Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A few of my favorite photos.

I seem to always be doing "catch-up" posts...and I seem to always be behind on my blog reading.  My wish is for some time to just get my life back to normal.  

I want to show you a few of my favourite recent photographs...and not all because they were well composed...more likely because they make me smile and give me pleasant memories.
 The first one is of our little grandson, Lukas...reading on our bed.  Yes...he has Oupa's reading glasses on;-)
...and he pushes them to the top of his head...just like Ouma does hers;-)
 This photo of my DH, our two sons and our one grandson was taken after my dad's memorial service.
This one of me and my daughter and two daughters-in-law was also taken at the church.
The two beautiful girls that will be giving me the gift of grandsons soon.
 Our children walking on the beach at Kidds Beach.
 DH and Lukas walking on the wall of the tidal pool.
Father and Daughter.
My very special sister and I.
 Lache's finds on the beach.
 DH and Lukas digging for crabs.
DH doing his usual thing for the camera;-)
A quick cuddle with Leane.
 Leane and Dewan together in one swimming ring.
...and not wanting to go in the same direction.

I started working again last Monday and found myself emotional and suddenly unable to cope with even the little things.  During the time of my father's death, I was the strong one.  The one who took charge, the one who in between tears had to phone all my siblings and family to let them know that it was over.  There was no time to I zipped up all the seams and stayed strong.  On my way to work a vehicle that was parked on the curb without it's handbrake pulled up....rolled back into the road and bashed into the front of my car.  The owner walked out from the bank, arrogantly told me that I can't prove anything, got into his car and drove away.  My anger just dissolved into tears and for the next two hours when anybody spoke to me, all I could do was cry.  I felt to stupid at the time but realize now that it was just the incident that was needed to break down the walls that I have put up.  

I have at last caught up with my admin, paid the accounts, did the VAT returns and suddenly I have time to breathe again.  It feels SO good.  Tomorrow Bianca has an appointment for a 4D scan and DH and I will be going to have a good look at our soon-to-be grandson.  I am excited.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Scrap Africa - a brand new challenge blog.

A brand new South African challenge blog was just launched. I am honoured to be part of the first design team.
Go to Scrap Africa to see the latest challenge and the beautiful work done by the Guest Designers and the Design Team.

Here is Sketch #1

...and my layout based on this sketch.
Supplies used:  Printed papers: MME Fine and Dandy; Cardstock: Bazzill; Brads and Stickers:  MME Fine and Dandy; Rub ons: Daisy D; Other:  Felt and DMC Cotton.

I hope to see you playing along for a prize.


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Final goodbye

I did this layout shortly after my parents 50th anniversary.  That is how I want to remember my dad...still so strong and often so difficult.  We didn't have a good relationship as I grew up.  My dad had a difficult childhood and suffered the most terrible rejection.  He never knew how to love and accept love.  Only after I grew in my relationship with the Lord I was able to forgive unconditionally and accept him just the way he was.  The past few years I wanted to cover him with love, so that he will know what love really is. He was successful in his career working on the sea as a Chief Engineer on a ship.  He left a legacy of a loving wife of 54 years, six successful children, 20 grandchildren and 4 great-grandchildren.

His past six weeks since he was diagnosed with lung cancer were difficult,  each breath was a struggle and he was permanently on oxygen. I am thankful that he still found the strength to travel to Port Elizabeth and be part of the family Christmas celebration.  It was sad to see how frustrated he became...he had such a brilliant mind, and he just could not cope with his declining body.

My dad passed away on Tuesday.  I am thankful that the hospital phoned and urged us to come quickly.  Seeing him struggle for his breath was so difficult that my mom just broke down and after consoling her I had to quickly leave the room just to draw myself together again. I am thankful for the few minutes I spent alone with him on Sunday holding his hand...when he told me he didn't want to go on, it wasn't worth while.  I am thankful that he knew we were there.  I am thankful for compassionate staff that gave him the right medication to ease his struggle.  He fell asleep shortly after we got there, went into a coma and passed away at 3:20 on Tuesday afternoon.

The family is gathering in Kidds Beach today.  Tonight we will have a feast to celebrate his life.  Tomorrow the memorial service will be in Kidds Beach, because this is what he wanted...this was the place that he had his happiest years.  We will all be dressed in bright clothes...because he always said that nobody must wear black at his funeral.

Just another reason to EMBRACE everything on this journey of life.


Monday, January 16, 2012

Blog you heart - January

With all the craziness of December, I didn't do this monthly post:-)  So here goes...

  • I will be becoming two little grandsons richer during the first part of this year.  Lache found out a week ago that she is also expecting a baby boy.  Bianca's baby will be born towards the end of March and Lache's towards the end of June.  I am truly blessed to have all my children living in the same town and seeing them and my precious grandchildren on a regular basis.
  • I am doing the "Scrapbook Life Journal 2012" with Stephanie Ackerman.  I am loving the process and just defining who I am and what my purpose in life is.  This is going to be a journey of growth...spiritually and personally... and that is always good.
  • I am excited to try new avenues of art this year and have enrolled in two mixed media classes...I will show you how it goes as this new journey begins.
  • I am blogging from my parent's home in Kidd's Beach near East Londen.  My dad decided yesterday that life is just no longer worthwhile and refused to use the oxygen he had become dependent on.  He was admitted to hospital, where they can't really do much for him either,  other than force him to use the oxygen and monitoring him. Yesterday when I held his hand and he said to me he had enough...I understood and I felt so helpless.  Other than make him as comfortable as possible there is nothing that I can do.  I am thankful that I could be here within a couple of hours when my mother needed me.  
Will update on my creative journey when I get back home.


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My December in a nutshell.

 My December started on a sad note when my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and the prognosis is only a few months.  I returned home to find that my son, Wynand and his family have moved to their own home.  This gave us the time to make a few drastic changes to our home. We started white washing our knotty pine ceilings and painting some very dark face brick walls in our home to open up and bring light into the house.
 We also trashed the old entrance to our house that had awful dated mirrors and a plant box...and replaced it with a beautiful modern focal point.
I have such a clever DH...he can do anything he sets his mind too and we saved a lot of money because he did most of the work, with me as his helper;-)  We ended up painting the whole house inside with a lovely Velddrif colour that blended in beautifully with our furniture and decor.  I will do a full photo post on the revamp soon.

On the 4th of December we had our Cell group Christmas party in one of our members wine cellar.
We had loads of laughter and way too much food around this beautifully decorated table.

During December we had two weddings at the Mission and a number of Christmas parties (You can read more about that on our blog)

On the 10th of December our little ones had their Christmas party at their playschool.
Aren't they just too gorgeous.  I will do a full photo post on this soon.

On 19 December Kobus Jr and Lache remarried. It was a quiet ceremony held in the church her uncle pastors.  Only the parents and the two little ones were there to look on.
Tying the knot and saying the "I do's".
"Princess" Leane looking on.
Little Dewan...looking oh so cute.

During all of this we were feverishly working to get the house neat and tidy before our brother, sister-in-law, children and my parents arrive for Christmas.  Here DH places the final tile in the entrance hall a couple of days before Christmas.
I am totally thrilled with how my house looks now.  It was such fun to choose tiles, new light fittings and decide again where each painting must be hung...but more on that in a later post.
Needless to say, with all this work our tree only went up on the 23rd of December. This photo is compliments of little Lukas...but you can get a great idea of how my ceilings are looking now.
On Christmas Eve, DH donned the suit and played Santa....the first time we do this with the kiddies.  They loved it...shouting up the chimney for Santa to come...and NO they weren't fooled for one minute.  They excepted their gifts from Santa saying "Thank you Oupa.";-) (further photo post will follow)

Christmas Day we had all the children and grandchildren around our table.  My brother had brought my parents down from Kidds Beach and it was such an awesome privilege to have my parents here.  
My dad is very thin, weak and frail.  He is now permanently on Vital air (oxygen machine). It is sad knowing that this will be our last Christmas with him.

On 27 December we took my parents back to their home.  Kobus, Lache and the kids decided to join us and we stayed over at Palm Springs Resort in Kidd's Beach for the evening.
The next morning we went for a walk on the beach.
Then we had breakfast and went to my parents for a last goodbye.
My dad is getting weaker by the day.  He has fallen a few times and is now walking with a walker. He sleeps on a recliner at night as he cannot breathe while sleeping on a bed.  At this stage we can only make him as comfortable as possible and make sure that he has everything that will make his life easier.

Talk again soon.


Saturday, January 7, 2012

The creative side of things

I told you in a previous post that I have enrolled for a "Scrapbook Life Journal" course with Stephanie Ackerman.   We also had to create a binder or journal for this process.  Here is the cover of my journal.  It is a 9x9 inch Bo Bunny mini album.
As you can see I used my word for a title for my journal. This month we are looking at "being honest" with ourselves.
So I looked again at what defines me...the obvious...woman, wife, mother, grandmother etc.  Then I also looked a bit deeper.  Lately I have been getting in trouble for being what I thought of as a "peacemaker" between my children...instead of getting peace I was accused of taking sides.  I am pretty sure that was the reason for my blues last month.  Now looking in, I realise that this is something I have to lay down.  If my loved ones want to bear grudges and choose not to get along, I am not going to get into the middle of it again.  If they mess up...they have to fix it themselves.  I realise that I can NOT fix relationships.
What I enjoy most about taking this course is that Stephanie is a child of God and that inspires me.  I love this quote by Tad Williams: "We tell lies when we are afraid.  Afraid of what we don't know, afraid of what others will think, afraid of what will be found out about us.  But every time we tell a lie, the thing that we fear grows stronger.  The doodle above was our January doodle that I covered and added to my journal.  Here is my page on "Who I Am".

I want to explore my artistic side this year and I have always admired mixed media work.  This morning I signed up for this course by Christy Tomlinson and Junelle Jacobson that starts 12 March 2012.
I can't wait to get a supply list and go browsing the art shops for the supplies...I hope this doesn't become another addiction.

Then lastly my new term with Sketch Support started this month.  The card sketch for January by Allison Davis looks like this:

Card Sketch #15
You can download and print this sketch by clicking on the card sketches link found under the "printable sketches" tab on the right sidebar. I decided to make a layout based on the sketch.
"Snow Angel"
Supply list - Cardstock: Bazzill; Printed Papers: Echo Park (Wintertime), Fancy Pants (Hot Chocolate); Letters: Echo Park (Wintertime); Chipboard snowflakes: Dusty Attic;Punches: Upikit; Other: DMC Thread

Variation #1: I adjusted the sizes to suit a 5x7 photo layout.
Variation #2: I used a border diecut on the strips above the largest printed papers.

Variation #3: I painted and glittered the chipboard snowflakes.

Are you going to be trying something new and exciting this year?  Tell me about it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

My word for 2012

I believe that this word chose me this year.

I want to embrace my life in 2012.
Everything about my life...the happy and the sad.

I want to embrace the time spent with family.
We don't know how long we will have them.

I want to embrace what is important to me.
My relationship with the Lord, my husband, my children and grandchildren and my calling.
Our dreams and our hopes for our future together.

I want to embrace my own unique talents.
I want to explore my creativity and try new forms of art.

I want to embrace all of life's moments.

I want to live in the moment and not let life pass me by.

I started a "Scrapbook Life Journal" class with Stephanie Ackerman this year.  The word for January is:
The Journal prompt is:  "The most important person to be honest with is yourself."

The Scripture is: "You're blessed when you're content with who you more, no less.  That's the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought".  Matthew 5:5. (the Message version of the Bible.)

I want to embrace this journey that I am going to be on this year.  
There is going to be soul searching, laying things down and growing.

What is your word this year?