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

Sunday, January 19, 2014

JohnD's 14th Birthday!

What a joy and blessing to celebrated JohnD's 14th birthday today! He is truly a delight to us all, a blessing from the Father, and we are so grateful.  Thank you LORD for another wonderful year with him!  His first few days at High School went smoothly, and he came home with a big smile on his face, and lots of stories.
Our hearts are FULL!  Micaela also came home exciting news - she was selected among the students to be spoilt and treated for their outstanding academic achievements during the last school year.  She has worked so hard for it, and will go on the Top 10 Tour to Durban at the end of next week.  Well done Angel! We are so proud of you!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Merensky High School

Today is the DAY! JohnD joined his sister at Merensky High School, for his Grade 8 year... She is now in Grade 10.  They have a few weeks of orientation... his phone has been taken from him (and all of the new hostel grade 8 kids) and will hopefully be returned on Friday...  This sure is a quiet house now! :( Missing them both terribly!  It was a very long December holiday, and they were ready to head off.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Lake Kariba House Boat!

What a spoil, and what a treasured experience we had. My sister and her family, Jenny and Derek Zartmann, with Michael and Kyra, spoilt us with 5 nights all together on a house boat in Kariba. We travelled up through the Beit Bridge border (only one hour to clear through both sides!) on the 2nd of January. We spent one night with them on their KweKwe farm, and then we all travelled up to Kariba on the 4th of January. We had lots of rain, and a few storms... but it was such an incredible and memorable time for us all. The kids did loads of fishing, and I even tried my hand at it a little! I have to proudly boast that I caught the very first TWO tiger fish..... yes they were little, but they qualified as TIGER!!!!
ZIMBABWE - This picture we saw over and over again...
 The Men were all getting the fishing tackle ready... serious stuff! This was the down stairs portion of Djoya. Our floating "Caravan" had two full bathrooms :) The kids slept down here when the rain was too much upstairs!  For the rest of the time, we all slept on the upstairs deck.
 JohnD "chilling"... looking forward to getting his fishing rod in the water!
 My beloved sister Jenny! I don't know how you do it all Jen. You are truly WONDERWOMAN!
And her Kyra ... so grown up now.
YES! That's a "Fishing for a Mission" Shirt!   Ken had warned me he was not going to shave until he had caught a fish, so we were ALL relieved when he reeled this little one in! 
 Even Scallywags caught!
 This must be what heaven is like!  MINUS THE MOZZIES! ;)
The heavy rain made fishing challenging, as the water was quite dirty in places... but there was no lack of enthusiasm.
 This was a GOOD day! Nyummy !!!
 Our Treasures!
 Cooling off at the back of the boat.... we certainly couldn't dive in to cool off... too many crocs!
Our dearest one and only Derek Zartmann... THE MAN - who made it all happen for us! Thank you so much! Treasured memories for a lifetime. xxx
Michael and JohnD ... such great buddies. Both of these young men start their High School Career this week. Good Luck Mr Mike Man! He will be going to Peter House, in Zimbabwe... also boarding.
YES! This was the VERY FIRST TIGER caught in the five days! I sure let them ALL know I caught the first one!  I'm way too competitive not to maximise whatever I can  ;) 
Our "Floating Caravan" as Micaela called it!  The Djoya. Can take a maximum of 12, and really quite a cleverly designed monohul.
JohnD was the only one to catch a "bottle nose", quite an interesting fish!  He also "won" for getting the biggest tiger and bream!  Michael won for the biggest Cat Fish! AND the MOST FISH TOTAL!  He is a fishing monster... reeling them in one after the other. Just has the touch.
JohnD and Michael with Stanley, the Captain.  He certainly was amazing in his patience with us all, helping bait our hooks, unhook our fish, and continually coming up with plans to catch more FISH! 
Well, we are "nose to the grindstone" now, in preparation for our annual Feb USA marketing trip. We drop the children both at Merensky tomorrow morning, and thus begins a new era in our lives.
I hope to convince JohnD to put his uniform on ... so that I can get a picture for you all!