Mom's Mosiac

Mom's Mosiac

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Well, it’s been a pretty crazy month!  I have made a commitment to attend as many as possible of the children’s extra murals as I can.  It keeps coming up that the kids feel I have seriously lacked in this area in the past.  So I am trying to make amends.  When I manage to get there, I truly enjoy it!  It’s just getting away from all the chaos here at TLC that makes it rather challenging.  But it is worth the effort.

Happy Birthday Dominique!
We started out this month with three birthdays.  There was Dominique on the 28th February.  She turned 12.  (And I know I told somebody that she turned 10, but that was a mistake.  I got mixed up with Murphy!)  Dominique really enjoyed her day, and Pippa took her to the Boma for her birthday outing.  Actually we combined this outing to celebrate both Murphy and Dominique's birthday.  It was a special request from both of them!  They all really enjoyed themselves and came home with bloated tummies, because there you can eat as much as you like for a cover charge.  But it cost Pippa a bomb, and so we won’t repeat that offer in a hurry!

Happy 12th Birthday Dominique!
Then there was Murphy on the 5th of March.  She turned 10.  She followed me around for about a whole week beforehand, to make sure that I didn’t forget.  It was such a hectic week, that it is just as well she did, or it might, indeed, have slipped my mind!  The day before her birthday Pippa and I managed to slip out for a couple of hours and grab some gifts for her.  On the actual birthday she was absolutely delighted, especially with her clothes!  She is such a clothes
junkie! :-)

Happy 10th Birthday Murphy!
Next was Erin’s birthday.  He turned 13 this year so it’s his “Brotherhood” birthday which is a special one.   He was therefore allowed to go out with Mommy for lunch.  After that we had a good time together, spending money!  He was allowed to choose a number of clothes for himself, including shoes, which is always a huge treat!

He had been nagging me for a PSP, which of course was rather out of my budget range, even for a 13th birthday.  But then when we got to the shop, would you believe it, there was a PSP that had been a demo model and they were selling it cheaply.  I was very worried that there might have been something wrong with it, but it was fine and it even included TWO GAMES!  It WAS missing the earphones, though.  But that was very easy to fix. When we got home with that treasure, Erin was the most popular boy in the family for about two weeks!
Heidi and Christian left us earlier this month.  We were all very sad, especially the two boys, Kieran and Benjamin.  But many of us were very mournful after they left.  It is really one of the greater downsides to TLC.  Losing people you love, one after the other!  The kids really take strain on that one.

Pippa graduated from her Social Entrepreneurial Course with Gibs.  Joanna and I went along to celebrate the evening with her.  It was a really lovely evening, meeting all her friends that we’d never met  before and enjoying the magnificent spread of food and drink that they put on for us all.  It was a very special and memorable event for all of us.

Congratulations Pippa!  You are now a Social Entrepreneur
I have been trying to get lots of pictures of the kids so that I can put them up around the house.   But look at this adorable picture I managed to snap of Reuel.  We were kind of squabbling about the camera and taking the picture, when all of a sudden he started to giggle ... and went all kind of soft and mushy and just look at this lovely expression.  I will really treasure this one!

We also received our new mattresses for the lion’s beds.  I am so relieved about that because it was beginning to bother me horribly.  Now I have a couple of people making fitted sheets and under-sheets for them, and hopefully by the time winter comes the beds will be looking gorgeous ... the way they did when MY kids were toddlers.  And now I need to find some time to get that little room painted again.


One of my really big highlights this month was a visit from our wonderful Xenex (now Karl).  I wonder how many of you remember what an incredible little boy he was when he was at TLC.  Well, I have news for you!  He is even MORE incredible and gorgeous now!  He speaks English which is such a big bonus.  We could actually sit down and have a proper conversation and he could tell me all about his life.  He has been staying in New York for a while, and that is why his English is so fluent.  He really made my day!  Thank you Karl!

Karl with Mama Thea and his Daddy, Klaus
Last Saturday Carlton, Brett and I went to watch Joshua play Rugby.  He is in the First Team now.  I was very sad when I learned that Reuel was also playing, but he is in Second Team and he played just before Joshua did.  AND WE MISSED IT!  That was so tragic.  Sorry boy ... I will make it up to you, I promise!  There will be many more games before this season is done, so I will get many more opportunities, I am sure.

Joshua - St. Davids against St. Albans
Here is a picture of Joshua.  Doesn’t he look scary?  He played really well.   I think he must be very intimidating for his opponents because he is getting so big!  Just as the second half started, the rain poured down in buckets.  But we were all brave and sat through the whole thing.  Joshua’s school, (St. David’s) played against St. Albans from Pretoria.  Unfortunately we lost ... 18-20 but it was a great, nail-biting game and very exciting.
Amy getting ready for her race
Then St. Katharines also had their school gala in that same week.  It was lovely to see the girls and how well they are doing with their swimming.  They won quite a few of their races and their little faces shone with happiness when they saw me sitting there amongst the spectators, watching them.  I was a very proud mommy!  Here are some of the pictures I took:

Amy the victor!  Wins her race

Amy swam so well!  She has an interesting style, but never mind ... it gets her to the other side before anybody else ... so who's complaining!

Khensi getting ready for her race
Khensi did well too.  She swims really well and you can see she really enjoys it.  It's so wonderful to see these girls doing so well.  She came second in this particular race.  But it was very, very close.  I think there were just a couple of second in it.

Girls discussing the race
Yes, you are right!  I saved the best for last.  My little Theresa.  Oh my goodness, I giggled my heart out watching her.  Can that kid SWIM!  She beat them all by far and she's smaller than all of them.  It was such fun to see that little thing fight for her place.

Theresa getting ready for her race
Just look at that little pixie!  Look at that ear!  Ha ha.  She's just oozing confidence.  And then she gets on that springboard and watch this ... have you ever in your life seen SUCH a fantastic diving technique?

In she dives!
And there she goes ... swimming her little heart out and winning first place.  What a star!  I was so proud of her!

And off she swims ... like a little mermaid!

Then I also attended St. Katharine’s musical morning, where Amy did a drum solo.  My goodness, that little girl does have talent on those drums.  I was so surprised!   She really gave it stick and you could see she her audience were completely delighted with her performance.  Afterwards, she also joined the rock band and looked very cool up there on the stage.

Drumming Amy delighting her audience!
Amy in the Rock Band
Unfortunately the academics are sliding again, so we have to start doing something about that.  But ... we will do our best to get her back on track again.   It’s hard for the ones (like me) who weren’t born “clever”.  But you find out later in life that God does not leave anybody without a gift ... not a single one.  I would never have guessed that I would end up doing such a wonderful and fulfilling job that made me wake up every morning with a big smile on my face!

It’s funny, I often remember all the days of my youth when I was really angry with God for not making me stunningly beautiful.  Now, with the wisdom of hindsight I can see exactly what a terrible curse that would have been.  I would have missed God’s best ... his very, very best.  I am so grateful he just made me, me.  Exactly the way I am.  And he made you YOU too.  Absolutely perfect and equipped for his faultless will and plan for your life.  You just need to relax and allow God to mould and shape you, so that you can fit perfectly into his divine design.

Last week I was very privileged to have a really sumptuous day at Postinia and it actually ended up being TWO NIGHTS!  It was really fantastic.  The only downside was that there is STILL no water so I was back to using the bucket, for dishes and stuff.  But never mind.  It was all good.  There’s nothing in the world like waking up NATURALLY.  No slamming doors, no creaking footsteps on the floor above you ... no yelling voices ... nobody emptying the night’s leftover formula out into the pig-slop bucket outside my bathroom window. 

None of that!  Just sliding out of sleep and slowly surfacing into consciousness ... with the far-away moo of a calf or a little peep of a bird just outside the window.  What luxury!  And then there’s no leaping out of bed and rush-rush-rush ... quick bath ... quick dress ... quick breakfast ... and quick-everything for the rest of the day.  No! No!  You can just go with the flow ... take it all slow and in silence.  I don’t even like to put on music or anything.  It’s so nice to NOT HEAR anything.  Just silence.  I’m going to try to get back there this coming week.

Jerome's birthday picture with Mommy

On the 24th we had Jerome’s birthday.  He had a whale of a time.  Everything we do with Jerome is always great fun because he enters into all celebrations with such gusto and such high spirits.  It infects everybody.  He is my lovable, adorable boy!  He is just so special.  So we all started by singing Happy Birthday to him, in both song and sign.  He loved it and was grinning from ear to ear.

Monster Rhys stealing all the chippies!
Then it was time to tuck into the food and cut the cake and everybody was so excited.  Jerome let us all know in no uncertain terms that HE was to be thanked for this great occasion and would not let any of us forget it.  HE was boss of the day!

So, here is Monster Rhys, stealing a whole bunch of chippies and Jerome was not impressed and made no bones about his displeasure!  That didn’t stop Rhys from taking yet ANOTHER handful, just to make Jerome extra cross.  But he DID put them all back afterwards, and Jerome was mightily relieved about that.

Pippa explains how his hot water bottle is going to keep him real warm!
Then of course came the most exciting part of every birthday ... THE PRESENTS.  And Jerome was so happy.  We can’t afford wrapping paper, so we put the presents into pillow cases.  This was Pippa’s ingenious plan last year and we have been doing it ever since.  It is also a great time saver, because we don’t have to wrap all those gifts!

The favourite present.  A fire engine!
Jerome got a beautiful set of finger puppets from his favourite aunty in England (Helen Carter) and he was absolutely thrilled with these.  But his most favourite gift ever was the magnificent fire engine he got from his Mommy Pippa.  He wouldn’t let any of this brothers come near that one.  He kept pushing them away and even knocking them down when they came too close.

Finger Puppets from Helen Carter
On Saturday we had the greatest fun ever!  We had signing classes.  And this grandma was the happiest grandma on planet earth.  I have longed for signing classes since Jerome was just a teeny weeny little boy.  It broke my heart when he would have long, signed conversations with me and I had no idea what he was trying to tell me.  At other times he would be upset about something and would be sobbing and signing at the same time and I would feel awfully guilty.  I would think ... “Oh I WISH I could sign!”

Our First Signing Lesson - See Jerome on the left
Leaping up and down with pure joy!

Then Pippa and I thought about asking St. Vincent’s (Jerome’s school) if we could bring the whole family to do signing lessons there once a week, or once a month.  Very suddenly, God answered our prayers. 

We had to queue for our test and got a reward if we were right

Pippa went to Paul’s Open Day at Frances Vorwerg, and there she met a signing teacher that she learned to sign with.  She asked her if she would be willing to teach us and she said YES!  She had been thinking about it for a long time.  Not only that, but she will come to TLC which makes life SO much easier.

Christian munching his reward
So, she came on Saturday.  We had such a lot of fun.  The children loved it.  Carol (Nicholas’ mother) also joined us and the children were absolutely thrilled to have her there and she just joined in all the fun too.

And then right in the middle of everything,  Joanna and Pippa started bullying Zoe!  Ag shame man ... they should pick on their own age!  :-)

(Only joking ~~ Joanna wanted to rob her of a kiss!)


The teacher made a party and we learned all about party things.  We learned our  colours in sign, we learned to count.  We learned everybody’s name.  THAT was fun!  And then we all had to line up and she tested us, and if you got everything right ... you got a BIG piece of cake.  Even Ruthi passed her test, legitimately!  She is such a sharp little sausage! J No flies on her, that’s for sure!

Even Ruthi passed her test and got her reward!
Then, lastly, on the 28th I had the enormous pleasure of going to see the St. Katharine’s girls concert.  It was absolutely magnificent.  And Amy had another chance to play the drums, which was really lovely.  The only one sad thing was that most of the pictures I took of Amy and Khensi were a flop because the background and the lighting was so dark you couldn’t see their faces.  I managed to fiddle with one of the pictures and they are okay.  So here it is:

Amy back row, Khensi front row.  A really beautiful show!
And then Theresa was absolutely stunning and she danced beautifully.  I was so proud of her.  This is the first time she actually performed on stage.  Before, whenever she went on stage she seemed to get stage fright and stood there like a lifeless statue!  But today she participated in everything perfectly and I was so happy and so proud of my little girl.

Theresa in orange as a butterfly

We are still waiting for our Lotto funding to come through.  Please, PLEASE pray that it comes through because we are getting a little tight again, and I can’t bear the thought of going through another bottom-scraping period like last year.  It’s just too scary to contemplate.  It’s just sitting there, but for some reason it’s not coming through.   I know that prayers will bring it out.

So, I know we have another two or three days to go before the month is over, but I am going to publish this post now and if anything incredible happens in the next three days of March, I will be sure to add it in at the beginning of April.

Big, big hugs to you all and lots and lots of love!