In our ever expanding family, we have recently added (since the beginning of March) a much welcomed addition! My dear friend, Amy, who had flown in from Korea last June to live-in with us and help out where needed (kids, laundry, cleanup, emotional support, etc...) has returned permanently from Korea as of this past December. But she did not come alone. Well, she did... initially, but soon to follow suit was/is her darling fiance, John!
While Amy temporarily lives with her parents, John has respectfully chosen to live "off-premise" until they are married so as to allow Amy the time she needs to delve further into her research papers and continued efforts at getting her Masters degree in Applied Behaviour Analysis.
John and Amy are two of the smartest people I know and their research expertise has been graciously shared with me on countless occasions! I can fire off an email to either of them asking if they can give me a Coles Notes version of research on white blood cells or toilet training, childhood milestones, alternative approaches to boosting Ethan's immunity, etc... and within the hour, I will have an extensive email report summing up major research papers out there.
How AMAZING are they???
Simply put, words cannot say what a God-send these two have been to our lives and to our family.
John has a PhD in Chemical Engineering and is highly conscious of his carbon imprint on this planet! It is always fascinating to converse about his boycott choices and to delve further into HOW things are done and WHY. Watching CSI is especially hilarious with John as his British accent fills in to let us know how inaccurate the science or technology is behind the current scene! Hee hee hee!
Yes, John is from Britain and until he gets his Visa to work here in Canada, he has GRACIOUSLY chosen to live with OUR FAMILY and help around in any way possible: farming with Duane, cleaning the house (he makes a better housewife than me!!), playing with the kids while I make meals, putting together elaborate play structures (so sorry, John... but at least it will be named after you... the TOWER OF JOHN)... etc...
If I could have a quarter of the energy that John has and diligence in keeping things neat and orderly, I would be a very happy woman! Bless his heart, when I told him this, he humbly replied "It is both a blessing and a curse."
We've got hilarious stories and memories to treasure of the little ones loving John, testing his limits and pushing buttons! John says it's great practice in preparing him for family life after he marries Amy this June. Prior to meeting our kids, John had very little experience with toddlers. When he arrived here, he lowered himself to the kids' level and introduced himself. Anika was only a bit shy whereas Ethan ran over to him and hugged him!
Well, the way I see it, if John can survive the Vaags household, he can survive ANYTHING!
It has also been great fun to read about John's experiences here with us and in Canada on his blog: http://norepeat.wordpress.com/. He does AMAZING photography (you can even see the pictures he took of those prairie fires I was talking about) and his blog entries about the kids (whom he names child#2 and child#3) are hilarious! It's fun to see your children through someone else's eyes.
We have also had great fun introducing John to family and visitors as our butler and/or manservant on several occasions at which point most people look at us as though we are crazy. And then we elaborate and explain why he has come to live with us and they relax and smile and say "oh, that's so nice."
We love you, John, and are so grateful for the wonderful ways you help our family!! May God richly bless you for the measure of graciousness you have shared with us!