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Friday, May 29, 2009

Becoming like a child

I had the wonderful privilege to look after my little grandson Dewan this past week. He was born 5 weeks premature...so he is going to be a new born for a little bit longer than the average baby. I can't explain to you the warm and tender feelings that well up inside your heart when you hold a grandchild close to you.

Staring at him with total adoration this just popped into my mind. Jesus says in Matthew 18 that if we want to enter the kingdom of Heaven, we have to turn from our sins and become like these little ones. So many people have the idea that we have to become as simple and trusting as a child....but it is so much more. If I look at this little one, I see a helpless little one who is so totally dependant on someone else for food, care, love, touch and the next clean nappy (diaper). That is how God wants us to be....totally dependant on Him for everything and when we are, He will care for us even better than earthly mothers and fathers care for their babies....He wants so much to take care of all our needs, if only we will trust Him.
xoxo

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Something to inspire you today

Peace is not the absence of trouble, it is the presence of God.
You are strong... When you take your grief and teach it to smile.
You are brave... When you overcome your fear and help others to do the same.
You are happy... When you see a flower and are thankful for the blessing.
You love... When your own pain does not blind you to the pain of others.
You are wise... When you know the limits of your wisdom.

You are true... When you admit there are times you fool yourself.
You are alive... When tomorrows hope means more to you than yesterday's mistake.
You are growing... When you know that you are but not what you are becoming.
You are free... When you are in control of yourself but do not wish to control others.
You are honourable... When you find your honour is to honour others.
You are generous... When you can give as sweetly as you take.
You are humble... When you do not know how humble you are.
You are beautiful... When you don't need a mirror to tell you.
You are rich... When you never need more than you have.
You are you... When you are at peace with who you are not.
YOU must have a great day!!!!
xoxo

Monday, May 25, 2009

Basic Grey "Mellow" layouts

Is it just me...or are some of you collectors of scrapbook goodies? I have had some of my kits that are still not even opened since 2007. Last week I decided to take them out one-by-one and finish the whole kit. This was the Personal Scrapper September 2007 kit. It featured Basic Grey Mellow. I am posting all the layouts I did with it and you can get an indication how many layouts you can do with a kit.

This first layout is with a photo of the house that my son Kobus Jr. built in Seaview last year. He wrote the master builders exam in order to be registered as a builder. We are so proud of his first attempt at building and what he achieved. They only lived in the home for six months and then sold it.
It is always so cute when the little ones walk around in their daddy's shoes. Here is Leane wearing her daddy's shoes.
Photos taken in my garden. When we just moved in we went crazy...planting so many trees and shrubs to get some privacy. These photos were taken before we pruned it back a lot. The grass did not want to grow because it never had sunlight.
This layout was done a few months ago. The grand bambinos at the touch farm.
These photos were taken at the look out point of Sir Lowry's pass. I lifted a layout done by the talented Iris Babao Uy. This lady does the most amazing cut work and is a wonderful inspiration to try something new.

On the Personal Scrapper forum Amy recently had a poll where you had to say how you felt about scrapping photos of loved ones that have since passed on. I find it wonderful, it just brings back so many memories. This very old photo of two of my children with Kobus' parents were taken in 1992. They have both since passed away...but we are left with so many amazing memories of them.
Some more old photos. These were taken in 1998 and Alex have since became a teenager and Bianca will soon turn 20. These photos reminded me of how crazy she was about this little cousin of her. I used one of the May pagemaps for the layout.
Alex was a frequent visitor to our home and always wanted to come with "Aunty 'Et". Here we took him to a touch farm...but as you can see he was soon fast asleep.
That is all for now folks. Will be back soon with some photos of this past weekend. Hope you have a wonderful start to a new week.
xoxo

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Turn the other cheek?

My blog buddy Margie had this image on her blog this week and she wrote a delightful piece where she says that in some situations she knows that God has one of His hands on her shoulder and the other hand over her mouth. It made me giggle and at the same time challenged me...but that means I will have to tell you about the whole fiasco!


All of God's children know of the fruit of the Spirit...well on Tuesday I felt my fruit falling off my tree one by one. I think I told you some time ago that we have an incredibly difficult character at the Centre that is hell bent on destroying the ministry. On Tuesday I guess "patience" was the first fruit that fell...."love", "gentleness" and "peace" followed shortly after....and then it struck me my "joy" was gone. I WAS ALLOWING THIS MAN TO STEAL MY JOY.
Let me list what he has done since January and then think whether you "will turn the other cheek" when you know the other cheek is also going to be slapped.
  • In January he caused so many problems with other residents that at the end of January we asked he to look for alternative accommodation.

  • He phoned the Media, alleging that we are breaking the law concerning abuse to people and not adhering to non-profit regulations. Fortunately we have built a solid relationship with the local media and after a phone call it was settled.

  • We received a visit from the Dept of Labour...he had declared under oath that the people on our destitute program work under degrading conditions. Needless to say Labour gave us a clean bill of health and they were amazed at what was being done for the destitute and unemployed.

  • He phoned the Medical Board to report a doctor who is giving of his time free of charge as a service to the community.

  • He sent a letter to the Board for Social Workers declaring that our social worker did not keep confidentiality, that she caused a suicide and was generally not equiped for her work.

  • He phoned the Centre's largest food benefactor and told them the food is being sold.

  • He contacted the Receiver of Revenue and told them we do not keep accounting records.

  • The cherry on the cake was when we received a call from the Commercial Crimes Dept of the Police. Again he had made a lot of allegations under oath...all of it lies! (the only consolation is that the police have now opened a perjury docket against him and they have also told him that if he ever phones them again they will open a case of harrassment against him. (He phones them on a daily basis with charges of wrong doing)

  • The thing is he did not move out, he has been squatting in the building for the past three months...and it has been a very slow 3 months of getting a legal eviction order...and the end is still not in sight.

  • The list of incidents are at number 38 at this point....
Now please tell me, what do you do with a man like this? I was so angry on Tuesday (Righteous anger? I don't know.) I am the financial director of the organisation, and one of the allegations he made was that we have THREE sets of books. I took that personally. I believe in honesty and transparancy. As a public benefit and non profit organisation our books are audited very strictly. If felt like a personal attack on my integrity and my character. That is why the fruit fell in quick succession. The pastor was here at the time and he said. "Lynette don't get your heart in a mess about this." Difficult...very difficult. In times like these we want to say: "Lord, please just look away for a moment...I just want to punch his lights out/throw a stone through his window....whatever..."
The truth is that he is keeping us so busy and stealing our time that can and should be used in a more constructive way. He is taking time away from people that NEED and WANT help. That is usually what the enemy does...he keeps us so busy with things that don't matter that we don't get to the things that really matter.
The Centre is going to apply for a protection order for all the employees of the organisation. I just can't believe what is happening. Since when can you walk around, make all sorts of defamatory and slanderous allegations...and get away with it? The final hearing for the eviction order is in two weeks...then hopefully this whole thing will go away. In the meantime I will also ask for the Lord to keep His one hand over my mouth:/

Monday, May 18, 2009

The upside down world.

First...a few layouts that I managed to do recently. This first one is of my son Wynand and his wife Nadia on his 27th birthday. Forgive me for saying that my heart just swells with pride and love when I look at my children. I stand amazed when I see what a wonderful husband and father Wynand has become, and realise how blessed I am.

I am still digging into the box of old photographs...and they are really challenging me. So few photo's were taken in the pre-digital era...and you never knew whether they will all end up beeing boo-boos. I have made the decision to spend as much time on the layouts of old photos as I do with the digital ones.
This one was taken in 1999 at school...I loved cutting up the WeR Memory keepers Nonsense line and use it as embellishments.I came across these very old pics taken on Mothers Day in 1993. The boys made me breakfast in bed and DH was there to capture the moment. I used this beautiful Prima "Sew Cute" stitched mulberry paper. This was also done using a Beggahuna sketch and when I reorganised my scrapping space I placed the Revolution die cutter in an accessible place. The leaves and vines were cut using border dies.
When I organised the photos to be scrapped I came across some very weird and wonderful photos...and these ones from 1994 I called "Why" because I can't remember why we took these in the parking lot of a mall. I came to the conclusion that it is so that we can look back and have a good giggle about the fashion of the day. Just look at the big hair, the Ray Ban's and the high waisted jeans.
This photo was taken in 1994, after Bianca was bitten by our dog. She however denied that he bit her...blaming the whole thing on the neighbour's dogs.

*************************************
That brings me to the next thing....
Have you noticed just how upside down life seems when you are a Christian?
I was struck by this again while we were doing leadership training at Vistarus. (The Centre we founded 11 years ago) Here we are...working with people that have never really achieved much in their lives. People that have been broken and rejected. Then they turn to the Lord and the day comes when they take a leadership position. Now they have to help others that are going through hard times. (All our leaders at the Centre were once destitute or/and addicted to some substance or alcohol). The moment you place them in a position of leadership, the position becomes "who they are" and their (limited) power is more often than not, abused.
Now the challenge is to teach these people the following principles.

  • In the world a leader rules, but in the Kingdom of God the leader serves.


  • In the world a leader drives people to get results, in the Kingdom a leader gently draws.


  • In the world your CV lists all your achievements, in the Kingdom of God, He says "You are mine! My child".....what can be greater than that!


  • The hightest value in the world is to gain pleasure and to avoid pain, in the Kingdom the highest virtue is faith, hope and charity.


  • In the world we seek revenge for wrong done, in the Kingdom we turn the other cheek.


  • In the world the lucky people are the ones with possessions, abilities, fame, power, high education, in the Kingdom the blessed ones are the helpless, the meek, the merciful and the ones with pure hearts.


  • In the world it is all about ME, MYSELF and I...in the Kingdom it is all about your love for God and for others.


  • In the world it is all about pride, in the Kingdom it is all about humility.


I believe that when you have a relationship with the living God, your life becomes right side up...the way it is intended. What is your view?

Thursday, May 14, 2009

What motivates you to get up in the morning?

You will see that I deleted my previous post. Thank you for all your suggestions and prayers. That issue is going to take some time to resolve. What the post did was to free me from the idea that I cannot speak freely about feelings and emotions...so although I deleted the post, it did liberate me.

On Sunday evening the sermon at our church was about what motivates you to get up in the morning...at the time I could think of a number of spiritual reasons that motivates me. This morning was a different story all together...but let me give you some background!

Before you read any further....This is not a moaning and groaning session...so you can proceed without fear.

I have had Fibromyalgia since 2003. For those of you who don't know what it is "Fibromyalgia syndrome affects the muscles and soft tissue. Fibromyalgia symptoms include chronic pain in the muscles, fatigue, sleep problems, and painful tender points or trigger points at certain parts of the body. Fibromyalgia pain and other symptoms can be relieved through medications, lifestyle changes, stress management, and other fibromyalgia treatment." It all started after a very prolonged period of stress. I guess strange things happen in the body when you stress, adrenaline is released for fight or flight, and you don't use the adrenaline.

Anyway, as you are aware I am a very positive person and made a decision that as my body caused this....my body must heal itself. I have a very bad sleeping disorder and seldom go into the deep sleep that is needed to restore damage to muscles. The conditions gets better or worse depending on levels of stress, amount of sleep and the weather.

So this morning I woke up with a very stiff neck and aching shoulders. I lay there next to my DH and started giggling....and the conversation went something like this:

DH: You seem happy this morning.
Me: I am just thinking about why I should get up this morning.
DH: (Concerned) Why? (He is such a great guy...sees that I am never rushed in the mornings, coffee in bed, taking DD to college)
Me: If I was not so disciplined, I would just pull the blanket over my head...and stay put.
DH: That bad?
Me: Yup....I think when I wake up without pain one morning, I will think that I died during the night and had gone to heaven.
DH: Should I make an appointment with Dr. Pottie?
Me: No, are you going to use the treadmill first...or can I go?

It is just incredible how the endorphins that are released numbs pain...see the body has it's own way of looking after itself. So after my excercise, I am ready to face the world!

What motivates me to get up:
  • The fact that if I don't, I allow this body of mine to rule over me...and I am too stubborn for that. (something of a mind over matter)
  • The fact that people rely on me to be there for them.
  • The fact that God has called me to bring Good News, even if it is through the way I handle what life throws at me.
  • The fact that if I pray for healing, I must live as if I have already received it.

On Sunday evening at the Vistarus Church I was so blessed. The pastor asked people to honour there mothers by telling them what they mean to them. Some men and women (some much older than me) got up and thanked me for being there spiritual mother. These are people that have never had a mother that accepted them, or loved them or gave them guidance. This is another thing that motivates me to get up every morning....just to love and care for the people who God entrusted to us.

So now my friends....what motivates you?

xoxo

Monday, May 11, 2009

Shhh...Dewan and Pappa is sleeping...

I did these layouts during the Personal Scrapper NSD and Mothersday Crop this weekend. The first one is of the Pappa and his new son. I used the Prima Acrylic "Build a Swirl" stamp and then added a bling swirl to it.
The second is of the mommy and our precious little bundle. He was a week old here.
I used a Beggahuna sketch for the second layout. If you love working with sketches you should go and check out her amazing work.
xoxo

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Happy Mothers Day

Sketch by Tatiana
Just when you thought that there is no defined job description for Motherhood. Read this and let me know whether you would have been up for the challenge if you had this job description before your first child was conceived:

JOB DESCRIPTION:

Long-term team players needed for challenging permanent work in an often-chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in faraway cities. Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.

RESPONSIBILITIES:

For the rest of your life. Must provide on-the-site training in basic life skills, such as nose blowing. Must have strong skills in negotiating, conflict resolution and crisis management. Ability to suture flesh wounds a plus. Must be able to think out of the box but not lose track of the box, because you most likely will need it for a school project. Must reconcile petty cash disbursements and be proficient in managing budgets and resources fairly, unless you want to hear, "He got more than me!" for the rest of your life.

Also, must be able to drive motor vehicles safely under loud and adverse conditions while simultaneously practicing above-mentioned skills in conflict resolution. Must be able to choose your battles and stick to your guns. Must be able to withstand criticism, such as "You don't know anything." Must be willing to be hated at least temporarily, until someone needs money to go skating. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly.

Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers.

Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys and battery operated devices.

Also, must have a highly energetic entrepreneurial spirit, because fund-raiser will be your middle name. Must have a diverse knowledge base, so as to answer questions such as "What makes the wind move?" or "Why can't they just go in and shoot Sadism Hussein?" on the fly. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.

POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT AND PROMOTION:

Virtually none. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you.

PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE:

None required, unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.

WAGES AND COMPENSATION:

You pay them, offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.

BENEFITS:

While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered, job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth and free hugs for life if you play your cards right.

This is one job that I will never swop for any other...I love being a mom! Happy Mothers Day to all my blogging friends.

xoxo

Friday, May 8, 2009

NSD and Motherday crop on Personal Scrapper

There is currently a crop challenge on at Personal Scrapper...it runs from 2 May to 10 May and has 15 set challenges with one of the members adding an additional challenge every day. I hope that explains why I have not done much blog hopping lately. The problem with blog hopping is that I get so pre-occupied that all scrapping ideas go out the window. (But I am sure you know that)

This first layout was for the "Favourite photo" challenge. My favourite changes with every batch I take...so this one of Lukas was one that still needed to be scrapped. I used the "damask" border die and the bits and pieces of my leftover March PS kit. The little felt dinosaur is from the Autumn Leaves Cuteworld range.

In this challenge we had to scraplift one of our own previous layouts...this one is based on a Beggahuna sketch that I used for "curly top" sometime ago. This sketch was also used by Swirlydoos for the April sketch challenge.
Now for an oldie. This was a sketch challenge and I dug out some photos from 2000. This house belonged to a friend of mine and when we just started in ministry, she offered it for our use when we needed some time of refreshing and relaxing. The house is in Oyster Bay and we called it "die okkerneut huisie" (Walnut house). The scraps of the October 2008 PS kit featuring Crate Paper Lemon Grass was ideal for this layout. The Prima flowers just added that bit extra.

Another oldie...this was for a challenge by one of the members (AmyInky)....the challenge was to use a play on words as the title of your layout. The photos were taken early in 1995 after Bianca cut her own hair right agains the scalp. She was so proud of herself and could not understand why I was so upset..."Hair today...gone tomorrow". Her hair took about 6 months to grow out. I used a Beggahuna sketch for this challenge.

This was another challenge by a member yesterday Emma's challenge). The challenge was to use a day of the week as part of the Title. In 1999/2000 my sister Ansie got divorced and she moved in to live with us on-and-off for nearly a year. Bianca adores her little cousins and she was like a big sister to them. They loved spending weekends playing...so Saturdays were their favourite...as they could stay home. I used a Basic Grey Pagemap for this layout.
I have completed a number of the other challenges and will post them after the weekend.
Have a great weekend and Happy Motherday to all the mothers out there.
xoxo

Monday, May 4, 2009

Lukas' Happy Place

Have I ever told you that Lukas is crazy about his Oupa( his Ouma comes a very poor second), his Oupa is not allowed out of his sight. He stayed with us this weekend and when his Oupa wanted to mow the lawn he insisted on helping...well he thought he was helping anyway.

See... he is watching that Oupa goes in a straight line...the navigator?

When all the work was done.....he was so tired that he fell asleep in Oupa's arms.

Now is that not the sweetest little angel face?


Which brings me to the next thing.... I have never been able to use the same layout in two challenges until this weekend....
National Scrapbooking Day was on 2 May 2009 and there is a crop on at Personal Scrapper. One of the challenges was to use this Reminisce add as an inspiration for a layout. Journaling Junkie's Challenge 56 is similar....so here goes.
I used the photos I took of Lukas and his Oupa...and here is my take on the challenge. The curls were cut out of WeR Memory Keepers Nonsense papers...and the orange makes me happy!

Have a lovely week!
xoxo