Mom’s birthday with her gorgeous grandchildren

Needless to say June, July, August and September have flown by and I have not updated my blog for far too long …. inspired last night to get my act together by a conversation held about Blogs, Twitter and FB, …. I am back and will update all and sunder of our latest family adventures …..

Burj Khalifa way up there

Dolphin experience at Atlantis – Dubai
June was relatively painless with the last couple of weeks of school going by quickly with end of year concerts, report cards, and farewells to friends who would not been seen for many months to come …
We did spend a rather extravagant weekend at Atlantis in Dubai, where we swam with Dolphins, Fed Rays and did a tour of the back of the aquarium. We took the monorail into Dubai and explored the Dubai Mall, watched the fountains and went to the 120th floor of the Burj Khalifa, the tallest building in the world. What a wonderful experience for us all.

Jessica had a really girlie Princess Birthday party in the entertainment area of the Apartment Block and it was rather fun to dress all the girls up as princesses and serve them tea and cake 🙂

I have mixed feelings about my little girls Birthday since moving to Doha, as it is always in the middle of the summer holidays, she never gets to have her party on her actual birthdate. However, I have decided that all in all she is pretty lucky as she gets a pre-birthday party, then an actual birthday dinner …. lucky girl ….. 8 this year already, where have they gone 😦

Once school ended, we decided to stay in Doha for a few weeks before heading off to Cyprus ….

Much love with Granny and Grandad
The beginning of July brought with it a few changes to our schedule with Mom being diagnosed with cancer, we changed our plans literally overnight and the kids and I flew to SA in early July. Initially, we thought we would be there for 10 days to see Mom through her operation, but as things progressed we cancelled all plans to go to Cyprus and remained in South Africa until mid to late August. It was good for all of us and saw Mom and Dad being moved up to Johannesburg from Jeffries Bay to live with Les and Paul. She is going to the Donald Gordon Hospital for chemo treatments (which she is still going through) and where she will then have the operation to remove the tumor which is in her uterus. The cancer had however spread to the bladder and colon walls, and is now being treated to come off the wall of the colon (the bladder is all in tact) and hopefully will reduce in size in the uterus before any operation will be performed. On a positive note her cancer cell count has come down dramatically, which is very positive.

Mom going the whole hog – brave lady

The most amazing part of this experience is seeing how well each individual coped in the treatment room at the hospital. Cancer is Cancer, no getting away with how serious it can be, and every person we met was so incredibly positive, friendly and just plain nice. It made Mom’s first experience of chemo that much easier. She sat next to the most amazingly positive woman, who had been going for approximately 8 months for treatments. She told Mom what to expect, what to try and eat and that it was going to be ok. Then we met the funniest little old lady ever, she must have been at least 80 odd, with thinning hair and attitude. The conversation with the nurse went as follows :
Lady – Will this treatment work on me, because the last one didn’t and I am a bit tired of it all?
Nurse – This one is definitely a lot better ….
Lady – Will I lose my hair?
Nurse – Not with this one.
Lady – Are you sure about that, because I don’t mind if my heart stops, but I am dammed if I am going to lose my hair …..
Mom and I had a good giggle about this little lot ….. heart can stop but dammit don’t you dare let me lose my hair!! 🙂
Our SA trip saw us staying with Debbie, Dave and family, where we were very spoilt and had an enormous amount of fun. We concocted new words for @#s holes on the roads, brought to us directly from District 9 …. anyone who cut in front of us was immediately called a &#@…. prawn and this has now followed me back to Doha …. where I use the word profusely at least 2o times on each trip out in the car …. and proceed to laugh myself silly and look like a lune in the car all on my own!

JBay Beach – lovely even in the middle of winter

My Favourite view in the whole world, from Mom and Dads house in JBay

Craddock old main road where the old houses have been converted into B & B’s, fantastic stay over

Steve joined us later in July and we flew back to Jeffries Bay for a few days and then drove Dad’s car back up to Joburg with an unexpected stop over in Craddock. Steve had somehow contracted an eye infection which pretty much resulted in him being blind for the evening and I am so night blind that I give myself heart failure each time a car comes towards me …. which quite frankly would not allow Steve’s heart to survive the drive 🙂 so at 5pm we decided to call it quits with another 3 hours of driving to Gariep Dam and bedded ourselves down in Craddock for the night. Which was the best treat ever, what a lovely little town. We had an entire house to ourselves aptly name Victoria Place, with a fireplace and a twinge of nostalgic Queen Victoria stories and feelings of perhaps ghosts having walking the corridors of the houses there …
We proceeded the next morning to continue our trip home across the Gariep Dam wall (the biggest dam in SA) and arrived back in Joburg to spend the rest of my birthday with the family and some well deserved pizza.
Other trips included Les and I taking Mom and Dad to Grandad Andrews’ grave in Virginia.

Cradle of Mankind
Steve taking Sean to the Cradle of Mankind and all of us spending a day at the Zoo for Jessica’s birthday.

White lion bred in captivity
The kids managed to visit their old schools and friends and generally had a fabulous time with their cousins, where they were spoilt with playtime outside in the gorgeous winter sun and loads of time with their cousins which they would have missed out on if we went to Cyprus.

Trip on the Gautrain
It also brought us 4 girls back together again, the first time since Mom and Dad’s 50th anniversary over 2 years ago. How time flies.
We arrived back to a hot and muggy Doha at the end of August and spent the following two weeks preparing to move to our new villa. Where the family is so much happier, with more space and a garden, wonderful neighbours and children to play with. Our first day in the villa, saw the kids jump on their bicycles in the 40 odd degree humid heat and race around like lunatics. The moment of truth for me, that we had made the right decision to move from the apartment block!
To say we are happy here would be an understatement, we are ecstatic.
So now we are back at school, with after school activities in full swing. And me, well, already looking forward to going to Cyprus in November and back to SA in December to see Mom, who should be through her 6th chemo session and on the way to having the #%$….. prawn cancer cut out and thrown away forever!!!
Sean is now into double digits and turned 10 on 27 September, my little baby boy so grown up!

Sean and Jess both passed their Taekwando exams at the end of September and Sean is now Brown Belt and Jess is Blue 2 belt. They are both doing drama, gymnastics, piano and teakwando and Jess starts yoga and ballet this week and Sean football. Sean was also chosen for the indoor athletics team and we are now waiting to see if he will be chosen for the School team to compete in the inter school tournament. They are 2 very busy little bees, which makes me the busy Queen Bee …. lol
Roll on the next couple of weeks, lets see what you have to throw at us …….