Mom didn’t really teach me that much

Today is father’s day and my boys gave their dad this card

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Notice the very last sentence – mom didn’t really teach me all that much – 🙂  yes I know it’s funny, but it did get me thinking….

When I started blogging I always thought I had so much to say or write about. The boys were at a school going age and growing up faster than bamboo shoots on steroids.

But then they left school and it was first day of varsity and I blogged about that and about letting go. And then it felt like parenting was over.

It was an emotional time seeing them in university and trying this new thing called “letting go” and I was actually quiet about the boys for a long time, at least on the blog.

They are adults, one will be 23 in a few months’ time and the other one will be 22 at the end of the year!  So apart from graduation day, what else have I got to look forward to? What else have I got to say about being a mom?  Oh yes, the wedding day….but they both say they are not getting married, so let’s skip that thought for now.

It’s like parenting is really over, done and dusted. We finished our task, or is it really? Parenting grownups, when does it stop and when does the worrying stop?

My almost 23-year-old, is studying in Cape Town so he only comes home for the long holidays of course I worry about him all the time, what he’s eating, how late he eats and how late he goes to bed, how he separates his washing etc.

But it’s the small one, the one that lives at home, that worries me the most.  He gets frustrated with me and my constant messaging, but I just like to know when he arrives somewhere and when he’s leaving so I know he’s safe. I have this need to check up on him all the time.

I think adult children still need that ceaseless looking after.  But I am beginning to see my children in a new way; they are good capable young people. I have to recognise their differences and respect that, they have grown into two very different individuals.

I try to share some of my wisdom, if you can call it that, don’t even know if they see it as wisdom or advice or things I know or just ‘stuff she says’.

Whatever their age I still feel I need to worry, I need to talk and I need to pray. I don’t think this is a mother of sons’ syndrome it’s just normal mother behavior. In learning to let go I have to learn to surrender them to God. It’s not really up to me anymore, and this is so hard for me to say and admit.

“With man this is impossible, but not with God; all things are possible with God.”

Mark 10:27

African Scenery Art

So this year I started my art life with something simple and quite different.

My nephew (from Portugal) was visiting in December and January, he loves to paint, actually he’s a wonderful artist. Rui is deaf and dumb and his disability makes normal life a bit challenging sometimes. One thing he is good at is painting, he likes acrylics and his style is bold, using bright colors, delightful pictures that celebrate life.

He was still here when art classes resumed and I knew that leaving him at home would have been cruel, so he came with me to art class and we did a little bit of stenciling for fun, something he has not tried before.

Inspired by the gorgeous rich colors of the African sunsets…we made these two small pieces for his bedroom.

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He painted this one with the windmill. The stencil is filled with plaster

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Mine was more complicated as there are no ready-made stencils with baobab trees I had to make my own

Mine was more complicated as there are no ready-made stencils with baobab trees I had to make my own

adding a little bit of fine grass

adding a little bit of fine grass

Completed "African Scenery"

Completed
“African Scenery”

…and that was my first little bit of art for 2016 ♥

Christmas Tradition #4

In December 2012 I shared some of our food, typically eaten or devoured at Christmas time 😀

the Algarve fig cake – Christmas Tradition #1 and the Aniseed  cookies – Christmas Tradition #2 and then my favorite the King’s crown cake – Christmas Tradition #3

And so for 2015 my sister-in-law is visiting from Portugal and she made these here at home….

Christmas tradition #4 typically from Algarve, south of Portugal (that’s where my hubby is from) this is one of their regional sweets. Ground almonds and sugar and a paste is formed (this is similar to – but it is not marzipan)

fine almond flour

fine almond flour

sugar and water in pearl stage

sugar and water in pearl stage

add sugar to almond

add sugar to almonds

make little balls with almond paste and fill with 'soft eggs'

make little balls with almond paste and fill with ‘soft eggs’

and then form little fruits leave overnight

and then form little fruits
leave overnight

and the final result is this ….

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Little bit of food coloring, paint your fruits and voila you have almond cookies

It looks easy enough but it’s not. It’s not too complicated either but you need some ‘talent’ to make these fruits and not mess the filling.  I made three shapes, one carrot and one fig and the third one went in my mouth because the filling was too much, it was oozing out of the carrot shape and I licked it and realised that’s not a lekker thing to do to the food your guests are going to eat. 😛 So I just ate it – no evidence of bad shape was left

Delicious for once a year only! Something my dad used to say about these makes me laugh every time I see them….Today, 9 years ago he passed away…we still miss him at the Christmas dinner ♥

My glass jar is bigger  

Last year I filled a glass jar with little things and lots of gratitude. This year on my last day at work, I did the same, it’s amazing when you start writing it down, just how many special moments we had this year. So many things to be grateful for, so many blessings in 2015.

Losing family members and friends. Insecurity and nervousness around workshop moving or possibly closing.

We struggled through with some rough patches and thorns but when I sat down and made notes the blessings were doubled, so much glitter, so many stars and rainbows in our life.

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My hubby’s 50th birthday was special, our 25th wedding anniversary, and our sons 21st birthday. What a year! I am so grateful for God’s protection ♥

Thank you LORD for keeping us safe this year…thank you for everything….

In everything give thanks. 1 Thes 5:18

My glass jar _ 2014 

Zanzibar dreaming …

In October I posted about how we are celebrating our Silver Anniversary and I had this to say – we are taking a little trip, it’s something we have not done for ourselves in all the years together.  We never really went overseas….

So we did take our trip and came back from the most memorable time and holiday!  What do I say about Zanzibar and our time there?  It was so amazing and so memorable and so good for both of us.  After 25 years of marriage, of life revolving around the boys, the school and house stuff, work and bills and so many other mundane things it was quite wonderful that we had other things to talk about.  We talked, laughed and relaxed.  I don’t know what else to say except that the island has lots to see and do and if you want to be a real tourist it will keep you quite busy.  If you want to just relax and do nothing this is also the perfect place for that.  From the minute we arrived everything was just perfect and our time together was unforgettable.

So let me share some photos of two really special days – the day we did snorkeling and our last day on the resort doing what I love most – a walk on the beach at low tide.

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I am scared of many things but this seems to calm me

Snorkeling in Zanzibar

Snorkeling in Zanzibar

...so close to my face and mask

…so close to my face and mask

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I can almost touch them…

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Low tide walking into the ocean

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Star fish kiss

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Relaxing in the warm water

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I love you !

One look and you will fall in love with the color and warmth and beauty of Zanzibar, it’s a little piece of paradise, almost like you are dreaming ♥