Monday, April 14, 2014

Field Hockey, and the MHS Valentine Ball photos

The winter sports have started at Merensky, and both Micaela and JohnD are in field hockey teams. JohnD played his very first game on Saturday, and their team did well considering they are all fairly green to the sport. JohnD plays left link, so it's LOTS of running. Micaela also plays Link too.  I thoroughly enjoy standing next to the field and shouting for their team.
We loved the company of the van der Gryp and the Dyason families over the weekend too, and celebrated Saartjie's birthday all together.  It's been quite a number of years since we all got together. Silly really, as we all live relatively close, but our busy schedules seldom have time.
The repainting of Micaela's room is almost finished, and I am getting quite good at it all! I'm rather tired of the smell though.  She certainly is excited to have it all fresh. I somehow think it won't be long and JohnD is going to want the same!
Camo is completely healed up thankfully.  With winter approaching, we have not clipped all of his fur again. My goodness - in our bush his fur is like Velcro!  Shame, it's not fun for him getting combed every night, but he is learning that it's to his benefit.
We finally got the photos of the kids from Valentine's Ball...
 JohnD with Alicia.
 Micaela and Alicia
 My two treasures!
Micaela with Kegan
As always, it's good to have the cattle all in the craal... the incredible rains and abundant grass has them all in just BEAUTIFUL condition.
 

Monday, March 31, 2014

WEBSITE......

Hey ho!  What a way to go.... YES :) I am actually making slow  S L O W progress on getting our website up to date.    www.shiawela.com 
Suggestions are welcome (within reason!)... I am VERY technologically challenged!
I have got LOTS that I still need to do, and photos that I want to add, but at least my contacts are finally showing!  I had saved it as a page, but somehow no matter what I did - that page didn't want to show! I have no clue how to change the banner and put our logo there, but I will figure it out.
OH HAPPY DAY!

We are loving having the kids home! Micaela is re-decorating her room. What a MAMMOTH (complete with all of the wool!) job it is.

We just had Carl and Karl Landauer hunt with us this weekend, and JohnD certainly did us proud!  My goodness me, I don't know who wore who out! Needless to say, he has been pretty tired most of today.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Kirk Shields and Milt Stratos

It is with great excitement that we welcomed Kirk and Milt the South!  Yes our hunting season has officially opened, and we have been very blessed with sunny and cool days. Very little rain, and some successful hunting!  Sadly with John-D away at High School, Ken does not have as much help as he had become accustomed to.
Little Camo took a turn for the worst, and came down with billary (tick bite fever) the same day they arrived, so he had to spend a night at the local vet. He took it easy a few days, and was able to go with Ken today. It will be a while before he is back in top form, as he also has glandular fever that he is recovering from. Shame!  Our Loving Lady continues to be her gentle, wonderful, sweetiepie!
Micaela and John-D are in the middle of their first quarter exams. They will break for a short 10 day school holiday on the 28th. Yippie! :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

Willem and Fiona Nicolai

Just a little word of thanks to Willem and Fiona from Scotland. What a joy and a pleasure it was for us to leave home knowing that they were here as a helping hand to Dad and Mom.  Both Lady and Camo also enjoying having them around, and most especially Micaela's kitty Molasses! They were able to enjoy the bush, sunshine, (and lots of rain!) the freedom of having family and friends visit, and just the wonderful warm South African weather!
Willem did a little work on the old brown landy, and we are very pleased to have that in action again! Thank you so much Willem. You are a star.

MHS MOOPOO and Interhigh Athletics :)

John-D going through the MOOPOO.....
Yes, It is filthy water... complete with LOTS of poo from the MHS "moos" on site!  One of the initiation traditions at Merensky High School.  All newcomers to the school (young and old alike) have to go through the pool of mud and cow dung as part of being baptised as "True Blue Blood Plasies".  All of the helping hands are ready to dunk those who do not sufficiently immerse themselves in the water!  Luckily John-D is no stranger to muddy farm water, or cow dung, so he didn't waste time diving right in!
 After the grade 8 newcomers finish the school concert for all of the new parents, they have a ceremony where they are given their certificates recognizing them as True Plasies, and they each have to ring the COW BELL.
 Micaela placed 3rd in the 100m hurdles, and 2nd in the 100m sprints. Both of these events were in the drizzle.
 Sadly the heavy rains set in and the rest of the events had to be cancelled.


Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Familiar Faces, and Cherished Friends

Home sweet home. YES! It is very good to be home. We certainly do love being home in our beloved bush veldt, and with the abundance of grass, birds, crickets, animals and of course all of the other aspects of life IN THE BUSH - homecoming is always a special feeling. We have had such lovely rain!
YES we had a GOOD trip over and it certainly felt like a whirl-wind at times. We were very blessed to have only one affected flight from the cold, ice and snow... which I think was a miracle considering what some folks experienced!  Our time in Atlanta was very fruitful, and we loved getting out to Burnt Pine! Thank you SO MUCH Chuck and Jean for your hospitality, and to your entire team. What a special place you have there.
Our time in Nashville was VERY interesting. WOW - the cattle industry in the USA is a completely different "ball game" to what we have going here. We learnt so much. We made some incredible connections, and we are excited to put together our Student Study Abroad program. Watch this space!
As always our time in Charleston was special. Ted and Rosemary - thank you and thank you again. So many folks to thank - each one of you so close to our hearts. What a joy to hold and love on little Olivia Bonham! Congratulations. What a cherished moment.  Yes, several of our meetings were affected by the weather, but considering the conditions, we were amazed that SEWE had the turn out that it did! Well done to all of you who braved the weather!
Michigan was quite an experience... in all of the years I have been travelling there, I have never seen the snow and ice that I saw this time.  I walked on water!!!  Okay... so it didn't require the "Peter" kind of faith, but what a thrilling experience. Thank you again Mark and Gayle, for your incredible hospitality.  Seeing all of our friends at the banquet is always a joy. We are looking forward to having you with us again soon Terry and Jo... April will be here before you know it!
I'll post a few pictures as soon as I get them loaded!  Great, big, warm hugs to you all.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Athletic Achievements! What a GIFT...

Micaela is delighted to be competing in athletics for Merensky High School. She was always pretty fast, and even when she was little I gave up trying to catch her by running after her! I would always have to convince her to come when she was called, as there was just no way that I could outrun her!
It appears that her speed is not just about "not getting caught when she has the packet of cookies" she enjoys being in the front!  In an athletics meet on Friday she broke a 4 year school record for 100m sprint, and ran it in 12.38 seconds! She doesn't even have spikes, and has not trained. She also won 4 gold medals for first place with 400m hurdles, 400m sprint, the relay race as well as her 100m victory when she set a new school record!  Ken was always pretty fast, and did well competing at school, as was his Dad, as was his Dad!  My Mom's Mom held her 400m hurdles record at high school for MANY YEARS... so I guess she has some good genetics in there! All Praise to our God.

We can't wait to watch her run on the 21st of Feb when MHS hosts the Inter-High...

We leave for the USA on Thursday 30th January. It's always tough to say goodbye to them when we have to leave! We will be away until the 18th February.
We trust that we will be easy to reach as we do plan to check our emails regularly.
We will spend the first four nights in Atlanta attending the Georgia SCI Convention there, and visiting with some folks who are coming hunting this year :)
We then head to Nashville for 4 nights to attend a Cattlemen's Convention.
We will arrive in Charleston the 7th of February, and will be staying with the Ford Family until the 14th February, when I will head to Grand Rapids for the weekend Convention of the Michigan Chapter of SCI. Ken will stay in Charleston to manage our booth at SEWE, and we will then both head back home Monday the 17th Feb.
We would love to hear from you while we are in the USA, and if we can see you - all the better!

Willem and Fiona have just arrived today, and will be staying here while we are away - as a helping hand for Dad and Mom. We are very excited to have them here, and know they are going to love being in the bush again. We have had wonderful rains, and the veld is just magic. We had the first of the baby buffalo calves born a few days ago, so we hope to know for sure (before we leave), if it's a heifer or bull calf!!!

Much needs to be done... in haste. Love to you all. Jo