6 Years Old!

Joel was up bright with anticipation just before 5am this morning eager to open his presents and tell the world that he is at last 6 years old!! Unfortunately, mum sent him back to bed until a more civilised hour - well, that's 6 am in our house!

He was absolutely thrilled with his presents. He loved the surprises and was so pleased to get a couple of things that he has been asking about for months and months!!

6th Birthday Party

Joel had his 6th birthday party today and was really proud to have his friends round. Inevitably the theme was pirates so all the games had a pirate twist to them!

Much fun was had by all with plenty of gold coins and pieces of eight being given out as prizes.

The cake was probably the most interesting part of the party. Hamida (in the pink to Joel's left) was clearly horrified by the Davy Jones picture on the cake. The party shop where we had the transfer done were quite horrified by it too. Joel certainly seems to be quite unique in what he wants!

We're Still Alive!

Keeping the blog going has taken a bit of a back seat recently (you probably noticed) and that probably won't change for the next couple of weeks so we apologise in advance. The main reason is that it is I (Dean) that does most of our blogging and I've been very distracted by a little bike adventure coming up at the weekend. Somehow it overtook so much and became a bit all consuming of my/our freetime. You can see more by clicking here.

On Fire - Yet Again!

We awoke to a bizarre kind of orangey light streaming in through the bathroom window this morning. It was very strange and we couldn't figure it out at first, but then we began to realise that the air was thick with smoke - again!

It was when we went outside however that we began to realise how bad things were. The garden looked like it had been sprinkled with snow but in actual fact it was all covered with ash.

The Helderberg on fire once again!

This one started a few days ago and the fire crews have been battling to get it under control for a while. Sadly, despite using helicopters to water bomb it they don't seem to be winning. Thankfully the wind has dropped a bit which should help. The mountain is largely obscured by the smoke during the day and the air is thick with the smell of it.

Previous posts on this: Feb 08 & Oct 07

Pranked!

We're all really well and enjoying the height of summer. The temperature is well into the 30's most days and we've had a few days of 40° heat which has been great and it looks like we're in for a few more days of glorious weather.

Joel pulled a blinder on Dad today. He came home from school with some make-up on as he'd been chosen with several other children for a promotional photo for the school. So Joel decided to paint the rest of his face red to be a "bloody pirate". As he came out of his bedroom he complained to Daddy that he was "burning up". Daddy fell for it, got into a bit of a state just in time to realise Joel was laughing his head off. Nice one! Cracking sense of humour which we'll be nurturing.

Garage Worship

This morning was a bit of a different gathering as we were unable to meet in the community hall due to the voter registration taking place. Despite having booked the hall two months in advance and paid for it!

Regardless, Daniel and Mervin did a great job of rallying the troops and making sure as many members as possible knew that we would meet in Davey's garage instead.

Down On The Farm

One morning this week I had the privilege of spending time with Davey (he's Daniel's dad) as he took me around Jamestown just outside Stellenbosch. Jamestown is an amazing little community which was started by some missionaries many moons ago and it was pretty much left alone during the apartheid era which means today it's a close knit and vibrant community with few of the hang-ups of some other communities.

Time seems to have flown over the last three weeks whilst Grandad & Lesley were with us.

Much time was spent on the beach, eating, drinking and visiting a variety of the stunning attractions to be found locally.

The boys have really enjoyed having Grandad around as they don't get to see him too often and may not see him again for another 18 months or so.

Sadly they returned to Blighty yesterday but here are a few highlights from their time with us...

Off To Big School

Joel started back at the International School this morning as a big boy in Year 1.

He was so excited to be going back (as were Mummy & Daddy!) and seeing his friends as well as starting in Mrs Tinsley's class. Joel was also excited as Grandad went with him and Mummy to school this morning.

This year is also a bit different for Joel as Eli is joining him at the International School so he's very proud of being the big brother.

Grandad Arrived

We've not had much time for blogging as Grandad & Lesley arrived shortly after New Year and we've been having a lot of fun since then. The boys are loving having them around.

We've been out and about a fair bit as well as having lots of fun at home. One of the highlights so far was our trip to the Cape Town museum where Joel was really excited to show Grandad the sharks and dinosaurs.

We've also been availing ourselves of our friends swimming pools which is always enjoyed by the boys. Both of them are showing a huge amount of confidence in the water and we're able to relax with them around a pool as they both know what to do if they get into trouble.