Thursday, 25 December 2008

May you have a blessed and merry Christmas!

From me and my family to you and yours:
May your Christfeast be blessed beyond words. May peace love and joy fill your heart. And may you experience Jesus' love today and always.

Blessings from Africa.

I am leaving you with the words of a truly South African Christmas Carol, wrote during the uncertain times of violence and transition in our country. I wish I could play you the tune, but the words will have to suffice: (Original Afrikaans words in normal text, translation in Italics)

Somerkersfees Summer Christmas
1. Welkom, o stille nag van vrede,/ Welcome o Silents night of peace,
onder die suiderkruis,/ under the southern cross,
Wyl stemme uit die ou verlede oor sterrevelde ruis. /While voices from the past whisper over starfilled fields
Kersfees kom, Kersfees kom –/ Christmas is near, Christmas is near
Gee aan God die eer./ Glory to the lord
Skenk ons ‘n helder/ Give us a bright
Somer-kersfees/ Summer Christmas
In hierdie land, o Heer. / In this country, o Lord.

2. Hoor jy hoe sag die klokke beier in eeue-oue taal./Do you hear the bells ringing in an ages old language
Kyk, selfs die nagtelike swye vertel die ou verhaal./ Even the silence of the night tells the old old storey
Kersfees kom, Kersfees kom –/ Christmas is near, Christmas is near
Gee aan God die eer./ Glory to the lord
Skenk ons ‘n helder/ Give us a bright
Somer-kersfees/ Summer Christmas
In hierdie land, o Heer. / In this country, o Lord.

3. Voel jy ook nou Sy warm liefde as ons die dag gedenk, /Do you feel His warm love as we remember this day
Toe Hy sy Seun aan ons gegee hetons grootste Kersgeskenk. / When He gave us His son - our biggest Christmas present
Christus kom, Christus kom – / Chirst is comming, Christ is comming
Skenk ons ‘n helder/ Give us a bright
Somer-kersfees/ Summer Christmas
In hierdie land, o Heer. / In this country, o Lord.

Gese├źnde Kersfees/ Blessings for Christmas

Wednesday, 24 December 2008

I'm back!

What a week and a half! A million things have happened and yes, I am on line again. Got this sorted out yesterday and it was a network/browser problem, nothing to do with blogger! Now I am working on Mozilla and everything seems fine.

First thing first, my apologies that my very first competition went unannounced until now. I have numbered according to the time when comments were left, and number six was chosen by The Little Miss! And number 6 is Debi! As you all are, a very deserving winner - and I am sure she has seen more crying moments on Santa's lap than most of us - seeing she has 8 kids! And Debi, do not bother posting it on back to me, our postal system is crap. Yes, we are after all living in Africa. I will get in touch with you soon!

I have so much to catch up on, but yes, as millions of other mothers today, I am busy cooking up a storm. And busy packing as we are leaving for a short trip on Boxing day to my In-laws in Port Elizabeth. We are spending Christmas day with H's aunt, uncle and cousins and my mom. Wondering what we do for Christmas in South Africa?

Tonight on Christmas eve, we will have a braai (barbeque) in true South African style and do presents to each other. We will sing Christmas carols or listen to a CD. We will read the story of the birth of Jesus in the Children's bible.

Tomorrow we will go to church early in the morning and then spend the day with the family at the poolside. Everybody is bringing a part of the meal and I am busy preparing the gammon and mustard sauce and the trifle for dessert. On the menu is gammon, chicken pie and leg of lamb and salads, with trifle and ice cream for desert. You will notice, no turkey. Turkey is only cooked by people of British origin in South Africa, and I have never had turkey on Christmas. We are expecting a hot and humid day, around 32 degrees C (90 f).

I am leaving you with a scene from our Christmas tree. May your evening be blessed and happy.

Monday, 15 December 2008

Please help!

Gosh guys, I have a problem! I missed doing the draw for my giveaway as I am having problems posting. The whole day, every time I try to creata a post, Blogger laods up with "Error on page" - then I can not add a picture, link , change text, anything! What on earth could be the problem?Have any of you encountered this before?

Friday, 12 December 2008

Friday Foto Finish Fiesta

We had some family photos taken two Sundays ago and I am really so happy with the results. Typically I choose the more natural photos, but we have over a 100 to choose from - so, just my few absolute favorites - I am off course keeping one for Christmas and some for special posts.

Oh I love the spontaneity in this one.

The one all the Grandparents will get.

Oh he is just such a happy little man! Little man L's best laugh.

And Little Man C's shy smile.

Our little Princess.

And just compare this one with the one in my sidebar - almost to the day a year later - just the other way round in dad's arms.

I love this one - check out that special twin bond. Off course, we also have a perfect one in the same pose (below)

I adore this one!

And their expressions here says so much about their personalities. Putting them in the suitcase was one way of keeping them in the same place for any given length of time.

My little brave heart.

And my little strong man.

And we have so many stunning ones of her, I really can not choose. But I love the natural look of this one.

So pop over to Carrie at Candid Carrie to see who else is playing along.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

swinging into the 40's!

Oh we had a great day at the Canopy tour to celebrate my birthday. I have enjoyed the first canopy tour we did so much, that I just couldn't wait to do this. It is an extremely safe setup and you are always secured on two separate cable systems. Please keep reading and checking out the photos - this is going to be along post!

Having lunch before our tour started - some of us were a little afraid (ok Hesti was terrified - she suffers from vertigo.)

Receiving our final briefing before the start - we had such a charming guide.

The slide towards the first platform - there are 10 slides and 11 platforms - the longest being 140 meters (153 yards). They vary in speed from comfortable to very very fast.

Yes, you just couldn't wipe the smile off my face. Gosh, I had so much fun!

Friend Ilse was so relaxed and calm.

Herman started smiling, turned around once and then was worried, but at the end enjoyed it.

The view down the valley.

Some of the stunning plant life.

The launch platform to the fastest slide - the Ferrari.

The longest slide - 140 meters.

Waiting in line to go.

The hubby enjoyed it so much.

Had a tough landing!

Friend Hesti started very worried or as she stated it, just pure terrified!

And ended up trying to convince Herman to do it again the next weekend.

And for friend Stefaan this was all "Much ado about nothing" - he is a competition level paraglider!

And on our way to our last filmed slide.

I am now considering making it a priority to do all 4 in South Africa - 2 down, 2 to go!

My first ever giveaway and 5 Things Thursday:

In keeping with yesterdays photo, I have the chance to host my first ever giveaway.I am so excited, and as I have the great readership of about 10, you stand an excellent chance to win. I won a book on Cheryl's blog, Twinfatuation, but unfortunately the good people of Harper Collins can not ship it half way around the world to South Africa. So they have generously agreed that I can award it in a competition on this blog. The winner has to reside in the USA.

This pocket-sized tome released a few weeks ago: Scared of Santa: Scenes of Terror in Toyland is the purse-ready print version of what was originally an overwhelmingly popular feature run by the Chicago Tribune. From archival family photos to 21st century seatings, the images of the irritated run the full spectrum.This really sounds like something that can bring joy to any home during this season.

So you want to win this? Publish a "5 Things that I really love about Christmas" , leave me a comment and I will add you to a list for all to see. The Little Miss will then do a number draw on Monday 8:00 am New York time (for interest sake that is 3 pm South African time), - so be sure
to do this in time.

So, for today, 5 Things I love about Christmas:

1. Spending time with family and all the loving.

2. Singing Silent Night and always feeling teary in church. I always have to brush away some tears during the service.

3. Having Christmas lights on our the tree and outside in the trees as well.

4. Christmas time is my favorite fruit time in South Africa - watermelon, sweet melons (cantaloupe), mango, litchis, peaches etc. It is truly a feast.

5. Gammon with sweet mustard sauce - gosh, I love it.

So, please play along and make this little competition a success.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

8 Years and still going strong..

Today, my love, is our eight wedding anniversary. You rock my world, you keep me grounded, you are my pillar of strength and my true best friend. And you can always make me smile. I will always love you - today and forever.

Date: December 2000.
Location: The Comores islands
The two lovebirds on honeymoon.

Way back WHEN sday

I am planning to take the kids to see Santa next week when I am on holiday. Last year we just didn't make it - it was an extremely difficult time with The Boys.

Timeline: December 2006 - The Little Miss was just short of 2 years

The previous year she willingly sat on Santa's lap, this year, no chance! Mom had to hold her and just look at that face!

Pop over to Cheryl's to see who else is playing along.

Edit to add: Keep your eyes peeled for my first ever giveaway tomorrow.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Two for Tuesday

I have over a 100 stunning photos from our photo shoot and I was planning to do a Friday foto finish fiesta with them, if only Blogger would allow me. I could not insert photos! Add to that a little visit to the paediatrician for Little man L - why is he always the sick one? Tonsillitis! And he has gained a whopping 700grams in 4 weeks!So I am planning to do it this Friday, but as a little teaser - one of my personal favorites. The special bond between daddy and his little princess.

Head over to Deanna's to play along and see some more adorable Twosomes.

Monday, 8 December 2008

A great birthday!

I had such a great birthday! It was not the gifts and what I did, but a general feeling of being happy and contend with where I am and what I am doing with my life. And being absolutely soaked (the only way I can describe it) in the love of my family and friends. I am so blessed! Thanks also for all your kind wishes.

Some highlights from my actual birthday:

My hubby woke we up with lovely tanzanite solitaire earrings to match my necklace that he gave me last year (a cross). The Little Miss appeared soon after with a lovely book from the kids. I had to rush to a site to solve a crises but took cake to the office after wards. The intention was not to work on the day, but I a m glad I spent some time with the kids at the office.

These two did a little Happy Birthday song and dance for me. And gave me the soundtrack to Mamma Mia!

I met my mom and The Little Miss for lunch at a little local restaurant with a play area. With my gift my mom gave me a letter that she wrote for me of my life thus far through her eyes. What an absolutely priceless gift! I have decided to start doing this immediately for my kids.

The girls at the girls' lunch.

Enjoying the jungle gym.

A fun way to practice patterns

Then I gave myself the best birthday gift any mom can receive - a 2 hour nap! An absolute luxury in my life!

The evening the Ever so charming and delightful hubby took me to see the new Bond movie ( yes, I am a Bond fan and love Daniel Craig) and dinner after at one of our favorite restaurants. A thunder storm broke out while we were eating on the verandah and that was to me a perfect end to my special day.

Oh yes, and I had another gift - we have a walker! Little man C is taking 2 to 3 steps at a time and gaining confidence by the day.

Today I am thankful for my happy life, my family and my friends. God has been incredibly good to me. I am truly blessed.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

5 Things Thursday...

Oh I adore birthdays. I am a little bit like a child in that sense. I love everything about it. Hearing from family and friends from near and far, getting gifts and special wishes. I just love my special day. And I do a little something every year, maybe a party, maybe a tea party with the girls.

But for my big 4-oh, I decided to do something a bit different, and as I am a bit of an adrenaline junkie, I decided to , in stead of a big party, take our 4 best friends and do a Canopy tour. Yes, we are going to swing (into my naughty forties) across a ravine and have a lot of fun. I can not wait until Saturday! So, in honour of that, today is about:

5 Adrenaline things we have done.......

1. Para sailing - gosh, I just loved this! This was on our honeymoon in the Comores islands. I would do this again anytime. It was stunning. I would love to go paragliding.

2. Bridge walking - for this you walk on a little gangplank to reach the worlds highest Bungi jump - it is 316 meters (345,5 yards) above ground. The hubby went one further - he actually jumped! But walking up high with no protection around was enough for me. I still want to do a bridge swing - similar to a Bungi but going feet first.

3. A horse ride amongst wild animals, including elephants in the Addo National park. For this you have to certify that you are an advanced rider and they take you very close to the elephants. We were actually chased by the elephants. This was great, but I had the worst sunstroke in my life after that.

We actually got a lot closer than this!
4. The Zorb - in this you get strapped in to a HUGE beach ball and rolled down 100m high dunes. You roll and bounce inside just as you would in a normal ball. Huge adrenaline rush, but I will not do that again if you paid me!

5. And my favorite so far - a canopy tour, similar to the one we are doing on Saturday but in the indigenous bush at Stormsriver - you are at about 30 meters above ground.. This was absolutely stunning and I am nagging the hubby top do this again.

Off course you will see lots of photos next week. So, if you have not left a comment before, please do so today. And if you would like to do any 5 things list, I will link you up.

Today I am thankful for another year spent in the love of my family and all that I adore.