Super Mom

Jason

What did you do?

What did you do when you turned 16?

Well, Jason spent his afternoon donating blood.

 

He has been wanting to donate blood ever since I was diagnosed with cancer.  However he was still too young and could only do so once he turned 16.  He wouldn’t wait one day longer and did it on his birthday.

You make me so proud, Jay.  Such a selfless act and in honour of me.

He received two gifts, since it was his first time.  On our way home Jason saw a homeless man and gave the scarf he received to him.

Thank you for being the awesome son you are.

Happy birthday.  I hope that life treats you well.  That you will have more smiles than tears.  That you will learn from your mistakes.  That you will always know that you are much loved.

Soos die son.

 


Giving credit to the photographer

Jason and Quintus are both photographers for the High School they attend.  They, along with one other schoolboy, take all the photos on sport days.

I’m proud to say that the photos are pretty awesome.

I can say that, since Jason’s photos ended up in the local newspaper.  On the front page, the back page (sport page) and a whole page inside the newspaper.

That is pretty exceptional for a Grade 8 kid.

Did he get recognition?  No.  Our newspaper did not ONCE mention that he took the photos.  Photographers get recognition for their photos.  That’s just the way it is.

His photos were pretty much the selling point of the newspaper last week and no mention of the photographer.

Well Jason,  Congratulations.  We are so extremely proud of you.

 


The right thing

I had to smile at Jason last week.  He asked me why I raised him so well.  It would be so much easier if he didn’t always feel like he should do the right thing.

His teacher gave him 100% for a test and when he looked at it, he realized his teacher made a mistake and then told the teacher who adjusted his marks.

I would have done the same thing and I hope they will always do the right thing but it doesn’t always feel like the right thing to do!

Like Zander today. The A team is going to play paintball to celebrate an important win but the B team is practicing as normal.  After lots of turmoil, he also decided that it is the right thing to practice.

I know how badly he wants to be a part of the A team, so understanding that he should not go is not easy for a 10 year old.

Proud of him for getting it though.  Loyalty is important.  Doing the right thing is eventually the right thing to do.


School

At Jason’s grade 7 prizegiving the school played a song that spoke to me so deeply.  A song by a little girl who wasn’t invited to a school prizegiving.  A letter she wrote to her granny, asking if she will ever be good enough to be invited.

I am thankful beyond words that our school is different.  That every child really does count.  It still brought tears to my eyes.

If it were a different school, one of my kids wouldn’t be invited.  Not if it depended on academics.  Even at his own prizegiving I looked at his little face, so proud of the achievements he received for sport (mostly for his rugby team’s achievements) but no mention of academics.

Then I got the school reports and you know what?  I’m so proud.  Proud of every single one of my kids.

Right from the one that decided not to study at all and still … uhm… did WAY above expectation, to the one who worked hard at maths and accounting the last term and increased with a percentage of 20 % and 40 % respectively.  Also the one who has to worked harder than most and it showed.  He improved in every single subject. Our girl child is also did well and got an award for academics.

Proud.  Yes, beyond proud.

Was a good year.  I learned probably more than all of them combined.

Life lessons, that is what I learned.


Proteas – not the flower

Cricket has never been the same since Hansie.  Don’t get me wrong.  I loved Hansie.  I still think he is one of the very best captains we ever had.  It’s just that now I always wonder.  Was the game lost or sold.

I was going to take Jason to watch the Protea / New Zealand game two weeks ago but very unplanned went away for the week.  I asked their back-up Dad to take him and his friend. It was hot.  It was a long day.

And we lost spectacularly.

In front of a fully packed stadium, the Proteas could not have played worse.

How do you win one, lose the next horribly and then win the third again.

How?

That is okay though.  I don’t mind spending close to a thousand rand on tickets and then watch them loose.  I don’t.

I do mind more though if they don’t give signatures or a second of the time to the children who are the reason we spend thousands of rands to watch the games.

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New Zealand actually spoke to the kids.  Gave out signatures.  Nice people that.

Proteas?  Maybe half of them were half proper.  They told the kids to wait until after the game, when they will come out again to talk them and give signatures.

Oh yes.  They did.  Not more than five of them.

I want to bring one thing under the attention of all professional sports players.  You earn as much money as you do because you have fans that are willing to spend money to watch you play.  Without those fans you will just be a club player, doing it for fun.

Don’t fool yourself. You are not above human. Take the time.  Thank the kids for coming out and supporting their heros.

Dale, you rock btw.


I thought my head was going to pop off … like in cartoons

I don’t think I have ever been so irritated and close to a full blown melt-down as this morning.  Not even back when I was 5 and my brothers kept on poking me when we were in the car.

Sitting back and looking back at it, it probably was a bit comical and totally over the top but hey, at that moment you were safer when not near me.

Today the kids had to display their science task they had to do during the holidays.  Yes, it’s always been like that but holidays are for resting, especially when your kids are still in primary school.

Also, it is (according to the letter) supposed to be a family project but done by the child. Talk about a square circle.

Anyway, back to this morning.

As luck would have it, Jason had to be at school before 7.  Before Zander and I were ready to leave and therefor Tommie dropped him off.  I assumed incorrectly, that they had taken the project with them.

As I happily yay we are early for a change get into the car, I notice the massive board in the back of my car, clearly meant to be dropped off at school.  Well, hello, I have a bad back.  No way I would be carrying that.

Due to bad communication (not going to blame husband anyone) Jason and I had no idea where to get each other.  There I was, happily getting more and more pissed off and driving around the school, looking for my child and getting more aggrivated that he is NOT at any gate, so how on earth am I supposed to find him!!!  Phone him but he doesn’t answer (probably because it was locked up in his teacher’s room as it should be)

Finally I phone said husband (who is not to blame) to help me get to board set up in the school hall.  Uhm, hallo second problem.

THERE IS NO PLACE LEFT TO PUT THE DARN THING! It has always been a problem, so I know that you must get there early but really?  It’s not rocket science (pun intended)  If you have x amount of kids and z are doing a task with a friend, then you need a amount of tables.  Easy.  If there is not enough place, do it over two days.

Don’t let me loose it all because of a science fair project!

So, no place to put it, no child to show where it is and a teacher who is telling the kids to get back to class, since school started.  I might have loudly said that there is no way my child is going anywhere, once I find him, since I’m not standing with the board in my hand all day long.

Said child eventually pitched up.  Shame, poor kid was all stressed out himself.  Finally got the thing setup, in the middle of nowhere.  At least not on the stoep or a braai as previously option I thought of. Also might have said that loudly.

However

All is well that ends well.

They got better marks than last year and spent way less time on it.

Clearly less is more, ne’.


#verstotemiddelkind

If you follow me on Instagram, you will see the hashtag #verstotemiddelkind when I post a photo of Jason.

My middle child.  Must loved and everything but the poor middle child. He often jokes about being the middle child. There but not acknowledged. Which, if you really know us, you will know is a total joke.

So one day I joked that I am going to add that hashtag when I post photos of him and there we go #verstotemiddelkind and then of course #notreally

So just to make it clear.. He is #muchloved and pretty #awesome


Top ten

He has worked for this since the beginning of Grade 4.  It has been his dream.  His goal.

Jason is in a very strong age group.  Both academically as well as in sport.  It has often happened that the last 13 kids in the top 20 (20 children with the highest academic average) will have the same average percentage.

Jason has received gold for his academic achievements three years in a row.  Never top 10 though.

Until this term.  He finally got it!!

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I’m so proud of you Jay.  You did it!


End of the first term

So ends the first school term.  Another extremely short holiday (all holidays are too short!)

Things that stood out this term:

  • Zander has a great rugby coach.  I’m so happy for my little boy that he is in the A team.  That is is playing full back like he wanted to.  Rugby is his air.  I’m glad he gets to breath it.
  • Zander is in the school choir.  Zander = choir.  Never thought I would say those words in one sentence.
  • Zander has an awesome teacher.  She is amazing.  Patient.  Caring.  She takes the time to understand him.  I’m so thankful that he is in the same class that his brothers were in Grade 3 as well.
  • Jason did extremely well academically.  He is a very clever guy but probably did the best ever this term.  Will have to wait for the report to see but his test results were great.  I’m very proud of how motivated he is.
  • Jason loves his tennis.  I am sure he can’t wait for the next term so that school tennis matches can begin.  They are playing league games and hopefully they will do well.
  • I’m thankful that being a school prefect never went to his head.  He is just another guy at school wearing a white shirt.  However, I must say that he has taken his duties seriously.  Every prefect has a specific class where they help out until the teacher comes. He is at that class even if we are almost late and it is only for a couple of minutes.  The sweet thing is that he is Zander’s class prefect.
  • Quintus made the junior A team in hockey.  He is doing SO well.  After watching him play rugby for all those years, I thought it would feel almost wrong to watch the hockey but wow.  He has the same passion when he plays hockey.  Also no fear. A good thing when you are playing back, but still.  Scary to watch him defend like that.
  • He is loving the NW youth choir.  The friendships are for life.  There is that “inner circle”  feeling that you only ever get from choirs.  He is also pretty good at that, since he was asked to sing a solo part in a song.  He declined though.  I think being one of the young guys in the choir had a influence on his decision.

We will be enjoying this short holiday, since the second term is always hectic with sport and exams.


Making choices and memories

I am the kind of mom who thinks creating memories are just as important as school.
I am the mom who takes my kids to experience snow during a school week. Who takes them to the Voortrekker monument and then the Gautrain to see how things have changed on a school day.

I am also the kind of mom who lets my son go on a birding trip with his Oupa in the middle of his exam.

When a ocean bird ends up in the middle of the country, I can’t say no. He packed his study books, birding necessities and off they went.

They ended up seeing that very rare lifer and ten others for Jason. My dad says that he also studied. That is a bonus lol

I am glad he gets to do this. That he gets to make memories like that.

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So proud (1)

Jason

I did my best to prepare you for the worst.  I didn’t want you to get hurt.  Yet, I knew that I can’t protect you from all the hurt in the world and sometimes you have to face disappointment.  In my heart I hoped that you would be chosen.  I didn’t want you to get your hopes up, so I explained the system and why I thought you wouldn’t.  On the other hand, I didn’t want you to feel like you weren’t good enough.  That there is any reason why you should not be chosen.

Gosh parenting is not easy.

I decided to send you to school anyway….even if there was a chance that your name would not be called out.  Even though we were leaving for Stilbaai way too late.

When I saw you with that brown envelope and that smile that you were trying to hide on your face, I knew. I knew you were chosen as a leader for your school in 2015.

The one thing that you so badly wanted.  You wanted your photo on the wall of the school hall.  Just like your mom and uncle. 

I’m so happy for you.  I’m happy for you because it was important to you.  I’m happy for you because you deserve it.

I am confident that you will be a good leader.  That you will lead by example.

Remember that in the words of your headmaster:  “Just like flowers, some kids just bloom earlier than others” Never think you are better because we are all equal. 

Remember that you are special though.  Just as everyone else is.  Treat everyone with the respect they deserve.

You make me proud to be your Mamoeshka mom.

Funny how Juffrou Liz was the teacher who told me that I was going to be a prefect and also now with you the first teacher to congratulate me on you being chosen.

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Birders

We recently found an old photo of Jason birding with my Dad.

 

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This one was taken when he went in search of a white winged flufftail with many other “crazy” birders.

They went birding this weekend again (like they do most weekends!) and it just struck me again how lucky he is to get to spend time with his Oupa like that.

Jason adores my dad.  As does all the grandchildren.  I am convinced Oupa loves all his grandchildren (see how I don’t say grandsons) the same. 

Nothing, compares to having a shared interest though.  Jason has been birding with Oupa for close to 5 years now.  That is a very long time for a child.

Dad, thank you for taking him birding.  Thank you for teaching him about nature.

(Photo taken this weekend)

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When they are away

Jason has left on his Grade 6 tour.  How quickly they grow up.

I so clearly remember mine.  I loved it.  I loved that Michael wrote me a letter, only to read when I really really missed home. I remember what we did.  Where we went.

This is pretty amazing since I don’t remember much detail about my childhood.

Now it’s Jason’s turn.  Quintus loved his Grade 6 tour and I hope that Jason will bring back only great memories too.  He got a new camera to take with, so I’m hoping he will bring memories captured on the camera. with as well.

We do miss the guy.  The middle guy. Home is not the same without the only middle guy we have.


Best kids

I have the best kids….okay I always say that but really I do!

I was helping Jason just now. He was battling a bit with idioms.
One of them is “nie jou woord breek nie” (never go back on your word)

After explaining it, he said…”oh, like you Mom! When I was born you promised to be an awesome Mom and you have kept that promise!”


Tennis

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As I look at him on the court, I almost can’t believe he is the boy that was so sad, angry, maybe a tad depressed just months ago.

Before he started taking his tennis seriously (thanks to his new coach) he wasn’t a happy kid. I actually worried about him on daily basis.

Now I look at him and he has loads of confidence. He controls his temper. He motivates himself. He learns from his mistakes.

What a difference it has made in his life. He has found his passion. It’s not about the winning or losing. It’s the passion. Finding the place where he belongs.

Tennis is his place.

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Marriage

Some general questions about marriage that I asked the boys

How do you decide who to marry?
Quintus: You must know her well. Take her on a date. Get to know her values, culture, heart and believes.
Jason: Someone who is friendly, helpful, sweet….and she must love to braai.
Zander: Will look for someone at school.

What is the right age to get married?
Quintus: 22
Jason: 28
Zander: 18

How can a stranger tell if two people are married?
Quintus: They would hold hands.
Jason: If they walk together with their arms around each other.
Zander: If a woman walks next to a man

What do you think your Mom and Dad has in common?
Quintus: They are both Christians. They love us.
Jason: They both love us.
Zander: They both like cars (?) and each other.

What do most people do on a date?
Quintus: Get to know each other better.
Jason: Flirt with each other.
Zander: Kiss

What would you do on a first date that turns sour?
Quintus: I would apologize but if I really like her, I would ask for another chance. Not all relationships are the best right from the first date.
Jason: Play along but on the way home, I will tell her it won’t work out.
Zander: That is a difficult one. I will ask her if we could rather go home.

When is it okay to kiss someone?
Quintus: If you have been in a relationship for a long time and she makes the first move.
Jason: When you get married.
Zander: When you are married.

Is it better to be single or married?
Quintus: Married because then you have someone you know and love who will stand by you.
Jason: Married
Zander: Married

How would the world be different if people didn’t get married?
Quintus: The world would be a dull place.
Jason: There would be no more children.
Zander: That would just be sad.

How would you make your marriage work?
Quintus: I would buy her chocolates and roses and make her coffee. I would take her on a lot of trips.
Jason: I will take her on a special honeymoon. I will never forget our anniversary. Most importantly I will help with the children.
Zander: I will cook. Take the children to school. My wife wouldn’t have to do anything. Like my dad now (lol)


Eleven years. Eleven things

When Lightning and Awesome struck, Jason was formed.

Your words. Not mine.
You are at such a good place within yourself. So self assured.

Since you are eleven today, here’s eleven things I love about you.

1.  Your intelligence. 
2.  Your sense of humour.  You are classic.
3.  Your love for tennis and the hours you put into it.
4.  The way you don’t mind being reserve player for the rugby team and never expect them to let you play.
5.  How hard you work at school.
6.  That you don’t let friends influence you.  You are your own person. You turned out to be so much stronger than I thought you would.
7.  Your love for your brothers even in times when you are working on each others nerves.
8.  That you can’t sleep without Quintus.  I love that about both of you.
9.  Your compassion for others.  Even bullies who don’t treat you right.  You know there must be something wrong in their lives.
10.  I love how you do things for me.  Buy me a chocolate when you run into the store for us. Make me a cup of coffee on a rough day. Breakfast on a Sunday.
11. Mostly I love that you are mine and that you want to be mine.

I adore you.  I am so proud to be your Mom.

Happy birthday Jay.

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Science

Thankfully only once a year we have to do this.  Science expo is not my thing.  Doing this big project during school holidays is not exactly relaxing. One is supposed to have a break from school…..

Like I said, at least it is only once a year.

Jason and his friend went all out. They the friend’s dad built a greenhouse that recycles the water. Many hours went into this. They did well and got 84%

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Quintus and his friend went the easy route. Played games Did research on how games influence your heart rate. Fun and they got 100%!

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Thankfully only next year again.


Sometimes even “supermom” messes up

Oh word and did I mess up.  No I don’t think I’m supermom.  Not by a longshot

Jason has been looking forward to his very first tennis tour for a long time now.  They have been practising VERY hard (as in from 8 am to 5 pm every day)  He was packed and ready (Well as ready as he can be to be without me for over a week)

The night before he was due to leave, his coach sent me an sms and asked me to bring his proof of entry when I drop him off.

Uhm…. WHAT!?  I was supposed to enter him!?  Oh was I ever upset with myself.  The thought never occurred to me that I had to do it.  I thought the club would.  Okay, in my defence I was VERY sick when we had planned all of this and it just slipped by. 

Still, this meant he was going to go on a tour with two tournaments and he wasn’t entered in either of the two!!! 

He was heartbroken to say the least.  I was very impressed with how the coach handled the situation though.  Still.  I messed up.  Badly.

I e-mailed the tournament organizers and asked begged them if he could still enter, even though entries closed weeks before.  Both said they could put him in a cancellation list but that he can’t enter anymore. URGH!!!

Minutes later the first tournament organizer phoned.  “I love your e-mail address” he said (supermom2boys)  I thanked him and said that I don’t feel much like a supermom AT ALL.  He laughed and said I should not worry, Jason will get to play.  He had a cancellation.  YES!

This morning I found out that he got in for the Pretoria part of the tournament to. 

Wow.  Prayers were answered, that’s for sure.

He is doing very well so far.  I love how independent he is.  He is having a great time.

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Interview with Jason

Well the interview never happened. Jason is an extremely private person. I can fully respect that and will never blog about something if he asked me not to.

What I can say about him, is that he is so aware and appreciative if what he has.

Like all of us, he had his down days. He will however jump out of his shell smiling. Proclaiming that he has nothing to feel sad or upset about. That we have an amazing life compared to other people.

I appreciate that. Being able to withdraw when you need to but to them come out stronger at the end.

Love that kid.

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School athletics day

So many things came to mind this morning.

The one thing was that my boys make me proud in so many different ways. 

Quintus was willing to run the 800 meter race with his friend, so that the friend wouldn’t have to worry about running at the back by himself. They decided to just do it together.

Jason ran the 1 200 meter and was last right from the start.  He never stopped though.  Never gave up.  So many kids weren’t even willing to run.  Or would have given up. He didn’t.  He makes me proud. 
Zander gave it his all this morning.  And did it with a smile.  Unfortunately a little boy ran into his lane on the second race and totally upset him.  He finished though.  Still giving it his best.  Only crying once he saw Quintus.

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The other thing is how blessed we are.

My mom and dad came to support the boys.  They sat on those hard pavilion even though my dad hurt his neck and my mom is going for a hip replacement next week.  My brother and sister-in-law stayed to watch each if the boys run.  We have the best family.

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Congratulation to our boys

Bondedag O/10 – Standerton Laerskool La Hoff en Laerskool Bakenkop tree uit as gesamentlike wenners van die Plaatkompetisie. Baie geluk en baie dankie aan die afrigters, spelers en ouers vir n wonderlike naweek.

Bondedag O/10 – Standerton – Dag 2 Speel teen Leeuenhof en verloor ongelukkig 12 – 5. Tweede wedstryd vind plaas teen Laerskool Ellisras. Wedstryd word gewen met ‘n telling van 14 -12. Hierdie oorwinning gee die span nou die geleentheid om in die Plaatfinaal te speel teen Laerskool Bakenkop. Ons hou styf duimvas.

Bondedag O/10 – Standerton – Dag 1 Uitslag van dag 1 – Wen wenners van Blou Bulle (Laerskool Bakenkop) met 10 – 5. Wen tweede wedstryd die wenners van Mpumalanga (Laerskool Pionier) met 37 – 3. Speel more Semi-Finaal.

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So proud of our under 10 rugby boys.  They played in a competition where 12 of the best teams in 6 provinsial school divisions played agains each others.

The first day they won against the winners of the Blue Bulls league.  Second game we won against the winners of the Mmapumulanga league.

The second day we lost our first game but won our next game, taking us to the plate final. The game ended in a draw and we now share the plate with Bakenkop Primary.

These boys rock. Never giving up until the final whistle blows.

Congratulations to every single boy.

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When moms save your world

Oh what a day.
One of those that stands out.

Remember how upset Quintus was because he was chosen to be in the choir but then found out it was at the same time as rugby? My heat broke into a million pieces as I watched him make the difficult choice.
As his mom I wanted to make it all better. Fix his world again.

At first  I thought I could not. But then my friend mentioned that she was going there today with her kids and I had a lightbulb moment. A hope. A small sparkle of hope that I could just maybe fix his world again.

I asked her to talk to them and tell them that I am willing to pay for an extra class, just to keep him up to date. To learn the songs, the words. Just until the rugby season is over.

That guy smiled when she mentioned his name! He was so happy that Quintus wants to do it! He will help Quintus once a week. He told her how impressed they are with his voice. How his voice will even improve once his voice breaks. Sjoe Sjoe Sjoe!

His world is okay again!

And on to of that, Jason made it into the top 20. The top 20 academic kids in his grade. To say I am proud is an understatement!


Rugby

We have been on a Rugby tour since last week Friday. A long time if you are staying in a hotel with no entertainment for three kids who aren’t busy with the tour!

First Jason’s team was on tour for 3 days. Almost every child had a parent(s) here in support. We had 5 gazebo s up for shade. Kids were with their parents all the time. We braaied and had a great time next to the field. The team played very well and Jason loved it. I think he played well when he got the chance. He came as replacement player but got his fair share of time on the field. The second night the kids decided that they would rather sleep with their parents. Not yet as big as they think they are.

Now its Quintus’ tour. He was so happy when he got chosen to come on tour. He will only play for the 1st team next year, so it was extra exciting that he could join them this year already. It is so different with the older kids. At first we were the only parents. Now 4 of the 23 kids have parents here.
Team is everything. We are mostly just the wallet. I am very thankful that we are here though and that we could see him play his very first game in the 1st team jersey. That is always a proud moment. He has played his heart out. That child plays with so much passion.

Tour ends tomorrow. Its been fun watching the teams. I am proud of my sons.

I must admit though that I can’t wait to get home. To eat proper food. A cooked meal.