A while back I wrote about our offices getting together and knitting away as a team, so that we could create some blankets for the 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day . If you don’t recall or didn’t read it .. you can move on over here to refresh and update yourself.
We managed to complete the blankets at the end of May and yesterday 10th of June, a colleague and I went on over to the area ambassador to drop them off.
Here is my colleague Kanitha and Christine the regional ambassador taking delivery. Something we learnt yesterday, is that these blankets will now all be tagged allowing us to then track them and see who they finally bless. How awesome is that! The 67 Blankets for Nelson Mandela Day is currently being updated, should be ready end of the month(June 2015) with all these new features! Simply exciting I tell you!
The next delivery of the blankets collected is planned for the 18th of July, Nelson Mandela Day, so plenty of time for you to go off and produce your creation! Remember that you don’t have to knit it, you can also crochet it and as we learnt yesterday, all they want is an end blanket that is handmade with love! Put on that creative hat you keep hidden away and help put a smile on someone less fortunates face!
I know some of my readers are across the globe, you too can make a difference! So venture on over to their website or their Facebook pageand see how you too can make a difference?!
Last year there was much ado about this initiative, needless to say this year it ramped up even more with more celebrities parting as well and a goal to reach 21000 blankets by the 21st April 2015… yep they achieved it!
Read more about their World record here and more about the original challenge by Zelda La Grange to Carolyn Steyn in December 2013 to knit, sew or crochet 67 blankets by July 18th 2014, Nelson Mandela Day.
At the start of this year as part of our own company’s giving back to our communities we decided to participate as well. Kanitha and I discussed it with our office manager and we began our knitting classes with here.
For the month of April and early May she taught us all in the office how to knit from scratch. Our first attempts .. those of us that had no idea of where to start at least, where not straight .. or we started with 30 stitches but somehow stitches were added and before long there were 40. To be honest, I don’t think any of us fully understand that one yet … but as time progressed we improved and it wasn’t long we were producing proper squares and loving the whole experience.
One stitch at at time, we started finishing one square after the next. With each square finished the more enthusiastic we became… to the point where we were competing with each other to see who finished the most squares.
Quite by accident the experience became a “Team Building” affair. As colleagues we were encouraging each other to complete squares, helping our with “dropped stitches” … yes I learnt that term, how some of us were tight stitches and others not so much and what an amazing team we can be when we want to.
As the weeks progressed, so did the number of knitted squares increase. Male and female colleagues knitting away, we were all putting in the time and eager to complete the squares so we could see the end product.
Once all the wool we’d bought for the project had been completed, Mrs. B began by showing us all how to stitch it all together and turn those squares into blankets.
This morning was the “reveal” to management and staff in general.
From all the squares knitted by our team, Mrs B managed to build four beautiful blankets. We’re going to be proudly donating them to the 67 Blankets Team and making some less privileged individuals a little warmer this winter.
Since our son’s birthday activity last week, we’ve been hectic with sports.
Yep there are a few activities taking place this November into next year that we needed to get sorted or ready for. This week’s focus for me was entering the Two Ocean’s Marathon 21km race 2015. Yes indeed, besides the Dischem21 that takes place next year this race is the one I actually want to run. Having heard from mates that entries go really fast, I was in front of my PC way before the scheduled 10am start so that I didn’t miss my chance to enter this amazing race!
It was so worth the excitement, I managed to secure an entry for next year! So, yes I’m doing my second 21km come April 2015 and God willing.
If you also keen, the 21km race I’ve been told is the most popular of the races, so entries don’t last. Monitoring social media the last few days, it seems that this year the entries allocated to club entrants were all taken within 12 hours, 2013 I believe they went within 48 hours. There are still plenty of entries available for the Ultra Marathon still, and next week Wednesday a second batch of 21km entries will be released. So don’t rest if you’re planning to run the race in 2015!
Yesterday was our young man’s school musical. The whole term he has attended a music class to help them improve their motor skills. Feedback from the teachers is that he is loving it and most of the time is the one that pays attention throughout the class. This was very apparent during the musical we attended. See from the picture how much attention he shares during class. He clearly enjoys it!
There’s a bout of Chickenpox at the school at the moment, so when our son woke up Thursday morning with a fever and runny nose, we thought the worst. Yep, he has had the Chickenpox vaccine … but it’s really not guaranteed … or is it? Following consultation with our doc he calmed our concerns and assured us that our young man is fine. All he has is a bout of ENT infection and would be sorted soon enough. YAY!
Almost forgot, earlier in the week the little girl sitting to his left in the picture decided she wanted a bite of our son. For no reason at all, go figure! We sorted it all out with the mother, so we hope it won’t happen again or that our son decides to pickup from where she left off.
On an awesome note to end this entry, today I ran a 5km at the local ParkRun and guess what? I improved my best time and broke the elusive 30 minutes that just kept running away from me! I’m feeling really chuffed about it and has helped build my confidence in actually completing my two 21km runs in 2015!
Next week it’s the Unite4Mandela multisport and concert event. It is promising to be an amazing day. Peeps entering can either run, walk or cycle, whatever pleases your heart. Once all the races are complete, there’s a concert taking place right at the same place.
Sounds like it’s going to be an amazing day full of fun. I do hope that the weather plays along and doesn’t rain.
Tomorrow hubby does his 3rd Cycle Challenge, I was going to do my first. Having entered way back in March when the entries opened. Sadly, that was the extent of my cycling. I’ve not done anymore practice road rides through the year. For that reason hubby recommended that I stay out this year and attempt it next year. Taking his experienced word on it and will be staying home with our young man…. a better option I think!
Well it was a reasonably long weekend indeed, and that Sunday was a “non-working” day for all because of Madiba’s Funeral, just made it seem that bit extra long …
The great thing about it though was that as a family we managed to spend some cool quality family time together without the interference of sports on telly or grounds. Neither hubby or I had business trips over the weekend so it was really great, quality timeout with JJ and as a family.
We managed to do some Christmas shopping over the weekend, and a little bit more today. I dare say I do believe many of the Gautengers still around suffered some Cabin Fever for the mall today was really busy. Our morning as per normal started pretty early because of our son, so having sorted and attended to all his needs, hubby and I had not eaten. Arriving at the mall this morning seemed a breeze, but by the time we left, as I’ve already mentioned it was mayhem! I guess it’s all part of the festive season!
Our afternoon saw us slow things down some. We all found our spot in the house and dozed off for a few zzz, as it was a rather warm day with reasonably high temperatures I managed to get a few laps in the pool to cool down. JJ is teething again so has a bit of a runny nose, so we opted to keep him out the pool until he is back 100% of his normal self.
Following our naps, we spent the afternoon out in our garden for more quality time. JJ explored the garden some more. D filled the airwaves with magnificent music selection and I kept everyone blessed with my amazing company 🙂
JJ has been bathed, and supper fed. His now in bed, I am sure relieved the day is over. Hubby is busy searching for accommodation for us in Cape Town .. for next March. I am mentally prepping myself for work tomorrow .. and the next few days at the office. At least it’s four days and I’m on leave for a few days with my family.
Back roughly at the end of July, early August a friend of ours Marcus Mabry was in South Africa covering the period Tata Madiba was hospitalized for the NYT – he is a well-respected journo, click on his name above or google his name if you’re keen to learn more about him. Whilst here he asked us if we minded being interviewed by him for his vlog?
Hubby was excited! Hubby loves the limelight and attention a very typical characteristic of a LEO … if you don’t know .. google it if you don’t believe me! I firmly believe he should have followed a career that placed him on a platform that allowed him to experience this in life. I on the other hand wasn’t so sure I wanted to be so exposed. Although my friends have this believe that I am outgoing and love this kind of attention, I beg to differ with them. Needless to say, knowing who the interviewer was and hubby’s insistence I agreed. Would I live to regret it?
The day finally arrived, early that Sunday morning JJ and I were woken up by this bright camera light on our faces. What happened to “camera, light .. action” or something like it? Is this how the Kardashians expose their lives via our screens daily? Don’t they prep? Make-up etc? Anyway, before we knew it the camera was rolling and a day in the lives of the Kelly-Loulies was rolling onto film forever.
It turned out to be a very long day, no double takes, and honestly quite weird to have a camera constantly in your face following you around. Before we knew it supper time was upon us and we were waving goodbye to Marcus and his cameraman – David Mayer. It’s now a few months since this experience, I dare say when it was all over I did enjoy it .. more than I had intended to or rather expected to 🙂
Yes today hubby and I are breathing loads more relaxed! Today we’re full of gratitude! THANK YOU DEAR GOD! For today we received our sons new birth certificate reflecting his new names and hubby and I as his parents!
A real sense of relief, one less stress and so much appreciation that it all happened within basically his first 12 months with us!
Leading to this point we had heard so many horror stories that it could take years for us to reach this point. For many, this was a true reality. It’s still not clear why it takes so long considering that we were granted the adoption months ago. We have recently heard there was a change to the adoption process and that it is no longer a lengthy process. Could this have been the reason why it finally happened? Could it be my constant weekly nagging to the Department of Home Affairs? Could it be because of Madiba’s passing that the government decided to relax certain processes? To be frank, I don’t really care … for now I’m thrilled that we have it and we can apply for a passport for him so that we can finally cross borders with our son!
… The last few days have been dark .. really dark …
This past week saw the passing of former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela, although expected, it still hit us all so very hard. I’ve seen the last few days the nation of South Africa, black, white, coloured, Indian, etc living beyond this pathetic barrier we pose upon ourselves. Interacting with one another with genuine smiles, all grieving for Tata Madiba their “father” .
It’s been really impressionable…
On Saturday we heard of the passing of a legendary South African boxing champion “Baby Jakes” Jacob Matlala. He has been ill for a few months now, still it’s been a hard weekend for the South African population … for the world.
It’s been a heavy weekend … week for that matter….
I was in Maputo, Mozambiquefor a few days last week, while there hubby and I spent some time on FaceTime and introduced JJ to the whole concept. He clearly was enjoying the experience. Kept trying to reach into the screen to touch me, couldn’t stop smiling throughout. The experience had some positive spinoffs considering the last time I went away on business JJ wanted nothing to do with me upon my return .. this time round I was met by a huge smile and shrieks of laughter when he saw my face. Just another special moment for me to treasure!
Saturday morning started like most of our others … only this time our nanny let us know that she wasn’t coming in. We could have been upset about it, but why… we decided to make the most of the quality time we would be spending with our son. It was all very uneventful, no major plans. We did decide to go to the local Papachino’schain of child friendly restaurants in Morningside for some lunch. JJ clearly loved it, he was crawling all over the place! Took him into the play area and he was interacting amazingly with all the other kids .. alas all so much older than him 🙂 The evening was really uneventful, I backed another Orange Cake . It’s a really easy and quick recipe and seems to really be flop proof! We all love recipes like these don’t we 🙂
Sunday morning started early, JJ had been invited to a Ruben’s birthday party a while back and the day had finally arrived….
The venue changed a few times .. ok once, from the Zoo where it was actually originally scheduled. I think it was a far better choice. Ruben’s first birthday party was held at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardensour in the Westrand of Gauteng. We got to watch JJ crawl all over the gardens, wave hello at total strangers and learn that JJ really has a love for Popcorn!
He polished all the popcorn we were feeding him and more! I was really great to see him and Ruben interact in their baby way and get along. Ruben had his whole family, mom’s side, and a few odd friends at the party. The third muskateer, Jordan, couldn’t make it as his grandfather had been taken ill during the week.
A brief visit to the waterfalls in the gardens, and a distant viewing of the baby eagle way up top of the waterfalls was the highlight of the morning for us all. Definately a place we will return to in the near future.
From the gardens, we decided to drive past Nelson Mandela’s home before we headed on home for the day. Arriving at his street, it was full of cars. Clearly we were not the only ones with the same idea. There were cops everywhere, and we had to walk right around the block to get to the section that had been cordoned off for the public to pay their last respects to Madiba! As we walked over to the venue we walked past the author of a blog I regularly read and follow The Blessed Barenness. She was there with her family doing exactly the same thing we were. Felt kinda good weird walking past someone I only know in my cyber world and who knows jack about my existence! 🙂 After walking for what seemed like kilometres we finally arrived to this wall of people paying their last respects to Madiba
Eventually we made it home, where JJ and I had a bit of a nap as he hadn’t snoozed all day. I needed to regain my energies before starting of supper for us all. A leisurely walk around the complex before bathing JJ saw our rather active weekend come to an end beautifully. Hubby and I were ready to start the new week and make a success of it!
Rest now NELSON MANDELA 18 July 1918 to 5 December 2013
A NATION UNITED IN GRIEF
Helen Zille – Leader of the DA
Today, South Africa lost the greatest son of its soil. Today the rainbow nation lost its father.
Today, we are a nation united in grief.
It is with deep and profound sadness that we say: Lala ngoxolo Tata. Asoze sikulibale (Rest in peace Tata, we will never forget you).
Our deepest condolences, thoughts and prayers are with Madiba’s wife, Graca, his former wife, Winnie, his daughters Makaziwe, Zenani and Zindziswa, his grandchildren and his great grandchildren.
May they find the strength to overcome the pain of this great loss. And may the entire Mandela family be accorded the respect they deserve at this time. May they be accorded the right to mourn in peace. The nation mourns with them.
We all belong to the South African family – and we owe that sense of belonging to Madiba. That is his legacy. It is why there is an unparalleled outpouring of national grief at his passing. It is commensurate with the contribution he made to our country.
Through his humility, moral conviction and bold leadership, Madiba gave us a gift for which we, and successive generations will be forever grateful. He gave us his vision of a free and inclusive South Africa and the unwavering belief that such a society could be achieved in his lifetime.
He was, quite simply, the greatest South African that ever lived. We shall never see his like again.
Let all South Africans join hands as we mourn Madiba’s passing and celebrate his life. Let us re-affirm his values and recapture his spirit in all we do.
Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, Tata Madiba: 18 July 1918 – 05 December 2013