Life On The Beach

Joel and Sam playing on the beach at Strand. We had a lovely morning with Pete & Ash and the kids, rounded off with a McDonalds lunch. It was such a pleasure to spend time with the Smyth family again as we rarely get to see each other these days. Pete & Ash were incredibly supportive friends during our time in Zim, especially as we struggled with the issue of moving on from the Just Children Foundation. Pete now leads the 'God First' church in Jo'burg.

Family Shakes Blog

At long last my best mate Roger and his family have gone online and set up a Blog called "Getting The Shakes" which will chart their move from the UK to New Zealand in 2006. Do take a look and enjoy the photos and news as and when they post.

Some of you may remember that Roger was Best Man at our wedding back in 1991.
On Thursday Dean joined some of the key CNP residents for a Thank you / Christmas lunch hosted by Chris Nissen himself. The lunch was great and the guys from CNP relly enjoyed the venue as the restaurant juts out into the sea with stunning views of False Bay, Table Mountain & the Cape Peninsula. Sadly, Chris Himself never pitched which was a real shame, but a good time was had by all regardless. Usefully, Dean got to meet some of the key players in the local police force including the station commander of Somerset West police station and the provincial director of Helderberg area police. Contacts which will definitely come in handy!

Post Christmas News

We have been enjoying a very quiet family time since Christmas Day. We are loving getting to know Eli and he is settling quickly and well into a routine. As a result, we aren't too shattered and are able to enjoy some good family time. Joel has been enjoying playing with our next door neighbours' children who are 2 and 5 and has been taken out by a good friend of ours here one morning, whilst Paula looked after Eli and Dean did some studying! We rejoiced on Thursday to learn that Eli's birth mother officially signed her consent to release him to us for adoption.

Helderberg Nature Reserve

Dean & Joel went to the Nature Reserve again yesterday, mainly to give Paula & Eli a bit of a break but also to give Joel some special time with Dad. We had some real fun as you can see from the 'Dilemma' video posted below. We're not sure where Joel gets his flirting skills from but they're definitely not from his Dad (probably gets it from his mother!).

Whilst we were feeding the ducks the Cape Weaver Birds were getting quite bold so we put some crumbs on a post a watched them swoop in and take them.

Dilemma

Below is a short video taken in the Nature Reserve of Joel and a girl he got talking to, as you can see she suddenly presents him with a real dilemma... does he run after the pretty girl or does he stay and watch the tortoise? Decisions, decisions...

NB. The clip below is about 5mb and without a broadband connection may take a while to download.

Christmas

We've had a great Christmas so far! On Christmas Eve we had dinner with some friends and two of their family members which was great as we all have children of a similar age and they really enjoyed charging around together.

Joel has been totally unfazed by the whole event and just like last year he wanted to play for about 20 minutes with each toy before opening the next present. One of the real joys of our lifestyle and work is that we're sheltered from the greedy commercialisation of Christmas and as such can focus more on the true meaning of the day.

Birth Announcement!

We are proud to announce the birth of Eli Thomas Finnie, born on 21st December at 12.45pm weighing in at 3.88Kgs. After a long day Paula and Eli arrived back in Cape Town just before 8pm and were met at the airport by Dad & Joel, Joel was immediately a very proud big brother!
In the midst of all that is happening we're trying to make sure that we give Joel a lot of time and attention, and on Saturday afternoon we met up with some friends in the local Nature Reserve for a couple of hours. Joel had a great time running around with Sean including a brief visit to see Spikey the porcupine (for more photos look at our Photoblog).

Future Worship Leader?

Below is a brief video of Joel spontaneously imitating our worship leader, he's obviously watched how we begin our time of worship on Sundays and does quite a good rendition!

The quality of the video is low but if you listen carefully you can hear him saying things like: "Yes Lord" & "Thank you very much". Also, watch for the hand and then listen carefully as he ends his prayer and launches into playing his guitar.

We hope you enjoy the video below as much as we do!

Here are a few photos from our 'flying' trip to Bloemfontein. We had a good trip despite the disappointment of not returning home with the baby. The good news is that we will definitely get the baby as soon as s/he is born and we'll keep you informed of happenings.

More photos can be seen on our Photoblog

Here we had just arrived in Bloemfontein. The weather was really hot with cloudless skies, beautiful!

That Rollercoaster

Never mind the 'Big One ' in Blackpool, we've got our own personal rollercoaster and it's way more exciting/frightening than the static sort you find at funfairs!

Well, we're home...... without the baby!!! It has been a very emotional time in Bloemfontein. The birth mother has been induced 4 times - poor woman, but nothing happened. Her due date isn't till Sunday, so we're not quite sure why they advised us to come this week, but there we go, there must have been a reason.

Adoption Roller Coaster

One has to wonder when (if ever) the rollercoaster will stop. We're now in the last few hours before we get up at some unseemly hour to drive to Cape Town airport and fly to Bloemfontein on the 'redeye' at 6am. Suddenly it all feels a bit crazy and almost reckless, even though we are convinced that this is part of God giving us our hearts desire.

Baby Finnie!

Well the last 48 hours or so has been spent on that rollercoaster again! - somehow this is no longer surprising in the Finnie household!! We had our first meeting on Thursday with the social worker to discuss the possibility of adoption. She had informed us previously on the 'phone of a possible adoptive placement in Bloemfontein and we had therefore put together and submitted an all singing all dancing family profile for the birth mother and social workers to use.

Emyezweni Christmas Party

We recently posted a couple of photos from the Emyezweni Christmas party which was a great event. If you would like to see more of Dean's photos and read a bit more detail about the event take a look at 'Debs News'.

Debs (together with Rachel) runs Emyezweni pre school in Lwandle (a township just outside Somerset West) with support from Ukuthasa a UK charity and Helderberg Christian Church. The pre school offers a valuable service to many parents who would otherwise have to stop working to care for their kids.

Table Mountain Trip

As promised, here's a photo from our trip. You can see more on our Photoblog; Finnie's In Focus.

This photo shows Paula with Cyril, Danny, Michael, Alfred & Peter standing over Cape Town.



Gutted!

We had our trip to Table Mountain yesterday after church for our respective groups. The weather was great, no cloud in sight and a very excited bunch of adults keen to experience the mountain (most for the first time in their lives!). We got to Table Mountain just before 1pm only to find that the cable car had been closed 10 minutes before we arrived due to gale force winds at the top of the mountain. We waited for almost an hour and had our picnic lunch, but there was no sign of the wind abating. Sadly we had to leave without actually getting up the mountain.

CNP Men's Bible Study

We had an excellent morning looking at Job. We concentrated on the character of the man, looking at the first 2 chapters, a little at his interactions with his friends and then a bit more in depth at God's response in chapters 38 - 41 and finally God's amazing blessing on a man of great faith. Our study was followed by an excellent time of prayer which is so encouraging as I was struggling to get 2 men to commit to regular participation at the beginning of the year. Praise God! We now have between 8 & 9 men each week and look to be growing.