Saturday, December 27, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It was a cool, overcast morning but excitement was in the air! No more sleepies to countdown, Christmas day was here.
After all the pressies were opened and the girls were lost in their gifts the kettle was put on for a cup of tea and Christmas mince pies were put out for breakfast. The pot was ready for the gammon and the potatoes had to be peeled.
Then off it was to their Granny and Grandpa to get the party started.
This is my brother that stayed with us for a week, not too long ago.
Caitlyn and Jaina opening pressies at Granny and Grandpa.
My beautiful Mommy.
Granny, isn't this a delicious Christmas choc?
Anyone for some Christmas trifel?
Mmmm, Granny this Christmas pudding is delicious!
I hope you all had a wonderful day, Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

And the livin' is easy

Sunday afternoon and not a breath of wind. It is so hot and the girls decided to have an apple bobbing competition.
Nearly got it...
And victory at last!!
Daddy's turn -
Hey girls, this is harder than it looks!!

The best day ever!

Yip, this was Jaina's description of our day yesterday. We spent the morning playing Pick up Sticks and looking at old family photo's. We reminisced about Christmases gone by of family no longer with us. They were privileged to know their Great Grandparents and we spoke of Uncles and Cousins that are also waiting for us in heaven. My Mom has got Christmas baubels, with our names and the names of all our family that are in heaven, on her Christmas tree - to remember everyone at Christmas time.
Then in the afternoon, when it got a bit cooler, we went to my parents home for a swim. What a relief to get away from the heat for a little while. They were all saying "Mom, stop taking photos and get in the pool"!
This is a photo of a tree my Mom decorated outside by the pool for Christmas.
And this is the top part of their garden, what an inspiration!
Last night, we went to friends for a braai (barbeque). Their daughter is a few months older than Jaina, but all 3 girls get on very well.
So this was Jaina's idea of the best day ever. No expensive toys or outings - just good times!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Christmas Carols

This weekend we had Christmas Carols at church. Caitlyn and Jaina have been going to the holiday club every morning last week and have joined the children choir, practicing everyday.
There was much excitment and nerves as they waited backstage.

Finally, all the practicing and waiting was over and they performed like the little stars they are.
Well, here we are with only a week before Christmas, most of my shopping is done - just a few last minute goodies to still get.
We have my husband's parents over for Christmas eve. I am cooking a hot meal with a glazed gammon and all the trimmings and my Mom-in-law is making a delish trifle.
Then on Christmas day we are headed off to my parents and I will be helping my Mom cook lunch after church. We will be doing gammon, roast leg of lamb and a chicken with walnut stuffing. Then roast potatoes and veg, which will be roast butternut with blue cheese with pecan nuts and a salad. For pudding - the traditional Christmas pud with custard, trifel and vanilla icecream with homemade choc fudge sauce (for my Dad, as he doesn't eat raisens). If it doesn't rain (it always seems to on Christmas day) we will swim the rest of the afternoon. By then we are actually so full, we feel as though we could sink to the bottom of the pool.
Yesterday was my wedding anniversary - 14 years. We took the girls to see Madagascar 2 and then went out for a wonderful supper. It amazes me that even after knowing someone for so many years, we still are learning and growing with each other. I think a relationship cannot stand still, it has to grow and change over the years, otherwise it will just fade away. I loved getting married at this time of the year, as when we went on honeymoon, there were Christmas decorations everywhere - it was, and still is very special.
Happy last minute prep to all!

Monday, December 8, 2008

In the Summertime

What a weekend!
We planned with friends of ours to go to a Carols by Candlelight, with the Welsh Male Choir, at our local botanical gardens. It promised to be a wonderful day with only 20% chance of rain. We got all our picnic goodies (spare ribs, sausages, salad and for pudding - chocolate fudge with pistachios and Christmas mince pies) and found our perfect spot. Once we had settled, a few clouds started gathering and a light breeze started blowing. Thankfully we were sitting under a large thorn tree as the first of the rain drops started to fall, the optimist in me said "it will be over in a few minutes" - my famous last words. The sky opened up and down came the rain and then came the hail - we wrapped our children in picnic blankets, but we all looked like drowned rats. The whole event was cancelled and the children did so much want to see father Christmas. All was not lost as we were still able to hand in clothes and toys that the children do not use anymore for orphanages in the area.
Our friends went home and put on dry clothes and brought their picnic things to us and we all still had a good time. We put on Christmas carols and our girls put on a show of dancing for us. It didn't turn out too bad after all!
This morning I took these pictures of the garden, not a cloud in sight - but this is a good thing as I need to get my washing dry.
Can you spot Toffee in the picture (bottom left corner)?
I couldn't resist taking a pic of a "guinea pig window" in one of their tunnels!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Oh Christmas Tree

My favorite time of the year!
There is excitement in the air, children playing, birds are singing, the smell of gingerbread, spicy peaches, fudge been made in the kitchen and Christmas music playing gently in the backround. What more could a mother ask for.
As the song goes "It's the most wonderful time of the year". My children are what makes Christmas so special for me, we didn't actually have a Christmas tree and decorations until Caitlyn was born.
This is just a little peek of how Christmas looks in our home, it has been lovely to see everyone's homes decorated in their own special way.
It is a reminder to us that we received the greatest gift of them all. That this is the time of our Saviour's birth and the great love that our Father has for each and every one of us.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Freedom at last

It has nearly been 3 months since our baby guinea pigs were born. Toffee (black and white) and Pepsi (black and brown) have become very tame in the last 2 weeks and have almost tripled in size.
They have been driving me crazy with their wheeting, wheeting, begging to get out of their house and on to the sweet grass. We have been cautious to let them out on their own as we live in a neighborhood with many cats.
Sasha, our oldest guinea pig, has been visiting them a few times a day and even spent the other night with them in their house. They all seem to get on very well together. Sasha seems to know that they are still babies and they seem to treat her like their mother as the first time they had contact with her, they were looking for milk.
So finally, we have let them run free. They are exploring all Sasha's tunnels and hiding places she has in the garden. It is wonderful to see how excited they are about life, running around and eating all the grass they want.
My neighbor said to me the other day "every home needs children and animals" - how true. I cannot count how many times I laugh or smile each and everyday because of these blessings that I have in my home.