25 September 2011

A time to wed...

 This Saturday we attended Julia and Athol's wedding at Groenland Wine Estate.  They made a lovely couple and the setting was so beautiful and romantic, that Marlon and Carmy looked like they wanted to get married all over again!Pastor Beckett was the minister and the whole ceremony took place outdoors on a really warm and lovely Spring day.  Groenland took care of the food, tables, chairs and table settings at a VERY reasonable price.  It also made sense to have everything happen in one place: the ceremony, the reception and the photographs in the lovely garden.  The outdoor ceremony finished at around 10:30am, after which we had nice brunch indoors with a few speeches and then the photographs out in the lovely garden.  By lunchtime, everything was over and the happy couple could head off to their honeymoon.

I just loved the simplicity of this wedding, and thinking of RJ's (Ruth-Jade) wedding coming up next year, hope that she will be inspired to keep it simple too!

This is how the place settings looked.  The flowers were stunning too, and were supplied by Bunches for Africa !  Each guest was given a cute little jar of honey as a gift.

A wedding like this for 60 pp could have cost around R10k which is a really affordable option. 

20 September 2011

Winter, a season for...

A few years back, I jotted down a few thoughts about what the Seasons mean to me.  This is what I wrote about Winter:

inner reflections
rain boots
hot porridge
pumpkin pie and lemon curd
winter stockings
darkness at 6pm, light by 7am
doing morning chores in the dark
gale-force winds (and sleepless nights)
driving rain, and snow on the mountains
hot bubble baths
fleecy pyjamas and sheepskin slippers
oranges and marmalade
the smell of gas from the heater
soup and homemade bread
paw-paws for breakfast
fires and sun-downers (meaning bbq'd chicken wings) in the yard

What does Winter mean to you, and make you do differently?

A Time for Action

Maximize Your Mornings e-book
Do your mornings need a booster?  Need some time alone?  I've recently discovered this free e-book "Maximize Your Mornings" and it really inspired me to make the change I've been wanting to do for weeks!

As with all things in life, 'if you fail to plan, you plan to fail'.  This booklet helps you to plan your mornings so that you can energize yourself for the day ahead, before you wake up the children!


12 September 2011

A season to clean

Funny how we feel the urge to really  clean the house in Spring, isn't it?  I'm sure it has something to do with the growing strength of sunlight each day as our part of the world slowly turns its face towards the sun once more.  We also seem to have more energy too.

Whatever the cause, the cleaning bug has bitten us!  The best tip I can give you is FLYLADY ...  http://www.flylady.net/pages/begin_babysteps.asp

Flylady works on your attitude, to turn what seems like a chore, into a blessing.  She'll teach you how to overcome perfectionism and to tackle big projects with 15 minute baby- steps.  She even makes it fun!

I subscribe to her daily emails, and these ideas stood out for me today:

"Self discipline is remembering what you really want."  That helps me focus on what I need to do, not necessarily what I want to do.

"Feeling overwhelmed is caused by procrastinating."  This is especially true when the Spring-cleaning bug has bitten, and you suddenly want to re-decorate the entire house, including tiles!  It's all the small things that I've left undone, that make me feel overwhelmed. 

Once you subscribe, FlyLady will send you exact details on how to get started.  So do yourself a favour and pay her site a visit.

11 September 2011

A season to read

There is a window of opportunity that parents, should take full advantage of when the children are small.  Even before the age of 1, you can start to read to your child.  At that stage, just pointing to a picture and saying its name is enough (together with your happy tone of voice of course!)  Repetition is the key at this age and reading to your child should be part of a bedtime routine.  A picture Bible story book will be loved by your little ones and will also introduce them to the Bible, which is our most important book.

Even when your child can read, you should still continue to read stories aloud to them, even one chapter per night.  This could become a family tradition after supper, so switch off the television (if you own one) and spend 30 minutes together as a family, reading an exciting story together.  This is such a wonderful bonding opportunity, so don't miss it!  I remember winter nights, reading Laura Ingall's Little House on the Prairie series (there are about 6 books in all), when our youngest were 8 and 6. 

There are wonderful suggested book lists on the internet, given by age and grade level, if you don't know where to start.  I can think of one such list called '1000 good books'.  Then phone your local library to find out if they have the ones you've chosen.  Perhaps in the future, you'll be able to look this up on the internet too.  Make friends with your local library and make it an exciting outing.

So, read to your children while you can!  It's the only way they'll learn to love reading!

You may have tangible wealth untold;
Caskets of jewels and coffers of gold.
Richer than I you can never be -
I had a mother who read to me.

~S. Gaillilan~

Seasons, and what they mean to us

Having a vegetable garden has made me acutely aware of the seasons.  These days you can buy almost any vegetable or fruit at the supermarket all-year-around, which is nice.  But how are they grown, I wonder, when I can see that tomatoes don't thrive at all in our cold, wet winters for example?  Ok, so they must be grown in hothouses or imported from elsewhere.  And how does that affect us and our digestive systems?  We know that God gave us certain foods to eat at certain times of the year, because that's when our bodies need that particular vitamin or mineral.  They're also cheaper when they're in-season!

The seasons also affect what we do daily and sometimes how we feel too. 

Then there are seasons in our lives ...  as Solomon said:  "To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven" Ecclesiastes 3:1. To paraphrase: there are seasons for everything in life - to be born and to die, to plant and to harvest, to kill and to nurture, to destroy and to build, to be sad and to be happy, to declutter and to replace, to encourage and to avoid, to speak and to be silent, to love and to hate, war and peace.

The seasons play a big role in our daily lives, so they are my inspiration for this blog.