Dear Friends and FamilyI can hardly believe half the year has come and gone. So much has happened since I last wrote. For us this half of the year is always a tough one because we must stretch our finances through to the end of the year. It is also a time of the year when we seem to be faced with those unexpected moments. The kids are growing bigger and getting older. The older they get the more challenging and interesting things get for us as a family. As the kids get older we are also able to identify areas where they will need help with education and watch their different characters grow. Some are becoming more and more confident in themselves and some, well they don’t like to venture to far from home.
Our son Luke is what could be refer to as a special needs child. I am not sure what all this means but Michelle is very much aware of it. Luke finds school very hard and we don’t put a lot of pressure on him. We do expect him to show respect to his teachers and do his best. We put more of a focus on his reading and math. I will be building Luke a small Aivary for chickens. He and I will spend time together trying to raise egg laying chickens. We did this about 4 years ago and it was very successful. Eventually who knows a small business can come out of it for him. I am sure once I show him what money he can make out of it he will start showing more interest. We are not in a race, slowly, slowly eat the elephant. We bought Luke a skateboard for his birthday and he loves it. He does some amazing tricks on it.
Nathan, Aidan and Friends went for a walk through the forest at Kosi Bay. Six hours later we were all very tired but worth the experience
The Twins Nikki and Mandy are so different. Nikki loves the outdoors, excels well at sports and is always the first in trouble. Mandy on the other hand, well she loves spending time playing those hand held games, plaiting Michelle’s hair. At school she is very much the academic (early days) but gives Nikki a good run for her money on the sports field. Mandy knows when to avoid trouble and Nikki has a habit of leading others into it. Just recently she was caught stealing cookies Michelle just baked. I think what Michelle and I find so amazing is that the two of them have such different interests but they do have a strong bond.
Lisa with her new friend Pepsi
The sisters are doing it for themselves. Michelle and I are not sure what to expect what they are going to be like when they become teenagers. What we do like is the fact that they are very close. Always doing things together. Lisa, only eight, does not like it when someone from school fights with her sisters. She is not afraid to stand up for them and let everyone know they must not mess around with them. However all of this does take its toll on Lisa as she is also very emotional and often is the first one to cry. She is very observant of how adults treat her and her sisters; sadly it seems to be those who are close to us who seem to do more damage. An outing to the local shop is not easy because often the girls encounter people who will tell them that they should not be living with white people, God did not make white people, kids laughing and teasing them on their way home from school (the days we can’t pick them up). Being aware of this Michelle makes it her responsibility not to put the girls in awkward situations. Neil has told the girls should anyone be rude to them they must call him immediately.
The Older girls with Gran and Michelle's brother Antony. They Love Gran
At school the girls are doing very well, Rebecca got an award for Sports and academics. Lisa got award for academics and Chairman’s honor roll. Sanele got academics and principals Honor roll. Slindi did not manage to get awards but Michelle and I are very proud of her. She put in a lot of hard work and is having a much better year than last year.
Rebecca and Lisa were both selected to play chess for our local Ingwavuma Schools team. In the holidays the girls went and spent time with Granny. They all enjoyed themselves and Granny was very happy to have them and to see them go home at the end of the week. They did a lot of arts and crafts, visited tea gardens, lots of shopping and Gran felt like she needed a year’s holiday after all that.
In the last three months we have had 7 birthdays if we include our neighbors son then it will be 8. Fortunately we don’t have to hire a crowd to come to our children’s party because we are the crowd. When there is more than one birthday in a week we will do something special for them on a Saturday. Michelle has become very professional at this. Praise the Lord things are quite for the next few months.
Stephen Blowing out his Birthday Candles
On the sports side, we have a touch rugby league going amongst five schools. Neil coaches them and things did not go so well this year. Last year the boys were unbeaten but this year they lost three and drew two. However when it came to the tournament things were much better and Neil was a happy coach. The boys were unbeaten, they won all five games and showed a lot of courage from coming from behind in two of the games and take all the point at the final whistle. Neil says he has become like one of those crazy parents you see shouting on the sidelines. He thought he would never be like that.
The girls played soccer and have improved so much compared to last year. Last year they were losing games six nil, 9 nil and we lost count after that. This year they managed to hold onto draws, one win and the loses were one nil or two nil. They were a lot more competitive on the field. It was nice to see all our girls taking part. Neil recons when Nikki and Mandy start playing the other school won’t know what has hit them.
Praise the Lord we have had some rain lately. Things have not improved with our local water supply. People complain when they don’t get water for one or two days. We would love our water to come on for one day a week. Thanks to funds received from the Mosvold family we are going to start installing more rain tanks to catch the summer rains that will help see us through winter. Michelle did manage to organize 3 water tankers to fill up our tanks. It was expensive but when you don’t have water you won’t complain but be thankful. We don’t want to be dependent on receiving municipal water as they are very unreliable. It does mean we must rethink everything we are currently doing. Put in more tanks, lay down new pipe lines. Neil will start working on this next week. We hope to harvest as much rain as we can.
Neil receiving our water delivery
Please don’t forget our Facebook page. We use this page to update you on a more regular basis.
Our banking details can be found below. You might want to support a building project, fund school fees, fund clothes, fund vegetable garden, fund repairs and maintenance. You can contact us for more information about projects that are on the go.
BANK DETAILS: First National Bank Acc No 62178787598 Branch Code 270124 Account type Cheque account Swift code FIRNZAJJ First Rand Ltd First National Pongola KZN