Travelling Tuesday: Three Weeks in Time

Just making sure you heard about Mirriam House? Could you, your church, your office, or your second cousin’s third grade teacher give $5 to help? Please click that link to find out more.

It’s been a busy couple of travelling weeks for the Collie clan, so I thought a wee review might be fun this Tuesday.

We rested up in preparation for the journey…


Said goodbye to our stuff


And to lots of friends (we wish we’d taken more pictures)


and to Gordon’s Bay’s beautiful sunsets.


We had a wonderful two-night stop in Hermanus (my favourite!) and took a walk in some wonderful weather on our full day there. It was a beautiful, beautiful day!


Even the Bear thought it was a day that needed photographing!






And guess what? My favourite creatures were lounging around for a cute little creaturely smile goodbye {which they kind of slept through…}


Bye, Dassies, see you again soon!!

We watched the waves crash on the rocks in the Hermanus harbour.


There were some big and exciting crashes, and the Bear rather enjoyed it.


I think it made him thirsty.


See you again soon, beautiful Cape fynbos!


After catching up with old friends


we took off and spent the next two days right here. (With an overnight stop in the middle, of course.)


{Pardon me for just reaching my arm into the backseat for a rough photo, Tank. I couldn’t fit back there!}


{Do you love that pink and green polka-dot carry-on as much as I do? Impossible!}

And after 1,300 kilometres (800 miles) of adventuring, we made it safely to Bloemfontein! Here’s my favourite proof!


Now that we’re safely here, we’re mostly travelling to the gym, to the mall, and just this past weekend, to the cinema to take the Bear to his first ever movie. (Cars 2 3D!) It. Was. Awesome.

In another week or so, we’re off with Goo-Goo and Gammy to stay near the Kruger National Park and do some game-viewing!! The big adventure is off to a great start, and more travelling is on the way!

Hope your week is delightful so far!


Travelling Tuesday: Noordhoek Trading Post

While Goo-Goo, Gammy, and Auntie Lyn were visiting, we took a {previously mentioned} leisurely drive to Noordhoek, where a sweet little stopping spot filled our afternoon with a splendid diversion. The spot is called Noordhoek Trading Post, and it boasts a couple of sweet little restaurants, some shopping, and a playground so delightful, the Bear took one look at it and wet his pants. I’ll leave you to guess whether I mean that literally.


Noordhoek is a sweet little corner of Cape Town not far from b-e-a-uuu-tiful Chapman’s Peak Drive. {That might be the backside of Chapman’s Peak right dere. But I could be wrong.} The name literally translates “North Hook” but I suppose “hoek” is used around here kind of like “corner” where I come from, like Spivey’s Corner, with the annual hollerin’ contest. And don’t try to put a ‘g’ on that, it just ain’t right.


I digress. Noordhoek has a beautiful long stretch of beach that reminds me of North Carolina beaches…sans the mountains nearby, of course.

There’s a lot of Cape Dutch thatched roofage in Noordhoek. I like it.


And look! I found my flag…Americans must be welcome! Finally, we’re welcome somewhere!


We briefly perused the {tourist-priced} goodies…


which were certainly adorable


and interesting


and bounteously plentiful {or plentifully bounteous?}


but nevertheless tourist priced, so on we went in search of grub, and found it here.


The Bear found himself here:


and here


and here


and, with a Goo-Goo in tow, here


{Are those the pants we changed into, out of pee pants? Who knows…}

The Tank found himself here…


and here


and bestillmyheartIlovethisbaby, right in front of the camera lens, here:


And thanks to this:


and a good Goo-Goo,


we got to sit here


and enjoy a scrumptious lunch. Yay! {Auntie Lyn’s treat! Thank you!!!}

The Travelling Tuesday Review: Nice place to stop with the little ones! Cafe Roux is yummy. {Try not to get roped in on the tourist goodies.} But if you stroll through the awesome bakery (sorry, it just felt wrong to take pictures in there) grab an almond croissant for me. And, if you could, pronounce it KWA-sont, when you pass it to me. Keep it posh. Thanks a million.

Hope you’re having a great week!


Travelling Tuesday: The Stories of an Expat

As our departure from these stunning southern shores approaches, I find myself trying to capture the memories like photographs in my mind. It feels like this place still has so many stories to tell. Although some doors closed quickly, and others opened far and wide, so that the way forward for us seemed so clear, still there’s a part of me that wishes we could linger a bit longer. It’s the way I sometimes feel after enjoying a wonderful meal: the conversation is moving to the living room, to more comfortable seats, perhaps teas and coffees, I am still in the dining room, not ready to blow out the candle on this season in South Africa.

There are stories that haven’t yet left my fingertips, ones I look forward to sharing with you here, about what presently is and once was but soon will no longer be. I was asked recently to write about living as an expat in South Africa for a magazine for expatriates (chiefly international families in Belgium). The magazine has gone to print and, with a nod to the glorious magic of the world wide web, I’m able to also share the electronic version with you right here.

If I’ve done this correctly, you can click to read and mosey on over to pages 50 to 52 for some of my thoughts on life in SA. {But rest assured plenty more thoughts will be coming your way right here!}

I hope your week is going well, friend. And I especially hope your travels bring you right here, to glorious South Africa someday soon. Happy Tuesday!


Travelling Tuesday: The Clever Badge is Back

So a few weeks ago, Laura Anne and Emilie earned the clever badge. LA shared hers online but I can’t find where she posted it. And alas, I formatted the dern thing a little funny and when Emilie printed it, it looked like this…

Picture 60

Om…whoops. She emailed me to thank me for her “clever plaque.”

So, I hereby promise to reformat the jpeg before I send it to today’s winner(s) so that, if printed, it prints to be 5 x 5 inches of this gloriousness:


If you win, you can enjoy this magical badge, print it out and wear it around like a superman cape. And you can set it as the desktop picture on your Mac or PC. And you can take a photo with the badge and email it to me and I’ll post it right here and we’ll do the hokey pokey and turn ourselves around. Because that’s what it’s all about.

So today, I’ve got a couple of challenges for you. First winner (or two or three if I’m feeling generous) gets a clever badge. And a spring in their step for the rest of the week, free of charge.

1. Can you name the place (and country) where this fantastic kitchen basks in its own colourful glory?

have a guess

If you poke around over here, you’ll be able to figure it out quickly.

But here’s the hard one.

2. These people are queueing outside the place where a famous very young person wrote a very famous diary. Can you name the city, the writer, and the book? Frankly, I’ll be impressed if you don’t need more hints.


This is what things look like nearby:


Good luck! Hope you can be clever! And I hope your Tuesday is going great!


One more thing: I just want to make sure you all know that you can comment without having a website to insert right there in the comments section. You can use the comment with Facebook thing, or the regular one, and the only required field besides a name is an email address. And I ain’t gonna spam ya. Break a leg!

Travelling Tuesday: The Flowers of South Africa

Happy Tuesday and howzit? I want to share one of my favourite parts of South Africa with you this Travelling Tuesday (hence me inserting a bit of South African brogue right there). While there are a lot of favourite parts for me, today you can travel with me to enjoy some of this impressive country’s magnificent flowers! You won’t believe the incredible wild flowers you’ll see on a walk ’round these parts. (And… I’m back to Southern English.)

I explained once before ages ago, that the world is divided into six floral kingdoms, (geographic regions with relative uniformity of plant species) most of them stretching thousands of miles, covering countries and continents. But there’s just one very special tiny (in comparison) floral kingdom here, just on the southern tip of South Africa, called the Cape Floristic Kingdom. This tiny corner of our beautiful planet is packed full of over 8,700 plant species, and 68% of them are found here and nowhere else!


Want to see?

This lovely wild flower is stretching skyward atop Table Mountain!


What’s the story, Morning Glory? (On a Game Reserve in KwaZulu Natal)


Another pretty wild one in KZN…


This birdie {a sunbird} is enjoying the Tecoma outside our place in Gordon’s Bay! Gorgeous hey? {You can buy his sweet mugshot here.}


I don’t know these names, but don’t they look like butter? Yummy.


I’m gonna call this one Mrs. Pineapple.


South Africa’s national flowers (and her national cricket team) are the proteas (of which there are several varieties.) Here are some on a nature reserve in Somerset West. (They’re three on the left–look familiar?)


Caution! There are wild orchids running rampant in KZN!


Other wild flowers on the roadside… I think you can find them near Cape Town.


May I introduce you to Mesembryanthemum? {Now say that three times fast.} Near East London.


This one reminds me of the fox gloves in Scotland. (But it’s in the Helderberg region.)


Remember this one from Elgin?


The (little) Bear is examining an Abelia. {It’s a shrub.}


And my favourites…

Mrs. Strelitzia in Gordon’s Bay (Bird of Paradise in the US)


Isn’t she just an amazing flower? Like, who could come up with this but an incredible Creator?


And this is another type of protea…want to guess the name?


Wait for it to open…Now guess!


It’s a pincushion! {See the ant inside?}

I hope you enjoyed this bouquet of a Travelling Tuesday! Blessings as you enjoy your adventure, wherever the road may take you!


{Many thanks to Gammy, visiting with Goo-Goo, who helped with the names of some of the flowers. Mwah! I don’t know all the names, so if you do and want to fill in some gaps, feel free to comment!}

Travelling Tuesday: A Jump, Skip & a {Blog} Hop

Happy Tuesday, chicos y chicas! It’s a busy week ’round these parts, lots on the heart and on the mind…but more on that and how God is moving our mountains soon!

In the meantime, I’m delighted to share with you a wee privilege I enjoyed the other week and am so happy to tell you about. Quite a while ago I stumbled upon the website of a Mama Extraordinaire, M.E., for short, (but not me…you get the idea) who is an incredible nurturing, loving, homeschooling Mama to not one, not two, not three, okay this could take all day, not seven, but eight amazing kids.

Her blog is called se7en (when she started it there were only seven pairs of kiddie feet to count pattering around the house) and is very aptly subtitled “The Life and Times of a Homeschooling Mom of Se7en +1.”

Se7en’s site is packed full of goodies from baking recipes (be still, my heart…or tummy) to craft ideas, homeschooling tips and tools, book suggestions…and the list goes on. She shares awesome ideas for getting your kids to read, welcoming newborns into the home (and dealing with older siblings in the process)…okay I’ll stop, but I could go on. For quite a while.


We got connected a wee while ago through the amazing internets, and Mrs. Se7en herself suggested that if we were going to be in her neck of the woods (did I mention she’s also right here in SA, in the Western Cape, no less!) that I should touch base. We were going to be a hop, skip and a jump down the road last week. And it occurred to HH and myself, with very short notice, that we would indeed be in the Se7en neck of the woods and joy, oh joy, I emailed, she phoned, and instead of on our way home, we were on our way to hers!

Now we’ve gone far too long without photos for a Travelling Tuesday. So here’s one!


{There was so much life and beauty and tidiness in this place! Those untidy bags on the floor there are mine! Cheeky me!}


I was so impressed with the organisation and peacefulness of this home to eight kids (plus two grownups!).




Each kid with a unique manner and personality, with spunk and charisma, with charm and politeness, and so much friendliness!



We were spoiled with at least three or four tour guides for most of our visit and I just loved seeing the craft ideas coming to life, the shelves and shelves of beautiful and loved books, the happy faces enjoying life to the full.




You can imagine who fit right in and found himself rather happy… {and rather sad to leave!}



It was delightful to meet Se7en in real life… Inspiring and special, indeed!


Now I have to comment, because I know what some of you are thinking: One is a pet, Eight is a zoo! But it was absolutely not the case. One older one was helping Mom with the bread for lunch, another was entertaining a couple of younger ones so the grownups could chat… {Did you see an older one helping my younger one in the picture above?} And even though we’d called with short notice, it seemed there was “a place for everything, and everything in its place.”

And I’m afraid, even though it’s Tuesday, I must digress a little further.

The other day I read this post and was challenged and encouraged by these simple words:

“Do you know what the Bible calls riches? Children.”

And it put me deep in thought about something I’ve thought a bit about before: do we often decide not to have kids, or specifically not to have more kids for the wrong reasons? Is there more to life than making sure you can pay for all your kids to go to college? (And haven’t we faith that Little Brother is going to play football like nobody’s business and earn a scholarship?) Have you ever heard anyone say {other than perhaps in jest!} “I wish we’d stopped at two.”? Have you ever heard anyone say “I wish we’d had one more?” It seems to me the latter is more common.

I would never stretch to say that those who don’t have children or are unable to have children are poor — many are the blessings of the Lord — but I would dare to say our society has come to see children as a liability rather than an asset. A hindrance rather than a help. But could that be because of the way we are parenting? Are they burdens to carry or blessings to count? Mouths to feed or hands to help?

What a pleasure to see the latter of each of those options shining brightly just down the road.

I’ll return from my stroll down Digression Lane, but I would love your thoughts on this subject. Are you saying “Just Two And We’re Through”? Or “We’re at Four, Lord give us more!” {Why??}

The colour and vibrance of this home were heartwarming and welcoming…



but what really made this house a home was the beautiful kids in it.


{One sweetie pie got a camera for her birthday and is putting it to good use!}



{Look, Baby Blake is asleep in the stroller across the way!}




We were lined up for a family photo before our departure… But look who was disappointed at the thought of leaving!


Dear Se7en {+1!},

Thank you all so much for your wonderful hospitality! It was a delight to come for a visit. We certainly hope to be in your neck of the woods again soon!

Lots of love from our clan to yours!

{And hoping for you, dear friends and readers, that you enjoy your adventure wherever your travels take you next… Happy Tuesday!}


P.S. If you’d like more from Se7en +1, click here! Enjoy!