Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Kissing a Frog

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I did a little photo shoot yesterday of a family from our church. They wanted pictures of their new baby, Jillian, but Jillian didn't want to cooperate and I didn't get great shots of her.

But big sister Audrey... found something that kept her quite entertained.

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She found this...

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The cutest little frog. She convinced her daddy to kiss it.

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And then she kissed it.

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Maybe the new baby will like it...

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Sunday Snapshot: {Grade Eleven}

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How did she get so old??? How did I get so old??? Old enough to have a sixteen year old daughter, entering grade eleven.

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Abigail is so beautiful, she takes my breath away. She shines from the inside out. It is rare we ever have to deal with the moody teenager thing with her. She helps out without complaining, she loves to play with her many small siblings.

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This summer grew her a lot. She traveled to Germany and Austria on her own. She was in two volleyball camps. She completed her National Lifeguard Society course and is looking forward to getting a job as a Lifeguard. She helped planned the orientation for the grade ten students entering her school. She drives herself everywhere in her sweet little Volvo and even got her first (AND LAST) speeding ticket!

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This week she will be helping out at her High School with registration. This week she starts grade eleven.

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She has her first "real" boyfriend. One who likes to come over and have supper and visit with us. One who takes her out. One who has introduced us to his family and has her over to spend time with them as well. One who treats her the way she deserves to be treated.

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Seeing how fast time goes by and how quickly my children are growing up, makes me enjoy the small moments with the little ones, cherishing the time they are so little... and yet looking forward to seeing what THEY will become as young adults.

"And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity...Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes!" (1 Timothy 4:12,15 The Message).

Sunday Snapshot

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

10 Weeks Post Surgery

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It has been ten weeks since Lilah's eye surgery.

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She has healed very well and all the doctors are very happy with her outcome. We have to massage her scars 3x per day, but her surgeon said that if it was going to pull down more, it would have by now. Massaging helps reduce the build up of scar tissue and makes the scar less visible.

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Lilah has handled everything without complaint of any kind.

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Lilah has many more surgeries in her future.

Most of them will be when she is around the age of six or seven. They will take a bone graft from her skull and mold it to fit into the cleft in her face. They may also do some fat injections to build up the right cheek under her eye. They will also attempt to fix her right nostril, by taking cartilage from her ear and using that to make a new nostril, but right now that cartilage is too soft to use. The muscle above her lip (where she had a cleft lip- that was fixed while she was still in China) bulges quite a bit, especially when sucking or smiling and they will try to redo that as well.

Some of these surgeries may be done at the same time, but since the plans always seem to change, who knows...

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This eye surgery made a huge change in her appearance. It will never be perfect. When she smiles, that eye does not squint like her other eye and the cheek does not move in the same way as the left cheek. The right eye will always be a few millimeters lower than the left eye and she will never have that beautiful Asian eyelid crease that her left eye has.

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But we think she is beautiful.

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Lilah's optometrist is always very happy with Lilah's vision improvements. She needs to continue to wear her patch for a couple of hours a day, but the good news is that she may no longer need glasses when she reaches the age of seven or eight years. By then her brain should be retrained into using her right eye. The vision won't be perfect in her right eye, but the impairment should be minor enough that she won't need glasses. When she is older, she could even just wear a contact in that eye.

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As a reminder... here is her before picture.

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Sunday, August 21, 2011

What we loved about Paris

The amazing churches.

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Notre Dame is full of Gothic and biblical carvings. Everywhere you look a story is told.

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Saint Chapelle has the most amazing stained glass. The windows depict the whole Bible if you read them right.

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The gardens.

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The view of the Eiffel Tower from everywhere.

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The detail and architecture.

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murals

fountains

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The history.

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The Macaroons. And Wine. And Cheese. And Bread. And Crepes.

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Even the Metro signs are cool.

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Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Marie Antoinette Estate

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"Let them eat cake." -- Marie Antoinette

My favorite thing to see in Paris was the Palace of Versailles. And more so, Marie Antoinette's little hamlet that she had built for her and her children.

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In April 1770, (at the age of 15) on the day of her marriage to Louis-Auguste, Dauphin of France, Marie Antoinette subsequently became Dauphine of France. Marie Antoinette assumed the title of Queen of France and of Navarre when her husband, Louis XVI of France, ascended the throne upon the death of Louis XV in May 1774. After seven years of marriage, she gave birth to a daughter, Marie-Thérèse Charlotte, the first of four children.

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Initially charmed by her personality and beauty, the French people generally came to dislike her, accusing "the Austrian" of being profligate and promiscuous, and of harboring sympathies for France's enemies, particularly Austria, since Marie Antoinette was, after all, Austrian.

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At the height of the French Revolution, Louis XVI was deposed and the monarchy abolished on 10 August 1792; the royal family was subsequently imprisoned at the Temple Prison. Nine months after her husband's execution, Marie Antoinette was herself tried, convicted of treason, and executed by guillotine on 16 October 1793.

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Even after her death, Marie Antoinette is often considered to be a part of popular culture and a major historical figure, being the subject of several books, films and other forms of media. Some academics and scholars have deemed her frivolous and superficial, and have attributed the start of the French Revolution to her; however, others have claimed that she was treated unjustly and should have more sympathetic views towards her.

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The queen occupied herself with the creation of the Hameau de la reine, a model hamlet in the garden of the Petit Trianon with a mill and 12 cottages, 9 of which are still standing. The Hameau was one of Marie Antoinette's contributions to augmenting the chateau at Versailles and it can to this day be viewed by the public. Its creation, however, unexpectedly caused uproar when the actual price of the Hameau was inflated by her critics.

I loved her little hamlet and all of the charm it held. I could understand, after seeing so much grandeur in the palaces, why she would love her little retreat. The gardens were beautiful, the homes charming.

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"I was a queen, and you took away my crown; a wife, and you killed my husband; a mother, and you deprived me of my children. My blood alone remains: take it, but do not make me suffer long." -- Marie Antoinette

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We are now at home, so any photos I post will be the ones I finally have time (and faster internet) to edit and post.