Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving with newlyweds, Breakfast in Marina Del Rey and a walk on the beach...

We have just had a lovely Thanksgiving 'break'. You'll be pleased to know that it wasn't entirely fun-free! We shared Thanksgiving day with Brian and Polly and we have pictures to prove it! Brian and Polly only got married on the 29th of October and I documented their special day a few blog posts back... So imagine our delight to be able to share their first official Thanksgiving as a married couple! 
Here is a picture of a sign they had up on their bookcase: :)
They have already made their home so 'welcoming'... love this pic of the two of them!
Plus, the American Football was on: (which is typical for Thanksgiving day, I believe...)
The table set:
Here are the newly weds in action doing the final preparations:

Then, to sit down and enjoy the feast:
Our lovely hosts:
Then, on Saturday, we were invited by friends of ours whose family own a restaurant and we got to go to the 'test run' for the reopening of the restaurant after four months of refurbishments! The restaurant is called J Nichols Kitchen and it is in Marina Del Rey, which is close to the LA Airport (LAX) and +- 40 minutes drive away from where we live. The J Nichols Restaurant reminded us so much of JBay's InFood! We felt a bit like we had made our way to Jeffreys Bay in 40 minutes!

So, the deal was that we had a limited selection on a menu but that it was FREE! Wow- what incredible food. Seriously- I had a breakfast BLT and it had the most lovely flavour combinations. Izak had a more traditional breakfast, but even his scrambled eggs were exceptionally tasty! What a real treat. Nothing like an incredible breakfast to start the day!

After the breakfast, we headed down the coast for a little drive. Here is a little map showing the area that we were in:
These are some pics from our drive:

And then, here are some pics from our walk:

It was such a beautiful day and it really helped us feel like we had gotten away! Being outside and breathing in fresh ocean air just does something to our souls! 

Psalm 8:3-4, "When I look at Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You care for him?"

Thanks for reading! 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Sem Wives Baby Shower, Fall Salad Supper and Shootin' some hoops!

Well, the 'Thanksgiving Break' is just about here and just as Izak's schedule gets more hectic than ever- our Sem Wives groups and EWG groups have had our final meetings for this semester. This semester has been an incredible blessing and also extremely busy! 

Here are two new pics that Izak took of 'the bump' and Blue's development. We only have 11 weeks to go!

My Sem Wives table held a little Baby Shower for me at our table's get-together at Gregg and Betsy Harris' home. (Dr. Harris is our Professor for the study of the Gospel of Mark- AMA-zing study!)
Here are some pictures from the Baby Shower, this last Saturday-

 First, we played this really cool game (typically not that excited about games- but Betsy was really creative and it was a memory game, where you need to try and remember what words are behind certain numbers and then try and match them from memory when it is your turn...) Here is the board mostly cleared:

She was also very creative with the prizes associated with the words which made it even more fun! (It was interesting to see the associations that she came up with especially since the prizes were American chocolates etc and many of them I had never seen or heard of before..) As an example- one of the words to be matched was, 'College fund' and then the prize was the chocolate called 'Pay Day'. There were even better ones that I cannot remember right now but we had some good laughs! You can see evidence of this in the below picture:
Also- the lady receiving the prize above, is Tim Cantrell's mom-in-law, Mary Somerville, who is a good friend of Izak's brother and sister-in-law! Tim is also a TMS grad who is a pastor of a church in Johannesburg at the moment.  I just loved that Mary happened to be at our Sem Wives table, as a prayer partner. (I just love to see how the Lord orchestrates things like that because the Sem Wives total group is so big, I would not have met her had it not been for her being a part of our table). Mary and I had such fun chats about South Africa etc. since she has visited 9 times! What a blessing to have met her!

 Then Betsy did a short devotional, which was so  impacting because once again, she was very creative and had a bag of gifts for me which she used as illustrations for the points she was making... I will just mention a few of these below... (I am sure that her examples will come to mind when I use these gifts for Blue!)

As the first example, she gave me a little baby outfit and then said, "Clothe your child in prayer. Pray daily for him. Nothing will fit better, be more in season, or more suitable for your little boy to be clothed in your prayers..." Here is one of me receiving the outfit:
Also, she gave me some Baby Blocks and said, "Give your child the building blocks of character that he'll need throughout life..." And here is one of me receiving the blocks:

It was such a blessed morning, and I received a little something from all the ladies that came... I love this Baby bath- shaped like a whale with bath-time toys! Wish they came in bigger sizes! hehe.
It was such an encouraging time and I felt truly spoiled! Betsy is super talented in the food arena too and I really enjoyed these cupcakes (AND everything else on the table!)

 Then, for our final Sem Wives time together this last Wednesday evening, each table brought some food and spent time chatting! It was great fun. Here are some pictures of our table, food and fellowship:
I actually brought this Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad below- it tasted better once the ingredients had time to settle. I got the recipe from the Pioneer Woman cooks website (her recipes are generally very good!) Here is the link in case you are interested: (I also kept the olives separate...) 

 Betsy and Kate (right to left)
 Emily (she is also expecting and we have become good friends! She lives just down the road from us...) and Ann (right to left)
 Our whole table- from right to left: Nelly, Betsy, Kate, Pinqui, Dawn, Ann, Emily and me!
And, then finally! Pheew! Izak had the ingenious plan to ask our neighbour if we could use his basketball hoop in order to have something fun to do outdoors as a study break. It has been such a joy creating our own form of South African Basketball! I have loved it and enjoyed being outdoors more! Plus it can prove to be quite a workout! It is literally right outside our house- in the little quiet alley way and so it is the perfect setting for shootin' them hoops! hehe.

   Well, we hope that you feel like you have come round for some rooibos tea/coffee ... and rusks plus a good catch up!

We look forward to a time of catching up (getting caught up on as much work as possible) during the Thanksgiving Break, which is next week! I hope to post some more pictures fairly soon! We have been invited to share Thanksgiving with our recently married friends- Brian and Polly! Looking forward to that, for sure! There is really so much to be thankful for. It is almost unreal. 

Psalm 34:8, "Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!" 

Until next time! Adios from LA!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Autumn in LA, wedding bells and more gifts for Blue!

We are almost at the Thanksgiving break again and it is hard to believe how quickly this semester has gone by! 

We had the privilege of going to Brian and Polly's wedding on the 29th of October and it was such a lovely wedding. It was especially memorable since we have known Brian even before he and Polly started dating and it feels like we have witnessed the whole process! Sooo romantic! :) Here are a few pics taken of their celebration, with my 'not so good' camera:

They insisted that the guests take some of the hanging decorations home... (it helps keep the festivities going!) Here are ours up in our little home:

 Then, my sweetest grandparents sent us a little package for Blue... Makes home feel a little closer.
 My gran has always had a way with words, and she had penned a little poem (which has gone into his baby album...) In case you cannot read it clearly, it says, "A small gift in blue, for someone brand new, Oh the pride and the joy, in this fine Bakkes boy!" Awwwww! It really made my day. :)

 Here is another one of the expanding bump:
 People have been so kind to us! We have received little packages with diapers (US) / nappies (SA). It is really encouraging to see how the Lord is providing for us! Here is a recent package that we received with some baby things:
Also, the dear Gillies sent us an IN-N-OUT treat...

 Then, meet my Sem Wives group: Betsy Harris- ( in the middle with orange on...) is our table leader and Mary Somerville is our prayer partner (on the far left with green on...)

Well, this is just a quick update of our latest news... Hope to have more news shortly! Thanks for reading!