Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The birthday.

The birthday day started very early when a little face peered down at me at 3:40a.m.! I thought she was trying her luck at opening her presents before the sun had risen but in fact the words were "mom, I can't breathe very well". It's usually Niave who has us up in the night with attacks of "croup" but this time it was Abigail and it would be when I don't have any croup medicine in the house. So I gave her some other stuff which seemed to get her to at least 6:30 which was then "present call"!!

The moment she'd been waiting for for ages arrived!
We'd had some difficulty in deciding what to buy for her this year and eventually decided on a new hamster cage. Pickle, the hamster, has been residing in very mediocre accommodation (!) and Abigail has been eyeing a 5 star residence at the giant pet shop down the road, so Pickle now has a new home, I'm not sure she can afford the bond but she definitely likes the loft suite as the master bedroom!
She also received some new books - she LOVES to read, and 2 new DVD's - she LOVES to watch DVD's too!! And a new outfit which took about 4 hours to find... long story, don't get me started.

A little later my parents popped in on their way to work with a HUGE present:

Inside was a whole new bedroom! Duvet cover set and pretty pillow, curtains, a new rail and some great games.

After a visit to the doctor, it was a rush to get everything ready and packed for the party at the Clay Cafe in Hout Bay.
At first she had asked for a hamster cake, and while it was quite fitting, I wasn't too sure how to pull that off, so we went with a cat instead.

1,2,3,4 steps to a cat cake:
The children all enjoyed painting their item of bisque and then had time to play on the jumping castle and playground, and enjoy some party food! And of course, the blowing out of candles:

We were all exhausted by the time we came home but there were still more visitors to come.
She received lots of cards and calls (from near and far) and visitors and gifts and only got into bed at 9 o'clock.

A fun, busy day. Thank you to everybody who called or visited. And thank you for all the gifts! (She received money from quite a few people and now has nearly R400.00 burning a whole in her pocket!! "Can we go to the pet shop?" is a line I've heard many times today!)

Happy Birthday Abigail!

9 years old today!

We can't believe you are 9 already. It seems like just the other day you were turning1!
Wishing you a wonderful year ahead.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Airshow 2010.

This weekend saw the annual airshow at Ysterplaat air force base in Cape Town. It is a big event in our family. No, I mean BIG! Grant LOVES the airshow.

If he'd had his way we'd have been there at 6:00 a.m.! But we got there at a more reasonable 8:15.

It was a good but tiring morning. Abigail has been before but it was Niaves first time. She's always been quite sensitive to loud noises (except her own!) but she coped very well.

Grant loves aeroplanes (and helicopters) but most of his enthusiasm centered around this one which, I think, is called the Gripen. Very impressive!!

In flight:

There were some other impressive, though less noisy aerobatic displays:

It's hard to get good pictures with my camera, it doesn't have quite enough zoom.

There was a lot to see on the ground too, much, much more than we could ever actually see but we browsed around and found a few things of interest.

And embarked on a quest to find the biggest wheels! Measured in relation to Niave. This was about the biggest we saw but I'm pretty sure there were bigger.

Abigail even found some puppies to play with:

And Niave found a man to resuscitate!!

At the end Grant emerged from the last hangar with bags of memorabilia! Caps, badges, posters, pens, books...the list goes on, and on.

There was so much to see, a lot more than I have mentioned, tanks, parachutists, divers, army trucks of every variety, fire engines, helicopters big and small, aeroplanes of all descriptions.

We were exhausted by the time we got home but we had a good time.

Thursday, September 23, 2010


Wendy and Jose 23 September 2010.
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Extreme Makeover: Plumstead!

We have been living in our house for 8 years now. When we moved here it was an old house that needed EVERYTHING done. We moved from a small house into what seemed an enormous one and shortly afterwards Grant ended up in a wheelchair and was boarded. So, far from gutting the house and doing everything at once (hahaha), we have done things in small, tiny, bits. In fact the things we did at the beginning need to be done again and we haven't reached the end of the list yet!! But I suppose that's the plight of a homeowner.

Anyway, when we moved in, the room that is the lounge/family room was uninhabitable because the previous owner had kept chickens and they had been given the freedom of the lounge. SO the carpet was ripped up and it became the storeroom. When Grant needed a place to work from home we made a start on getting the lounge "livable".

Long story short, it was a process/project that was never finished and went from bad to worse and with all the drama in between it has just never been completed.

However, one gets to a time in your marriage when suddenly everything needs to be replaced! You hear people say that but believe me, it's true!

Our dishwasher recently packed up, not an essential item but when you're used to having it it is very much missed, our fridge works but could be replaced for many reasons, our TV which Grant bought before we got married is dying a slow death, sometimes it works sometimes it doesn't, sometimes you have sound, sometimes you don't and our mattress was dead! It took quite a while of me waking up with an aching body to realize it had died. And this picture speaks for itself:

So, in search of a new bed and a TV we discovered that most shops have these package deals nowadays and we found one that allowed us to "negotiate" our own package, so we ended with a bed, a TV, a TV unit and 2 new couches!

It felt like Christmas had arrived early!!

It was all due to arrive on Friday afternoon, but the Scotch guarding on the fabric was still wet so the delivery was scheduled for 7:30pm! On a Friday night!! Well, everything besides the TV arrived at around 8:00pm, the TV's box had been damaged so the manager drove to another store to get a different one and arrived at 9:30!!
It was very exciting, Abigail will be happy if she never has to leave home again!

The bed was sorted out first since we had nowhere to sleep otherwise!
All tucked up and cosy! This bed is so high!! Our old bed stood on bricks because for Grant's previous back situation it had to be higher than normal, but this bed is higher than that bed even without bricks!!

Now here is the story of the bedside table. It's always been a bit of an after thought, I had a rickety table: and Grant had... a box!Don't ask! I don't know. Anyway, they HAD to go.

I went off to Mr. Price and found some butler tray tables for R129.00 and thought that was a bargain, also I liked the idea that they have sides so things can't fall off. MUCH better, but hey, anything beats a box!!!

Then it was time to get the lounge sort of sorted out.

We still need a few picture frames, a rug a coffee table and a few other bits and pieces but it is wonderful to have a functional lounge. Everything was MUCH bigger than it seemed in the shop and I'm not sure if we'll ever have to go to a cinema again!! When there's a 12 and a half year gap between television purchases the technology is somewhat different!

And new things come in boxes and boxes make great toys!! Niave and Marley had a great time in this box - so remind me why we have so many toys that cost money?!!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ouma and Oupa:

Through the eyes of a soon to be 9 year old:
And just so they still have some dignity

As you can see from the photo, Oupa does not wear a straight jacket all the time!!!

Monday, September 13, 2010


Niave draws a lot of pictures.
Some, I must admit, end up in the bin!
But some, like this one, I would quite happily keep forever!

Apparently and contrary to popular opinion, it is not a chicken! She draws this image a lot, I'm not sure what it is but I have been told over and over again that it is not a chicken!!
Very sweet.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Officially spring starts, in the southern hemisphere on the 23rd of September but traditionally it is "celebrated" on the 1st of September. So, in keeping with tradition Abigail went to school adorned with flowers (thanks to Ouma and Oupa for bringing some as our garden is flowerless!!).
Niave had to get in on the action too but went with the minimalist approach:-)

Despite the fact that the weather doesn't feel like spring or look like spring: and that winter hasn't actually arrived yet, our oak tree thinks it's spring and it should know!

If the past 2 years are anything to go by the rain is still to come. I remember having rain on my birthday in mid June almost without fail as a child, in fact when I was in matric the dance was held on my birthday and the school roof blew off as the result of a severe and charcteristic winter storm, but recently I've noticed lovely sunny and dare I say warm birthdays and lots and lots of rain in September. So we shall see if this is the third year of visible climate change or not.