Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween at school

The girls woke me up at 5:30 am this morning, too excited to wait any longer! By 6am they were getting ready to be transformed as a Pirate!!

Halloween at school today and the girls have this amazing pirate outfit that a very talented seamstress Val Daly made for us! I just printed a picture from the internet, bought the fabric I wanted and she made these for us, without a pattern! The workmanship on these outfits is extremely well done! The body/corset is made from original African ShweShwe fabric and can be worn from both sides, it has gold coins on the rim. The skirt has a satin liner with tutu fabric on top and the blouse has sparkles all over. Then Val found me these eye patches and earring to go with it, the girls look like real pirates :-) and are very happy to go to school looking like this!

They have to look serious, since Pirates don't smile so sweet as Princesses! is their theory :-)

Have a Fantastic Halloween y'all!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Update on our bunnies

Living in Africa is not always easy, I had to do without a telephone and internet connection for 5 days!! But the line is fixed and I am glad to catch up on blogs I have missed, and keeping up with my own!

The bunnies are getting cuter and cuter, at least they start looking liking a bunny now!! So here are some pics from the last week.

Here they are 8 days, still most of the day under the mother's fur and in their nest. Don't come out yet, although 1 is trying today! The skin is still a bit pinkish and they eyes are not open yet, or maybe a bit.

8 days old, it is hard to tell that it is a bunny, could easily be a baby kitten if you see them all together in their nest. One is trying to crawl over to the mother for some milk, but has a hard time standing up.

But then it is by the mother and gets a helping of milk, while the mother waits patiently for her baby to finish.

Today they are 15 days old, and look how much they have grown in just 1 week! One is getting milk from the mother.

You can clearly see that they are bunnies, the ears have grown and they eyes are completely open. They all 5 look about the same, black and white, so cute!!
They don't stay much in their nest anymore and kind of play around a bit in the cage.

They will stay another 6 weeks in this cage, because the big hadedas birds that come to our garden would probably pick them to death if we would let them loose in the yard. Here they are safe and protected. The girls can't wait to touch and pet them, but that is still not allowed!

Well, have a wonderful week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Watching TV ~ Thai style ;-)

It is not that I have a comfy couch in the house, we actually have 3 living areas on the downstairs level where the girls can sit comfortable on a chair or couch, but no! They prefer to squat on the table! Here they are watching TV, and if I would let them watching TV for so long, they would sit for hours and be relaxed. But they will aslo do it when they are playing with their barbies or reading a book. It must be in the Thai genes, because they don't have any examples around who sits like that :-)

Have a Fabulous Friday! I am having a dinner party at my house, so I am off to cook!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

How do I look?

Tatjana, a friend of mine has to fill her portfolio for her photographic course with all kinds of pictures. One of the subjects is 'Children around the World' so last weekend we went to her studio and took all kinds of photos of the twins. At the end we promised them they could paint each others face and have fun with it. This is the result :-)

Have a Terrific Thursday!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We have baby bunnies!

Jasmine & Juliet are so excited! Winter our female rabbit gave birth last week to 5 or 6 baby bunnies (hard to see since they are all on top of each other and under a protective layer of fur). Everyday when the girls come out of school, the first thing they do is go outside and visit Winter and her babies. They are deaf and still have there eyes closed and no fur. So we are not allowed to touch! Otherwise the mother will reject them if there is human smell on the babies.

But the girls are so tender taking care of the mother... it is so cute! It is their task to feed, water and clean the cage every morning before the school bus comes at 6:50 am! At first I was a bit worried, she was not sitting with them and feeding the babies at all, but then I did some research and it seems that rabbits only feed 5 minutes a day (their milk is very rich) and this happens at night. So no wonder I don't see that!

They are a week old now and the babies have almost doubled in size. Only a bit of fur but still very bald. JJ and Jezz can't wait to touch and play with them, but Winter and the babies are safe in a cage and we don't let them out yet. They need to stay with the mother for 2 months.

Winter, nice and plump 2 days before giving birth.

She plucked her fur to make a nest for her babis, look how skinny she is now.

The nest with the babies~2 days old, all naked with their eyes closed.

And our other rabbits, the black one is Veenil and Spots; father & daughter.

Mother Scamper & daugther Spots.

A great learning process about life, growing up, taking care and mating has this project been so far :-) But I will make sure that we don't have another pregnant rabbit soon!!

More pictures will follow!
Ciao, Mireille

Monday, October 19, 2009

Week 41 @ I ♥ Faces "Pink Week."

A new week, a new day, a new challenge at I ♥ Faces! And since it is breast cancer awareness, I definitely want to join this week by submitting my photo.
This one was taken last year in Holland when me, my mom and the twins went to an International street parade. More than 70 countries participated, and this one was the one of the most colorful outfits for that day. I believe they came from Brazil. How pink is that?!

Check out the other pink pictures over here at I ♥ Faces.

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Friday, October 16, 2009

THANK YOU!! ~ Dankie! ~ Ngiyabonga! ~ Khap Khun Kha!

Today I am on post #300! My blog is in the 'air' from January 31,2008 (my birthday). And I want to reflect a moment on my blogging life.

Some of you have followed me from the beginning and start to know quite a bit about me, Dirk my husband and our twin girls Jasmine & Juliet. 300 posts in 20,5 months of blogging and a staggering 28.370 visitors from 159 countries!! Did you know that there are only 195 countries in the world? That means that there are only a few countries left that haven't been visiting my blog. That is just AMAZING to me!!

That means about 1385 visitors/visits in 1 month or 45 visits/visitors a day! There are a lot of blogging friends out there in so many countries that I would like to THANK. It is so much more fun to write a blog if you know people are actually reading it!!

I've become friends with a few of you, and even met in real life! All of you have enriched my life in some way and I am very humbled by the fact that the inernet can create such a beautiful, precious, amazing connections!

That I am sitting here in South Africa in a different time zone and even in a different hemisphere and season to most of you and still can connect on a daily basis with you all. Most of my postings are blogged in my PJ's in the early morning, just after I have put my daughters on the bus at 7am. Knowing that most of you are still sleeping or having lunch/dinner or just turning in. Isn't that just amazing? Who could have thought about that say 10 years ago??

I really appreciate all of you, the lurkers who come once in a while and never comment, the people who by accident came onto my blog, the ones that saw a picture on google image (if you type in funky doodle donkey or the names of the girls on google image you see quite a bit of me), the other ones that know me as a friend in real life or a family member, blogging friends who I connected with through the wonderful journey of adoption, people from Thailand, the Netherlands, USA, Spain, Greece, South Africa: all the countries I have lived in and talk about in my posts... through the search engines they knew how to find me!

But above all the friends who come back regularly and give comments those are the ones I appreciate so much! (And you know who you are) I see them as my personal friends, not only blogging friends anymore. And I hope sincerely that if we haven't met YET, that we will find an opportunity to meet one day. Because I FOLLOW you as well! I read about your lives, your journey you are going through, I see your children grow up, I read about your ups and downs... just like you do mine. And all that from a long distance, but I don't feel that distance at all! I can see your faces, sometimes even hear your voices (when you post a mini movie) and that is something that I am thankful for and amazed by!!

So here a list of Thank You's in hopefully all the languages that have visited my blog! Sorry if I've missed yours... (but you can always give me a comment and I will add yours :-)

ALBANIAN faleminderit
ARABIC chokrane
ARABIC (TUNISIAN) Barak Allahu fiik
ARMENIAN chnorakaloutioun
AZERI çox sag olun / tesekkur edirem
BAMBARA a ni kié
BASQUE eskerrik asko (southern basque) / milesker (northern basque)
BELARUSIAN Дзякую (dziakuju)
BENGALI dhanyabaad
BOBO a ni kié
BRETON trugéré / trugaré / trugarez
BULGARIAN merci / blagodaria
BURMESE (thint ko) kyay tzu tin pa te
CATALAN gràcies
CEBUANO salamat
CHECHEN Баркал (barkal)
CHINESE xièxie
CZECH děkuji / díky
DARI tashakor
DOGON gha-ana / birepo
DUTCH dank u wel / dank je wel
ENGLISH thank you
ESTONIAN tänan / tänan väga (thank you very much)
EWÉ akpé
FAROESE takk fyri
FIDJIAN vinaka
FINNISH kiitos
FRENCH merci
FRISIAN dankewol
FRIULAN gracie
GALICIAN gracias / graciñas
GEORGIAN დიდი მადლობა (didi madloba)
GERMAN danke
GREEK ευχαριστώ (efharisto)
GUARANÍ aguyjé
HINDI dhanyavad
HUNGARIAN köszönöm
INDONESIAN terima kasih
IRISH GAELIC go raibh maith agat
ITALIAN grazie
JAPANESE arigatô
KABYLIAN tanemirt
KANNADA dhanyavadagalu
KHMER akun
KIKONGO matondo
KIRUNDI murakoze
KOREAN kam sah hamnida
KRIO tenki
LAO khob chai (deu)
LATIN gratias ago (from 1 pers.)
gratias agimus (from X pers.)
LATVIAN paldies
LIGURIAN grassie
LINGALA matondi
LOW SAXON bedankt / dank ju wel
MACEDONIAN blagodaram
MALAGASY misaotra
MALAY terima kasih
MALTESE niżżik ħajr / grazzi / nirringrazzjak
MARATHI aabhari aahe / aabhar / dhanyavaad
MONGOLIAN bayarlalaa (Баярлалаа)
OCCITAN mercé / grandmercé
PASCUAN mauruuru
PASHTO manana
PERSIAN motashakkeram, mamnun (formal) / mochchakkeram, mamnun, mersi (informal)
POLISH dziękuję
PORTUGUESE obrigado (M speaking) / obrigada (F speaking)
QUECHUA sulpáy
ROMANI najis tuke
ROMANIAN mulţumesc
RUSSIAN спасибо (spacibo)
SAMOAN faafetai lava
SARDINIAN gratzias
SCOTTISH GAELIC tapadh leat (singular, familiar)
tapadh leibh (plural, respectful)
SERBIAN хвала (hvala)
SHIMAORE marahaba
SHONA waita (plural: maita)
SINDHI meharbani
SINHALA stuutiyi
SLOVAK dakujem
SOBOTA hvala
SPANISH gracias / muchas gracias
SWAHILI asante / asante sana
TAGALOG salamat (po)
TAHITIAN mauruuru
TAJIK rahmat
TAMIL nandri
TATAR rahmat
TELUGU dhanyavadalu
THAI ขอบคุณค่ะ (kop khun kha) - woman speaking
ขอบคุณครับ (kop khun krap) - man speaking
TIGRINYA yekeniele
TURKISH tesekkur ederim, sagolun
TWI Medase
UKRAINIAN дякую (diakuiu)
URDU shukriya
UZBEK rahmat
WALOON ("betchfessîs" spelling) gråces / merci
thank you very much : gråces (merci) traze côps, gråces (merci) beacôp
WELSH diolch
WOLOF djiere dieuf
XHOSA enkosi
YIDDISH a dank
YORUBA o sheun
ZULU ngiyabonga (literally means : I give thanks)
siyabonga (= we give thanks)
ngiyabonga kakhulu (thanks very much)

I am planning to continue to blog about our lives and I am looking forward to even meet more new friends via this medium.

So please comment on my blog and start a new connection in life with a friend that is living here in Joburg and looking out for you!

Have a wonderful Friday and weekend ahead!

Monday, October 12, 2009

From 2002 to 2009, JJ & Jezz over the years

I made a huge photo album on Facebook featuring Juliet & Jasmine from 2002 to 2009, but it has 200 pictures in it. So I can't do that here, but what I can do is take a picture from each year, so you can see how the girls developed from itsy bitsy babies to cute toddlers to small little ladies :-)

Below are the girls in all their cuteness from the year they were born in 2002 to today. As you can see I sometimes call the girls by their nickname and sometimes in their full names. Since we got the girls before the adoption was finalised and I didn't want to jinx anything we started calling them by their nicknames... everybody in Thailand has one, so the girls needed one too. Juliet Janelle became JJ and Jasmine Isabel became Jezz. We only used the nicknames till the adoption was finalised 13 months later! Nobody knew their full names yet, till the paperwork was done.

July 2002, the week JJ & Jezz arrived at home! They were 3 months old. They couldn't sit up yet, so I had to push them against each other, but they were tipping over the whole time. This photo took me a while.. :-)
Little did I know that photographing twins is REALLY hard, but at that point I had no clue whatsoever about raising twins or the road ahead of us. Oblivious is bliss! Jasmine left, Juliet right.

December 2003. After the adoption was done, we moved to the USA. Dirk was already living there and we went from a hot country to Connecticut where a lot of snow falls. So we needed some warm hats. I found this cool Dutch website who makes recycle design, re-creates pieces of other pieces of clothing. These hats used to be sweaters. The girls didn't smile a lot those early years it looks like. JJ left, Jezz right.

November 2004. Here some other hats from Flobberdewotsky, these are made of scraps of fabric, cool or what? We had a lot of remarks on those hats and the girls just look adorable in them. Jasmine on the left, Juliet on the right.

February 2005. I just cut the girls bangs/fringes. We are trying to grow the hair and get a nice model in it, till now it was just growing in all directions. In 2 months the girls turn 3 years. JJ left, Jezz right.

December 2006. As you can see I love hats, the one JJ is wearing (right) is from Oilily. I just love that shop and we had an outlet close by because I am not paying $70 for a hat! That was indeed the retail price... I bought it for $12.

July 2007. The girls are 5 now and really into fashion, hairdo's and all the accessoires that go along with it. Here I had to braid their hair when it was wet and they slept one night with the braids... and voila the result. So proud they were, they want curls all the time!

September 2008. We just moved to SA. And the girls are having International day at school. Proudly wearing their Thai dresses. Juliet left, Jasmine right.

March 2009. The girls are almost 7 and we are out for lunch. Juliet left, Jasmine right.

Jasmine and Juliet are the biggest blessing in our life! We enjoy these 2 little princesses so much. And when they were young I always thought this is the cutest and best stage... but then they grow older and I think that THAT is the nicest age. But you know what, each phase is their life is exciting, fun, adventurous and a gift to us! We truly are thrilled to be their parents!

If you like to see my photo album on Facebook, just make a friend request (but tell me that you read my blog, because I don't let anybody become my friend on Facebook) otherwise I will ignore the request.

Have a Terrific Tuesday!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Funny Faces

The girls are off from school and yesterday I had some assignements to do for my photographic course and was fiddling with my camera a bit. The girls were making funny faces at me while I was looking through the viewfinder... so I shot a few of these silly faces.

But I can't withold you this funny face, even sillier than the girls!

My photographic course is really interesting and I am looking forward to learn a lot of new things! There is always space for more improvement, and in this field there is so much that I don't know yet. But the next year I will be busy learning and showing you some results... hopefully good ones ;-)

Have a terrific Thursday!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Safari at Nungubane, Welgevonden Game Reserve

We are back from our safari at Nungubane (which means porcupine) and we've have seen the 'Big 5' again and so many other beautiful animals. Except the buffalo, we couldn't just find them. Searched for them a few times, and were close but just no luck this time.

I have never seen so many weaver birds in 1 tree!

The big 5 are referred to the Lion, Elephant, Buffalo, Black Rhino and the Leopard. The phrase Big Five game was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot.
We even saw the Leopard! This is a hard to spot animal, and we were so lucky to see one immediately when we drove into the game park, but before I took out my camera he was gone... so sad to not catch it on my camera! He was sitting so nicely on a rock for us, and so close by but then when I moved my hand to take out my camera he was gone... :-(

The shadow of our Jeep while we were on a Sunset drive

When you go on a safari, you do 2 game drives of 3-4 hours. One at sunset and one at sunrise. Since then the animals are most active and easier to spot. During the day mostly they will sleep in the high grass or under some bushes, so then you can't see them. The drive happens in an open Jeep, so you are a lot of times really close to the animals. But as long as you sit in your Jeep you are farely safe. Although we met an Elepant bull, a huge one that was really nasty and chasing our Jeep and another one, picture below. We had to back up so if he would turn around we could escape easily. Elephants are fast runners and can be aggressive!

In between the game drives we relax at the lodge, have great lunches and dinners, but most of your days consist of game drives. The fun of these game drives is that you never know which animals you will run into. You can drive for an hour and not see anything and then suddenly you are eye to eye with a huge group of elephants, buffalo's, zebra's, wildebeest or impala's. It makes it so much fun! It's not like going to a zoo where you know what you will see in the next cage, no this is 42.000 hectare of nature and you just cruise around in the hope to see as much as possible. So these drives are very very exciting, worth doing at least once in your life time!!
Also nature is so pretty!

So here some pictures of the animals we have seen.


And the remnants of a Wildebeest after the lions ate it... a skull!

Water bucks


And now they had enough of us, so they showed us their nicely formed behind.. LOL


Impala's, the fast food of the Bush... do you know how they call a baby Impala? a Happy Meal! LOL. Easy prey for most preditors

We had a great time with Phil our ranger, he could imitate most of the animals which made it fun, because he would call them and they would look up in our direction, and that makes a great picture!

The rest of the week the girls have still vacation, but we are just hanging around the house. The weather is nice, so they can go for a swim, play with the bunnies or just do some arts & crafts or play dates with their friends.

Have a wonderful day!


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