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Friday, April 29, 2011

New beginnings

I do believe that the break from the blogging world was good for me.  I missed you all but I also had time to rethink this whole "blog" thing.  When Allie mentioned that she thought I might be "signing off" permanently from blog land, I must admit I was contemplating it.  I was so "over it".

So where to from now.  After all the drama and trauma of last year my wish was to BREATHE deeply this year and my dream was a lovely boring year.  With our line of work life would NEVER be boring, but my wish was granted in my personal life, I now have a time of peace and I believe that finding my joy in the Lord daily is making me content. 

Only problem is....I decided to keep things light and fluffy on this blog.  So light and fluffy in fact that it bores me to tears when I read back on my posts:-) 

I believe that with the work we do with the down and out people of the world...the ones discarded by family, friends and the world at large...I have so much to share.  I want to come at the end of a long day and put pen to paper (fingers to keyboard...lol) and share my life with you. 

Life is not always pretty.
In fact it is very seldom pretty.
Life is not always just black and white....it is mostly shades of grey.
Daily we see the ugly side of this life.
We see the dirty.
In the mud and dirt we often find gems and beautiful flowers spring forth from filthy mud.
That is what I want to share.
For you living in this wonderful, crazy, cruel and beautiful country of ours (South Africa)....I want to tell you about things you do not know. 
Things that will  make you want to look the other way.
Things that happen daily just around the corner from you home.
I want to share how our walk in the ministry ties in with my walk with the Lord...how He has drawn us close to His heart and has given us His unconditional, unending love for these dear people.
I want to be able to look back and remember times of tears, times of laughter, times of gratitude and times of deep peace and contentment.

So we begin anew.

xx

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

You are loved: The Scrappiest Sketch #117

We are back home....and it is time to get the lazy bones going.  It is also time to reveal The Scrappiest Sketch #117.  This is the layout I made based on the sketch:
Products used:
Autumn Leaves Cuteworld Little Girl printed papers.  I cut the flower shape from a die cut.
Rubons, ribbon,  sticker and felt heart with bird are also from Autumn Leaves Cuteworld Little Girl
Alphabet stickers by Basic Grey.
The photos are of my grand daughter, Leane...taken in the pool.
Here is Liz' sketch.  I decided to replace the circle with the flower shape.  You are most welcome to check out the reveal and take part in submitting a layout using this sketch.

xx

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The next chapter:-)

I am really hoping that this will not become a book!  Just a quick update. At the beginning of March, Kobus and I took Bianca to go and live with Deonella and Carl in Cape Town.  The night before we left, we invited her brothers for supper to say goodbye, but Bianca did the disappearing trick again, leaving before they arrived and staying out till the early hours of the morning....needless to say I was not charmed!

When we dropped her off, Deonella took us through to the room that they have prepared for B and we had a few moments alone, me, Deonella and Bianca.  I told Deonella that if it is true that Bianca wants to start her life anew, it would mean her coming clean about the past and that she is to tell Deonella the whole truth and if she does not, that Deonella would let me know and I would then tell her the truth about everything Bianca got into.  My DD was so angry with me that when we left a while later, she did not greet me.  During the following weekend I received a SMS from her and she eventually got up the courage and told Deonella everything.  I was relieved and my hope was once more rekindled.  

Deonella is a lovely girl and for a few years she was like a daughter in our home.  She is very special, always chooses to be happy and her happiness is infectious.  When you are around her you can't be anything but happy.  Under her direction Bianca changed her hair colour from  black to redish brown and even went horseriding.
To our surprise she even managed to get Bianca to take part in the Spar Ladies challenge and I am proud that Bianca completed the race, albeit moaning and groaning all the way.
As she got used to Deonella and Carl she has started pushing the boundaries and the manipulation started up again. She still have not found a work position, and quite frankly I don't know how hard she is looking.  The result was that Carl gave her until 18 June to find something.  It is obvious that unless she is pushed hard, she is not going to make an effort.

Last week was a challenging week for Deonella and Carl where Bianca is concerned and I decided to allow her to read this blog.  I feel that she is sticking her neck out for my daughter and deserves to know "it all".

After reading the blog, I received the following comment from this dear girl:

"I am the friend to whom she has moved to. Reading this blog was very hard to see how much hurt and pain she has caused her family, a family I considered my own. Reading this has also given me a more clear mind of what to expect from Bianca and to see the red light when it appears. I have a love for this girl which I cannot explain and fear the day that she may hurt me as she has hurt so many people before. Last night we spoke about the legacy that she will leave behind one day and that the current picture is not a pretty one. Bianca seems to listen to me and I will never stop trying and never stop praying for the day that she WILL step into the light and embrace Gods gift to be alive. I HAVE FAITH. I hold on to my word, JER 29vs11. For I know the plan that God has for me (and Bianca) and it is a plan for us to prosper and not to harm us. Everyday I wake up is a gift, a gift to breathe, a gift to see Gods wonders one more time. Aunt Lynette, my heart is crying to have read that this is what you had to deal with. The time that you have been a mother to me has been wonderful and I cherish those times forever in my heart. Bianca knows that you are the best mother she could have asked for, I think she had such bad friends that influence her with hate, anger and all the wrong thoughts. SHE knows what is wrong and what is right, she is just very confused and is scared to take the first step. But God lives within me and my light will shine forever more and she will see it. My joy will rub off on her..it just has to. She will start to long for the same joy that I have and when that day comes we will all be there, to pick her up. I will not loose my FAITH and will always have HOPE."

I will be asking Deonella to send me an e-mail from time to time with updates and will then update this blog.  Thank you for still keeping this situation in your prayers....because that is all we can do....pray and give this situation to the Lord.

xx

Monday, April 18, 2011

Signing off...

I thought that I would be able to stay up to date with my blog reading while on holiday...but it did not work so well...so I am signing off until I get back home:-)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Garden of Eden - Photopost

A fire was burning on one of the hills overlooking Plettenberg Bay all day and late afternoon we snapped this photo...you can see that we have had some beautiful days without wind. 
Usually we just rush past this little "Garden of Eden" just outside of Knyna...but on Friday we decided to stop and enjoy this beautiful little nature reserve.
Ferns and indiginous forest as far as the eye can see.
New life in a new leaf slowly uncurling.
You can see how high these ferns grow.  My handsome "Adam"......
...and his "Eve":-)
Have you hugged a tree today...hehee!
Hayley, I always look at your self portraits and here we are trying it too.
This old tree had splits and holes in the most quaint places and my DH made good use of it.
He always make me laugh.
So many reasons to adore him.

Oh yeah!  We are loving our holiday so much that yesterday we decided that we "needed" to stay another week...so late yesterday afternoon we were moved to another room. This morning at 10 when everybody was rushing around frantically to check out in time we went for a leasurely stroll along the beach.  Love it:-)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The things that matter

Photos taken from our window
Love of humankind.
Voluntary action for the common good.
Giving the gift of change.
Not expecting anything in return.
A child's smile.
Making a difference.
Opening a door...
of opportunity.
Volunteering.
Making time.
Letting someone in your lane...
during rush hour.
Unconditional.
Understanding.
Singing...
even if only mouthing the words.
Letting someone win.
Smiling at a stranger.
Laughing at a bad joke.
Plugging someone else's parking meter.
Cheering for the underdog.
A privilege.
Giving. Sharing.
Living. Learning. Loving.
Life.
Everyday and Forever.
Breathing...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Peace and tranquility...

Yesterday we wanted to be alone...away from it all, with no noise and no people.  We went to the Keurbooms river and rented a canoe.  Then we started our trek up the river.
The river is wide and goes pretty far up to some picnic spots. 
Initially is was afraid to take my camera onto the river...but it was in a bag and though we got thoroughly wet the camera was safe...and I captured some nice images.
DH did most of the rowing...but I did contribute to it now and then:-)
Some huge trees were uprooted in a flood some time ago...we landed on this little beach.
Do you have any idea how good it makes you feel when you can act silly and giggle at yourself.
So I did the silly thing and posed for DH in the tree.
Seems I can still climb a tree at my age:-)
We sat for ages, enjoying the quiet, the bird song and nature in general.  We chatted about the things that we are concerned about and the things that have meaning in our lives.  This is what matters and what I want to cherish and keep close to my heart.



The Scrappiest Sketch #115: Sister of my Heart

It is time for the weekly The Scrappiest sketch reveal.  I loved working with this sketch and chose some photos of my darling little sister Ansie.  The photos were taken in January when they were visiting us for my birthday.
The beautiful My Minds Eye Stella and Rose Gertie line was perfectly complimentary with these photographs.  The Stella and Rose lines are currently my favorite lines to work with...such beautiful colours and textures.  This is the Liz' sketch #115.
Visit The Scrappiest blog and play along.  There is some fabulous prizes to win.

xx

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bliss

This is where I am at right now...and outside the window I hear the crashing of waves against the rocks.  Now I can become quiet and reflect on the past few days:-)

The past few days have been hectic.  So much to do and so little time:-)  I did not get my admin up to date...and (shock and horror) I have brought some work with me.  I don't want to even think about it at this time....maybe Monday...and maybe not!

Friday was a great day...because it was the start of our time off.  Wynand turned 29 yesterday and we had lunch at a lovely restaurant overlooking the harbour.  Then we had to rush home to get ready for the Neil Diamond concert.
These photos are all taken off the Algoa FM website and you can see many more HERE.  If you look a few rows behind the Algoa FM logo you will see me with a yellow jersey and DH sitting next to me.  (Maybe you will need a magnifying glass) The Nelson Mandela Stadium was sold out and the atmosphere was amazing.
A very charming man...Neil Diamond.  For two hours we were thoroughly entertained with his ageless  voice, stunning music and amazing lighting.
We clapped, danced and sang...
A Stunning night to remember for a very long time.

This morning DH went to the Mission as we had visitors that wanted to know more about the work we do...and I was off to go and have breakfast with my "heart" sister Shayne.  There is no way that she can visit Port Elizabeth and not see me.  Then I rushed off to pack and now...we are here.  

I told DH that nothing is going to happen "in haste" in the coming days.  We are going to sleep, eat, read and sleep some more.  The most amazing thing is....the QUIETNESS!

xx

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Life is precious.

I got a call from my mom late yesterday afternoon. My parents are in their 70's and live in Kidds Beach a few kilometers from East Londen. They were phoning me from the scene of this accident.  They were driving between Kidds Beach and East Londen and it was pouring with rain, as my dad went around a bend the vehicle started to slide and then it started rolling.  The front part of the roof is flat, but they managed to crawl out the back window.  Their neighbour drove them to the hospital and they were checked out.  My dad hit his head badly, but there appears to be no damage to his back or neck.  When the break down service removed the car they were still in shock and my mother gave them the whole bunch of keys.  Later when they got home she realised that she did not have the keys to the house, so no problem, my very tough mom climbed through the window...she is truly amazing.  I am so very thankful that they were not hurt, the Lord truly had His hand over them.

Other than that...
I am counting the sleeps..
Two more days then we will be in Plettenberg Bay for a well deserved rest...YAY!
Tomorrow I will see Shayne and tomorrow evening we will be going to the Neil Diamond concert.
Saturday morning we will be off...can't wait!

xx

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

It has been a year....

Since our life was brought to a standstill for what ended up being the whole of 2010.  Wynand was diagnosed and you can read the post here.  He had a brain bleed and lost his vision in one eye.
 
Here my amazing son with his Mama Hen playing the fool soon after an angiogram of his brain.
A month later he was taken up in the Knysna Mediclinic after another brain bleed while they were away for the weekend in Sedgefield.  You can read about it here.  He had now lost the vision in both eyes and the neurosurgeon informed us that they can't operate, and that the condition will not kill Wynand but it could leave him blind.
He was in extreme pain and what kept him going in this time was a prophetic word that was spoken over his life.  He clung to the Lord's promises with all his heart and the Lord held him in the palm of His hand.

A few days ago I came across a note my DH's Bible.  He marked Luke 8:46 and the cry of his heart was penned next to the text. "Here, laat Wynand U soom aanraak dat U krag deur hom vloei en hom gesondmaak."  (Lord, let Wynand touch the hem of Your garment and let Your power flow through him and heal him.)

What an amazing walk we had last year.  So very painful, but so very close to our Lord and Master.  We knew just how incredibly dependant we were on Him, how much we needed Him to hold us close and carry us through this storm in our life.  Some days we could not face the world and we could not face the problems we see on a daily basis at the Mission.  We just could not deal with others problems at that time...our burden was just to heavy.  There were times where we were unable and too weak to pray when our cell group gathered round us and held us up and covered us with a prayer blanket.  When you come so close to loosing somebody that is so very much part of your heart you realise just how precious life is and you become thankful for each new day, for each blessing in your life.  We grew in our faith.  The Lord came through...He is always true to His word.  Apart from a blindspot in Wynand's one eye, he functions perfectly normally.

An amazing thing happened during that time that nearly passed us by.  Wynand and Nadia had bought a little dwarf bunny for their boys and soon after they bought him we found that the bunny was totally blind, his eyes were completely white, like a pearl on each eye. Wynand was covered with so much healing prayer in that time, his story was even on TBN and he was prayed for on national TV.  Soon after Wynand's sight started returning an amazing thing happened, the little bunny's eyes cleared and he could see...amazing!

I remember how many of you carried us during this awful time in our life and I want to again thank each and every one of you that you were so faithful in sending me sms's, songs, phoning me and praying for me.  You have enriched my life so very much.

xx

Monday, April 4, 2011

A dog and her boy: Best of Friends

My gorgeous little grandson, Lukas with Nina.  He named her even before he first saw her...and they are the best of friends.
He can do anything with her and she just laps it up.
Who is the boss?
She adores him and follows him around everywhere.
Every boy needs a dog:-)

This was sketch 114 by the talented Liz Chidester at The Scrappiest.
The photos of Lukas and Nina was just perfect to scrap for this layout.
All the products and embellishments are from the My Minds Eye Stella and Rose Hattie line.  I LOVE this range.  The little dog is by American Craft Dear Lizzy City Park.

Nina has also moved in when Wynand and Nadia did.  Oh my word, I have forgotten how naughty puppies are.  We have had Sharpei's for years and they don't chew...never....really!  But this dog...anything and everything is chewed up.  The boxes of stored goods in the garage have already been chewed on.  Every day we have to pick up chewed up boxes, toys anything left outside. She cured me of my desire to get a golden labrador.

Have a wonderful week.

xx

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Get Picky March Inspiration challenge

This gorgeous picture is the inspiration for the March at Get Picky.  I struggled with this one...so much colour, flowers, feathers and butterflies, I honestly didn't know where to start. This is what I came up with...and it took me ages.

I decided to scrap these beautiful photos of my daughter-in-grace taken in my garden.  She is such a natural beauty and she has the most amazing personality.  We are so blessed to have her in our life.  I then pulled out papers that has the right colour combination.  I chose Websters "Your Life Beautiful" page for the background.  The chipboard dress frame is by a local  South African manufacturer called Enmarc.  I then added some peacock feathers, some flowers to the dress frame and a few butterflies. I used some quote rubons by Kaiserkraft.   I am happy with how it turned out. 

I have been wanting to scrap photos of our Cell Group ladies taken at a Valentines Ball last year.  I used this page map.
...turned it on its side and my layout ended up looking like this:
The printed papers are by Prima and Pink Paislee and the the quote rubons once again by Kaiserkraft.  The chipboard chandelier is again by our local South African manufacturer Enmarc.

Thank you for looking.

xx