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Monday, January 31, 2011

A weekend of celebrations

We have taken so many photographs this weekend that I decided to make collages.  I also used some of the photos that Shayne took and posted on her blog.  The above photo is the first one of the morning of my birthday.
On Friday evening we had a braai with the family that have already arrived for the celebrations...it was a very casual "kuier" under the lapa.
The table arrangement I finally settled for.  Changed my mind on my way to the hotel on Saturday morning...but I love how it turned out.

 My family
My children
Family and friends.
So glad that Shayne came to celebrate with me.
Some antics on the dance floor.
The Feast
The fantastic girls from the cellgroup.
The evening was a wonderful affair of eating, chatting, laughing and dancing the night away.
The next morning the festivities was continued at our home with a wonderful continental breakfast. (yes...we ate again;-)
We spent the early afternoon being lazy.
Then Ansie, Herlien and I went for a walk down memory lane...driving past the places we called home when we were little girls.  We ended at Blue Waters on the beachfront for coctails and decadent Lindt dessert with icecream and berries.  
The rest of the afternoon we played with the children.
All in all....an unforgetable weekend.

xx

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The things that make me happy.


 50?  Not yet...well not for another two days...and yup...I can wait.

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of my birth, I have decided to come up with my “Top 50” list – a list of things that make me happy to be who I am and where I am in this journey through life.
  1.  My husband. God raised up a wonderful man for me. We met each other when I was 17 and still at school, you could say that he raised me.  Neither of us are perfect, but we are a good fit, perfect compliments to each other. Where I am weak, he is strong and vice-versa. I love him with all my heart, even when he is driving me crazy. :-)
  2. My children.  More often than not they are such a delight to me, but they also often frustrate me. I see them as a gift from God and I will always be their biggest fan, in everything they do.  I will support them in following the dreams the Lord give them.
  3. My grand children.  If you think that children are parts of your heart that is walking around outside your body, you haven't got grand children yet.  They are a constant source of laughter and love.  My heart aches when I think of them.
  4. My sisters.  I am so lucky to have the gift of 4 sisters.  We don't always understand each other, but their is nothing like the bond that binds us.
  5. My brother.  He is the oldest, never takes sides, are always there when we need him.  I must also include his wife Gail, who is like a sister to us...a real lady.
  6. My parents.  They gave me life. My mother's life of putting our needs before hers is something that will always stay with me.  Remembering her sitting in front of the sewing machine, making 5 dresses for 5 girls.
  7. Music.  This helps me to dance through life.  It can fire me up and calm me down.  I can lose myself in worship music when my stress levels gets too much.
  8. Flowers.  Who can look at a flower and not feel better.  I love their colours, textures, scents and variety.  Most of all I love them growing in the wild or in the garden.
  9. Coffee.  I love being woken in the morning by my darling DH with a steaming aromatic cup of coffee.  There is nothing like the first cup of coffee of the day.  Sitting in coffee shops with friends and loved ones, chatting over a cup of coffee...what can beat that?
  10. Babies. The miracle of birth and the innocence of babies never fail to bring me hope.  
  11. Girlfriends.  They do for me what my husband cannot.  They understand what it means to be a woman.  With them I can share the joys and frustrations of being a woman.
  12. Books. They are a means of escape when they are fiction and of understanding and knowledge when they are non-fiction.
  13. Computers.  A marvelous tool of communication...and many of my friends live there.
  14. Cameras. How else could you so perfectly capture a memory? 
  15. Trees. They provide oxygen for us to breath.  The provide shade on a hot summers day....and I just love the green and the shade.
  16. Chocolate.  Dark, milk, white...I love them all! 
  17. Hugs. They speak when words cannot.
  18. Swings. They make me feel that I can fly.  No matter how old I am, when I see a swing I want to get on and soar through the air.  A lawn swing invites me to slow down, relax, contemplate.
  19. Christmas.  A time to celebrate the giving and receiving of the greatest gift God has given us.  Also the gift of memories and traditions we make with our family.  It is the time of the year that brings people together.
  20. Sunsets and sunrises.  There is something magic about them...they remind me that each day is a gift.
  21. The night sky. Just seeing the moon and the stars...how small we are in comparison, makes me realise how big Father God is.
  22. Campfire. The perfect way to enjoy the night sky with family or good friends...and roasted marshmallows.
  23. The Sea.  My happy place...the place to reconnect with nature and become quiet.
  24. The dog.  Nobody greets me with such delight and abandon when I get home.
  25. Clean laundry.  I love the smell, so fresh and clean.
  26. My washing machine and dishwasher.  I cannot, for the life of me, image what it would be like to wash clothes by hand. 
  27. Freedom.  We all complain about the crime rate, taxes and the way the government is running our country.  I love this crazy country of ours.  I can worship where and how I want. So many people is living in places where life is harsh, women are oppressed, commodities are scarce, disease is rampant and freedom is non-existend.  Life is fragile and precious...there is so much to be thankful for.
  28. Sore muscles.  Not the kind that comes with Fibromyalgia!  Sore muscles reminds me that my body still functions well and allows me to do some good, hard work.  Exercise is something that always leaves me feeling so good.
  29. A handwritten letter or card.  They are becoming so rare, that when I get one, I cherish it.  It means that someone has taken time out of their busy life for me.
  30. Water.  For the past year and a half we have been under water restrictions due to the drought...this made me realise just how precious this commodity is.  We can swim, bath, clean clothes and dishes.  We can drink and be refreshed.
  31. My DH's hands.  For the 32 years that we have been married, he has always provided well for us as a family.  He can do anything, build a pool, fix a car, give a good back rub.  When he holds my hand in his, I know how much he loves me.
  32. Singing.  No, I don't do it well and usually sing off key, but it still brings me joy.
  33. Hot aromatic baths.  This is my favourite thing in the winter months...and can be combined with a very good book.
  34. Dancing.  I love dancing....real "langarm" and even "sakkie-sakkie".
  35. Watermelon.  Red, sweet, yumm!  
  36. Watching the grand bambinos grow. We have seen this with our children, but it does not reduce the delight of seeing the "firsts" of the grand children. 
  37. My MP3.  To have so much music on  such a little device...and always being "wired for sound."
  38. Caller ID.  That way I don't need to talk to tele-marketers and can choose who I want to speak to and when.
  39. My Blackberry.  I know I can be reached in the case of an emergency and I know that I can reach my children at any time.  I hated texting until I got my Blackberry...now it is a breeze.
  40. Wednesdays.  Then my DH is off to the golf course and I can vegetate, procrastinate or become creative in my scraproom.
  41. Eating out.   Lovely to get a break from the cooking and the cleaning.
  42. Worship. Food for my soul.
  43. Perfume.  I love the beautiful containers they come in and I love how a fragrance can make you feel so happy,pretty and sexy.
  44. Reading glasses. These, nearly 50-year-old eyes can't get by without them.
  45. My treadmill.  One of the best gifts my DH ever bought me.  I can roll out of bed and hop on the treadmill irrespective of the weather conditions.
  46. My home.  The house I have lived in for the past 25 years...my sanctuary...my roots go deep.
  47. Prayer.  Talking to the Lord and listening for His response.
  48. Church and cell life.  My community of faith.
  49. Service.  The way in which I give back for all that I have been given.  My delight.
  50. God.   Creator, Redeemer, Comforter, Provider, Guide, Best Friend, Heavenly Father.  All I have comes from Him, all I do is for Him.  Without Him, my life and this list is pointless.  I live by His amazing grace.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Decisions...decisions...

I have had my hair done in three shades of copper, and I love it that my hairstylist "got" me at last.  She will be doing my hair for my 50th next week.

I am still undecided about the flower centerpieces for the party...maybe you can help me decide.  Initially I wanted silver rose bowls with pink, mauve and white lisianthus.  Something like this:
...but I have also seen something else that is totally different and fun.  Don't you think this will look lovely with soft lisianthus flowers spilling out of the rustic metal handbags:

What do you think?

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A photo update

Although we have been off to a very busy start at work, life has been peaceful.  I tried to think of a "clever" blog post to do...but decided to show you some photos I have taken since the beginning of the year.  On New Years day we still had Lukas with us so we went for a long drive to Van Stadens river mouth and then for a ice cream.
I am still amazed at the joy grandchildren bring to your life.  Having the children for a few days provides us with so much laughter and pure joy.  Sometimes I wish we were so relaxed and easy going with our children when they were small...I guess somethings just comes with age:-)
Lovable little Lukas was so glad to see his Mamma after five days.
What these two cousins get up to when they are together!  Here they climbed up the little waterfall next to the lapa to check on the neighbours.
Two dirty little faces looking back at us.
She is such a happy little thing.
I always know exactly where she is in the garden...she sings non-stop as she whizzes around the garden on her scooter. She changes clothes at least 3 times a day...and sometimes layers three sets of clothes over each other...a real girl!
Nestled comfortably against Oupa's chest.
Funny faces!
Wynand and Nadia drove to East London to buy a Ridgeback for their boys.  Lukas named her Nina...here she gets her first bath.
Here you can see Leane with two outfits layered one over the other...and both children with cheesy smiles
This beautiful child (Dewan) is becoming such a little honey.  He wants to do everything Leane and Lukas does and he is such an obedient little man.
In December Wynand became the proud owner of his own piece of land.  He bought a 2 hectare plot in Colleen Glen...about 3 kilometers from our home.  The house is basically only a shell and needs lots of work.  The previous owners built the house and lived there for the past 5 years without electricity and in absolute squalor.
We went to go and take these photos before they moved out.  This huge pig was more often than not inside the house.  The tall bush you see to the right of Big Fat Pig is a marijuana plant...they grew their own stash...and obviously took it with them when they moved out.  Not one of the doors have locks...they are closed by putting a huge stump in front of it.  
I find it amazing that people can live like this.
Wynand was told that this water is a fountain on the land...and even in this drought it never dried up.  When Wynand took possession this week we found that municipal water has been running non stop...and after we removed the pipe the "fountain" started drying up remarkably quickly.  There is no water meter on the property and the previous owner made an illegal connection.  That got me wondering how many other places have water running non stop.  No wonder our city's dams are drying up.

I will show you in a next post what the house looked like inside before they started demolishing walls and throwing out disgusting cupboards.  I am now off to the hairstylist...wish me luck!  I just hope the colour turns out better than last time:-)
xx

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Life right now

My year have started at quite a pace. 

I am currently very busy organising my 50th.  I designed a very simple card that I just tread a ribbon trough...simple and quick.  So now it is deciding on menus, draping and flowers.  Very exciting but also very exhausting.

We took a break from work the week between Christmas and New Year...that has a knock-on effect and I am totally snowed under with administration and financial matters.  During our break I fell into the awful(ly) lovely habit of taking a snooze in the afternoon, so to get used to working full day again is quite something;-D

Where the Mission is concerned, there has been some amazing developments and we are excited about what is happening.  We have prayed for and about this for the past 13 years...and now it seems to be happening!  The Mission is going to go into a new phase and it is so BIG that only the Lord could have done it...it is humanly impossible to have all these puzzle pieces coming together. I will share more on this in another blogpost soon.   Promise.

But now I am so tired and need a snooze.

xx

Friday, January 7, 2011

A race of a different kind:-)

All the photos in this post was taken by Nadia's sister Merissa. Whenever Lukas visits his maternal grandma, he searches for snails in her garden. 
He has no trouble touching them.
A typical little boy, he tries to play with them as he would with cars.
Let the race begin!
...and they are off!
Delightful!
My favourite shot!  Boys and their toys?

Disclaimer:  No snails were harmed in the shooting of these pics;-D

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

A brand new year - 2011


For me, the New Year, in a symbolic sense, brings with it new possibilities.   I associate The New Year with a fresh canvas that sits and waits for us in silence to fill it with the vibrant colours of life.  The New Year offers us fresh starts.  It consciously reminds us to do away with the old and welcome the new - for me saying goodbye to 2010 does not bring any sadness and it is with anticipation and excitement that I look forward to this brand new year.  I catch myself often sitting silently and reflecting on the year that was...this year can only be better.

We have had a few quiet days after Christmas.  Wynand and Nadia went camping in Baviaanskloof with friends and Lukas stayed behind with us for 5 days.  On New Years eve Kobus jr and his friends left for Mosselbay.  I love the quiet and the peace after the busyness of Christmas.  I have done a lot of thinking about my word for 2011.  Last year the word that I chose was "excellence" and the year proved so difficult that I can only hang my head in shame at how I failed this little word.  Which brings me to my choice for this year...I did a lot of thinking and the only word that makes sense to me after all the trauma and problems last year was:
"breathe"
I did not enjoy the whole process of life last year and as we went from one crisis to another...all I wanted was to get it over.  This year I want to enjoy the process, breathe more deeply and live...truly live, not just exist. A few fabulous quotes come to mind:
"Breathe.  Let go.  And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure" ~ Oprah Winfrey
"For breath is life, and if you breathe well you will long on earth". ~ Sanskrit Proverb

"Just breathe...you will never live this moment again."

To this word I have added a Scripture from the Word of God.  The Scripture that I want to keep close to my heart this year is in Phillipians 4:4-7:
 4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!   (I realise that rejoicing is not dependant on my emotions and my feelings...it is a choice I have to make on a daily basis.)
5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 
 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (this is the key...praying about the things that makes you anxious.)
  7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (the wonderful promise of peace that will guard my heart and mind...

xx