Tuesday, December 31, 2013

On holiday... part 1

Christmas party and amazing food!

A few days at Cove Rock Nature Reserve... stunning - the nature reserve (with
the antelope, monkeys, birds etc), the amazing dunes, a river and the sea all 
within walking distance from the house.  It was beautiful!! 

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Have a wonder-fill(ed) Christmas!!!!

'a battle has been waged and won for you.  Love had to come back for you.  Love had to get to you.  The Love that has been coming for you since the beginning... This is the truest love story of history, and its His-Story and it's for you.'

'All of conquered heaven and grateful earth echo and throb tonight with the heart cry of the God-child: I did it for love.'

'Now at the foot of every tree, we are all only recipients of grace.'

~ Ann Voskamp     from The greatest gift

Merry Christmas to all!  With grateful hearts may we cherish every waking moment of grace.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Christmas cheer in the home

Around our home in December...

Our front door... welcome

 The manger scene in the dining room
The elegant angel

 The tree in the lounge
The corner of the mantel with Rebecca's first Christmas ornament... the gift train is a-comin!

Ornaments from Germany... a pit-stop on our Italian holiday.
Rebecca also decorates a bit of her room and we have our countdown calendar
and santa in the kitchen.

Good Morning Christmas Eve

This morning's mug of fragrant, hot tea... lovely (tea from my friend Bernadette)

and reflecting on this truth this morning...

If we could condense all the truths of Christmas into only three words, these would be the words: "God with us."
~ John MacArthur

Immanuel is a Hebrew word meaning "God is with us."
All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: "The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him "Immanuel"--which means, "God with us." - Matthew 1.22-23

God   with   us!!  What a thought - that our beautiful Father would love us this way... our very deepest need is to be with Him... God with us.  So profound.  While we walk, pray, eat, wash dishes, talk to our children, when we stumble, hurt, laugh, sleep...
St. Augustine's said, "For You have formed us for Yourself, and our hearts are restless until we find rest in You."   Yes, Him and I and I with Him.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Finally, a little baking

We usually bake at the beginning of the month but even though everything was bought early
we only baked today and a limited range at that! The important thing is that the biscuit tin is full. 

We had a little Christmas dinner tonight. 
(Manuela & I keep flinching with the crackers, to Rebecca's delight!)

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The last few days

Lots of singing and laughing, lovely dinner with friends, reading, swimming,
going to movies and too much eating...
A little tea break while Christmas shopping with my girl
My dad, the serious cherry-picker
At the cherry farm
Games with dad
 We had our annual viewing of 'Elf' yesterday - hysterical.

and we have been quoting the 3 rules of the elf code ever since:
1 Treat everyday like Christmas
2 There's room for everyone on the nice list
3 The best way to spread Christmas cheer is to sing loud for all to hear

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Wayne was recently in England and was able to spend a few days with his sister, who has recently moved house.  Wayne says she now has a rugby field for a back yard.

This was one of his lunches... doesn't that look yummy!
And the good man brought me a few boxes of my favourite Yorkshire Gold tea.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The spirit of Christ-mas

"The first question which the priest and Levite asked was 'if I stop to help this man, what will happen to me?'  But... the good Samaritan reversed the question, 'If I do not stop to help this man, what will happen to him?' "
~  Martin Luther King Jnr

Luke 10. 25-37


Monday, December 16, 2013

Bridal shower day

My sister... the beautiful honoured guest!  A lovely morning with family and friends for Manuela's bridal shower.

Thank you to everyone that was present!  You made it so special!! All thanks to Anthea and Lucille for many of our great photographs.  Anthea is the one with the injured arm - don't know how you did it, Anthea!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Sunday morning

Christmassy pancakes for Becca this morning... we don't get snow but we can get 'snowmen'.

Manuela visited at about 11h00 and was hungry, so I made another breakfast... rye toast, eggs with a hint of rosemary and coffee.

Friday, December 13, 2013

The December garden

Everything is birthing life... the advent of fruit.  It will be some months before most of these can be enjoyed.
 Olives... they will require some work.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Savour the days

My sister is moving to Durban in a few weeks and only this week has it really dawned on me that this is the last Christmas where we are together like this... sometimes you think that what was, will always be.  This would be an error.  The moments of our lives should be embraced with wide open love because change is inevitable.  Manuela's changes will be good, very good.  But still my heart breaks.

And again, we see the changes, good but different.  Rebecca helping with the tree a few days ago.

Here she is helping with the tree in 2004 and she was two and a half. So ridiculous... the baby years were fleeting.  The lives of those around us are the greatest of gifts - precious, lovely and beyond measure.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The imperative but rare quality of humility

A really good read... especially at this time of year when we reflect on the most humble act of all!


If we then notice "a humble turn of mind" in ourselves, we immediately become smug—but that is pride in our humility. If we catch ourselves doing that we will be particularly impressed with how nuanced and subtle we have become. Humility is so shy. If you begin talking about it, it leaves. To even ask the question, "Am I humble?" is to not be so. Examining your own heart, even for pride, often leads to being proud about your diligence and circumspection.

Christian humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less, as C. S. Lewis so memorably said. It is to be no longer always noticing yourself and how you are doing and how you are being treated. It is "blessed self-forgetfulness."
Humility is a byproduct of belief in the gospel of Christ. In the gospel, we have a confidence not based in our performance but in the love of God in Christ (Rom. 3:22-24). This frees us from having to always be looking at ourselves. Our sin was so great, nothing less than the death of Jesus could save us. He had to die for us. But his love for us was so great, Jesus was glad to die for us.
~ Timothy Keller

Monday, December 9, 2013

A picnic at Spier

We had a beautiful, delicious picnic lunch on the lawn under the trees, with lots of things for the kids to do.