Sunday, January 31, 2010

Picnics and divine appointments

Sat under Charles de Kiewiet’s preaching at Honeyridge; thoroughly blessed by his message on the Samaritan woman at the well with the application of ‘what are you filling the gaps in your life with?’. After church we had an hour or two to kill before our farewell picnic at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, so took the boys to the Wimpy at Clearwater Mall. We got ourselves lost in the mall which does not seem to be arranged in any logical order – I personally suspect that the architect was playing dominoes with his kids one day and thought the haphazard arrangement of tiles on a table would make for a good shopping mall. Nearly ran late for our picnic but fortunately got there before any of our guests, which comprised mostly our families and two or three other friend families. It was a great afternoon, and the thirteen or fourteen kids were occupied and exhausted by the end of the afternoon despite not being permitted Frisbees, balls, or any other form of potentially nuisance-inducing toys in the gardens. They ran around and used their imaginations. I took a walk with Ray and La to the waterfall where the black eagles traditionally nest and circle and spotted two of them hanging onto a cliff face (I was helped both by another eagle-spotter and my zoom lens). We left the boys with their cousins in the garden and went to church by ourselves – figured the boys would fall asleep during the message anyway, and were pleased that they could spend a bit more time with Kaydon and Jared. The evening message was good again, this time brought by Brian Jardine. We were surprised to see two friends from Pretoria at the service, and invited them back to my parents place afterwards for soup and rolls and fellowship. We were staggered at God’s providence at our meeting and the conversations we had, particularly when Glen joined us a bit later after his service at Krugersdorp to spend some final time with Nick. What a great God we serve who is sovereign in all matters and whose loving kindness exceeds our expectations.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve

I was on camera duty today with a family photo-shoot for Al, Kate and Zoë. Unfortunately Zoë had been bitten by a spider or something and looked like she’d been decked in the eye, poor kiddo. Still had fun as they arranged themselves and posed together – all I had to do was stand there with the camera and snap away (granted, it helped that I know a thing or two about exposure and aperture)! The rest of the day was happily spend with Tony and Sue at the Rhino and Lion park out Krugersdorp way. While the men were barbequing and the boys were occupied in the playground, Sue and I wandered around the various enclosures where the young animals are kept until old enough to be released into the greater game reserve area. Absolutely loved the marabou stork who tried to climb into my lap, but felt sorry for the caged meerkats and mongeese in their small areas. After lunch we watched a snake presentation and the cheetah run – it was awesome to see the power of this animal as it chased after a thing-on-a-string. Got to pet the cheetah and hold a Burmese Python (surprisingly heavy). At 4 pm we did a tour of the Wonder Caves nearby, again amazed at God’s creation even as it continues to unfold through His forces of nature. In the evening Nick and I took ourselves off to a pizza place for a supper date – we need to take advantage of our built-in babysitters while we have them!

Friday, January 29, 2010

One thing after another

Nick had an ultra-early start this morning with a 7 am breakfast at Wimpy with one of his college lecturers. He got home in time for me to get to a coffee arrangement with a lovely lady from way back. Had a wonderful chat about God, family, church, our children, and so on. After lunch we went to visited one of the Honeyridge pastors and his wife at their beautiful home in a larny estate, again having super fellowship with them. Directly from there we went to Krugersdorp to spend the afternoon and evening with the Thompsons, always a blessing.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Wednesday and Thursday

Yesterday (Wednesday) I did China Mall for the third time, this time with Kate who wanted a bit of help with some wardrobe updates. We had a blast together and both came away very satisfied with our finds. It took us an hour to navigate there using the GPS gadget and one wrong turn, but our home run was blissfully quick. Got home just in time to leave again with Nick and the boys to get to Heather and Marius and their brood. Heather is a school friend of mine and as always we had a super time reconnecting. The boys disappeared with their instant friends and had some fun with the go-cart.
Today Nick and I had separate plans again. I went with my parents and the boys to Northgate and Wimpy for some shopping and waffles, and Nick visited a friend. I finally got to cook a meal for my mom which nicely coincided with Al and Kate stopping in for supper before leaving Zoe for babysitting and leaving for a meeting. Nick and I were also out at an evening meeting - Nick had been asked to share his testimony, actually with some family friends who I have known for years and years but not seen in ages. So strange to see their young children grown up and married! We had a fantastic evening together.
Also ordered our most of new homeschooling curriculum today - looking forward to its arrival in NZ but it will be some time after we arrive, so we'll still be on our extended holiday until I can get hold of some books in the meantime. The boys are not terribly put out at the long break from school!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The heavens declare His glory

Had a blessedly relaxing day - the boys and I were at home with my parents ALL DAY!! Nick met up with a friend for a while mid-day which he says was excellent, and went out with Glen for a late night, discussing the Word. We caught a spectacular sunset after a cloudy day - Nick called me outside while I was reading a bedtime story to the boys. African skies are, in my limited experience, unmatchable!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Family, family

Spent most of the morning shopping at Northgate (my dad was concerned that perhaps their economy would be crashing since it had been so long since we shopped there). We were treated to lunch at Wimpy. Visited at Tony and Sue in the afternoon where Kath and the boys met up with us so the four cousins had a great afternoon together, swimming and playing in the back yard. They even made a tent although it was short lived. Sue produced an awesome pork roast although the pork was actually gammon - interesting results occur when shops mislabel their products!

Oop huis (open house)

Attended Honeyridge Baptist Church again, first picking up the boys so they could also attend the service. Thoroughly enjoyed the lively worship. The visiting preacher is doing a series on prayer and we came in at the beginning of it - more of an introductory message. Headed straight off to Pretoria after the service (well, sort of straight off, after stopping off at Woolies for some refreshments) to have lunch with Brahm and Antoinette. I was feeling absolutely rotten so gratefully accepted Antoinette's offer to lie down for half an hour before the afternoon open-house began. Felt much better and really enjoyed the afternoon's conversations with our Pretoria friends. Went to Constantia Park Baptist for the evening service, and again it was so wonderful to be back in their midst.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Clevely gathering

Had a late afternoon bbq/roast at James and Nadine's place. It was a fun afternoon and good to be with so many Clevelys! The boys swam and played TV games with Ronald; the gals chatted girl stuff in the kitchen (I learned heaps about mascara) and the men did their men stuff around the fire. We ate and ate...asparagus, lamb, fillet, butternut, potatoes, sweet potatoes, rice, gravy, cheese sauce, and the best-ever ice-cream: Woolworths Tin Roof choc-mint and toffee-nut. Sue had two helpings which she says she never does (do we believe her??). She confesses that her ribs were sore for days :-)
Nick and I dropped the boys off at Tony and Sue for a sleep-over with their cousins, then rushed off to see a movie. We stood around at the front of the queue for a while wondering why no one was offering to help us, then realized that it movie-ticket purchasing has become self-service, even down to swiping a credit card through the machine. We constantly see more gaps in our technological education after being on the island!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Magaliespark holiday

If a picture tells a thousand words, then I've pretty much given you a whole book. This sums up our week at Magaliespark, a beautiful holiday resort in the Magaliesburg mountain range alongside the Hartbeespoort Dam. My parents made the booking for us to go last year already, knowing that our time in SA would be largely swallowed up by going out hither and yon to catch up with people. I suspect they thought the only way they would see us for any chunk of time would be to take us away! Good guess. We had a relaxed week, and on Tuesday surprised my mom for her birthday with some extra family members. The Thompsons happened to also be at the resort during the same week (I don't believe in coincidence - divine providence!) so Nick and Glen had some more late night grappling and the kids could play together a bit. On our last day we did some group photos (Antje didn't want to be caught out doing the only funny face, so we have the inverse now) and then stopped in at a few places on the way home, ending off with good ol' Macdonalds for lunch. Thanks again, Dad and Mom!!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Toodle-do Thompsons

We finished off our week with Glen and Antje today (Monday). It was a really fabulous week. Yesterday we fellowshipped at Krugersdorp Baptist Church where Glen is the pastor. Nick preached the morning and evening services, and both he and I shared at the separate ladies/mens' bible studies. We felt right at home in the church which is a very warm community, and praise God for how He is blessing Glen and Antje there, as well as the church.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Thompson photo gallery (and other stuff)

I thought I wouldn't have time to blog this week but it turns out that life in the Thompson household isn't always frenetically paced. At the moment the kids are watching a DVD together and I'm actually not sure where the other grown-ups are. We're having a fabulous week together. On Tuesday Nick and Glen did their book shopping at the Augustine Bookroom in Pretoria, and yesterday Antje and I did a few spots of shopping at the China Mall (my return visit - it's too good a place not to share!!). Antje was thrilled to get some bits to see her through her pregnancy. We left the men in charge yesterday and instead of the healthy fresh fruit tenzees that Antje provides, the kids had a balanced plateful of biscuits and jelly tots. Today we went to the Heritage Family Restaurant for lunch which was a treat.
(Ah finally - some normal photos, although it took a lot of attempts to get these!)