Eli's First Birthday Party

With Eli's birthday being so close to Christmas we had to have his party a week early to ensure that some of his friends would be able to come. Eli seemed completely oblivious to the event but was delighted to have unfettered access to a huge bowl of 'Flings' which he and Jared (his main partner in crime) set about demolishing.

Table Mountain

We are privileged to live somewhere as beautiful as we do and regularly thank God for such a blessing! This is the view of Table Mountain seen from a friends home on the Schapenberg in somerset West.

Visit Finnie's In Focus for a high resolution version

We've circled our house in the bottom right.

Nose Picking Shepherd

Joel had a ball at the Twinkle Tots Nativity yesterday. He did himself proud and we were very proud parents! As you'll see from the photos below, Joel was very happy and enjoyed the whole experience, unlike last year when he refused to participate and cried throughout. Nata had obviously given a lot of thought as to who would take which roles and Joel was one of two shepherds. The other shepherd was a smaller boy named Liam and Joel took him under his wing and helped him along.

Today is Joel's last morning at Twinkle Tots, where did his 2 years there go? He has really enjoyed his time there and we've seen him develop and flourish in so many ways. We'll always be grateful to Nata, Ouma & Yolande for taking such good care of our boy! We're also looking forward to Eli starting there in June next year. Tomorrow Joel will be a shepherd in the Twinkle Tots nativity and then it really is 'farewell' as he starts at the International School in January. Wow, he's getting all grown up!

Funny Old Weekend

Nothing spectacular happened at the weekend, but we did have a few minor but amusing incidents ranging from finding a rat in the toilet bowl (dead thankfully, presumed drowned) to a pigeon flying into a window and leaving an almost perfect imprint of itself. Poor Joel was in trouble at the time and hiding in his bedroom when we heard a loud thud, so Dad went into his bedroom to tell him off. Unfortunately, Joel was reading his biggest book which is the one he usually lobs when angry, so he got a sound telling off. Later in the afternoon we went upstairs and saw the impression of the pigeon in the window, whoops! that would explain the loud thump. Joel then must have wondered what was happening as Dad apologised to him and Mummy gave him some sweets. Great recipe for a confused child.

Bible Study Social

My bible study group went for a social this morning and we were blessed with a gift which enable us to go to a steakhouse where we all had a burger, chips and coke. As a group we had not had a trip out since John (an FYP volunteer) left a year ago so fun was had by most. Unfortunately, someone said something malicious to Peter so he was in a really bad mood all morning. Also, the weather was really naff so we couldn't go for the planned stroll along the beach. However, we did have a lot of fun and agreed to make a plan for 2007 to ensure we have more trips out. Amen to that!

Monkeys & Mountains

Having just had our worst ever weekend in terms of behaviour and boundary pushing, things seem to have settled down again and life is a lot of fun once again. Joel lost the battles and after refusing to eat (and generally behave) he's rediscovered his appetite! Thankfully, Joel & Eli generally play very well, especially when they're in Joel's bedroom. Both boys adore books and Eli quite often slopes off there to rummage through Joel's collection.

Home Based Care

Our planned Home Based Care program seems to be gathering pace without our actually doing very much about it. On Friday we had a call regarding old bedding from a local hotel which is replacing theirs. So Dean went into Cape Town and was able to load the bakkie with a huge quantity of sheets, towels, flannels etc. which is an amazing blessing. We just need to find somewhere to store it all!

Strawberry Picking

On Friday Paula went with Joel on the Twinkle Tots annual strawberry picking trip, much fun was had by all as well as many strawberries! Thankfully they didn't weigh the kids or parents on arrival or departure.

World Aids Day

We know we're a few days late, but thought we'd post something anyway.

Part of the difficulty in posting on this is that here in South Africa things are far from straightforward. Firstly, we have a government which is in denial with the nations approach to HIV/AIDS treatment, & awareness raising being overseen by a health minister who is at best laughable and at worst downright objectionable! She is know as Dr. Beetroot or as the Minister of Garlic as she favours just about any treatment except ARV's. Recently, she was interviewed at the launch of a new 'traditional' medicine in a rural area, but the medicine hadn't even been licensed by the relevant authorities. This is all very frustrating and leaves one feeling very marginalised when trying to get ARV's and counseling for those who need it.

Cell Social

On Thursday Paula took her cell group to a local farm shop for coffee and cake. Paula hadn't told the group that she had planned the trip so it was a welcome surprise for them all. The morning was extra special as Yvonne was there with Asher, Yvonne and her husband Vernon have recently moved to Durban to plant a church. A great time was had by all.