Sunday, April 1, 2018

MARCH 2018

Hello my darling girl,

You hurt your ankle the other day.  Fortunately nothing was broken but it was painful and swollen for a few days.  Mom borrowed Gabby's boot and you wore it for a few days until the swelling went down. Sometimes we forget that they have OI.  You do so many normal children's things that we are surprised when you hurt yourself doing little silly things. 

 When you weren't wearing the boot, you pushed yourself around the house on your scooter with one foot, resting the other one on the scooter!  That was probably more risky than hobbling along on the boot!
I bought you a mosaic craft to do so that you could sit in the lounge and add the coloured squares and sequins to the outline of the clown craft.  
Mom took these cool photos of you at school, in the pool, and at your dancing concert.

You came first in your swimming event at the school gala - YAY!

 You love rugby, and the Sharks, and Sharkie

You and Macaela and Tomas often play together but I think, like all little brothers, 
Tomas drives you girls crazy!
 But, this wasn't the result of you having a boxing match with Tomas!  It was clever make-up!

I spent a lot of time away this month because I have been creating a new hiking trail called the Abbot Pfanner Trappist Trail.  I started last year in July with a meeting at our house, then in August Gumpie and I met the two Bishops who are in charge of the Trappist Missions in Umzimkulu and Mariannhill Monastery Missions.  These are the 8 missions that the new trail will link including Mariannhill.

In November and January Jenny, Jon, Trevor Gaymans and Anna Kapp hiked some of the trails that Jon had tracked on Google Earth.  In January Gumpie and I drove them backwards and forwards for 4 days as they hiked trails from Underberg to Ixopo.  From 9 - 23 March a group of 16 people hiked the new trails and Gumpie and I provided back up for a few days.  This is a photograph of the first marker stone that Gumpie dug and planted at Reichenau Mission near Underberg.

 Gumpie found this stone at your new house in Mt Edgecombe and I painted the cross and date on it.

I would like to show you the beautiful mission churches one day and introduce you to some of the priests who run the missions.  They are a wonderful heritage and we must all help to take care of them.  You are going to Jeff and Gail for the Easter holidays but maybe in the July holidays I'll be able to show you some of them.

Love you lots - like Jelly Tots my darling.
Granny Syl

Wednesday, February 28, 2018


Well, well, well...... what did I tell you about not knowing what life has in store for you!

You are moving to a new home in the Mt Edgecombe Golf Estate at the end of the month.  How wonderful for you and your parents!  It is a gorgeous place to stay, safe, secure, leafy roads to ride your bike on, a swimming pool, great restaurant and I'm sure you will make new friends there too!
All the houses have green roofs and are painted white.  
They don't have burglar guards, security gates or alarm systems.  

We attended the 3rd grade parents and grandparents assembly this month. You had to go up for the trophy for taking the most newspapers to school.  You saved 5 trees!  Well done Emily!

While your Dad was in England, you and Mom had a sleep over at our house and we went to sundowners next door.  You took this photo of Oscar with sunglasses on!

The next day we went to the new Farmers Market at Shongweni.  It was a lovely morning, looking at all the stalls and patting all the dogs.  We had breakfast there too.

Mom sent us this photo of your maths test.  Well done Em!

 On Saturday 24 February, Greg and Sharon, Gumpie and I helped you to move boxes from Anthony Mews to your new home at 18 Ryder Drive, Mt Edgecombe Golf Course 1

We all had a turn on your swing that hands from a high branch.  Even Sharon had a turn!

Mark went to the local SPAR and bought sandwiches and drinks for everyone. There were no chairs so we sat on the 'stoep' and had lunch outside. You sat on your drum stool.
You slept at Anthony Mews on Sunday and the removal lorry moved all your furniture Monday 26th February.  You came home on Monday and did your homework at the dining table in your new kitchen.
I know that you are going to be happy in your new home.  When Dad has to go away overseas, he will feel much happier knowing that you and your Mom are in a secure and safe place.

Lots of kisses and hugs!


Wednesday, January 31, 2018


Hello my darling Emily!

It's a New Year and the last few months of your first decade.  We never know what exciting things a New Year has in store for us.  New friends, visits to different places, family moving to Durban, more get-togethers and holidays.  A new teacher and a new year at school.  You must embrace them all

Playing in the snow at the Ice Show

You love being a part of the family sundowners at Greg and Sharon's on a Friday night.  Everyone brings a plate or two of snacks and we all share.  You won't remember, but we used to get together at Patty's house for family bring-and-share.  It is wonderful to be a part of a family with aunties, uncles, grannies and grandpas.  And, also with our furry family like Leo and Oscar, and Muffy.

You had a fund day at Elizabeth's birthday party at Hazelmere Dam

Mom and Dad decided to surprise you with tickets to the Katy Perry concert in Johannesburg in July.  Mom cut up pieces of a puzzle and hid them with clues to where to find all the pieces.  When you found them all, and put the pieces together, it spelt 'KATY PERRY'!  

You went back to school on 17 January and this year you've got a lovely 
teacher - very kind and who likes to give praise and hugs!
 Your Dad had to have go to the hospital to have a small procedure on his elbow

You were fine until you got to school but then you burst into tears.  Awe, my darling - your lovely teacher gave you a hug and let you phone him using her phone.  What a kind teacher you've got this year.  Dad was out of hospital by afternoon and then a week later he flew to London for a week's conference.

Usually I am the one who plays dress-up with you but this time 
Gumpie put on your Egyptian hat for fun!

Em - Gumpie and I love you very much and we are wishing you a wonderful year, lots of loving, lots of friends, lots of fun and a good year at school.  We know that you always do your best.  Big hugs darling.

Tuesday, January 2, 2018


Hello my darling Em,

You had a wonderful December holidays and did many fun things.  Jeff and Gail were able to stay in their house in Simbithi (which they have been renting out but will move into in June/July next year).

 Brian and Richard were also there, and Tibby.   Jackie, Mason,Trevor and Christina also stayed for a few days so you had lots of family to play with.

 You and Christina doing each others' make up
 On the beach with Christina and Tibby
 Poor Tibby was stung when a big blue bottle (Portuguese Man of War) 
wrapped itself around her body, arms and legs.  The blue bottles usually appear 
when the wind is north-easterly
 Cute 'Babes'
Face painting at Bot Gardens Trail of Lights

 The talking tree

Trail of lights
We had Christmas day at our house and you got the biggest surprise of your life when, after we had all opened presents, Mom and Dad took you outside to show you your main present - a beautiful pink and blue tricycle!
 Christmas at the 'Welcome Inn' aka Granny and Gumpie's house

 Three pretty elves on Christmas day

 Emmy, it is usually at this time of the year that add in a few Time-Line bits of information for the year.  This was a big year for you because you repeated Grade 11 and have been promoted to Grade 111 next year - well done my darling!

Around the World in 2017

  • On 20 January Donald Trump became President of the United States of America
  • February:  Joost van der WestHuizen, one of the most beloved Springbok rugby players, died at age 45 after a long struggle with MND
  • A veteran of the struggle in South Africa, Ahmed Kathrada, died in March
  • The Gupta Leaks and President Jacob Zuma's involvement with them reveal massive corruption.
  • A devastating fire in Knysna destroys home, farms, animals and forests
  • The 8th motion of No Confidence in President Zuma fails
  • President Robert Mugabe resigns after 37 years of ruling Zimbabwe
  • The ongoing drought in Cape Town leaves people with severe water restrictions
  • Cyril Ramaphosa is the new ANC president

And finally, Emily Nilsen grew 4cm in 2017!!

Love you baby-girl and wishing you a wonderful, peaceful, happym healthy, prosperous 2018.