Having Ouma around for a month made these last few weeks of radiation and recovery tolerable. I always wish she could stay longer, but I understand the sacrifices she made to be with us as long as she did. We convinced her to stay as long as she did by bringing Oupa out to join us for a week. Our house was buzzing with people and I welcomed every minute of it. All five of us, Kendra and I and Ouma and Oupa and David, provided just the right amount of involvement to keep the twins on target. From trips to school, extra curricular activities, and adventures, the twins were well cared for by us.
The latest attempt to allow the twins to find their passions was to give them piano lessons. We know Rhonda from our old church and she teaches kids something called "musicality". That means piano, percussion, and all the instruments. They only go once per week and we're just doing an eight-week session to see how it goes.
The piano in our house was given to us and it's sat mostly untouched for the past year because neither of us play. However, now that lessons are ongoing our piano is playing Christmas tunes daily thanks to the twins.
I don't know if we'll put them back in after the holidays or not. It's a lot of work to burn an entire evening each week and it's more costly than I expected, but we'll see how much Easton or Layla take a liking to it. As you can see by the picture they are all smiles and having fun while learning to make music, but longevity is the real key marker of whether there is passion.
Easton memorized several Bible verses a few weeks ago, but the love chapter in 1 Corinthians 13 is one I want to make sure he gets deep down in his heart. I bribed him by getting him a cheap Star Wars poster and promised to give it to him when he could quote this section of the chapter from memory. This makes me so very proud!
Kendra had some girl time with Layla when they went to watch the Nutcracker ballet at the movies. We couldn't justify spending $80 per ticket for the two of them to watch it live, but for a few dollars they were able to see the New York ballet perform it on the movie screen. They had a great time dressing up fancy and going out together. Unfortunately there were no pictures taken, but memories were made and that's the important part.
I had the day with Easton and we spent a few hours on the canal path riding bikes. We stopped often to throw rocks in the mud and chase the small schools of minnows around in the water. There are many situations where I will let Easton take the lead and make the decisions. when he wants to stop and throw rocks, we do. when he wants to ride fast, we do. when he wants to take a break and drink some water, we do. There aren't many situations in his daily life where he gets to spread his wings and call the shots. These times are special to me because I get to be a witness to his maturing process one decision at a time.
This girl is on a whole new level of living life without caring what others think. We had a family over to hang out with the 4 Webbs. We ended up in the greenbelt playing around. Kendra brought a hula hoop for the kids, but it was too enticing for her to leave it to just the young ones. She showed them how to do it right and they were amazed! It's hard to describe the elation and pleasure I get from seeing Kendra have fun and hula hoop. She is a miracle and although her back is still sore and rebuilding through physical therapy, she is whole and healed enough to experience pain-free hula hoop fun.
As we try out a different church each week our paths have crossed with several other families who left our old church and are seeking a new one like us. One of those families has a daughter who is the same age as the twins and they've been friends for as long as they can remember. I'm grateful for the relationships that have continued beyond the four walls of the church. We are seeing very quickly who were our church-only friends and who are real friends.
christmas is coming quickly, but not fast enough or these two! I read about the Jesse Tree from a Facebook friend and discovered a site where the once-per-day Bible stories have a corresponding ornament to tape or hang on the tree. It's like Bible trivia with a focus on Christmas and we'll do this again each year for the next several years because it's such a great way to build anticipation for the day of Christ's birth instead of just the day of getting presents.
I'm in a weird place right now. Kendra's in the middle of her story. We reached the end of a chapter now that radiation is done and we are turning the page, but we have no idea what the next chapter holds. I'm not even sure which chapter we just finished and not sure how many chapters our book will have. The two of us started dreaming again for our future in ministry. We even have confirmed plans for the first half of 2016 and I'm super excited. Even so, Kendra and I are walking out this journey of her healing with eyes wide open and one step at a time. As far as we are concerned, God healed her completely through miraculous means and the hands of doctors. Now Kendra gets to maintain her healing and move into the next phase of recovery that includes inhibitor drugs and vitamin c and curcumin. One step at a time, one day at a time, one success at a time. Everything in our lives has shifted the way we see reality by getting our focus very intently on this moment, now. We are grateful for yesterdays, hopeful for tomorrows, but experiencing todays like never before.
See you soon!