Monday, July 30, 2012

Andreas smiling again

Isn't she just lovely!  To celebrate Danielle's return, we shared a soup and bread meal at the de Beer's home and caught up on each other's happenings.  We are thrilled to have Mrs Botha back with us!
 Nick avoided the pumpkin soup like the plague, opting for the beef and vegetable instead - as did Caleb and Aaron.
Caleb and Aaron joined Gene for a game of Settlers of Catan.  Matt sat on Nick's lap for a while and enjoyed having his ears fondled.
We thought it odd that the de Beers had named their dog Matt after Matt, but they didn't do the naming and apparently it's a shortening of "Waimate"!  Cute fellow(s).

Sunday, July 29, 2012

No fancy big roast for lunch today

It's been awesome getting to know Oom Willem and Tannie Nadine and their four children at church - we decided they are safe enough to invite home :) Had them, along with Andreas whose temporary bachelorhood is ending tomorrow with the return of Danielle (yippeeeee!!!!), over to a lunch of macaroni cheese and salad. Three of their four children are triplets - but all completely unidentical!  Really enjoyed the afternoon with the Rawlins family.  Nadine has an apiary and presented us with the most delicious honey you could imagine!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Spuds and buds

Nick and the boys spent the afternoon digging in the garden - they filled the green bin with weeds and leaves.  In the vegetable patch they uncovered a stash of potatoes!  Didn't expect to find these growing as they are strays from last season when we actually tried growing them on purpose.  Amazing, huh!  (I wasn't shirking - I had been busy with cleaning the house, church admin and cooking).
Actually it was a gorgeous day today...we've had a few cloudy and really cold days, but today it was clear and not quite as chilly (with a high of 12.2 and a low of -5.7).  I got three loads of washing out - exciting to see steam rising off the damp items of clothing!  After a music practice at church, we had Andreas and Justus around for a quick stir-fry tea.  The three men got embroiled in a very interesting and technical creation science debate...Nick had tried posing the question to me of whether the second law of thermo-dynamics was a result of the Fall. My blank look as a response indicated that he needed some more slightly more intelligent minds with which to engage.  Here they are; Andreas and Justus trying to fold bulletins while Nick is postulating some theory of prelapsarian use of the second law of thermo-dynamics in the sun giving off its heat.  

Thursday, July 26, 2012


So here is something a little unexpected...on Thursday night, Nick and I joined Liz, Graham and Justus for a free swing dancing class!!  Also in the class were Kelsi from school who was teaching us the shim-sham (kind of a line dance), and the biggest surprise, Jemima, who I think even amazed herself by being there :)  This was a kind of spontaneous arrangement that Liz conferred upon us last Sunday after church - a "hey, why don't we sign up for lessons?" Well we're not exactly signed up - this was a bit of bait on a hook.  We sure had a lot of silly fun with it although were not very good at picking up the series of moves - will we back for more?  I extracted these stills from a video clip the boys took on my phone - if/when we get better at it we might release a full movie!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012


Aaron found this poor fellow outside today - butterflies in the middle of winter?? We've had a few warm days but nothing that would be an early precursor to spring...although the fake cherry trees around the corner from us are starting to attire themselves in their pink finery, and I have had a spray of jasmine blossoms outside my office for about a week - the scent of jasmine wafting on a warm breeze was always the first sign of spring in South Africa!

Monday, July 23, 2012

I'm so Blue-hoo-hoo

Nick was back in the pulpit yesterday after three weeks in different pulpits or just spectating. Great to be back in Romans in the morning, and we started looking at Islam in the evening class - their history and beliefs. Quite interesting. After the PM service we had a small gathering; Liz and I needed to put songs together for the upcoming Ladies' Retreat (which has now been postponed until November), so she and Graham came around with chicken and rolls, along with Justus and Andreas. Had a play through the music we selected - I reverted to guitar with Liz on organ and Justus, although neither a lady nor a camp musician, filled in the blanks on my violin. Nick, Graham and Andreas went off to the lounge for some serious conversation!

Monday, all the staff were blue (not a reflection of attitude, mind you!).  I don't think the kids caught on as quickly, if at all, as when we did the purple and green days as a lot of staff tend to wear blue anyway - of course now if Mr Goulet had kept his blue pyjama pants on all day it would have given the game away!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Yeevil: medieval weevils?

It's been several weeks since we had a good games evening - Artfull Crafts is the ideal venue as we can play table tennis AND board games in one room.  We organized a bunch of people to get together and although only a few of the invitees came, we had ourselves a jolly good evening, particularly with the Balderdash - with such a big group it was tough picking out the correct definition but there were some ridiculously funny incorrect ones...buzaglow: is it "blackhead elimination cream which causes a severe luminescence on the face and an unpleasant tingling sensation which was not well received on the market and subsequently recalled, causing the entire pharmaceutical company to liquidate", or "a bee on fire" (or neither of those?)
Hee hee...this photo makes me laugh as it's a posed shot. We had been cackling a lot but Nick took a photo during a quiet moment of contemplation. I asked him to retake it and told everyone to pretend they were laughing uproariously!

Friday, July 20, 2012


Thursday could just not come quickly enough for Aaron, who couldn't wait to be on the field in all his goalie glory.  Their opponents were a tough crowd though and in the first half Aaron let 4 balls through - in fact, one deflected off his shoe as he was trying to kick it away!  His posture beskoke utter discouragement - Nick and I went around the back of the goal to offer encouragement and support.  The second half was way more exciting, not only because of the brilliant sunset (it really did look as red as the second picture before fading to orange and then grey) but because no more goals were scored despite a lot of activity near Aaron's goal.  He did some great work for his team! 
Friday we were back at the sports stadium for both boys' games; this time we watched from the warmth of the car overlooking the field. Caleb's team won their game 5-0 but Aaron's team were defeated again :( Still a good play though. It was brilliant to be home after the games with pizza and a movie and the entire family (although Nick and the boys' choice of movie was so much to my disliking that I fetched the ironing board and got through a stack of wrinkled shirts!)

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Term 3 begins

Yeeha, back to school today! I don't know if the boys were looking forward to being back as much as I was, but they were pretty keen anyway. They are back into all activities, with Monday afternoon hockey practice being the first on the list. Aaron came home lugging a huge kit bag (I mean, huge), containing all the goalie gear for Thursday's game (they don't normally play on Thursdays but this is a deferred game from last term).  He and Caleb couldn't wait to get it all onto Aaron to show us!  Fortunately for them, the Camerons came by on Tuesday afternoon and so Caleb and Josh joined in an impromptu hockey game, necessitating the second time for Aaron to get all dressed up and practiced.  
While the four of them were playing in the courtyard, Matt was sitting in the cupboard in Nick's office/study, installing a trap-door for access under the house - most of the underneath can be gotten to through an exterior door, but the newer parts were built differently. Why, I hear you ask, would we be so desperately wanting to get underneath the house? 
Well, in preparation for Thursday's Insulation Event!  Much like the extreme drop in temperature over a cloudless night, our house doesn't retain heat.  The simple (but expensive) solution is to install proper batts in the ceiling and under the house - thanks, most excellent landlady and -lord :)

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Apple and Cinnamon and Jemima

Nick had the day off today - Grant and John were still filling the pulpit. We enjoyed simply attending church as regular members! Good to have Jemima, my violin teacher, in church again - we invited her over to share lunch with us.

I had stewed a batch of apples during the week and wanted to use them up - we tried but failed to organise a multi-person pancake function, so had our own small gathering on Sunday evening instead. Nick made the pancakes although the batter was a little thick and they were more like very large crumpets :)

Saturday, July 14, 2012

All about Nick and some other people

It was a loooong wait last night for Nick - I finished the book I had been reading during the holidays, then started watching a movie around 10 pm.  Nick still wasn't home.  Eventually around 1 am Rene dropped him off - yippeeee!!!  So pleased to have my beloved home after two weeks away.  We slept in this morning then spent the morning pottering about before going out for a little lunch at McDonalds to celebrate the return of our Missionary :) 
Since we were already out and about, and since I had cleaned the house yesterday, we were in no hurry to go home, so called in at Matt and Adele for a cuppa and a hello, as they have been away overseas for several weeks.  Following a most excellent visit with them, we went to say hello to Andreas, and found Johan and Adele (not the same Adele, of course) visiting there too.  Had a good chat with them before leaving mid-afternoon and spending the rest of the day at home.

Fiji pics

Here are a couple of Nick's photos from their Missions Trip to Fiji:

 This is the Muslim School where they spent three mornings doing children's ministry - songs, skits, bible lessons and handing out tracts and lollies. They were able to buy sports equipment for the school.
130 kids squeezed into a classroom!
Nick preaching with Vijay interpreting - it either takes twice as long, or the message is half the length!
The team set up a volleyball court with donated nets and engine oil to mark the boundaries!

Friday night youth group - balloon hockey.
Not all hard work and labour - the team went to the beach on the first Saturday they were in Fiji, and spent the day in Laotoka and at a fair on the second Saturday.
Vijay and Narsamma - a huge thanks to them for putting up the five extra people!
The Team!
Thanks to all who supported this mission financially and prayerfully, and please keep on praying for the Lord's work in Fiji. Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, July 13, 2012

Way back when?

On our last day of the school holidays (and our last Nick-less day) the boys found an old tyre in the back yard. It's amazing what one can find if one is willing to hunt under branches and behind weeds.  They contrived a game of rolling it up and down the pavement; I suggested they try a stick to maneuvre it more easily - they were unwittingly playing one of the most old fashioned games I've heard of, rolling a tube or hoop with a stick!  

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Since last Friday...

Saturday I announced to the boys that we would be going to watch the Brass Band Festival Parade Thingie straight after our music practice.  They weren't overly enthusiastic, rating it about 6 on the excitement and interest scale.  It was only after texting a bunch of people to see if there would be any friendly company in the crowd that we realized we'd got our dates muddled, and the parade was on Friday!  Rats.  Looked around Farmers for a while, then came home and spent the afternoon cleaning the house and playing Monopoly.

Sunday was busy with the regular church activities; loneliness hit hard having to come home after both services without Nick.  I taught the boys the game Balderdash before the afternoon service.  I hope this proves that I don't suffer from misopedia - "hating children, especially your own".  The boys did brilliantly in making up some very creative definitions!

Monday was more of the same at home - the boys have been enjoying reading and drawing.  I made a huge lasagne and invited Jemima to share it with us before she gave me a violin lesson.  It has been good having her over to tea the last two Mondays.

Tuesday I collected the very last piece of my violin set-up - a bow!  Very kindly imported for me from Germany, it's a beauty with silver trim and all the pretty inlays and stuff one would expect.  Took ages to get enough rosin on the hair to make it not whisper, but I can see the three of us are going to have many happy times together - violin, bow and I.  Popped in at the Camerons for a quick cup of tea and hello as their house was directly on the way home, then arranged with Nyree for a haircut as well, so we were out until lunch time.  At 2.15 Tom came to collect the boys to take them for a drive to Waimate and back - not just for fun, mind you, but for them to join him on his courier run.  They enjoyed the afternoon with him immensely, especially Caleb who personally delivered a few parcels.  Thanks Tom!  I enjoyed three hours of solitude.

Wednesday we spent the day entirely at home, not even going outside except to check the empty postbox occasionally.

Thursday we had a lunch date with the Camerons.  I left the boys at their place after lunch and popped off to the school for two hours.  Matt and Rachel commented that the blog is getting a bit thin these days (yeah, I know), so here are some photos of them :)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Fine frost

Heavy frost in the morning is the norm now - it's cold, but when you get up close, sure is beautiful!  I spent two mornings traipsing around our back garden in thermal boots and pyjamas.  The boys and I were stunned to see the results, especially when we zoomed in really close - you can see how the ice-crystals have been formed and arranged around the object.  Glory to God for these tiny works of art!
Unfortunately these small versions of the originals don't show enough detail - below is a small portion (bottom right) of the dandelion head, above.