cool kids and a choir

Even when you are sick for your birthday, you can still have some fun.  Now these kids are cool.

Both Rachel and Janneke are mending from a cold virus, and we hope they are back to their usual quirky selves soon.  Rachel was well enough for an hour visit with the SK class at Beacon yesterday.  We shared some songs, a story, and each child went home with a cool pair of shades in honour of our Ray of sunshine.

There are more picture books being published in recent years that highlight the new normal many families deal with: Leo the Late Bloomer (Robert Kraus), Giraffes Can't Dance (Giles Andreae), and Igor, The Bird Who Couldn't Sing (Satoshi Kitamura) -the story we shared with SK.  

The parallels are obvious, and children learn through the subtleties that being a friend is a great gift and celebrating uniqueness is important.  

Here's a couple of photos and thought from the last few days:

Rachel was well enough for a brief moment to appreciate her giant birthday card from SK and enjoy some present-opening, courtesy of her big sisters.

Though family far away means we don't see each other often, singing phonecalls are very special.

Though she spent a great deal of time in bed resting, we got her up for a few minutes to appreciate the cake and a rousing chorus of Happy Birthday from some of her aunts and uncles.

Saturday was a beautiful sunny day, just ripe for renos...  this time, trusses.

This particular Saturday, we had brothers-in-law working side-by-side....

and brothers too.  In fact, the whole John and Marlene Teeuswen family has put sweat (and blood) or food or respite relief into our renovations.

As always, a few jokes and stories are shared.

And now there are windows.  It looks like a real room!  


In time, the wall will come down, connecting the new room with the rest of the house.  From that point, changes will be made indoors to make a large accessible bedroom and bathroom for the girls.  Stop in and check it out.

You are also welcome to help on a Saturday.  Those who have come speak of the good food and drinks that are readily available.  Eat, eat, work, eat, eat, work....

Janneke thrives on the sounds of the hammering and sawing.  Saturday morning, she made us all laugh as she imitated the sounds of the day.

Rachel prefers the more musical sounds.  We recorded a music therapy session with Mendelt on the iPad.  We often play the session for her while placing her in front of the piano.  She loves listening to the music, and she tries to play the piano too.

Speaking of music and Mendelt, there is an amazing concert coming up May 23, 2012 in St. Catharines.  It's the concert for Momentum, a choir comprised of artists of all abilities.  Mendelt is the director, and he will attest to the therapy your soul will experience when you hear the choir perform.  

When we see the purpose and power of such a choir, it reminds us that supporting families with children who have special needs isn't just about the early years, it's also about walking alongside adults of all abilities, nurturing and empowering them.  Come to the concert!  Click here for ticket info.

You won't want to miss it.

As a side note: Obviously, I don't take photos of the more difficult moments of our week. When there is little sleep and lots of stress due to illness or anxiety, I respect the privacy of our family and keep some distance between the home and the blog.  I won't pretend that we don't have moments of ugliness. Yet, it is a fact those moments are fleeting.  

Truthfully, I have times when I am (almost) angry in the middle of the night, dealing with a feed or an ill child, and I find it frustrating that anger is the first emotion to surface when things don't go the way we planned.  There is resolution when we admit those emotions, and it's a reminder to let go of the controlling nature, to ask for help, and ask God for peace in the storm.

Peace for your week.  Treasure the day and give thanks for the little things - I say without trying to be trite.  And when the day is not going so well, trust that God will carry you through it.  He will provide the strength needed for one day at a time.