Monday, August 31, 2009

My joy....your joy

This image was {shamelessly} stolen from my friend at Robin's Perch:)

Firstly, I am feeling much better today. A weekend of rest and doing just about nothing...lying in a warm and aromatic bath twice a day and getting enough sleep (with no snoring) seemed to have done the trick.
My daily devotional at the moment is My Utmost for His highest by Oswald Chambers. So guess what the topic is today? Yup! "My joy....your joy". After reading it the first time it hit me...where was my joy this past few days? It is as if not only my joy was stolen so was these few days. So I guess there must be a lesson to be learnt.
I quote: "Living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, in circumstances,....but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the same fellowship and oneness with Him that Jesus Himself enjoyed." Okay...I am going to be the first one to admit that I don't have a perfect understanding of God. "But the first thing that will hinder the joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus said in Mark 4:19: "...the cares of this world...choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful." And before we even know what happened, we are caught up in our cares. Have the right relationship with God, finding your joy there, and out of you will flow rivers of living water."
Can you help me with this? Do you keep your joy in ALL circumstances? I need some wisdom here. There is some awesome testimonies of people out there that managed to keep their joy despite chronic illness and do they do it? I would prefer not to have another fibromyalgia flare up...but when it happens I want to keep my joy. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 28, 2009

A small whinge and LSOS #45

DH and our two sons had gone away on their annual father and son hunt in Steytlerville. I am hoping to get a bit of scrapping done over the weekend. Now, please forgive me, but I promise this will be my last whinge for a while. My first thought was to make a joke about how I feel...but it is no laughing matter. I am still struggling with severe muscle spasms in my neck and shoulders and had to get up last night to take medication for a splitting headache. It is times like these that I find it SO difficult to stay positive...and not to just give in, pull the blankets over my head and feel sorry for myself. Thank the Lord I only have these bad flare ups two or three times a year. Normally the pain is just a dull ache that you know is there but at least it does not steal your joy. OK! Whinge over:)

This is such a neat sketch by Tania of Little Shop of Sketches...and great to use up all those scraps that are left over when a kit is just about used up. I did this layout of me and Shayne for this sketch. Love how the strips of paper form the perfect backdrop for the photo.

Have a great weekend


Thursday, August 27, 2009

Addo Elephant Park

We South Africans easily joke about some real serious issues in our country....but do you know what? I would never even consider giving up on this beautiful country of ours. I can never imagine living anywhere else. Where else is it possible to get up on a Sunday morning and decide: today I want to be in the great I want to do something different. Then get into your car and within less than 30 minutes you are in a huge national park where you see the most awesome creatures of God's creation.

That is just what we did on Sunday was a glorious day and we needed to get out of the usual routine. DIL is still busy with a course, so we phoned DS and invited him and Leane along...provided we could go with his double cab of course.

These warthogs were the first animals we saw after entering the park. Leane gave them one look, jumped on my lap...pinched her eyes shut and said: "Huistoe, Mamma toe." (she wanted to go home to mommy).

When we came across these three huge male elephants...she screamed! "NO NO NO" and we wondered whether it was such a good idea to visit the park after all.

I had to snap a photo of this huge Kudu. The men felt quite sick when they saw how many kudus are walking around in the park. This weekend they are going to go on their annual "father and son hunt" on my BIL's farm. My SIL always says when the first shot is fired in hunting season all the kudu's disappear and are only seen again after the season is over.
A huge buffalo we found along the road, and I mean HUGE!!!!
Just had to snap this pic that tells you the speed limit is 40 km/h..."speed kills"....just looked so funny next to this massive animal.
We stretched our legs at one of the fenced of picnic spots.Here is the first large group of elephants we came across. There was many young and baby elephants among the group of female elephants. Reminds you a little of a creche.
See how the elephant cows protect the young ones by keeping them in the middle.

Now is that not just the cutest little things?
Needless to the time we got to this herd, Leane had gotten used to the big animals and we had to stop her from hanging out the window to get a better view.

Now don't you think we live in a remarkable, beautiful country...and you fellow South Africans...can you imagine living anywhere else?


Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Feeling slightly blue

I slept very badly last night (nothing new) and woke up with aching neck and shoulders and a BIG headache. At first I wanted to feel sorry for myself...but that is not my style, so I got up and did 5 km on the treadmill. The happy hormones that get released with exercise usually makes me feel better. Then it was off to work. Sitting here now, the feeling I have is of ropes tightly wound around my chest and every breath hurts...I know that I am having a fibromyalgia flare up. When I have a flare up I am sometimes fooled into believing it is flu...because of the body aches and I even get fever.

In 2003, after a prolonged period of extreme stress I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. You hurt all over, and you frequently feel exhausted. It is a chronic condition with widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain. People with fibromyalgia often awaken tired, even though they seem to get plenty of sleep. Experts believe that people that have it rarely reach the deep restorative stage of sleep. That would probably explain why I never dream and why the slightest sound wakes DH's snoring is no help:) The medication that is prescribed only serves to raise your pain tolerance level.

I usually try to eat and live healthy and get enough excercise... but now I have to get my head sorted...get into positive mode and get over it.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


I always thought it so true that children are "your heart walking around outside of your body"...but I do believe that this is even more true of grandchildren. They are just so special and so close to your heart that sometimes you look at them and your heart swells with so much love that you think you can burst.

Here is a recent photo of Dewan and me. He has grown so much in the past 4 months...and looks nothing like the premature baby he was...he is now a soft marshmallow baby.

I am so blessed to have all my children and grandchildren living in the same town. Last week Lukas was still not well enough to go back to the daymother and they brought him to our house every day to stay with my domestic worker. If I think of Lukas...I think of laughter and dimples. He is the happiest little chap that I have ever seen.Here he is with his most favorite person!
Leane het her second birthday on the 10th of August...but the birthday could not be celebrated because she was so sick. On Saturday my mom and I took her shopping. Her great grandma bought her the dress...that could not be taken off after the fitting and was worn for the rest of the day over her clothes. The toyshop with all its choices just confused the little one and all she wanted was a Barney lucky packet...Oupa and Ouma bought her this purple bicycle.

She was not in the mood to pose so this was the only pic I got of her looking at he camera.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Little Shop of Sketches - Sketch 44

Here is my first layout as part of the Little Shop of Sketches design team.

I scrapped this photo of Gerrit and Cherie's wedding. I used the Swirlydoos August kit again...the papers just go so well with the colour scheme of the wedding. I loved all the layers of this layout.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Life in South Africa according to the cartoonist.

I think one of the things I love about this country and the people is our ability to laugh at ourselves and make fun of, sometimes serious problems. That way we can still appreciate the lighter side of life without becoming depressed.

I leave you with, hopefully, a smile:)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Happy 1st birthday

Happy 1st birthday dear blog. We have shared so much in the past year, we laughed, we cried, we vented ...shared in so many things that affect our life. You started off as a blog to showcase the scrapbooking layouts I made. Gradually, we lost our fear of "what will they think" or "what will they say" and we became more daring. This new found feeling of freedom was liberating. So many posts written, just to be deleted again...but at the same time putting things into perspective. Sometimes I think once we have written something...and it is out there...we can gain perspective, and we get the answers that usually seem to be hidden.

The best thing about starting you was that it put me in touch with so many like minded people...who share and care, maybe even more than real life friends. I stand amazed by how much we learn from each other and how easily and freely we speak into each others lives. We made some amazing friends, don't you think?


Sunday, August 16, 2009

Weekend events

  • Yesterday was a terribly cold and windy (typical PE?) day. DH spent the day sorting out his garage. (read: repacking all the rubbish he can't bear to part with) I have offered to sort it out for him...but he wouldn't hear of it...I think his nerves would be shot if I had to do it, just imagine... an empty garage.
  • I retreated to my warm and sunny scraproom and scrapped to my heart content.I don't usually have Prima papers...but I have found a few I decided to attempt this Build a Page sketch. These photos of Leane just seemed perfect for the layout. Whenever she comes to visit me...we walk to the playground around the corner from our home. She loves the slide. I have to get up behind her while she is on her way up...because she is way to wild and I will just die if she has to fall off. So when she reaches the top she tells me: "Af Ouma" (Go down Ouma) the reason is simple...Ouma has to catch her as she comes flying down the slide. Then she tells herself "sit" and she sits at the top of the slide...she then tells herself "los" (let go) and then down she comes yelling all the way. Last night we went to go and watch "My sisters keeper". Bianca and Marc sat and cried their eyes out...very sad movie. Not quite as good as the book...but good.
  • This morning we had to speak at the Lorraine Dutch reform church about the work that is being done at the Mission. Daunting... standing in front of so many people and actually talk...but it went well.
  • We picked up grand daugher Leane after church. It seems as if DS and DIL is going their separate ways again today. She is having lunch with her parents and he will be coming to us for sad. Leane has recovered completely and is sound asleep on my bed. She is such a sweet little thing...this Ouma is smitten.


Friday, August 14, 2009

Swirlydoos "Passion" sketch challenge

This is the sketch by Beggahuna for the Swirlydoos Passion kit.

The colours of this kit was ideal to scrap the photos of the wedding we attended in February in Fish Hoek. Gerrit married his love Cherie. Gerrit has been friends with my son Wynand since primary school. When his mom moved to Canada years ago, Gerrit stayed with us for nearly a year to complete his it was the same as seeing another of my kids getting married...very special.

My scanner always chops off an edge of my layout...but you get the idea.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


My friend at Robin's Perch wrote something that made me think, and she encouraged me to do this post. Unless you are one of the fortunate ones that grew up with no hang ups, no traumatic experiences in a "perfect" home and WILL have triggers. Things that happen, or something said to you (or someone else) that instantly transports you to way back when...and all the fears, doubts and pain floods back into your life.

I have come to know and understand my trigger. I can't stand shouting of any kind. My children were probably some of few that grew up with a mother that never shouted at them. I also taught them never to shout at others because that would be disrespectful. This action got my one son into trouble when he was in grade 2 and reacted to a shouting teacher. He got up and said: " Juffrou, jy mag nie op my skree ma skree nie eens op my nie." (Miss, you are not allowed to shout at me, not even my mom shouts at me).

A few years ago we had a visiting pastor preaching and he was one of those men who have a "talking voice" and a very different, very loud "preaching voice". I sat a few rows from the front with DH. When this pastor started "preaching" I cringed and clung to DH's hand for dear life. Eventually he wiggled his hand out of my strangle hold and the marks of my nails were etched into his flesh. I gradually started sliding of my chair and ended up sitting on the floor with my hands over my ears...I had to get away from the just brought back such strong childhood memories...and for a while I was little again. Looking back at it now it seems funny and I can laugh about it...DH still sometimes tease me about it...but the fear was SO REAL.

This makes me think...why did I react like this so many years into adulthood? When does the memories fade...when do we stop reacting to triggers?

Page Maps Sketch challenge

A quick update: Leane has been discharged from hospital and is now staying with her other grand parents to prevent Dewan, who is three and a half months old, from also getting the infection. It is highly contagious and their domestic worker also got it. Fortunately DIL's parents only stay 5 houses away.

There is a challenge on the Pagemaps blog. This is Becky's sketch.

My attempt...I don't normally do one little photo on a layout...but here goes.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Ouchies and sickies

On Saturday evening DH and our two sons watched the South Africa vs. Australia rugby at a local pub and grub. DH left after the match but our sons met up with friends and stayed. When they eventually left they found a group of men outside that was making remarks about the women. My oldest asked them to show respect towards the ladies that was with them. He walked pass them and somebody tackled him from behind and threw him to the ground. These hooligans then started kicking him in the face. My youngest turned around and him and a friend rushed to his brothers aid, my DIL was also thrown to the ground. It sounds as if some of the bouncers of the "pub and grub" jumped in to seperate the fighters. My son was taken to hospital and he had to get stitches in his lip, his eye was also damaged and he has difficulty focusing. I can't handle senseless things like this. I can't handle it that you get hooligans that go all out to hurt and cause damage to another.

Leane picked up some horrible infection at the creche last week. It has now been 5 days that she has an incredibly high fever and after two days she started getting sores in and around her mouth. Despite the medication and ointments it just go worse and worse so this morning she was admitted to the hospital because the doctor thinks that she may not be getting in enough fluids and he wants to put her on a drip. Last night Lukas, who goes to the same daymother also started getting sick. Sjoe, I never knew I would worry about my grand children as much as I always worried (still do) about my children.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A scrappy post

While my garden was being demolished I seeked comfort in scrapping is the four double page layouts I completed. The first is of Lukas' 1st birthday.

This one is of him opening his prezzie from Oupa and Ouma...I love the progression of photos. Peering into the gift....starting to open it...being helped by big brother and cousin Leane...then the 2 older ones just take over and he retreats to his mommy's lap with his new toy.

Fathersday was celebrated on the same day as Lukas' I get the chance to scrap my DH and my two boys being daddies.

Then a layout of my proud "Snowman builders" Here are DH and DS in the Lootsberg Pass in the snow...making a snow midget and eating "eskimo pie".

I do hope this creative spurt much to do:)

The two greatest questions...(edited specially for Stef)

Life really boils down to 2 questions:

1. Should I have a dog...?


2. Should I have children.....?

Have a great day and give thanks....(specially for Stef)

Cats are soooo dramatic!!!!

Monday, August 3, 2009

My weekend in pictures

DH decided that our pool does not see enough drastic steps have to be taken. The very tall trees next to the pool has to go...a new wall will be built and decorated with rockart and then the garden will have to be redone. Now that all sounds simple and easy. But this is how my garden looks at the pool....very can't even see the neighbours.

Here you can see them starting to remove the plants.
After most of the plants were removed. You can now see the neigbours and no more privacy. What a shock! DH promised a 8 foot wall so we should be private again. I must be honest and say, seeing this makes me feel sad.
On Sunday we met up with Wynand, Nadia and the boys on the beachfront. It was a glorious day. Lukas was thrilled to see his Oupa...Ouma no longer counts:) He hitched a ride on Oupa's shoulders.
His fingers were firmly hooked into Oupa's ear.
A view of the beachfront from the Pier.
From here Port Elizabeth looks quite nice...don't you think?
We got somebody to take this pic of us at the end of the Pier. This was the 14th try. Christian is still at the funny stage...not looking at the camera, tongue hanging out of the mouth etc.
Pretty Nadia with Lukas.
Two brothers enjoying ice cream.
Such a cute little face.
Christian flying his kite.
We are so blessed to have such perfect weather in the beginning of August.