Monday, 20 January 2014

Andel's Bush Getaway & Waffle Party

Last Thursday was Andel's birthday, and he was super excited to be turning the big three-oh!
Andel's a strange one when it comes to birthdays: he always wants something done, but not necessarily a party, and he has an insane birthday wish list containing items that he would never buy for anyone, doesn't expect anyone to give him, but secretly, seriously hopes that I will get him.

So we discussed that there would be no more bicycles, no TAG watches, and no overseas trip (we were hoping to celebrate in NYC but that plan fell through late last year, and thankfully so I guess, or we would have been snowed in somewhere!), and instead I decided to treat him to a little birthday getaway: just the two, I mean three, of us.

Waking Daddy with a smile

On the road: while Daddy drives...

...Zac snoozes

We went to a beautiful little game lodge off the R27, just outside of Langebaan, called Thali Thali ( It was the perfect combination of quiet tranquility, luxury camping, and homegrown goodness. My best part though was being together, just us.

Our luxury tent house

The bedroom...

...with a lounge and kitchen area too

At the restaurant, waiting for dinner

19h15 dinner, and the sun is still high in the sky

Andel's steak with homemade bread and farm-fresh veg

Maagie vol, oogies toe!

Zac was amazed by the animals - real and not!

The beginnings of a gorgeous West Coast sunset

Seeing in the end of Andel's birthday

You know it's a holiday when you get to watch songs in bed!

Breakfast served on our veranda

Someone still has to do the dishes though...

Calypso Beach: we were the only people there!

The loves of my life x

And the celebrations didn't end there. When we got home on Saturday it wasn't long before we had a pretty full house munching away at delicious homemade waffles (courtesy of Ashleigh, and PJ's waffle maker) with a selection of chocolate, candy, fruit and syrup toppings.

Who's ready for a sugar rush?

This ice cream eating is some serious business!

Except when you've already messed it all over yourself

Homemade waffles with ice cream and lots of topping treats

Matthew decided to do some gardening for us

We ended the afternoon with some delicious birthday cake ( - after we almost burnt the cake down with 30 candles and all! - and then all had to recover from the sugar-coma we were all in!

Red Velvet Cake by Robynne of Sugary Sensations - yum!

How many sisters does it take to light 30 candles?

The cake, the cake, the cake is on fire!

It was a very full birthday week-weekend, and I now feel like I need a recovery weekend, but all in all, the birthday boy was happy - and that's all that matters, right? :)

Friday, 10 January 2014

Christmas Wrap Up

Instead of giving you the whole Christmas account in text, I thought, this year, I'd stick to pics and captions to give you the story!

This year the Christmas tree had to go somewhere little hands could not reach, even when balancing on little toes. We also had to pack gifts into bags under the tree to avoid any going missing, or being opened prematurely!

 Christmas Eve dinner in Grabouw, and this year I really had to make the lamb (last year I got Tarrin's mom to do it for us). Dinner was only at 22h30, and some people (thankfully) never made it.

 Dinner time!

 Every year, Jason and Lexi can't contain themselves as they wait for midnight when they can open their gifts. This year, dinner was later than usual, so by the time they finished eating, it was already past midnight!

 Meanwhile, Zac was none the wiser...

 ... and Gabbi was fast asleep (unlike last year)

 We did Secret Santa in Grabouw this Christmas too, so everyone was pretty anxious about how it was going to work out.

 In the end, though, the kids always win!

 Lexi got exactly what she wanted from  her aunty B

 But then, Lotter was pretty chuffed with his gift too...

 As was Bernil...

 And Jason!

 It was a pretty successful Secret Santa, I'd say

 Then on Christmas morning, Zac got to open his gift. The poor thing didn't have a clue what was happening, or why he'd received presents.

I had to open it for him before he took any interest.

 But once it was opened and assembled, he was perfectly happy to play.

 And took only a short break for a quick breakfast.

 Gabbi, who had opened one present before going to bed on Christmas Eve, was happy to find she had more. Those Klaasen kids are obviously better trained when it comes to presents! :)

 See, once again, Zac doesn't have a clue!

After lunch we went to Papu and Yaya's house. I don't know if it's the madness that accompanies a visit there, but Zac was instantly more 'interested' in Christmas, and even posed for a smile.

 We also tried a family photo...

 (this was about the best we could come up with)

 Perhaps the photographers weren't taking their role seriously enough.

 Nana, Gramps and uncle Quentin were also in attendance so it was really house full!
 One of the presents Jorja got was a brand new bike. Which she rode in wearing her brand new sandals - much to her mother's horror!

 Big smiles as Natasha opens all her gifts.

Matthew decided to take Zac and Ethan's bikes for a spin while they weren't looking.

 Annie opening her gifts. I think I have a pic of her smiling like this in every Christmas blog entry!

 Jorja opening her gifts amidst the madness.

Just a glimpse of the chaos that is opening gifts on Christmas day. At this point Jorja was opening her blackboard and chalk, Ethan was doing doughnuts on his new bike (on Papu and Yaya's polished floor), and everyone was talking so much, we could hardly follow whose turn it was to open gifts.

 Ash got some much wanted clothing items in Secret Santa this year. Once again, Andel bought for her...

 ... and she bought cycling gear and a body-warmer for him.

 Papu, who know officially owns the title of "most difficult recipient" got the tool set he wanted, from PJ (who was very nervous about having bought for Pops)

 Nobody loves, or gets more excited about, receiving gifts than PJ!

 He got a Chelsea FC top from Dom

Dom got a little goodie bag from Yaya which included some new-teacher essentials, and some pretty cool gift vouchers.

And, in a poll conducted amongst ourselves, right after the gift exchanged, it was decided that Yaya got the coolest gift of the day. From me!

 Yaya was so happy to find out that, instead of receiving a few books as she requested, she got a brand new Kindle!

 Once again, I was last to receive my gift, because for the 3rd year running, the (same) giver has a long story about how he lost the list etc. etc. Well, Papu still did a good job: I got a wok and some cake decorating goodies. All I need now is a new kitchen!

How many shots does it take to get a decent pic? Too many! But still fun!

 Christmas just wouldn't be Christmas if the boys didn't get to eat Papu's famous trifle.

 Don't mess with this little biker - with personalised 'plates, thanks to aunty Dom.

 The cake table for tea. We were joined later by the Ebrahims, Brendan and Garth (Dom's new 'friend'). Somehow though, we just don't have any pics of any of them!

Our Christmas tree, after Christmas, with all the gifts that we received. What a lucky bunch we are!