Saturday, November 30, 2013

21 1/2 months later

In March this year my parents announced that their airline tickets for a return visit to NZ were booked and paid for - wooohooo! That gave us 8 months to anticipate and prepare for their stay. I guess that should have meant that on the morning of their arrival we would have been well prepared and ready, but actually we were doing such a flurry of last-minute vacuuming and tidying and washing dishes and hanging up washing and administering loving discipline that we ended up leaving late, arriving at the airport a good half hour after touchdown.  Imagine that Mumsie and Popsie had come through the doors after getting through customs and there had been no-one there to welcome them!  I had to commit the matter to the Lord and not worry about it during our two-hour drive to collect them.  Thankfully we still waited another 20 minutes until first sighting - what a joy to be reunited with them after two years!
We thank the Lord for their safe arrival and good health, and now have 8 weeks to enjoy together :)

A time for everything

Despite a very VERY long journey, Mom and Dad managed to stay awake and functional for the rest of Saturday, getting themselves unpacked and settled.  In the unpacking process some presents came out...oooOOOooo!  The boys' Grandad in SA spoiled them wonderfully with, amongst other things, some very fancy watches - these are two very happy boys :)

Sunday, November 17, 2013


We sort of invited ourselves over to the Overcomers for Sunday lunch, but with a 'bring and share' arrangement, knowing they already had a full house with heaps of family visiting.  It was fabulous meeting more of Elijah's family and chatting with them about the Lord. 
And we got to celebrate Charity's birthday with a chocolate cake!  Happy happy birthday and many more, lovely Charity :)
Wee new arrival, one week old here - smothered in kisses by her sister!
Elijah with three of his siblings and families - good reunion for them!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Sunlight (referring to dishwashing liquid)

Some early evening slip-n-slide 'it's nearly summer' fun in the front yard with all the neighbourhood kids...

Saturday, November 09, 2013

She's arrived!!

Bronwyn texted yesterday afternoon to say "Rosanna's started labour" - yusssss, the news we've been waiting for and a day before her due date.  I barely had time to text around to get our church folk praying before the baby was born, after a two-hour labour - we are in awe not only of Rosanna's drug-free quick-as home-birth, but of our great God who gives life and has knitted this beautiful gift together.  We thank God for a smooth delivery and healthy baby girl.  Whoohooo!  We popped in during the afternoon, along with the Kempfs, and got to meet and hold As-Yet-Unnamed, less than 24 hours after her birth.  What a privilege!  We loved the fun madhouse "everyone pitch in and do something" atmosphere - one of Elijah's sisters was in the kitchen preparing tea, another was babysitting aforementioned sister's two little girls; Rene, Bronwyn and Hannah were co-opted to read stories to Honour, Seth and Zach, and Nick and Elijah started a bible study.  I snuck about with the camera :) 
Our dinner plans with the Kempfs were all on for tonight instead of last night (what more special or exciting kind of 'delivery' is there?!)  Bronwyn is an amazing hostess (I think I may have mentioned this approximately 29 times before); calm, organized and extremely clever with her catering and presentation.  We were treated to prawn kebabs and salad for starters, and these delicious bacon-wrapped salmon thingiemabobs along with the most incredible veggie dishes imaginable.  I know there is a fancy name for the salmon thingies here as they were on the printed menus on the table, but I can't remember the name (they're not part of my regular vocabulary, you see).
It was so great hanging out with Simon and Debs (above) and Matt and Adele (below), especially over a game of Pictionary.  One can find a great many things quite hilarious if you have enough sugar in you!

Friday, November 08, 2013

Shooting families

We called in at the Bothas this evening, initially because they were going to be watching the boys but our dinner plans got postponed until tomorrow night because of a terribly exciting 'delivery' which I shall blog in due course; since we were already on our way to their house we thought we'd keep going anyway and have a quick visit.  For his birthday last month, Nick got an air rifle which will be able to pop off rabbits and possums.  The nature of the rifle doesn't require a license and it's actually quite safe and easy to use, even for the boys - under close supervision of course.  It's also not very loud, giving off just a little flat 'pop' when the trigger is pulled, so can happily be used in residential areas.  He brought it along for the ride and we all had a go, except for Betta who apparently would have put us all to shame.  It's a great activity for those of us who are competitive by nature!
I asked Andreas to take a family pic of us for my parents who requested a 'we want to show people who we are visiting' photo - ideal setting in the Botha's back garden, with the golf course in the background!
Time to return the favour...a-la casual family mode.
Anyone want to guess what Nick was doing here?  If you say "getting down with some hip hop moves" you would probably be pretty far off the mark.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Concert, round II

So, after blog-announcing my early retirement from orchestra after the concert in June, I negotiated with Nick and we decided I could keep going for another term. The only reason for any hesitation and discussion is that practices are on Friday nights, which cuts into our family movie and pizza night. It's workable though as I just slip out during the movie and am back by the time the boys go to bed. I've really enjoyed this term's pieces - all movie related and fabulous to play (except for a selection from Cats which just did not stick, except for the Memory section in which everyone came alive).  Harry Potter and The Hobbit were probably the favourites.  Caleb's Primary School Orchestra joined with our Youth Orchestra for tonight's combined concert, both under the excellent efforts of conductor Rosemary Miller, who seems to have no end of patience for our amateur groups!  Caleb and Aaron were at school camp this week and arrived home today pretty tired and in need of a sleep; I woke Caleb up in time for him to play through the pieces once before pizza arrived.  As a result he felt a little underpracticed (despite the year's lead-up to the event - you really need to be ready on the day) and didn't give it his best effort.  We thought they did very well though.
The younger orchestra stayed on when ours joined them, but perhaps we could have used a slightly larger corner - we ended up being a little squashed, and I got my violin in the way of a bow and was bumped out of tune right before the dreaded Cats selection...turns out Rosemary had cut out all the nasty bits and only kept the much-loved Memory though, so I ended up not being able to play that at all with a horribly pitched D-String.  Ah well.  Had a quick tune up before the next piece.  There's Justus in the front row, who was brought in to lead and/or supplement the firsts as we thought our section leader might be absent on the night due to a rather severe illness.  Since Justus hadn't been at any rehearsals and just got the music the week before, we had a hurried run-through at our house before the concert which may or may not have been didn't help in getting us to the concert on time as my "just one more piece" made us run late; I hadn't put my music in order and didn't take in the order of events with me, so didn't know which pieces were coming up when...frantic whispers to the front row seconds before starting is not ideal! 
A flute quartet was surely the high-note of the programme - they were fabulous.
Definitely a fun evening though despite my mistakes and disorganization, and another great experience!