Hazy Days

the shadow of the life to come

Hazy Days

Archives for Onrus

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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Newills in Onrus

Skye Cottage in Onrusrivier, near Hermanus is a sanctuary of sorts.  It’s a simple child-friendly cottage with oodles of rooms, clean and neat decor and all the conveniences of home.  For most, the best part is the beautiful seaview and the breathtaking sunsets.  But for me, it’s the complete sense of relaxation I have when I am there – the kids have a huge lawn to play on, safely tucked behind a picket fence.  The veranda overlooks their play and the sea just beyond.  And the lounge, dining and kitchen areas spill over each other making the main space (sorry, Scott: "room") wonderful for relationship.  We can all enjoy each other while doing the daily tasks of cooking, eating, setting tables, and sorting laundry – or while resting on the couch, playing board games, or, in winter, enjoying the roaring fire.  So why has it taken me a year to get back there?  Simply because, when we do head out to Hermanus we like to stay with my parents in their home and with even more modern conveniences there, we quite enjoy the extra bit of "holiday" we get. 

But, we did get to enjoy Onrus for the last days of November with the Aussie Newills and it was wonderful.  We did nothing of great consequence aside from hanging out, talking and enjoying the company.  Jetlag robbed us of some late night conversations, but it was a small price to pay for quality time together.  And, once again, the kids absolutely loved it. 

We spent time on the beach with the kids.  Unfortunately I am still waiting for the dropbox photos of those! 

Plus we enjoyed time out in town, visiting a wonderful restaurant called Olympia.  Wonderful because it was so kid friendly – plastic cups for their water, lots of toys to play with, a waitress who very cleverly advised us to split the adult portions with the kids rather than buying them all kiddy versions of the same thing at greater cost and more.  Even the food was good! :)  I enjoyed my chicken wrap immensely.  And the children had a ball.

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We enjoyed lots of time at the Cottage too – the kids made super good use of the front garden for play, meals and more:

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And we enjoyed a good ol’ Seffrican braai!  Yum yum!

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The kids went horse riding at Tanya’s stables: Clouds End Stables.   But before any horses could be saddled, the kids were distracted by the latest batch of kittens to be born.  So adorable!

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When we finally managed to drag them away, the kids all went riding – and had themselves a blast.

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Granny dutifully sorted out stirrups and seats and took each willing child for a few loops around the paddock.  All the girls loved every minute of it.  As did most of the boys.

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Jesse was not too keen – but, he did brave a walk on a horse a week later in Carmel – there he had a blast!  Here the Newills plus Sam pose for a family photo – well, I guess jet lag plus posing fatigue kicked in for the kids on this one – too funny!

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Brian and Tony Frost, owners of Cloud’s End farm and good friends of my folks invited us to picnic in the back yard.  I wish my back garden looked like this!  We had a lovely picnic.  The kids had a lovely play time and were overjoyed when Bella and Julia arrived from school later – pushing up the kid numbers to 9.  Kerry finally got to meet Tony and thoroughly enjoyed her wonderful personality and genuine interest in people.  If the rest of the world could take a leaf out of her book, this world would be a better place to live in.  Tony is one of those rare people who are genuinely interested in other people – she asks questions and gets involved and one walks away from a conversation with her feeling like you were cared about.  I would take good conversation with someone over meticulous hospitality any day, but having all rolled up into one like Tony is a real treat!

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When the kids weren’t having fun outside, they were getting up to mischief inside.  Micah moo being the chief instigator in most cases, like on this occasion when he roped Emma into a lipstick session in the car.  Oh dear!

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Of course, no family time together in Hermanus or Onrus is quite complete without a Sally Breakfast.  Granny Sally roped Katie and a few others into making a delicious hot egg, bacon and tomato breakfast.  Yum yum!

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And it was polished off in no time with lots of requests for seconds!

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It was a glorious time of togetherness and over too soon.  The days were filled with so much activity that the kids passed out quickly at night, with little to no issues – even with these two naughties sleeping in the same bed!  Too cute!

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We headed home that Wednesday afternoon and then enjoyed a pizza meal with the Newills at our house – that way Craig could spend some quality time with the in-laws.  A lovely evening!  A lovely time away.  And it’s over now :(  One more thing to enjoy, tick off and then wish you could do it all over again. 

Keep posted for the next update in the "Newills are here" saga – coming soon! :) 

Fishing in Hermanus

A few weeks back we enjoyed a long weekend in Hermanus.  We horse rode, fished, enjoyed outings to Hermanus and shloffed at home.  It was lovely!  Thanks to my folks’ foresight, a bucket, a few fishing rods and some bait was all it took to make a wonderful fun afternoon for the family.

Enjoy the photos:

Adventures in fishing …

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Adventures of Micah…

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Adventures of a crazy grandpa …

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Kiera the Fishergirl…

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Thanks Mom and Dad for a lovely long weekend.  We had a ball!  All the rest of the photos here at this slideshow: Fishing in Hermanus

Moments in May

this is a completely unedited shot.  Love the colours! If I am juggling 5 balls at the moment, it’s only because I’ve dropped 50 already. At least, that is how it feels.

I’ve not talked with my big sis in ages, and that’s because I’ve not been online much at all. I continue to be the most hopeless play-date organiser. I’m woefully behind in many admin tasks. We’ve only just begun to see some regularity in our school days in the last week or two – and progress too. Electricity hikes, unexpected house maintenance tasks, and more, complicate matters. Never mind all the emotional stresses and strains that are normal life, plus those that aren’t. And the lists of many other things that contribute to my measly attempt at juggling too many balls for my current skill level! I’m sure I’m not alone in this, and others experience much greater challenges in life, but it’s still hard. And this month has been one of the heavier months.

Why am I blogging about this? Well, to be honest, partly as an excuse for the lack of blogging lately. And partly to say, “hey, you’re not alone in the daily struggles”. Or perhaps, “I hope I’m not alone in this!”

But, despite all the stuff that complicates life, I realised while uploading our photos from this month that there have been so many happy moments. Memorable moments. Moments for which to be grateful. And most of these moments are captured in jpeg for us to treasure and enjoy as we look back to May 2011 – remembering not the frustrating moments as much as the precious, heart memories of this time.

Arrrr! Shiver me timbers!Compiled in the slide show below are just some of these moments, like …

  • when we all played on the beach at Onrus, enjoying the last summer-like days of autumn
  • the morning the kids spent two hours in intense bonding moments of play – enjoying each other, creating a pirate ship from old cardboard boxes, dressing up and painting each other’s faces – all playing together from youngest to oldest with equal attention and participation
  • the time the kids marched into my room with a lovingly prepared tray of goodies for a mid-morning snack
  • or when Craig took us to the beach for mother’s day and we soaked in the sun and explored the storm’s treasures in our church clothes and bare feet

Someone once asked that if you experienced a catastrophe in life and had everything stripped away from you, what would be the two most important things that you would want to keep? For me it’s my faith and my family. And right now, I have those.

So I am grateful.

(If you can’t see the slideshow below, click this link “Moments in May” which will take to directly there)

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