Two weekends ago we were out and about on the Saturday furniture shopping (Chantelle was working, so it was during her split), a completely pointless task if you have a toddler and a four year old tagging along, because invariably they quickly get bored and you end up being more busy getting them to stop touching things than actually looking at the furniture and making a decision!
Needless to say, we didn’t buy any furniture. (Though I do think that I may have spotted the lounge table I’m quite interested in buying. Plus, I continue to shudder at the thought of just how much money Poco must be losing in that horribly located new megastore of theirs… yeah, not so sure about that one.)
Anyway, in the end, we settled for a nice coffee break and play time with the kids at Mondeor Restaurant instead:
We don’t get to see my Mom and Dad that often, so it was quite a nice surprise to get a phone call from them asking if they could pop in for a visit on Sunday. Instead, I suggested that they join us earlier for a nice Sunday afternoon braai, which pleasingly they accepted.
Needless to say, Jessica was particularly thrilled to have Grandpa and Granny around for the day in her own backyard! :)
And although we kind of forgot to take some nice pictures on a Sunday well spent, I thought it worth including these couple that I got when we popped in at Mom’s house a week or so earlier when we were in the area (Dad and Ryan were out playing golf):
So yeah, always nice when the family drop by here in our little corner of the woods! :)
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I forgot to mention that a fair couple of weeks ago, Jessica was in for a right treat when Monty prepared a bed of soil for her and tasked her with planting her very own green bean garden patch.
Of course, the actual planting was quite stressful for oupa Monty as he continuously reminded Jessica not to push the seeds down too deep, not to cover them with so much soil, not to press on them so much, not to give them so much water, etc.
Nevertheless, each and every little bean was planted, patted and watered, and two weeks later I brought the girls back so that Jessica could inspect her gardening project.
Thankfully, the beans had all sprouted and were standing quite proud and tall – exactly what a little blonde princess might have been expecting!
Emily on the other hand couldn’t be bothered with the whole bean planting exercise. She was more than happy to continue being swung in Monty’s fun makeshift milk crate swing!
So with beans now mastered, I wonder what gardening project is up next from Oupa and Ouma Montgomery? ;)
I found this Word document dating back to 2004 in my archives, and in an effort to preserve it I have decided to now post it online. This is the eulogy that I read out at my grandfather’s (mother’s father) memorial service just after he passed away.
Stefanus Cristoffel Bothma (Fanie) – Eulogy, Wednesday 7th January 2004
Stefanus Cristoffel Bothma. Or Grandpa Sedgefield as he was known to us kids all the years. There is a lot that I can say about this special man, but I probably don’t have all the words I want to use, or the time to say it all. Perhaps I should start with a poem by Henry Scott Holland. He probably sums up death the best and this poem in particular is special to the family for other reasons as well. It’s called “In Deepest Sympathy”.
Death is nothing at all.
I have only slipped away into the next room.
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other,
that we still are.
Call me by my old familiar name,
Speak to me in the easy way which you
Put no difference in your tone,
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed,
At the little jokes we enjoyed together.
Pray, smile, think of me, pray for me.
Let my name be ever the household word
It always was, let it be spoken without effect,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.
Life means all that it ever meant.
It is the same as it ever was;
There is unbroken continuity.
Why should I be out of mind because I am
out of sight?
I am waiting for you, for an interval,
Somewhere very near, just around the corner.
All is well
He is waiting for us, somewhere very near. Just around the corner. Grandpa Sedgefield, or Grumps as I used to call him, was probably one of the kindest, gentlest of men you would meet. Very unlike his fiery red-headed appearance, Grumps almost never raised his voice nor spoke a word in anger. He always did his utmost to help people in need, no matter who they were.
A loving husband, he and Gran were married for 51 years. It would have been 52 in March. It was a loving friendship and relationship that stood the test of time – and brought many wonderful memories and moments with it.
Grumps was a very meticulous and thorough person. He was also very dedicated, and if he started something then he would see it through to the end. He worked for the post office for his whole life, and made many friends amongst his colleagues. He was a hard worker and a respected man. He was also a very cleanly man, and I remember that if there was a bit of fluff or dirt on your shirt, then he would lean over and remove it for you. He hated to see things out of place, and even now at the retirement home, he would walk around picking up things off the floor and giving it to the nursing staff to get rid of. With him everything had a time and place of its own and it was an ordered universe in which he lived.
He was a very helpful person, and Granny can’t even begin to remember how many people he would stop to help alongside the road, pulling their cars along when they got stuck with his trusty old Toyota Corona bakkie. Talking about cars, Grandpa was really passionate about his vehicles. One of his first cars that he owned when Granny met him was an old Morgan sports car. To this day Gran’s not sure whether she fell in love with Grandpa or with the car first. The car I will remember him the most for was his old Corona bakkie. He saw this old thing parked at the apartments where my mom and dad were staying and instantly fell in love with it. Gran and the rest of the family couldn’t understand it. It back had completely rusted off, so it looked more like a truck without a trailer. Still he persevered and managed to buy this thing off its owner. We don’t even think it was for sale at that time. Anyway, he fixed it up and had a wooden back-end fitted. This bakkie took him everywhere, and us grand kids had great fun on its back.
My mom remembers her dad of course as any daughter would. But she also remembers in particular how helpful he was when she and Ronnie first got married and moved out. Grumps went out of his way to help them and show my dad the tricks to DIY. Grandpa was a very practical person, and his garage was always packed with tools – all on their specially marked out places of course! He loved his woodwork, and I can remember him making all sorts of toys for us.
I remember my Grandpa as the great man that he was. I remember the time he spent with us grand kids, how he would take us for drives and walks, how we would sit staring over the Sedgefield Lagoon or run over the sand dunes. I remembering snuggling up against him late nights and watching the Lone Ranger riding into the sunset. He was a special man and we loved him dearly.
A good way to end this is by remembering his greatest passion during the year. He was an avid Formula One fan and wouldn’t miss a single race. He was a great Michael Schumacher fan and no matter how much I made fun of it, his man always seemed to win. Like Formula One, life is a race, and Grandpa has finally completed it. I think he won – but to him it was probably just the joy of taking part that kept him going. We love you and miss you. But we know that you will always be close by.
A couple of weekends ago I entertained myself (Chantelle was on duty) by taking Jessica out for the day to Bellville and Kuilsriver, with the express purpose of squeezing in visits with all the family that I could manage, making sure to grab a photo of each and every encounter.
My first stop was with Great Granny Bothma, who wasted no time in joining Jessica down on the floor, where the two of them spent some quality for the next while, during which I caught up on news, changed a nappy, showed off Jess to all the neighbours, and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee with snacks.
Next up was Great Granny Lotter, who immediately grabbed Jessie from me and proceeded to hold on to her for just about the entire duration of the visit, in which I caught up on news, prepared a bottle, and enjoyed a nice cup of coffee with snacks!
From there it was on to Granny and Grandpa Lotter, who weren’t at home when we arrived, meaning that I ended up feeding Jessica in the car. As per usual Grandpa quickly latched on to young Jess once they finally made it home, and outside of some great quality time spent with Granny and Grandpa, Jessie caught a nap, we had lunch, and of course, caught up on all the news!
With enough time left in the day for just one more visit, it was off to Granny and Grandpa Montgomery, who also instantly latched onto young Jess, pretty much taking over and affording my a moment to quickly pop out to the shops – after all the news was caught up on, coffee had, and the obligatory baby nap taken!
So really not bad for a full day’s worth of visiting with the family, wouldn’t you say? ;)
This weekend we got our visiting groove back on, despite the fact that Chantelle was called in to work to take care of Saturday night dinner and Sunday morning breakfast on what was supposed to be her off weekend. Oh well, what can one do, at least we got some leftovers out of the deal, meaning that she hasn’t had to cook on Monday or Tuesday evening thus far! :)
Whilst Friday evening was more about playing with Jessie, taking a break from our eating plan that we’ve been on for some time now (with some delicious home made chips and burgers in case you were wondering), and of course watching violent animated fare in the form of Hulk vs. Wolverine and Hulk vs. Thor, Saturday was a completely different kettle of fish as we made our way through to Bellville, in separate cars (oh woe is my pocket), after dealing with all the usual wonderful Saturday morning chores.
Taking full advantage of the beautiful weather we had been blessed with, I joined Robert at Wagner’s Golf Academy for a round of 18 on their little mashie course (more on this later), while Chantelle and Jessie enjoyed brunch with Oupa and Ouma. Of course, she had to leave for Gordon’s Bay early afternoon already, but with Jessica safely in the care of Monty and Cheryl, I took advantage of the eager babysitters and popped in for a solo visit with Ryan (where I also caught the Bulls vs Western Province game for good measure). With the day pretty much done, it was then time for Jessie and I to make the long trip home (with a quick stop at the KFC drive-through seeing as Chantelle would only be home much, much later), followed by the whole baby bedtime routine.
Sunday kicked off with a bath for the snot-covered, sleepy-eyed Jessie whilst Chantelle was back at work on breakfast duty, followed by another lock up of Country Mews as we made our way through to Bellville (again), though at least it was in one car this time around! :)
First stop was to Granny and Grandpa’s house, seeing as they had signed on for their very first babysitting gig, and after a whirlwind round of instructions and reassurances, it was off to Monty and Cheryl’s pad (who had been usurped as the day’s babysitters thanks to the early morning SMS plea from Mom and Dad) to pick up Zania’s birthday gifts which we had left with them on Saturday.
After that whirlwind stop, it was back on the N1 as we made our way up to Dean and Zania’s pad in Kraaifontein, with me driving for a change but still completely lost as all Hell (thank goodness for Chantelle’s sense of direction I tell you)! There it was a get together of all the friends (Damen and Michelle, Evan and Natasha, Karl-Heinz and Trish, Ryan, and of course the hosts Dean, Zania and little Zandea), paired with copious amounts of nibbles, cake and tart, one broken plate courtesy of my buttocks (apparently), and of course two guinea pigs, one of which made it out of the cage and into the awaiting arms of Karl, who seems to have some sort of a connection with furry animals (or at least one which I have now just made up).
It was an excellent catch up session with everyone, though we did eventually have to say our goodbyes and sneak out, hitting a dog with our car in the process, before we managed to even exit the complex! As for the dog(?), it appeared from nowhere, ran into/under our car, and then sprinted off again, so no idea how it is doing (or what it even is – didn’t see it!), though by the sound of the impact, I honestly wouldn’t be surprised if it is now dead. So not a great thing to happen, no.
Anyway, not dwelling on that unfortunate incident, we then headed back down to Bellville, where we proceeded to fit in a quality visit with Granny and Grandpa, who by all accounts had thoroughly enjoyed their day with Jessica, which had even included a long pram stroll with Dad around the neighbourhood and a visit from the pair of Great Grannies to boot! Of course, this being a Sunday evening meant that Chantelle simply had to have Idols running in the background (The Soap Girls? Seriously, did anyone see that one coming?), which really wasn’t all that much of a bad thing when you take into the consideration the leftover snoek snackwiches that Dad prepared for us for supper to go along with it!
And that was pretty much that, back home and beddy-time for the lot of us Lotters, bringing to an end what was simply a great weekend of friends, family and cake.
A couple of Sundays ago we were treated to a visit from Mom and Pops, something we hadn’t had for quite a while now. They were quite keen to come and catch up with little Jessica and see the various changes we had made to the house, and even though the chance of seeing Chantelle was pretty slim as she was working on the day, they came through anyway.
As it turned out though, the bosses let Chantelle slip out early and so it was the four of us who could sit down, catch up on all the gossip come late afternoon, and enjoy the yummy mint lammingtons and lemon meringue tartlets that Chantelle had scrounged up for us to partake in.
Of course, as the clock kept ticking, the stay kept extending, and by the time Mom and Dad did eventually say their goodbyes, a good six hours had passed and in that time we had munched on the aforementioned snacks, scoffed down boerewors rolls for supper, drank copious amounts of coffee and cooldrink, enjoyed pancakes for dessert, and thoroughly enjoyed watching Bug’s Life together.
Oh, and looked after Jessie of course! ;)
Anyway, the reason I tell you this is because of the fantastic set of photos Mom and Dad captured of little Jessie, some of which Mom put up on Facebook already. The rest, well the rest I’ll get off Dad’s PC once he finally gets around to cleaning that Conficker virus off his machine!
But in the meantime, here’s a sample of some of the shots they got…
My Mom and Dad came for a visit, and of course, it was activity mat time for Jessica. After all, Grandpa wanted to get some nice shots in! :)
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(Note, just about all family members capable of holding Jessica have now held her. Honestly, she must be starting to feel a bit like a rugby ball with all this passing around!)