Tag Archives: parenting

A South African Peter and the Wolf

As 2016 comes to a close, I want to delight you with our very own South African version of the classical children’s ballet Peter and the Wolf. My 4 and 5 year olds at preschool practiced very hard to perform it for you. My own little Samuel, 4 yrs, wanted to be a cat, and Steven, 7, helped out with light effects. Enjoy and comment if you like.



Time Management and Social Media

Traveling with my husband ministering at prophetic events.

Our oldest started grade 1 this year! How exciting, and how challenging at the same time.


Finding my feet and my place in the “mom collective” at our son’s school hasn’t been easy. I grew up and studied in Germany, the South African way of doing school is absolutely different from what I knew as school. Even the things 1st graders do here are different!

Plus, although I do my best mastering the Afrikaans language, it does happen that my son comes home from school with a word I have never ever heard of before. Enter social media. It is super nice to be able to quickly WhatsApp the teacher a picture of the word in question and get a prompt reply.

Vetkoek filled with mince

Or when its fundraiser day and its my turn to make and sell vetkoek and mince.

How wonderful to quickly be able to google the recipe and do my part to fundraise for new toys and playground equipment. I probably baked 200 of those…


Our upcoming preschool concert has me sewing costumes, cutting backing tracks and rehearsing scenes of Peter and the Wolf. Fun!

As far as blogging goes, between running a preschool, teaching our churches children’s church, giving violin lessons and playing in our worship band, blogging sure takes a back seat. But I definitely daily take the time to check the news and stay current. And this can be done really, really easy using twitter.


In talking with several wonderful friends recently I found that many people do not know how to really take advantage of the social networking microblogging service.

There are gazillions of Christians out there with twitter accounts of about 36 followers, and since there is never anything cool to read, they often haven’t been on twitter for month or even years.

And of course you get those who follow 7199 people and the content on their timeline is so confusing that it would take quite long to find out what’s current and important.

Apart from the search function in twitter that lets you see the currently trending #hashtags (anything that is moving people in that moment in the country you chose to search there is another way to curate your twitter content.

You can sort accounts that have a specific contend into lists.

A list is a curated group of Twitter accounts. You can create your own lists or subscribe to lists created by others.

That means you do not even have to follow all of the celebrities you like to stay in the loop with. Just create a list called Celebs and add anyone you are a fan of into that list. Later, if you want some celebrity news, just open that specific list.

Viewing a list timeline will show you a stream of Tweets from only the accounts on that list.

That’s how I can see all important international news at a glance without having to scroll through a thousand people’s interesting but more trivial comments first.

Here are a view examples of lists I compiled.

At the end of this blog I will teach you how to create your own lists.

If you don’t have to take the time to create a lot of lists, you could simply subscribe to already compiled lists like my NEWS list:


I also made a view other lists with interesting content of people who wont be very likely to follow me back but are interesting to follow (without really hitting “follow”)

Kingom (Christian personalities and ministries)

VIPs, like heads of state

and so on. You are welcome to subscribe to any of my list to save you time.


As a rule of thumb, I follow people who follow me, people who have interesting content and are willing to interact. And then I list those that are too high and mighty to follow back but who are important enough to be of interest.

This way, it takes only 3 min to scan through anything newsworthy, helping this busy mom to stay in the loop!





Using Twitter lists (in Twitter’s own words)

To create a list on Twitter for iOS:

  1. From the Me tab, tap the gear icon 
  2. Select View lists.
  3. Tap the plus iconto create a new list.
  4. Select a name for your list, and a short description of the list. The default setting for your list is public (anyone can subscribe to the list). To make the list only accessible to you, slide the switch next to Private to on.
  5. Tap Save.

To create a list on Twitter for Android:

  1. In the top menu, you will either see a navigation menu icon  or your profile icon. Tap whichever icon you have, then select Lists.
  2. Tap the plus iconto create a new list.
  3. Select a name for your list, and a short description of the list. The default setting for your list is public (anyone can subscribe to the list). To make the list only accessible to you, tap the checkbox next to Keep private.


I hope this helped you a little! See you on twitter!






Show me how God feels about me

Just a little post on a sunday morning while my kids are chomping down their breakfast…


As a Christian family, we try to raise our kids in touch with the spiritual realm and have to answer many, many questions.


The other day, our son asked about God’s love. And about my husband’s occupation being a pastor. My husband took this blanket and hung it around like a mantel, similar to a Jewish prayer shawl. This mantle represents the weight of responsibility we carry as God’s children, as well as the protection and comfort of God’s love towards us.

My son enjoyed this demonstration of fatherly care thoroughly and I just thought this cellphone snapshot would be nice to share with you on a sunday. The picture says more than I can explain in words.



Starbucks for Kids

And that’s one thing my son really misses here in South Africa. “Mummy when can we go to Germany again” he asks me every single day …


We’ve now been on the ground in Berlin for 3 days, and life has been full speed ahead.  Lillian and Audrey had to take an entrance exam and interview on the morning after arrival for the Nelson Mandela School, we’ve toured a few schools for Emilia and Josephine, and we’ve explored the areas in and around the Schöneberg neighborhood mostly on foot.  On top of keeping everyone fed, engaged, and happy, Vivian and I continue to research Grundschulen (elementary schools) along with housing options that will strategically allow us to send our kids to these schools while maintaining the balance between good schools for the younger two, affordable housing, walkability, and an easy commute for the two older girls to and from their school.  It reminds me a little of our World trip and trying to find good places to stay for our little army of 6, but the stakes…

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La Le Lu or the importance of Lullabys!

In their young lives, our kids have traveled a lot. Steven, 4, has done over 300.000 km (flights included) and slept in many many different beds!

Any child needs the comforts of love and a safe place.

Expat and third Culture Kids are no exception – they even need more assurance that their life is alright. Recently I have been discussing the topic of Third Culture Kids with several fellow bloggers.

Third Culture Kids have a lot of first hand adventures early in life!

To create a home that is both open to the exciting things the host culture has to offer and also provides the stability of a culture a child can call his very own, is a task of love. I find that having certain non-discussable routines in place helps a lot so that a child can settle everywhere just fine, no matter the circumstances.

Being a ministry family means getting a lot of invitations to many different places. Our routines help the kids to feel welcome and confident almost every where.

Bed time routines are sacred! In South Africa a lot of kids bathe before dinner and fall asleep in the living room to be carried into their beds late.

We personally have a much more “German” routine although millions of parents world wide probably do the same. My husband works almost every night as his job includes lecturing and house visits. He tries to make sure to be home for dinner and bedtime.

After supper, whether out and about traveling to far away places or snug at home, we would bathe the kids. In their cuddly pajamas they get to choose a book or two or three that we read with the,

Home is where we as a family do what we do.

Then its lights out, and we light a candle and sing together. After a good night prayer the kids will settle for the night. This works everywhere so nice as it creates such a loving atmosphere. Then dad is off again on his assignments. Several nights a week I am doing the bathing alone since dad is out, but almost every night he manages to sneak in at around 8pm just to kiss them good night. How sweet is that!




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Unwinding the same way every night gives sooo much closeness and peace.
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Steven and Sam are so cool at making new friends wherever they are, easy as pie. English, German or Afrikaans – the appropriate language gets figured out in seconds.

Here is a scene from a much-loved German classic featuring a loving bed time scene between a dad and his son, including a cute little Lullaby.

One week closer to achieving your dreams – Tuesday

Tuesday Morning

Thanks for following me on this one week intense adventure of chasing our dreams.

Introducing our baby boy to a white lion cub
The Dresden Zwinger in Dresden, Germany, took architects some skill to plan,buit in 1709!
When coming close to lions you can’t leave anything up to chance! This one I photographed with much caution 🙂

Are we still on with the five things to do differently this week?

Here is a story is about three fish

Three fish lived in a pond. One was named “Plan ahead”, another was “Think fast” and the third was called “Wait and see”. One day they heard a fisherman say he would be going to cast his net in their pond the next day.

“Plan ahead” said,” I am swimming down the river tonight”.

“Think fast” said, “A vis maak n plan -I am sure I will come up with a plan”.

“Wait and See” lazily said,” I just can’t think about it now”.

When the fisherman cast his nets, “Plan ahead” was able to escape from his nets. But “Think fast” and “Wait and see” were caught by the fisherman.

“Think fast” quickly rolled his belly up and pretended to be dead. “Oh, this fish is no good!” said the fisherman and threw him safely back into the water. However, “Wait and see” ended up in the fish market.

That is why people say, “In times of danger, when the net is cast, plan ahead or plan to think fast!”

I don’t know about you, but when I am in trouble, I usually do not think that fast. You know, as a mom of two small toddlers I am lacking a lot of sleep, and then you can noteven think straight about simple things. I once was in Davonnies  here in the Makhado Crossing Mall, wanting to get some cake icing printed. (Remember I talked about my son’s birthday party).

childhoodblessedHere I am, ordering the print, my one son fussing in the pram and my other son checking out all the displays of little trinkets you can print on in the shop. The phone rings, my husband asks me some stuff for the church. Steven is busy picking up a used chewing gum from the floor. I am trying to hold Sam in his pram, and stop Steven from pushing the chappie into his mouth. Routinely I check the pram tray where usually leave my wallet and my phone. Not seeing my cell, I get a fright and shout to my husband: Andries I think my phone got stolen, it’s gone! … Mom moment, right? ( Since I am holding the phone in my hand) In times like these, it is very good to slot down everything you need to do on apiece of paper. Did you get your ToDo list sorted out for the week? Crossed off something yet? I am going to cook that meal for a needy person today.

Maybe you just now listened to some music here on PhalaphalaFm and thought you can do that, too? Why not pick up that guitar tonight and practice your chords? Why not get writing down those lyrics circling around in your head?

The bible says: Pro 2:10  Wisdom will control your mind, and you will be pleased with knowledge.

Pro 2:11  Sound judgment and good sense will watch over you.


Sharpen your senses, it gives God the glory and brings you closer to where you want to be.

Don’t forget, Jesus loves you so very much and wants you to live an extraordinary life!