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May Days

I’ve got a bit of catching up to do on the blog!

In April, our family joined the Catholic Church! I’ve been working on a separate blog post about that, but it’s taking a while to write. (If you have any questions you’d love answered in that blog post, feel free to leave a comment below, or send me an email… I’d love to have a bit more direction!) Anyways, Jon, Renae and Brian came up and joined us for the Easter weekend, and we had a lovely time together. But… unfortunately, I didn’t take any photos all weekend.

So, when Josh, Tanya and Everly came a few weekends later, I made sure to pop out the camera from time to time! You can see that Everly did not suffer any lack of attention.

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The kids were very excited to spend time with their newest, littlest cousin!

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Working on some GeoPuzzles.

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We went for a little walk through the forest after church on Sunday.

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And spent a bit of time at the playground, too.

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Last month, we dropped off the kids at my mom and dad’s and spent a kid-free May Long weekend at Mabel Lake with Jeremy’s family, celebrating his mom and dad’s 35th wedding anniversary. It was wonderful! Good food and laughs, as well as some time with just the two of us.

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Mabel Lake was so lovely! It’s surrounded by mountains and the surface of the lake was smooth and serene the whole weekend. We spent some time on the dock, just gazing at the water, wondering how a place could be so beautiful.

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My mom invited all the kids and grandkids over for dinner when we returned home. The weather was just perfect, and the kids enjoyed some time outside under the sprinkler.

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Little buddies. 🙂

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The weekend after we returned home, we discovered that Fruitvale always celebrates May Days with a three-day celebration. May Days included a parade that started downtown and went right past our house! The kids had never been to a parade before and were quite fascinated (except Alice, who was nervous).

(Have you read the book Wee Gillis to your kids? James was tickled to see and hear a bagpipe in real life!)

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Atrocious beaver float.

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There was so much candy tossed to the kids! They collected a huge bucket full of candy – it was like Halloween in May!

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The kids one slow morning, making music on their pretend instruments:

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The last few days have been gloriously warm and sunny! The kids have been having lots of fun dipping in some water. (James forgot his swim shorts at mom and dad’s, June couldn’t find her bathing suit.)

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Dreaming about being big enough to move on that bike!

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I love how June’s hair gets curly as soon as it’s wet!

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Mom found us a free trampoline on Craigslist and the kids have been bouncing away ever since we got back home! The rope you see tied down the middle is the “Rope of Peace” James instituted the other day.

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June has such a great laugh, and when she’s on the tramp with James, she is constantly laughing. It’s good medicine just being close enough to hear her. 🙂

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She’s been saying the funniest sentences lately: “That would be sensible!” or “I just couldn’t resist!”

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Playing pass with papa. Aren’t throwing photos the worst? You always end up with flailing limbs and hilarious facial expressions. This is the least gimpy of the photos I took…

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Just finding a little hideout:

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Alice now prefers the big kid swings to her little baby swing. Any chance she has to pop on one of these swings, she takes! She’s fallen off of it so many times already – she seems to forget she needs to hold on – but then dusts herself off and hops back on.

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The trees and bushes in our yard are bursting into bloom! These are some of the most beautiful blossoms I’ve ever seen… you know those flower poms that were really popular at weddings a couple years ago? These are like real life poms! Any idea what they are?

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Our little horse chestnut tree is in bloom and it looks so pretty!

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James, after we’d been chatting for a while, related some hilarious little tidbit from The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

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That’s all for today! Have a lovely weekend!

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Beach Day in May

The weather today was glorious and we were outside all day. It really felt like the first day of summer, one of those promising days that makes you anticipate the long days to come this season.

The kids have been playing on the play set a lot lately.

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June figured out how to pump on the swings, and now she’ll regularly pop outside to swing for a bit, even if everyone else is inside. She just loves it!

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And Alice figured out how to climb up the climbing wall! She is also very proud of herself. 🙂

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The kids have also been climbing all the trees they can climb.

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Today there were some arborists working across the road, so James and June ate their lunch in the tree while they observed them at work.

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The flowers are in bloom! We’ve got tulips blooming in front of the house, as well as some little grape hyacinths spangling the yard.

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James in his battle regalia.

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Today was so warm (26 degrees) we decided to drive up to Champion Lake. We thought it might be quite a bit cooler up there, so we took pants and sweaters along, but it was very balmy there, too. The kids happily explored, played in the water, and built a dam.

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That’s a patch of snow back there against the edge of the forest! (Far left)

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Alice practising her mermaid pose. 🙂

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I can’t wait for more lovely days like today!

 

 

 

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End of an Era

Jeremy finished his four years at CRTS last Friday!

The words of Psalm 25 express our deep appreciation for the way the Lord has led us: “All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his decrees.” We are so thankful that God has walked with us these last four years and has, through the good days and the bad, shown us his love and faithfulness and deepened our love for Him.

It’s kind of hard to believe that our CRTS years are behind us now – though the fact that Jeremy is now gone all day working is making it sink in a little faster!

Here’s the group of men who will be graduating in September. Precariously perched atop the pyramid is Iwan Borst. On the second row is Han Gil Lee, John Boekee (he’s graduating with a Bachelor’s degree) and Jon Chase. And on the bottom row is Hilmer Jagersma, Jake Torenvliet, Jeremy, David Pol and William DenHollander.

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And here’s a group photo of all the seminary students, some of their wives/girlfriends and kids, and some of the professors and clerical staff (Dr. Visscher’s not in the photo because he took this picture).

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After Jeremy’s exam we had a potluck at the seminary. It’s also known as the Zombie Lunch (the result of seven exams in two weeks), though most of the guys were pretty perky this time around. Lots of chatting and eating and convivial joking.

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Speaking of convivial joking . . . perhaps you’ve seen the CRTS Facebook page where they’ve posted each graduating student’s profile? Well, during the potluck Leanne and Dr. Visscher announced that they had, with the assistance of former student Rev. Gerrit Bruintjes, compiled a report on who the most popular student was.

Jake won! (Annika’s a little hard to impress.)

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Hilmer was not in the top four, so he disputed the validity of the report. 😉

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After a busy day of celebrating (potluck, post-potluck gathering, bonfire at night), it was lovely to have a relaxing weekend at home with no papers or exams or anything looming on Jeremy’s horizon.

Yesterday, James finished his second Logic of English book. We didn’t have any balloons, so we celebrated by lighting a candle instead. James was so pleased!!! I took out a compendium of Dr. Seuss stories the other day and James has been practising his reading daily and is very excited to be able to read some actual books.

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Watching the smoke dissipate.

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The weather has finally started getting warmer here! Our tulips and daffodils are beginning to bloom, along with our forsythia bush. The kids have been playing outside a lot, which has been good for all of us.

James flipped Jeremy’s boat over a few weeks ago and the kids have been having endless amounts of fun playing with the (gross) water in it!

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The play set is also getting lots of use. June could swing allllllllllllllllllllllllllll day long!

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Alice has been exploring the backyard, one blade of grass at a time. 🙂

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The other day June announced she was “going to town.” She put on her shoes, put her purse over her shoulder and, “Bye! I’ll be back in a few minutes!” It was one of the first times that she’s totally copied what I do, and I was reminded what a precious thing it is to have a daughter.

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Quotable James

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After running around for a while: “I’m soooooo hot that I’m surprised I don’t have flames of fire coming off of me!!!”

While eating a piping hot German pancake: “I almost burned my tongue! And smoke almost poured out of my ears!!!”

Said with a solemn expression whilst watching me make some tortellini soup: “Mom, I make a covenant with you that I will not touch this hot pan.”

“Mom, may I please use that interesting piece of the swiffer while we play in the basement? I promise to use it responsibly.”
“Sure, James.”
“June, are you nervous about this swiffer? You don’t need to me. I told mom I would use it responsibly and that means not hitting you with it.”

Looking at my new black pants with flowers (shown in the picture below): “What?! Did your legs turn black and you get tattoos all over them??!!”

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Jeremy celebrated his 33rd birthday last Saturday! It worked out well that his final paper of the semester was due on Friday – with that out of the way, he was able to enjoy an afternoon and evening free of school work! We enjoyed a lovely breakfast of German pancakes (recipe can be found here) and smoothies together in the morning.

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We gave Jeremy a whittling knife and a knife sharpening strop as gifts.

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We love you, Jeremy, and are looking forward to sharing the year ahead, wherever it takes us, with you!

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Life Lately

Life is hard right now.

Jeremy has decided not to go into the ministry. That’s a big decision, and a difficult one, and one about which we both feel at peace. And yet, it leaves us living in The Land of Perpetual Snow (love you, Hamilton, but your winters suck), a few weeks of school left to go, and our dreams of the future crumbled into ashes in our hands.

The thing is, I was okay with the uncertainty that came with being a seminary student’s wife. You know, not knowing if your husband would get a call; not knowing where he might be called to (a tiny village in Alberta? the mission field? please not The Land of Snow & Mosquitoes!); even not knowing if you’d agree on which call to accept. There was uncertainty in that future, but the uncertainty was outweighed by the confidence I had in Jeremy, as a humble and God-fearing man, being well-suited to the calling.

But this? This is a different sort of uncertainty altogether. I feel deeply unsettled, like the psalmist in Psalm 42 whose soul is “disquieted within him.”

I’m frequently looking at job postings and honestly? Every avenue we have looked into so far has resulted in nothing but closed doors. I’m tired of crying. And fretting. We’re certainly throwing ourselves at God’s feet with unrestrained frequency these days and we look forward to praising Him for getting us through this rocky period.

Please pray for us. Please pray for a job for Jeremy and peace for our little family as we wait for something to fall into place.

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Biking & Chatting

James re-discovered biking this past week! He started biking last November after my dad fitted some training wheels to a bike that’d been given to us. Alas, one of the training wheels fell off a few days after my parents left and we couldn’t figure out how to re-attach the tricky thing. And so the poor little bike sat unloved and unused all winter – till James gave it a whirl this past week and discovered that he can bike with one training wheel just fine (or, perhaps a little tilted to the side, but hey).

And so – utter joy.

“Bye mom, I’m going to ride my bike for a while!”
“But it’s pouring outside!”
“That doesn’t matter. See ya!”

The other day we meandered over to a nearby church parking lot and James biked to and fro across it with a delighted smile on his face. After a while I asked if he was ready to go and he replied, “Oh no, I could bike here forever, I’m having such fun!”

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One of his sibling observers:

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And here’s a video of this little girl. Alice went through a growth spurt last week and has been so loud and chatty since then! Quite adorable to listen to! And she started waving, too, which is pretty much the cutest thing ever.