Holiday Wrap Up

As we settle back into the normal pace of things, I look back over the holiday season with great joy in my heart. God has blessed with much more than we could ever ask for. Our first Christmas as a family was so wonderful, even if little Miss Ava didn’t like Santa Claus, it was still a wonderful time spent with family and friends. Loads of good food and even more laughs.

The Advent calendar was a nice addition to our Christmas decorations and we are really looking forward to using it again next year. Johan and I will then have memories of this year and the bible verses we read. Best of all, Ava will be able to enjoy the treats and activities along with us. Even though we plan on spending December in America, I plan on taking the calendar with us, minus the red board, of course. 
Christmas was spent in the Free States with Johan’s family. I really love going there and have spoken about it many times on the blog. Here, here and here
There were about 47 of us, aunts, uncles, oumas, oupas and cousins, lots and lots of cousins. We made the trip down with Johan’s brother Hennie and his family. 4 hours, 4 adults and 4 children under the age of 4. That was quite an adventure to say the least. 
I am very proud to announce that my Afrikaans has come along way and I can now actually enjoy and contribute to the conversations around me. Still only responding in English, but understanding much more. Singing Silent Night and the other carols in Afrikaans was a wonderful experience for me. Finally, I am starting to feel less as an outsider and more apart of the family. It’s a bit uncomfortable when everyone is relaxed, and then you see that they have to switch to another language just for you. 
These photos are from Christmas Eve at Johan’s cousin, Charl’s house. Not too many pictures of the food, as Johan and I were too busy stuffing our faces. The starter was mussels in a white wine and garlic butter sauce with fresh brown bread. I ate so many, Johan’s aunt came up to me and told me I needed to save room for the main course! Red faced, I had to admit I thought those were the main course. They were so good, I could have eaten the entire pot, and almost did! For the main course, we had beef and chicken shawarmas, in the States we would call them gyros. Yum. 
singing Christmas carols

part of the clan

I love this little person!

Me, Ava and Juan searching for Father Christmas (Santa)

Keira shouting for Father Christmas

Ava, not so happy with Father Christmas 

Santa gave Ava her first tea pot for Christmas!

Christmas Day was spent at Tannie Igna and Oom Hennie gorgeous farm house. There was so much food, I wouldn’t even know where to begin with what we ate. From beef fillet to chicken breast, a smoked tuna starter of some sort and so many salads and side dishes. Beautiful desserts brought by my mother in law. All of it was so delicious. 
love the ornaments in the weeping willow

all dressed in red. 

Ava with her Oupa, my father in law

Toasting those who had passed or were far away.
ps: That’s you, Charl and Lee

just chatting about our future… 
We spent New Year’s at Zebula, a game lodge / golf estate with three other couples. Again, way too much good food was consumed. A bit more alcohol and loads of laughter. Zebula was our first family trip away with our friends and their families. It made us feel like real grown-ups. With 8 adults and 6 children, we all got along surprisingly well. The house was perfect, the food was perfect and the company couldn’t have been better. Looking forward to our next holiday with these folks.

Can we get in the pool now, Mom?

The Girls!

loving my chalk board bunting!

Happy New Year every body!

Blair

Preparing for Christmas

The advent calendar is up and looks great! Love having a husband that is good with his hands. He found a spare piece of wood in our storage room, sanded it down, painted it red and attached the little gold hooks. It turned out perfect. What do you think? 

taken with my iPad, will post a better one soon. 





Sometimes when I am feeling a little down, I head over to Scary Mommy Confessions for a giggle. The other day someone posted some advice about Christmas gifts and what they do with her family. They give:


 Something you want, something you need, something to wear, something to read. That’s what my kiddos get for Christmas. And Santa fills up their stocking. 


I love this. Growing up our family had a few difficult financial years mixed in with the comfortable years. Looking back now, my fondest memories of Christmas are of those years when my parents were going through hard financial times. 


When there wasn’t a lot of extra money, my parents became creative with their gift giving. My favorite memory was having to go on scavenger hunts for our gifts. Santa even sent us out into the snow to go look for clues.  We had loads of laughs as we each searched the house, high and low for clues and gifts. Sometimes the gifts were hid right under our own beds! 


As time went by and things got better, the gifts under the tree multiplied and I (as I won’t speak for my siblings and can probably reassure you that they will all say I am the only spoiled one) became more spoiled, Christmas wasn’t as exciting. I was never satisfied by what I found there. It’s no fault of my parents, they tried to give me everything I wanted. Yet I twisted that around and in turn only wanted more and more. 


I never want the magic of Christmas to fade from Ava because I have spoiled her. So as a new tradition, within our little family, we will now only receive something we want, something we need, something to wear and something to read. Now, if Santa wants to spoil the little angel in her stocking, that’s his prerogative. 


Sunday we plan on decorating the house for Christmas. A bit nervous about the tree as Ava is pulling up on everything now and I would hate for it to fall over on her. Johan will have to take extra precautions on securing it to the wall. So excited to see her little face lit up by the lights. 


I also plan on making a wreath this weekend from our Rosemary bush. I found this idea on Pinterest, of course. Gorgeous and will smell yummy. 

via All About You

My Crafts I’ll Never Do board is getting smaller, as my Pinterest Items Done is gradually filling up! Yay for me. There are three pins so far, but it’s a start!

If I had a million dollars (because everything in SA is so freakishly expensive) or realistically, lived in the US, these are the items Ava would be getting for Christmas from Mommy and Daddy. 


Ava doesn’t know it yet, but she wants this pram (stroller):

via Timber Toys

Or that she needs this rocking giraffe:

via Your Rocking Horse Shop

Or how cute she would look wearing this:

via Nordstrom

Or how much her Mommy will enjoy reading this to her:
via Amazon

Now for me…

Something I want:

via shopbop


Somethings I need:

via Net-A-Porter

via Piperlime

via Sunglass Hut

Something to wear:

via Forever New

Something to read:


Hint, hint Skippy…

22 days until Christmas!!


Cheers!!




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