Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! to all our readers, supporters, friends and family.

We're two hours ahead of Blighty so will be fast asleep by the time Big Ben chimes, so don't call us ;-)

Hopefully 2009 will be a great year in which you all draw closer to our awesome Lord. We certainly pray that for ourselves.
I've not been posting Palace Results this season for a few reasons, but mainly because I've been too busy. So, to make amends here's Neil Warnock's review of Palace in 2008.

Best Match - The 5-0 defeat of Burnley at Selhurst Park. That was special because we had to get the win to get in the play-offs and it turned into a special afternoon and night time. We worked so hard to get there from the start we had.

Worst Match - The 2-1 defeat to Bristol City in the first leg of play-offs at Selhurst. I thought we should have won the game if we played like we could. The heat and the kick off time were against us and to equalise but lose concentration and concede straight after made it very difficult for us in the second leg.

Landscape Gardening

The boys are enjoying having some time to play with their toys and Eli particularly is in paradise with his gardening set. He got a wheelbarrow, gloves and a gardening toolkit with a trowel and mini fork and he has now set about a touch of landscaping as he redesigns bits of the garden.

Joel is still 'in heaven' aboard his Black Pearl pirate ship. It really is quite an amazing thing and we have to stop ourselves from having a bit of a play too! Paula took him to the mall today to buy his first proper school shoes -black lace up jobs! 

Christmas Day Fun

We had a great day yesterday and the boys had lots of fun opening their presents. It started with a stocking at the end of their beds followed by their main presents after church. We went to Christ Church in Somerset West for their Christmas service and we really enjoyed it. It was quite nice to have a bit of tradition on the day.

Despite the seemingly huge number of presents we managed to slow things down a bit and told the boys a bit more about Jesus and what Christmas is really about. Joel seems to get it although he was really desperate to get on with opening presents.

Happy Christmas!

Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and a very blessed New Year!

Christmas Eve

Like any other children our boys are REALLY excited about Christmas and can't wait for tomorrow to come. Joel has put a glass of milk and a cookie out for Santa (Dad suggested he might prefer a beer but Mummy reckons he'll be too busy for that) and they've both gone to bed clutching their stockings. Sweet!

1000 Posts

Whilst preparing another post for the blog I happened to notice that we've hit the unexpected milestone of 1000 posts (this post is the 1001st). Wow!

We can't find Brussels sprouts anywhere this Christmas so will do the unthinkable and have a Christmas dinner sans sprouts.

In the absence of enjoying real sprouts we'll have to settle for this amusing story in the news: Farting gorillas force Brussels sprouts off zoo's Christmas menu.

Water Babies

Eli recently went on a 2 week crash course in swimming and as in all things he took to it with natural aplomb and excelled. Enid the swimming teacher said she'd only previously seen one other 2 year old with such a natural aptitude for swimming.

Birthday Boy

Eli celebrated his third birthday today and managed it in style! we've had a lot of fun and lots of people have made a real fuss of him which is great. Having a birthday so close to Christmas isn't great for a number of reasons but despite that he's had a lot of fun today. Eli was delighted with his presents but the skateboard from Jo seems to be the biggest hit. Joel is really smitten by the pirate set from Grandad and needs to be reminded that it's Eli's!

Longest Day

There's a lot of stuff on the news websites we like to look at about the winter solstice and it being the shortest day today.

We'd just like to say that we're enjoying our summer solstice and as such our longest day. The weather is gorgeous, the sun is shining and the day is long.

Oh happy days!

Oh yes, it's also Eli's 3rd birthday!

Caption Competition

It's Friday afternoon and you really should be finishing off that crucial bit of work to meet the deadline, but somehow you strayed onto the web and ended up here.

So, whilst you're here why not get involved? Enter our Caption Competition and see if you can make us laugh.

Give it your best shot, see what you can come up with and leave your entry in the comments bit below.

No prizes, just a bit of fun.

Inappropriate comments will be deleted.
Over on his blog, Terry Virgo posed the following question about this picture:

"If you were around in 1919 (just before prohibition started) and came upon the following poster………

I mean seriously, would you quit drinking?"

I think I would probably start drinking!

Friends On The Beach

Yesterday we went to the beach where the boys had a fantastic time jumping in the waves and giggling themselves silly as they got knocked down by them.

Our main reason for going to the beach was to spend some time with our old friends Pete & Ash. It was such a privilege to spend the day with with them whilst they are down from Jo'burg on holiday. We know Pete & Ash from our time in Zim when Pete led River Of Life Church in Mount Pleasant. These days they live in Jo'burg where Pete leads GodFirst Church where amazing things are happening - check out their website.

Time is precious for Pete & Ash and obviously they want to make sure they have as much time together as a family so we felt very privileged to be able to spend so much time with them on the beach.

Weekend

We can't quite believe that another week has slipped past, it really is quite scary thinking about where the time goes.

This week was quite monumental for Eli as he's doing a two week crash course in swimming and on Friday it all came together and he swam an entire length of the teacher's pool. He's taken to it like the proverbial duck and even the other parents are amazed that a lad so young can be so physical.

Saw this police car in the Strand this morning and was amused by the inscription 'visible policing' on the side.

I guess that probably differentiates it from the usual invisible policing service most South African's complain about.

Maybe the 'visible' service is a premium service?

Christmas Tree

Joel helped to put the Christmas tree up this morning and did a really good job. It was amazing to see the difference over the last few years. After the first time (2 years ago) we spent most of the evening sorting the tree out. Then last year we need to move a few baubles just to balance things out, but this year Joel had a really good eye for where each decoration should go and he really enjoyed having that time alone with Dad to do it.

To see how he's changed over the three years, click the following links: Christmas Tree Last year & Afternoons And Coffee Spoons The year before (2006).

Weekend

Another fun family weekend slips past as the days warm up and the year counts itself down. That can only mean two things; Eli's birthday and Christmas are just around the corner. Somehow we can't believe that Eli is only turning 3. He's physically bigger than most of his peers but developmentally he's way ahead of most of them too. We often have to remind ourselves that he is actually only 2 (just) and shouldn't expect too much of him. However, Eli is more than capable of doing much of what Joel can and in some areas he shows Joel how to do stuff.

Number 21069

Runner 21069 was out and about on the streets and Lourensford wine estate in Somerset West doing her first ever 10 km road race! Yes, it's official, Paula went and chose the hottest day of summer so far (maxed at 38°C) to face her biggest challenge in the Run For Life Road Race/Half Marathon! Having trained for nothing in particular for the past 6 months or so, she was never going to be convinced that she could enter this sort of thing alone, so her dear husband decided to enter her instead.

Eli's Birthday Party

Today Eli had his 3rd birthday party and had a lot of fun with his friends running riot around the garden. Having got over the fact that he couldn't have an exclusive invite just for Iza, he seemed happy to have the rest of his friends there to share the cake, the party food and the fun.

As part of World AIDS Day the BBC News is running a photo journal entitled: Lesotho Aids diary - Joseph's day.

This gives a great insight into life in some of the more rural places in southern Africa. It also highlights how the likes of Joseph are the real unsung heroes of the battle against HIV.

This article is also part of Lesotho AIDS Diary in which you can learn more about Joseph and some of the other unsung heroes in the battle.

The images are from MSF.

World AIDS Day

Did you know that today, 1 December, is World Aids Day? Sadly this day often gets lost in the busy’ness of the season or, more tragically, because people don’t see the point of it.

As you know, either from our blogging or from hearing us speak in England this summer, the effects of HIV/AIDS are a crucial element of our life and ministry here in South Africa.