Friday, August 31, 2012

First Day of Kindergarten

Today was the day that Jadon has been waiting for!  He was so excited to be starting school today.  When we had a "first meeting" with his teacher on Wednesday, she gave him a very cute card with confetti to sprinkle under his pillow last night, to encourage a good night sleep.  He was delighted by that.  He did show a few signs of nervousness as we entered the schoolyard this morning (lip-biting, fidgety hands, etc.), but he went right to his class line and listened to the instructions from his teacher.  It will be fun to hear about his first day!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

First Day of School!

School year 2012-2013 has begun!  Abby, Ethan, and Andrew headed off for their first day in a new classroom this morning.  Jadon will have his first full day on Friday.  They were each a bit nervous this morning, but they were excited to find out who would be in their class.  Abby showed her bravery, as she had to stay with her teacher so that I could help the boys find their classes at the other school.  And the boys had a blast finding their friends on the playground.  Looking forward to a great year of growth!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Our Wedding Anniversary

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover's life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God. 
--Philippians 1:9-11 MSG

Fourteen years of living and loving with this man makes me one blessed woman.  What a joy to journey together through it all!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

He's Nine!

Happy birthday to our son!  Nine years ago, a very small baby boy was born prematurely in a home in Donetsk, Ukraine.  Despite lack of appropriate medical care, he somehow survived.  And he kept surviving, through severe illness as an infant, through terrible, hard times in his early life, through institutionalization, through the abrupt change of culture...

Today, a bright-eyed nine-year-old looks across the table at me, and I am amazed.  I clearly remember sitting in an administrative office in Ukraine, at the National Adoption Center, across from a respresentative who passed a 3-inch stack of orphan files into the hands of our translator/facilitator.  I felt completely overwhelmed.  How would we ever choose a child from all those needing families?  Immediately, an image, a vision, filled my mind.  There was a treasure chest, overflowing with coins and jewels of various colors and shapes, brilliantly sparkling and glittering.  As I saw this, I knew God was speaking: "These are my precious jewels.  Just choose one and be blessed."

How blessed we are to have Ethan Gregory Tapper in our life!  This past year has been a time of growing confidence for Ethan.  We have seen him overcome some of his tendencies toward anxiety, and to gain much more self-control.  He has made great progress in school this year and has continued to progress in reading throughout the summer.  We have also been enjoying his blossoming sense of humor, full of deadpan sarcasm!

Ethan is our hard worker.  Don't let his 46 inch, 42 pound frame fool you!  He is one strong guy and one tough physical labourer!  (He can also do monkey bars like nobody's business!)  He also has a special sensitivity to emotional undercurrents.  He is amazingly quick to notice when I am disturbed about something and will come along with a hug and an encouraging word.  Such gestures from Ethan have a certain insight, an emotional resonance, that is particularly meaningful.

Indeed, we have been blessed with a real treasure. We call Ethan "Prince" because we believe he was born (and survived) for a reason--that he was created for something special.  What an honour it is to be a part of his incredible story!  We love you, Prince!

Happy 9th Birthday, Ethan!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


Summer 2012 has been full of great things for us Tappers.  Here is an update on what is happening:

My dear husband had his PhD thesis proposal approved by his Saint Paul University committee this spring.  This puts him into a phase of significant reading, research, and writing.  Basically, he is in the process of looking at how Canadian Evangelicals, specifically, have understood and handled the doctrine of the Trinity and how certain theologians might have valuable insights for contemporary Christians.  For any theologians out there, our sarcastic title for his thesis is "The Perichoretic Canuck." 

Besides all his schoolwork, Mike continues to work for Christian Horizons as a personal support worker.  He has also been doing some pulpit supply during the summer and has been showing his handiness with projects around the house.  For fun, he and his sister are training to run a half marathon together this fall.  Also, due to some later summer bedtimes for the kiddos, he has also taken on a larger role as "The Tickle Monster," whose appearance is guaranteed to produce terrified yet gleeful shrieking all through the house. 

Andrew and Ethan:
These boys have had a fabulous summer.  They have hit Niagara Falls, the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto, two amusement parks, two spectacular fireworks shows, Zion Hill Kids Camp, and Sunnyside Soccer Camp.  They are both really growing up, too.  Andrew is so much more emotionally settled now than he was last summer.  He has shown himself to be quite responsible and helpful in a number of ways.  He is really looking forward to the quickly approaching hockey season!  Ethan just LOVES the summer, with its less-structured routines and lots of outdoor opportunities.  We have really seen his confidence grow in a number of areas over the last few months.  Also, his unique sense of humor and quick sarcasm has picked up, giving us lots of chuckles.

Abby and Jadon:
What a pair these two are!  They, too, have had lots of fun this summer, with trips to Pennsylvania and Zion Hill Family Camp.  They loved participating in the church's VBS program.  Their improved swimming and biking skills have also afforded us some great outdoor fun.  Abby is showing so much more independence and willingness to try new things.  One thing that she is really looking forward to this school year is increased challenges with reading and writing.  Jadon can hardly wait for school to start!  He has been learning more French and can read most simple storybooks by himself.  He is also excited for his first season of hockey.

I have a few new and exciting opportunities, too!  I was asked to take over the teaching responsibilites for Pollywog Preschool, a home-based educational program for ages 3-5 here in Aylmer that emphasizes outdoor exploration, physical activity, and kindergarten readiness.  After searching for part-time jobs for such a long time, I am so pleased to have found this three-day-a-week, within-walking-distance, in-my-own-community, very-family-friendly, doing-something-I-feel-really-passionate-about position!

I am also looking forward to connecting with the congregation at Cornerstone Wesleyan Church as they seek to put together a Christmas musical presentation this fall.  Directing a church choir is one of my favorite things to do!  It is my hope that this project will provide the church with a unique opportunity to come together, using the gifts of all, and to present a message of the meaningfulness of Christmas within their community.

I am also volunteering on our church's worship teams, using Rosetta Stone French (goal: 30 minutes per day) to try to improve my language skills, and running when I can.

I know that I have been less active on the blog recently, but I will try to be more consistent once we settle into a more predictable routine.  Blessings!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Singing in the Rain

It has been so dry here this summer.  When the rains do fall, there is much excitement!

We're swinging in the rain.
Just swinging in the rain.
What a glorious feelin',
I'm happy again.