Archive for the ‘Family’ Category

Twin power

Saturday, March 25th, 2017

One of my jobs in the afternoon whilst Pinuccia is at work is to go to the nursery to pick up Mattia and Luca, take them to the school to get Daniele, and then take them all home. A 2km round trip, including 4 level crossings and 3 times through the ever changing labyrinth that is the construction site as they put the railway underground. Whilst Luca and Mattia were in the double stroller it was not too difficult, but now that they are bigger and there is fine spring weather, I am using more active methods – walking (sometimes with an elastic strap on the wrists) or pushing their tricycles. However, Luca is a faster walker than Mattia, so I am often running back and forth between the two to keep them going and on the footpath (or going in the right direction through the maze), or walking sideways as Luca pulls the elastic on one arm forwards and Mattia the other one backwards, or keep having the two tricycles hit each other. Fortunately, there are lots of damsels around at that time picking up their own children, and who help this poor knight in distress. So in the past couple of weeks I have had ladies offering to push a tricycle for me, or to hold the hand of one of the children. Now, Lavis, the town where we live, is fairly small, and thanks to the twins and Pinuccia’s work at the preschool, our family is quite visible. So the first time that I was helped, when Pinuccia returned home she immediately asked, “You had trouble picking up Mattia and Luca today?” – someone had spied on me and told her at the preschool. Then yesterday, a lady who I don’t ever remember seeing before took Luca’s hand, that started chatting, “You are going to school to pick up the other son now? But the daughter is at the middle school, right? Next year the twins will be going to preschool. Will the mother be there as well?” Such is the result of having twins in a small town.

A feverish weekend

Monday, February 20th, 2017

I was looking forward to last weekend, with a couple of good opportunities to encourage others and be encouraged by them in different ministries – a visit to the group in the Val di Non valley on Saturday afternoon, and the lunch with the refugees on Sunday. However, I missed all that as my weekend, and in fact most of my week, got wiped. It all started on Monday afternoon, when Luca picked up a fever. And a couple of hours later had a febrile seizure. This is more frightening than dangerous, but Pinuccia took him to the hospital where they stayed the night. I thought it was a bit strange that Luca had a seizure and Mattia did not. But sure enough on Thursday morning Mattia got a fever and a couple of hours later had an identical seizure. So back to the hospital with him, although at this point everyone knew the cause so he came back a few hours later. These seizures are not too rare in small children, but having happened once they are a lot more likely to reoccur. So for the next three years we need to keep sure that their temperatures remain under 38.5°, and always have near the children a medicine to give them if the seizure is longer than normal. Both had a strong fever for two days, which was impossible to keep under this level, and the fever returned intermittently for the next three days. So Mattia still gets the fever occasionally, but has been so filled with anti fever medicines that his skin and stomach have started to rebel. Then on Thursday evening Stefania and I got the fever as well, so I spent an unpleasant weekend at home rather than doing the things I was looking forward to. Stefania and Daniele both had a slight fever this morning (Monday), so they had no school, whereas I still have a higher temperature than them. At least I am becoming a bit more active now. But probably the person who was hit hardest by the fever was Pinuccia, who has done a great job of running the house and nursing five sick people, whilst I spent most of my time moving from bed to sofa and back. Those Sicilian women are small but tough! However I think she is more tired than me now. Anyway, I had good reports from the refugees lunch, and there lots of ideas to work on now.

Refugees 1

Thursday, December 15th, 2016

A couple of things to pray for this week:
- On Wednesday evening there will be a meeting on the ministry to and of the refugees. This meeting is for the whole church, hopefully with the refugees attending as well. It should be a concluding meeting, wrapping up the reflections and discussions of the last couple of months. And if it goes well, also an introductory meeting, if the church decides to do something and not just talk. Pray for Ruben as he leads the meeting, and that we will be led by the Spirit in all we say and do.
- On Saturday we will be flying to Australia, for a 3 week trip to stay with the family. The plane trips will be interesting with all the children – Stefania and Daniele should be fine with the personal TV screens (although Daniele does not eat airplane food), but we don’t know if Luca and Mattia will be able to sit in one place for so many hours. So you could pray for the travel and for the time with the family.

5 minutes of fame

Thursday, November 5th, 2015

Lavis was on the world stage last night, as it hosted the Italy-Finland test match, one of the qualifying matches for the 2017 World Handball Championships. With about 1000 people present, it was a much bigger event than the Italy-Germany cricket match I went to almost 20 years ago, when most of the time I was the crowd. As Daniele plays for the local handball club, he was part of a group of children who accompanied the players onto the field. So he had his 5 minutes of fame, as the photos I grabbed from the telecast show. Stefania, by the way, got hers a few years ago, as she is on Google Maps playing in the courtyard of the school with her friends (https://goo.gl/svykud , with the blue pants). For the record, Italy won 27-19.

Good things happen in threes

Wednesday, September 16th, 2015

A couple of years ago Daniele was diagnosed with a relatively bad case of scoliosis – his back bone was both curved and twisted. So he has been wearing a back brace since then, and having regular physiotherapy appointments. We were told that at his age the brace did not actually do much, but it was important to wear it now so that everything would be ready when he would have his teenage growth spurt. However, when Daniele had a radiography in June, his back had straightened, so he did not have to wear the brace over the (northern) summer holidays. Yesterday he had an appointment with the specialist, who confirmed that the back bone was straight, although it is still slightly twisted. So Daniele can continue without the back brace, and also without the physiotherapy, and will have another check up in June. When I asked the specialist if it was normal that the back straightens up like that, he only said that the brace had done its work. This despite the fact that we had been told that the brace was not supposed to have such an effect until adolescence, and that we had been regularly rebuked at previous check ups because the brace had not been worn enough and was not tight enough. A couple of times we were told that, since the brace had not been used correctly, Daniele might just as well not worn it for the previous few months – the brace could not have done its work properly. And yet, it did… For Daniele, it is the third time that he has seen a big answer to his prayers, after the cases of the non exploding balloons and the little brother(s).

Life begins at 52

Sunday, September 13th, 2015

Life begins at 52, as they say. Well, maybe they don’t say it, but I think I will be entering a new phase of my life now. With Luca and Mattia doing a gradual beginning at the nursery the last two weeks, and school for Stefania and Daniele starting only on Thursday (and only in the morning for those two days), I was spending most mornings at the nursery and most afternoons, when Pinuccia was at work, looking after 4 children. So on Saturday I celebrated my birthday playing in a chess tournament. I won a salami, 500g of mortadella, 1kg of pasta, a bottle of wine and a bottle of balsamic vinegar as the best of the not so good players – a nice birthday present, and very Italian! Tomorrow all the children will start their normal hours, which means I will have a few hours free every morning for work and ministry. A new life beginning! Although I’m not sure if they will all actually make it to school tomorrow since they all have a cold, then Tuesday one has a dentist appointment and Wednesday another a doctor’s appointment, and on Friday I will be in a Skype meeting for the mission, so the life beginning may be more theoretical than real. But the mornings next week are looking pretty free at the moment, so maybe life begins at 52 and a week.

Back to school (first half)

Monday, August 31st, 2015

Tomorrow Pinuccia, Luca and Mattia start school, and just today we got all the details of where and when. It turns out they will be neighbours, but not at the same time. Last year a new structure was built in our town, 10 minutes walk from our house, containing both a nursery and a preschool. The twins will be going there from about 8.30am to 1pm each day, starting tomorrow. However, there is a gradual insertion, and this week it will only be for about an hour a day, and next week two hours a day. Pinuccia on the other hand was offered a job for the whole year at the preschool next door, from 1pm to 3.30pm each day. She is very happy and thankful with the location and hours of this job. Pinuccia and the twins will be able to greet each other as she goes to work and I bring them home, but at least they will have most of the afternoon together. The rest of the family will restart school on the 10th.

Church camp reboot

Monday, April 27th, 2015

Next weekend is my biggest event of the year in church, at least in terms of how much of my time I put into it. From Friday to Sunday there will be a church children’s camp that I will be leading. This is actually a “reboot” of the camp ministry. In July there will be the 8th edition of the classic series, where the participants have all become teenagers or almost by now. So we will be starting again with a new group of leaders, and with the next generation of children. We are starting small, as we did 7 years ago, with 10 children (including Stefania and Daniele) and only 3 days, and the idea is to grow in number and length over the coming years. You could pray for this camp, for the children and for the leaders. Pray also for the half of the family that will stay at home. It will be our children’s first time sleeping away from their mother, although it will probably be harder for Pinuccia to cope with than for them. Looking after Luca and Mattia by herself will not be easy either.

The family highlight this week was getting back the results of Daniele’s radiography. His spine, which 18 months ago was quite badly both bent and twisted, now shows no sign of problems. So he will be having a break from his back brace that he has been wearing for more than a year, at least until August when he will have his next check up. Since it is very uncomfortable to wear in summer, it was good timing. We are very thankful to God for this unexpected development.

Back to the real world

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

This morning I took my in-laws to the airport, for the end of their three week stay at Trento. It was like a much needed holiday for us, as they looked after the house and especially the twins. It meant that Pinuccia could do a lot of study for the exam for her work which is coming up, and I could do more than the bare minimum of my work. In particular, I was able to move forward in some of my projects for laparola.net, including releasing a new version of the program for Windows which had been sitting on my computer for a couple of months. But now I can hear someone crying, so it is time to see if they are hungry or tired or want to play…

Adventure

Sunday, December 21st, 2014

We have just finished packing and getting ready for our big adventure. Tomorrow morning we leave for Sicily, a trip of 1500km and a sea crossing which we will be doing in two days. Although we have made this trip many times, including with a two month old, it is of course the first time that we have done it with two two month old babies, plus a couple of other children. We will be trying to synchronise feeding times and rest stops for everybody, which sounds like a good plan but whether it comes about is another matter entirely. The reason of course is our extended family: they all want to see the twins, and in any case it is 18 months since we have been to Sicily and might be another 18 months before we can go again. As well as this, there will be the wedding of the first of Pinuccia’s niblings to get married, who will be living 500 metres away from us at Trento. After 11 intense days in Sicily, there will be another 2 day trip back, with a rest day before going back to school and the restart of the church activities.