The Sound of Music, or how to reach a comfortable compromise

9 Mar

After much discussion, where my husband and I disagreed on whether we should go or not, we compromised and decided not to go to the theatre to watch the Sound of Music. I was the one rooting for ‘not going’. It wasn’t that I did not want to go – I love the theatre, any kind of show: ballet, opera, plays, musical, one-man show – but rather, it was the financial exercise that was more of a stumbling block. My husband calls me stingy. I like to think of myself more as a ‘conservative spender’.

Killian, baffled.

Killian, baffled.

My daughter and I have been to the theatre together before. We used to take her to the ballet every December, we went to Potted Potter last year (which we absolutely loved loved loved!!) and recently we went to Sleeping Beauty on Ice (freebie tickets, mind you) What a thrill!! But my boys have never experienced the theatre yet, except for children’s theatre. My reasoning for not taking them to Sound of Music was that I was not convinced I wanted to pay R300 for a ticket to take them to a two and a half hour play, and have them moan half way through the show because they are bored, tired or both. Call me stingy, I don’t really care!

Then, a friend gifted us with two tickets to go and watch the Sound of Music. What is that? Didn’t my friend know that we had found a comfortable compromise already? My husband and I had reached a decision to ‘not go’, but now the discussion was back on the table. “You go with one of the boys” I said, being totally selfless and loving and kind. No, the husband said. I really think we must take all the kids. ALL the kids? ALL the kids.

Matt, all dressed up.

Matt, all dressed up.

So reaching a new settlement in deciding to ‘ALL go’, we booked three extra tickets. Given that we couldn’t book the three extra tickets next to the gifted two, I nagged enough and we chose seats that were slightly more towards the back and therefore cheaper. I also convinced Phillip that the three boys should sit together while the two civilised girls will watch the show peacefully (thank you selfless husband).

I was so sure that this theatre experience would backfire on us him, that I even agreed to forfeit a previous bet prize if I was proven wrong in thinking that the boys would not cope. That’s right, my husband owed me – or so I thought.

Thursday 8pm came and excitement rose. Many questions were asked (what, where, when, how long, who and why), they were asked more than once (thank you ADHD child for testing my patience at every corner). And finally Artscape, here we came.

The show was amazing. The singing is breath-taking (the main nun… what a voice!), the acting is of a very high-standard, the decor is very well done and the story is beautifully arranged. We laughed, we cried, we clapped, we stood up and clapped some more. The boys’ first experience to the theatre could not have been better selected. I’m so glad my husband knows better than me, sometimes. Words can not do justice to the show and, if you can afford it, and if it won’t create discord within your family, spoil yourself, go and enjoy this show. You won’t regret it!!

Léa. Waiting in anticipation

Léa, waiting in anticipation and reading from the other spectators’ program.

Did I mention that I forfeited a bet?? Well for this time, I didn’t mind being proven wrong.

Just this time.

Holiday beaches

7 Jan

I choose this rainy day to start a few quick posts about the December holidays. They were just here, I swear I smelled them. They are now finished. Swoosh, just like that! Anticipation of Ouma and Oupa arriving, excitement at seeing cousin Cleoné and a few weeks later, those are already memories.

This year we actually managed a few outings to the beach (It is hard to get to the beach when you have a solar-heated pool at home ok!)

We (re)discovered Noordhoek beach (Phillip and I go there every 14 years).

Building sandmen

Building sandmen

African dancing

African dancing

Chased by the sea

Chased by the sea

Captivated by sand

Captivated by sand

A warm pool of cousins

A warm pool of cousins

Taming the untameable calm  lagoon

Taming the untameable calm lagoon

A mother in the making

A mother in the making

Irresistible grin

Irresistible grin

Deciding on the target

Deciding on the target

My favourite mopkop

My favourite mopkop

We also visited Hout Bay beach. Kids love the dunes there.

National sport: dune-climbing

National sport: dune-climbing

... I'm not sure what they're doing, but it looks pretty cool

… I’m not sure what they’re doing, but it looks pretty cool

Life support. Holding hands.

Life support. Holding hands.

Joyful

Joyful

Ecstatic (Léa's favourite word at the moment)

Ecstatic (Léa’s favourite word at the moment)

Joyful. 2

Joyful. 2

Proof: Killian and I were there. Love the background.

Proof: Killian and I were there.
Love the background.

 

Finding the right builder

5 Dec

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is said that getting married, moving house and starting a new job are some of the most stressful phases of life. Some people would add doing renovations as number 4 on their list. Given our previous experiences, I would probably agree.

In our previous house, we extended our lounge by claiming the patio space. It was stressful. Mostly because I gave birth to my second child while they were finishing later than expected and Phillip was frantically cleaning the house so that my newborn son would not die of fine-dust-overdose.

In our new house, we moved our kitchen to the central area of our house. I don’t even want to talk about that experience. While I wasn’t giving birth to any child at the time, I certainly wished I could have. Sadly the builder was a bit of a nightmare. Besides being disorganised, he had no idea of the concept of budgeting, and we ended that project with the builder owing us money. The work was of a good enough quality in spite of little mess-ups, but I felt more like a counsellor to the builder whose life was as messy as my son’s cupboard and needed a debrief when it was all over!

Needless to say that when I told Phillip that we should do the renovations we had been talking about for a couple of years, he looked at me strangely. And after persuading him that it was the right time, after many many many hours (on his side) spent on the excel spreadsheet budgeting to a T, we decided that this would be my project to manage. Yikes!!! It would be a steep curve for me as Phillip is the one usually taking charge. 

My first step was to find the right builder, and that would not be from the yellow pages – like the previous one. A reference from friends, in my opinion, is the way to go. My friend Renette had just redone her kitchen and was really happy with her builder, who happened to be in her Bible study group: a friend reference AND a Christian? That’s a good start. Jeremy came to give us a quote and his prices were more than reasonable.

Now without boring everyone to death with details of what, when and where, for the next four weeks our house was transformed into, well, a building site.

Léa’s bedroom, before and after: The wall where the door is, in the first picture, has been moved by about 1 meter, claiming the space of the passage that ran behind. It made the bedroom more spacious. The floors were redone and there are still shelves yet to be done on the small orange piece of wall.

photo 1

The boys’ bedroom, before and after: The little piece of wall on the right hand side next to the door was removed. The door was moved by a meter to the left, again claiming the space of the passage running behind. The second window that is now part of the boys’ room used to be part of the entrance. My highlight is that my boys can now have single beds, as opposed to bunk beds. They can make their own bed and have taken complete ownership of what their bedroom looks like. It’s the tidiest they have ever been. For some reasons, it also meant that Killian, who was always freaked out at the idea of going to his room on his own, is somehow not scared anymore. Big big step for him! He can now relax on his bed, reading his books ON HIS OWN!!!

IMG_0985

photo 3

photo 4

photo 5

 

 

Bathroom, before and after: this was difficult as this bathroom is tiny. We wanted to get rid of the bath and install a shower so that the kids can use this bathroom instead of ours (messing our bedroom up, having pillow fights while waiting for their turn). Countless measurements later, we could only just fit toilet-basin-shower all in a row. Plumbing was a bit tricky but that was the builder’s problem! Pfew!

IMG_0986

photo 1

photo 2

 

Those are only pictures of the finished work and yes it goes without saying that we are absolutely thrilled with the results. The job has been done beautifully and I would choose Jeremy over any other builders without hesitation. These are some of the other reasons why I would completely and utterly recommend Jeremy Louw (because being a friend of a friend and a Christian doesn’t make you a good builder!):

* Jeremy is extremely well organised. When he said “Monday this happens”, lo and behold, it happened. He knew in advance what part of the job had to be done and it was planned and executed on time.

* The first part of the job was carried out by Jeremy’s foreman. A man named Tony, taking pride in his work, with 30 years of experience behind him, very friendly and considerate, speaking kindly to his 2 workers. One of the workers, Lange, had the most amusing laugh, a bit like a cartoon character. I loved hearing him joke around and laugh with the other worker. (The point here is that because the workers are well treated, they are happy workers!). One day, Tony and the 2 guys had to stay much later because Phillip and I changed our mind on something. They stayed until they finish their work properly, still chatting to us with a smile on their lips.

* The same workers came for the whole length of the project. That might sound insignificant but it meant that the workers were trustworthy and I could leave my house while they were still working and not fear that things would go missing. It also meant that the workers are skilled workers, they know what they’re doing and they’re doing it well. 

* Even though Jeremy was dealing with other projects at the same time, he still came around several times a day to make sure that everything was going according to plan, bringing and removing stuff as needed, even checking that I was not going bananas with noise, dust and disruptions while trying to school my kids. It does install an atmosphere of confidence that I don’t have to worry about the work because Jeremy is in charge.

So, good price, excellent service, reliable timing and great quality of work… If you’re looking for a builder, feel free to contact Jeremy Louw at jeremylouw@gmail.com

And just for a disclaimer, I don’t get any discount for bragging about Jeremy unashamedly 🙂

 

 

Full of grace, seasoned with salt.

7 Oct

A couple of weeks ago, a blog post was written about the attitude of young girls on Facebook. The writer described how teenage girls’ selfies are a stumbling block to her growing sons and that sadly, (girl)friends on Facebook who will display inappropriate photos will have to be unfriended. Her blog post went viral and created mixed emotions around the world. It certainly generated discussions in my neighborhood and was a main topic at my daughter’s birthday party (among the parents, not the children!)

The writer’s intention was not to hurt anyone’s feelings nor to be judgemental. Her intention was not – but the impact was unfortunately not what she intended. Her post was considered by some to be unkind and judgemental; for me, it made me reflect on whether it truly reflected who we want to be as Christians.

Part of our discussion here in my house was around the question: how would you have done it? Was it just a matter of tone? Should she have chosen different words?

My initial reaction when I read her post was to be angry and frustrated. I am a Christian woman and a mother and I have real concerns over what is accessible on the internet. I have two young boys and the idea of helping and teaching them to keep their mind pure is, at times, overwhelming. I have a daughter and the task of teaching and showing her to ground her identity in Christ and not in the fleeting values of this world is, at times, overwhelming. I too, feel my blood pressure rise when I see teenage kids doing the exact opposite of what I would want for, or what is helpful to my own children. I too, feel like walking up to them and say “really….???”.

But then I go back 20 years ago, and I remember that teenage girl that wore tight pants and low-cut tee-shirts. I remember that teenage girl that would have done anything to attract the boys attention, just because it felt good, just because she needed to be accepted and loved and she didn’t know any other way of doing it. She didn’t know that there was a God who loved her a thousand times more than any man looking at her with lustful eyes. If somebody had said to her “If you dress like that, you cannot be friends with my family”, she would have felt judged and misunderstood. She would have felt alone and angry. She certainly would not have tried to understand where that somebody was coming from. She would have been taken away from an opportunity to know Jesus – the one who accepts even the prostitute.

The day I gave my life to Jesus was the day I understood that He had always loved me unconditionally. And on that day, I was probably wearing inappropriate clothes.

So how would I have done it? Was it just a matter of tone and different words?

There are no words kind enough to reject the outsider based on his behaviour. There is no tone gentle enough to judge the outsider. 1 Corinthians 5 puts it so simply: “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside”. The word of God has so many beautiful things to say to those who still try to find love, acceptance and purpose in the things of this world.  I have been given a precious gift to share with the girl who is selling herself so short on her public profile. Would not the knowledge that the Lord loves her as she is be more life-changing than the knowledge that her clothes are too skimpy? It is tempting to enforce our moral compass on the people outside our faith, but how disastrous an effect it has on them.

The Lord has not called me to control their behaviour. He asks me to control my own, and He has given me the responsibility to teach my boys how to control their own. I cannot blame the girls’ dressing code for my boys’ lustful thoughts.(Would that not be a lost battle anyway??) No, my boys need to learn to take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. They need to know deep in their heart that the lasting beauty of a woman does not only lie in her bosom (because let’s be honest, some of her beauty is in her bosom!) but more importantly in her heart where she nurtures Jesus.

I know that the responsibility is on my boys’ shoulders. However, I also know that, until my boys reach a certain level of discernment, I will monitor their online presence, unfriending people with questionable profiles if it helps them. I want my boys to grow to the point where they find the quiet confidence to detach themselves from the girls whose selfies make it too hard for them not to stumble in their thoughts. I want them to know in their hearts that the Lord values women so much that He would hate for them to have a distorted view of them by looking at their ‘sexy’ pictures and lust after them. Until they are mature enough, I have the responsibility to guide and encourage them.

If my responsibility to outsiders is to present to them how wonderful the Gospel is, a lot of thought is to be put into my online presence.The widespread online media makes it that much more difficult to act and react in a way that brings glory to the Lord’s name. Social networks are a knife with a very sharp blade. Sometimes we cut more than we intended. Most of us have good intentions for doing or writing the things we do. But sometimes, good motives aren’t enough. The only stumbling block to someone’s view of the Lord should be the Lord Himself, not our pet-peeves and rantings.

Let us be bold of the Gospel, of Jesus who forgives, of the Lord who loves, of the undeserved gift that He freely gives us.

His word will bring conviction and repentance.

Not ours.

Pets: when you can’t say no anymore

6 Oct

We are not a pet family. In almost 13 years of marriage, we barely had a forced cat-adoption, a mutant bunny and a hamster that mysteriously disappeared.

I feel that I need to insert a disclaimer at this point to make sure you don’t think that we hate or hurt animals. Our dear cat chose to come stay with us and abandoned her previous owners (surely that speaks well of us, right?) and puberty had the better of the bunny who nearly removed Phillip’s finger before escaping. As for the hamster, while we’re still wondering how he got out of his cage, his body was discovered floating in our pool.

With our kids growing up, we get the occasional “Can we please have – insert flavour of the month – for a pet?”, to which we obviously respond with a “Hmm, let’s think about that” (which means over-my-dead-body). It usually quickly gets forgotten. However, lately, Léanna has been persistent with her idea of having a dwarf rabbit (I guess all this talk about being perseverant did sink in. Darn it!) Fortunately, in spite of my recurrent bunny-from-hell nightmare, I’m not entirely against the idea of owning a Thumper. So we eventually agreed that she could have one for her birthday.

Some reeeeaaaaally cool people in our Bible Study (they’ll be so happy to be mentioned here, they’re my biggest only blog-fan!!!) love DIY jobs and are really good at it. In the same way that I take a book to relax, he builds things in his garage. Besides, they are also bunny-lovers (they don’t have kids, that’s why…) and lately he’s been building rabbit-hutches for Africa. So naturally, I’ve asked politely, in my very non-subtle French way if he would perhaps build a hutch for us; and because they are such great people, they freely gave away their entire Sunday afternoon to come and build with not only the most non-DIY people in the neighbourhood but also with our two boys “helping” – and by helping, I mean “hindering”.

Now by now, you should know that I sometimes exaggerate. So no, we are not completely hopeless, my boys are not so bad and they are not that cool!!

IMG_9130

IMG_9135

IMG_9139

IMG_9144

Miko, a very patient (and a little cool) teacher

Miko, a very patient (and a little cool) teacher, with my 2 kids in front and a 3rd one hiding behind, all posing very proudly.

So here we are, with a rustic homemade hutch. I love the rugged look: planks are not completely straight, there is a gap at the back and the roof is not fixed but I would have it no other way. The boys were very proud of their work, Léa was very excited and I am very thankful to Miko and Mary for making this project happen.

All we need now is a bunny… but more of that in another post!

The door in the wall

4 Oct

The-door-in-the-wall

 “If thou followeth a wall far enough, there must be a door in it.”

A door in the wall.

Doors can be mystical, revealing a secret or keeping it safe. We have a new door, a door in our wall. I’m not talking about the book but of a literal door.

Recognise the door of the mathematician by the equation, of the French by the, hum, french writing,  and of the children by the half-erased markings.

Recognise the door of the mathematician by the equation, of the French by the, hum, french writing, and of the children by the half-erased markings.

Seven years of living in our house and we followed the wall far enough to put in a door leading from our bedroom to our bathroom. The irony is when we moved in, there was a door. Maybe the lock on the outside (!!!) felt so oppressing that we removed lock and door together.

It is nice to close it when I want privacy, even though it doesn’t stop my children in their footsteps. It is also another artefact on which my OCD husband can (hyper)focus on. “Did you close the door?”, “Why didn’t you close the door?” are his famous last words in the evening – but I love him so.

Our door is back, the true door of an applied-science-of-mathematical-statistician (Is that right honey?), a french chick and a few half-bred children!

Drama party

28 Sep

Léa has been doing drama for a few years and it has become one of her highlights in the week. Last month it was her birthday, and going from a superhero party (don’t ask me where it came from) to a hamper party (which excited her – and me – as much as going to the dentist) to no party at all, I finally had a lightbulb moment and thought of a drama party! It turned out to be the easiest party to organise and probably the one that she enjoyed the most.

The idea with our drama party was to put into practice everybody’s acting skills. Most children are drama queens anyway, so it was  a matter of putting structure around these theatrical little people.

We started with a few rounds of charade to get warmed up.

Stella acting ‘going to bed’,

IMG 9177

Léa acting ‘catching a big fish’,
IMG 9188

Rachel acting ‘a hook’,

IMG 9205

and Kiera wondering how to act something that seemed to scare her 🙂

IMG 9210

Our second short game challenged them to line up first according to height, then in alphabetical order of their first name. All that without being allowed to speak! They struggled a bit with all the ‘Ks’: Killian, Kaira, Kiera, Katie!!

IMG 9227

They clearly needed some fresh air by then. We went outside where they had to act according to how they feel about words I told them.

Here they are expressing their feelings about ‘bananas’: one happy chap, others…not so much,

IMG 9231

their feelings about monsters (not sure about Léa here),

IMG 9236

and their feelings about birthdays.

IMG 9247

We then moved on to acting different emotions. Rachel and Kaira being sad,

IMG 9253

IMG 9255

Kiera, Dayna and Léa being tired,

IMG 9260

Killian and Matt being angry (my boys are familiar with this feeling as you can see by their great acting face),

IMG 9265

IMG 9266

Cass and Kaira being bored (to death for Kaira it seems),

IMG 9269

IMG 9272

and Katie showing surprise.

IMG 9278

After some well-deserved refreshments, the part that Léa had been looking forward to for weeks and weeks was a showcase of a short scene. She wrote a script of an argument scene between four people (a convenient writing assignment for school taken care of). The kids were then split into 2 teams and each team had to prepare and perform their scene in a different style.

Here they are preparing their lines (so professional).

Team 1: Léa, Kiera, Kaira and Rachel

Team 2: Dayna, Stella, Katie and Cass

Team 1 was given the style Downton Abbey – british and aristocratic (Yes, Léa might have watched an episode or two…).

IMG 9307

IMG 9310

Team 2 was given hip-hop style – the yoyo-dude and what’s up-sister style. They definitely looked the part!

IMG 9317

IMG 9321

They really had a lot of fun all together, a real creative and teamwork outlet for a 10 year-old birthday party.

IMG 9328

‘Tis the season…

14 Aug

The season of birthday parties has started. And by ‘season’, I mean ‘curse’ (probably an exaggeration…).

My youngest has turned 7 in June. That in itself is a curse. What’s up with that? It would be a totally depressing time if ‘having no kids under 7’ did not come with some advantages.

Here are 3 benefits from having kids 7 up:

1. This birthday party was a total pleasure to organise because I didn’t have to organise it. A couple of weeks ago, my 3 children went into their room and became very quiet. Like an other parent would think, I assumed they were up to no good and prepared myself psychologically to what the extent of the damage might be (they hit each other with bats, they dissected a dead rat, they made a homemade explosive device… who knows? The possibilities are endless!). No! They sat down and organised Matty’s party all by themselves: the theme, the cake, the games, the program of the day.  Is this what comes with children older than 6? Bring it on, I say!

2. It seems that my friends are desperate to give us more board games. I think they know I barely handle them but they want to challenge me  – who needs enemies with friends like them, right? We received 2 ‘family games’ this birthday. And you know what? It ain’t that bad. I developed a hatred of board games over the years simply because my one child is unable to cope with the frustration of losing. It makes the experience for everyone an absolute nightmare. But I’ve noticed great improvement. It gets better. It does!!! We’ve played Go Fish, Rummikub, Monopoly, 30 Seconds and Mille Bornes (a French card game that brings me right back to when I was 10, camping with my cousins!!) and we all came out almost unscathed! Be encouraged!!

3. Having kids older than 7 also means that if you play it right, they can be your mini-slaves. “Can you bring me a glass of water”,  “Please won’t you fetch my phone. It is … somewhere in the house” or “Let’s see who can carry the most logs of wood… and while you’re at it, fill the fireplace with them!” have become recurrent phrases in our home. And they can do it, without breaking the glass, come back empty handed or with a splinter in their hand. Almost every time.

4. I couldn’t come up with a 4th benefit.

Let’s be honest: while the 7 and up stage brings its fair share of exciting moments, I miss not having to carry any of my babies anymore.

French kids don’t have ADHD? Well, mine does.

22 Jun

An article from Psychology Today was published last year. It was called “Why French kids don’t have ADHD” and it resurfaced a couple of weeks ago on Facebook.

http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/suffer-the-children/201203/why-french-kids-dont-have-adhd

Now you might not know me at all or maybe just a little but you should at least know these 2 things about me:

1. I’m french.

2. I have a kid with ADHD.

Obviously, it appears to be a shaky start for the writer of this article because I am the living proof that French kids can have ADHD. Maybe it is because we live in a plagued-by-ADD South Africa, or maybe because we are the exception to the rule – since French love exceptions. 

A few of my friends shared that article with me and wanted to know whether it’s true (Don’t they know the first 2 things about me??) My first two reactions were:

1. Mwahahahahahahahahaha! (after reading the title)

2. Roll of the eyes (after reading the article)

But being french with an ADHD kid, I felt compelled to look deeper into the article.

Marylin Wedge, the writer of the article, starts by comparing how ADHD is labeled differently in the US and in France. On one hand, the US  call it a biological disorder, treated with medication like Ritalin, while in France, it is considered a  psychological disorder, treated with counselling. The difference is ‘treating the symptoms’ vs ‘treating the cause/ root of the problem’, the difference between ‘chemical’and ‘psychological’.

I don’t really want to dissect the article (you’re disappointed, I know!) because the topic of ADHD is so vast and so controversial that even after reading up so much on it, even after living with an ADHD boy for 8 years, I don’t feel like I have enough knowledge to do it justice. However, reading the writer’s observations about the french way of raising children (2nd-hand observations, taken from a french book), it made me think about what I observed; first, as a French person raised the ‘French way’ and second, as a mother of an ADHD precious boy.

The part of her article that makes me uncomfortable is when she states that French kids are better behaved than American ones.

French kids are awesome. I wish I had one.

French kids are awesome. I wish I had one.

I would argue that it is debatable. The French society is without a doubt much less permissive than the American one. When I go back to France for holidays, I am always reminded (‘shocked’ is a more accurate word) of all the rules – said or assumed – that my children are expected to follow. Starting with wearing shoes (winter or summer), not walking more than 3 feet away from me, not climbing, jumping, leaning over or reaching for anything higher that their knee-level, sitting quietly at a restaurant, not speaking too loud or making sudden moves… I find that often kids have to live through the old adage of ‘being seen, not heard’. In my observations, the discipline that the writer mentions is not a thought-through decision taken for the sake of the child but rather a discipline enforced when the child’s behaviour becomes inconvenient for the parents.

Every child is off to school from 3 years old until 18, 8.30am to 4.30pm, 4 and a half day a week. If they are not ‘Sage comme une image’ ( literally ‘as well-behaved as a picture’), they’ll quickly learn. The way kids were brought up 50 years ago is the way that they are raised today because, after all, why change something that worked so well at the beginning of last century?

It might seem strange that I would take a stab at the french way of raising children. Being French myself, I’m sure that I have – consciously or not – adopted some of the French behaviour, even when it comes to raising kids. A friend of mine has been incredibly helpful when my kids were younger, reminding me that it should be an age-appropriate discipline. In other words, expect a 2 year old to behave like a 2 year old!

The writer seems to imply that this strict discipline is what saved France from the ADHD that afflicted other countries.

For me personally, I rewind a couple of years: the year my son turned 5, the year we took the decision to try out Ritalin for our ADHD son. A decision not taken lightly, a decision that came after taking him out of his preschool because the teacher asked us to, a decision that came after having him assessed by a paediatric neurologist, a decision taken after realising the impact that his behaviour had on the rest of our family, a decision taken not just for my sake, but also for his.

When parents – and I include myself – find that no strategic parenting style seems to work the way it should, when your child is unable to sit still long enough to learn, when his relationships with friends, siblings and parents suffer because of his lack of impulse control… when these parents turn to the help of Ritalin for the sake of not only the ADHD child but also everyone else in the family, I cannot but roll my eyes at this kind of article.

I do not know whether the french society has less ADHD kids or whether they suppress their symptoms and spirits through rules and punishment. What I know for certain is that there is a place for Ritalin for those overwhelmed children who suffer academically, socially and emotionally. I know for certain that Ritalin brought balance into my son’s life and into our home and I know for certain that he is grateful that there is a medication out there to help him control his emotions.

I know what I aimed to achieve when I put my son on Ritalin. I am confused as to what the writer aimed to achieve with her article.

Weddings Galore

16 May

We recently attended two very special weddings. Special weddings because people very dear to our hearts got married. And I don’t know about you but I love weddings. I love everything about weddings.

Here are my top 4 reasons why (there are many more reasons but I do have a life so it’s compacted!):

1. Weddings are awesome because I get to dress up, nicely. Heels and everything.

One of the big let down of South Africa has been the lack of opportunities to dress up. You would think that Christmas, New Year’s eve, and birthday party dinners are all events where we dress nicely…Well, you’d be wrong. Here in SA, they are only another excuse to braai more meat. Back in France, a Sunday lunch is good enough to take out your sexy blouse and your stilettos. Fortunately, weddings managed to pull through even in laid-back-SA and people still dress up. So in the space of 2 weekends, the husband and I (and the kids!!!) could clean up good and look like this:

Léa as a flower girl and me as a dressed up happy woman.

Léa as a flower girl and me, a happy woman, all dressed up.

The really handsome boys, tie and all.

The really handsome boys, tie and all.

The nervous groom and the best man aka my beaaaauutiful husband.

The nervous groom and the best man aka my beaaaauutiful husband.

 

2. I love weddings because it challenges you to think about the promises of love that were made however many years ago. Those sweet promises are staring at you in the face and asking ‘So??!! How is that selfish behaviour of yours doing??’ and there is no escape! Weddings are a great place to ask yourself how you’ve loved your spouse lately, and while you might shift uncomfortably in your seat, there are two love birds up front saying ‘I do’ thinking that the hard work was planning the wedding. Mwahahahah!!!!

Matty, already pondering the meaning of marriage (not really, I just love this pic)

Matty, already pondering the meaning of marriage (not really, I just love this pic)

 

3. Weddings are also exciting because it’s good food, that not only is for free but it has also been prepared for you!! Life – As good as it gets! Any food that I don’t have to prepare myself is fantastic food. I’m not going to add a picture to illustrate because, really, who takes pictures of food!!! As for this blog, you can just imagine the ‘filet’, the ‘lamb stew’ and the ‘chocolat fondant’. It speaks louder than any photos. But if you do need a picture of the food, contact Lauren. She takes great pics of the food she makes 😉 (Lauren, I love you and the picture of your bobotie. Really I do!!)

4. Finally, weddings are an easy way to spend time with some of your favourite people without having to plan anything. Okay, that might not apply to everyone but most weddings that I’ve been to, are people from my church. That means that the biggest part of the invitees are cool cats that I really enjoy seeing!  I get to hang around these cool cats (whether they like it or not!) for a whole evening.

Great friends!

Great friends!

Precious Melies

Precious Melies!!

photo 3-1

My silly Andy Pandy…

Basically all the girls of our Bible study!!!! Great girls all around! (Notice how Lauren and I, the shortest girls are the one crouching. We are basically the crouching tigers)

Basically all the girls of our Bible study!!!! Great girls all around! (Notice how Lauren and I, the shortest girls are the ones crouching. We are basically the crouching tigers)

 

And those are 4 great reasons to love weddings!! There are no more weddings that we’ve been invited to for now, but we’re always happy to gate-crush. That’s how servant-hearted we are 🙂

 

 

%d bloggers like this: