Thursday, November 11, 2004

Lynn's 30th

30th, Skogheim, Holiday, Camp

Looking back over the Chronicles, I see that the next update was supposed to have been written in about July, when we would have been living Pretoria for a year. You would be correct in assuming that life in Pretoria is so busy that I haven’t had time to put together an update! Six months have gone by since the last one – and what six months they have been.

My working days were indeed increased sometime in May, so I am now working four mornings a week at the church. This is really a great job, very fulfilling, and I am feeling very useful here. The extra hours did lead to my resigning from my other admin job which I was doing from home. I was making terrible mistakes in my work and dropping the balls I was supposed to be juggling, so we (employee and employer alike) felt it would be best to let that one go!

May was my thirtieth, with a celebration in early June – nearly thirty people gathered at the church for soup and bread (very elegantly), with a come-as-you-aren’t theme (open to interpretation, but the idea was for people to come looking different to how they normally look – in some cases this was interpreted as fancy dress, and in other cases it was simply ignored!) It was a great evening. We were treated to some hilarious entertainment from some local residents, and another piece by some Joburgers a-la “Whose line is it anyway”.

In July we went to our second Annual Reformed Evangelical Conference held in Skogheim, just near Margate. This year there were no broken toes, but we all got terribly sick – Nick missed several meetings while he was in la-la land trying to get better. The boys also had runny noses, watery eyes, fevers – apparently Skogheim is famous for inflicting diseases on its delegates.

August was the month of the RBA Power Camp. This is an annual camp for the youth of the Reformed Baptist Association. It was an excellent weekend, with Glen Thompson recruited as the speaker – who was well received by the youth. Nick attended the camp last year, just for one night, to lead the worship, but this year we decided to go as a family. I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend the meetings, but I enjoyed getting away for the weekend to the CYARA/YFC campsite. Nick graciously looked after the kids so that I could participate in the teamsports and obstacle course on the Saturday – next year it might be the other way around! I came away bruised, battered and exhausted, but loved it. August was also the month of reacquainting ourselves with a cousin of mine who lives right here in Pretoria, but who I hadn’t seen for about 15 years – and the Chronicles were instrumental in our meeting! Had a lovely visit with them and my mom’s sister.

Directly after the RBA weekend, we joined my parents at a holiday resort near Harrismith, located right next to the Sterkfontein Dam. It was a wonderful week of relaxing and having a break from household bores – a cleaning lady came twice a day to service the chalet, so we weren’t even obliged to wash dishes! Nick played his first ever game of squash with my dad, and did pretty well at it. One morning we left the boys with my mom, and my dad, Nick and I took a hike (or a strenuous walk) up the mountain (okay, hill). We suspect that we were walking on the northern most parts of the Drakensburg. The views of the dam were spectacular, and we could overlook the whole resort. The boys were angelic, and enjoyed the time with their grandparents. (Thanks again, mom and dad!)

In September, Nick flew to Stellenbosch for five days for the BNA Assembly (that’s the Baptist Northern Association). He had a good time away, although was frustrated at the some of the issues cropping up and becoming trendy in Baptist Churches. This was Nick’s first visit to the Cape, and he was really impressed at the beautiful surroundings. The boys and I had a dreadful time while he was gone – apart from missing him, we were carless as one of the wheels needed urgent fixing, so for almost the entire long-weekend I was without wheels. Both boys were sick with temperatures and vomiting, so anytime we got a lift with someone, I had to take along a plastic bag in case (and it was needed!). Needless to say, I was really glad to see my beloved husband again!

October was really busy. Nick shouldered an extra bible study while Pastor Martin was away on long leave in the UK, which meant that Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings were taken up with ministry – apart from the extra preaching at daughter churches on Sundays, and visitation at other times. Nick celebrated his 28th birthday at the end of October, which was a week-long celebration! We started off with a dinner date the Tuesday before, as one of our church members gave Nick money to take me out to dinner for his birthday. On the actual day, Saturday 30th, Nick’s mom and sister popped around in the afternoon, and then we had some friends over for a late afternoon braai, followed by bible study, which was closed with cake and celebrations. On Sunday we attended another braai organised in Nick’s honour, and on Monday we watched a movie, the tickets for which were a birthday present.

Now November is upon us. We are anticipating that life will slow down dramatically in December, as all of the bible studies will shut down for the holidays. Of course, now is the time that year-end things start happening. We recently attended the boys’ nursery school concert, which was quite tedious as you have to sit through all the other classes’ items, but it was fun watching our own kids on stage, looking shell-shocked at all the people staring at them, forgetting all the actions of the songs they were singing along with, and generally looking very much like they were trying to hide!

Nick was asked if he would consider a call to a Baptist church in Malelane as their pastor, and some correspondence was entered into. However, in the end they decided on someone else. He will likely be appointed as an elder in our church next year, pending the members’ acceptance. It looks like we will be in Pretoria for a little while yet unless the Lord has other plans, and although Nick is keen to move on, we are also happy to stay.

Caleb and Aaron have entered the next phase of interaction with each other, a good one this time. They have discovered that brothers can be good things and useful for playing with. They often still irritate one another, but can amuse one another quite well. Aaron’s vocab has increased, but we seldom know what he wants because he is missing several consonants in his speech, so ‘car’ is ‘dar’; ‘dog’ is ‘dod, voof’, ‘Caleb’ is ‘Tadid’ and so on. He says, “mommy, mommy, mommeee, mommeeeee, MOMMEEE” until he has my attention, then proceeds to jabber something, and gets frustrated when we don’t understand. He is quite a boyish boy though, a very able climber, and generally very happy. The two of them are terrified of insects. When a moth flew in the front door, the screams that ensued would have been more appropriate for someone thrown into boiling oil. They have both had chicken pox – Aaron had only a few spots, but contracted an adenovirus on top of his chicken pox which landed him in hospital for a night as his chest closed up. Caleb, although spottier, thought himself quite well enough to continue life as normal. We realised how much Aaron was aware of his brother’s presence at playschool, although they are in different classes, when Caleb couldn’t attend for a few days. The little brother was beside himself when he saw that Caleb wasn’t going with him! He turns two next month.