our Easter weekend

It continues to be somewhat entertaining, all this action from our sliding doors.  Our girls don't say much to the guys when they come to work, but they certainly watch closely.  So closely that one morning, Sophia ran to tell me that one of the Wassenar men had won something with their roll-up-the-rim Tim's coffee and could I find out from him what he won - a car? a donut?  (She had watched them drink their coffees and waited patiently to see who would dance, holler, or at the very least, rip off the top of the coffee cup to save for later.)

We had a lovely Easter weekend.  Beautiful sunshine and good family memories.  Aside from the pork roast held last summer, it was the first time in over one year (two?) that we took all four girls to a family home visit.  Normally, we host in our home, but that is not possible right now with all the construction. The Sprinter made all the difference with traveling!

Here are a few photo highlights, first from the Pot family gathering at Harvey and Carol's:

Janneke loves any open window.

We watched from afar as some of the Pot cousins went mudding in the fields with Lucas's jeep.  This was inspiring...

...so we decided to take our old Ford Escort (now a field car at the Pot farm) for a spin.  Both Em and Soph had a chance at the wheel.  Soph was fascinated with the idea of turning a handle to roll down the window - as opposed to pushing a button, and Emily decided she was okay with waiting a few years before she has to drive on the road.

We were asked if we would take the Sprinter mudding.  Funny family.

Instead, the go-kart was resurrected from dust and whatever else was in the driving shed.  A much better choice than mudding with a Sprinter.

Yes, that is the go-kart in the soccer game.

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We ventured out to my brother Steve's place on Saturday.  The sunny weather meant our time together was spent outdoors, perfect for wheelchairs.  We didn't have to build ramps or break our backs carrying the chairs indoors, and everyone could be in the same space without feeling crowded.

And no family gathering on the DeJonge/Fluit side is complete unless there is time to dress up and create plays... (Which side of the family is crazier - mudding in the fields or masquerading as who-knows-what?)

There was some sadness in watching my nieces and nephews run around, find Easter eggs, and play all over the yard - knowing that Rachel and Janneke were limited in their movement, but both girls really did enjoy watching all the fun, even when the weather turned cool in the evening.

Back at home, Sophia "schooled" her cousins, her sister, her dad, and her uncle at Monopoly - over four hours at the table.

Today, the yard was dug up to prepare for the garage.  More dirt piles, more neighbour kids watching, and more noise.

So, what exactly is being built?

Here is a snapshot of Rachel and Janneke's room right now. Yes, it is different from what we had last year if you saw the photos or the family video, but the blue room didn't fit the new beds from PC Charity.

Don't get me wrong: we love our new beds!  Yet... the room leaves space for little else.  To provide better care for the girls, and to keep the nurses/PSW in our home, we need to have lifting supports.  This includes tracking on the ceiling (click this for an example) as well as more elbow room for turns and transfers into the chair.

The blue room in the photo below, which currently fits our bed, the feeding tube supplies and misc equipment, will become part of that new room and an accessible washroom that includes space to bathe the girls safely.

The plan includes opening the window wall in the blue room and expanding into the new large room that can accommodate the girls' equipment, the space needed for safe transfers and movement, and adequate tracking.

Here's a couple of photos of what we've got so far.  Can you visualize the walls going up, the entrance leading out of the new room onto a deck with ramp that leads to the garage on the side of the house? We're trying to see it too!

Perhaps you have some framing experience or you are able to help in another way with our renovations?  Email Wil by clicking his name here.

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We give thanks for a good weekend that included new family memories, hot cross buns (Easter treat), stable blood sugars for Rachel and Janneke, confidence in traveling as a family, a church family that loves and accepts our girls -and isn't afraid to wipe Rachel's drool while worshiping, and wonderful sunshine.

We also give thanks that Ralph's dad (Opa) is now adjusting well to his new room at Shalom, and we look forward when Ralph's mom (Oma) can also be in the same retirement home complex.  It was a treat to drive Opa in the Sprinter this weekend, watching him interact with Janneke on the way to the farm.

Peace for your week.  Much thanks for passing along our request for help with the renovations.