Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Baby

Here she is.....she wakes me up any time between 3 and 4 am every morning, I take her outside, and she goes back to sleep again shortly after. She is really quite good, now that we have moved her crate into our bedroom....she no longer howls for the WHOLE night!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Jingle comes to stay.

Well, Christmas has come early in our the form of a little 8 week old Dashund puppy. Her name is Jingle (as you can guess, for obvious reasons....)

I do not have any photos of her yet, as my few feeble attempts have come out blurred and hazy, due to the fact that she is too fast, and doesn't stay in one spot long enough to capture her!

I will try again, of course. And post the photos for you all to see. She is really cute, and is now the star of the house. She likes to chew the bottom branches of the christmas tree, and any thing she can find, including my necklace, which she seems to have a penchant for! And we put her in her doggy crate to sleep last night and she cried for 10 minutes, and we never heard her again the whole night......I awoke at 3 am with thoughts that something had happened to her, because I couldn't believe she was so quiet! And at 7 am this morning I went in to find her sleeping on her bed, but happy to see me.

We are otherwise ready for Christmas, I would like to make some fruit mince pies if I can though, and presents need to be wrapped. I thought I'd end off with a little video once again (I do apologise for all the Tangle vid's, but they have helped in bringing in the Christmas cheer n'all).

The reason I enjoyed this one, was because of the way they end their song. I just love Toto's "Africa" song....I will admit to feeling rather homesick when I heard it. In South Africa at this time of year, everyone is outside in the heat, and sun. Barbeques, or 'Braais' as we call them in SA, abound, and one cannot drive anywhere on a weekend without smelling the aroma of grilled steak, and 'boerewors'. There's nothing like it!

Friday, December 18, 2009

That's what it means to me.

This little video made me smile.

There are people all around me arguing about the details of Christmas, should we celebrate it, shouldn't we? Was it really in December, or not? Should we be saying Merry Christmas, or Happy Holidays?

One thing I know.....Jesus was born, I don't know exactly when. And without His life, and life would be meaningless. That's what I know. That's what I celebrate, and why I celebrate.

The Christmas tree, the decorations, the christmas cookies, and stockings on the mantlepiece.....they are all things my family has done since I was little. They are not of paramount importance to why I choose to celebrate, if you took them all away I would still be thankful for Jesus. And I would still celebrate His life. That's what Christmas means to me.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I'm dreaming of a BRIGHT Christmas........

Coming from a land that doesn't really decorate their homes much for Christmas, which is most likely due to the fact that no-one can see the houses from the road because of the 6 foot walls around them. It truly is a delight to see some of the streets here being lit up for the festive season. Some homes go to more effort than others, and I'm convinced that some streets can be seen from the space station! But they are really worth looking at.

We will be taking a tour through some of the suburbs next week to see some more of the really wonderful lights, and that will be another post for another this space!

In the meantime, however, I thought I'd give y'all a glimpse at the effort some people go to with their Christmas lights....really amazing!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

It's Christmas time........

It's Christmas time, and my white board in the kitchen has now become a "Countdown to Christmas" board instead of a "helping-me-keep-track-of-my-kids-school-life" board! They have marked the day we had snow in Houston, there are christmas trees and stars adorning it too.

Yes, my kids are excited....super-excited.

In the midst of this, however, I have been racking my brain trying to find ways of bringing  their focus off the presents ONLY, and onto more important things.  One thing we have decided to do this year, is to make a "present" for Jesus. Each one of us will be making a gift in some form or the other, from our heart. Something we want to give to Jesus to show Him our love and thankfulness for Him. I told the kids we all have to do it on our own, anything we want, and we will wrap it up, and put it under the Christmas tree. Then on Christmas Day we will open Jesus' present first, and tell everyone else what and why we chose to give Him what we did.

I have NO idea, what my kids have decided to do, and look forward to seeing what they choose to give Jesus on Christmas morning. I'm not sure if they even understand what I am trying to get through to them. But I do hope it gets them thinking more about the King of Kings, and a little less about the latest Wii game.

Obviously Kellan has been giving this whole idea some thought though. Because last night during supper, he came up to us and very seriously said, "Mommy, but Jesus is not gonna get a surprise when I show Him my present, because he can see EVERYTHING!!"

Out of the mouth of babes............

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Cafe owners VS "Mama's"

So back home in South Africa, people are gearing up towards the 2010 World Cup Soccer. As far as I have heard from family and friends, electricity is getting more expensive, roads are a nightmare as there are road works everywhere in anticipation of all the traffic. Hotels are renovating and extending. Tourism companies are going all out to advertise and pull in overseas visitors. School holidays are being readjusted to coincide with the big soccer event. And I'm sure the street vendors and traffic-light intersection vendors are preparing 2010 memorabilia to hound the public.

But in spite of all the worries, concerns and scepticism, there is an underlying excitement and I personally can't wait to see the opening ceremony.

I came across this South African advert for the 2010 World Cup, and found it so funny and familiar. For all my South African readers who are still in SA, you will have seen it  already, but for those of you who are away from home, I hope you enjoy it and relate to it like I did, it's a real taste of home ( I especially like the "mama" balancing and carrying the soccer ball on her head.....priceless!!)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Ice-Cutters Christmas

After Thanksgiving, we decided to check out an event that was called 'The Ice-Cutter's Christmas".
It's a family who open up their ranch to the public, and decorate it with christmas lights, and ice-sculptures. T.Jay Maclaskey has been an ice-sculpturer for many years, and now uses the sculptures as their own Christmas decorations. They manufacture their own blocks of ice, instead of buying them, and their ice-sculptures have been published in 'Country Living Magazine'. You can see more of their ice art here.  But here are a few I took myself..

 We went on a hay ride around the ranch to look at all the Christmas lights, and the kids had a go on the illuminated bungee-trampolines (what a mouthful...).
And then, we were treated to a display of how this huge block of ice gets transformed into a delightful toy soldier. He had us mesmerized, and made it look so easy. We were all itching to have a go, if not to just hack at the ice with the chain-saw!! And it looked like such fun!

This was the final product after he put a blow-torch to the sculpture, to give it a perfectly transparent and crystal clear appearance.

And to top off the evening, all the leftover ice shavings (which now resembled snow), gets loaded into big cooler boxes, and the kids get to have a snowball fight! We didn't go prepared for this however, and after about 2 minutes, I had 2 moaning kids holding out their frozen, numb hands, complaining that the snow was too cold?????

Anyhow, it was a great evening, and we'll definitely go back next year.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


We are thankful!

We are thankful for every new day, new adventures, new memories being made and old ones cherished. We are thankful for each other.

We are thankful for our first thanksgiving meal in this new country.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday, and one I think we will come to love as other Americans do.
Just a relaxed day of family and feasting.

I made the turkey and stuffing, and we all sat down and enjoyed the time together. We have now eaten enough turkey to last us to next year, so the thought of making anything with the leftover turkey meat and carcass is just too much for me. No turkey stock, no turkey soup....enough turkey.


I tried to make the table look a little festive, although I don't have much of a clue how it's supposed to look.

Kellan has been moaning that we don't eat at the normal" dining table but at the smaller table in the breakfast nook, so we took this chance to make it special for them too.

Serious turkey talk........

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