Cause I couldn't choose just a few photos of today, the slideshow:
Thanks to grandma for the Shrek outfit and to Marietjie for the pumpkin one!
Most people know that my favorite season is Autumn. I love the leaves changing, I love the smell of a Pumpkin Spice Latte and hot apple cider, I love Pumpkin Pie and the cool dry Santa Anna winds in LA. Its so strange but that's been one of the hardest adjustments for me in moving to SA. I love seasons, but they are swapped here. So its October, and Spring. I used to decorate my house for the seasons, but try putting up fall stuff when its Easter, and Spring stuff when its Thanksgiving!!! Also, in October no one goes Trick or Treating (I think it'd be to scary here!) or celebrates Thanksgiving, so there are no pumpkin patches etc. etc. So I was so greatful that I found some pumpkins at our local supermarket, and that my avocado tree decided to turn its leaves this week so I could take photos of Noah with them! I know its rather silly, but at least I can enjoy the small things the Lord gives me to remind me of my favorite season. And we are having a reformation bash for Cornerstone on Friday, bringing the tradition once again to SA!
Spurgeon is a daddy! He and his black labrador lady friend had puppies late September. Here is the litter (there were 11 puppies in all!)
But we got the pick of the litter! So we got male and female "mini-me" versions of Spurgeon. Sparticus and Pheobe.The first investigation by Spurgeon. Hmm, ears taste good! Playing with daddy We get to enjoy them for a week before we sell them (we can't keep them!) But they are super cute!
Noah's favorite object to look at during tummy time....Tobi (our cat's) tail. Noah has just discovered Tobi really over the last month. He now reaches out to pet her, and tries to pull out her fur or tail to put it in his mouth...like everything else! Tobi always seems oblivious.
And Noah's favorite activity this month is anything to do with expectation or surprise. His absolute favorite being peek-a-boo (tons of laughs from that one!) and also expecting kisses from us: The expectation:
Lovin noises from daddy!
And thanks for your comments regarding the monitor. I switched the frequency, so....so far the weird noises have stopped! :) *whew*
Currently Clint and I are watching LOST season 2 (thanks so much to the team for bringing out season 1, and to my old roomie Georgia for season 2) Anyways....for those who haven't seen it its kinda freaky with all these mysterious things on the island....but they never really give you any solutions or answers that are very satisfying to all these weird/scary scenarios, so you keep watching in great hope that someday there will be an explanation.
Needless to say the feeling you get after you watch certain episodes is kinda like when you watch a scary movie, and you go into your bathroom, but you don't want to look in the mirror lest some axe murderer appear from nowhere. But the feeling from LOST is more like....uh...kinda creepy where maybe something strange will happen with no apparent answers to make you feel like everything is just fine.
So we had just finished watching an episode, and Clint went off to a deacons meeting. I was all by myself in this huge house (Noah was napping) when I start hearing this REALLY REALLY freaky sound coming from Noah's baby monitor. It sounded like a really broken music box where certain notes are missing, and some are out of tune, singing a song that is unrecognizable along with....... a baby screaming. But the baby screaming was on a "loop" like....it was a recorded scream (like the same sound-bite over and over), intermittently intermixed with the FREAKY sound of a broken music box. So I RUN (I mean RUN) to Noah's room. Nothing. Dead quiet. Noah's sound asleep. I run back to the kitchen to "ding dong ding ding SCREAM ding ding SCREAM" It lasted for a good 10 minutes, and then stopped suddenly. Needless to say, I was very freaked out. Baby monitors haven't been my favorite thing since the movie Signs. And just like in LOST, there is no explanation to this freakyness. It just is. (By the way, it happened again when Clint was home, so he heard it too, I'm not just imagining it!) What the heck?!?!?
Anyone else ever heard anything freaky through a monitor? I'm dying to know!
This weekend we went out to celebrate my friend Vicky's birthday. Its been awesome over the last 2 years to see Vicky grow in the Lord so much! Her life truly displays God's sanctification through her love for the Word, and her love for the body of Christ.
Clint writing: So I was asked to preach on disciplining children by Simon Peter Pre-School. I asked, why they thought anyone would come to hear me. Apparently they’d thought about that already, so they had arranged for arguably the most famous South African sportsman, Shaun Pollock, to share his testimony that night. For our American, readers, Shaun Pollock is the captain of the South African cricket team, and is world famous for being a stinking good bowler (like a pitcher) and batsman. Wikipedia points out that he “was named joint 10th in the all time best ever bowler ratings in the LG ICC Ratings. [whatever that means] He has taken over 400 wickets and is one of only six players to have scored 3000 runs and taken 300 wickets in Test matches.”
The invitation to the event (I kid you not) read: “An Evening with Shaun and Clint.” I am sure the most common RSVP was “Clint who?” Nevertheless the place was packed, and needless to say, it wasn’t because of me. I tried to shoot the elephant in the room with jokes like “I’m glad Shaun is here tonight, because usually I feel kinda awkward being the only one signing autographs after I preach.” [insert laugh track.]
The irony is that I am notoriously ignorant of cricket news, much to my congregation’s dismay. To illustrate how clueless I am, and to humble me, God orchestrated a providential meeting with Shaun Pollock the next week. I was pushing Noah’s stroller in an expensive clothing shop in Hillcrest, wondering who would spend that kind of money on clothes, when I made eye contact with one of the customers. It was the kind of moment when your memory tells you enough that you pay attention, but not enough that you know who you are looking at. A face from the past maybe? His face looked almost exactly like this…
By this time he was smiling at me, and greeted me. At which point it hit me like fast-bowler’s ball: the famous guy from the Simon Peter evening. And I actually said “Oh, that’s where I know you from! Shaun, right?” While I struggled to remember his surname, I was assisted by the store clerk’s loud commentary into his cell phone: “I promise, darling, Shaun Pollock is in the shop right now, I’m looking right at him!”
It’s official, I am the only person in South Africa to be on a first name basis with Shaun Pollock due to forgetting his last name.
Sometimes I forget that I live in a foreign country. After living here 2 years it feels very normal living in SA. But sometimes there are gentle reminders....like Tuesday night our electricity went out 8x in 2 hours, and today I got an email telling us that in the Hillcrest area for the next 4 days the electricity WILL go out at 6am, 8am, 12pm, 2:30pm, 6pm and 8:30pm. Hmm. Thanks for the warning! I love the verse in Hebrews 11:16 that says "But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city." In heaven the lights will never ever go out cause Christ is the lamp!
At 5 months old EVERYTHING goes into Noah's mouth.
At 5 months old Noah loves playing with his feet now too. Its like he's discovered he can use them!
And his favorite activity: to squeal as loud as possible!
And he likes to prepare sermons with daddy.
Clint is now preaching 3x on a Sunday. Twice in the morning for the two services, and once in the evening, not to mention Cornerstone lessons, men's leadership meetings, membership and baptism classes etc. etc. So Mondays more than ever are our "sacred day." No phone calls or anything! Noah loves Mondays too :)
So I think anyone who knows Clint knows that his favorite drink in the States is IBC Cream Soda in a bottle. In fact, he had the team send out two 6 packs to us, and when we were in LA last year, someone gave him as a gift, 12 bottles of Cream Soda of all the brands they could find. IBC won hands down. Anyways, its a vanilla soda basically, and Clint loves anything vanilla.
This last week it had been a struggle to feed Noah his solids. As soon as I would put the spoon near him he'd turn his head or cry. So I thought maybe I was doing something wrong, like it was too lumpy, or whatever. But someone suggested maybe he doesn't like bland cereal, so to try something with more of a flavor. I had a sample of rice cereal with vanilla, and thought I'd give it a try. After one bite, Noah was leaning towards the bowl, and opening his mouth before I'd even come near it! He LOVES his vanilla cereal. No more tears, and afterwards I've never seen him that happy! He was wiggling and babbling and laughing all at the same time! It hit me how cool it is that God would create us with different tastes, even from when we are babies.
I laughed out loud when I saw this comic....cause its totally what its like in our house. Noah is constantly babbling now...his current favorite word being "aouww-booo," but one day he did say "da da" in his babbles...and Clint was like...."yea! He said dada! :) Say it again Noah...."dada, dada!" Noah responds with "aouuu-bbboooo" :)
I can't believe our wedding day was 5 whole years ago. It was such a fun day, the best day of my life! The Lord was so good in giving Clint to me, and blessing me with a godly man, someone I didn't deserve. The best part about being married to Clint is his godly response to everything. He knows the Scriptures, and how to apply them practically in our marriage. I think my favorite part about being married to Clint is that if a trial comes (no matter how big or tiny) he always somehow manages to make me laugh (a lot!) despite the circumstances, and then also brings a Biblical perspective to it as well, which then makes me depend on Christ even more as my Lord and Saviour.
In five years time we've lived in 2 countries, been involved in ministry in 2 different churches, lost 3 pets, traveled to 7 countries together (not including US, & SA), and have had an amazing bouncing baby boy! Its amazing how you really think you love someone on your wedding day, but how much that grows with time with what life throws your direction. For our anniversary we went to our favorite restaurant in Hillcrest. It reminds me alot of Houston's...the restaurant I waitressed at in LA...which I loved. Yum! Now that we've been married for 5 years I can finally apply for residency in SA :)
At our house we have what Clint and I call "selfish ants." There is never a line of orderly ants in our house, marching neatly to their home with our food. No matter how clean the counter is, I wake up in the morning to find 3 renegade ants...just chillin. Roaming. Nothing on their backs. Nothing for their family. And when they find something, they don't tell their buddies. They keep it all to themselves. Selfish guys. I can't count the times I've found ONE ant in my sugar....like the photo above taken tonight. ONE ant. What the heck? Or if they do find something really tasty, like a drop of jam on my floor, there will be only 5 ants, gorging themselves secretly, quietly, lest their demanding queen find out about the stash.
"6 Go to the ant, O sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise. 7 Without having any chief, officer, or ruler, 8 she prepares her bread in summer and gathers her food in harvest." -Proverbs 6:6
On Monday night there was a huge lightning storm in Hillcrest. We went to bed listening to the thunder, and thinking nothing of it. Until my father in law woke up at 4am, and stepped out of his room...only to feel "sploosh" under his foot, and then "sploosh" under his second step. Our entire house was under a few inches of water! It came in the kitchen:
Down our huge passage way:
And congregated mainly in our bedroom: (the towels are on the floor where we tried to soak it up!) Our bedroom was under a few inches of water. Noah's room is right next to ours....but his had no water in it! So he survived the great flood. Now we are just waiting to see if our wooden floors are going to pop up. Yikes.
What would you rather be doing at 4am then mopping your entire house? :) Thankfully nothing was damaged really. The only sad part was that I had just done 7 loads of laundry the day before (I was waiting for a sunny day to air them out). They were dry, and waiting to be folded on my floor...so Monday was spent washing them again!