Tuesday, 14 August 2018

So there has been a call over the weekend to all our old Blog buddies to start again, share again and thanks to Mel we have a little meme to get going:

1. What time did you go to bed last night and were you alone? About 22:30 and with the hubby.
2. If you could be given ANY gift what would it be?  No anxiety - anxiety is killing me at the moment. This does actually imply a lot - also that the issues that cause me anxiety be resolved but also not to have anxiety about those that honestly do not have any foundation to be anxious about.

3. What was the last film that really moved/disturbed/thrilled you and why? The Little Prince - it came at a time when we were facing loss in our family.

4. What is your favourite TV show of all time ie. you've seen them all, can watch it over and over again and quote lines from it? Friends or a close second, Frazier

5. Whats your favourite way to wake up and whats the first thing you do?  Without an alarm clock, rested. I dont think this has happened in a long time.

6. What would you call yourself if you could choose your own name? Cat.

7. If you had to do a bushtucker challenge (you have to eat insects/grubs etc) what would be the worst thing you had to eat? Anything slimy - a can not stand the texture thing Oatmeal is a challenge

8. Whats the worst/most embarrassing CD/Album you've ever owned and do you still have it? I had a Steve Hofmeyer record once...and nope, not any more

9. What would be your dream vehicle (bikes, cars, boats, bat car and millenium falcon is allowed!)?  Anything that has 7 seats, is high and can drive anywhere and is not too big to maneuver
10. Whats your favourite way to spend a Friday night?  At home - with take aways and the family Friday is wind down night.

11. What characteristics do you dislike in yourself?   I am overly anxious and procrastinates.

12. Your favourite item of clothing and why? .Still my denim jacket

13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would it be and who would it be with? A family island vacation - we need a huge rest.

14. If you could have any animal/creature, what would be your ultimate pet be? I really love our labrador .

15. What did you want to be when you were little and do you think you ever will be?  A doctor - and I have been milling my career choice over and over in my head the last yea and a half.

16. Whats the next planned event you're looking forward to in your life?  This weekend - in the bush for a great friend;'s 50th birthday
17. What were you doing before you started this? Working - this is the rarely found lunch break.

18. What was the last thing you ate that you really shouldn't have? I have had a tummy bug for the last two days - so I have to think far back.

19. If you were an ice cream what would you be? Vanilla soft serve.

20. Who was the last person you spoke to that you didn't want to talk to? The contractor on site - enough said.

21. What was your favourite toy as a child  . . .and now? I loved my Cindy dolls (Barbie type doll) and played with them wel into high school. I guess my phone - but stationary brings on the happy.

26. What are you really afraid of?  Losing a loved one, leaving my loved ones before they are grown up, being unsuccesfull.

So lets see who join the reunion.

Wednesday, 13 June 2018

'n Lekker boek - Uit die Bloute

Ek het regtig so lank laas beoke gesels en ek het soveel lekkertes om te deel. Ek spring dus sommer weg met hierdie een

Kyk daar is vlakke van lekkerlees - die diepste valk vir my is die een waar ek selfs ry met die boek en by elke verkeerslig so paar sinne lees tot die taxi agter my vir my toeter. Dit is daardie vlak van lees wat my sedert die naweek so vasgenael het aan "Uit die Bloute" van Chanette Paul.
Daar is 'n besondere lekkerte in reekse en karakters wat herhaal - 'n mens ontwikkel 'n verhouding met die karakters en opinies word redelik sterk gevorm. Jy voel sommer tuis tussen hulle. Daarom was dit heerlik om weereens Jojo te kan vergesel deur nog 'n avontuur waar Irene en Valk ook weer betrokke is.Oor die karkater van Jojo kan ek boeke skryf - die lekkertes in 'n speurder soos sy is vir my groot. 'n Vrou na my hart. Irene het vir my in hierdie boek meer na vore gekom en ek moet erken dat ek met heel ander oë na haar kyk. Die karkaterontwikkeling by haar is groot. Nog lekkerder was die toevallige "raakloop" van ander karakters uit Chanette se vorige boeke - veral Fortuintjie wat 'n groot gunsteling van my is en net so paar reëls in die boek het. Ek wens amper Gertjie en Gys het darem ook net oë gewys en was nie net genoem nie. Dit was ook vir my heerlik om Joachim weer te ontmoet.
Soos julle seker kan aflei uit my eerste paragraaf is die spanningslyn in die boek absoluut meesterlik. Daar is nie 'n oomblik waar dit genoegsaam verslap dat mens so effe ontspan nie. Die karkaters wat nog nie bekend aan ons is nie is geweldig interessant en mens moet kophou deur die boek. Daarom voorsien sy soos haar gewoonte is 'n lys van karakters voor in die boek.
Die boek speel af teen die agtergrond van oënskynlike waarnemings van verskyning van vreemde vlieënde voorwerpe en sogenaamde "UFO abductions" wel bekend in literatuur orals. Vrae word gevra oor die geldigheid van hierdie verskynings en laat mens selfs aan jou eie oortuigings twyfel. Dit gaan egter veel dieper en spreek weer die tendense van massa histerie en misleiding en die invloed van fanatiese sekteleiers soos reeds in "Meetsnoer" gedoen is. Die agtergrond is uiters interessant.
Dit als gesê is die kern van die boek 'n goeie "whodunnit" in die beste vorm moontlik met 'n skryfstyl wat heerlik lees - soos ons gewoond is aan Chanette se boeke.
"Uit die Bloute" is 'n heerlike lees en ek kan hom sterk aanbeveel.

Thursday, 10 May 2018

Rewind - to joy!

Photo credit - Pieter Lombaard
Oh the joy! As a child of the 80's I could once again relive my high school years this weekend! I could re experience the gut wrenching loss of a boyfriend with "Total eclipse of the heart", relive the garage parties with "What a feeling" from Flashdance and bop my teased hair and be "Simply the best". "Girls just wanna have fun" had a meaning all of its own as our group of "girls" had heaps of shared fun.

This weekend has been an experience second to none. While this was not my first Capital singers (it was my fourth)- it was the first one I participated in that took place in the State theater. To look back and think that this mega professional production started 3 years ago , in a church as venue with just over a hundred voices is amazing. And while it  was without a doubt great to watch for those that attended I am quite sure that it was even more fun for us who was part of the show. The feeling of 3 standing ovations and two totally sold out shows is hard to put into words.  Take a listen below - the whole first act is on this you tube video.

To sing your heart out is a huge joy - the music of the 80's can not be beaten. But the experience is so much more. For a weekend (and two evenings) you almost forget about the day to day things that happen in your life. You forget about the bad work stuff,  the stress and the anxiety and you sing - with 649 other like minded people. The back stage fun was even more that usual this time with such a fun theme. There were make up sessions, hair do' s to die for and lots of jokes. Yes its a very busy and tough program and my feet are still killing me - but it's all worth it. It's a weekend of laughter, song and friendship. Of getting to know some school moms a little bit better and of making new friends.  Of being just a small part of something so huge and so incredible.

"Wind beneath my wings" was hard - for those of us who lost loved ones to cancer and for those who won the fight. But the beauty of Capital Singers is that hand that grabs yours and hold it while you try to wipe those tears so that no one in the audience notice. As we started out my favorite was the Johnny Clegg medley - which I sang with great joy but in the end, nothing beats Toto's "Africa" and as the songs are still turning in my head it is "Africa" that is my constant earworm.  As we sang the encore of "That's what friends are for" we remembered the friends we made the weekend and as we ended with "In the living years" we all knew that not only was the 80's our living years but indeed, we are living them right here, right now.

So this is why I am also returning to this little blog - the joy it sparks. We need to spark our joy in our lives constantly to counter the curve balls life throws at us. So I intend to chat here more often, but to also spark my inner joy in other ways. We as parents ( and specifically not just moms - some dads give their family their all as well) need to find ourselves or at least not totally loose ourselves as we plunge into the last frontier of raising children. Without my hubby this weekend would simply not have been possible and I do hope that I can return the gift of joy to him.

Wishing you all much joy!

Tuesday, 30 January 2018


You know that little meme thingy going around on Facebook where someone asks you to add a word of encouragement starting with the first letter of your name? My IRL name starts with an R and I always give them "Rejoice" as a word. Such a  hugely positive word.

I have had a word of the year for the last few years. Some years have turned into quite the opposite and others have been very successful . My year of "Hope" turned out exactly that and in my year of "Brave" it was exactly what is needed. Somehow this year "Rejoice" came to me almost the moment I started thinking about a word. In fact, no other word came to me.

Most of you know that 2017 was my "Anus Horibilis" - it was hectic. This year has all the potential to be a difficult one too. But I choose to "Rejoice" and I will. As I was milling over this I found the confirmation that indeed it was the right word for the year.  I saw this blog post (Written in Afrikaans) about the drought in Cape Town. Please read it if you are able to understand Afrikaans . It is all about trusting God and rejoicing at the same time.

So I will live this year and rejoice:

Habakkuk 3:17-19 New International Version (NIV)

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
    and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
    and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
    and no cattle in the stalls,
18 yet I will rejoice in the Lord,
    I will be joyful in God my Savior.
19 The Sovereign Lord is my strength;
    he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
    he enables me to tread on the heights

Wednesday, 24 January 2018

My year in books 2017

Yes, I know I haven't blogged in forever and I will chat about that soon enough. But you all know that my enthusiasm for books and reading is endless and brings me much joy. I always do a review of the books I read every year and it's always a popular post. So herewith- my year in books 2017.

Book of the year (English):


1."The Satanic Mechanic- Tannie Maria Mystery #2" by Sally Andrew
Absolutely delightful like the first tannie Maria book it is a mix of a murder mystery and pure South African Karoo magic with a great touch of humour and compassion. It is the most charming book! For my review read here.

2. "My grandmother sends her regards and apologies" by Fredrik Backman
Backman's magic continues with this book written with a bit of magic realism added to his usual odd and charming characters. I enjoyed it even more than "A man called Ove"

3. "Big little lies" by Liane Moriarty. A very clever and well written book that investigates so many of our daily issues. I enjoyed the play between moms and how we see this unfold every day in our own lives.

Boek van die jaar (Afrikaans):

1. "Mentje Kind van Pas-opkamp" by Irma Joubert
Ek sukkel steeds om oor Mentje te praat - so diep het hierdie wonderlike historiese verhaal my geraak. Volg Mentje, alleen gelaat in die midde van die Tweede wêreld oorlog deur haar ontberinge. Wat veral opval is Mentje se besondere gees en wil vir oorlewing  ten spyte van die hartseer omstandighede wat haar omring. Die geskiedenis het my so gefasineer dat ek gaan oplees het oor dele daarvan. Die tweede in 'n trilogie (na "Immer Wes") is dit 'n sensitiewe verhaal wat boei tot die einde.

2. "Moordhuis" vanMadelein Rust
Moordhuis is 'n uiters slim , uiters spannende boek wat my vasgenael gehou het elke oomblik van die eerste tot die laaste bladsy. Ek lees baie krimies 'n jaar en as een van hulle my beste boeke lys maak moet jy weet dit is die beste van die beste.

3. "Ver in die wêreld Kittie" van Santie van der Merwe.
Dit was die eerste van Santie se boeke wat ek gelees het en tot dusver die een wat my die diepste raak. Hoe meer ek dink oor die boek , hoe meer wil ek hom weer lees. Lees my oorspronklike indrukke hier 

Young adult book of the year/ Jeugboek van die jaar.

"Vlerke vir almal" van Marion Erskine
I am going to write this in English because although this is an Afrikaans book I truly believe this book will be translated. It is an important book for any young adult and their parents to read - to realize the world of bullying - the kind we are all unfortunately used to , but also the newer form cyber bullying our kids are living in. If you are at all able to read in Afrikaans please do so. It is a wonderful sympathetic read that brings so much insight into the world of teens.

Non fiction book of the year/ nie fiksie boek van die jaar


"Elders" van Ernst Grundling
Ek het die reisverhaal en stap deur die Camino geweldig geniet miskien omdat dit vir my ook 'n bucket list item is. Dit was heerlik om saam met Ernst te reis nie net die fisiese nie maar ook geestelike moderne wêreld de -toks.

Book of the year translated from another language than English or Afrikaans:

"Fever at dawn" by Peter Gardos
The beautiful story of rebuilding your life as told through the eyes of 25 year old holocaust survivor Miklos. A love story of hope and survival it is a beautiful read that I strongly recommend.

I hope you enjoyed this - please let me know what your best reads were for 2017. May we all have a great reading year ahead.


Friday, 1 December 2017

Maybe this is a good time to get back here

Its the first of December - a time to start winding down and feel the festive end of year spirit. I am not feeling it - at all.

I am not lying when I say that this has been a year straight out of hell. It's been hard - very hard - and the end is not in sight.The much anticipated builders holiday will not happen for me and I will have to work through it - due to circumstances out of my control. At times I am angry, at times I am sad, but mostly I try very hard to be positive. I feel as if life has spun totally out of my control and none of it is my own doing. But there has been a lot of positives that carry me through. One thing I do know - I have missed blogging!

So today I want to focus on the positives for the last part this year.

It has been a fantastic academic year for all 3 kids and I am extremely proud of all 3. I really can not make an exception for one of them - they have all 3 been stars. My mommy heart is pouring with absolute joy and pride.
Student council inaguration decor.

Our Princess was chosen for the Student council - or in the old terms - to be a prefect next year. I really did not expect this as she is in one of THOSE years with extremely strong girls in the academic, sport and cultural fields. But she made it and we are so very proud of her. Of course it means hard work next year which she will embrace and do her very best to prove that she was the right choice.

The boys had a very sucesfull Judo year and C has decided that it is his sport he wants to focus on. They also both had a very fun cricket tournament to end the year off and played in teams with wonderful team and sportsman spirit .

A really did so well with her dancing and even did her first lyrical solo with a high silver medal at the SA Dance schools championship. She has also progressed so far with her ballet that she will be on pointe shoes next year! A wonderful goal every little ballerina works for.

I have reached my reading goal of 36 books in October! It is the first time since we had kids that I have reached this goal so early in the year.  In fact -most years I fall short with a book or 3. I have read so many wonderful books - expect book reviews to resume soon!

With that I hope you have a wonderful festive first weekend of December

Friday, 22 September 2017

So how are you?

Gosh I haven't been here in such a long time - neither have I read blogs. It's been hectic and busy and crazy in our lives. I have very seldom been so happy to see Friday - and it's a wonderful long weekend to boot.

We have just survived enjoyed 9 performances of our big  4yearly school concert. It was tiring but a huge amount of fun and the children really enjoyed it. It is such a spectacular show - we sat there in total amazement as every child in the school played their part and had a bit of stage light on them. C jived on "Hard knocked life" from the musical Annie , L sang and danced to "Hooray its a Holiday" and A and "Everybody was Kong Fu fighting". It was a great feast of music, lights, dancing, bright costumes and enthusiasm. But we are extremely relieved that it is all now done and dusted and that we can have a good rest over the weekend.

Work is still crazy - actually the crazy is increasing as year end approach. This too shall pass.

L played his last cricket game of the season and did so well. He is truly a cricketer by heart. C still has a game this afternoon. A's hockey season is done and dusted and she already had two galas. I was very proud of C who also participated in the school house sport gala. The first dance competition of the season rewarded A with a high silver and a good start.

I feel that I am at the moment just working and working and managing kids - and maybe reading a bit. After so many months of great reading I have slowed down a bit . I am simply so tired that I fall asleep before reading more that a few paragraphs.

My wonderful MIL has been visiting us for the concert period and I honestly am so grateful. It help so so much to have her with us. To help keep all on track while H and I fetch and deliver kids in the evenings and cooking a wonderful meal every evening. Our freezer is also already well stocked with frozen meals lovingly made by her.

I hope you have a wonderful heritage day weekend and rest up, like we fully intend on doing.

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

Van boeke wat jou hart raak

Kyk ons het lanklaas boeke gesels! Dis hoog tyd. So die naweek sit ons met 'n toespraak wat die meisiekind moet lewer - oor 'n resensie. Sy moet een bespreek so ons kies toe 'n oulike een van Fanie Viljoen se Nova reeks se finale boek - netjies gedoen deur Mia Oosthuizen. Net daar val dit my op dat ek selde die "regte" paadjie met resensies loop - in plaas van deur al die mooi letterkundige middels gaan praat ek maar sommer hier uit die "gut" uit soos die Engelse sê. Of dalk uit die hart uit.

Daarom wil ek graag vandag gesels oor twee boeke wat my hart diep geraak het. Albei skrywers was nuut vir my en ek gaan baie beslis meer van hulle boeke lees

Helende liefde - Anna Penzhorn

Ek het dadelik van Andrea gehou - n professionele vrou wat n skybaar ideale amper idilliese lewe lei op die platteland. Na 13 jaar ontdek sy dat haar man wat sy so gek oor is, Dewald, 'n rondloper is. Die slag is nog harder toe sy uitvind wie die verleidster is. Skielik moet Andrea nie net haar huwelik nie maar ook haarself en wat vir haar saak maak in die lewe heraanskou. Selfs haar rol as dokter is nie meer  vir haar helder nie.

Vir my was Andrea se emosionele paadjie wat sy moes loop uiters aangrypend. Noem maar -ontkenning,  woede, gedagtes van vergelding, bevraagtekening van haar eie waarde en soveel meer, wat sy deur moes werk. Bo alles natuurlik die uiterse hartseer van 'n verwerpte vrou. Die verwoesting wat egskeiding saai is groter as wat mens seker besef as jy of iemand naby aan jou nog nooit daardeur is nie.

Andrea se ontwikkeling as mens en haar aanpas by haar omstandighede is eintlik vir my waaroor die boek gaan. Die insig in haar innerlike en gevoelens is baie suksesvol en raak mens se hart. So beweeg sy ook aan deur uit te reik na ander wat minder het as sy en ontdek dat deur vir ander liefde te gee jy self kan heel word - vandaar die titel "Helende Liefde".

Ek sal die boek sterk aanbeveel - dit het my werklik meer insig gegee in wat die rondom ons soms deurgaan en hoe goed hulle daardie swaarkry wegsteek. 8/10 vir n baie goeie boek.

Heiliger - Dibi Breytenbach

My tweede keuse mag dalk vreemd lyk- n krimi en ek gesels oor emosies? Later meer daaroor maar eers die res.

Heiliger is 'n warboel van gebeure - 48 uur van hel vir Hendrik en Amalia! Vroeg oggend moet hulle letterlik die dood van 'n goeie vriendin in die oë staar en daarna hou dit net nie op nie soos die lewe hulle twee bestook met dinge - als in een dag. Dis n warboel van gebeure, emosies en als in die klein plattelandse gemeenskap van Witteberg. Selfs die droogte in die omgewing is 'n karakter in sy eie reg.

Dit is baie duidelik dat die skrywer baie goed nagevors het oor regsprosedures maar ook hoe die proses in 'n tipiese plattelandse dorp sal verloop. Die details rondom selle, polisiestasies en polisiemanne. Wat my veral getref het is hoe die verhouding en spanning binne hierdie sisteem uitgebeeld word.

Die spanninglyn is amper van bladsy een daar en verslap nie 'n oomblik tot die einde nie. Soos 'n storm die uiteindelike verligting van die droogte gee ontknoop die verhaal op dieselfde manier en tyd. Dit is werklik meesterlik gedoen.

Terug na dit wat die hart raak. Die sterkste punt van hierdie boek lê in Dibi se vermoë om simpatie met karakters te skep. Van Hendrik en Amalia wat tradisioneel jou simpatie moet trek deur elke liewe karakter - selfs die lafhartige Richter se beweegredes wek simpatie. Die uitgewekenes, die ontnugterdes en die moeg vir die lewe mense - een en almal. Natuurlik ook vir my gusteling Butomncane Buthelezi - die een man wat altyd sal staan vir rede en geregtigheid. Daardie siele moet ook daar wees om die balans en teenpool te skep vir die lafhartiges.

Heiliger is een van die beste krimis of spanningverhale wat ek in 'n lang tyd gelees het - en ek lees baie! Ek het nie een van die skrywer se vorig boeke gelees nie en alhoewel daar verwysings terug is kan mens die boek op sy eie lees.

Ek gee Heiliger 10/10 vir 'n uiters uitstekende lees. Ek kan nie wag om Saliger en Vrediger onder hande te kry nie.

Monday, 14 August 2017

Boy those speeches!

Guys it is a mad rush at the moment. It feels like survival mode all the time. Work is super hectic - I hardly have time to think. The stress is immense. Evenings are filled with school stuff, more work and at least I feel I want to read just a little bit. It's my poison of the moment - well, it's always been a saving grace but now even more. To settle my mind and relax a bit.

We are having a super hectic term - it is madness. Third term is always a busy one and this year it is even worse. It is revue year - which means each and every child is participating in a huge concert - that runs over weeks of repetitions and shows. The grade 6 kids also has the yearly adventure camp next week and as the kids are not suppose to write tests the day after a show things are condensed into weeks. This week C has so may things I can hardly keep track. A has a lot to handle too and L has a speech - which for him is possibly the most difficult of all things to handle. Thank goodness our au pair nightmare seems to be over and our new one handled most of the work for this week on Friday afternoon. But honestly I already feel I had enough. (I will tell you all about the au pair thing later)

There are test and projects oh and the very worst for me - the orals! I really do not enjoy writing them and none of my kids like doing them so it always feels like an uphill battle. I hate them! Honestly.

So now that I have that off my back, how are you all doing. And what do you hate about school work for the kids the most?

Friday, 4 August 2017

Just to breathe

We spent the last week of the school holiday in the beautiful Karoo. It was an amazing experience and I am still struggling to come to terms with the constant noise on the building site I am spending so much time on at the moment. It was quite possibly one of my favorite family holidays ever. I just loved the simple quietness, the icy cold mornings and the total change of pace.

It is incredible how fast one adapts to the cold. The first morning there was -12degrees Celcius aroun 7 in the morning. It was freezing. The day and days in general got progressively warmer but funny enough, no one complained about the cold. A made a game of seeing how cold see could see a thermometer on.

We read, ate, played and just relaxed. It was a wonderful time in the company of great friends. Life is extremely tough at the moment and I am a bit of a mess in general. I think this time of repose may have saved my sanity. The kids just slipped into farm mode and had so much fun.  The heart stone below was found by Mr L and I am keeping in on my bedside table in fond memory of a great time out for us.