They Make Me Proud!

A while ago Michael & Joyce spoke to me about fostering and whether or no it was a good thing for them to be doing. I encouraged them to go forward for the assessment process but also advised them to think seriously about the financial impact of any potential placement if they were to be approved. Michael & Joyce pursued this and have since developed a very good relationship with the local social services.

As I arrived at their house yesterday Michael was on the phone to someone and without telling who it was he thrust the phone at me, the woman at the other end asked if I could take Michael to court in the morning which made my heart sink. So asking her to back up and explain why, she informed me that as the social worker she needed Michael & Joyce to be at court for a Place of Safety order to be granted in their favour. Brilliant! Then, 10 minutes before the end of our bible study, the social worker arrived with a gorgeous 4 month old boy. Wow that was all very sudden.

I'm really proud of Michael & Joyce, they've grown so much in the 3 years I've known them, they've worked through some major issues and have grown stronger as a result. Yesterday was Michael's 62nd birthday, what an amazing present for him.

Paula's Ladies

Paula has had some really fruitful time in Chris Nissen in the past few weeks. She is enjoying getting to know a couple of new mums who are coming along to her cell group as a result of the meeting in the tent a few months back now. One, Daniele, has a 7 year old and a 1 year old little girl. She is a lovely lady and her husband has a reasonably good job. However, there is still very little extra money to go round. She never complains and her smile and sense of fun have been a real asset to the group and in the community. Yolanda, is Aunty Poppy's daughter. She also has older children and gave birth to twins prematurely 5 months ago. Sadly, 1 of the twins died but the other, Rowan, is doing so well. Again, Yolanda is the type of woman who brightens your day. She is always full of laughter and fun despite her quite difficult circumstances. She calls Paula "my darling", which can really remind you of England! Please pray for them as they are both going to a job interview tomorrow. They both need to go back to work now after their children, but it won't be easy for them.

Aunty Poppy has suffered serious complications in recent weeks as a result of her diabetes. She spent 5 days in hospital, during which she saw 6 women die in her ward (all HIV illnesses). This is a sign of the times, but very depressing when you are fighting illness yourself. She has definitely been given a real scare and we are praying and working with her to improve her diet and help her in areas where she struggles. Her kidneys are not good and she is also suffering from bad eyesight since this latest attack. Thank God, she is now back home and sitting up looking bright in bed. Please pray that she gets stronger everyday and that she will soon be back to her old self, but with better habits! We rely on Aunty Poppy so much for many things including, home based care, feeding scheme and help and advice on vulnerable children in the community.

Aunty Henna still battles on with a smile daily. She is a real inspiration to us. Her faith is fantastic - imagine losing your husband and 4 sons within 2 years (all 4 sons murdered separately) and now crippled with arthritis and desperately needing a hip replacement, bringing up 2 of her grandchildren, both of whom are hard work. She goes about her life with quiet grace and is a prayer warrior. She fell on the way to Paula's cell on Thursday, so please pray protection over all Paula's ladies.

Family Time

In the midst of busy lives and endless running around it's really important to take time out as a family, to pull up the draw bridge and exclude the outside world. We spent quite a bit of time doing just that over the weekend and we've had some really great moments. Joel & Eli have thoroughly enjoyed so much attention and have provided some wonderfully entertaining moments for Mummy & Daddy.

Here you can see the boys helping in the kitchen.

Palace Result

Palace lost their unbeaten league record with this defeat against an impressive Ipswich side. Walters' second half header was enough to separate the two sides and to hand the Eagles their first league defeat of the campaign. Palace did have chances to take home at least a point from a lively encounter at Portman Road but sadly squandered their chances. Text from EagleEye Live, edited by me.

Click below for:

Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 1st Sept, home to Charlton

We've had a wonderful day whale watching in Hermanus this morning, followed by a casual Birthday party with some friends around the corner followed by our boys toddling off to bed without complaint after a couple of stories from Mummy. Bliss!

The whale watching was a bit disappointing in Hermanus but it is only just the beginning of the whale season so hopefully we'll see more in the next couple of months. As we drove home via the coast road we saw some whales close to the shore and managed to get some reasonable photos, see below. The whales are Southern Right Whales.

A rare family pose

Joel was desperate to see a shark but was happy with a toy from the market, this shark became inseparable and can be seen 'whale watching' with Joel

A whale floating lazily

More whales

The clearest shot of a whale today

Storytime after a busy but fun day

Gravity Adventure Festival

On Sunday I missed church (sinner!) and joined a friend for a 35k mountain bike race as part of the Gravity Adventure Festival. I have no intention of posting my time simply because I was riding to keep my friend company and have some fun along the way. The route was very easy with a gentle 4km climb at the start followed by a lot of flat and downhill. The route was through the Kogelberg Nature Reserve and followed part of the 2007 Cape Epic route. The scenery was stunning and the weather was perfect so all in all a good fun morning with excellent company.

Palace Result

Palace remain unbeaten after a pulsating climax to the game in which we grabbed a late late equaliser through Morrison after Leicester looked to have sealed the points. Palace lead 1-0 at half time thanks to Stuart Green's free-kick. After a dull opening the game burst into life after Green's strike and Palace could have doubled their lead through Matt Lawrence's shot after a smart move but his effort was well saved by the City keeper. Peter Taylor will be disappointed with the way Palace let their half-time lead slip - but must be happy with the way they secured a point, despite conceding the second with just three minutes left on the clock, to keep up their unbeaten start to the season. Text from EagleEye Live, edited by Moi

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Match Report
Manager's Comments

Thankfully, Palace were knocked out of the league cup on Tuesday night so we can concentrate on the real business of the league and FA Cup rather than waste time on a pointless and worthless distraction.

Next fixture: Sunday 26th away to Ipswich.

Joel had a 'proud moment' on Friday as he had to walk with 'Aunty Zonkie' to the Principal's office to receive the Principal's Special Award sticker for excellent behaviour!! All the children in the class are gradually moved from number 1 to 10 for doing good things/excelling in some way and when they reach 10 they have to go and see the Principal. Joel's 9 to 10 moment came today as a result of willingly sharing the Batman costume with a classmate - something we have all been working on for weeks!

He is SO PROUD and so are we. Well done Joel!!

MTB Race Photos

A couple of photos from the Stellenbosch mtb race:

Sometimes we stop posting on the Blog for the simple reason that we don't have much to write about but sometimes the silence is due to the frustrations we're experiencing. Our recent silence falls into the latter category (except for the Palace Results!).

For fear of being overly negative, we'll not bore you with the details of our frustrations, but if you've been reading this Blog for any length of time you can probably figure it out.

On a happier note, we're all well and enjoying our family life. We took the boys to the aquarium on Thursday (a public holiday) and as ever they had a great time. Joel has always enjoyed his time there, but Eli is enjoying it too and seems to consider it his personal playground.

Paula is enjoying her time at the gym and is now managing four visits a week whilst Dean is addicted to mountain biking. On Saturday he rode to the top of a local mountain, climbing 1120 metres in 10 kilometres. He then got caught in a hail storm and came home soaked but happy. His aim now is to train for the 55k ride in Stellenbosch on the 1st September and then the Karoo to Coast on the 23rd of September.

Palace Result

What a result, the perfect way to start the season. Palace were under pressure from the start, but defended well, rode their luck and then grabbed the lead. Saints pulled a goal back on the stroke of half time, which had most people thinking the Saints would come out and take the game to Palace. They did, but again Palace defended well, then putting the result beyond doubt when Scowcroft grabbed his first hat-trick for Palace, and his first since '98. Morrison's goal was the icing on the cake. Text nicked from EagleEye Live.

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Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 18th home to Leicester

Stellenbosch MTB Challenge

On Saturday my friend Paul and me went to Stellenbosch for the annual Stellenbosch MTB Challenge. We entered the 60km race and didn't disgrace ourselves! We had a lot of fun but cracked fairly decent times. I've never seen so much mud! Everyboy was havin problems with the mud in their gears which made for some interesting moments.

Our main aim was to test ourselves against the rest of the field to get a feel for how our riding is helping and what we need to do to prepare for the Karoo to Coast 100km race later in September.

Our times were as follows:
Name Time Position Age Position Ave Speed
Paul 04:20:28 162/417 151/370 13.82
Dean 04:23:34 168/417 157/370 13.66

As you can see we're well within the top half of the field overall and within our age group, not bad for a 40 year old!

Two other friends also raced the 60k and their results were:
Charl 04:55:10 270/417 251/370 12.2
Barend 05:06:20 306/417 283/370 11.75

My bike after the race

My riding shoes caked in mud

Official results can be seen here.

Palace Result

Palace remain unbeaten in their pre-season friendlies having held Everton to a goalless draw at Selhurst Park. It was an open game with good scoring opportunities for both sides but each chance was squandered.

A great moment for sport was the ovation AJ recieved from both sets of fans. AJ moved to the Toffees from Palace at the start of last season.

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Match Report

Next fixture: Sat 11th away to Southampton

Palace Result

Palace's unbeaten pre-season campaign stretched to eight games on Tuesday night, as the Eagles and Belgian side RSC Anderlecht shared a 1 - 1 draw at Selhurst Park.

Anderlecht, who will be playing in the Champions League this season, took a first half lead but Palace hit back in the second half to level things up through Ben Watson and it could quite easily have ended with victory as the Eagles certainly had the better of the play throughout.

This was Palace's third big test of the pre-season friendlies with the last one coming this saturday when we take on Everton at Selhurst Park

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Match Report

Next fixture: Sat 4th home to Everton