Related Posts with Thumbnails

Visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

We loved visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town back in September. The children played for a long time in this little stream which conveniently had a seat near it where we could watch them.

Mercy loved the "teddy bear" peak.

September is a great time to delight in the spring flowers.

View down to Cape Town.

Bill really doesn't need a pram anymore but its useful for carrying bags on the handles!

Since then we've been on several more outings, tamed some of the chaos of moving house, completed many weeks of our curriculum, navigated our new suburb, found places to love in our new garden, shared the news that we are expecting our fourth baby in April, and seen Dave complete his first semester of lecturing. I can hardly believe it is November already. These are productive, busy, exhausting days.


iSonto #70

This is our last Sunday living here in the town of Stellenbosch in furnished accommodation. We found it too expensive to buy here so we are moving to a home in a nearby town a bit less than 18 km from Dave's work at the University of Stellenbosch. Our moving day is this Tuesday! It is going to be great to have our own yard and space again with our furniture and possessions. The town we are moving to is also lovely. It is called Somerset West and is close to both the beaches and the mountains. 

Here are some pictures we have taken on a few recent weekend outings. 

Here we are in Franschhoek, a sweet town about 37 km from Stellenbosch. We had a delightful afternoon here looking at the river, having a picnic, walking around the museums, and learning more about the Huguenot Christians who fled persecution and founded the town.

We loved the Huguenot memorial which expresses the trinity in the three arches and the sun and cross emblem of the Huguenots on the top.

Another week we went to the beautiful Paarl Mountain Reserve. We happened upon this by accident and it quickly became a favourite. One little boy loved paddling in the stream . . .

It is free and has spectacular views.

The children were very excited to learn that this mountain once had a lava flow coming from it. Dave told them it was now an extinct volcano. Nate responded to this with disbelief because he wanted there to be a chance it was dormant and would erupt! Mercy also responded with disbelief but for the opposite reason. She thought it was dormant and was terrified that it would erupt! Mercy wanted to go home after hearing that it used to be a volcano.

Another fun outing (on a colder and windier day) was to the Giraffe House. We saw lots of fun animals. My favourites were the cats. Mercy loved the flamingos.

This is the serval cat in the background, a truly spectacular animal with both spots and stripes. There were also caracals.

Mercy loved feeding the goats and spent a lot of time doing that.

This trip was for our "family celebration" where we celebrate our wedding anniversary with the children. Here we are opening small gifts on that morning. We celebrated with them on the 15th of August.

Dave and I also went out alone on the 18th, our anniversary, for a lovely dinner.

Moving overseas with a family is in some ways easier than alone because you have some of your best friends moving with you!


iSonto #69

In life we meet times where things remain the same for weeks on end, and other times where life is in tumult of newness. Four weeks into our adventure of living in South Africa, we are definitely in a tumult stage! The children are loving the dog, Amber, where we are staying in central Stellenbosch. We are upstairs in a furnished flat and need to open two gates to get to the yard pictured above. Amber is the sweetest and most child-friendly dog you can imagine.

We're also very grateful for the parks within walking distance of our "home".

We have had some incredibly summery weather as well as some cold days.

All three children like to climb trees at the river park . . .

Ride choo choo . . .

Watch the river . . .

For the first three weeks I was solely walking with them during the day, going for two trips a day to local parks. We were grateful that when Dave was home on evenings and weekends we could travel in the hire car his work provided. Now we have bought the great car pictured above. It was great that it cost less than we had planned to spend, because the house we've bought is going to cost more than we were planning to spend :)! Our new car has room for grandparents or other children, with seven seats. It is a nine year old Volvo. I am taking the children to homeschool activities in it now term has started, and we are currently within walking distance of Dave's work. When we buy our house and move further away, Dave will car pool some days so I can use it.

Dr David Drew is pictured here outside his giant office. Its a good thing he has some space to be quiet there, because it sure is busy when he gets home! Work is also very busy though as he tries to get used to lecturing students as well as continuing research.

Education continues apace and we had a week of child-led volcano obession. It culminated in buying a volcano making kit at the homeschool entrepeneur day. The river park was the location of the explosion, made up of food colouring, bicarb soda and spirit vinegar.

We've seen so many blessings in these first weeks, but also a lot of strain as we've had to get over jet lag, parent disorientated children, navigate new places & shops & laws, deal with homesickness, and make huge decisions, all at the same time. Dave was working on scientific projects up until the week we left, and started his new work only a few days after we arrived.

We've found plugging into church life immediately invaluable. Besides being a child of God, nothing beats being part or the family of God and having that familiar shared focus with Christians all over the world. Going to church even when we felt dreadful has had big benefits for us. Its also been great to meet up with relatives here, and have dinner with work collegues.

As always, being thankful helps so here's a little thank you list from our day today:

  • Still awake when Mercy had a night terror so didn't get wrenched out of bed
  • Mercy loving to throw a ball to Max, Dave's uncle's dog.
  • A big green space with children's climbing frame within walking distance of the house we are buying
  • Tumble drier keeps our few clothes rotating nicely! 
  • Meeting a lady at church who had great faith in the face her child being born ill and passing away at the age of one
  • Mercy throwing a ball with some people we met at church
  • William laughing at the dogs
  • Nate getting dressed without being asked
  • William saying "thank you Jesus" when he picked up a piece of apple
Thanks for all those who are keeping in touch with us and my goal is to reply to every one of you! It may just take some time as we still have lots of papers to sort out and more. God bless. 


iSonto #68

 Way back in late April we went on a wonderful autumn ramble to the Salmon Ponds! Here are the pictures. We had a rare take away lunch of pies from "The Cheeky Little Place" in New Norfolk which has lovely quality food.

A huge highlight of our visit to the Salmon Ponds was the appearance of a platypus who delighted in swimming up and down by the side of one of the ponds. Incredible! My best ever platypus sighting and we stood and looked at him/her for a long time.

This was the day before negotiations finished on Dave's job offer at the University of Stellenbosch. This was a challenging time for us with lots of decisions to make, so it was a great time to take a few hours off and get some perspective.

 Dave emded up getting an appropriate offer so we are now off to Stellenbosch in South Africa next week, only nine weeks after accepting the offer! Its been a super quick move to organise. This will be my last iSonto from our little house in Southern Tasmania. Our removals occur this week and then we fly out the following week. Interspersed with the following photos are thanksgivings I've jotted down over the past month and more. We have heaps to praise God for as we've already overcome so many hurdles, including visas, air flights, removals date, the sale of our car, and home maintenace.

Pausing longer to look at insects due to my fascinated company!
Lying in sun on our bed
Autumn sunny house bliss
Mercy curled up listening to Curious George on headphones
Perfect way to remember our Kingston home
Weeding sunny garden beds
Raised garden beds
Ability to read
Picking fresh lettuce
Nate compliance with school work today
60 percent of our family have South African citizenship therefore no immigration issues for them!
Dave vacuums for me
Walking the beach at sunrise
A beach driving distance of where we are moving
Relaxing "date" evening with Dave and no interruptions

Mercy and Nate making their own friends
Able to read a long story without sore throat
Old silicon removed from bath tub
Time to do this
Driving amongst autumn colour in sandy bay
Shopping in quiet on my own
Children behaved while I got moving quotes plus helped someone catch our chickens
Happy new home for chickens

Nate adjusting well to gym
Good physio session despite being in lots of pain beforehand
Watching sunrise
Have medical certificates
Money for Canberra flight
iPod to listen to Anne of the island
Gym sooooo much easier than last year!
Mercy playing confidently a whole gym distance away

Moments to calm down
Waves crashing on shore
Positive party for Nate
Managed to shop, prepare cake, wrap pass the parcel, make pin tail on dog game, tidy house 
Dave helped prepare food
Cherished last cousin party before we go
Mercy said children aren't trouble they are a joy they give cuddles and they play, when told robbers didn't want children as they thought they would be trouble!

Greek salad to see me through paper work
Warm restaurant to work in
Slept all night 9/05
Home made muesli
Friends and family  to celebrate with and who carefully select gifts
Nate delighted with remote control car
Broom to clean floor!

Dave cooked beautiful curry dinner 
New perfectly working lock on front door
Warm car to drive in
Early morning cuddles in front of heat pump. 
Mercy recounting our faith stories: You cried out to God for a husband and children and he gave them, I will pray for children when I am a lady
Mild day for party
Hot bath

Children played happily outside for hours!
Sunshine on washing
Nate learning addition from iPod game
Made lunch peacefully
Did washing peacefully
Played balloon ball with both m and e
Seeing war memorial from taxi at least!
Packed my own delicious lunch
Cloakrooms for back pack
Being on parliament roof and seeing Canberra layout
Privilege of exploring old and new Parliament House 
Looking at books, shops and exhibits in my own time!
Wandering to my own pace!
Found Perfect picture books for children as we move
Stack of certified documents and finance documents for visa applications equals incredible privilege
Able to share nibbles for after church
Dave made hommus
Children played well with others after church


iSonto #67

Here are a few pictures of things we have done during April. 

Nate spontaneously began to make letters out of leaves!

We made salt dough creations. Mercy is painting a dinosaur and Nate a mound that we used at Easter to represent Jesus death and resurrection. The mound has a hole in the side of it for the tomb and place for a cross to stand up at the top. We use a little pipe cleaner person to represent Jesus' death and resurrection. The pipe cleaner person remains in the grave from Friday to Sunday but on Sunday morning the grave is empty!

We enjoyed cousin time during the school holidays. One activity we did was alligators with a special paint technique using bubble wrap to make spots. Meanwhile Bill covered himself with paint!!

He gave himself a green eye :).

One day I was happy to discover that Nate had made a 0 -5 block creation. He had found the correct numbers and lined up block creations to demonstrate the numbers. This is what I imagined him doing with the blocks when I bough them a couple of years ago!

Some thankful thoughts I jotted into my ipod this week:

Praying in rain misted car
Seeing sunrise
Warm bed
Promises of God
Knowing my Heavenly Father
Warm shower 
Family Autumn ramble to anticipate! 
Flexibility to do this.
Courteous driver let me in
More courteous drivers!
Glorious sight of a platypus amongst the autumn leaves in the water
Joyful sight of an old neighbor we hadn't seen for years
Reliable car
Tissues and napkins
Perfect opportunity to collect leaves and make notes on their names 
Nate helped up into nooks of Monterey Cypress by Dave
Dave climbing up himself
Clean toilets out and about
Nate wanting to stay at Salmon Ponds as he loves it too much to leave!


iSonto #66

Such happy autumn days! We have had two weeks of school holidays which has been a refreshing change. We visited Grandma and Grandad where the children sat on pumpkins and picked plums. Their garden is glorious and they recently hosted garden tours.

In our own autumn garden we have more apples. We have found espaliers to be highly productive as well as space-saving.

Bill likes to creep under the net to get an apple or two!

So cute and pleased with himself!

More thankful things:

Dave home safely after a week away, field work completed
Warm days
"School" starts again tomorrow
Bill's love of puzzles
Happy visits with friends
Re-reading "Respectable Sins" by Jerry Bridges and getting even more out of it this time
Craft materials being used spontaneously and creatively


  © Blogger template Shush by 2009

Back to TOP