Hazy Days

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Hazy Days

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The January 2013 Round Up

Well, I’m starting off the year on a good foot here (not).  One post for the entire of January isn’t exactly in keeping with my previous years of rabid blogging!  In less busy times, I’d be inclined to do a few catch up posts, but life’s busy and it’s now February … so in keeping with the tradition started last year: here’s a fly-by of the month:

Now THIS is the way to begin a year.  Sam thoroughly enjoyed his chocolate ice-cream for dessert on January 1st in Hermanus.  I thoroughly enjoyed the fact that I now have even more ammunition in my 21st Birthday Party folder!

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Since we spent the first week of January in Hermanus, we thoroughly enjoyed the down time.  We even managed to fit in a visit with friends…

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No, not the birds.  Although, they are beautiful and look uncannily like notes on a music staff.

I’m talking about this friend and her sweet and fun twin boys.  Christina always manages to inspire and encourage me.  Her love for Jesus oozes out of every pore of her body.  I want to be just like her when I grow up!

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Christina brought along her niece, and so there was some instant bonding a la Katie style.  Capturing the moment in photos.

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And more!  Elastagirl!

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Here’s the tribe at the Klein Rivier plasie.  Luke (next to Kiera) is a sweet young boy Kiera met where my parents stay.  They enjoyed each other’s company and so Luke joined us for this outing. 

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Crazy bunch!

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Hanging out at Granny and Grandpa’s in Hermanus is always fun.  Katie had the opportunity to practise her scrambled eggs and French toast favourites.  I can get used to this.  Actually, who am I kidding – I am used to it … guess what the boys and Katie have had for breakfast at least twice a week since then?  Yup – egg-somethings.  Kiera?  Not so much.  She’s been adverse to egg since she was a tiny baby.  Weirdest thing.  She’s tried plenty of times to eat egg, but she just can’t get it down.  In a cake, yes, but scrambled?  Never!

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Poolside scoffing was in order too…

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A visit to the markets – and a first for us: the night market.  That was fun, if not a little hectic!  Kiera enjoyed this moment – meeting a cockatiel in person.

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Lunch out was a treat – especially when one gets to play noughts and crosses (that’s tic-tac-toe, people!) with grandpa ON the restaurant’s table cloth!  Ok, so it’s paper.  And they expect you to draw on it.  In fact, they bring crayons.  But still, ON the table cloth, people!

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Better still – making dough shapes with granny! 

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When Craig came back to Hermanus after his short work week (that’s two days), we all went cycling around the Estate.  Fun?  Yes.  Nerve-wracking?  You betcha!  Hilarious?  Well, what would you say if you saw this procession come cycling past you?

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Celebrating 36 years of time on this earth was my privilege on our second last day in Hermanus.  I invited, rather last minute, a couple of friends to join us for a braai by the pool.  Why, oh, why have we not made use of the club house’s services earlier?  They laid it all out and packed it all away – again, I could get used to this!

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It was a blissful day of swimming, talking, eating, swimming, talking, eating – totally relaxing and a wonderful way to say “goodbye” to Hemel-en-Aarde – yup, the folks have put it on the market.

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These kids had a ball together.  Star Wars dominated conversation and united some of the most unlikely of allies!

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Kiera is into photobombing these days – seems to be the 10-year old thing to do….  Love the laughs on these precious faces!

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And another precious face and friendship…

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We followed up the day by the pool with tea at the house.  Tea and CAKE baked by the hubster himself.  Yum!  And I had a little help from my sweet boy in blowing out the candles.

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When we got home from holiday, we hit the ground running.  Playdates galore, like this one with the Falconers – kitten-love times TWO here!  Can you see Kiera’s eyes?  They’re morphing into “mommy pleaessesaseaseaesseee may we get a kitten?!” eyes. 

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A birthday party was a big hit too…

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Finally!  That’s pretty much what Sam felt when his first baby tooth fell out at the age of 6 years and 3 months.  The second one followed in quick succession.  Sam was chuffed that the Tooth Collection Depot (TCD) sent him a squirrel (one of the original agents who started the agency, now retired) and a rabbit (one of the newest recruits). 

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Totally coincidentally, Sam’s tooth episode coincided with their dentist and hygienist appointments.  Our dentist retired last year, much to our dismay.  We loved Dr Brett!  She was awesome.  But, our hygienist is still there and I’ve not got around to canvasing dentists yet, so we’re staying with the practice for now.  Of course, when they let the kids take part of the process, we’re all the more happy about the experience.  Katie is helping Chantal, the hygienist, with Micah’s sealants. 

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While Sam lies back confidently, like he always does this.  Must be something to do with the TV on the ceiling.

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We squeezed in another braai with friends before BACK-TO-SCHOOL! 

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And we enjoyed our niece’s first birthday:  sweetness is!

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Lots of lovely detail on all the decor…

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And a proud daddy with his 1-year old.

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And a proud mommy!  Happy birthday Sarah!

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Yay!  Cake!

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We ended the month off with some exciting things, like a book contract offer and a room redo.  Since I have no photos of the book experience, let’s jump straight to the bedroom (follow the link for the only post I wrote in the whole of January !)

A before shot:

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And an after shot:

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I’m sure we can say refurbishing one’s new-to-us furniture is educational?  Well, even if it isn’t, that’s what my lot were doing instead of school work. 

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Yup, I stuck to my guns and decided to start school in February again this year – makes for a better break and a good start to the year. Except, my guns were a little less stuck to me… so we started a week earlier and hobbled along trying to get back into the swing of things.  I discovered, once again, that I have the patience of a flea and the concentration of a gold-fish.  I can name a few of my kids with the same syndrome – only worse than mine, of course.  Ah-hem.  On the bright side, it boot-kicked me right out of room-redo mode and straight into Serious Homeschooling Planning mode.  I now have (once again) beautifully co-ordinated schedules for us all and the hope that I can actually stick to them at least 70% of the time!  Things run sooo much smoother and we learn so much more when we stick to the schedule.  *sigh*  One day I’ll find the happy compromise between well-structured and planned days and carefree, spontaneous and adventurous ones.  One day….

In the meantime, I think I’ll start with heading to bed and aiming to reboot my body back into early nights again.  Hmm.  Since it’s 1am already, I think that’s the plan for tomorrow night!

Night all!  And Happy February!

Oh … one last thing for those who’ve been hinting, suggesting and outright begging…

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… yes, the very last day of January was my capitulation moment.  Despite trying to honour my son’s desire to have longer hair and thinking I could, maybe, stick it out til the end of winter, I couldn’t bear it anymore.  Thankfully this heat and the frustration of pushing it out of his eyes all the time, especially while swimming, meant that Sam didn’t protest too much: especially when I suggested that he could (maybe, depending on mom’s hairdressing skills!) have a hair cut like Annikan Skywalker as a young boy – his current favourite movie character.  Not quite Annikan, but at least he is looking neat again. 

New Year 2012

Special friends during a special season = Special times.  Precious times.  Memorable times. 

This past New Year celebrations were just that.  With Craig and Kerry’s visit to South Africa rapidly approaching its end, we squashed as much time together in as we could with family in Hermanus.  And we scored ourselves the overlap visit of the Tubmans for New Year.  What an awesome time it was! 

The kids swam, playmobiled and role-played themselves out.  And the parents?  Needless to say, we chatted the days and nights away, paying, quite possibly, scant attention to those kids.  That may account for the "shimmying up the two story drain pipe" episode – and the "I kissed Jemma in granny’s vegetable garden" episode.   

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Yes, the nonsense knew no bounds…

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And that "I kissed Jemma" business seems only to have cemented Jem’s love for her Sammy.  Hmmm.

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And in the spirit of New Year, Friendships and Forgiveness, Hayles still loves my hubby, despite his incessant teasing!

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Ah, yes, that nonsense I mentioned?  Still there… 

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And it comes in threes and more!   

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And when all the kids went to bed, it was time for the grown up kids to enjoy dinner and a wonderful,

A rare serious moment …

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Christmas lights still blazing – ahhh the festive feeling of Christmas in the Western Cape.

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Plenty of conversations

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And food – of course, the food!

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We saw the New Year in with a wonderful time of prayer-and-share – the stories were a delight and the thanksgiving heartfelt.  How blessed and full my heart felt, looking back on the year and seeing, despite the difficulties, disappointments, and huge mountainous decisions that were made, that the Lord still holds us in the cup of His hand and we have so very much to be thankful for.

Unfortunately for us, Craig N took a massive dip into sickville the next day.  He spent the better part of New Year’s Day and the next day in the land of gastro, missing the last day with the Tubbies.  But, he did resurrect himself enough to get this family photo of both lots of SAffie-Ozzies.

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And this photo – taken on New Year’s Eve – makes me smile.  These two precious ladies have been so instrumental in my life for the past 20 years or so.  I know so much about them and they me.  Just one thing I don’t know – how do they manage to keep looking so gorgeously young?!

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Early Morning Walks

Gerald and Di are our most active friends.  And these active friends reckoned their friends needs some activity too.  So, they’ve managed to encourage us to join them on a few Sunday mornings early for a walk somewhere in our beautiful city.  Our first morning was to Muizenberg beach for an hour and half’s walk.  That meant a 6am wake up for me on a Sunday morning.  6am wake up for me on any day is unheard of these days.  And on Sunday mornings none of us are up before 8am.  But, we managed and got to the beach just after 7am.  Just a few metres into the walk was enough to ditch the grumpy, "I’m not awake yet" mood of my family.  And soon they were all enjoying it!

Gerald was the shoe man for the walk:  something like a crocs ad.

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He was also our zoology teacher for the morning – we got a lovely lesson about this dead sand shark.  I’m sure we’ll all remember that lesson – mostly especially the smell!

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Russel’s big boys challenged him to a beach race – or was it the other way around? Who knows!  Russ got creamed :)  Much to the amusement of Des and the rest of us onlookers!  Next time, when Nathan is feeling well enough to come, he’ll cream his dad too. 🙂

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It was such a lovely walk – the sun was HOT as it blazed through the clouds.  The company was brilliant and the kids had loads of fun (when they weren’t whining, that is!)  But, by the time we got about 200 metres away from the end of our walk…

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The clouds closed rank and hurled rain pellets at us.  We were sodden! 

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We all bundled into the car, dripping wet and feasted on banana muffins and fudge that Kiera and I had made the day before.  And when we got home, Craig made the kids all hot chocolate while I got the younger ones into warm clothes, ready for church.  Perfect way to start the day.  We headed off to church marvelling that we’d had such a wonderful opportunity for a beautiful walk in the sunshine, when the rest of the day was rainy and cold.  We did completely crash that afternoon though!  Methinks that the early morning & exercise combination contributed to that!

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This past Sunday we took a walk to the Tokai Arboretum.  Another 6am wake-up.  Another 1 1/2 hour walk in a beautiful setting.  I carried Micah on my back most of the way. The poor guy spent just a little time walking before he took a fall and grazed up both his knees.  Poor kid!  We walked all the way up to the Elephant’s Eye turn off and then came down again.  Kiera, the rock rabbit, climbed just about every extra rock and tree that she could.  Katie and Amy chatted up a storm and the boys did too. 

Speaking about crocs earlier in this post reminds me of this little fact.  Shoes hurt my feet.  Especially closed shoes.  Even good quality running shoes hurt my feet.  But, slops or crocs don’t.  So I figured that this was a walk that my fake-crocs could handle instead of walking shoes.  And, 24 hours later, my calves are sore from the uphill, but my feet are pain-free and have been since yesterday morning! :)  Love my ugly ol’ faithful crocs 🙂

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Beautiful setting hey?  Just beautiful!

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On our way home we encountered a troop of baboons.  I took a few pics out of the car window and got the fright of my life when the male baboon on the right barked at me.  Yes. Barked!  It sounded like a male shout-cough-sneeze of off-the-charts-decibels.  Craig laughed at me all the way down Tokai Road as I tried to regain my dignity.  :) 

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Thanks G and D for your great idea!  It’s been awesome, mood-lifting and totally enjoyable! :) 

Fruit Fest @Maynardville

2010_10_317A Sunday afternoon with friends at a Park – a wonderful idea indeed!  Renette organised a get-together for kids and families – a Fruit Fest 🙂

We all brought some fruit to share; our own picnic and some dress up clothes for the kids.  We gathered at the Maynardville Park.  (A fantastic venue!  Why we don’t go there more often I don’t know.  But, I do think I’ve found my venue for our first homeschooling get-together in the next week or two.)IMG_0035

We lugged our fruit, food, dress up clothes and our new picnic mat along.  Craig, in this pic, is sitting on our super duper HUGE picnic mat that Kelly sent to us from Israel.  Kelly – we need to import these.  Everyone loves it!

The park is HUGE.  It has lovely wooden climbing structures, plus slides, swings and more.  There are toilet facilities (bring your own loo paper!) and loads of grass and loads of shade and loads of sun.  It’s very clean and just beautiful.  Hard to believe that it is in the heart of Wynberg!

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Micah had a ball – spending most of his time with his daddy. And chomping on all the yummy fruit – strawberries being his fruit of choice! Yum yum!

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While Kiera spent most of her time with her friends :)  Mostly with Leanna, of course (pictured here).  She was quite excited to see Shingi there too – Shingi (Shingasai) is a young girl at our church whom she is friendly with.  She came with her family.  Separate from our group, but also their first time.

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Sam hung out with his buddies.  Boys being boys meant that they took less than no time to find sticks and start gun fights.

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The kids didn’t need too much persuasion before they climbed into the pooled dress up clothes.  Lots of fun had there!

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Our tigger suit turned this little munchkin into a Tiggeriffic tot!

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The dads alternated between serious chats, lazy games of kicking a ball around and hanging out with the kids.

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Some of the kids – fun, fun, fun!

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Home time at 3pm for a relaxed afternoon.  An end to a great weekend indeed.

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