The Sometimes-Spotted African Bear

In case you were feeling that our one and only was becoming a lesser-spotted species of Bear lately, here’s your fix on where you might spot the 20 month old wonder these days.

He was recently seen dancing and testing out musical instruments in Green Market Square in Cape Town. He tried to score a five-finger discount on a FIFA World Cup soccer ball — the special 2010 ones with the South African flag — but his Mom made him put it back.

He also recently did a little bit of a hike atop Table Mountain.* He found the uneven terrain slightly challenging, but preferred to make the journey without any hand-holding whenever possible. His Mom was disappointed that he didn’t find the heights to be good reason for caution.

*He intends to avoid the potties next time.

He was also spotted eating with a fork for the first time on Tuesday. Macaroni and cheese, no less. Shortly afterwards, he climbed stairs without the assistance of an adult or his hands. Sure, there were only three stairs, and they were only four inches tall or so, but who’s counting?

In his spare time, the Bear has also recently been spotted perusing his vast collection of Veggie Tales and Wonder Pets. (Thanks, Amiee, Sarah and Rory!)

He was also spotted on an adventure unlike most the Bear has seen before…

But he felt that he fit right in, and rather enjoyed it.

So, folks, those are the coordinates for spotting the greater-spotted African Bear. If you’re hoping to see him outside captivity, you’ll need to move quickly. He is known to transition from walking to running before you’ve got the lens cap off your camera.

Who says there aren’t bears on this continent? 🙂


P.S. Don’t forget there is a giveaway right here at, tomorrow!!! That’s Friday, April 30th! If you don’t drop in, you can’t win! See you then! Don’t ya love rhymes?

Every Person Has a Story :: The Princess in Trainers

I have another story to share with you. I just wish I knew more of it to share.

I had the privilege of washing these tiny feet.

I’m not sure if this little one understood English at all. But Hero Hubs, being the Hero he is, managed to get her to smile.

Isn’t she beautiful?

The Sunday School teachers told us the kids went to borrow clothes and shoes to come to the distribution, and were probably wearing their very best when we came. That was really humbling to hear.

She was missing most of the top row of teeth, my best guess is due to malnutrition or a lack of hygiene. It also seemed that her eyelids had perhaps been infected and healed in a jagged fashion.

I wish I knew more of her story to tell.

But it was a privilege that our stories converged for a moment one sunny morning in the Western Cape.

Every person has a story.

It’s amazing to think that God knows them all.


Travelling Tuesday: Table Mountain, South Africa

You already know it if you read the potty story last week. We ventured up Table Mountain last Tuesday, and a mountain as cool as this one deserves its own Travelling Tuesday. For sure!

You take a cable car up to the top (well you can hike it if you want but uh…with a 20 month old Bear…nuh-uh).

It’s pretty cool to watch the mountain approaching as you ride up in the cable car.

The view is really impressive from the top… There’s Lion’s Head, that next hill is Signal Hill, and the island out there is Robben Island! You can even see Cape Town Stadium where some of the World Cup games will be played this summer!

How tiny does the Bear look next to Manny? (The founder of Samaritan’s Feet who was visiting last week!)

Hold hands when you’re crossing a bridge, Bear!

You can see so far in every direction from the top. This is looking south toward Cape Point.

Isn’t it wonderful when you have moments in life like that, where you get a chance to look up and get some good perspective?

Our new friend and work colleague, Courtney, enjoying the view… (Just so you know we weren’t taking pictures of random strangers.)

And look, a mongoose like Rikki Tikki Tavi!

Remember how I told you about the Cape Region being a unique floral kingdomwith lots of species of plants that are found here and nowhere else in the world? Well, that might be some of the unique stuff right there, but I’m no botanist. And we’re heading towards winter, so the foliage was a little sparse.

But, look, here’s a dassie! Like the ones we saw in Hermanus, but better behaved.

We tried to get a family photo at the top, but the Bear just wasn’t cooperating.

This one’s better. Well it makes me giggle anyway. HH got the Bear to smile!

You may have seen this view around these parts before. 🙂 We took a picture at this exact same spot a little over three years ago, when HH and I visited South Africa, just a week or so before he asked me to marry him! I should tell you that story sometime.

So, that’s a slice of life atop Table Mountain! Lovely, hey?

Hope your Tuesday is going great, and you’re enjoying your adventure today!


Want to join in on the Travelling Tuesday fun? You can share some shots from your back yard last week, or a trip around the world you took ages ago. Just be sure to link to your Travelling Tuesday post (not just your blog’s home page) and please add a link back here so others can join in the fun!


Every Person Has a Story

It’s an old saying I mentioned yesterday. It has more and more meaning to me all the time.

Every Person Has a Story.

Here’s a bit of one.

I had the privilege of washing this guy’s feet the other day.

He shared with me a little bit about his home life. His Dad gets angry with him sometimes. I have a feeling he was playing it down when he talked about it.

As I prayed for him, I was in tears. You don’t know a person’s story until you ask, and I was really glad I did.

I prayed that the plans God has for his life would come to pass. That he would be able to endure the challenges of this season of his life, that the Lord would be his refuge.

How incredibly fortunate and privileged I have been my entire life — in moments like these I see it most clearly. And yet, I forget thankfulness again and again.

O, to grace, how great a debtor, daily I’m constrained to be.

So many stories are taking place all around us.

Seize the opportunity to take a moment and hear someone’s story today. You have no idea how much it might mean to them.

Or to you.


Sometimes You Just Have to Laugh

We went up Table Mountain Tuesday. Our visitors ended up staying an extra day and a half thanks to the issues with air travel in Europe, and the weather cleared up, so the timing was perfect. And one of our co-workers offered to pay for our tickets to the top, so we were there! Thanks, Courtney!

Table Mountain is a beautiful flat-topped mountain in the middle of Cape Town. Here’s a view from the top, looking towards Cape Town City Bowl. Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela spent some of his 27 years of imprisonment, is the little island you see in the background.

I had a good Mountain-Top laugh Tuesday. If I manage to pull a Biblical lesson out of this one, I think you should consider me a magician. It’s really just a funny story, and I thought you might enjoy laughing at with me.

At the top of Table Mountain, they have some special toilets. When you have a toddler with a soggy diaper on your hands, you might not have an extra moment to read the special sign on the way in that explains that the toilets are similar to the ones designed for use on airplanes. Such was the case for me. I saw something about a Boeing 747 and that the toilet paper was “green” even though it was brown, but I didn’t care. I was just looking for the Baby Changing station.

After the Bear had some clean duds, I decided to take the opportunity to use the potty myself, since I didn’t know where we were headed next or how long it would be before I had another opportunity.

The toilets were strange to say the least. They reminded me of a porta-potty. Once you opened the stall door, there were two big steps UP to get to the toilet. I hung the diaper bag on the door, stood the Bear on the middle step and then stepped up to quickly tinkle. The Bear often comes to the loo with me in public and stands there politely while I use the potty. He usually appreciates it when he gets to be the one to flush.

However, on this particular occasion, he seemed a little uneasy. Maybe it was because the ginormous airplane-like toilet was five feet up in the air and just plain weird.


There I am going for a tinkle, when the Bear decides he’s totally not cool with this ginormous mountain-top toilet scenario. He decides to step down from the middle step where he was standing. Now did I mention that each of these steps is like a foot and a half high? As you might guess, when you are about two feet high, a one foot drop might as well be a jump off the high dive. Clearly the Bear hadn’t thought this through.

He takes his leap of faith and falls forward, and his head hits the door, causing it to swing w  i  d  e open. And he is lodged between the foot and a half high step and the wall of the bathroom stall. Crying, and as it appeared from my view four feet above, pretty darn uncomfortable.

So I do what any Mom would do in such a situation.

I stand up, reach down to grab him, and pull him up to sit on my lap.


I am sitting on this big old potty five feet in the air with my trousers around my ankles, a wailing baby in my lap, and the stall door wide open for anyone who would care to venture a look in my direction plenty of time to snap a shot with their iPhone. I console the Bear, and I can only smile and giggle, because

#1 This is motherhood at its finest. And #2 No one is around to enjoy the moment with me. Praise the Lord.

I’m really quite thankful the restroom attendant had stepped out at that point. I wondered if the men outside the loo trying to use the pay phone heard a thud, a wail and a big squeal. I was too busy giggling my way back to Hero Hubs to tell if they stared at me when I walked past.

I suppose sometimes, when you find yourself in a situation where it would be easy to freak out or get flustered, it’s a good idea to decide to laugh. The Bear survived without a bruise, and I didn’t end up flashing anyone. And if that’s not a good reason to be of good cheer, I don’t know what is. You know, a cheerful heart is good medicine, but a downcast spirit dries up the bones. (Proverbs 17:22)

Perhaps we should all take a moment to have a good laugh today. Even if you have to have a laugh at my expense, it’ll do your heart some good. 🙂


Here’s another mountain-top shot, with a Bear who was none too keen on being photographed. I’ll share some more soon.