A friend suggested that I might want to update this site since it had been 7 months since the last one! Wow - time flies...whether you're having fun...or not.
Our anniversary trip to France was wonderful! We spent the 1st week in Bordeaux - my favorite French city - with our 2nd born, Jenna & her wonderful French hubby, Vincent.We were there for their 2nd wedding - necessary for her visa. It was fun to see how things are done the French way! Vincent's parents hosted a lovely reception at an old hotel just off the Public Gardens & we got to meet most all of Vincent's old scouting friends of whom we'd heard so many wild stories! So now Jenna & Vincent are REALLY married - "Two Times Maried" (has to be said with great emphasis & holding 2 fingers out in a horizontal V). The times picnicking in the park, shopping in the outdoor market, visiting, laughing, Jenna introducing her dad to her new city, scouting new apartments, hearing the improvement Jenna had made with the language, 1 on 1 dinners with them - priceless.
From there we took the TGV (bullet train) to Paris & rented a car. As we turned out of the train station - BOOM! There she was- more amazing than I had dreamed - La Tour Eiffel! Towering over everything, slender, beautiful - lacey even. I actually caught my breath. Having waited so long to see her made the reality even more memorable.
We drove northwest out of Paris (thanking the Lord for our GPS!) to Giverny - yes, the home of impressionist artist, Claude Monet. His home, gardens & ponds in which he did so much of his painting have been meticulously preserved & were beautiful. As we walked, we would look over & see a view that was straight out of one of his famous paintings & knew that many years before, he had sat in that very spot in God's creation, picked up a brush & painted a masterpiece.
We then continued on to Normandy - the north west coast - where we spent 2 nights in a charming B&B. We saw the famous & ancient Bayeux tapestry, toured many war museums, wept thru the American cemetery & visited the heartbreaking beaches & memorials of the D-Day invasion. History worth remembering.
From there we drove southwest to Mont St. Michel - the ancient island monastery. It was just as beautiful as the pictures I had daydreamed over since childhood - rising solemnly & magestically from the haybale dotted fields. We spent the day climbing hundreds of stairs, learning the history & marveling at the architectural achievemnet that this place is. We spent that night in the fairytale city of Saumur on the Loire River.
In the am, we toured the home of the famous Cadre Noir - the French riding academy equal to the Lippizoners. We toured the stables, learned the history & watched the riders work with the horses - training them to do amazing leaps, gaits & jumps in the largest indoor arena in Europe.
From there we drove to some of the large limestone caves along the Loire River where people had for hundreds of years, made their homes. None are inhabited now but the history was interesting if the actual dwelling gave this light & outdoor lover the willies.
The next few days, we were pampered in the home of Vincent's great-aunt, Rose-Marie. A lovely & gracious French woman who spoke to me in such a manner that I was able to sit & convers with her for long periods of time on many subjects. She spoke slowly enough & separated her words so that I was able to understand yet without feeling slow or elementary. Her lovely top-floor apartment overlooks the Loire River & Valley in Blois We we feasted like royalty at her table. Fromthis base, we traveled the Loire Valley - visiting several chateaux including the one in Blois, Azayle-Rideau, the breath-taking gardens of Villandry & my favorite - Chennenceau - that spans the river Cher.Each was unique in its story, architecture & charm.
The following weekend, we stayed with Vincent's parents in their lovely home in Olivet - a suburb of Orleans. They hosted a reception for the newlyweds to introduce Jenna to friends, colleaugues & neighbors. We enjoyed meeting some of the parents of the scouts with whom Vincent had grown-up & hearing their stories of the children growing up.
On Sun., we said a tearful good-bye to Jenna & Vincent, uncertain when we'd be together again, * headed for Paris. We stopped en route to see the cathedral of Chartres & arrived just in time for Mass. We quickly & quietly looked around & then hit the raod for the City of Lights.
Our week in Paris was filled with many wonders. We enjoyed dinners at sidewalk cafes, pain au chocolat from vendors, the too beautiful ceiling of a large department store & the mazes of the Louvre with its treasures of Hammarabi's Code, the Mona Lisa - it IS as fascinating as it's reputation, the headless Winged Victory of Samothrase, the armless Venus de Milo, 3 amazing & rare the massive & yet intricate Marley Horses...the list goes on & on. We climbed the more than 1,000 steps of the Eiffel tower, marveled at the length of the famed Champs Elysee from the top of the Arc de Triomphe, walked & bicycled the extensive grounds of the palace of Versailles, trudged the winding staircase up AND down the towers of Notre Dame - thoroughly enjoying the gargoyles. We saw Napoleon's coat, hat & tomb, mastered the Paris subway system, managed to marvel at the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles in spite of the crowds, witnessed several strikes (the French was of making ANY statement), strolled the Tuilleries Gardens, experienced near-death scenes on the Place de la Concorde - this time vehicular, not guillotine, found 2 Starbucks, got unlost in the labrinth they call Les Halles shopping center, found an antique Parisian ring for me, took a dinner cruise down the Seine under a full moon & stood in front of Monets, Renoirs, Whistlers, Lautrecs & Van Goghs at the Musee d'Orsay. Ah, Paris!
When we had to leave - I did cry & Don ddi threaten...we left with a Bang! Literally. Shortly after arriving at Charles de Gaulle airport, we & everyone else in the crowded concourse were met by military personnel carrying machine guns. We were ordered back, away from the ticket counters without explanation. Soon, however, it became apparent from the announcements over the intercom, that htere had been a bag & a blue plastic tube left unattended at 1 of the counters. A bomb alert had been ordered & the bomb squad called in. While I desperately tried to convince Don that this was God's way of telling us not to leave France, the elevators continued to pour more & more passengers from other levels of the massive, sprawling airport into the already congested area into which we'd been corraled. We joked that some tourist was going to be really made when they blew up his Eiffel Tower poster which he'd carefully packed into a protective tube for the trip home. After some time, we heard a whistle give 2 short blasts, saw the soldiers cover their ears & then KABOOM!!!!! The explosion shook the floor & rattled the windows but it was over in half a second. The blue smoke filtered down toward us from the ticket counter area & the soldiers stepped back & motioned for us to proceed as if they'd just been stopping traffic momentarily for a funeral procession to pass. As the crowd surged forward, carrying us toward the waiting airline personnel at the counters, I noticed the floor littered with bits of blue plastic & sure enough - paper. Guess that poster won't be hung in his office, after all.
It was hard to leave - I could feel at home in France - must be in my blood - but it was nice to be home again & especially to be with our kiddos. Melissa & Faith did a great job of holding down the fort - no stitches, new drywall or fire & water restoration evidence. We all settled into a somewhat relaxed summer routine - several babies, lots going on at Spirit for Don, kids in the pool.
Jenna flew home for a week + in mid-July as her visa required a personal interview at the French consulate in Chicago. Vincent joked that he was sending her back on a 90-day trial period agreement! We loved having her here & she managed to get to Chicago on her own, get a taxi to the consulate, get her papers signed & stamped & return to France - 10-speed bicycle in tow!
Since then we've survived the twins' 4th b-day, Jonathan's rite of passage into manhood with his 13th b-day - Don did a great evening of wit & wisdom & BBQ, a 9-wk strike at Boeing which impacted Spirit so that Don got to have every Mon. & Fri. thru this week, celebrated our 25th anniversary - again! - with a 3-day trip to KC where we discovered a hidden treasure of the National WWI Museum - amazing. Rivals the Smithsonian. Get the kids in the car & go - right now! Were blessed with dear friends Gary & Jan Bloom joining us for Thanksgiving along with our Nepalese son, Bishal & 6 of his friends. Grieved through the loss of our 1st grandchild as our 1st-born, Anna, experienced a miscarriage.
Christmas brought Jenna & Vincent home from France with friends, Thomas & Carole, in tow. They were to have some for the wedding here in April but were unable to at the last minute due to passport issues - read French red tape! But we were able to change their tickets to Christmas & we had a merry French-filled holiday.
Well, here we are - the end of May 2008 - Jenna married her amazing French beau & is happily making a home in Bordeaux, France. Don & I will be leaving here in just 9 days to spend 3 weeks there celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary. BTW, what's with this whole thing of...yeah, it's our 25th but we don't really have any big plans...or we're going to do a family vacation & take the kids with us to a water park....in this day & age, a 25th wedding anniversary makes a statement. IT is a marriage, not a family reunion!!! The 2 of you should be somewhere INCREDIBLE, reminiscing, having new adventures, falling more in love, or again, if need be and making memories! Don't you have something to be celebrated? If not, now's the best time to fix that - get out there & do something new together! Humdrum is fatal. 25 years is a BIG deal & should be acknowledged! Come on people - Live a little! Actually, live A LOT - the whole breadth AND depth not just the length! ;)
My sweet husband is taking me to France for 3 weeks!!!! If you'd like to tag along on this adventure, feel free to check our blog page created for this trip - xanga.com/our25thinfrance - it'll be fun!!!!
As an update for those of you looking through the photos - 2007 has been a year of great Highs & Lows for our family. Lowest: Michelle's only sister, Cris died of cancer in mid-February. You'll see pictures of them on the photo strip. The joy of this is that she knew Jesus & so is now with Him, no more tears, no more pain.
Highest: Our 2nd-born, Jenna, became engaged to the world's most wonderful Frenchman, Vincent Quentin. The wedding will be April 12, 2008. Jenna & Michelle were able to spend 3 weeks in France with Vincent, meeting his family & his church & allowing Jenna to experience France. You'll see lots of pictures of this beautiful country. The sad point of this is that Jenna & Vincent will be living in France - 8,000 km from us! But she needs the immersion for language & culture mastery. AND, it's a great excuse for us to go!!!!
Welcome to the information site for Prairie Midwifery Service & Michelle Ruebke, a Certified Professional Midwife providing home birth services for the families of Kansas since 1988.
A little about me: I am the blessed wife of Don Ruebke and the busy but happy mother of 10 amazing children - all born at home with the assistance of midwives. We live just south of Newton, KS in a renovated elementary school, where I actually attended 5th & 6th grades! I home school our children and enjoy learning new things with them while having many opportunities for character development in myself!
The wonderful experiences of having our first two children born at home with midwives gave me the desire to assist others. I trained through apprenticeship for 2 1/2 years and continue to learn more with each unique mother and baby that I serve.
I came to understand my need for a savior at the age of 14 and accepted Christ's gift of salvation at that time. Our family is blessed to attend Grace Community Church in Newton where we are faithfully taught the Word of God and equipped to serve the Lord Jesus Christ. My Christianity is an integral part of who I am and therefore affects the way I serve families as a midwife. My clientele is mostly, but not entirely, made up of Christians and I am honored that people of other faiths have felt comfortable enough with who I am to have me as their midwife. I see this as a unique opportunity to show them the truth of Who Christ really is by attempting to love them & serve them as He does.
I offer many services other than midwifery, including nutritional counseling, breastfeeding assistance, general family health counseling, alternative healthcare and resources such as nutritional supplements and educational materials. I am a distributor for the following natural health care companies: Standard Process, Whole-istic Solutions, BHI Homeopathics and Optimal Health Systems among many others. I ship supplements all over the world and would be happy to help meet your nutritional supplement needs in a cost effective manner.
If you would like to learn more about who I am, what services I provide as a midwife and what I expect of the families with whom I work, please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org to obtain an Informed Consent Agreement &/or to set up an initial visit. If I can help with health questions and supplements, please contact me for available products and prices.