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Sunday, February 27, 2011

My heart is SO full

We have a lovely saying in Afrikaans:  "Waarvan die hart vol is, loop die mond oor." Roughly translated it means that the things that fill your heart is the things that you will want to talk about all the time.  In a previous blog I mentioned that BIG things are happening at the Mission.  The thing I want to share with you now is not that big thing....but it is so amazing that my heart is filled with gratitude and just the knowledge that when the Lord goes ahead of you...all the doors are open.

We have a creche at the mission, currently we have 18 babies below the age of two and then we have another 20 little ones that are between 2 and 5 years of age.  The children at the mission are not as lucky as most children that grow up with lots of love and everything they need plus a room full of toys.  Our children live in a tiny room with their parents/parent, they usually arrive here with the clothing on their backs and no toys. Their life has revolved around survival and the next meal.  Needless to say they have not had the nutrition that builds the brain nor the stimulation that is needed to teach them the much needed skills they need to become "ready for school".  At the moment we have 8 children that need to go to grade R next year and they are far behind where it comes to their development.

Last week a young lady that owns her own preschool came to visit us at the mission and what she told us blew us away.  She will be coming to the mission every day for the next year and she will be spending her time getting our children ready for school, at the same time she will implement programs and set disciplines for the whole creche.  She is a qualified remedial teacher and has all the skills to assess and rectify problems she encounter with our children.  I am so grateful...these children are the future and they need to move on to a better life than their parents had.

Then yesterday morning she let me know that she spoke to a company regarding her involvement at the mission.  They immediately offered to donate a photostat machine for the creche and pay for all material needed for our little ones development this year.  I sat in awe...the Lord knows our hearts, and it is His heart that this children will have a future.  He is so amazing.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

The Scrappiest Sketch #108: Tiny bubbles

I have really been on a roll with my scrapping lately. This sketch is by  Liz Chidester:
  Here is my layout based on this sketch. 

I used Sassafras Lass Indie Girl for this layout.  The bubbles are vellum stickers by Sticko.  The "tiny" alphabet is from Doodlebug Design and the large pink alpha is American Craft Thickers. 

TFL.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Creative Scrappers Sketch #144: Just Breathe

Okay, so I know that I am overloading you with scrappy posts...sorry about that.  I have also discovered another interesting fact...when I post layouts I get the most hits and the fewest comments...and when I just blog or post photos I get the least amount of hits and the most comments....makes you think:-)

This is a  Creative Scrappers sketch.
I wanted to do a page on my "one little word" for 2011.  I turned the sketch on it's side and this is my interpretation of the sketch.
I turned the sketch on it's side.  I chose a Prima Sew Cute Stitched specialty paper as a background.  The butterflies on the paper just gave me a sense of freedom.  The Basic Grey Cappella papers went very well with the background and I am thrilled at the way it came together.

I also made this layout of Dewan.  I used the Little Yellow Bicycle Snugglebug range.

Happy Days

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get Picky Sketch #5: Bunny Love

I always find that when I am scrapping and I can use a sketch to get started, things comes together quicker.  I also reorganised my scrap stash and now everything is easier to find;-)  I have taken part in a few scrappy challenges in the past few days. This is a challenge on Get Picky.
I used American Craft Dear Lizzy City Park papers and embellishments for this page. The page did not scan very well because of the bulky embellishments. Sorry, this layout did not scan too well because of the bulky embellishments:-)

Here is the sketch it was based on.
 Thank you for the visit.

xx

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A Walk down memory lane


Yesterday was my DH's 56th birthday. We had a romantic candle light dinner at De Kelder...just the two of us.  I am so blessed to have been part of his life for the last 32 years. A while ago Allie wrote about how she met her husband and the start of their journey together and I remember wanting to do a similar post, but then I forgot about it again...until now.

We met when I was 17 and still at school.  He was a manager at the Pick 'n Pay where I worked for pocket money.  From the first day I saw him, I thought he was the most handsome man I have ever seen.  He quickly realized that I would blush when he talked to me...and he has always been a tease.  I never thought that he would be interested in me.  Our relationship only developed after my parents moved to Cape Town and I lived with my grandparents for the remainder of my final school year.  According to the Pick 'n Pay rules employees were not allowed to have relationships, so for 6 months we went out without anybody at work knowing about it...very exciting as you never knew who you would bump into when you were out.  We loved dancing and our favourite places were the Minetti Hotel in Seaview and the Skyroof at the Marine Hotel.

We got married a mere 4 months after I finished school...and I would have it no other way. 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. :-)
  • I love the way we finish each other's sentences.
  • I love the fact that we will grow old together.
  • I love the way you protect and defend me.
  • I love how you make me feel when we cuddle.
  • I love the way you still tease me and make me laugh.
  • I love it that you have taught me not to take life and myself to seriously.
  • I love the way you are a godly father to our children.
  • I love it that you are the best Oupa any child can ask for.
  • I love the way you care for me when I am feeling vulnerable.
  • I love how I know you'll always be there when I need you to be.
  • I love the way I can't imagine a day without you in my life.
  • I love your ability to speak without saying a single word.
  • I love the way I know you'll never give up on me.
  • I love you for you!
xxx

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The weekend that was

This weekend was quiet, just the way I love it.  Kobus Jr. left for Cape Town to go to the U2 concert on Friday.   Bianca left for a wedding in Knysna...which left me and DH home alone....Yay!!!!  My domestic worker is currently on holiday so on Saturday morning I had to wizz through the house to get it clean. Sweeping the rooms with a glance was no longer working;-D

DH was off to help Wynand plough his plot  with a tractor and tiller and get it level...he walked in at 5 o' clock, so dirty that he was unrecognizable.  If he had to jump in the pool we would have had a mud bath:-)  Then we had to get ready for our annual Valentines Ball sponsored by Woolworths.  It was a lovely evening with tasty food, good music and lots of dancing.  We got home very late and decided to sleep in on Sunday morning. 


I took part in the Scrappiest Sketch challenge this weekend.

This is Sketch 107
 
 Here is my interpretation of the sketch.  
I used products from the October Afternoon Recess line for this fun layout.  I tend to only scrap the pretty photos.  I realize that years from now I will still want to remember that Lukas had a quirky sense of humour at a very young age.  I started teasing even before he could talk.

Have a great week!

xx

Friday, February 18, 2011

Breathe.....

I previously shared with you that my word for 2011 is "Breathe".  My wish for this year is to find pleasure in the simple and the everyday things.  To enjoy the journey that we call "life" and to Rejoice in the Lord Always irrespective of what crosses my path.   I came across this lovely poem by Jorena Lono and it spoke to me.  When something speaks to me...I love to share it.  I e-mailed the lovely author and she graciously allowed me to use it on my blog....thank you Rena.

Breathe...
Breathe....
I'm under water,
I hear a gentle voice say,
Breathe...
Breathe..
Drowning in the depths of my mind,
The gentle voice...
Still by my side,
Telling me to,
breathe....
Breathe...
Tears running down my face,
I feel a warm embrace...
The gentle voice saying to,
Breathe...
Breathe...
The feeling of entrapment taking over,
My life...
The gentle voice telling me to,
Breathe...
Breathe....
Surrounded by the negative,
No where to escape...
The gentle voice telling me to,
Breathe....
Breathe...
Events un-fold in my mind,
Contemplating what to do,
The gentle voice telling me to,
Breathe...
Breathe....
I'm holding my breath,
Cause I'm really upset...
The gentle voice telling me to,
Breathe...
Breathe....
Pulling at my hair,
To let the frustrations out,
The gentle voice telling me to,
Breathe...
Breathe....
I'm in a box,
With no where to run,
It's so dark,
Can't see the sun,
My face is wet,
From the tears I cried,
My mind confused,
I feel lost inside.
Trying to hard to stay a float,
Almost like a tipping boat.
Cradled in fetal position,
I start praying,
For affirmation...
Father, help me please.
I need Your love,
To set me free,
I heard Your Angel,
Telling me to breathe...
I need You Father,
Oh... please help me.
Give me the strength,
That I will need,
For this journey,
That's ahead of me.
I promise Father....
I will breathe....
As long as I have You,
Beside me....
Thank You Father,
For bringing me through,
I was drowning there for a minute,
Without You.
I know now how to stay afloat,
Just by calling Your name,
And praying,
Will help to keep me sane,
Thank You Father,
I'm on my knees,
Thank You...
For helping me to breathe...

Written by: J. Lono
Copyright:2010
Sometimes life gives us such a blow that it takes our breath away and stressful situations make it hard to breathe.  When I am stressed my breathing becomes shallow and by the end of the day it feels as if there are bands  tied around my chest the way all the muscles had gone into spasm.  I think most of us have been there. 

So far this year I have managed to live in the moment, I have taken time to rest.  I sometimes don't do anything constructive with my time and I don't even feel guilty.  I am beginning to breathe deeply. I have made my peace with those things that have made me anxious in the past and that  I have no control over.  I have given it all over to the Lord, as He is the only one that can change it.  I can really say that this is working for me.  The peace of God, which transcends all understanding is guarding my heart and my mind.
With peace returning to me, I am slowly starting to scrap on a regular basis.  These photos of Lukas and the snail race was taken in November 2010.  I scrapped them yesterday...and I loved how it turned out. You can click on the picture if you want to see it in more detail;-)
I used Bazzil for the background, printed paper and embellies are from the Little Yellow Bicycle Snugglebug range.  I looked all over for snail stickers and in the end found this image of the snail with a crash helmet on the internet.  I printed it out in different sizes and coloured it in with watercolour pencils.  The layout is based on a sketch by Alison Davis.


If you made it to here, thank you for allowing me to share.
xx

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Where are we now?

I haven't posted on here for a very, very long time.  I don't like to keep you hanging and wondering what happened...is there a happy ending yet?  Do you mind if I do this in bullets?
  • My last update was shortly after Bianca moved back home, but she would still not accept house rules.
  • In the months that followed...August, September and October...Bianca was always out and often did not come home at night.
  • Her suitcase remained packed in her room.  The stress of never knowing whether I would wake up again and find her gone, or coming home from work and finding her gone was unnerving. (to say the least)
  • Her epilepsy was  now totally out of control and she had seizure after seizure.  She was drinking heavily and living a very unhealthy lifestyle.
  • In October, a week before she was due to start her final exams she came home with a piercing through her lip.  I thought that Kobus will have a heart attack when he saw it.  He insisted that she remove it.  The black hair, black clothes, dark makeup and piercings was just too much.
  • She stormed into her room and started throwing the few items she had that was not already packed into black bags.  It was a Sunday and she informed us that she is leaving anyway.  Marc had bought her a plane ticket to Johannesburg and she was "out of here". 
  • What about your exams?  "Do you think I care a shit about the exams?" 
  • What about Australia?  "That was never really the plan and anyway I have spent all my money."
  • She managed to blow R25000 in three months...and had nothing to show for it.
  • The next day I stayed home and completed a scrapbook album for her to give as a "farewell gift".  I wanted to show her that it was not all bad that we had some amazing times as a family and that she was loved.
  • She lived with Marc in Johannesburg.  She could not find a job.  She ended up cooking and cleaning and doing the laundry.  We stopped financial contributions other than her epilepsy medication.
  • My sister, Elsa, her biological mom, had by now figured out that Bianca was manipulating her to get money, so she stopped sending money.
  • A month later Bianca wanted her biological father's contact details...which I gave her.
  • She saw him, learned who he really is. (if you are not Afrikaans, you will have to use google translate to read this) He was always a liar and that was the reason Elsa divorced him so many years ago.  He had his own version of the story anyway. Something like....she had a hit on me and it was self defense...yeah right.
  • She was not happy in JHB and sent an e-mail to an old school friend who lives in Cape Town.  She offered that Bianca come and live with her.  We decided that it is a better option for her and offered to drive her down at the beginning of March.
  • But she had burnt her bridges in JHB anyway.  "Mysteriously" a cellphone belonging to a friend of Marc, became part of Bianca's possessions.  She had to leave.
  • She phoned my brother, Andre and for the next two weeks until my birthday party she lived with them.
  • Now she is back home, still with suitcases packed.  Ready to go to Cape Town, and my prayer is that she will not do harm to her best friend.
So there you have it...in a nutshell.

I love this "child of my heart" so much that it hurts.  I don't know what it is going to take for her to "see the light".  Nothing she has done or will do in the future will ever make me love her less.  I just pray that somehow her path will cross that of someone that will be able to make an impact on her life and that she will turn back to the way that she was brought up.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Hugs and Kisses and Love is all you need

I LOVE my grandchildren, but I am sure you know that:-)  They bring me so much pleasure and often times my heart want to burst when I just look at them.  Have you ever thought about why children need their Oupa and Ouma so much?
  • We are always up for an adventure and make time to go for a walk, take them to the beach or park.  We like to be outside as much as they do. 
  • We know lots of stories, and some of them are even true.
  • We grow things and they just love to help and get their hands dirty. ( The one day one of them did not want to go home, because "mommy doesn't have sand)
  • We are great guides and know our way around libraries and book shops.
  • We are not afraid to be silly. Did a grandchild make a mask or a funny hat? We know who will try it on. Is no one at home willing to listen to kids' knock-knock jokes? Guess whom they should call? 
  • We let them take their time.  They don't ever need to rush to get dressed or bathed or into bed. They know we will wait for them.
  • We make a wonderful audience, when they learn a new poem, or fancy dance moves they can count on us to watch, listen and applaud. 
  • We knew their parents when they were kids and we have the photos to prove it.  We can tell the little ones stories about their parents that their moms and dads will never tell them.
  • We always have their favourite snacks in a cupboard.
  • We know lots of good songs and we love to sing along with them.
  • We are always thrilled to hear any news they want to tell.
  • We are walking history books...we remember times before television and when phones still had cords.
  • We collect and display our grandchildren's art and we would never trade our grandchild's first painting for the Mona Lisa.  (I remember when Leane brought her first painting home, I sat looking at it and wanted her to tell me what it was...she looked at me funny and then said...."Ouma!  It is yellow, and blue and green and orange".)  
  •  We believe all their stories, even when we can't stop laughing as the kids tell them.
  • When our little ones are feeling sick, we take off work and snuggle up on the couch and watch cartoons and CeeBeeBees.
  • We will read them their favourite books...over and over again.
  • We love them unconditionally, now, what could be better than that?

This layout was made using a Pencil Lines sketch.  Lukas was staying with us for 5 days and he was so happy to see his mommy and daddy when they came to fetch him. All the products used for this layout is from the Basic Grey Bittersweet line.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Backyard play

At last I am back to having a project lying on my desk.  I am so very blessed to have my own space where I can just close the door when my desk becomes messy.  I have found that when I have a project in process the chances are that I will work on it when I have a few minutes  to spare... so this works for me.  This week I really needed to get creative (a little bit).  This is when my mind calms down and I can start putting things into perspective.  The hands are busy and I get time to process a lot of things in my head.
I didn't plan this page very well...I knew I wanted to colour block...and this is how it turned out.
I love it when my photos tell the story.  The little sticker that says "there's no better view than from a swing" was so fitting for this group of photos.  All the products used on these two pages are American Craft Dear Lizzy City Park.

Thank you for looking and have a lovely weekend.

xx

Thursday, February 10, 2011

What is your dream?

I haven't been around much lately.  I will try to catch up on all my blog reading this weekend.

We have been very busy at the mission, only last week we took in 14 and this week 7 homeless people.  So much heartbreak and brokeness that sometimes it becomes so very overwhelming. Then something happens that reminds us why we do this work.

Two years ago they came to the Mission.
Him, his girlfriend and their 9 month old baby.
They have been living in a wreck at a scrapyard nearby.
Totally addicted to alcohol and crack cocaine.
He had the "small man syndrome."
To be a man he had to drink, drug and fight.
After a few weeks when he was sober he was in couseling with our social worker.
"I have a dream" he said "I want to become a Code 14 truck driver."
After a few months we could trust him enough to allow him to work on one of our outside projects.
He began to earn money and saved every sent.
He did not trust himself so he put it on a 32 day call account.
On Monday he walked into my office.
He is on his way to Bloemfontein to go on a 2 month course to obtain his heavy duty drivers license.
In two years he saved the R20000 that he needed to reach his dream.
He now says:  "It takes a man to say no to alcohol and drugs, and it takes a man to follow the Lord."
My heart is full and all that I can say is:
"Look what the Lord has done!"

This is what we live for...that we can continue to touch lives and help others to dream again...and to reach their dreams.

I saw this quote on a blog recently:

I will keep going, keep fighting, keep on this path no matter how harsh the conditions, no matter how cruel the critics, no matter how confused the onlookers, no matter how steep the trail, no matter how gray the sky, no matter how what direction others are going...I will keep going this way that God has sent me on this path that God has put me on, I will keep joyfully going until He gives me my very last breath. ~ M. Jighetti
 
What is your dream?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Hectic

Yesterday was Wynand and Nadia's wedding anniversary.  He was planning something special and asked that I pick up Christian and Lukas from school and that they stay overnight at our home.  It was also Kobus Jr. night to have Leane and Dewan.  I first picked up Christian from his school and then the three little ones from the creche.  With a boy on each hip and Leane clutching the hem of my top, I was stopped by another little girl asking me "hoekom het jy so baie kinders."  (Why do I have so many children?)  That made me giggle!

We got home and all 4 children were hot and bothered so we jumped into the pool to cool down.  I decided it was the perfect photo opportunity....don't I always think that?
Dewan is becoming such a stunning little man.
Beautiful, even if I say so myself, and such a good little boy.
Lukas fell against a door this weekend and has a huge bruise on his forehead.
Just look at those gorgeous dimples.
Christian is in grade 2 this year, he swims well and continually hit us with water bombs.
I love to use my zoom lens when I photograph the children, that way I am not so "in their face".  
She is a wild one...just like her father when he was a little boy.
...and she falls often...and then acts very sheepish.
This is not a perfect photo, but I like the movement that I captured in it.
For Christmas we bought each of the little ones a motorbike that remains at our home.  The best gift we ever bought.
You can buy them the most expensive gifts...but in the end they enjoy bubbles and balloons most of all.
Blowing bubbles.
Dropping the container of bubbles.
...and "snot en trane".  Very sad after dropping her bubbles.
This morning was pretty hectic.  I had to get 4 children ready for school.  Last night Lukas was feverish and ended up sleeping between me and DH.  He tossed and turned all night, so when Leane and Dewan crashed into our bedroom at 6:30 demanding coffee, I was not ready to get up yet.  DH went and made coffee and the two of us crawled back into bed with the three little ones...each of us sipping coffee and  cuddling before the big rush.  Then it was dressing the four of them, making them breakfast and filling their lunch boxes.  During this time Dewan decided to mix the dog pellets with water and he needed to be dressed again;-D  By the time I greeted them and they left for school I was exhausted.  So hats off to all the mommies with 3+ children.

Soon after I decided on my word and scripture at the beginning of 2011, I came across the Etsy shop of the "noisycricket" and I ordered myself a handmade pendant.  It arrived on my birthday...
What do you think?  I love wearing this reminder.

xx