Since 2003 we have been going to Knysna for our vacations. We love the beautiful garden route along the South African coastline.
Every time we went, we took pictures of our family at The Heads in Knysna and by now it has become a tradition. As I was looking at the pictures we took over the past 7 years, I was filled with thankfulness and praises to the Lord, for blessing us more than I could ever have imagined!
Danika was our baby and only 8 weeks old, Heidi-Mari 6yrs, Josua 3yrs and CJ 9yrs. When I look at my children I cannot believe how much they look alike. Danika is now 7 years old and look just like Heidi-Mari at that age.
This holiday was our first in five years and signified the turning point of a very difficult financial, physical, emotional and spiritual time of our lives. Before this holiday, I thought we would never be able to own a car or house of our own again, let alone go on holiday! CJ and Josua, both celebrated their birthdays while on this holiday and had very special memory making moments.
Before we went to Knysna, CJ did a unit study on Knysna, a little about it’s history and the tourism attractions - the forest, the rare indigenous trees, the wood and furniture industry, the gold rush of 1885, the Knysna elephants, George Rex - the founder of Knysna, the sea horses and oyster farms.
While in Knysna we got a tour through a saw mill; visited the Knysna elephant Park; drove up to Millwood in the Knysna forest, near Homtini, to see what was left of the town which grew tremendously during the gold rush and then died just as quick again; visited the old churches in Knysna and Belvedere, went to the oyster farm, where CJ and Christo even tasted very fresh, live oysters - it didn’t go down well, to say the least! We even managed to see whales a few hundred meters into the sea at Plettenberg Bay.
In the picture Danika is sucking my pinkie finger and is so content. She was my baby who could be soothed the easiest by giving her my pinkie finger to suck on, when it wasn’t possible to nurse her right away. When I happened to drive and she started crying, she would even sucked CJ’s pinkie finger.
This holiday will always be one of THE holidays!
I'm 32 weeks pregnant with Andrew. Josua is 4yrs, Danika 22months, Heidi-Mari 8yrs and CJ 11yrs old.
During this holiday we stayed at Brenton On Sea in a beautiful raised log chalet. What I cherished most about this holiday was the quiet evenings (after the children went to bed) with Christo on the balcony of the chalet, looking out over the dark sea with it’s constant rhythm of waves in our ears.
Since I was in my 7th month of pregnancy, we didn’t drive much, the weather was good and we mostly went down to the beach, but I had to climb 100 steps down and back up again! The children had hours of fun in the sun, boogie boarding and flying their kites. At one stage I tried my hand at the kite too, but lost my balance and fell! Everyone had a terrible fright and I thought my waters had broke! Christo ran up the stairs and fetched our vehicle and tried to get as near as possible to the beach, so I didn’t need to walk the steps. After Christo picked Danika and me up, and rushed us to our chalet, my courageous oldest son, CJ only 11 years old, took responsibility for Heidi-Mari and Josua and got them safely up the stairs back at the chalet!
My waters didn’t break and after a warm bath and tucked in bed early, I was all well again!
The rest of the holiday was pure bliss and we were hooked on Brenton on Sea!
Since our last visit to Knysna, 3 1/2 years past. During the time between our Knysna holidays the Lord added Andrew, David and Daniel to our family!
Daniel was 6 weeks old, Andrew 3yrs, Danika 5yrs, CJ 14yrs, Josua 8yrs, David 22months, Heidi-Mari 11yrs old.
Since we had so many little people, the raised Log chalet, with all the steps up to the chalet and inside the chalet wasn’t practical anymore. We stayed at a log cottage on ground level and since we mentioned we had 7 children, they gave us a cottage at the outside of the group of cottages more to the side, with more running space for our children!
We visited the Knysna Elephant park again and also Monkey Land just outside Plettenberg Bay! When Daniel was born I bought an Ergo and a special missionary couple who went to America to have their 5th baby, sent it back to me! I carried baby Daniel in the Ergo where ever we went. Even on the beach I could carry him in the Ergo and he was protected against the wind and sun.
Our family reconnected during this holiday. Over the past 3 1/2 years a lot has happened in our home and we could just be with each other, rubbing our fingers over our children’s hearts, filling cracks with love and attention! We had perfect weather and the little ones played for hours in the sand next to me, while Christo and the older children boogie boarded and had fun in the waves! In the evenings we had a ‘braai’ (barbecue), having ‘stokbrood’ (bread dough rolled over a stick, grilling over the open fire) and melted marshmallows dipped in chocolate flakes!
Since the last picture in 2008, the Lord added little Michael to our family!
Josua 10yrs, Daniel 2yrs, David 4years, Michael 9months, Danika 7yrs, Heidi-Mari 13yrs, Andrew 5yrs and CJ 16yrs.
Although we went for the 5th time to Knysna and in the same cottage as 2008 and 2009, it was a total new experience. We prayed for weeks for the weather, but the Lord knew better. We needed time close together and we got more rainy days than sunshine. The first day or two we panicked, but then made peace with God’s best for our family and had a wonderful time together! We celebrated David's 4th birthday, played board games and went to see things we never did before. The three days at the beach were champagne clear days, with no wind at all and just the right temperature to play in the water! This year even I could go boogie boarding - in the past I was either pregnant or had my hands full with a new born baby!
By now our family knew the routine and what were expected of each one and with the least effort we had such a relaxing, restful holiday!
This time Josua studied Knysna and we visited specific places as part of his learning experience, but more on that in a separate posting.
I praise the Lord for the ability to look back on my life and count my blessings!
The Lord blessed me with a very special family - unique children, who each contribute to my character and experience of life and fill my days with love and laughter, not giving me one dull moment!
But most of all, the Lord blessed me with a husband of faith! A man of God who trusts Him in providing for our family and who leads us in God’s ways! A man who loves me like his own body and lays down his life to take care of me and our children!
I’m a blessed woman!