently selling.  Are you interested?  Every year, a student from the NPCC school designs the card, using whatever abilities and programs they can.  Here is a photo of this year's card.  If you ever visit NPCC, you can see a framed copy of all the cards made over the years.  Very cool.

And if you are interested, I can pick some up for you - $9 for a dozen cards.

In the midst of the busyness, we remember the reason for the season - that Christ came to make all things new.  He came to bring hope, the promise that our sorrows, our burdens, our circumstance will not consume us (Lamentations 3:19-23).  He brings hope.... I know that my Redeemer Liveth.


As for Janneke, she's too busy exploring on her bare feet to post this week.