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Friday, 31 December 2010

Christmas Fun

Well Christmas has been husband slipped and cracked some ribs a couple of days before and so all the jobs we would normally share I had to do without him, including the Christmas morning service! Thankfully our neighbour walked the dog until the family arrived and helped out. We still have Preston with us but he will be going to his new home next week sometime. Our youth pastor and his wife are going to have him live with them. He recovered from his illness, we thought it was a slipped disc but on reading up about beagles we discovered that they are prone to a form of meningitis and we think this may be what he had. The only way to know for sure is if he comes down with it again he has a spinal tap and the fluid is tested. I have added some family photo's taken over the Christmas period, the summery ones are taken of our family in South Africa, although there isnt one of Jesse or Cindi. My daughter doesnt have internet at the moment and so I am pinching photos from her friends facebook page
New Year is just a few hours away for us here in the UK, I pray that you will know God's abundant blessings and peace throughout 2011

 Amy and the baby due in February
 Dominic, Alice & Preston

 Andy & Amy

 Uncle Dom & Primrose

 Stroking the lambs at Occombe Farm, Devon
 Martin & Vashti in SA
Joseph in his super hero cape made by Auntie Amy

Friday, 24 December 2010

Happy Christmas!

I pray that you will know and experience the true meaning of Christmas this year, that you will seek and fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ.  And that 2011 will bring with it peace and many blessings for you and your families.

Sunday, 19 December 2010


This morning we had our church carol service and due to the snow we walked down to the town, it was a beautiful walk and a lovely way to begin the day. My husband spoke about the Hope we have in Christ.
"For everything that was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the scripture we might have hope." Romans 15:4

Saturday, 18 December 2010


We have had a hard couple of days, you may remember my post about Preston
Well towards the end of last week he developed a bad leg, he was our sons dog and he told us that he had visited the vet previously with the same problem. Well he recovered a bit and then this week became quite poorly, he had two trips to the vet this week, some jabs and anti inflammatory drugs and then last night he took a turn for the worse and a fluid filled swelling appeared on the back of his head. The vet thinks he has a disc problem, we really thought he was going to die last night...however, a couple of tablets later and he was up and eating and trotting about. Today he is still a little under the weather but much better than last night. He is with us on route to his new owners who will have him move in with them in the new year. For now we have to keep him from doing too much...not easy for an 8 month old beagle pup in the snow!!

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Looking Forward to the Christmas Holidays

You will notice I havent posted for a few days. ..that will be because I have my daughter staying from South Africa. The interesting thing is that she has been able to update her blogs even though I haven't...I wonder what that tell you? Tomorrow I finish school for the Christmas holiday....cant wait!  Below is the new film that has been made for Project O, the charity that my daughter and son in law run in South Africa. Please take a few minutes to watch it

Project O from Colin van dongen on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010


I thought I would post this picture my son did a couple of years ago....our family as the Simpsons! All a little exagerated need I say. Thats my son on the left, followed by my daughter and her husband and twin girls, me with the purple hair (wishing my waist was that thin) and my husband, my eldest dughter and her husband and two little boys, then my youngest son and his wife and finally my mother.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Thank You Helen!

On Saturday morning my daughter arrived from South Africa, her and her husband have set up and run a charity called working with children orphaned through AIDS in the Zulu community of Kwa Zulu Natal. Also arriving on Saturday, all the way from Australia,  was my prize from Helen at Aunty Henny's  

This is beautiful and I am amazed at the handiwork...thank you Helen!
When I opened it and showed it to my daughter she said "Zandile would love that!" Zandile is one of their staff members in South Africa, she has worked with them for a few years and at the moment she is the only Zulu staff member so they rely on her for translating as well as visiting the children with them. So as I know that Martin & Vashti have a low income I said she could take my prize back and give it to Zandile for Christmas. As much as I love my prize and would like to keep it I know that Zandile will treasure it.(I am keeping the calendar as a reminder!)
So Helen be assured that your gift will be treasured twice and is going to a very worthy home. Thank you again!

My beautiful prize

Zandile and one of the orphans

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Our lovely daughter is arriving from South Africa on Saturday...hopefully, if the snow doesn't cause any hold ups! They have to leave the country every six months for visa reasons. her husband has just been over fundraising and as they cant afford to bring the boys over (they need visas a well as flights)  they had to come separately so there is always one of them home to care for the children. They now have a 14 yr old girl living with them called Cindi, she is an orphan and has become part of the family. We met her when we were over in the summer and hopefully when they come back in June Cindi will be able to come with them. Vashti will be visiting our other daughter in Devon for a few days, they havent seen each other for over a year!



Sunday, 28 November 2010

Christmas Hampers

I have been making Christmas hamers for my neices and nephews , but I have wrapped them up and taken them off to Devon without photgraphing the finished product! Last year I made them all cushions. It's quite hard thinking up fresh ideas for them all, There are four, all married with two children each. I knitted the hats for the little ones. I bought rectangular  baskets something like the one below, lined them with e new tea towel and filled them with homemade jam, chutney pickled onions, white chocolate and cranberry fudge (recipe below) and a packet of cheese cackers. I put the fudge in celephane bags and tied them with Christmas ribbon. The fudge is lovely, I thought it may be too sweet with it being white chocolate but it is just right...I had better get making some more for my children!


White Chocolate & Cranberry Fudge

350g 12oz) granulated sugar
25g (1oz) unsalted butter
175ml (6fl oz) can evaporated milk
100g (31/2oz) dried cranberries
300g (10oz) white chocolate, chopped
  • Cut a piece of baking parchment large enough to line a shallow 25x20cm (10x8) baking tin or a 1kg (2lb) loaf tim
  • Put sugar, butter and evaporated milk in a large heavy-based pan. Heat gently until sugar has dissolved completely
  • Bring to the boil, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 mins. It is a good idea to time this to be exact
  • Immediately remove from the heat then add the cranberries and chocolate. Allow the chocolate to melt, then quickly stir the mixture and pour straight into the tin. It will thicken immediately
  • Spread into the tin and chill for an hour or so until firm. Cut into small squares,
  • Place the fudge in a decorative box or bag and tie with ribbon

Friday, 26 November 2010

I had a little break

Well, I have just had a little break from blogging....posting not reading...and below are the reasons why! My Mum came to stay for two weeks and has just gone home and Preston arrived for long term foster care! He belongs to our son and daughter inlaw but they decided that they had bitten off more than they could chew and so he has come to stay with us, infact he probably wont go back to them as their home and work hours just dont suit a lively puppy. The dogs that we had in the past have been small and not very lively, very easy to care for and not needing lots of walks and attention. Preston is different. But as we are not out of the house for long stretches of time, have a garden and lots of nice places to walk nearby, we agreed to have him for at least time for him to settle down. We will see how it goes...he is very sweet!

Thursday, 18 November 2010


I had to post these beautiful birhday photo's that my son in law took of the twins

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Twins Third Birthday

We have just returned from the twins 3rd birthday celebrations in Devon. The day before we went to the pottery cafe where the girls got to paint a mickey Mouse each and a plate for Great Grandma for Christmas....this was a big hit and they got to go an pick up their 'cooked Mickeys the next day when the glaze was all bright and shiny.

Yummy birthday breakfast made from yogurt, fruit compote and granola

The girls are really into the Getalong Gang (for those who dont know, this was a cartoon around in the 80's. They asked for a Getalong Gang party so Mummy managed to get characters and party stuff from ebay.She also made the girls Montgomery Moose outfits

 Daddy scanned and printed characters for the invites and party hats

Mummy made the cake, covered pretzels with chocolate and made cupcakes

This little tongue couldnt resist  a quick lick!

They couldnt decide whether to  wear Moose outfits, Mickey swimming costumes or Zipper Cats they wore them all while having some 'after party' chill time