We apologise that it has been an age since our last blog update but life has been hectic, hectic!! We eventually moved house on Monday 21 February - typically it was the day of the first torrential rain of the year and we all sorts of furniture to move! Thankfully we managed to dodge the downpours and everything is now in situe. We have also had nearly 3 weeks of huge power cuts right across the Western Cape which has impacted everything from not being able to sterilise bottles, make a cup of tea, sew up curtains, cook dinner, wash clothes. The trouble is that we never know when the cuts are going to be or for how long. The longest so far has been 12 hours and we managed to lose quite a bit of food from the fridge. This together with not having a phone line for a while made communication very difficult.
Our new house is such a blessing. At last we have SPACE!! Joel can't believe it. He has his own play room (well, at least until Eli can move!), a garden to trundle around in and to whizz around on his bike and his bedroom has Shark Tale curtains (a surprise for him). We have had to get our bargaining skills in action as we have had to buy quite a bit of furniture to fill all the spaces! We are very pleased with the outcome though and are really enjoying our new home. Dean has an office upstairs next to the main bedroom and we have a kitchen/diner, so at last we can eat at the table - a discipline which Joel needs. Dean took 10 days holiday and has spent the whole time doing jobs in the house and dodging the various shortages. However, it has been worth it and he is really looking forward to going back to work again tomorrow (for a rest?!). Paula carried on for the first week with her work and then took last week off as well, so we did manage a bit of family time. We had a lovely day in Cape Town, visiting the aquarium (Joel's second home) and enjoying the sunshine. Joel has now discovered some battery operated cars and enjoys doing 10 laps everytime we visit! Unfortunately, he doesn't look where he's going - just presses the accelerator and is off. Dean and I also enjoyed an afternoon on our own (bliss). We went to a local wine estate and treated ourselves to a picnic and bottle of wine in their 'forest'. The food was spectacular and we arrived home unable to move or eat for the rest of the day.
Eli is growing fast. He is a very big baby and is so happy and bonny it's untrue. It is hard to stop him from beaming and he only has eyes for Joel, which is nice for him. Joel loves to play with him, squash him, sit on him and generally abuse him, but Eli just giggles and smiles, so long may that continue! He has slept through the night on 5 different occasions now, unfortunately not consecutively, but we can see that it won't be too long now. This is a real blessing as, unfortunately, Joel has taken to waking once most nights since the move, so we have been very tired. We're just praying that this stops soon. He has also stopped his daytime nap now which is a real pain for mum! However, we have instituted a 'quiet time',which, you will see from the photos, is working quite well.
We have now started down the legal road for Eli's adoption and the first papers have now been filed. We are waiting for them to be returned from Pretoria. There will be a lot of to'ing and fro'ing of papers in the next few weeks but we are hoping that the original time scale of 3-4 months for the full adoption remains the same. It looks fairly likely that the adoption won't be fully through in time for us to get a passport for our trip back to the UK in June so we will have to get travel documents for this. Please pray that things will run smoothly now. We have heard via the social workers from Eli's birth mother and she is doing as well as can be. She is still searching for a job, but we know that she is completely at peace about the adoption, praise God.
Joel will be 3 in 2 weeks time, which we can hardly believe. He is going to have a little party at home and is very excited about the thought of having a birthday cake which he can blow the candles out of again. I don't think he is that bothered about the party, so long as the cake is there! He is changing all the time and challenges us daily, but on the whole he is a fantastic little boy. He is so full of energy that we have to just pray for more ourselves all the time. His favourite activity is to jump on our bed and fall over. This is made all the better if Eli is also there to bounce around. He is quite gymnastic and this has been fuelled by stuff they do at his nursery. He talks constantly, sings and plays endless games with his toys. It is funny to hear him belting out the Bob the Builder theme tune with all his little characters around him. Life is so good for him!
We are looking forward to getting back into CNP this week. There is so much to catch up with. The first food parcels were shopped for, administered and delivered 2 weeks ago and we must now do the same again for March. Our Bible studies will continue again this Thursday and Paula starts her Tuesday evening visiting again this week. Please pray for good fruit.
Joel & some classmates from Nursery with Nata (his teacher) whom he adores!
Joel's Shrek impersonation takes on a whole new dimension!
Joel's latest method of watching TV
Eli at 10 weeks, he's growing so quickly we hardly seem to be keeping up with him!
Joel & Scoop, still a favourite toy