Joel and Eli finally got to experience snow for the first time and they loved it! Joel has wanted to play in snow for years so he was really thrilled to be in Susan's garden finally playing in it.

Snowballing Daddy seems to have been the highlight (Mummy was a bit wiser and remained firmly indoors - only cos she doesn't have any wellies!) but building a snowman came a close second. Daddy was sent back indoors to find a carrot for the nose and something for the eyes and the result looks pretty good for a first ever attempt by the African boys.


It's Snowing

Apparently the current snowfall is the earliest in the UK for 17 years and we have two very very excited boys who are desperate to be playing in it.

This is the view of our garden in Wimbledon which leads me to surmise that if the snow has settled this much down south in London Town how much worse/better must it be out of town.

Guess we'll find out tomorrow when we'll be venturing down to Weald.

Chillin' Out

What else is there to do in this freezing weather than to chill in front of the telly?

Don't you just long for those days when you could lounge around on the furniture like that?

Got to admire Eli's style there!
Sometimes life does a full circle and today was one of those days as Paula caught up with a friend she made in her first few months in South Africa 2004. Nikki and her family subsequently moved to England in May 2006 and today was the first time they have seen each other since then. It was lovely to catch up and to meet new additions to the family!

Minus Three!

This one is for our friends back in SA.

I took this this morning as I was warming the car up for our journey to Oxshott at 9am and it was -3.5°C.

Scary thing is this is down south in London town. We've still got to go up north in January and goodness knows what it might be like by then!

The boys are desperate to see snow and they are absolutely adamant that we must go back to the pond on Wimbledon Common tomorrow morning to throw more stones onto the ice and try to break it again. Looking forward to that!

Ice Age

Joel & Eli have never experienced ice in it's purely natural state so the current weather here in Blighty is a bit of a shocker and not just for them!

Having wrapped up as warm as we could (more layers are needed in the next shopping trip!) we popped out for a bit of fun on Wimbledon Common.

Although we didn't see any Wombles on the common we did get to see the frozen pond and then set about trying to see if we could break the ice by throwing sticks and stones onto it.

The ice prevailed in more ways than one. Firstly it failed to break despite some valiant efforts, particularly by Eli, but the ice also won through as we all got so cold we had to abandon our attempts to break it and retreat to the warmth of home.

Next time the ice gets it!

More pics below..

The Week So Far

Getting used to life back in Blighty is one thing but trying to adapt to life and the weather is very trying! We had to scrape ice off the car for the first time in many many years and couldn't believe how long it took for the heater to kick in and start pumping hot air into the car. When we go home in January we might be going home to the fag end of summer but we really can't wait!

We've been phenomenally blessed so far, not least by the loan of a car for the two months. Once again we must thank our friends at St. Andrew's in Oxshott for sorting this out for us. The car is a Fiat Stilo (we'd never heard of it before) a five door hatchback and it's perfect for our needs.

We've managed to get out and do a bit of essential shoping without the kids and we've even had them looked after for a couple of nights already allowing us to catch up on a bit of sans enfant sanity.

The Secret Garden

Despite the busyness of rushing around, meeting folk and having meetings in between the full on weekend commitments we're planning to steal some family time so we have a chance to chill, regroup as a family and recharge the batteries.

This morning was just such an occasion as we set about exploring and rediscovering the delights of Susan's amazing garden. Looking at the pictures (see full album links below) it's hard to believe that we're in the middle of London given how green and lush the garden is.

This afternoon should also be a lot of fun as Grandad & Lesley are here to take the boys off our hands for a bit as we escape for an hour or two.

Our feet don't seem to have touched the ground since landing at Heathrow. Having been picked up by Stephen, he then dropped me off in Oxshott on his way home so that I could pick up the car we've been fantastically blessed with whilst we're in Blighty. We then had an afternoon to unpack before joining Paula's family in Weald for Indy's 12th birthday. Not sure how our youngest niece suddenly got to 12 years old, we must be getting old! We had a fun meal out with her to celebrate.

On Sunday we gave our first talk as we presented our Powerpoint presentation about what we've been doing over the last two years with Grace Community Church. We think it's a great presentation (we're biased) which shows really clearly what we've been doing and what our hopes are for the future. Please pray into this as we really hope that others in leadership might also catch the vision.

Lisa then cooked a fantastic Sunday roast with 11 of us sat around the dining table. Such a special occasion when so many of us are able to get together as it really doesn't happen too often.

And So It Begins

I'm quite excited this morning as our Mission Education trip finally gets underway as we speak at our first engagement. We're at St. George's in Weald, the village where Paula grew up and most of her family still live. St. George's is a great church family and we always receive a really warm welcome from many dear friends most of whom we've known for many many years. In Paula's case some of the folk have known her since she was a baby!

The Eagle Has Landed

I'll claim to be the Eagle given that I'm a Palace fan.

Anyway, we finally landed a mere 5 hours late. Confusion was the order of the day at Cape Town airport as we were told the plane had a battery problem so we'd be late taking off. Then we were told the flight was cancelled and we'd "know more in 20 minutes". This was a much quoted expression which seemingly had no meaning whatsoever!

Eventually after a 3 hour delay we were on board only to be delayed for another two hours whilst a large crowd of drunks were taken off the plane by the police followed by their luggage being removed.    Read on..

Fond Farewells

We're never too fond of having to say goodbye to folk, even if we will see them again very soon, but that's one of the drawbacks of the life we lead.

Saying goodbye or au revoir this time has been made a little easier by some fantastic friends who have made time to give us a really fun last few days.

Yesterday was truly amazing as after a few weeks of planning Ernest & Annie's family took us out for a farewell tea at their favourite restaurant (one which we like a lot too!).

WOW what a fantastic blessing!

Read on..

Eli's 5th Birthday Party

Eli was honoured to have an early birthday yesterday as he will be in the UK on his actual 5th birthday in December and school's out for summer here so most of his friends would have been away too.

So, he dressed in civvies to school and pretended it was his big day.  He has been asking for months for a Ben 10 cake, so mum and dad bravely rose to the task and it was a pretty good result we think!!! (see below) Eli certainly loved it, and 10 kids and a few parents managed to demolish the whole cake at his party.

Weekend

One of the joys of living where we do is that no matter how one is feeling or what is going on one can always stop and take a minute or two to enjoy the sheer beauty of the mountains and coastline interspersed with stunning vineyards. We really are incredibly blessed to live in a very beautiful place!

The weekend began with Michael rocking up and doing a load of work in the garden which was a fantastic blessing.

On Saturday we had a fun day at home followed by fish & chips on the beach in Gordon's Bay followed by the obligatory clamber through the rockpools. The boys were as happy as a pair of pigs in mud (see pics below).