Saturday, December 5, 2009


The other night, I was tucking Carrie Ann in when Matthias suddenly howled in frustration (the shower water went suddenly cold). So I told her, "Stay here and wait for a minute while I check on Matthias, and then I will come back and give you hair some more." I was hoping, though I know that usually she follows me within one minute when that happens. Well (after the shower water problem was solved), I returned to find her waiting patiently in bed for me! I said, "Thanks, Carrie Ann! I really appreciate that you waited in bed for me." Thinking to myself, I've been using the word "appreciate" around her for a couple weeks yet, and who said two year olds can't use four syllable words? When she answered, "I 'preciated that you comed back, Mommy." I love it when my kids appreciate me.
PS don't try to make complete sentences of everything I just wrote; I didn't.
PPS I just got back from a performance of Pride and Prejudice, in which a good friend of mine played Elizabeth Bennet. She did a smashing job! If you know her, be sure to congratulate her!

Friday, November 27, 2009

November's almost over already!

Well, after getting October done finally I was on a roll, so I decided to work on the November pictures as well. Besides, many of them are just pictures of things that actually happened in October.

I started with a "photo eulogy" of Opa, and pictures from his funeral. Thanks to MaryAnna, Uncle Al, and Angela, Jeremy and Ben for the pictures. Opa pictures: come see what he meant to me.

The rest of the pictures from November show the renovations and rearrangements Frank started in October and I finished in November, and Matthias and Bethany at school (and a couple miscellaneous things like my new haircut). Oh, and the new sun lamp can be seen on my desk under the blue and white tea towel (ugly lamp, pretty towel!), though it is now in the living room since I wanted to read in the morning before Frank and Carrie Ann are necessarily up. The mini-trampoline I haven't taken any pictures of yet, though I'm sure that will come!

Finally, I wanted to mention my dear cousin's baby. She was born Nov. 25 at 27 weeks and her lungs were not ready yet. Heather and Alex, we grieve with you for your beautiful daughter. I burned my mourning candle for her today (it was first lit when Deb miscarried Stretch). I look forward to meeting her when we all get to heaven!

Fall Videos

Well, looks like I forgot to blog about the videos I uploaded since things calmed down around here. So here is the list:

From August:
One of Carrie Ann's first successful attempts to make her tricycle go!

The evening Uncle Tony and Tante Marianne stopped by we were outside playing at sunset, and Carrie Ann showed off some of her new skills.

Dancing around with the piano demo music, with fancy princess hairdos in their hair!

Noisy noisemakers at Bethany's birthday party!

From October:
We always had fun in Opa and Oma's woods, and now my kids did too! Carrie Ann loved it that some of the trees were small enough for her to shake!

My crazy camera sometimes turns to video when you take it out of the case. So the first couple tries came out as videos, before we figured out what the problem was. Opa was so happy to be holding Carrie Ann's hand.

From November:
My new haircut is shorter than I was expecting, and when I shake my head the curly sides "floop" against my cheeks. So I call it my floopy haircut. It is cute.

Carrie Ann is so excited about the snow because she knows her birthday is on "a snowy day". She decided this white dress is her snowy day dress, and when she put it on in the morning she wanted to go straight outside and dance in the snow. (I had to persuade her to wait until I was dressed too!)

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Well, October was a busy and emotionally full month for me. Therefore, it has been hard to prepare to share about it -- I need to process it myself before I know just what I want to say. I am going to comment my photos -- I took over 200, and narrowed it down to "only" 80, and I know that's too much for most of you, but it's my scrapbook so I can do it how I like and you can flip through as fast as you want to (just look at the thumbnails, do a slideshow and pause when there's a long comment, or something like that).

First pictures, I signed up Bethany for ballet, and her new outfit arrived in the mail (it is a great use of her birthday money from Grandma each year).

That first week of October, I was thinking a lot about how quiet it was around the house while Matthias and Bethany were on the field trip with Frank. Homeschooling was going less well, Matthias was being more resistant, and I was having trouble focussing. I had a concussion a year ago, and I still find multi-tasking difficult and stressful. (The spot where I hit my head also hurts when it's cold, just like my ankle did for a few years after I sprained it.) I wanted to do more for Bethany in science and socials, but Matthias was taking all my energy and I felt I was not doing justice to the education they should be getting.

At the same time, I had been thinking since last spring of visiting Ontario to see Opa and Oma (they had never met Carrie Ann in person), to see Uncle Tony (he was sick) and to see Dave and Julie (my uncle and aunt) when they were around for the summer. I really wanted to go when Rob was there in July, but Frank said it was just too expensive.

So, in the first week of October, I found some better tickets ($50-$100 less per ticket, per way, per person), and decided that I was going to really regret it if I didn't go to Ontario soon, even if it meant we had to put off some renovations for another season. Uncle Tony had already passed away in July, and Dave and Julie and Rob weren't going to be there, but I didn't want to live with the regrets if I left it too late and missed visiting Opa.

So I bought the tickets, and started looking for a way to get to Calgary at 5 am on a Sunday morning. As I worked on this, I faced the fact that homeschooling was not going well enough, and decided to put Matthias and Bethany in to public school. I was pretty sure Bethany would do well (and she it), and I hoped that Matthias would do better in an atmosphere of compliance and a roomful of kids doing the same thing. Well, he has had three or four bad days (as bad as I feared), but on the whole he has been doing as well as I hoped -- he's working at his level, and not giving the teacher too much resistance. I met her at the store today, and she was really happy with how he did today! Anyway, back to the first week of October, as I was making travel arrangements, I gave up on homeschooling and registered the kids at the local public school, visiting their classrooms with them, and meeting their new teachers and principal. It is a really great school, with a lot of focus on learning virtues and making it a wholesome atmosphere for everyone there (no bullying allowed). I planned for them to start the Monday after we arrived home, allowing a day to rest up and unpack, and Friday was a Pro-D day.

So on Saturday October 10 we set off at 8 am for a restful Sabbath on the Greyhound. The kids were great, a lot of the other passengers really appreciated them (quiet on the bus and cute during the breaks), and I read "A Wrinkle in Time" -- the whole book -- to them.

The flight, and all the connections between bus, hotel and airport, went very smoothly, and I was overjoyed to "come home" to Thanksgiving with the Boonstra Family at Oma and Opa's. It was so great to see everyone again -- my cousins' babies and everything! In the afternoon, we all visited Opa in the hospital. He was so happy to see everyone, and was thrilled that "that beautiful young girl wanted to kiss him" (I'm not sure if he meant me or Bethany!).

The next few days we spent in Niagara Falls with Dad and MaryAnna. My good friend from highschool, Tonia-Joy, came to visit us, and we "did" the Falls together, as well as the SkyWheel, the big ferris wheel (pictures). It was so awesome to see her, and to spend some time with Dad. At Thanksgiving service, I most enjoyed the pipe organ in Dad's historic church! MaryAnna, unfortunately, was very ill those first couple of days, so we let her rest!

At the end of the week, I loaded the kids in Dad's car and we set off (through Toronto) to Bowmanville to visit cousins there (the ones who weren't at the Thanksgiving meal, mostly from Dad's side). Thanks to everyone who prayed for "travelling mercies", because I've never attempted city driving like that before, and it went really really well! We also enjoyed our time with our Toronto region cousins -- some I have pictures of, and some I do not, but I love them all. Some I hadn't seen since 2001, and a couple, even longer. On Friday morning, we even had time for a side-trip to see the CN Tower! How many BC kids can say they've been up the CN Tower?!

The beginning of the next week we spent with Dad and MaryAnna -- it was great to really get to spend some time with her. She has a lot of wisdom about life. We also visited with Dave and Julie -- did I tell you? Right after I booked the tickets, we got an email saying they were coming for Thanksgiving too -- I jumped for joy! We visited Oma as well, and Opa once more in the hospital. Aunt Kathy was with me that time, and we sat in the sunroom and talked while Opa watched Carrie Ann playing. It was so fun to see them together. The thing I remember most from that conversation was Opa saying "I want to go home *in the worst way*" At the time, the context meant, to his house, but I wondered if he also meant his heavenly home. He was very emphatic. On Monday he got to go home, and on Tuesday we visited him at home. He was on oxygen, but was able to take it off for a few minutes for picture taking. He held Carrie Ann's hand the whole time. They were so taken with each other! When she played, she would keep bringing her toy over to show him, or put on his lap, and he would listen to her and smile at her, and follow her around with his eyes as she played. She looked at Dad and announced joyfully, "I have two Opas!!" I don't have words to say how glad I am that we were there that day. Later on, we went for a walk in the woods, and that was such a beautiful time as well -- those woods are so full of happy memories for all us Boonstra cousins! (Pictures)

We left a 4 am, Ontario time, to head home on Wednesday. We stopped for a detour at the Calgary Children's Hospital, where I had a follow-up appointment about some tests Matthias had done in April. (No surprises there, he is still developing at his own consistent pace.) We spent the rest of the afternoon at the hospital, and caught an evening bus to Cranbrook, where Frank picked us up. When we finally arrived home, it was 1 am BC time -- a full 24 hours later! Thankfully, we all got a fair bit of sleep on the bus ride.

When we got home, Frank had indeed done his threatened renovations and rearrangements! Thanks to his earnest efforts, and his mom's help, the furniture (as well as ceilings and floors) were all back in place, and the kids bed had been made up. I had to find my bedding on the couch... The next couple days of "resting up and getting ready for school" ended up being a mad rush to bring order to the chaos in the house. But by the time Monday came, the beds were made, the linens stored, the toys and books all rearranged, the living room cleaned up, and the house was livable. Then I got to "decorate" my desk -- the new "me space" Frank created for me in the rearranged bedroom. Pictures will come, but by the time I was done and took pictures, it was November already!

So the kids started school. Bethany brought cupcakes with whipped cream and sprinkles, and found out that two of her friends were already in her class, so she fit right in no problem. Matthias brought chocolate chip cookies, and his classmates were very friendly. However, the Gr. 5 class didn't have a Teacher's Assistant, so after three days they moved him to a Gr. 4 class with a TA (and another Gr. 5 student who needs a little extra assistance). He fits in very well with the Gr. 4 class -- they are more the same size as him, and closer to his academic level. His teacher also loves science!

I bought a sunlamp, and just this week Frank picked up a mini-trampoline for me, so that I can continue to stave off depression during the dark winter months here. Carrie Ann has become somewhat less clingy, and is doing better at toilet training, now that she has some hours each day of my undivided attention. I even have energy, time and attention to cook something special once in a while now -- pumpkin pie, apple crisp, or a three course meal (I couldn't cook two things at once for quite a while, so while the meals were nutritionally complete, usually one part was cooked or "prepared", and the other two were just opened or peeled).

Meantime, Frank also got the furnace fixed (yay!) and the leaky sewer pipe -- this I have pictures of!

The last thing that happened in October, on the 30th, was that Opa passed away. I thank God so much for impressing my conscience that I better visit now or I'll really regret it (I don't know if I could have handled it if I had not gone). But I did, and I am incredibly thankful for that. Now Opa is at Home, and we will see him again later, but not right now.

I hope you enjoy all the pictures (or at least some of them!).

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Jesus on His Throne

The first Sabbath in September, I led Praise and Worship at church. I started with a song based on Ps. 95, "O Come let us sing unto the Lord, let us make a joyful noise to the Rock of our Salvation!" Next, we magnified his Name with "O worship the King, all glorious above, O gratefully sing His wonderful love" (my childhood version said, "His power and His love"). During this song, I imagined God on his throne, robed in power but full of love towards us. The final song was "Children of the heavenly Father, safely in His bosom gather," and during this song I imagined the whole congregation joyfully approaching the Lord on his throne, taking comfort in the assurance that we are his beloved children. As I sang and envisioned these things, I prayed that the others in the congregation would share them. When I sat down, I saw that Bethany had drawn a little sketch of exactly what I envisioned! God answered my prayer! So I asked her to make a larger version, and we shared copies with the church the next week. Several of the ladies saw deeper meaning in parts of the picture, and I was just thrilled that Bethany and I could bless the body of Christ in that small way.

Friday, November 6, 2009

September Trips Galore

In September (actually, starting in late August) someone had a trip or commitment every week/weekend. In late August, Frank and Matthias went for a week to the SRAC camp in southern Idaho -- they had a wonderful time.
Next, the whole family went to Cat Tales zoo near Spokane with our friends Linda and Crystal.
On Sabbath we spent the day together on Mount Spokane.

Lots more pictures in the gallery.
The next weekend I attended a "Breaking down the Barriers" seminar in Creston -- an excellent seminar about making relationships right, both interpersonal and with God.
The next weekend, Frank and Matthias headed to Grand Forks to visit some friends there. I like those friends too, but was getting too exhausted for more travel and commitments!
Finally, Frank took Matthias and Bethany on the Homelinks trip to Seattle and Victoria. I was so thankful that I didn't have to go, and drag Carrie Ann with me on another hectic fieldtrip schedule! They had a great time, and you can see parts of Frank's email report in my September pictures.
So, that was September. In the midst of all this, we started schoolwork, and at first it went okay, but as time went on I got more and more exhausted. I just couldn't keep up with everything. ... To be continued.

August pictures and gladiolas

August was full of fun, family and friends. We had a visit from Uncle Tony and Tante Marianne which I really enjoyed, we enjoyed the gladiolas and the spray park, we went to a friend's wedding, and of course, Bethany had her seventh birthday.

For more pictures click here.

I had some beautiful gladiolas in my flower garden this year, and I took so many pictures they got their own folder in my picture gallery. So if you love flower pictures, or need a dose of beauty, check this one out.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Sorry about that....

Well, it has been a very very long time since I posted to this blog. September was ridiculously busy, and we went on a trip in October, so it is only now that I finally have time to blog again. A lot has happened, so I will go through the time sequentially as I process all the pictures I took. Hopefully tomorrow or early next week I will be done with the August pictures and videos. For now, I have a new email address which I hope will be easier to spell: rebeccajz07 (at) gmail (dot) com. I will still check the old ones regularly, but if you are using the rjzimmerman (at) uniserve address, please change over to the new one. If Frank decides to change providers, I will not be emailing a change of address to everyone, since I rarely give out that address now. Thanks!

Monday, August 31, 2009

July Pictures are up!

I finally finished posting and commenting my pictures from July!
Click here to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

July videos up on You Tube

I finally posted the videos from July, as follows:
All the grandkids, playing at once, how fun!

Playing in the pool:

At home again, Deb and Brad, and Kristine and Aria stopped by:

Harry "You Know Who"

Well, I finally did it. I went to the library and borrowed all the Harry Potter books I could find, and while Frank and Matthias were away for the week I read them (all except book 2, which was missing). I had debated about reading them for quite a while, and read a lot about them. Some Christians are convinced that since thinking about a woman lustfully is the same as committing adultery, reading a book about people who can do magic is the same as participating in witchcraft.

You know, for a long time I've been pondering how to reach the majority of our culture with the gospel -- with the truth about Jesus, who he is, and the relationship he wants with us. After reading those books, I thought, J.K. Rowling may have hit on just the thing. So I googled "Harry Potter Jesus" to see if anyone else had picked up on the parallels between the two. Some people guessed at them as early as book two. Rowling intentionally hid her religion and literary background until after the last book was published, so the ending would remain a surprise. Some people still question whether it was intended to resemble Christian "mythology" or if those themes are just inherent in all great human literature. (I say, Jesus' story is told through all the ages and in all cultures, taking different forms but always the same.)

The best article I found, interestingly, was from The Banner: Harry Potter and the Way of Jesus. (Go read it!)

It's not that Harry Potter is Jesus, it's that Jesus is Harry Potter. Knowing Jesus, you can see a small reflection, a glimmer of him, in Harry. But if you don't know Him, you only know the travesty people have made of His name, yet you love what you see in Harry Potter -- the love, the self-sacrifice, the earnest desire to overcome evil and save people from its effects -- then to you I say, Jesus is Harry Potter. Harry Potter can show you who Jesus really is, apart from the tarnish made on his name by his supposed followers. Don't worship Harry -- don't worship the "Jesus" who tells people to go spray "Lamb's blood" all over movie-goers -- worship the true Jesus, the one who did for us just what Harry did for his friends.

Good series. Not sorry I read it. Not sure what comes next, but we'll see when we get there.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

August is here!

So August is here (Happy Birthday, Caryn, sorry I'm late!).
With it come forest fire smoke, and cherry canning. See the mountains in this picture I took from our backyard?

No? The first day it smelled smoky, but since then it has stayed mostly a mist on the horizon. Get used to it!
In happier news, I am canning cherries once again. We got some nice culls from a friend's orchard, and Frank and I did five batches tonight (that's 35 jars, to go with the 14 I did last time). So if you would like a couple jars of canned cherries, all you have to do is come by and pick them up!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Baby grows!

Yesterday we had a little thunderstorm, and afterward, Carrie Ann excitedly announced, "The batteries go'ed out!" Yes, Matthias had noticed that the power went out, and that was her take on that!
Carrie's turn:iii;uuuuy';[[ppiooy'

"It says, Carrie Ann"

The other day, Carrie Ann said, "I don't like my hair. It's just regular. It's not bootiful (beautiful)." So yesterday I cut her hair, then commented that, "Now it's not just regular, now it's very cute!" So Carrie replied, "No, it's not coot, it's pweshus (precious)!"

In other exciting news, Carrie Ann pedaled her own trike for the first time yesterday. She went "back and forth, back and forth, then in circles" in her own words! Oh well, soon she will be able to steer too!

More from Carrie Ann:
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nnnnnnjhyy5333333hhhhhhhhhhf bbvvcxzxxr5jj''lgfffffdffhhhgfffdddddddgggddddddddddddddddddddddddddddddffffff bbggrrewqqfttujyttreeeww

Thursday, July 23, 2009

June Pictures

I posted pictures from June, and got my July pictures from our trip on my computer...
See here for the June pictures.
We got to see our butterfly drinking (the video is up on youtube already).
Our car broke down, and we replaced it (the new one is "winter blue").
Bethany did some artwork and made a clubhouse.
We visited Mom and Dad Z for Father's Day.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Matthias and Bethany both rode their bikes today --no training wheels for Bethany, and Matthias on his new big one, now that it is finally fixed! Carrie Ann can even reach the wheels of her tricycle now!

Carrie Ann has started using adverbs -- she frequently comes out with "Akshuly" (actually), and occasionally with "definitely". She also started saying, "Oh my goodness" from time to time, as in "Oh my goodness, that is so huge!" (huge is one of her new favourites). She can count three numbers at a time, but in random order, and 2 (her age) and 6 (Bethany's age) are her favourite numbers. When she can't think of any more numbers to add, she just says "Many!" and throws her hands wide. (1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, 4, 5, 6, 2, 6, many!) It is so "coot"!

We had a great trip to the Coast (it was awesome to meet Rob's girlfriend, and to have the whole family together), and enjoyed Dad and Mary Anna and Rob's visits afterwards. I am praying about going to Ontario -- I would really like to, but can't see how or when yet.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

No accidents!

Wow! After one week, Carrie Ann went the whole day today with the same pair of panties, no accidents! I am so amazed! It just was not this easy with the other two!

And I posted a new video of our butterfly drinking orange juice.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

May pictures are up!

(And it's not even July yet!)

In May I dressed up as a princess, enjoyed tulips and lilacs, raised a butterfly, went to the coast for a wedding and visited Deb and her family, and Matthias turned 10 (isn't that something!).

Click to see the pictures.

And in toilet training news, Carrie Ann was clean and dry until 8 pm today -- wow, this is going a lot faster than I expected!

Friday, June 26, 2009


Carrie Ann just ran into the house saying "Mommy I'm peeing!" and holding her crotch. So I stuck her on the toilet -- usually she's finished by this time, though once or twice she has managed to get the second half in the toilet. She was still dry this time, and peed it all in the toilet!! Sorry to anyone who has never toilet trained, I'm sure you don't have any clue why I'm so excited about this -- after all, every child learns to use the toilet (at least, almost every child), right? I just did a few calculations, based on an average of five diapers a day (more when they're younger, fewer when they're older), and I've probably changed over 17,000 diapers. So I think I have a right to get excited! The end is in sight! It is quite a skill to learn to notice beforehand and hold it until you get to a toilet. This is one more of those things we take for-granted (like eating, walking, reading and even breathing, which can be a struggle for some children to learn too) -- but it is actually quite amazing. Thank God for small miracles.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

New Posts to YouTube

We raised a butterfly. This video is from an hour after it emerged, before the wings were strong enough to fly.

Carrie Ann saying "Liberry" (her favourite place to go, after Grandma's place and along with church potluck), and "chugga chugga choo choo" with Bethany and Dora.

Bethany's class performed this song for the Homelinks final program:

Matthias' class performed the "Spanish Flea" -- this is an excerpt.

That's it for the May videos, now I'm going to work on the pictures!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Pain and love

I wanted to share this anecdote in response to Brad's blog about Aria's hurt finger.
Last weekend, Carrie Ann had a splinter in her foot, which we had to go to the hospital to get dug out. It was torture for me as much as for her -- but there was another woman there who couldn't sleep because she wanted children so badly and couldn't have them (instead of listening, the doctor quickly prescribed sleeping pills and sent her on her way). We all have our own pain. For Carrie Ann, the popsicle the nurse gave her on the way home made it all worth it!
"Sorry" often means sorry that, not sorry for. I'm sorry that you got hurt, rather than I'm sorry for hurting you. I'm sorry that there is pain in the world, rather than I'm sorry my action caused you pain. What I learned when Mom died was that it doesn't matter which words you use, it is the showing of sympathy which is important.
Parents, including God the Father, can't prevent all pain in this imperfect world. But our children are comforted by our presence, sympathy and unconditional love, just as we are comforted when we let God love us through our pain.
The sunset was beautiful tonight. Someday I'll post the pictures I took!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

April Pictures

I finally finished sorting through the April pictures. (Click the link to go to my picture gallery.)

One picture of myself turned out very well.

The kids had a lot of fun with Easter Egg Hunts this April.

We also enjoyed the tulips.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Hallelujah, Salvation and Glory (Revelation 19:1)

Tonight in choir, the director introduced a new song which I first learned over 15 years ago during highschool. It was at a mass choir concert (all the Christian highschools of Southwestern Ontario), and we learned it during the preparation for the concert. It was an amazing experience, a real high -- singing praise with so many at once, without worrying about sheet music or perfection, just singing with our whole hearts (I believe the director had us swaying, like the first video below).

Huge children's choir

Later, we sang the song again at the end of our Gr. 12 camp (we must have learned it in the end of Gr. 11 or something), and it was again a very emotional experience, I think because of the bonding we went through as a class during the camp. It was very similar to this:

At the end of camp

Today, when the choir director started playing it, I could only sit there with my mouth open -- at the time, it had been a brand new song, and I had never managed to track in down in all these years, then here it comes from a totally unexpected direction. When I did manage to move, I had to run out and cry on the steps for a while. I'm not sure why.

When I got home, I did some research and found out that it is called Revelation 19:1, by Jeffrey LaValley, and is available performed by Stephen Hurd or by the New Jerusalem Baptist Choir. According to YouTube, it went the rounds in 2007 and was performed that year by many church, gospel, and children's choirs.

There is no such thing as luck or coincidence -- only God at work behind the scenes, all the time. He is wonderful!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Feeling Better

Well, I'm finally starting to feel better, so now to update my blog...

First, I finished the March pictures -- here is one of the kids:

We had a great trip to Calgary -- Matthias' appointments at the Children's Hospital went well, and all the experts were very happy with how he's doing. We went to Science World (less than three hours was just not enough time, but they close at 4), and swimming after the hospital on Monday, and headed home after the Tuesday morning appointment. It was a lot of fun, but I came home sick again... anyway...

I won't post a picture here, but I got a couple really nice ones of my crocuses this year.
I also uploaded a couple new/old videos -- the kids celebrating Carrie Ann's birth, Bethany doing her first cartwheel, and the older two playing airplane with Uncle Hugh, before Carrie Ann was born.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Cute Sayings

The other day I was peeling potatoes, and Carrie Ann begged a raw one off me. (I don't know why my kids like raw potatoes, up until about 3). So I gave her one, but wouldn't give her a big piece, explaining that you can't eat too much raw potato because it is hard to digest and could make you sick. Carrie pipes up, "Diarrhea?" I was so surprised, how did she come to that? So I asked her, and she explained that if too much "Vitam and C" gives you diarrhea, maybe raw potato does too. Smart cookie!
She is also learning to say Bethany now instead of Betadane. Usually it comes out without the th -- Bessany, Beffany, Bettany -- but she's getting close!
She got a new stuffed dog from a customer of Frank's, and when Bethany asked what she wanted to call it, she replied "Keffeno". (Sounds a bit like "Kevin O" with f for v.) A couple days later I realized that Keffeno also means "customer," as in "Daddy's going to the keffeno's house?"
When I ask what she wants for breakfast, she replies, "Mashy patoes and bwokii!" (Mashed potatoes and broccoli)
Sorry it took so long to post... since about the last post I've been sick -- nauseous and exhausted, with headaches (no, not pregnant), and it just took weeks to get over. I wasn't sure if it was some kind of flu (there is a long-lasting, exhausting one going around town, but not usually that long) or a bit of a relapse of that concussion I had last fall. I still lose words and spelling more often than I used to, and often mix up my words -- either by switching letters or by inserting the word I'm looking at instead of the one I want to say. For instance, two days ago I told Bethany's friend's mom that "Sarah wants to know if Sarah can come over to play." When Bethany laughed at me and Iveta sounded confused, I realized I'd said something wrong... Yesterday, I was asking the kids if they wanted to sing another song, but the page was open to a song called The Midnight Cry, so I said, "What do you want to cry next?" Last week, I made ramen noodles with a can of mushrooms in them, and Frank commented that the noodles were more slippery than usual. Later I realized that, as I thought "The nipples were sloodery because of the mushrooms." That one made me crack up!
With me being sick so much, Carrie Ann learned the word headache "hegake". The other day she said, "Me have a hegake, Mommy." I thought that was unusual, so I asked, "Where?" and she put her hand on her tummy and said, "Right here, on my tummy." First time I've heard of a headache in your tummy, but with my nauseous headaches, it kind of made sense.
Anyway, I have some pictures, but they are not really ready yet. I will try to get to that when I can! Next week we are going to Calgary for Matthias' yearly appointment, so please keep us in your prayers.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

All Done

Well, it looks like I'm all done nursing Carrie Ann! She was down to one last nursing time, in the early morning, for the last couple weeks. Then, suddenly, yesterday morning she forgot to wake up and ask for "dissing". When she also forgot this morning, I decided that means she's finished (fishished, as she puts it). Wow! I started saying no to nursing last October when I got that concussion, because I needed to be able to sleep through the night. So we worked on it gradually for -wow- almost six months now. I also lost another five pounds, maybe because of less nursing (my body doesn't think it needs to store fat for that anymore), or drinking more water, or something... Today I had a bad migraine, it lasted about 24 hrs then suddenly dissipated. I wonder if I'm allergic to the walnut candy Frank made for lunch dessert yesterday.

Friday, February 27, 2009


Wow, everyone else is complaining about snow, but we got very little here - and our tulips and snowdrops are coming up! The crocuses are still covered in snow, but I'm excited to see the beginnings of flowers again!

We went swimming for physio today... Matthias' physiotherapist got a concussion Wednesday night (pray for Candace), and she did not show up at all for our swimming appointment. Matthias had watched her enter the passcode for the door lock, so he opened the door for us and we went in and swam anyway. (I even turned the boiler down afterward.) Four hours later, she called up all apologetic for standing us up. I was happy to explain that we hadn't actually missed the swim, though we missed her... She said that actually, the door lock passcode hasn't been working for a couple weeks now -- so it truly was a miracle that we got in! And she was happy not to have to run over to turn down the boiler. God is great -- we could have done fine without the swim, but I think Candace needed the encouragement that, even though she can't do everything anymore with this concussion, God is still looking after her things for her!

Carrie Ann slept in her own bed until almost 5am last night, and Frank even vacuumed upstairs before Sabbath today -- miracles happen all the time!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Tongue twisters

(Bad language warning, Rob!)
The kids have been enjoying tongue twisters this week in homeschool. Bethany and Matthias have both mastered the wood chuck one, and even Carrie Ann can say "wood chuck wood". Bethany is also working on Peter Piper: "Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peckers" is what she usually comes out with (she doesn't know what peckers means, so I chuckle silently...).
The one that split my gut laughing was this one from The Tongue Twister Database:
I slit the sheet, the sheet I slit, and on the slitted sheet I sit.
Try saying that one without saying a poopy word!

In other language news, I was so proud of Matthias today for completing his Reading Comprehension FSA (standardized test) within the allowed timeframe (and even enough time left to review!). Bethany read "Hop on Pop" all by herself -- I only had to read two words, you can guess which ones! Carrie Ann, when I came in from a brisk walk, spent a couple minutes nuzzling and squeezing my cheeks, and then said, "Mommy, you sheeks towd!" (Your cheeks are cold!) The other day, she was looking at a picture of cookies in a book and said, "Mommy, when I in picsure, I eat this cookie!" I was amazed that she could reason that, if she were in the picture, then she could eat the cookie. "And me doin' cuttin' papers!" she just announced, which is my cue to stop blogging...
And when I took the scissors away, she said, "Thank you. Now you have to put them away. Fishish'd cuttin', now you have-a put dem away." Thanks, kid! Now I *know* I'm just your house-slave!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

My Incredible Journey

[This is a story Matthias wrote for school. He dictated while I typed.]

I was living in my home, sitting in my comfy chair reading the legend book. It said that you could find a magic wand if you headed in the direction of the Orion Nebula. It would be right above the Orion Nebula. So, I left on my journey. I didn't have enough food, so I sold my house to get enough food. I had a car and I used the money that I got from my house to buy enough fuel. And I sold all the stuff in the house except for my computer. I put my computer in my truck. And then I said, “I'm going to need a lot of fuel.” And so, I got two extra fuel tanks, and drove off to the gas station and filled my tank up. Then I started up my car from where I was and started to drive, following the Orion Nebula. And I got way better suspension at the next stop. And got rubber tires that weren't filled with air because I knew there was going to be a lot of pokes. A lot of poky stuff. And then finally I left on my journey.

I was halfway to the place, that's what it said on my computer. So I continued and the first thing that I ran into was a dungeon! I needed to get through. But I couldn't get through the next door. And I guessed that it was a maze. So I searched and searched for pieces that were lifted a little. And then I pushed on them. And suddenly lots of pieces went down. So I drove on top of them. And I got halfway through and the pieces stopped! So I drove off, got out of my truck, and pushed on every foot of the wall. Until, I found another piece, and it fell down, and let us the rest of the way through. So I drove all the way to the end. And when I got out, there was a gas station. So I fueled up my truck, which only had half a tank left! And then I kept on driving.

And now, I found a big bunch of stuff! To help keep aliens from adopting me. And a huge, very sharp sword, for fighting the giants. And key, for getting through dungeons. It was a magic key, it could open any door. And I put them all in the back of my truck. So, I kept on riding. Until, I ran into a dungeon. This time, I fell right into it! There wasn't a wall with a door. So, I used my magic key to unlock every door. I had to hold it out of my car or else it wouldn't work. And I got to the end, and now there was a very long plain. Which I know, when I got to the end, it would almost be the end of my fuel tank. My fuel was almost going to be gone. So, I started driving. Until I saw alien ships. So, I got my heat gun and shot the ships down. And I kept going until more ships came along. So I shot them down. And then I was nearly to the end. I had one more mile to go. So I drove, and I noticed my fuel tank was getting very empty! So I drove as fast as I could! Until my fuel ran out. And just when I pulled in, just when I went slow enough, to another gas station, and fueled up. I kept on going. There was a very big forest that I was going to drive through. And I saw that it was only one mile long. So, I went into a pretty low gear, and drove across. It took me an hour, which means I was going one mile an hour. And now there was a road that stretched for twenty miles until it ended. And then it started to rain as I was driving down the road. And then it was snowing! And the snow stopped. And I knew there was going to be some black ice on the road around here. And I saw a curve coming ahead. Aliens probably built it, because it was perfect for black ice! So, I drove on the grass instead, and I didn't run into any black ice then! That was fifteen miles through. I was tired! And I had to sleep. So I went to bed.

And then I woke up, a day later. And there was alien ships right above. They were just about to kidnap me. So I got my tool out as quick as I could! And shot them all down. And drove quick out of the dangers of alien ships crashing down on my truck! They fell pretty slow. It's 'cause the blades were spinning so quick that they pushed a lot of air down. So I had time to drive out from under them. And then I had got to the end of the road. So I kept on driving. And then, I ran right into a bridge that was broken! So I had to fix it up. That took me one year. And then I drove across it. My battery was almost dead. Until, I found a shop where I could get a new battery. And then, I continued driving. And then, I ran into a field of giants. They were too big! So I used my alien ship shooter to get rid of them. And then there was a huge lake, and a gate that you had to find a key in the lake to open it. So I had brought a diving suit along, so I dived into the lake, searching for the key. And, I had got to the deepest part and there was a glow. So I went down there and I found a key that said the name of the gate on it. It said where to find the key for the gate. So I used my GPS to track it down until I found the key! And then I went back up to my truck and continued driving. But then I ran into a fast-flowing river which would wipe anything away. So I had to make a suspension bridge. And that took me about half a year. And then I continued driving. Until, I noticed on my computer that I was almost there. And from when I was building the suspension bridge, and when I got to the city, it took me about a year. And then, I searched for the Orion Nebula. And, the city was trying to steal my truck. So I killed all the people in the city. And then, police were chasing me. And I was being chased with my car. Until, I got to a gate, and I had to use my magic key really quick! So I opened the gate, and drove through. And then shut it again. And the police cars went wham! They crashed into the gate, and they were crushed into smithereens! And I said, “Whew! That was close!” So, I drove down the road until I was right above the Orion Nebula, and the grass was a little bit taller. So I got out of my truck and searched until I found the magic wand. And I said, “Ah ha! Here it is!” So, I used it to transport myself very quickly back home, with my truck. I was in my backyard, so I looked where my house was. And I looked around the town, and the town was all burnt up! And I saw that lightning had struck my tree and burnt it to ashes. So I used my wand to make a farm. And then I made lots of robots to work on my farm. And a generator to generate power for the robots.

25 Random Things

This is a Facebook note, actually, but I thought I'd put it here since it will be imported anyway. You are supposed to write 25 random things about yourself. I love reading everyone else's, so I was eager to do my own. Here we go:

1.My favourite flavours are vanilla and almond.

2.My best talent is test-taking. That stood me in very good stead until I graduated from college, but since than (and especially since having kids) has been fairly useless.

3.I can't believe it's been over 11 years since I graduated from college and got married.

4.Frank and I and our children have lived in Germany for about 2 years in total, and during that time visited Switzerland (Frank's relatives) and the Netherlands (my relatives).

5.I am having a hard time writing facts about myself rather than my kids.

6.My first baby, I gained about 20 pounds and he was born 6 weeks early. I was fine but he had a long recovery. My second baby, I gained about 30 pounds and she was born two weeks early, and we were both fine. My third baby, I gained about 40 pounds, she was born two days after her due date, and she was fine but I had a very long recovery.

7.I am learning the value of balance rather than extremes (see above and below).

8.I have always wanted and tried to do the right thing, and nevertheless I have some big regrets. I think the more earnest you are, the harder it is for God to get through to you when you're wrong. That's not to say you shouldn't be earnest – I think humble is the word I'm looking for. Sometimes I feel like I'm not sure about anything anymore – except that God exists and he loves me.

9.When Matthias was a baby, I thought I was addicted to getting mail, because I could hardly wait to go check the mailbox at noon every day. Later I realized it was the fresh air, sunshine, and exercise I was really craving!

10.Frank “gave” me 10 goldfish for our 10th anniversary. But it was unintentional (a rescue), and the fishtank didn't come for another week. A year later, there are six left.

11.I homeschool my kids, and celebrate each of their achievements. This past month, Bethany figured out that she can read, and lost four teeth. Matthias found out that he can memorize times tables if I make the stakes high enough, and Carrie Ann can count up to 9 (“three, four, six, nine, two”). She loves being “up-dy down!”

12.I've had two concussions in my life. The first time I was at swimming lessons practicing the front crawl, supported by the swimming instructor. We each thought the other was watching for the edge of the pool, and I swam right into it. The second time was last October. I went to have an ingrown toenail cut off, and as the doctor was anesthetizing my toe I sat up, fainted, and fell sideways off the bed, hitting my head on a chair leg. It was quite a shock for him, and when I woke up I was back on the bed with two strange faces peering down at me. I said, “Where am I?” then thought “I sound like someone in a movie!” As soon as the doctor answered I remembered everything... Anyway, I also learned that it's much harder to spend a week in bed when you have three small children than when you are 11!

13.Last summer, I prayed to God for a sign that he loves me – and in the next half hour I saw an incredible rainbow! God has answered a number of prayers in the last year – both mine for others, and others' for me. He wants us to pray for eachother!

14.I only fought with my mom twice, that I remember, as a teenager. Both times it was over doing dishes. Now I am being repaid in full by my own kids, who love to fight about it when it is their turn to wash (except Carrie Ann, but she makes more mess than she cleans).

15.I absolutely love pictures and cute stories and little videos of my niece and nephew. I am amazed at my sister-in-law's ability to keep her blog up to date.

16.I really enjoyed getting up to date with old school friends when I joined Facebook. I used to think, “I wonder how so-and-so (fill in your name here) is doing?” and now almost all of my old school friends, and grown cousins, are on Facebook. Neat!

17.I like using public transportation, but trains are my favourite and I've gotten tired of flying. In Creston, the bus system is, well, it's a small town.... I usually walk.

18.The new lightbulbs remind me of swirly ice cream cones.

19.I don't participate in anything that requires you to send it on to everyone you know/a certain number of friends. So I won't tag anyone in this note, but if you are reading this and want to write a “25 random things about myself” note, please consider yourself tagged!

20.I started a photo/story web page nine years ago when we moved to Creston (to help keep in touch with Mom). Over the years it became a photo gallery instead, and when my siblings started blogging I joined that as well.

21.I am amused to note that the older my friends are, the more philosophical their 25 things are. I must be getting old...

22.Ever since I was a child I wanted a big philodendron draped over my window, and for a number of years, I did. (Frank killed it with fertilizer, but I saved a clipping so it is growing back again now – but not yet big enough to drape over the window.) I also love ficus (fig) trees, and have one in my living room which is almost as tall as I am.

23.When I was a kid I wanted waist long hair, like my art teacher (Mrs. DeBree). Unfortunately, my hair doesn't grow that long, and it looks best when the part by my face is chin length. So I keep it shorter.

24.I love to sing. I can't play piano really well, but I can sight-read (singing) not too badly and I love singing alto. Some of my best memories are of choirs (in highschool, and the Oratorio at Calvin). I loved Frank's folky-religious music and early Renaissance preferences when I met him. A friend once said, “You just like Frank's music because you're his wife.” I retorted, “Maybe I'm his wife because I like his music!” Together, with some friends we have recorded one tape (just before Matthias was born), and with Frank's encouragement I have even written a couple children's songs.

25.I have my own Bible reading plan – I read one chapter of Old Testament history (currently in Leviticus), Old Testament writings (currently in Jeremiah), New Testament history (Acts) and New Testament writings (Romans) plus one Psalm and a couple Proverbs every day (well, almost every day). It is interesting to see how the passages juxtapose and reflect on each other, as well as how they speak to my life at unexpected moments. Like the time I was thinking of being induced with Carrie Ann, and the whole chapter (Hosea 9) was about miscarrying wombs and dying children. Needless to say, I turned down the offer of induction. Two days later she was born naturally and the verses were about holding and kissing children (Hosea 11). Amazing!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Matthias won a bike!

Matthias won a bike! Every year, at the Santa Claus Parade, every school child in Creston has their name entered in a draw. In former years, the one winner got to go to Disneyland, but this year they decided to split the money and buy fourteen bikes. Well, Matthias' name was picked! It's funny, because Frank won a bike when he was a boy too! I'll get pictures up later....

I wanted to share more of Carrie Ann's baby talk, too, before it all disappears! Matthias and Bethany sometimes play a game called "Poptropica". Well, the r in the middle there was too hard for Carrie, so she changed it to an l -- and threw it in everywhere! "Plop-plop-pla" After that, a popsicle naturally became a "plop-plo" (it's already corrected to pop-co now). Another favourite is "Demenst Bears", one of her favourite story series -- can you guess?

Monday, February 9, 2009

February pictures

Hi! Sorry it's been so long. I've been spending my spare time trying to get a handle on why I'm so tired and down all the time. Well, the head-fog was likely a cold going around, since other family members have it now as well. Carrie Ann is only nursing twice a day now, and the days are getting longer (though the snow isn't as nice for sledding on anymore), so that is helping with the tiredness too. I'm trying to cut back on wheat a bit and see if that makes a difference. It is hard to be strict with wheat on all our shelves, though!

We have been enjoying some theme boxes from the library. This is from the Castle box.

Carrie Ann drew her first person this past week (on the right) -- head, eyes, body, and even arm lines. The line at the bottom is the hem of the Princess' dress. Wow!

We had a very frosty couple of days, and I couldn't resist taking a few pictures (though I'm no match for Brad and Caryn!).

More pictures are at my Gallery.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Reading and Singing

I posted a couple more videos (below), and added some pictures to my gallery.

Bethany decided the "song with the really long word" was her favourite Christmas carol, and Carrie Ann learned to sing along!

Bethany is getting very good at reading (though she doesn't realize it yet).
Here she is reading a page from Green Eggs and Ham.

Rob posted another great video, from his friend Foreigner Joy.

The advice applies not only to racism, but to any time you may have occasion to comment on another person's actions or character.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


Carrie Ann has a couple new linguistic talents! The first one is contractions -- short easy versions of longer words. For example: granola bar comes out go-ba, and Fisher Price (Matthias and Bethany play with their fisher price people often) is Pi-pice. The second development is prepositions -- you know, those pointer words which start a phrase, like to, with or at. The problem is, she doesnt always get the right one! Give it at me! or Hold it with my hand (hold my hand). It is so cute, but also amazing that her language is so developed already -- she just turned two!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I just decided to go with a new look for the New Year. My new question, instead of "Who am I?" is "Why am I here?" (In the sense of, what should I be doing with my time and energy?)

I realized I forgot to post this earlier:
Little Pilgrim's Progress book report by Matthias and Bethany. I read the children's version to them, and then they did an oral report of what they remembered. They loved the story, they kept begging me to read it to them. I love it when that happens, especially when it's such a good book.