Monday, December 24, 2007

Family and more

After two months, or more, it is high time I published another chapter on my blog. Why have I been tardy? Well, one could say that life has been rather busy, but then everyone says the same. While it has been hectic, I should still have found time to update my blog. So, perhaps it is also in part a motivational matter.

What have I been up to these past couple of months? I won't bore you with board (bored! Uhhh!) meetings, gardening (the garden looks very healthy, judging by the number of weeds that have grown over the past couple of weeks), etc. So let me just share some of my activities, with appropriate pics - of course!

One special highlight in November was to welcome Natasha back home for a couple of weeks from America. We had just so much to catch up on - and WE DID! She even let me cook a meal for her and five other grandchildren (the emphasis of course on GRAND!).

Lauryn's baby Noah was also part of our dining together.

Nat with baby Noah:Lauryn, Rosalind and & Nat enjoying the meal grandpa dished up:And me with baby Noah - a beautiful child, of course!The roles were reversed a few nights later when Nat cooked for me and the Holts at my place. Father Graeme is always ready to lend a hand in dishing up:Just great to have Nat over, which was even more special when sister Amy also turned up. I miss them a lot, but am really happy that they are experiencing life to the full.

What else. Ah yes, you may remember that I am enjoying bush walking with old friends of mine. It really is a great opportunity to catch up with them and during November we again put our hiking shoes on and walked from Kingston to Taroona and back along the bush track. The day's weather was fantastic and the walk again, most enjoyable.

Kingston Beach was our starting point. Click on the next image for an enlargement and have a look at both the scenery and the great weather we experienced:John, Jack, Henk and a rather dark me, enjoying each others's company:Along our walk, we spotted a sea eagle perched atop a tree (circled):As we returned, the luxury boat 'Peppermint Bay II' sped south.This is the boat that dear friends John & Jeltje took me on the following week. Life indeed is good!

And the next pic shows you what kind of a day we had when we sailed to Peppermint Bay. What a day and such outstanding beauty along the way. The next shows John, Jeltje, Henk, Gea, Adrian with on the background the boat that took us:Late November I took the car on the Spirit of Tasmania and crossed Bass Strait to visit Mark, Cal & family in Gawler (SA). It is always great to catch up with the family and visits like these make me realise again how blessed I am.

Jess and I took the Sunday afternoon and went into the Barossa Valley. Had lunch at Peter Lehman Winery and then went on to Maggi Beer for a cuppa coffee. While we were there, there was an announcement that there would be a cooking demo in Maggi's ABC Kitchen and patrons were welcome to attend. (I enjoy watching Maggie's TV Show, The Cook & the Chef'.) We went and loved it. Even had a photo taken of me in the kitchen!On our return to Gawler we visited the Barossa Pioneer Memorial lookout and thoroughly enjoyed the lovely views as well as the creative sculptures. It was pretty special to spend time with this lovely granddaughter and enjoy the sights:We even posed, being a little silly. But I did enjoy this photo of Jess:And mine wasn't too bad either:Not sure about the next one, but it at least shows that we had fun:I also spent a lovely afternoon with Jess' twin Sarah. We went to the Japanese gardens in downtown Adelaide, once again on a lovely day:A stroll through the city showed two huge contrasts. The first was a huge Santa with his message of consumerism:The second one was Frank, the Adelaide Bible man whose passion it is to give free Bibles to as many people as he can. His is quite a story and I knew of Frank during my time in Bible Society, though never met him. It was a special honour and privilege to finally meet him on assignment! Sarah also enjoyed meeting Frank and would like to do a special documentary feature on him and other Adelaide Mall personalities. Here she is setting it all up: On my way back to Melbourne I chose to travel via Bendigo and visit my brother John who is now in a nursing home. It was good to see him and June and I was glad of the opportunity to encourage them.

Then on to Melbourne where the Petrusma brothers and sister Iemke met for a re-union. It was a magic time very much enjoyed by all, except for Henk's hospitalisation with chest pains. That took the gloss of things a bit, but certainly served to draw us closer to one another. Errit took a number of photos of Henk's dilemma and I took the following pic taken from our apartment high up in the place where we stayed. It shows two ambulances in attendance just before taking Henk to hospital. Thankfully, he was ok and was able to came back at 2 am!We very much enjoyed our time together as the next photo shows:While in Melbourne I had the special joy of attending Georgina's graduation ceremony where she received her degree as a Veterinary Surgeon. It was a very special moment and Carol would have been justly proud of Georgie's achievement, as I am. We both delight in the success of our grandchildren and acknowledge that they have been 'fearfully and wonderfully made'! Excuse a proud grandpa! Here is Georgie with her equally proud mum:And here she descends the stairs clutching a well deserved Honour Degree. Wow!!Time to sign off. As you can see, it has been a busy time and I have left so much out. There is much to be grateful for.

Now, CHRISTMAS! Celebration plus, but with a note of sadness and loss. Yet, I know the Christ is with us and I am content in Him!