I feel like I have been writing a lot about our new house and moving and cleaning and remodeling, but not a whole lot about anything else! Here is a recap of the last 6 weeks, the details culled from What’s App chats and my trusty calendar:
Week One: We moved in on Saturday, 9 January and hosted our first Take Action meeting at our new place on the morning of the 11th. On the night of the 12th, Darin’s mom and Oara’s adoptive family arrived. On the 13th, Tyson and Jori started a new school year- 7th and 5th grade- and I went to a parent meeting that night. Darin got the stove hooked up and the sink! The next day Oara’s speech therapist came out to meet with her new parents and Darin was at a meeting in Pretoria. The kids opened presents from the Fey side and Huismans at night. They were thrilled. MacGyver quickly became one of their favorite TV shows/characters. The 15th the physio therapist came out. The morning of the 16th our fam and Grandma Karen headed to the Distribution Centre for Build Hope, our new family food and assistance program through Take Action. That afternoon Oara and her new fam came over for pizza.
Week 2: On Sunday we headed to church with Oara and her fam. That night, after Darin, Tyson and Karen went to Woolies for donations, they stopped and picked up Amo so she could hang with us for a few days. During this week, we spent quite a bit more time at the DC sorting through a donation of clothes, toys and household items. On Tuesday, we started the day by bringing Nala to the vet then I dropped Oara and her fam off at the mall for some family time and Darin headed to Weskoppies to pick up meds for Tyson. The next day we had a Take Action meeting in Pretoria. We also went shopping for curtains for our house and garbage cans for the bathrooms. It’s the little things. That afternoon, Darin and I went on a Game Drive with O’s mommy and daddy. It was such a fun time and was great to get to know them more as a couple. We had dinner out as well and knew the kids were in good hands with Grandma. On Thursday, we took Amo back home. Then I met with some ladies at the DC about handing out baby clothes at Jubilee Hospital and Darin had a meeting for Busetsa wood, one of the Take Action job creation initiatives. Darin went from his meeting to Pretoria to pick up a load of office chairs. We are thankful for so many donations that benefit Take Action, but it sure keeps us (Darin) busy! On Friday I spent the morning at court with Oara and her family and was beyond blessed to be there when she was given a new last name! That night, the kids and Grandma made a gingerbread house. They would have been happy just eating the frosting and candy, but Grandma managed to keep them focused on the task at hand! Saturday morning was the Build Hope program again, and then we headed to Pretoria to do some shopping for the house and for some food for a braai.
Week 3: Sunday we went to Butterfly and had a braai with the Oosthuizens and Oara’s fam. Good food and good fun! I took O and fam back to Tshepo ya Bana and said goodbye. Bittersweet, but mostly sweet! Then the kids learned the joys of Ernest P Worrell and Karen and I hung some curtains. Monday came and Darin took O and fam to the airport for their trip to Cape Town (paperwork!) and I stayed home and did laundry while Karen weeded, and weeded and weeded our yard. Tuesday we had a Take Action meeting in Pretoria. Wednesday was another sewing day for Karen and more curtains were made and hung. On Thursday the adults has lunch over at Father Stan’s. It was delicious! That afternoon, Darin took Karen to the dentist for a toothache that just wouldn’t go away. While they were gone, the kids came home with a baby duckling. Why? Who knows! The fun just never stops around here. Friday morning we woke up and the duckling was dead. Not totally unexpected, but not really how you want to start your morning. We chilled and went for pizza at night. The Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit, which our kids enjoyed so much in Pretoria last year, came to Hammanskraal, so we enjoyed taking that in. Saturday we headed to Jubilee Mall. We met up with Amo and her family and enjoyed the Ripley’s Believe it or Not exhibit again. We took Amo and Johanna, her auntie, home with us. That night Grandma Karen wrapped loads of candy in saran wrap and the kids LOVED unwrapping it and enjoying many treats!
Week 4: Sunday we went to church with Amo and Johanna and the kids played all afternoon until it was time for the Woolies run and Johanna to go home. Amo stayed over again for a few days. Monday and Tuesday were more relaxed, then Wednesday we took Amo home and got busy at the Distribution Centre. We were hard at work when we got a call from Tyson’s school that he was throwing up. Not cool. So we went home and all chilled the rest of the night. Tyson was home Thursday and Darin and I had a meeting at our house for Take Action. Friday we chilled again because Saturday we were heading out to Bela Bela to go to the Warmbaths resort! We arrived around 11 and the kids headed off to the waterslides right away. They swam and swam and swam. It was wonderful. We usually stay at the resort, but this time we were in a bed and breakfast just outside of town. We took one break in the afternoon to check in to the B&B and then the 4 of us went back for more water fun and Grandma stayed behind to rest. That night we went out for supper, then just chilled and watched movies at night.
Week 5: We woke up and had a good breakfast then headed home. Amo’s auntie had stayed at our house to keep an eye on Nala for us, so Darin took her home and I started laundry. Monday afternoon the kids and Karen went on a game drive. Darin and I took the opportunity to get a few final things from TYB and then we went out for dinner in Hammanskraal. Tuesday we had a Take Action meeting in Pretoria again and picked up the final piece of our kitchen, the drawers! We came home and I took Nala to the vet while Darin picked up boxes of uniforms for our centres to distribute. Tuesday night we enjoyed being with Grandma Karen. Wednesday after school we headed to the airport. We had supper together, said our goodbyes, and then headed back home. Thursday we had a care plan forum, which is a meeting with our Take Action centre leaders. I also ran Amo and her aunt to the hospital for an appointment. Friday I interviewed someone for a new position with Take Action after we handed out food to some new Build Hope families. Saturday the other group of families came. In between all of this we had homework, homework and more homework! Did I mention all of the homework?
Week 6: Sunday we went to church and then had a braai at the Warrens. The kids swam and we got to spend time with Koki and DD, two little guys who used to be at TYB. Monday the kids didn’t have school. They had half days Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday morning we took Tyson to an appointment that ended up being wrongly scheduled. So glad we drove all the way to Pretoria to find that out! Wednesday I went to parent/teacher conferences and told the teachers that my kids have too much homework. That went over really well. Then I picked up Amo for a little visit. Thursday we stayed home all day. Someone came and did some plastering and brickwork in the kitchen and bathroom. Friday morning we took Amo back home, had Build Hope and got some groceries at the mall. Saturday was another round of Build Hope. We also had a trailer load of pants to sort and fold. Good thing our kids are hard workers! After we got home, we went and picked up our new puppy. This was a mistake, which my husband likes to point out was ALL MY FAULT. New puppy and Nala were not a good mix at all. All day was spent keeping them apart. The kids also spent the day picking ticks out of the puppy’s ears, about 50 in all. Good times! Saturday night we were all kept awake by the crying of the puppy and Sunday morning we woke up to the puppy escaping through our fence because its mommy had come to reclaim it. For now, puppy is back home with its fam. We will try again in a month!
We are now settling into a somewhat “normal” routine, whatever that means! School, homework, taking care of the dog, playing Wii, watching movies; those things stay the same for the kids each week. Having friends over, visits from grandparents and going on outings are the extras; very much enjoyed by the kids! Darin keeps busy with running the Distribution Centre and picking up a lot of different donations, although some of the running around will be taken over by a Take Action Driver in the near future!! This will free up Darin’s time for all of the other things he is currently responsible for, but often has a hard time squeezing in. I am still doing the communications for Take Action and also keep busy with the new Build Hope project. Keeping the house going is also my thing, but I have a husband who helps out a ton and finally got smart and started using a star chart with the kids and have been getting quite a bit of work out of them as well! We are looking forward to my folks arriving on March 1 and a school holiday at the end of March!