Washing Machine

Paula caught Eli attempting to climb into the washing machine this morning but rather than panic she grabbed her camera and took these cute photos of our amazing boy.

A Proud Moment!

There comes a time in a Father's life when his pride in his kids knows no bounds. Today was close to one of those moments when Joel donned his first Palace shirt. This brought a tear to my eye.

We got a few looks in church as Dad was also in his Palace shirt (a birthday present from Jo) so we were resplendent in our 'red & blue'.

That's my boy!

Weekend

It's been a funny old weekend, Paula was out on Saturday morning with Eli at a birthday party and then again in the afternoon for a practice session with the choir she's in for Christmas (all a bit Anglican!), so I got to spend most of the day just with Joel which was great, although much of my time was spent mopping up poo as Joel isn't too well. I'm not sure where today went, church was great, Sean preached a class sermon about God. How we need more of this type of preaching! But this afternoon seems to have disappeared, although part of it was stolen by the telly as Joel and I watched 'Over The Hedge'. Joel wasn't too sure why Daddy was crying and laughing at the same time, but let's just say that this is a good film which is wasted on kids.

We have some good photos to show for a non-event weekend...

Running & Running!

Wow what a day! Poor Joel is suffering really badly with diarrhoea. We think it might have to do with some dodgy swimming pool water he drank, but it could be any number of reasons. Suffice it to say, we have got through several pairs of pants and almost a bottle of bleach today! The day started with a crash when we caught him literally falling off of the kitchen work top as he was caught in his efforts to self-medicate by climbing up to the medicine cabinet. One hour later, the kitchen was clean but still a bit sticky underfoot - boys!!

Emyezweni Christmas Party

We were invited to attend the Emyezweni Christmas Party today, mainly so that Dean could entertain the kids again, but also because we try and support the work as much as possible, although in truth we don't do anywhere near as much as we'd like to for them.

As usual the Christmas party was a lot of fun, Debs, Rach' and the staff really do put a huge amount of work into it and the whole event is brilliant.

The photos tell their own story, so we hope you enjoy them..

Mountain Biking

I generally manage to go twice a week and sometimes manage three rides. On a Tuesday and Thursday I go with some friends up Sir Lowry's Pass, following the railway servitude road. The ride is great and there is a fantastic stretch of downhill on which we once clocked 75kph!

Joel & Eli

Joel has wanted a helmet for his bike for a long time, so yesterday we got him one which he now refuses to take off! In the evening he wandered into the bathroom still wearing it and said in a hippy type voice: "Wow, it's all green" Oh dear!

Kids And Crane

As I was driving into Chris Nissen the kids were enthralled by the crane, but as soon as they saw my camera they began posing for me. Once again you can see how beautiful the backdrop to the community is.
For our entire time here we've been striving to network with other agencies and organisations (role players) to ensure a cohesive strategy in Chris Nissen. Part of our desire is too also wipe out any duplication of service into the community so as to strengthen the planned outreaches of the various groups involved. Frustratingly our efforts at building a network have been fairly fruitless and there are a couple of fairly obvious reasons for this. Firstly, besides ourselves as Helderberg Christian Church, there is no other agency or organisation which is in the community on a regular and committed basis.

Home Based Care Training

Saturday morning was the start of the realisation of a dream Paula has been carrying for Chris Nissen Park over the past 2 years. In the last 6 months the ladies in her cell group have received 2 sessions of HIV/AIDS awareness training and this was capped on Saturday by a whole morning of Home Based Care training. Over her months of visiting people in CNP it has become all too evident that many of the ladies are in fact doing the job of a home based carer with very little (or no) training, few resources and less than ideal environments.

Eli At 11 Months

Eli is 11 months old today. Wow, where did the time go?

We can't really express what a sheer bundle of joy he is and what a blessing he is to our family. Joel simply adores Eli and that is clearly reciprocal! We look forward to Eli being able to walk and keep up with Joel, as it looks like they'll have a lot of fun together (as long as Eli leaves Joel's train set alone).

Garden

Here's an update on how the garden is looking now that Spring is over and summer is allegedly with us (we say allegedly as it's been raining for 2 days, but it is very warm). The grenadilla bush has simply continued churning out its fruit so no complaints there. It's a pleasure to watch different plants come into bloom at different times. The Aloe Vera has finished flowering and now looks quite plain, whilst other bushes and trees are looking fantastic.

Hope you enjoy our garden as much as we do...

Eli

Dean's replacement lens arrived today (he smashed his old one at the Choices do - whoops!) so he had to fiddle with it and take a few piccys before the light went completely and Eli was very obliging. Joel on the other hand scarpered as soon as he saw the camera.

Chris Nissen

I had an excellent afternoon in Chris Nissen catching up with friends and visiting a few others that I hadn't seen for a while. I always enjoy spending time in Dina's house and today was no exception as Basil & Mary were there with a neighbours daughter whom they look after during the day. Lytton (Dina's grandson) was there with a friend as was Dina and we all had a good laugh and chat. I then went and spent a bit of time with Vissy, I'm always stunned at how well she looks! God has been so faithful in answering our prayers for her. We were convinced about a year ago that she had only days to live, and here we are a year later and she looks really good. Praise God!

Lazy Sunday Afternoon

Going to the Nature Reserve for tea on a Sunday afternoon seems to be becoming a bit of a tradition. Thankfully it stays open until 7pm during summer so we'll be able to enjoy many more lazy afternoons and evenings there. As you can see from the photos below, the boys really enjoy going. Joel loves seeing Spikey (the porcupine) and Eli seems to know that there will be plenty of food available!

TT Bike Races

Joel had a ball at the Twinkle Tots Bike Races this morning. He almost won his heat, but apart from that he loved being with his friends and just generally charging around the car park at his nursery. Needless to say the boys were very lively! Eli enjoyed himself too as he attempted to eat all the gravel on the car park, he failed but not for lack of trying!

It was a really good fundraiser for the nursery and everyone seemed to enjoy cheering for their kids and chatting with other parents.

Hope you enjoy the photos and the video below.

Bike Race - Preparations

Joel's nursery are holding a 'Bike Rally' tomorrow and there are prizes for the best decorated bike, so Joel & Daddy set about creating a masterpiece. Joel loved using 'real' paint and could barely contain himself. The biggest struggle for Daddy supervising was trying to persuade Joel to wait a while to allow one colour to dry before using a different one. Anyhow, he got the hang of it and did a sterling job.

Eli Standing



Here's a video of Eli standing. He's getting really confident now and has taken one step on a few occasions so he's sure to be walking soon. Scary thought!

Eli

We took this photo of Eli this morning as he was showing off with his standing. He's been standing freely for a while now, but yesterday he took his first step and took another this morning. Having has a child who didn't move for 18 months it's quite scarey having a monster who's been moving since he was 4½ months old! Eli is a week short of being 11 months.

Chris Nissen

I had an interesting morning in CNP today. His first task was to deliver a load of toys and two cupboards to the newly established créche in the community. This créche is a bit of a mixed blessing for us, it's great that at last there is something for the kids and their parents, it means that I can no longer use the containers for my bible study on Thursday mornings.

Joel seemed to spend the whole of Sunday getting into mischief one way or another. Here's a sample of some of his antics plus a couple of cute shots of Eli to counter balance it all. Check out Joel's novel use of peas over on Finnie's In Focus

P. W. Botha

I wasn't planning to comment on the death of P.W. Botha, most realise that he was an anachronism from another time. An ugly reminder of the dark days of the apartheid regime of the 1980's. However, two things have come out of his death that warrant comment. The first thing is 'historical revisionism' and the second is 'forgiveness'. Clearly the second is by far the most important so I'll concentrate more on that one once I've dealt with the first.

Update On Our Week

The week in summary... It started last Saturday when Dean & Joel went to our 'Launchpad' camp near Grabouw. Dean was the official photographer and Joel was the able assistant! Look out on our PhotoBlog early next week for more photos of that. On Thursday, Dean was again the 'official' photographer, this time for Choices, our pregnancy crisis counseling centre. Dean has done a few bits for them and really enjoys serving this BRILLIANT ministry.