Door

This morning I was with Michael in Chris Nissen helping him to fit a door onto the front of his hokkie.

We had previously fitted the steel plates to the front of the door and at last we were able to hang it. Being a hokkie it's not an exact science trying to fit a stable door within a 'frame' that isn't true. Still, it makes for some interesting on the hoof adjustments but it's all good fun.

The main thing is that Michael was delighted to finally be able to close and lock the door. Tomorrow he's got a friend from church coming to fit glass to his last open window and then the hokkie will be secure.

Pending Move

Today we figured out our moving day so we've notified Telkom to transfer the phone and ADSL line on or around the 19th, our moving day. We've booked a trailer for the 17th & 18th to move the biggest bits with a view to being in on the 19th. Hopefully the gate will be installed by early next week as once the gate is fitted the house will be secure and we can start moving stuff over, so we'll begin with the bookcases, books and other non-essential stuff.

Eli's 4th Birthday Party

Today we celebrated Eli's 4th birthday with a party for his friends. Eli had a blast and was really proud to have his friends at his house. Because Eli's birthday is on the 21st Dec' we have to have his party in the last week of school otherwise all his friends will be away on their summer hols.

Sadly his best mate "The little Daniel" couldn't be there but everyone else rocked up. We kept it all low key and only did two organised games but because there were so many boys they were more than happy to run riot in the garden and explored it to the max. From a brief post-party examination it seems they left no corner untouched.

The girls were a bit calmer but they still had a lot of fun. The parents of Eli's friends are a really nice crowd too so it was a pleasure getting to know some of them a bit better.

Leaders Training

This morning I attended the Senior Leaders Training hosted by Jubilee Community Church in Cape Town. To be honest I didn't really want to go but thought I ought to given that I've signed up for it and paid.

As I was driving into Cape Town I was really struck by the beauty of where we live. One of the highlights of the drive is Table Mountain as it starts of quite small in the distance and just keeps getting larger and larger the closer you get. What a privilege to live somewhere so spectacular!

The training was great, as ever and really helpful. I always enjoy listening to Steve Van Rhyn but this morning it was listening to Lex Loizides that really spoke to me. Steve had spoken about the Sovereignty of God followed by Lex on Our Authority in the Supernatural.

Praise God for answered prayers!

Our biggest and most important prayer request recently has been for the boys and their schooling. After another meeting with the Principal yesterday we have agreed that Joel should remain with his current class group so he'll be with the older end of his age group again but with a new teacher next year who also has a lot of special needs training and experience. Hopefully she'll be really good for him. We also agreed to let Eli go to Reception class with his age group (although he'll be the youngest by some distance) and see how it goes. If he really struggles the school are happy to revisit his situation so we'll remain in close contact with his teacher and the Principal.

Freight

Hooray! The UPS man found me at home today so we finally got the paperwork for our freight, which means we're much clearer about where the freight is right now and when we're likely to receive it.

Frustrating Day

The day started so well with taking Michael to the hospital followed by a good trip to Aunty Florrie's in Macassar. She has a lovely house but is desperate for a few simple jobs to be done and as is so often the case she can't afford to pay much and she's very likely to be ripped off by some cowboy. So I came away with a small list of jobs which I'll do for her in the coming days.

Documentation

Just had a call from UPS to say the documentation for our freight has arrived so they'll deliver it tomorrow. It should give us a clearer idea of when the consignment should arrive.

Brilliant!

Apology

Sorry seems to be the easiest word these days with politicians declaring themselves 'sorry' for this, that and the other, so why shouldn't I?

A while back I got into Facebook. It took three goes but on the third try I was hooked. Initially I had planned to use FB as a means of directing more friends to this blog and it worked. I quickly realised that a lot of our friends on FB were reluctant to venture much deeper into the web and some actually admitted that they didn't know what blogs were and were a bit intimidated by them. So my plan was to use the RSS feed from the blog to post onto Facebook so that friends there could follow the blog from the comfort of FB.

This morning I was up unusually early to pick Michael up before the traffic got too bad and take him to the hospital for his cataract operation. Amazingly he was only in for about an hour when he rang to say he was ready. I've got to take him back tomorrow for something else to do with his eye and apparently the Dr will put a new lens in in about 12 months.

There's much that's wrong with the State healthcare system here but praise God that this op' has finally happened.

Joel thinks Michael looks cool as a pirate!

Dirt Is Good For You

Here's something every parent who uses common sense has known forever, but for some reason it required a team of scientists with funding to make 'official': Children should be allowed to get dirty, as being too clean can impair the skin's ability to heal.

Apparently the study confirms the "hygiene hypothesis" which holds that exposure to germs during early childhood primes the body against allergies. Well hooray for science!

Weekends

Last weekend we went to see our friends Sam & Cindy in Noordhoek just outside Cape Town. They've got a smallholding and are showcasing sustainable farming and living. Check out these two great websites for a better explanation: My Farm Online & Start Living green. It was great to see what they're up to and to get some ideas for our new house when we move next month. I was particularly keen to see the worm farm in action whilst the boys loved the animals and took the seed planting with Sam very seriously. They still check each day to see how the seedlings are doing.

Apologies for the delay. We had a useful meeting with the Principal, thankfully we get on quite well with her. She explained how the school is having to get in line with the International Baccalaureate system and as such the school have had to revisit the whole strategy of who goes where in the primary school. The upshot of this is that Joel will be going to P2 next year. This is more akin to Year 2 in the UK as the school needs to fit with a more international standard. This is generally a good thing as at the moment the school system is a bit stuffed by the South African families who expect it to fit with their understanding of the school system. In SA children start a year later than in Blighty consequently Joel has some 8 year olds in his class! Anyway, Joel will be moving up which we're pleased about although the reasons for him moving up aren't necessarily right. Please hold him up in prayer as he does have his struggles with school.

Today marked the eagerly awaited day for the Tiny Bubble creche in Chris Nissen. The boys' school have had a partnership with the créche for 3 years now, providing weekly sandwiches mainly, but also coming up trumps from time to time with school supplies, clothing and the odd cooker or two! Each year, we do a special party for all the children and "our children" have been generously buying presents for the individual kids and making and buying yummy party food for them!

Prayer Request

We've got an important meeting with the Principal at Joel's school at 10am to discuss which class he'll be in next year. School are keen to hold him back to repeat Year 1 but having solicited the views of many teacher friends who know Joel well we're keen for him to progress into Year 2.

Please pray that whatever the outcome Joel's needs and interests are put before ours or the schools.

Gross Weather

Being quiet on the blog is probably linked to the extremely gross weather we've been enduring for the last week. It has been raining here pretty much non-stop for the last five days which dampens the spirit never mind the ground and makes things very miserable. Apparently things aren't going to improve this side of the weekend. Great!

Dean preached on Sunday and once again really enjoyed doing so. He spoke about Faith with two main points being Simplicity of Faith & Strength of Faith. It seems to have been well received. Particularly later on Sunday evening after most of the church had been to Love & Grace in Mitchell's Plain for a celebration meeting. Dean received some very positive comments afterwards about how the sermon there had been a bit of a follow on from his in the morning. High praise indeed as the preacher was one of Dean's favourite local preachers.

Freight

I heard from our freight company today that our shipping consignment has been packed on to two pallets weighs 800 Kilos & measures 3.732 M³. It has been shrink wrapped in plastic prior to shipping from Southampton on the 9th of this month and the estimated arrival date in Cape Town is the 30th so hopefully we'll have it by the end of the first week of December.

New Smoking Laws

South Africa is very progressive in many areas and its anti-smoking policies have been at the fore of the action much to our delight, so we were pleased to learn that as of the 1st of October the anti-smoking laws took a new tougher stance.

Here's a summary of the New Smoking law which came into force on 1 October 2009

It is now illegal for adults to smoke in a car where there is a child under 12 years of age.

Fines up to a maximum of R50,000 will be handed to owners of a restaurant, pub, bar or workplace who breach the smoking laws and R500 for the individual smoker.

A Different Sunday

This morning was a bit of an odd one as we couldn't get the municipal hall in Macassar so most of the church joined with HCC.

I was really disappointed not to be with my family at Grace, so we decided to invest in some quality family time and went to Cape Town for some fun. The boys chose to go to the aquarium which remains a firm favourite of ours.