It has a been a busy period, and now that the Christmas rush is over and the holidays have ended, it is back to a relatively normal schedule. Things will be changing for the Clevely household this year as I will be going back to work full-time (job still pending). The boys will both attend playschool three times a week, full-day, and Nick will have their delightful company the other two days. It will be a tricky juggling act with one car between us, but we will muddle along.
We were generously sponsored for a holiday during December, so we took the opportunity to go up north and visit Glen and Antje Thompson while there. It was good to be away from home, although the accommodations we booked over the internet were of the kind that make you long for home! Nevertheless, we had an enjoyable mini-break. On our way home, we stopped in at the Potgietersrus Game Breeding Centre and Zoological Gardens, which we imagined to be a zoo. The first section was a zoo, but the rest of the bushland was inhabited by zebras, giraffes, buck of some sort, and various birdlife. It was surprising to have a game drive in the middle of town, and it was so big that we got thoroughly lost and drove around for well over an hour before we saw the light of day again.
Christmas saw us celebrating in usual family tradition, with the kids opening gifts on Christmas Eve after a superb meal at my parents’ house. Unfortunately I was sick with a stomach bug, which was passed on to Nick the next day, making the prawn braai on Christmas Day with Nick’s family slightly less enjoyable. The kids were well stocked with toys for the year ahead!
For New Years we were back with my parents, this time for a stir-fry and games evening. Balderdash, Battle of the Sexes, and Pass the Pigs were enjoyed by all along with good, strong coffee. My uncle and aunt were up from the coast to join in the celebrations.
Then, from one holiday extreme to the other: We were sent on the Grace Minister’s Conference at Mount Grace in the Magaliesburg. Mount Grace is a five-star country hotel. My parents babysat for two nights and three days (and yes, they survived) while we delighted ourselves in the beautiful surroundings, drank teas and coffees of all types, ate, and rested when we weren’t in lectures. It was the first time we had been away without the children since Caleb was born, so it was a welcome change. We both were challenged and encouraged, particularly by Dr Joel Beeke’s sessions on practical ministry issues.
Our holiday period was nicely ended off with a visit from Nick’s brother, Mark, over from Scotland. He was with us for two nights and turned out to be a great source of entertainment for the kids. Good preparation for his pending fatherhood later in the year.
Nick has decided to put his Masters on hold for this year to pursue private research and study in order to better prepare himself. This will be a busy year as he is now getting involved with youth work on Friday nights, and wants to start a hospital ministry as well. He continues leading three bible studies and teaching guitar lessons, along with other various bits and pieces. He was invited to preach at Germiston Baptist twice and at Hartebeespoort Open Baptist, both churches having quite small congregations. All in all, he is getting good all-round exposure and experience at Constantia Park Baptist.
I have taken over the crèche facilitation at church and am still teaching Sunday School. I am also on the hunt for a job - hopefully by the next issue of the Chronicles I will be settled into a new position!
Caleb’s imagination is really developing now. He tells us he is a lion, a baby tiger, Shrek, Donkey, and a host of other characters, mostly from the videos he enjoys. It seems that he is losing some of the tempestuous two-year-old attitude and is settling down and becoming more compliant again, for which we are thankful. He has inherited his mom’s allergies and hay-feverishness which cause him to be miserable a lot of the time, but when he’s well he’s a really happy child.
Aaron now has the run of the house, upstairs and downstairs, inside and out. He walks fairly confidently and is starting to lose the drunken swagger. He is a naughty lad - not so much in the rebellious, I’ll-do-what-I-want-even-if-you’ve-just-said-no type of way, but more in the way he wanders around looking for trouble. You can see by his eyes the way his little brain is ticking over, thinking of some mischievous deed to perform. One of his favourites is throwing toys in the toilet. He also enjoys emptying drawers and putting hats on his head. No intelligible words have come forth, he usually just shouts and waves his hands if he wants something. He and Caleb are starting to really enjoy one another now though - although it’s more the case that Aaron loves his older brother and laughs at anything silly that Caleb does. We got through the first year of having children close together, and now are seeing the benefits.