Today was the first truly Spring like day we've had despite officially being just over two weeks into the season. The temperature was up in the mid twenties which was great and we had a lot of fun in the garden soaking up those long missed rays. Winter has been very long, cold and wet so we won't miss it! Alarmingly, with the first warm day in months there were some large fires on the Helderberg mountain, thankfully there was no wind so they burnt straight up and were out fairly quickly.

Weekend

We managed to have two nights away in Pringle Bay 'sans enfants' on Saturday and Sunday which was a blissful way to celebrate our wedding anniversary as well as a great time just to chill out and spend time together. It's easy in the midst of the daily clamour to forget what it is you love about each other so taking time out to get reacquainted is essential. At least that's our excuse and we're sticking to it! We were thoroughly indulged and spoilt by our hosts which is always nice.

Celebration Of School Work

Joel was the bright star of the morning today as he proudly presented his term's work to us with his fellow classmates. He was completely stage struck until it got to his turn to be the 4th monkey in the song (see photo). He then gave an oscar winning performance, dying as the crocodile ate him!! After the songs and a lovely power point presentation of photos from the term we were escorted back to the classroom to be shown his work in a special file. He really has come on so well and is coping so well with his sensory integration syndrome that was diagnosed earlier in the year. We are so proud of him!

Wedding Anniversary

Today we celebrate 16 years of marriage!

Wow!

We've had a lot of fun, been to some great places, met some incredible people and been blessed with two amazing sons!

We'll let you decide how we've fared the passage of time.
Aunty Henna turned 60 today and Paula's cell group celebrated with cake, surprise presents, cards and flowers. Poor Henna was completely bowled over by all this love but we all had a lovely time celebrating with her. Later in the meeting we prayed and thanked God for his gift of life no matter what our circumstances. Henna has been one of the founding members of Paula's group and is now one of the home based carers.

Britain's Favourite View

"From lakes, hills, cliffs and mountains to cityscapes and panoramas of outstanding natural beauty, Britain's favourite view has finally been chosen.

A five-part television series Britain's Favourite View on ITV, spearheaded by Sir Trevor McDonald, included 16 celebrities who advocated scenic vistas from around Britain, trumpeting their beauty and explaining their geological significance and historical resonance"

The winner of the public vote was Wast Water and it's very easy to see why. If you've ever been there you'll know just how stunning the place is.

So here we go with a couple of photos from our trip to the UK last year when we took Joel & Eli to Wast Water

Health Blues

We have had a really poor couple of weeks healthwise as a family. It started with Eli's ears pouring fluid, which quickly turned into thick gunk and more recently is stained with blood. In many ways this is a good sign that his grommets are working but it is messy and makes him feel quite under the weather. Joel went down with a nasty strain of flu last weekend which took a week to clear and he is still coughing a bit now. Paula started with a sore throat in the week and now has stuffed up sinuses! On Sunday Dean woke up unable to speak (yeehah!) and with a killer sore throat. He quickly started barking like a dog and has spent most of the past 48 hours in bed exhausted. He is now on major antibiotics and cortisone as well.

Citizenship

Although there is no such thing as a British Citizen (don't get me started on that!) Eli has been granted British Citizenship. We received his certificate of registration today from the British High Commission. This is a real answer to prayer and a massive blessing for us as a family, especially for Eli (he now has dual nationality). As far as we can tell he also has full rights of descendency for his future children which is great. Next step is to get him a UK passport, there always seems to be one more form to fill in.

Hanskop

On Saturday morning I rode with Paul & Pete to the top of Hanskop from our house. This was a big ride measuring 60ks with just over 1450m of climbing. Hanskop forms part of the Hottentots Holland range of mountains which enclose the Helderberg Basin. This particular mountain is a communications relay base hence the access road to the top. I was particularly pleased with this ride as I kept my heart rate to an average of 136bpm and burnt 3450Kcal of which 45%were fat burning. Brilliant! This was a great ride and excellent prep for the upcoming Karoo to Coast 100k race on the 23rd.

After a few false starts and teething problems, Paula today officially launched her faithful home based care team in Chris Nissen. It was a special morning. Thanks to a financial commitment from our church she had been busily buying basic items for each carer and putting them in special bags for them to take around with them to house visits and was able to officially hand them over today to her 4 delighted carers. If it wasn't enough to see their beaming faces at being presented with a few essentials, the next couple of hours in the community more than gave hope, if ever we were doubting, that God is at work both in their lives and in CNP.

Place Of Safety

It warms my heart to think of Michael & Joyce as a 'place of safety'. As a couple they have grown and matured so much in the 3 years we've known them and Michael has become a trusted friend whom we love dearly.

The sheer joy on their faces when they received Hayden would have melted the hardest heart. We really are incredibly proud of Michael & Joyce and the example they are being in the community.

Praise God for their faithfulness!