Hey guys and gals, sorry all’s been quiet on the blogging front for a few days. I’ve still been wrestling with a bit of ill health — secondary infection from what I discovered was actually the flu last week — but I’ve also been wrestling with a bit of a bad attitude, which made me decide it might be best to hush for a bit! We visited another church this past Sunday, and a lot was positive about the experience. It was really great to praise the Lord there, but some little ‘niggles’ kind of came my way and in the end the experience was rather spoilt. When you give place to offense, well Mr. Offense sure will take the place!
So anyway, I wrote a big long post discussing all my absolutely ingenious opinions about how Church could and should be better. Seriously, I basically solved all the world’s problems in one blog post. Then decided, hmm. Let’s let that one go. One must not think more highly of oneself (or one’s opinion) that one ought. Learning that in Job at the moment. If I’m honest I think I have a rather rotten attitude coming out of this blog post, and I don’t want to pass that along! Smiles and giggles and good cheer can be contagious, and so can nitpicking, bad attitudes and the general grump-grumps! Since I don’t want to infect you, dear reader, with a case of the general grump-grumps, I would rather just hush, or else simply say God is good! He is good, and we are trusting Him to direct our steps. And He is sovereign, and He is in control, and I don’t need to take on more of the world’s problems than He has assigned to me.
And, funny enough, after all our adventures, we are feeling His direction to settle down right where we started at the beginning, at the Every Nation Church in Somerset West. We have since discovered most churches don’t seem to have nurseries for kids under two, and that we are probably going to have to drive a wee ways to get to where we ought to be on a Sunday morning anyway, and that’s okay. Above all, we’re listening for the leading of the Lord, and His direction is our opportunity to obey! Â I am really excited about heading there again this Sunday.
PLUS, as soon as I get pictures together, I will tell you the delightful tale of how my dashing husband attempted to rescue a baby bird from the clutches of death! I hope tomorrow. In the meantime, I shall share a picture that will hopefully be smilingly contagious, of our Bear as an ice-cream Sunday. And once I have some encouraging things to say, they’ll be on their way to you!
Hi Moms & Dads on both sides of the pond ! (and everyone else who loves our Bear)…
We thought you might enjoy a few shots of your favourite (for now,Â only) grandchild. We were on the beach outside our place the other day with our camera, and he was more than willing to be an adorable subject…as usual! So here’s our Bear on the Beach… enjoy! Â We love and miss you!
He’s not so afraid of the sand anymore…
And he is no longer afraid to take off in his own direction at warp speed, either!
Lots of love from us in the southern sun! More to come soon!
Top of the week to ya! This Sunday was the Bearâ€™s 14 Month Birthday, and I think that is just plain special! Since everyone seems to like to see pictures of him, and his grandparents most especially miss him, I thought I would arrange a special Top Ten plus Four for you this week, with 14 of our favourite photos of our special wee man.
Hope you enjoy!
1. This one is from the day he was bornâ€¦ His first good shot in good lighting. (The delivery room was kind of dark at 2 am.)
2. This one is from when my Mom was visiting and helped him nap on his tummy so I could get some restâ€¦
3. Aunt Dodi gave him this adorable onesie and he just posed so well in it!
4. One day, I got ready to take the Bear outside in the Scottish cold. I bundled him up and left the room for a moment, because Iâ€™d forgotten something. He started crying while I was away. I wondered why he seemed so upset, but then he got really quiet. This is what I returned toâ€¦
5. This was taken the first time he saw a Christmas tree. If you look closely, you can see the lights of the tree in his eyes!
6. This was at a snugly wuggly bafftime.
7. This was also an outfit from Aunt Dodiâ€¦also taken in South Africa. How precious is this baby zebra?
8. This was in America when he found his feet for the first time. I had no idea how adorable babies playing with their feet could be. We took lots of pictures of him in this pose because he was just being so adorable. At first we got lots of naked shots, which were of course so cute and funny, but then we decided to slap a nappy on him so that he didn’t grow up to rue the day his parents bought a camera. I think that was a good decision.
9. Here is the Bear, posing as a very very very young version of Rocky. Adwiannnn!
10. You may have already seen this oneâ€¦still a personal favourite. The hair, the moobs, the droolâ€¦fabulous.
11. I call this one â€˜the bairn upon the rockâ€™ because this is on the Isle of Skye, in Scotland and â€˜bairnâ€™ is a Scots word for child. I donâ€™t know why I love this one. I just do! (Mark was hiding behind the rock to make sure he didn’t fall off!)
12. Sorry, Momâ€¦I just canâ€™t let this one go. I mean look at his face! (And yours! Tehe!)
13. This was at the Bear’s First Birthday Party! He had some of his amazing jungle birthday cake and I think he rather liked it!
14. And here he is … looking almost grown up! Our 14 Month Old Bear!
So thatâ€™s the fantastic fourteen! Many thanks to the little bundle bringing us so much joy!Â Happy Birthday Bear!
This one is mostly for the grandparents, but perhaps you can all enjoy. The Bear had his first African bath the day before yesterday. Yeah, we’d been here a couple of days, (okay…maybe four…) but I got so used to my Mom bathing him every day when we were back in North Carolina, it kind of slipped off the radar that that was my responsibility again! Whoops! At least he didn’t smell. =)
So we had to make a plan since his big rubber duck tub is hopefully floating somewhere over the ocean, along with the rest of our stuff on its way here, and our accommodation only has a shower. The options were the complex’s outdoor swimming pool, the mop bucket and kitchen sink. After much deliberation, kitchen sink was victorious. Mark made one side soapy and the other one not, so that he had a wash and a rinse. Very efficient.
Â Any if you look very very closely at the shot below, you might be able to see his Praise-the-Lord-it’s-finally-here-first-tooth just breaking through his bottom gums! (Just right of centre)
Well folks, we are safely in South Africa and it is really really good to be here. Our most recent travel experiences really deserve a mention. By the end of this you might think Iâ€™m writing a paid advertisement for Emirates airline, but honestly, this is just me telling you what a great experience we had. (Although if they wanted to pay me, I would take it!)
This adventure began with our last few days in Scotland, staying with our dear friends Rob and Alice (travelling Rob), and catching up with more friends, (who had birthday prezzies for Asher, no less! thanks Worwy and Sawah [above]!) connecting with friends at church, and catching colds because it was so cold and rainy and wintry. A million thanks to the Andersons for hosting us so graciously (Rob could run a fantastic restaurant of culinary delights), to Adam for driving us to the airport in Glasgow, and to Hope for letting him when sheâ€™s so pregnant sheâ€™s about to burst and has two wee ones.
We were…shall we say… a bit concerned about our baggage because we thought the Emirates allowances were the same as Continentalâ€™s, but we discovered we were mistaken the day before our flight. We were looking at 25 to 35 pounds — thatâ€™s British Pound Stirling — per kilogram overweight. And we had none too few extra kilograms. But the travel agents were as friendly as Nessie is hard to find, and did not even mention the extra weight. When we walked away from the counter we felt like kids on Christmas morning. That upgrade we prayed for just happened. They only made me taste two baby food jars at customs (yeah… seriously) and when we arrived at the gate, they came and checked our pram (stroller) for us, and told us although it was checked to Johannesburg, there would be a pram waiting for us while we were at our layover in Dubai. That was great. The layover was more than four hours in the middle of the night, but at least we had a pram! And I am now convinced Dubai is quite possibly the coolest place Iâ€™ve never been.Â (Since the airport doesnâ€™t count).
Our two eight hours flights were easypeasy. On each leg, the flight attendants gave us toys and other stuff for Asher…he got a hand puppet camel on the first flight (along with a colouring book and coloured pencils) and he got a hand puppet tiger for the second leg of the journey! They also gave us baby food, and a little pouch with a rattle, a spoon, baby wipes, a bib, baby lotion… they just really took care of us. And they took Asherâ€™s picture and put it in a little paper frame with an airplane on it. â€œBest wishes from Emirates to Asherâ€ with the flight number and crew member names. So sweet! He wasnâ€™t looking at the camera so they tried twice. Sweet anyway!Â We also had a row of four bulkhead seats to ourselves on the first flight, and three bulkhead seats to ourselves for the second. Upgrade!
So hereâ€™s my thirty second Emirates promo: â€œAt a time when most airlines are debating charging customers for extra baggage or even for going to the bathroom, Emirates is handing out hot towels and amazing meals. Theyâ€™re serving cake and ice cream with tea and coffee at snack times. Theyâ€™re giving kids toys and making sure their families are comfortable. Their prices are competitive, but their customer service blows the competition out of the water. (Or sand dunes, if you will). From perhaps one of the best-traveled babies in the world, Emirates gets a one-tooth smile with lots of drool, and two happy hands up!”
Thanks for allowing that digression. As the story continues, we are now safely in South Africa and itâ€™s great to be here. We arrived in Johannesburg, stayed the night with Markâ€™s sister, Lyn, (who also had great birthday prezzies for Asher!) The next day was, praise the Lord, our final flight — Johannesburg to Cape Town. Mark felt prompted to wait one more day before buying those tickets with Kulula, a domestic South African airline.Â A one-day sale started the next day, and (thank you again, Lord!) we saved a huge amount on the tickets. Unfortunately, we did have to pay for our extra baggage on that flight, but since weâ€™d saved so much on the tickets, we pretty much broke even. Â And now the real adventure begins! Since Iâ€™ve gone a bit long, I will perhaps save the story of our arrival for tomorrow. =)