Tag Archives: Easter

Easter! Yes! Can’t wait!


I’m excited about Easter this year. Firstly because it’s my husband’s first Easter at home in three years because he is usually in Cape Town at the Two Oceans and secondly because my most precious’ssssss are coming for the long weekend (my sister and family). And thirdly because I ADORE Easter. I love Easter way more than I do Christmas. For me, Easter is like THE most important event on the Christian calendar, yes yes yes Christmas is important – it’s the birth of Jesus, yes of course I get that. But Easter is like HUGE. HUUUUGE. The King of the World, the Savior, the Lord of Lords DIED for us. And THEN… He rose again and reigns forever. I mean that is the cornerstone of our faith. That is like UH-MAZING. Here’s a bad photo of the billboard currently outside our church, it gives me goosebumps.

easter

 

The Catholic church is big on symbolism and tradition as we know, and growing up I must say that I enjoyed the pomp and ceremony of the Easter season in the Catholic church. Reenacting Palm Sunday, the Last Supper and the Washing of the Feet on Holy Thursday, the solemnity of Good Friday with enough incense to start a fire, and of course the celebration of the Risen Christ on Sunday. But aside from the ceremonial stuff, which is just that, Easter is like THE best thing that happened in the history of the world. You get that, right?

Anyway, I digress.

The other tradition that comes with Easter is PICKLED FISH. WOO HOOO! Please don’t ask why we only wait for this time of the year to make this dish, but perhaps it’s a good thing. Having it just once a year makes it that much more special. I blogged last year about the Pickle Fish thing and asked if it was only a Coloured thing and turns out it isn’t, but I think the Coloured community take their Pickled Fish pretty seriously. So because I am hosting Easter this year, I need to make the Pickled Fish. Here’s a picture of my sister’s Pickled Fish from last year. You see that turmeric yellow? You see those big chunky onions? You see those black pepper corns? THIS is what real Picked Fish is supposed to look like – the fish is underneath all of those onions for those of you who are wondering. Sidenote and funny story: husband and I had our first Easter together in London like a million years ago and I tried to impress him with Pickled Fish and used a WHOLE bottle of vinegar to brine the bloody fish… OH MY SOUL, it was bad. BAD. My recipe has vastly improved since then.

 pickled fish

 

Hot cross buns. Everyday. All day. We’ve been through a few dozen already. But all of a sudden, these two banana children of mine decide they don’t eat hot cross buns because they don’t like bread and raisins together? Happy to eat raisins on their own. Or bread on its own. But not raisins in bread. But if I toast it and put loads of butter, all of a sudden bread and raisins are cool together. Totally cool. They can eat 3 of those in a row (three halves, not whole buns).

Easter eggs. FOR ONCE I am ahead of the curve and have already bought and stashed my Easter eggs. Usually, I’m the person crying in the chocolate aisle, staring at empty shelves which only house the broken eggs which nobody wanted to buy. But this year I am prepared. And can we just take a moment of silence for the Beacon box of marshmallow eggs which has escalated to SEVENTY SOUTH AFRICAN RONDS this year? Seriously? I understand inflation, but R70?? I got mine for R57 at Spar and even that I bought grudgingly. We use these for the annual Easter egg hunt and this year I have a lekker big yard for it so I am really excited. Although I’ll admit the first thought that crossed my mind when I was planning the hunt in my head is WHAT will I do with Rocky? That dog has a nose like … well like a dog. He will sniff those marshmallows out and devour them before Christ has even risen.

So there’ll be lots of church and lots of chocolate and lots of laughs and lots of tears as we remember the greatest sacrifice ever made. I LOVE EASTER!!! CAN’T WAIT!!! Is Easter big for you?

Easter 2013 and other stuff


The hiatus from work, my blog and from the real world was great, but it’s always good to be back because as fuddy duddy as it sounds, I love routine. I like to be spontaneous too, but I must admit that I operate better within a routine. As do my children. The break was just what I needed though, life is tough hey, and sometimes Ostrich Mentality for just a little bit is what we all need. So I stuck my head in the ground and shut off my overactive mind and enjoyed solid family time.

So we left Joburg at 3am on the Wednesday morning before Easter. When travelling by road, we always try to cover as many hours in the dark as possible to ensure that the two peabodies in the backseat are sleeping and quiet. We arrived in Durban at around 9am and went straight to my MIL’s house so that her son could sample her annual Pickled Fish. Seriously now, is Pickled Fish just a Coloured thing? I love Pickled Fish; why we wait for Easter to have it is still a mystery to me, but I also think it’s one of those things that would lose its allure if I had it every day, so once a year works very well for me!

The husband was leaving for Cape Town that evening to run the Two Oceans Marathon – I was so glad this event was finally here. All the preparation and pasta and pumping him up was getting a bit exhausting. I stayed by my parents’ house on Wednesday night and its always so comforting to be there. For one, I love to see how happy my kids are when they are with their grandparents and secondly, being home always makes me feel 15 again, I feel spoilt and loved and treasured. On Thursday morning we headed down to Port Shepstone to meet my sister and her family. My brother’s children from Joburg were also visiting for the week, so it was great to have all the cousins together. (PS: next month my brother and his family in Australia come to SA – cannot WAIT to see them, they haven’t been down since my wedding 6 years ago! I am beyond excited about that)!

From Port Shepstone, we left my parents behind and drove further inland to my sister’s home. Harding. Have I ever told you about Harding? Well indulge me if I have… Harding is this one horse town, about two hours inland from the coast. No, it is not a quaint little village, it is more like the town which civilization forgot about. Sorry if you are from there! But let me put it into perspective for you. The only takeaway joint is KFC. There’s no Dischem, Clicks, PnP – nothing. There is one Spar. There are more potholes than road. There’s no shopping mall, no cinemas, and there are cows walking in the main road in the town centre. If you are a City Slicker, this is not the place for you. However, I love going there purely because there is absolutely nothing to do. My sister, BIL and their kids live in a big lovely home with a big yard – my kids love it there. This weekend we watched TV, we played Wii and Playstation and ate lots of junk. They have unlimited wi-fi in their house so I spent a lot of time stalking people online. It was glorious. I love my sister. She is amazing. I love spending time with her. The same goes for my BIL and my nephews. If I had to be stranded on an island, I hope it would be with these people. They keep me going. So in between church, more Pickled Fish, an Easter Egg hunt and lots of BBMs and calls to my husband on the other side of the country, it was a lovely break. Hubby didn’t finish the race, his knee packed up at 47kms – I cannot imagine running 47kms at all, but far worse, I can’t imagine running 47kms to have to stop only 9 kms shy of finishing the race. Talk about sucky! He was very disappointed but I also think he was ok with it because it was his first ultra marathon so now he sort of knows what to expect going forward. I’m glad to hear him talk about next year’s race, this means he has not lost hope! He flew back to Durban on Easter morning, my parents fetched him at the airport and they came through to Harding (after we spent the day in Port Shepstone again.)

We started the gret trek back to Jozi on Monday morning around 9am. Clearly I never learn my lesson about travelling on Easter Monday. It happens every year – traffic is horrendous. While I was grateful that there were no accidents causing the delays, I can’t exactly say I was jumping for joy at the long spiraling queue of cars on the N3 ahead of us.

Usually I am happy to be home, but the older I get, the harder it is to leave my parents and my sister and her family.  So I was a bit bleak… still am. But that’s what holidays are all about, they have to come to an end, like all good things! I hope your Easter was special too? I hope the joy of the Risen Lord permeates your life, bringing newness and freshness to all areas of your life, as we celebrate that He truly is alive in us!

The Guilt Barometer


As if motherhood doesn’t come with enough self inflicted guilt..

Level one on the Guilt Barometer

This morning we were in the car on our way to work and school. Everyone was quiet, lost in their own thoughts about the upcoming day, when Liam piped up “where’s my school bag?” I looked at the husband, he looked at me and I got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach – neither of us had packed it in. I blamed Liam, telling him he is old enough to remember to pack his own bag in and Mommy has a lot of other things to remember in the morning, and why can’t he remember just one simple thing like his bag. Of course, it’s not Liam’s fault, it’s my fault. I always pack the bag because I’m the one who likes to check it every morning; make sure his extra set of clothes, his tissues and any homework or signed forms are packed in. I don’t even like the husband to do this because I’m a crazy control freak and I like to make sure that his bag is all good. Hence, I made the bag my responsibility, hence this is my fault. And although it shouldn’t be too big a deal because the odds of him actually needing a change of clothes or some tissues are slim, he still doesn’t have a school bag today. Which kid goes to school without their bag! The kid with the loser Mom. I felt bad, really bad. FAIL.

Level two on the Guilt Barometer

As we pulled into the school yard, and my eyes caught sight of the notice board, that sinking icky feeling came over me again. I know exactly what that notice board says because I read it yesterday, I made a mental note when I read it yesterday. But apparently my mental notes are not worth the mentality they are remembered in. The notice board  clearly states: DON’T FORGET SCHOOL PHOTOS ON THURSDAY 12 APRIL. Then it says something cute about brushing your teeth and hair and looking smart… blah blah. I FORGOT. Today Liam is wearing a stained red track pants, he is wearing is worn sneakers and an orange long sleeved t-shirt which is stretched at the neck and which has some corny saying along the lines of “I make mess best” or something like that. His hair is long and unruly because he is in desperate need of a haircut and there may or may not be leftover sleep gunk still in his eyes and dry patches on his face because I couldn’t find the lotion after I washed his face this morning. Sigh… For those of you who have been reading for a while, you will remember this post, where I went on and on about school photos and how important they are to me. I am so upset and feel so guilty for ruining my kid’s school photo. FAIL.

Level three on the Guilt Barometer

We rush in and I hurriedly explain to Teacher what a bad mother I am. Teacher is done up with makeup and her good clothes, the few kids who are there already are glowing in their Sunday best. Teacher tries to make me feel better but I can see the disapproval in her made up eyes. She pulls me aside and quietly reminds me that tomorrow is the Easter Parade and do I remember that I have to make an Easter hat for Liam and if I don’t, it will be such a shame and Liam will be so heartbroken and I will be such a bad mother. Ok, she didn’t say that, but that’s what I heard. Although I am still able to redeem myself here, as I have time to make an Easter hat, the guilt I feel at having forgotten about it, is thick and heavy. I say a silent pray for good teachers, for time, for Liam who will happily wear his hat with pride tomorrow and I dash off sheepishly to go and have a little cry in the car. FAIL.

I am highly annoyed at myself. Firstly because of my forgetfulness. But more importantly because of this guilt I feel. I am a rational person, I know people make mistakes, I don’t intentionally want to beat myself up about things as simple as a forgotten school bag, but I can’t help it and I hate that I have no control over this guilt that I feel the minute I slip up as a mother! Never mind the day to day things like lashing out at a crabby baby, serving two minute noodles for the third time in a week, or taking my frustrations out on the kids – is it possible to get an aneurism from guilt? Because I think I’m almost there. Babies should come with a warning attached to that little ID bracelet they put on after birth:

GUILT COMES STANDARD WITH THIS PACKAGE.

All good things come to an end…


 

Well after a wonderful week of holidaying with my family, I am back at my desk. While our time together was marvellous, it’s good to be back at the writing block. Here’s a little look into what we got up to this week…

My sister and her family made the trek from their home in Harding, a small sleepy town, inland from Port Shepstone, to spend the week with us. That means that my small 3 bedroom house was filled to capacity with 4 adults and 4 children. My husband moseyed over to Cape Town for the weekend so that left the 3 adults with 4 children – we were outnumbered in many regards: noise, chocolate eating ability, noise, energy, noise, who controlled the TV remote and did I mention noise? Although I could have possibly won in the noise department with all the shouting I was doing – amazing how one’s children morph into different (for want of a better word) people when there’s company around… or is that just my kids? At times, there were 3 more children added to the mix, because my brother’s kids spent some time with us, before they headed down to the coast for the Easter weekend. It was crazy! But a good kinda crazy!

I had planned the week down to a T; my calendar had an activity for everyday. As much as I like to go with the flow, it’s always a good idea to have some semblance of an agenda because it’s so easy to stay in your PJ’s until lunch time when you’re on holiday and before you know it, your holiday is over and all you’ve done is sat in the house eating chocolate with teeth and hair unbrushed (and I’m not only referring to the children here).

Some highlights included a day at Gold Reef City… note to self, this is not a place for children under 5 years old. Liam and Hannah don’t enjoy rides… let me rephrase that… Liam and Hannah are TERRIFIED of anything that moves. We eventually got them onto the Ferris Wheel and that was about it. We had to take turns babysitting them, so all in all I managed to get onto 4 rides. Was it fun? Yes! Was it worth the R360 I paid for myself and the kids? Not really. But the older kids had a ball, definitely a must for families with older kids; for families with younger kids, I’d give it a miss.

Another highlight was Liam’s first time at the movies! While I was disappointed that it wasn’t with me, he was more than happy to go off into a dark loud room with his 3D glasses, with his cousins and uncle. He apparently enjoyed the movie, and fell asleep towards the end.. The Lorax obviously didn’t grip him enough. I was just relieved that we experienced no tears and fears – what with his reaction to the rides at Gold Reef City.

We enjoyed lots of other things, like picnics at Zoo Lake and Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and the local park. We had an adults dinner at the Meat Company and left ALL and SUNDRY with poor, poor Zoleka. Of course we went to Papachino’s and Milky Lane – the sort of places that adults love to hate because although it’s not exactly an adult outing, the kids always enjoy themselves at these joints – and let’s not kid each other, the waffles are awesome. Our church services on Good Friday and Easter Sunday were awesome as we remembered the greatest sacrifice ever made. We come from a long line of Pickled Fish and Hot Cross Buns and Easter Egg hunts – all of which we thoroughly indulged ourselves in.

I love having my family around. I love a noisy house with over flowing washing baskets, floor beds, TVs blaring and people yelling at each other over all the noise. More importantly, I love that our children get to spend time together with their cousins and aunts and uncles, and in this way the legacy continues. And just as our parents and grandparents ensured that holidays were family times, we continue to do the same, because when all is said and done, what really is more important than family?

I hope you enjoyed a happy Easter with your loved ones too. xxx

Weekend Round Up


Here’s our weekend in bullet points: 

  • On Friday night Liam and I went to church, while Hannah and Daddy stayed home. Church was awesome, Pastor Wilma shared on “the gift that keeps on giving” and how special it is to give meaningful gifts and gifts that will bless the receiver not only once, but over and over again. A simple example being a pot plant that will bloom over and over again if well looked after, as compared to a bunch of flowers (not that there’s anything wrong with getting a beautiful bunch of flowers of course!). Jesus was a gift from God – a gift that keeps on giving, as more and more people come to know him every day, even over two thousand years later. We each received a stunning black shopper, with the Sisters logo emblazoned on it. That night, as I tucked Liam into bed, he grabbed my cheeks in his hands and said “tomorrow, you are going to buy me a dog, ok goodnight mommy.” I’m not sure where that came from, as we hadn’t been discussing dogs or pets or anything related, and the complete conviction with which he said it, made me burst out laughing. I explained, as I had explained a million times before, that we’d only get a dog once we moved to our new house. He was ok with that and went to bed.
  • On Saturday, everyone slept until the sun came out, which is pretty late considering that the winter sun has started to rise much later these days. We hurried to get the family dressed and fed because I wanted to be first in line for the clinic at Dischem. Hannah needed her second flu shot, Liam needed his first and I needed my “baby-prohibiting-shot.” While on the topic of the flu injection… Hannah has yet to have a runny nose, a cough, or any other cold/flu like symptoms, even though Liam has come home with his second mild cold this season – Hannah usually catches every bug that bites Liam at school. Now I am not willing to say that the flu jab works just yet, as I’ll leave that judgement for the end of the winter season, but the first few signs are promising. I am just mad that Liam missed the first dose because he was on antibiotics at the time, and this has set him back a bit. Liam cried like a girl, while Hannah was yelling “solly(sorry) Liam!” And then I did what any mother would do when their kid is causing a scene in a shop, I took them to the kids aisle and let them go wild, because of course it’s easy to cave and just buy them something, rather than trying to shut them up in the shop. We left with Barney face cloths, Barney bubble baths, shampoos and body washes. When the hubby tried to give me a lecture about giving into the children every time they make a peep, I plugged my fingers into my ears and started singing loudly to drown him out – I am not stupid, of course I KNOW that, but sometimes we do what works, not what’s right.We spent the rest of the afternoon, trying to get some winter shopping done for the kids. That experience deserves a blog post all on its own. We took them to the park for an hour to let off some steam, an hour I spent swinging on the swing. I wouldn’t even get off for the little kids who were waiting for a turn. I made Liam jump off every time a little kid appeared to be waiting. It was good fun. The hubby made a delicious dinner of stuffed chicken, baby potatoes and a mushroom sauce with ciabatta bread on the side. Carbs, glorious carbs! We tossed a coin to decide on who got to do the bath and bed  routine – I won. So I spent Saturday night watching two movies, one being City of Angels, remember that movie? Still makes me sad!

     

  • On Sunday we went to church and onto Papachinos for lunch. I’m not sure what was better, the bacon and cheese nachos followed by my seafood pasta, or not seeing my kids for close on 3 hours except for the odd check in for a bite of pizza or a sip of juice. Seriously, I have developed this deep emotional attachment to Papachinos, so much so that I want to make a monthly booking in advance for the last Sunday of every month, because they get so busy and unless you have a reservation, you can wait up to an hour to get a table. This way, I’ll know I have a standing date with Papa’s. We got home and I had a nap while the kids played outside and the hubby assumed his favourite position for a Sunday afternoon – in front of the TV watching the English Premier League. My mom arrived this morning, so I spent some time changing the linen, making space in the cupboard for her clothing, spraying my fabulous room spray from the African Pride Hotel group (thanks to our wonderful rep who always drops off these special goodies for us!). Last night I washed Hannah’s hair with my fabulous new products which I received last week (I need to blog about this too) and everyone was in bed early after a full and busy weekend.

 The next few weeks are going to be awesome! My mom is here, my sister and her family arrive next week, as does my dad. I’ve taken some time off work during the Easter break and I can’t wait to unwrap the red ribbon and gold bell off my Lindt bunny. Happy Monday, ya’ll. xxx