Monday, December 21, 2009


I am leaving today for my trip to Holland and the USA. So I won't be blogging much...

I wish everybody a Joyful, Festive and Happy Holidays and a very Prosperous New Year!!

Since I couldn't make a decision which card, I printed them both!

Love, see you in 2010!!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

The battle of the bunnies...

As you know we have 5 baby bunnies. Last week they turned 8 weeks, so it was time to separate them from their mommy and introduce them to the other 3 adult rabbits we have. Which are their grandpa, grandma and auntie. First we put the cage with the baby bunnies on the grass, so the other ones could sniff them and get used to them. But the mother (Winter) we let out of the cage and walk freely around with her mom, dad and sister. Little did we know what horror story would unfold....

She got severely attacked by her mom, dad and sister!! We were shocked!! Fur was laying all over the garden and poor Winter had to run for her life! So needless to say, we didn't think a second to let the babies out... too dangerous! Hoping that the other 3 would calm down and slowly accepted Winter back into the group, but nothing was further from the truth. So I went to the pet shop to tell them my story and ask for advice... I mean they supplied me with the male rabbit to impregnate Winter, so they should know! He told me that once a rabbit goes away he/she can't EVER come back to this territory! So now he is telling me!! Why didn't he gave me this advice before I started this whole ordeal with creating a new family... people, I sometimes don't understand them! So I told him: "Why didn't you tell me this before??" Well... his answer was: "You never asked me." Yeah, because I didn't know, why would I ask questions if I don't know that the problem even exist!!

So I asked him, what should I do now? And the answer is: get rid of one of the 2 packs.. either the old 3 or the new family with the babies.... Needless to say which one the girls chose! So now I have 3 beautiful rabbits to give away, but all their friends want the baby ones.. no old ones!! So I am stuck with all these rabbits that nobody wants.... except my gardener Betias. I would love them for dinner he said! Yeah right, tell that to the girls!! hmmm... I need to find another solution, it would be devastating if JJ and Jezz would ever find out that they ended up as a Xmas dinner to some family in Diepsloot, the corrugated steel housing community here just a few miles from our house where he lives....

I guess we just won't tell them!! or maybe I can find another solution real soon!?
I hate this pet store owner and I am boycotting him by buying my supplies somewhere else!!

So either we save Winter the mother with her 5 babies who are 8 weeks old now....

Or... Venyl, the black father and Scamper, the mother...

and the auntie.. Spots?

Of course the choice for the girls is not that hard... but I feel sorry for the 3 ones, they are such a beautiful animals, but obviously they will kill each other if we would let them loose all NINE, so now we still have the new family with her mother in the cage again, waiting for a trial.... boohoo, I wish I didn't need to make this choice!! I will tell Betias that he needs to find a nice home for the 3 older ones! And since he is employed by us he has to listen!!

I hope you had a great weekend! It is really hot here in South Africa, some days even a bit too hot!

Ciao, Mireille

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sinterklaas kapoentje...

Sinterklaas and his helpers: Black Pete's were at school on Saturday, December 5th is
his birthday and the tradition goes then that he gives all the children a gift. So the girls were so excited to go to school on a Saturday :-)

They first had culture day in the morning for the Dutch school, so these children are only Dutch or Belgian. They made a drawing for Sinterklaas and practiced the songs again.

We were waiting and waiting, the kids in great anticipation of his arrival... how would he arrive this year?? Last year he came with horse and carriage, the year before in a fire truck and this year... in a car, since Americo his horse got his ankle strained... so the story goes :)

Here Jasmine and Juliet anxious waiting for Sinterklaas to arrive, with the drawing in their hands that they made for him.

The little ones even made a hat like black Pete, so cute :-)

Finally... there they come! A big roar of applause and singing Sinterklaas songs so he can hear from far away.

The kids are all excited when he steps out of the car!

First a welcome word and a small speech of Sinterklaas to all of the kids before the gift giving starts.

It goes by age, so the little ones get their gifts first, most of them so afraid that the mother had to come with them. Since the girls are 7 they have to wait a long time before they get their gift...

But then finally it is the turn of the 7 year olds and Black Pete is grabbing in his sack and there it is Jezz's turn...

She has to come and sit on Sinterklaas' lap and he hands her over her gift... what is in there??

Then it is JJ's turn, both get a 'scary book'. They had made a wish list and this was one of their wishes. So the girls are happy! Both the girls got a book by Enid Blyton with great adventure stories. A fabulous English writer!

So the week of putting their shoe in front of the chimney on a daily basis, getting small gifts and specific sweets for this occasion has finished. Sinterklaas is going back to Spain till next year. He chose a warmer location for his permanent residence than Santa Claus ;-) You can read about last years event here. See how the girls have grown in just 1 year!

And we can start concentrating on Xmas! Decorating the house a bit, not too much since we are in Holland for the Xmas break. My dad is turning 70 on Xmas day and we have decided to go to Holland and celebrate with both families! A first in 11 years!

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Xmas cards...

I am working on my Xmas cards and looking through my addresses realizing that I made quite some new friends through this wonderful world of blogging and moving to a new country. So there are a lot of you out there who I don't have a mailing address from. I would really love to send you a Xmas card, since that is almost the only snail mail that I am getting and loving to get, you probably feel the same.
By the way: I got this idea from my blogging friend Missy; she writes a wonderful blog about her life and in particular showing the most beautiful pictures of her sister Paige who is adopted from China I believe. See here.

This is a test/warm-up picture we took before starting with the Xmas set... the girls always need a bit of time to get comfy in front of the camera...

So please send your address to my email and I will gladly add you to my list! You can find my email here on the right, make sure you use the telkom address!

Are you working on your Xmas card and you don't have me yet on your list, you can find my details also on the right side of my blog. Hopefully a lot of you get this hint and I will receive tons of cute and beautiful cards... I just love to get one of yours :-)

Have a Fabulous Friday! I am off to a Craft sale, need to do some Xmas shopping :-)

Sinterklaas is in town...

It's that time of the year again for Dutch children! Sinterklaas is coming to town. He arrived in Holland a few weeks ago on his steamboat and on Saturday he will arrive at the Dutch school here in Joburg!! The girls are so excited and putting their shoe with carrots and water in front of the fireplace and hoping for some treats the next morning!

Traditionally, in the weeks between the arrival of Sinterklaas & Zwarte Piet and December 5, before going to bed, children put their shoes next to the fireplace chimney of the coal fired stove or fireplace, or, in modern times, next to the central heating. The shoe is to have a carrot or some hay in it and a bowl of water "for Sinterklaas' horse," and the children sing a Sinterklaas song; the next day they will find some candy or a small present in their shoes. When a house has no chimney, Sinterklaas or Black Pete is said to enter using his special key that fits on every door in the Netherlands.

Typical Sinterklaas candy traditionally includes: mandarin oranges, pepernoten, letter-shaped pastry filled with almond paste or chocolate letter (the first letter of the child's name made out of chocolate), speculaas (sometimes filled with almond paste), chocolate coins and marzipan figures. Newer candy includes kruidnoten (a type of shortcrust biscuit or gingerbread-biscuits) and a figurine of Sinterklaas made out of chocolate and wrapped in painted aluminum foil.

Children are told that Black Pete enters the house through the chimney, which also explains his black face and hands, and will leave a bundle of sticks ("roe") or a small bag of salt in the shoe instead of candy if the child has been bad. If they have been really bad, Black Pete may take them back to Spain in his sack, a tradition now frowned upon under the influence of modern child psychology.

Traditionally Saint Nicholas brings his gifts at night, and many Belgian and Dutch children still find their presents on the morning of December 6. Later in The Netherlands adults started to give each other presents on the evening of the 5th; then older children were included, and today many young children also get their presents on Saint Nicholas' eve.

Poems can still accompany bigger gifts as well, though instead of being brought by Sinterklaas, people will draw names for an event comparable to Secret Santa. Gifts are to be creatively disguised (for which the Dutch use the French word "surprise"), and are usually accompanied by a humorous poem which often teases the recipient for well-known bad habits or other character deficiencies.

This is one of the songs the children sing in front of the chimney...

Such a fun time for the children, and probably it will be the last year that we celebrate Sinterklaas in this way. Because as soon as the children don't believe anymore most families only celebrate Xmas... now we do BOTH! Or they do celebrate it with giving only 1 gift to 1 member of your family by picking a name out of a hat and you create a funny gift with a poem for only that person you have on your tag. This is called 'pakjes avond'.

For now Jasmine and Juliet are so excited to meet 'Sinterklaas en Zwarte Piet' at school on Saturday, more pictures on that later. See last year's event here and here.

Have a Terrific Thursday, I am off to my cooking class today, we call our group: DOT = Diversity On the Table :-)

Ciao, Mireille

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Thanksgiving weekend at the South Coast

Just like last year we went to the beautiful coast of Durban. Last year we went to the North Coast, to Sheffield Beach, if you can't remember see here. This year we went to the South Coast, although not as popular by mass tourism, we like it much better. The beaches are endless and so beautiful. I mean even the North Coast is gorgeous, but more developed already, we like the places on the off beaten track and that is definitely the South Coast! We stayed at Leisure bay, one of the most unspoilt and the most picturesque beaches in this area.

Look at this, hardly a person on the beach, beautiful rock formations, great for the kids to play on and find little crabs and fishes. The water nice and warm and no 'hutje mutje' like in Holland on the beach. No we had it all to ourselves!!

And this is how the crowded beaches in Holland look like, 'hutje mutje' (means: like a sardine in a can) on the beach!

Juliet made a snow man from sand, so proud of herself :-)

One day it wasn't so sunny, so we decided to drive to Durban, one of the bigger cities here in SA. And we went to uShaka Marine World, it has a huge aquarium and it looks like you are walking in a replica of a sunken cargo steamer from 1920. Very cool!

Since we are in Kwa-Zulu Natal or Zulu land we also met some Zulu warriors, which was particular nice at this moment because the girls are learning everything about the Zulu's at school now.

They learned at school that if a Zulu guy wants to marry a girl they have to pay 20 cows to the parents of the girls. Jasmine and Juliet found that that was quite a steep price! Dirk told them that their future husband has to give at least a house on the beach in Thailand for 1 girl and a nice sports car convertible for the other... they were quite for a moment and had to think about this! LOL

The dolphin show was really great, JJ and Jezz really loved seeing the gentle animals!

The feeding of the turtles was another highlight of the day.

Much more pictures I don't have unfortunately since my camera was stolen, these were taken on Dirk's little camera. At least some memories left of our fabulous weekend! Although some bad luck we have a lot to be thankful for!

Hope you had a great Thanksgiving weekend as well!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

International food festival & parade at school

Last week the girls had International food festival at school and the next day we had the International parade.

The food festival was amazing, we had so many moms cooking from their home country. I represented Thailand and made 150 Thai Chicken Satay with sweet soy sauce and fried shallots. The kids loved it and I was almost out of my supply before the High scholars came. We fed 800 children from elementary to high school! Almost each country in our school, which are 69 were represented. That is a lot of different food which we all could sample. Delicious, fun and such an eye opening experience every year again!! I mean there are yummy dishes I have never seen, let alone taste!

The next day we had the International parade. Each child represented their own home country in their national dress, walking proudly behind their flag. I was so moved to see all these kids walking across the soccer field in their national costume being cheered on by all their peers and parents, it is just such a fun experience!!

I mean 69 countries, that is one third of the whole world represented at our school, isn't that cool or what! The only sad thing is that immediately after this parade we went on our Thanksgiving break and there they stole my camera, so I have no pictures of these 2 beautiful events to share with you. Such a shame!! I have only this one left that I took after the girls came home and we took off their Thai dresses before hopping into the car to go to the South Coast just below Durban.

We had a wonderful long weekend at the beautiful coast of the Indian Ocean, and we didn't let the fact that my camera, and most of Dirk's clothing got stolen ruin our weekend!

More about our weekend in another post.
Have a great week,


Related Posts with Thumbnails