Sweet 17

Today is the Bear’s 17 month birthday. I am happy to say I don’t really feel like time has flown by, although it is amazing that he is so far along the road of life already. I’ve been able to spend so much time with him thanks to our work situation and, at the urging of so many others, I have been working on savouring and treasuring this special time. Although I think I am occasionally missing something while buried in my laptop, I still feel like I’m doing a pretty good job of getting on the floor and playing with him, savouring the moments of giggling and reading together, stacking cups and blocks and taking apart puzzles (since we don’t have the putting them together part down yet). It does feel like it’s happening quickly, but I don’t feel filled with sorrow or regret that I’ve missed something. And, to conclude this long digression, that’s a nice feeling.

Here’s a glimpse of the life of the Bear at Sweet 17.

These days the Bear is thoroughly enjoying the dishwasher box house.

Dishwasher House

We are still in the throes of discussing the imminent necessity of a first hair cut. But having fun with his long locks in the meantime.

Hair Cut

After listening to an economy lesson on Baby Einstein, this clever 17-month-old has begun implementing the important principle of not enjoying things all at once, but instead carefully saving things for later…

Saving it for later

That’s a piece of biscuit by the way. As previously mentioned, he is also a budding geologist, and a connoisseur of fine rocks and other specimens.

Pet Rock CollectionYes, I see that the hat folds his ears over. But isn’t it cute? He has become Mommy’s little helper, aiding me in stuffing clothing into the washing machine, closing the soap drawer and even pushing the start button when directed. He however occasionally struggles with an impulsive desire to push the button again, when not directed…

Mommy's Lil Helper

Unfortunately, he has confused 17 months with 17 years, and is considering leaving home soon.

Already ready to leave home

He’s all-around being a cutie-pie bear who brightens up our every day.

Cutie Bear

Happy Birthday to the Bear! We are VERY thankful for you, and our lives are so much brighter with your little face in them!

Do you think

Do you think

Do you think

that I need

that I need

A Haircut?

a haircut?

Probably so, my Mom’s just not ready yet.

It’s a Bloemin’ Good Christmas!

It is good to be in Bloemfontein. As you know, the bacon-covered cherries have made my Christmas. I thought I’d share a few pics of the grandson my Mom and Dad are missing so much. I am missing them! It was AMAZING how quickly he figured out the three easy steps to prezzie time: #1 Rip paper, #2 Rip more paper, #3 Find toy inside!

The Bear is currently presiding as King of the Collie Castle…

MTV CribsHe’s thinking about trying out as an extra for MTV Cribs. I’m gonna have to say n-n-n-o.

These were the humble beginnings of the paper ripping fest…

This is How it Works

We got him a “laptop” in hopes that he would leave ours alone and play with his.

Get Your OwnAfter the first paper-ripping session had delightful results, he started getting into it…

Gettin The Hang of ItThank you for the prezzies, Auntie Lorna! We REALLY like ours, and as you can see, the Bear really likes his…

I Like This OneThe accompanying elephant became a teething toy a few minutes later. 🙂 And this was the aftermath of all the prezzie-rippin’ fun.

The AftermathMerry Christmas from Bloemfontein! We miss you, G.C. and Grandpa! We’re having a good time in the southern hemisphere, but we can’t wait to be together again soon!

Travelling Tuesday: African Wild Animals!

My humblest apologies that all has been quiet on the blogging front for a few days now. I was SICK SICK SICK! One of those crazy 24 hour things that makes you despair of life and wonder if it’s really worth going on. (Don’t worry, my one reader with emetophobia, I won’t go into detail!) Fortunately, I am on the other side and incredibly thankful that (yes I did the math) I’ve lived well over 10,000 days so far, and I’ve only had one like that. One in 10,000 — no cause for complaint!

Anywho, after that lengthy introduction, it is Travelling Tuesday! As promised, I have some stories and shots from our travels up to Bloemfontein, where we are spending the holidays with Mark’s parents (and his sister when she arrives!) The roads are very busy and therefore a bit dangerous this time of year, so we decided to come early to avoid the traffic, since we can still do a lot of our work getting Samaritan’s Feet started from here. Modern communications are a wonderful thing! We thought breaking the trip up over three days (staying overnight in a couple different places) would make it an easier journey with the Bear. We were wrong. Yes, it was still cheaper than flying, but dern, it was a lot of travelling! I don’t think the Bear enjoyed his tent being pitched in a new spot each night or finding himself in the car seat again each morning. So next time we’ll probably do the 10+ hour journey in one day. As they say in the South, we oughta just git ‘er done. Lesson learned!

As mentioned, these travelling adventures brought us face to face with many dangerous wild animals. This is Africa people! We stopped off in a place outside Oudtshoorn called Calitzdorp the first night. And just outside our little self-catering hut we spotted a big, scary…

Praying Mantispraying mantis!!!!

Okay not so scary. Still, a little creepy. You’ve heard how vociferous the females are, right? Well then, we went for a walk, and we came face to face with a huge, and very dangerous…

Ostrich - Yum!

Farm-raised ostrich!!!!!!!!

Behind a fence.

But if he got near the fence…and we were too close…seriously people, they can kick like ninjas, beware!!  Then it got really dangerous. I’m not even joking this time. We came face to face with a grumbly…grizzly…


Wild Bear!!

You’ve given up on me, haven’t you? Africa’s not as wild as you were hoping, mayhaps? Let’s give it one last try.  The final creature to give us a fright appeared as we were journeying to Nieu Bethesda for our second night’s stay along the way to Bloemfontein. And you do not want to come face to face with one of these. It’s a big, scaly…


Om… likkewaan!!

This creature kind of looks like a gila monster…and was probably like 4 ft. long! The Afrikaans word for it is likkewaan, pronounced LOOK-a-vahn, but the English word is leguan. I wasn’t familiar with either, but the Afrikaans is more fun to say. Sure, I took this picture from the window of the car, but still, he could’ve gone T-Rex on us at any moment! Grrrr. We actually think maybe it was a her…do you think she looks preggers? I didn’t ask because I didn’t want to hurt her feelings.

Well, that’s a taste of our dangerous travels from Gordon’s Bay to Bloemfontein with Calitzdorp and Nieu Bethesda in between. Thank the Lord for Mr. Potato Head safely navigating our passage and never stranding us in the wild among these dangerous creatures!

Happy Trails to you, wherever the road takes you!

Back in Full Bloem

We’re here, we’re here! Let the great rumpus begin! After a few days of arduous cross country travel, I am pleased to report that we’ve arrived in Bloemfontein safe and sound. My home away from home!

There are travelling stories to be told, lessons to be shared and pictures to be uploaded, but in the meantime I will simply report that we are glad to be back in the beautiful Free State, where the flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining hot, and one little boy is especially delighted that splashing in his duck tub and living in a diaper are on his schedule every day for the next few weeks. Supporting evidence of these claims is duly attached. More to come.

With Grandpa in the Garden