Thursday, December 31, 2009


The last day of MMIX. Sometime during the course of this year I realised there was no going back. While I obviously already knew that, it became glaring in many ways. There were many moments of almost ruthless reality to contend with and I had to stand in it. When you click 'Hello, you are seriously the adult here!'. When you realise you have aged (in your mind it is like yesterday, not uh, almost 20 yrs ago, you were putting on make-up at 10.30pm to go out while listening to Kurt Cobain), how un-spontaneous you are, now our idea of a wild time is going to a late show at the cinema: nevermind that you will be asleep within the first 10 minutes of viewing and your head will drape a stranger's shoulder - yikes!

This year has been AWESOME in many ways - there were high high's but alas, there have been many times of reflection, where you couldn't turn your face and pretend things away.

And while these circumstances were occuring there was always me in the mix. I think as people we are more alike than we let on, I'm convinced I'm not the only one that has this year felt like 'I'm looking good', 'I'm not as hip as I thought I was', felt like the world's greatest mom, the worst mother ever, the family shield, the encourager, the loser, the good wife, the worrier, the warrior, the hypocrite, the fearful one, the strong one, steadfast, a wimp, overwhelmed by sadness and other times overflowing with gratitude and joy... and its all okay, the journey may be complex but it's also wondrous.

But of this I'm sure, I have not stood alone. Someone had my back. I was on my face often talking with Him. He heard. To be sure, it changes everything. I've been thinking about
how this year affected me (over the last few days) and I don't want to forget any of it, I want to be someone that has grown some character. I don't want to assume, I want to learn and know.
As Ravi Zacharias noted "The science and art of critical thinking has been humiliated in a generation that thinks with its eyes." We had to think this year, long and hard, and I don't want it to have been in vain.

As you reflect, learn from the mess and smile at the milestones!

Monday, December 28, 2009

All the Celebrating

It's been festive and fun... and we get the best of both worlds, a annual Christmas eve dinner which the children (and adults) love 'cause they get loads of gifts, where I eat wonderful 'UK' Christmas fare - lovely gammon and proper Christmas pud with brandy butter (my favourite pudding ever), with Wayne's family. Then the next day I get the rustic 'EU' Christmas lunch on my side of the family tree- traditional, garlicky pork which is cooked for hours with a bread layer on top of it (it melts in your mouth) and vegetables that you can't buy at the local.

We also did some entertaining at home, one of which was a super early breakfast, so I opted for a real easy brekkie. Muesli, fruit and yoghurt layers to start and then a big Breakfast Pie which I just served with a platter of sliced cucumber and thin pork sausages. The muesli cups were made before guests arrived and stuck in the fridge and the pie was whipped up and went in the oven, then relax - so no worries about getting the eggs just right or having five pans on at the same time!

Breakfast Pie
1 roll puff pastry (get the Woolworths real butter one - others can't compare)
1 pkt of bacon, chopped up
7-8 XL / jumbo eggs
a good handful of baby tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup of cream and good splash of milk
salt and pepper to taste
chives or 1-2 leeks, finely chopped

Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Roll out pastry (not too thin, you want puff in the pastry - ha ha) and line dish. Prick bottom of pastry. Fry bacon a bit to colour with the leek (if using chives, don't add them now). Spoon into dish. Whisk the rest (except tomatoes) of the ingredients and pour over bacon. (If you don't have cream, you can use smooth cottage cheese or cream cheese) You can also add 1/2 - 1 cup of cheese at this point (sometime I do, this time I didn't). Drop in the tomatoes here and there. Bake for about 45 - 50 minutes till set and golden. A truly delicious pie!

We have fun with this book, it gives you a little background on where some of the traditions started and other fun Christmas ideas.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas to all! May this be a season of great joy!

These have all been ripped open with glee. God Bless!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


A man travels the world over in search of what he
needs, and returns home to find it.
George Moore

Monday, December 21, 2009

Full of grace and truth

"And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us and we beheld His glory, the glory of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."

Sunday, December 20, 2009

In the heat of the day

This is what you need in the heat, a ice cold glass of homemade lemonade.

Especially rewarding when in the same month you have fought off (okay, not as dramatic as fought off, but it sounds good) spiders the size of your fist, 3 snakes, 2 veld fires virtually a few metres from our property (are regular people on a first name basis with their local fireman), 2 moles, 2 mice, birds nesting in our roof... and several other pests that I have blotted out of my memory bank. This is how it goes every summer. If you want to live this close to the wild, it comes with the territory.

So now I can sit back and sip my drink uninterrupted... for a while at least.

I thought you'd appreciate this picture instead of snakes or black earth.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Her offering

She comes every time. She is faithful. She works with her hands.

Her joy is with her and her laughter rises.

We share in what she creates.

Monday, December 14, 2009

The twelve days of Christmas

"On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me, a partridge in a pear tree."

We are in the twelve days of Christmas... kids know this stuff - they count the sleeps!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Bundles of aromatics

Gardening with a little help. She didn't mind a bit that she was racing up and down a big pile of poop (or maybe she thought I was joking).

After cutting back the herbs, I hung marjoram, oregano and thyme to dry. Cut them mid-morning, presumably they are most potent just after morning sun.

I give mine a light splash and then tie the bunches up and store in a airy place. So fragrant! Once they've dried, you just put some newspaper down and rub them between your hands, where all the precious leaves fall and can now be stored.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Homemade Chutney

Last week I had an excess of apples and baby marrow and that coupled with the fact that I had two weeks prior used up my last jar of chutney...

Now its good to go...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Driving, picnics, cherries and heat

Yesterday was cool! Everyone overslept and we had to get ready in about 45 seconds.
Fortunately the veteran picnic ladies in my clan would be providing the ample picnic fare so I just threw a flask of tea and a biscuit tin in the car for breakfast pad-kos. Our annual cherry picking day had arrived!

Then we drove.

Ate well.

Picked much.


Chatted and laughed.

Picked more.

Adults climbed ladders.

Kids climbed trees.

Saw beautiful skies.

Packed up.

Drove back.

Soaked in the tub.

An all-round great experience.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

December Days

We are wrapping up school, baking for Christmas, making Christmas cards...

Putting up our Christmas tree.


Hot chocolate.

Most nights after supper, its twinkling lights and carols.

Enjoying last light with precious friends and Manuela's delicious christmassy punch!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Away in a manger

Today is the beginning of the Christmas march in our home... even though the real event was in about September / October that is not as important as remembering to celebrate this most significant of all world events which began in a humble setting.

"Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord... the Lord is God, and He has made His light to shine upon us! Oh, give thanks to the Lord." Psalm 118