End Of Year Bits & Bobs

2009 was an interesting year which definitely finished on a high as we were blessed with a home of our own again after 10 years of living in transit. It was also fantastic to be able to unpack our freight, much of which was packed away 10 years ago. We enjoyed reminiscing over our junk and pictures and are delighted to have it all cluttering up our home.

Christmas Day

We both come from very different backgrounds in which Christmas was perceived very differently.
Whilst Paula's family always made it a big occasion and had a sense of the real meaning behind the festival, Dean grew up expecting little of it as he knew it wasn't really worth getting excited about. He certainly had no real understanding of the festival and when it came to presents he never expected much as he knew he wouldn't get much.

This really changed for Dean after becoming a Christian and joining Paula's family. So for the last 20+ years Christmas has been a special and meaningful time in which we like to keep Jesus' birthday central to the whole occasion.

Happy Christmas!

Happy Christmas one and all!

We hope and pray that you have a really blessed time wherever you are and whoever you're with.

Lots of love

Dean, Paula, Joel & Eli

Christmas Eve Picnic

We decided to start our Christmas with what is becoming a bit of a traditional treat - a family picnic in Vergelegen forest under the camphor trees. Once again, we were treated to fantastic food and the boys really enjoyed hunting for their treasure using the maps provided! The weather was glorious - and we felt like we chilled for the first time this holiday.

Had to rush home though to (a) check that Rose hadn't chewed or cried the house down and (b) track Santa on his travels via the official NORAD Santa Tracker!!

Rosie Comes To Stay

Today Rosie joined our family. She's a Rhodesian Ridgeback, Border Collie mix although she's missing the ridge on her back. So far she seems very playful and affectionate.

After much discussion around names the semi-finalists were Mutley and Rosie with Rosie being triumphant. The boys are delighted with Rosie although Eli is far more taken with her than Joel who is quite scared of dogs. This was part of why we wanted a dog so Joel would get over his fear, but we know it will take time.

4 Today! - Pt 2

Eli had a great day celebrating his 4th birthday. He was delighted with his presents (he didn't seem to notice the absentees due to the late post) especially his chainsaw & safety goggles. The goggles were later put to good use as he was tearing around the garden on his bike looking very pleased with himself.

Daddy & Eli had a little chat over lunchtime about where Eli would like to go for his birthday tea, not where Joel had told Eli he would like to go, so Eli chose Col'Cacchio which also pleased Mum & Dad!

4 Today!

Happy 4th Birthday Eli!!!

We were woken at 5.45 to the sound of the boys discussing Eli's potential presents!!  This then deteriorated into an argument and Joel saying he would buy Eli "the boringest present EVER..."a book full of lots and lots of words".

Thankfully, Eli was spared and got what any self-respecting 4 year old boy wanted - a chainsaw!  He was thrilled and spent the next while cutting everything down in the house and garden.  He loved all his presents and cards and did actually love the 3 books that he was given by various folk!  Thank you to everyone for your cards and gifts.  We are now busy building Meccano boats and people - deep joy!

Christmas Tree

One of the problems of moving house so close to Christmas is that the usual preparations get somewhat pushed aside. Actually that could be a blessing! Anyway, after much nagging from two small boys we managed to put the Christmas tree up much to their delight. This year Joel did most of the decorating as Eli lacked the finesse to put the baubles and bits on the tree so threw a strop and wandered off into the garden. Bless him.

Joel loves the tradition of decorating the tree and is beginning to understand the real meaning of Christmas. We had a bit of a chat about Santa and the real St. Nicholas and why he loved & served God.

This afternoon we had the privilege of joining Aunty Mona and her crew for the Firgrove kids Christmas Party. Each year she runs this party simply to bless the kids in the community. Wow what an afternoon. The turnout was fantastic and the kids had a brilliant time with the bouncy castle being the main attraction.

Family Fun Night

Last night we had a church Family Fun Night in Macassar and a fairly wild time was had by all. Sadly for us it was too late for our boys and Eli spent most of the evening asleep on Dean.

Despite this we had a fun evening and it was another great opportunity for getting to know more church folk in a relaxed setting. What was particularly good was the turnout of our youth group as they're a really good bunch. They were all very competitive so they really livened up the games, especially the coke drinking game which was a particular success!

We also hired a bouncy castle so the smaller kids had a great time playing on that. What is it about those things?

As ever when moving to a new home junk accumulates which needs to be sorted and invariably something major breaks down. Here you can see some of the excess junk waiting to find a home in the garage. What surprised me about the size of the pile is the fact that we're not hoarders by any stretch of the imagination and are quite ruthless when it comes to getting rid of stuff. But still junk accumulates!