Sunday, 31 March 2013

Breaking news

Breaking news. (I feel like a TV announcer!!) Mum and I went to the hospital to see Abbie last night and the news is kind of hard to get your head around!
The orthopaedic registrar who looked at Abbie says that she doesn't think there is an infection in the joint after all. But they didn't know what this weird swelling was and why the symptoms pointed to an infection! They tested blood and plasma from the joint (yip, I know- it's disgusting!) but they say it tests negative for infection. So they kept her in overnight saying they didn't really know/weren't sure!
This morning her temperature went up again and she was complaining of a really sore knee AGAIN (it seemed to have fixed itself late last night, we think it was due to prayer) but now we need more prayer because it could be showing itself again.
They were contemplating taking her back into the theatre to drain and rinse out the area and try to get rid of any possible infection but decided not to in the end as they aren't sure if she has an infection or not! So she has to stay in another night under observation!
Phew. That was a lot of information. We would really appreciate your continued prayers for her as don't know if she has an infection and may possibly have to have the surgery. Will keep you posted on the latest.

Saturday, 30 March 2013

Please pray- URGENT!

Can anyone who is reading this please pray for Abbie now because she has 'septic arthritis in her joint' which basically means there is an infection in her knee joint. The doctors think it entered after the surgery. This is terrible because infections in joints are often not good. She is in the hospital emergency ward right now with IVs and intravenous antibiotics at present.
Thank you so much for praying. Will continue to update you.

Friday, 29 March 2013

Swimming, surfin', sailing....

Well, not quite swimming, surfing and sailing. For one thing, it's nearly April and the water at Lake Hood is decidedly chilly!
Confused, right? Let me elaborate.
Today (Good Friday) our family went to Lake Hood near Ashburton, Christchurch for the day with some friends from Church. They have a jet-ski and a biscuit.... enough said. We had fun!
In case you are wondering what on earth Lake Hood is, it's a man made lake in a rural subdivision about 5 minutes from Ashburton, Canterbury. (Lake Hood) It's perfect for playing around with motorboats and jet-skis and stuff like that. Since none of our family (apart maybe from Dad) had ever been on a jet-ski before, we had a lot of fun. Riding behind on the biscuit was also really fun!
So, what's been happening lately in your neck of the woods?

Since this is Easter, I thought I better post something relevant. So here we go! This is the passage in John 19 where Jesus is sentenced to die, crucified then buried. If you think you know the story, read it anyway, because it's always good to re-remind us of what happened. (Note. I have not taken out the verse numbers, so if you are wondering what those numbers in the middle of the sentences are doing, they are marking the verses.)

Just remember that this is Jesus dying for YOUR sins. For MY sins. Not just for the saints, but for the sinners! Can you believe that Jesus loves you enough that he DIED for YOU?????

John 19
New International Version (NIV)

Jesus Sentenced to Be Crucified

Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. 2 The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe 3 and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
4 Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” 5 When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
6 As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
7 The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
8 When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, 9 and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10 “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
11 Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
12 From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”
13 When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha). 14 It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
15 But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
16 Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. 17 Carrying his own cross,he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). 18 There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
19 Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews. 20 Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. 21 The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
22 Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
23 When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
24 “Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”
So this is what the soldiers did.
25 Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,”27 and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.

The Death of Jesus

28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.”29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said,“It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
31 Now it was the day of Preparation, and the next day was to be a special Sabbath. Because the Jewish leaders did not want the bodies left on the crosses during the Sabbath, they asked Pilate to have the legs broken and the bodies taken down.32 The soldiers therefore came and broke the legs of the first man who had been crucified with Jesus, and then those of the other. 33 But when they came to Jesus and found that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. 34 Instead, one of the soldiers pierced Jesus’ side with a spear, bringing a sudden flow of blood and water. 35 The man who saw it has given testimony, and his testimony is true. He knows that he tells the truth, and he testifies so that you also may believe.36 These things happened so that the scripture would be fulfilled: “Not one of his bones will be broken,” 37 and, as another scripture says, “They will look on the one they have pierced.”

The Burial of Jesus

38 Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jewish leaders. With Pilate’s permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus’ body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Spring is a wonderful thing

“Spring is A Wonderful Thing”
Written by me, Bonnie Smithies

Autumn, winter, summer, spring, seasons make me want to sing!
But by far the best of all
Is spring, and do you know why?
Daffodils, lambs and a blue, blue sky.

Spring is springing all around
It’s bringing green grass to the town.
Hedges in blossom and flowers that dance on the breeze
Oh, spring is a wonderful thing!

Spring is springing all around
It’s bringing new life to the town.
New babies and lambs and puppies that gamboll and play
Oh, spring is a wonderful thing!

Autumn, winter, summer, spring, seasons make me dance and sing!
But by far the best of all
Is spring, and do you know why?
Daffodils, lambs and a blue, blue sky.

(This was written in the springtime, surprisingly enough!)

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Which house would you rather live in?

Which house would you rather live in?

May the Lord bless you in all that you do!

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me

I decided it's time to write five more things you didn't know about me. The first one I did, here, was in February. So here's my March 5 Things You Probably Didn't Know About Me.

1.) I can write in Mirror Writing really well. Almost as fast, in fact, as I can write normally! (Although not quite as neat. :P)
2.) My favourite boys name is James and I have a lot of various favourite girls names.
3.) I like doing Sudoku.
4.) I also like doing jigsaw puzzles with my sisters Danella and Sophie. You know, the big ones- 500 piece and 1000 piece puzzles! On average we take several days to finish doing one. And that's not including time spent fixing up breaks little siblings make!
5.) I keep a diary and record my thoughts in it every few days. I started my first diary in October 2010! Someone said that they don't like keeping diaries because they have a blog! But I find that a blog is too public. You can't write your personal feelings in a blog because the whole world will find out.

Well, that's it from me for today. May the Lord bless you and keep you all the days of your life. :-)

 "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."
(Jeremiah 29:11)

Monday, 25 March 2013

Knee photos

Y'all remember Abbie's knee surgery? Well, she's up and about now, on crutches. We even get to do her chores for her. On Saturday (yesterday) she took off her bandage and we saw her knee for the first time since the surgery. It was a bit of an experience!

I've got some photos of her knee. The black sticky-outy bits are the threads the surgeon used to sew her knee back together again after he operated and pinned the cartilage back onto the bone. 

Here, first, is a far-away picture.

This shows clearly the threads (in a cross shape) with a dot of blood. This came (not because of the camera), but when the old bandage pulled off all the dried blood and it began to bleed again. The next pictures show more clearly the different places where they opened it up.

Now, in this next one, the blue material is the towel Abbie was using to wipe away the yellowish foul-smelling antiseptic solution they coated her knee in.

The first photo shows all the swelling best. It is amazing how much her knee swelled up! You don't realise it from the photo, but her knee is actually quite large!
You can only see a little of the swelling from the first photo, even though you don't realise quite how big it is, it is actually hugely swelled!
Now, completely off topic, I've just randomly got some more photos.

Above: Ben with his cricket award. He won  Player of the Day last week!

Left: Having Abbie's birthday tea! (She turned 16 yesterday.)
We had it with our cousins. You can see our uncle (in the black on the left) and half our aunty (in the red pants on the far right) but our cousins are much dispersed throughout the photo.

Below:  Some of Danella's quails. She has such funny names for them! The original male and female were named Clarke and Chloe. Chloe laid an egg and out came little Christopher. Then Clarke died suddenly and before we had time to process this, Christopher mated with his mother and they had two babies, Chrissie and Cassie. And, last, Christopher and Chloe had two more babies, this time both boys. These are the ones in this photo. These are named Churchill and Caesar!

Thursday, 21 March 2013

Knees and peaches

Knees. Hmm. Aren't they funny things? I mean, without them our life would be difficult indeed! But they can often be difficult things themselves...

My older sister Abigail is (at this moment) in hospital to have a left knee arthroscopy proceeding to drilling fixation or excision and osteoplasty. Basically, that means that the surgeon is pinning the cartilage back on to the bone because it came off. It's a one hour surgery with general anaesthetic and she has to stay in hospital for one night. But she won't be able to bear weight on her knee for six weeks while it heals!

I must say, Abbie was very relaxed about it all. I mean, if it was me I'd be as nervous as anything! But cool as a cucumber, that's Abbie. I wish I was like that.

Abbie had to stop ballet because of her knees though, and couldn't jump or run properly because of the pain. So she is definitely looking forward to when it will all be fixed!

Danella, the third eldest in our family, orchestrates all the fruit bottling we do. About two weeks ago she bottled about 9 jars of pears from a friend's orchards, and before that it was apricots, and before that, plums. She cooks the fruit (right as I speak it's blackboy peaches off our tree) while the rest of us are detailed to peel, chop and de-stone the peaches. In case you've never heard of blackboy peaches, this is what they normally look like:

And when they're cut up,

They have this gorgeous purply-red colour. And they taste divine as well! What could be better! 
Because of their colour, they look amazing when they are in jars. 
Oh dear. Just looking at the photos reminds me that I must go and help with the bottling. Without Abbie to help, Danella will need me!
Farewell, faithful followers. :-)

EDIT: Abbie's surgery went great! She's out of the anaesthetic now, and her knee's feeling a bit achy but otherwise not in a lot of pain at all. The surgeon said that he fixed the cartilage onto the bone (with dissolving nails that will dissolve over time), and also drilled four holes into the bone to allow the bone marrow to grow into it and thus hold it on properly.
Oh, and we ended up bottling 11 jars of blackboys. So today was a great day overall!