Archive for the ‘Nicola’ Category

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Salt Rock Family Vacation 2018

15 January , 2018

We usually do a Ballito trip, but this year we tried out neighbouring Salt Rock instead. 

Honestly, we missed the walk way, and the beach at Salt Rock has a fierce current that you need to battle if you want to swim…but the place is beautiful and peaceful. 

We rested, we laughed, we swam, we shopped, we ate like kings…we drove to better beaches. We built sand castels, we saw dolphins, monkeys and many many guinea pigs. We did both the road trip down and back up in team colours!

Believe it or not, even I managed to sleep late-ish! It was an amazing vacation. And afternoon naps every day! (I really miss those naps today).

We took a boat load of photos! These are my favourites. Brace yourself and I hope you have uncapped internet. πŸ˜‰

Family…you don’t get to pick them, but sometimes you get blessed with the best anyway.

Stop taking photos of me mom…

One very cranky ostrich!

Stretches with Oupa.

Can you see how bloody tired I was?!

Visit from our cuzzy AndrΓ© and his Tanya.

Santorini Salt Rock sports a smallish gym…also marked as a whale watching deck! πŸ˜‚

Look at that beautiful moody sky and the stunning colours!

Let me tell you…I had to hold on to my fearless Nicola for dear life on this beach! She described it nicely, “Die see gebruik my soos ‘n besem!”.

Love, love, LOVE this photo!

Rainy day…every vacation needs one. Off to Flag Animal Farm. Well worth it, seriously. This was our first time there, but I can easily see it becoming a regular stop for us.

This photo doesn’t do this chicken’s funky haistyle justice.

Salt Rock rock pools on someone’s recommendation. Won’t be doing that again. We found it dirty and sort of icky.

Haha, ons the LAST day we discover the proper almost olympic size tidal pool right outside our complex. Can you believe it?! 

Full of sea urchins though, so we probably missed out on some injuries too and the way things have been going,the patient would probably end up being me! πŸ˜‰

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Happy birthday sweet potato!

19 December , 2017

What a privilege to be your mom. You are an amazing little girl with a big heart, a big personality. With your fierce brand of loyalty and wicked sense of humour, you add a bit of magic to every day…

It has been quite a year for you, and for us. As always, you just take it all in your stride. I can’t wait to see what comes next, because whatever it is I know we’ll figure it out and make a grand adventure of it together.

Happy birthday my Nicola. I love you more than I can ever put into words. xxx

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Say cheeeese!

13 December , 2017

So you know those questionnaires where they ask, what’s the one thing you wouldn’t want to be stranded on an island without?

My thing is my camera. 

I know there are a legion on more sensible things that should realistically be on that list before camera, like a lighter or a knife for instance…but my thing is and has always been, camera.

I take A LOT of photos. In fact if you want a good gage of my happiness levels all you have to do is take note of my monthly count of photos when I do my backups. The more I take, the happier I am.

What I don’t seem to have an addiction to is printing my photos. It’s actually a finance thing I guess. If I have to choose between printing photos and paying school fees, school fees are going to win every time.

And so, it came to a point where I haven’t printed photos since about 2007, and Nicola has been asking about me printing her a photo album for ages! And then as luck would have it, enter extra money stage left.

So for her birthday this year I thought a photo book might be a nice idea, only to realise that I have so many favourite photos of her that I can’t fit them all in one book! So a photo book per year then? And a firm intention to keep this up annually from now on?

Seemed like a great plan!

For my next trick I had to actually design these books and get them printed, but not for love or money could I get Qphoto’s software installed or working on my laptop…so I found an alternative out of desperation. And boy, am I glad I did!

24HourPhotobooks was such a pleasure to deal with! You can literally create an awesome photobook in about 10 minutes, provided you’ve gone through the process of picking your favourite photos already. And you get your book 24 hours after ordering and paying. Okay, I got mine 2 days later because it was a bulk order, but I still think that’s amazingly fast.
The books came out beautifully! I can’t wait for Nicola to see them. They’re all wrapped up already so I can’t show you, but I have a sneak peek of the covers that I can.

Just LOOK at this little face! I love this kid so much I could burst! 

It has really been quite an emotional experience going through 8 years of memories and THOUSANDS of photos putting these together. (2017 is just waiting for December photos and then it’ll be ordered too).

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Righteous rage

24 November , 2017

Worked myself up into a near froth!

So there’s been an unpleasant first for me…

It’s enrollment week at Nicola’s school this week (and although unpleasant between the 20 odd page contract and obtaining ID photos and certified copies of everything, that’s obviously not a first for me).

Nope, the thing that was new was that I almost had to cross swords with the admin lady to get Nicola’s form accepted because it only has one parent signature on it. 

I am team Nicola. Me, myself and I. 

I knew it was coming eventually. I kind of thought this would be a discussion had with Home Affairs at some point if I applied for a passport for her or something. I did not anticipate having it at school.

Super handy that her birth certficate only has me listed on it. 

Apparently the reason for the two parent sign off is for debt collection if you don’t pay your school fees. Also irrelevant since I’ve paid up in advance (thank you SARS refund).

I think it’s fair to say I don’t enjoy any interaction where I’m expected to produce anything certified. It kind of sets the tone for things to come.

I suppose it’s sort of remarkable that in almost 8 years, this is the first time it’s come up for debate?

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The rules…

15 September , 2017

So…online dating…hahaha. Very interesting!

I thought it might be a good time to discuss dating in general with Nicola and see what she thinks about it. And more specifically what does she think about me dating.

So I asked her if she was okay with the idea of me dating, and occasionally staying with my folks while I go meet someone, as I might need to see a few guys before I found one I liked. Saturday morning to start with as I’ve been invited for breakfast.

She’s cool with it but she has two conditions:

  1. I have to take a selfie with him…because she says that if we look at the photo and he’s not in it we’ll know he’s a vampire!
  2. If he asks me to marry him, I have to say no.

Mwahaha…good to know that she thinks I am so irrisistable that any guy will ask me to be his wife the first time he lays eyes on me!

I said don’t worry. We don’t even know each other. He’s not going to ask. 

She said, even if he tells you EVERYTHING about himself on Saturday, you must still say no. I don’t want to move, it’s my friend’s birthday party in the afternoon. Hahaha! Things are fast paced in the world of Nicola.

Okay. I think I can agree to that.

I promised not to agree to marry anyone she hasn’t met and liked. And I won’t introduce her to any vampires.

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Happy birthday Nicola!

19 December , 2016

Happy birthday my baby!

You bring adventure, love and laughter to every single day. You have a beautiful heart and I couldn’t be any prouder of you. 

I am the luckiest mom alive and I love you with all my heart. Thank you for being you! 

Xxx

Mamma

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Venterskroon 2016

8 October , 2016

Grr…so many photos and the app has chucked them in all out of sequence. Oh well…*shrug*

From the 30th till the 4th Nicola and I headed off to her 2nd big Voortrekker kamp at Venterskroon.

She did the Junior Cook badge and I threw my lot in with the kitchen again. You might be right if you’re wondering why I would do that to myself again after the previous camp where I worked like a galley slave, and you’d be partially right…only I still feel she gets more out of this experience if she doesn’t have me hovering around in her course, plus I had it on good authority that this kitchen was run considerably better than the previous one (it was).

Also I am currently operating under a personal amount of stress and pressure that might make cooking for 450 people seem relaxing. πŸ˜‰

Anyhoo, on with the photos!

The top one is of where the kids wash their own dishes (with varying levels of success).

My partner in crime at the kitchen and coffee station. We shared a lot of laughs and squeezed every last bit of fun out of this experience that we could.

It was an absolute hoot!

Nicola and her bestie. If you’re wondering about the hats, the camp allocates a specific colour to each group and you have to wear it. This way it keeps the sun out of your face, you write your name on it so it also serves as a name tag, and it’s easy to spot anyone who has wandered off from where they’re supposed to be.

I wore mine mostly strapped to my apron since I established in day one that hats give me head aches.

Dishing for the masses.

The easiest way to stir a giant pot of porridge is with a whisk attached to a drill!

Stirring…lots of that going on.

Andries – the master chef. Cooking in bulk can sometimes lead to bland, but I have to say every single meal was delicious!

Hats in action.

Bestie at our tents.

There is almost no signal in the crater (Vredefort dome), so if someone comes across some bars that spot quickly becomes very popular.

The Grade1s and some of the grown ups slept in dorms, everyone else pitched a tent.

As you can imagine that means a lot of tents. It can be tricky to navigate for the first few days until you pick some landmarks. πŸ˜‰

Watermelons!

What we pack for one night away is more or less what we pack for 5. Obviously most of our stuff isn’t clothes.

Nicola’s group in action.

My pink terrorist…oh! Guess what?! She’s done with her pink phase. Her new favourite colour is black.

Pudding cups stampede.

The girls handing out apples.

This group of youngsters were called Taakmag. Shame, they worked very hard. It was nice to see them relaxing a bit too.

Anna, aka the hat pimper. Every morning she handed out a new hat embelishments for the adults.

In search of signal, not actually taking a selfie with the loo in the background.

The characters for the campfire concert. Shifo (skuifel), Po (poot) and the crocodile bandit (kwaai).

My smoking buddy. We have to smoke skelm on these camps.

Yolandi and I, making a vast amount of pudding…while having some ice lollies.

Sunrise…

The camp leader and her grandbaby.

Love this shirt haha.

No drinking on this camp. When I got home, I jumped in the warmest bath I could stand…and then treated myself to a sort of nightcap before sleeping the rest of the next day and a half.

Nicola and myself.

The kids kept their room spotless for inspections. They got rewarded beans for any good behaviour, and the group with the most beans at the end of the camp won a trophy.

Pudding!

Nicola and L-bestie!

Poot and Kwaai.

The best potjie I have ever tasted…ever!

Other than working in the kitchen, Yolandi and I also took care of the coffee station – a very popular table in a place where everyone functions on little to no sleep. πŸ˜‰

On average the adults had 12 pots of filter coffee (1.7 litres each) and about 2.5 urns of instant coffee a day.

My cutie pie.

Yolandi and Chris’ tent turns into a spider when you take it down.

We named our tents (as you do). Theirs was Die Tabernakel, and mine was Die Driebeen Skilpad.

Some of the rice for a meal.

Camo!

Silezia having her chin tickled.

Sticky vetkoek fingers. T kept all the kitchen stock in order, not a small task by any means.

First day selfie compared to last day selfie shows a bit of wear and tear. πŸ˜‰

One of the kichen geniuses made banana bread from some over ripe fruit. No bread pan? No problem! We Mcguyvered some from empty milk boxes.

Sunrise!

Nicola and L at the Tabernakel.

All the banners!

Campfire concert…

Every group got 30 minutes a day at the pool.

Oh and some of Yolandi’s photos below. See, I was also there! πŸ˜‰

Oh and this photo! I love it…this is how I feel about chopping tomatoes with blunt knives. You might as well just beat them up with a spoon.