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News update, Japan trip and some photos

Some brief news updates after a long hiatus:

Last few months

Since our holiday it's been the flu season in Cape Town - swine flu, other flu, and serious pneumonia going around. We've all been sick in turns and James has spent quite a while off school - two weeks a few weeks ago, and then the first three days this week. He could have gone back earlier the first time but we didn't want to risk him getting a more serious infection. He's back to school today. Tomorrow is their dress-up-as-a-Letterland-character day which he's really excited about (yes, he's going to be Jumping Jim).

Back from holiday

We got back on Saturday from a wonderful holiday in the Eastern Cape. We really benefited from having a concentrated chunk of time together as a family... and we got to see lots of animals, which we loved!

Off to the Eastern Cape

We're just sitting at the airport about to go to PE for an amazing treat - a holiday in the Eastern Cape, going to the Mountain Zebra National Park and Addo Elephant National Park for 9 days!

Time to recoup

We've just come back from a wonderful four days in Volmoed, in Hermanus (where we've been before a few times). We caught up on sleep (David has only struggled with sleep for one night out of the last two weeks!), had good time with God, praying and reading Tested by Fire by John Piper (available online as The Hidden Smile of God), which gave us fresh encouragement about God's sovereign purpose... cried, played with James and Charis, made spiders, went for walks, went for a family picnic at a beautiful waterfall, collected fir cones, made a braai and some roaring fires to keep us warm in the evenings, watched movies, looked at the stars (and Venus and Jupiter) and felt very very grateful! We've uploaded some photos of the holiday.

Extra Bone Marrow Test for James tomorrow

Picture of James and Charis with Granny and Granddad and the boats he made

Last week, James had a bone marrow biopsy, which he has every three months. The hospital called us last Friday to say that they had seen something funny in his bone marrow, from the biopsy and they would like to do more tests. So, on Tuesday he had tests on him for TB of the Bone Marrow, CMV virus and Glandular Fever. The tests have all come back negative and so the doctors have said that they want to do a bigger bone marrow biopsy than usual on James to see what is going on with him. It is tomorrow morning at 8am. We would love some prayer - for peace and grace and healing. We have been trying not to react too much until we know for sure what is going on.

First day at school

James had a fantastic first day at school today. A bit nervous (the butterflies in his tummy meant he didn't eat much breakfast), but when we went to fetch him he came running out saying "I love school!" It's the honeymoon phase but it's great to start off so well.

Settling and School

It's been a month of refocusing and recovery...

Joys and blows

This last few weeks it's felt as though emotions ranging from joys to griefs have been running hand in hand...

Livers and sisters

Over the last month James has been feeling nauseous a fair amount (he hasn't really struggled with this over the previous few months) - often retching at the sight of food and/or not wanting to eat, which has been quite stretching... it's been a little bit better the last week but still there. On Thursday they did some blood tests on him and his liver enzyme levels were quite high, which could be a cause, so tomorrow we're taking him to see a gastroenterologist about it (they told us not to worry or panic! Nice reassuring people, these medical folks are :-))

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