We know that many of you don't believe us when we say it is cold here in winter, so we posted a picture of ice in the garden once. Well now we have real proof of just how cold it gets here... below is a photo of the Hottentots Holland mountains and you can clearly see a sprinkling of snow on them.

Getting The Shakes

We're always happy to publicise the Blogs of friends and we've highlighted this one before.

Getting the Shakes is the Blog of Roger & George and their preparations for emigrating to New Zealand. Their lives have been very hectic of late especially as they race around and try to catch up with friends and family before they leave on Sunday! Wow that came round really quickly!

Rog' is an excellent writer and his Blog posts are always good. Recently he Blogged about our brief overnight stay with them when we were in Blighty and you can read this post here.

Keep an eye on the WHSmith bestseller list, one day Roger will be there with his novel!


Recently Bell Valley Initiative held a 'graduation ceremony' for the 10 volunteers they have trained in Chris Nissen Park. One of the local free rags picked up the story and ran it on the front page. As you can imagine the guys in CNP are really pleased to be in the paper.
Joel went to Matthew's 3rd Birthday party at Kidzoo yesterday. Needless to say all the kids had a blast and the parents enjoyed catching up with each other and having a good yarn as you can see from some of the photos below.

Birthday Boy on the train

A Random Number

No idea what this is about but have a go anyway....

Random Number

Videos From The Weekend

As promised here are some videos we shot over the weekend. On average they're about 30 seconds long although the one of Joel spreading jam is a minute long.
The first one is Eli crawling


We had a great morning on Saturday, taking the boys to the Aquarium, we were surprise by how much Eli enjoyed himself whilst Joel wanders around as if it's his 2nd home, which in fairness it almost is as we have been members for over 2 years now.

Hope you enjoy the pictures, we'll post some video on Monday.

I've long held the view that science is little more than a value or belief system rather than the exact and objective discipline it claims to be. Whilst some branches of science definitely have value (medicine is a class example) not everything done in the name of science is objective or empirically quantifiable.


Does he really need any introduction!

PS. It's Eli as in Elijah or Elisha not as in elephant!

Prayer Need

We've been thinking for a while about changing Dean's car for a 'bakkie' (small pick-up) which would allow us to do a lot more for Chris Nissen than we currently can, particularly with the feeding programme and assisting folk in their housing needs (lugging materials etc).

Aloe Vera In Bloom

Despite it being winter here in the Western Cape, it's very much a growing season. Primarily because the Southern Cape is the only part of the African continent in which it rains in winter, consequently, keeping on top of the grass is almost a full time job in itself.

There are however some great benefits to this, and one of them is the variety of blooms etc. which can be seen in the garden. Whilst we make no claims to be related to Percy Thrower we are enjoying having a decent garden, Dean recently bought a wheelbarrow and a few implements to do some stuff (sad!) which he's enjoying.

Baby Boom

There has been a real baby boom in Chris Nissen in the last few weeks. Sadly, this boom is amongst the teenagers with several having given birth, several about to give birth and several more due in the next nine months. There seems to be a lot of negative peer pressure amongst the teenagers to have sex which inevitably leads to pregnancies. The other massive negative in this is that they are having unprotected sex despite the very real dangers of contracting HIV.

Blogger have recently introduced a Beta version of blogger and it's still in trial form at present but we've decided to give it a go. So our PhotoBlog Finnie's In Focus is now on the Beta Blogger system.

This will mean little if anything to you in real terms other than you may notice a few character issues as certain bugs are ironed out. The address remains unchanged, but the Blog itself should look a bit leaner and crisper.

Quiet Weekend

At last our recent bout of illnesses seems to be over. The last two weeks in particular have been a complete write off as one or other of us has been unwell. We've just had a great weekend, On Saturday Joel was at a birthday party which he really enjoyed and then we lazed around in the afternoon. On Sunday we had a young couple over for dinner which was great, they've recently moved into the area and are still finding their feet. The weather was also much better than predicted so we were able to spend a bit of time in the garden which both the boys love, especially on their swings.

Alone With God!

We had an excellent ladies cell group last Thursday. Thank you so much for all the prayers as God is speaking to us in a wonderful way this term. I have decided to bite the bullet and we are studying Mark's gospel this term. We are literally reading a chapter and a half each week at home and coming to the group with our thoughts, insights and questions. I knew this was risky as several of my ladies can't read, but they are really doing so well. Those who can are reading to those who can't and everyone is coming ready to share. We are having the most interesting and lively discussions. It is also so good and powerful to read God's Word together each week in the group.

Some people obviously have too much time on their hands (like those that can Blog rubbish like this). Take a look at this link, it's totally childish and yet....inspired.

Create Your Own Zoo


As part of Paula's birthday present I bought her a hammock to relax in the garden and yesterday finally got a chance to hang it up. Joel immediately took to it and once ensconced in it he ordered us to bring his drink and book. Not sure where he learnt to use a hammock but he was a complete natural at it!


With the onset of winter we've been using the wood burning stove in the house quite a lot. Imagine our shock when our bedroom filled with smoke and the carpet around the chimney was smouldering! Thankfully we caught it just in time and were able to prevent the house from burning down. This was a bit of a shocker especially as our landlord is overseas, thankfully we managed to find the original installer who came and sorted it out pronto.

I Want That Train


We had a great day on Sunday which started with an excellent morning service in church. The worship had a real sense of expectation in it which lifted the whole service, brilliant! Also, as part of the service 10 new members were welcomed into the church. This was particularly exciting for us as 3 folk from Chris Nissen were welcomed into membership, they were Michael, Cynthia and Yolanda. This is a real testimony to the impact we're having as a church in the community and we really praise God for this!

Winter Blues

Oh how we long for Summer!! This week has been hideous and exhausting. Joel kicked off with a nasty bout of flu one week ago which in true Joel style led to bronchialitis. He hates his medication and it is a real trial getting it down him. He has also been off of Play Group all week - oh brother! Then, on the routine trip to the doctor with Joel, Eli was diagnosed again with a double ear infection on top of his cold, so he has been miserable and on antibiotics. To cap it all Dean has been quickly sliding downhill only to be diagnosed today with bronchitis. Our doctor is becoming quite a family friend!! He is now on the same medication as Joel but 3 times the dosage. Whilst there, the doctor showed concern about Eli and inspected him again. It seems that his ear infections have got worse and he is now on a 10 day course of powerful antibiotic (his 3rd different type in 2½ weeks). This is all very wearing physically and emotionally and we have also found it very expensive. Much as we may have moaned about the NHS in the past, we have spent the best part of £80 this week alone on doctor's visits and medication, none of which is covered by medical aid.

Joel went with Twinkle Tots to the local fire station this morning and had a great time, despite the awful weather. Joel was a bit disappointed not to see Fireman Sam but was quite pleased to see Fireman Michael who is a real fireman. All the kids seemed to have a great time and there was an unusually good turnout of dads!

Last Weekend

We forgot to post these photos from last weekend. As you can see the weather was decent so we spent quite a bit of time in the garden. Eli is now enjoying Joel's old swing and Joel loves swinging on the 'big boy swing' next to Eli.

Carstens Experiences

Our good friends Nikki & Rian recently moved to the UK for work and we miss them a lot! However, they are now online and have joined the 'Blogosphere' with their own Blog 'Carstens Experiences' where you can read about their new lives and see some great photos of their gorgeous kids.

Douglas's Funeral

This morning Dean attended Douglas' funeral and these were his thoughts afterwards:

So, how do you address the congregation at a funeral where you had little respect for the deceased and really didn't like him very much. After all, I only knew the man as a cantankerous old drunkard who placed a heavy burden on his son and never showed any appreciation for his loyalty and unconditional love.


Eli was getting very excited last night as he was watching Mummy prepare his food, so we couldn't resist taking some photos of him as he is incredibly cute!