Hey, everyone, I am feeling better!

It's been a good week so far. Everyone is feeling better, and we have done a few things outside the home.  Janneke continues to explore surfaces in our home and has recently fit into Rachel's old jeans, making her seem so much older.  Funny how denim adds the years.

We had another successful portacath flush, and we also did some routine bloodwork.  We hear stories about portacaths getting blocked or how quickly a clot can form in the vein, but we have had no trouble with the girls'.  I am so thankful we could work out for the bloodwork to be drawn in the home instead of the hospital.

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We had a chance to go visiting with Emily and Sophia on Thursday.  We have a long list of family and friends that we want to see, but for Thursday, it was Aunt Alida and the Lammers family.  It was great to step away from the routine at home, but we miss being with all four girls.  Rachel and Janneke spent the first half of their day with nurse Roxanne, and then Ashley kept them company until we returned.  Everyone had a good day.

Realistically, it is very difficult to take our whole family visiting.  It's not just the transportation, but it is also all the supplies we have to pack, the accessibility of the home we are visiting, and, in the end, we are too busy with the girls' care plans to enjoy the company.  

We wanted to see my Oma DeJonge, but her retirement place is in "lockdown" because of a flu virus.  Oma can't even leave her room to go into the hall or the common areas.  She has to stay in her room, and her meals are brought to her.  Needless to say, visitors are not permitted. So, we called her on our cell phone and waved to her through the window.  Can you see the phone cord and her hand, Aunt Linda?

Secretly, the reason we traveled towards southern Ontario's snowbelt was for... well, snow.  We have not seen snow yet in St. Catharines - and as great as that is for traveling, our kids have missed the winter fun.  Nothing like a set of wooden stairs with some snow to function as a backyard toboggan hill.

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Today, it was actually quite warm out for January, so our PSW (personal support worker) and I took the girls for a walk to Lake Ontario.  While we were gone, I opened the windows in our house to chase away any existing germs.  Both Rachel and Janneke were all smiles for the walk; they love being outside.  Emily and Sophia collected photos and nature items for their art projects.  I love their creativity!

This week, I've been thinking about the idea of resolutions.  When I google the meaning of resolution, the word determination shows up.

These past three weeks haven't really made me feel determined or motivated.  Once in a while, that's what happens - life catches up with me.  And I feel unmotivated and, well, not really determined or resolved to do more than necessary.  I find these weeks filled with reflections on the past six of fifteen years as parents and as a family.  It's as though I need to grieve every so often.

I know this bit of time passes, and as much as I wish I could ignore the emotions and feelings that come with this life, the more I acknowledge how I feel, the easier it is to deal with the day and move onward.  Some of Sarah McLachlan's words come to mind:

if I feel a tear, I won't cage it, 
I won't fear love.
if I feel a rage, I won't deny it  
I won't fear love.

I also have thought about Simeon's words to Mary and Joseph when they brought the infant Jesus to the temple.  Most people get excited when they see a new baby and fill the parents' ears with all kinds of lovely things.  When Simeon saw the Christ, he Knew the significance of that new baby. After sharing his joy, his last words to Mary were "and a sword will pierce your heart."

We weren't there to know all of Mary's story, but I am guessing her life was not easy.  Yet, Christ came for that very fact - to tell us that as difficult as this life might be, there is a promise of hope.  Our sorrows will not consume us, and grace will be given daily.

So, if I really try to resolve anything for the year, it's to not give up when there's not much to give.  I resolve to lean on Him when I am no longer able to handle my day.  I resolve to find the joy in each day and allow that joy to supersede whatever frustration or sadness is in my heart.

I can do all things through Him who gives me Strength.