Friday, 15 February 2013

A Fairy tale Wedding in Texas

Once upon a time in a far far land, lived a beautiful Princess, Cinder.... OK her name was Valerie.  The Princess grew up in a little castle surrounded by a forest of live oaks in the village of Weesatch. (a Weesatch is a thorny shrub but you can google it)

No handsome prince ever came calling or riding through the forests to visit.  Princess Valerie was very happy though...  she lived in this cute little castle together with her brothers, sister & kind parents the King and Queen of Weesatch.  King Miles and Queen Rhonda were benevolent and kind to the citizens of the land, rabbits, chickens, cows,  cats, deer and skunks... OK OK perhaps not the skunks. Valerie had 1 older sister, Princess Michelle and 6 Prince brothers.  The Prince brothers would valiantly rescue damsels in distress whenever the fire breathing dragon came to town (they worked at the Weesatch fire dept. but only Chad ever rescued a damsel & married her, the lovely Chrystel).  Princess Valerie was a skilled seamstress and filled her time taking care of little children & creating magnificent quilts from her brothers discarded princely apparel (jeans).  She sang like a nightingale (choir) and played the piano. She also baked delicious cookies called "The-way-to-a-man's heart cookies" but more about those later...

The Good King Chris & Queen Kathy
 Meanwhile in another far and distant land,... where the long grass whispers and the umbrella tree's grow, lived King Chris and Queen Kathy. They had a  daughter, Princess Annalise (see the Barbie "Princess & the Pauper" story) and they had a handsome son, Prince Aladi...Ok his name is ChrisJan.  They were also benevolent and kind to the citizens of the land, lions, leopards, elephants, rhino's, buffaloes & all manner of beasts.  One day Prince ChrisJan left his home to go on a world journey, He traveled across many scorching deserts, jungles and seas (in a South African Airways Boeing 747) and arrived in the New World (Texas). 

                 Big time gap here, use imagination to fill void (in the story I mean)

One frosty wintery morning, a tall dark & hansome stranger (ChrisJan) arrived with his trusted steed (Toyota) in the village of Weesatch, to visit the local chapel. This caused a flutter in the hearts of the young village damels (Because of Chrisjan not the Toyota). But the flutteriest heart belonged to Princess Valerie. Princess Valerie and the Prince ChrisJan met, (this is the part where Valerie starts baking cookies. They are good, trust me I have tried them. If anyone wants the recipe I am sure I can get it, it may cost you. Now back to the story)  & fell hopelessly in love........ 

OK, enough of soppy, you got the picture, now see the picture....
Skipping down the aisle, to her happily ever after

No Peeking before the wedding...

The Princess & her flower girls

The Texas wind get's in your eyes...

The Kindly King Miles and Princess Valerie...
The Vows

The Beautiful Queen Kathy....

Fire Fighting Brothers... and Nephews
Texas Wedding Attire


Jimmy, Tammy & Brogan

Nini & Solomon
Boots for every occasion...

Kathy, ChrisJan, Valerie & cousin Jimmy

Princess Michelle, with Trouble sitting behind her!

Annalise, Michelle, Valerie, ChrisJan & Chad
Mark & Geraldine


Valeries lovely family
Aunty Olly

Siobhan, a Bridesmaid

This is the moment when Kathy was reunited with her nomadic son, and met his lovely fiancé...


Michael the magnificent
Sleeves are for wiping tears of joy and happiness
Jessica, the littlest Princess
Lovely Danni
Hey Chad, Who are the flowers for?  "......., my Belle"
The Groom's family

And they lived Happily Ever After, 
in their little home in the woods!!!

Monday, 4 February 2013

Cannibals, Teepees and other Tall Tales

I must point out, that this post is all in good humor.  It's good to laugh at ourselves, and find the funny in life.  I am always laughing at our own African newcomer mistakes here in America, so the shoes on the other foot now!

When we first arrived in the USA, Jessica met my uncle Jb and launched into a long and detailed story of "life-in-Africa".  Uncle JB allowed her to spin the tale about lions at our back door, riding to school on elephant back and wearing skins, she was doing quite well until she told him we lived in teepees! Little did she realize at the time that Uncle JB is in fact also African, and he had grown up in Northern Rhodesia when it was a wild and rugged country, quite similar to her tale in fact!

Siobhan's cannibal stories
The kids have discovered, to their delight, that they can pull the wool over the eyes of their classmates.  All thanks to media which portrays Africa as 1) Filled with people who need medical or food aid 2) Wildlife.  So, when our kids went to school for the first time in America, they were rubbing their hands with glee at the tall tales they could tell.  Siobhan took the cake when she told a bully that she was a Cannibal.  Admittedly, the 14 year old boy deserved to be intimidated by our petite 15 year old, since he was using his vast girth and weight to crush little 9 year olds against the side of the bus.  However we discouraged Siobhan from perpetuating the myth further, since rumors fly fast and furious in a small town.

One man asked what we do for a living, in Africa.  Stuart mentioned that he was a pilot, and I told him that I am a graphic designer.  The man blinked and said "on a computer?" I realized that he could not believe we had computers in Africa.  I reassured him that although we ride to work on Elephant back, we have solar powered laptops.  Couldn't resist.  He took it in good humor. The American's have a great sense of humor.