Blessing Jar

I'm not a journaling kind of person and keeping a diary of any kind is something I'm appallingly bad at, so when I came across the idea of a Blessing Jar late last year I thought it was a great idea and was determined to give it a go.

So here's how it works... each time you receive a blessing from God, no matter how big or small, no matter how important or trivial it may seem, you write it down and pop it into the blessing jar. Then at the end of the year you revisit the jar and the blessings it contains.

It really is that simple!

The joy of this is that there are so many blessings that you've completely forgotten about, and it is truly a joy to look back on the year and remember just how blessed you were.

I could just follow the crowd and wish you a Happy Christmas, but I don't want to do that.

Rather, I want to take a moment to think about what the Christmas story really is.

We all know that it's about God coming down and living amongst us, experiencing our pain, grief and joy, but there's so much more going on in the story.
Legacy seems to be a hot-ticket these days as politicians and celebrities get concerned about what their legacy might be. Sadly few of those that get wrapped up in this nonsense seem to understand that we don't get to choose or decide what our legacy will or won't be. Whilst it's true that our actions and words shape any legacy, it is ultimately history with the benefit of time that will have the final say.

Thankfully Madiba never showed the slightest interest in the celebrity-esque manipulation of legacy. Madiba transcended that kind of nonsense which is why his legacy will only grow from what it already is.

So what does his legacy as it exists so far, mean to us?

Christmas Tree

The boys have spent the morning dressing the Christmas tree, which is the only thing Joel has any intention of dressing today! Eli got to top the tree off with the angel and all in all it's looking good.

Our eldest niece is on her way to the airport as she begins her marathon flight with Turkish Airlines out to join us for Christmas and we're all excited to see her again.

Let the festivities begin!

Today is a huge day here in South Africa as hundreds of thousands of citizens from every section of society join together to remember and celebrate the life of Tata Madiba.

These supporters will also be joined by an unprecedented gathering of world leaders, many of whom will be left totally bewildered and gobsmacked by the tributes that pour in to honour Madiba and his legacy.

As the world mourns the passing of a true statesman and a legend I want to address an issue that keeps rearing its ugly head here in South Africa.

There is a small minority of people who pop up on every social media site leaving comments about Madiba being a terrorist.  I'll leave you to guess the cultural background of this small group of people. For myself I get a bit tired of it and the racism that underpins this view, so here I'm going to look at this argument and expose it for what it is.

At a simplistic level (I use simplistic in the pejorative sense) Mandela was a terrorist by simple virtue of the fact that on 12 June 1964, he and two comrades were found guilty on four counts of sabotage and conspiracy to violently overthrow the government. Mandela had admitted the sabotage but denied the conspiracy to overthrow the government.  The rest as they say is history and Mandela spent 27 years in Robben Island and Pollsmoor prisons.

8th Birthday Party

What a fun afternoon we had celebrating Eli's 8th birthday.

It was all very noisy and very messy. Everything an eighth birthday party should be.

Hopefully all the kids have gone home exhausted because we certainly are!

Eli can't wait to celebrate his actual birthday on the 21st now.

This morning we had the pleasure of watching the junior school perform in their Duets Concert.

Joel was the interloper in the concert getting to perform his favourite solo piece; Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin.

All the children did very well and we were very proud of Joel.

Music Award

We're so proud of Joel this evening as he was awarded a Certificate Of Achievment Music Award for Junior Guitar. The Principal announced it as being for "Excellence in guitar."

Only three awards were given for music in the junior school this year so Joel is understandably very pleased with himself.

Way to go Sunshine!
Felt really pleased to spot a pair of Spotted Dikkop on the vacant plot immediately behind our house. It looks like they might be nesting there which is pretty cool.

These are quite common in the South Africa but it's the first time I've seen them so close to home.

I'm guessing a bit of derelict ground like this is perfect for it as it seeks out lizards and other small creatures to eat. Especially as the water table is saturated after the floods, which has driven many small creatures up to the surface.


The Western Cape was warned on Thursday to batten down the hatches for an approaching storm on Friday which would last through to Sunday morning. On Friday morning the clear blue skies and 25°C temperature made it hard to conceive of the impending carnage. This was rectified within a very brief period as the black clouds appeared and by mid-afternoon one of the wildest thunderstorms was right overhead. Thunder storms are quite unusual in this part of the world, so the first almighty clap was enough to set the alarm bells ringing.