Monday, November 23, 2015

Greater is He...and More Special News...

I didn't think I would ever have the blessed opportunity of sharing something as special as this on my blog again...certainly not after my dear mother had not one or two, but three miscarriages in the past two years...

Dear friends I am simply delighted to be writing this post today and sharing with you the workings of our Almighty Father in our lives...

My precious mother is carrying a beautiful bundle, and for the first time, it is a...little boy!
Can you believe that...? 
We have never had one of those around here...only girls have been welcomed into our little family so far...  But we are all thrilled at this new blessing due to arrive in April 2016, Lord willing of course, and we are eagerly anticipating his arrival...
How strange to say his...surprisingly, from the very beginning of my mom's pregnancy, we all fell into saying ''him'' or ''his''...this was even before we discovered it was indeed a ''him'' all safe and healthy in my mother's womb!
My mother and I bought the first little babygro the other day and what joy it was to browse the baby section of the store again...without experiencing pain and heartache...
Rebekah, who is now a sweet six year old, was the first baby I wrote about on my blog...I started my blog in April 2009, and she was born a few months later in June of 2009...

My mom's past three miscarriages were difficult for us as a family to accept, and it was so hard to watch our mom go through such pain - both physical and emtional...

In August my mom quietly told me she was expecting once again, and although every ounce of me wanted to shriek with glee, I withheld my joy and remained focused on serving my mother and helping her through the next few weeks...each time she miscarried, it was at about 12 weeeks.  This time we withheld from telling the little girls until Mom was further along...

At 11 weeks my mom scheduled a scan, and we all waited anxiously at home, assuming the worst...but when my dad texted me with the news that all was well...oh my!  I burst into tears of joy and relief!

This week marks 19 weeks gestation, and after another scan, it appears that we are expecting a little brother...a precious, adorable baby boy!  
Having only had sisters up to now, this is a whole new experience and I can't wait to meet him...what will a little Gray boy look like?

You can imagine the happiness around here...we are so grateful to the Lord for seeing fit to bless our family with another little one and are humbled at His goodness...

Little Sofia is four years old and too adorable for words...she was the second baby I wrote about on my blog...and I thought she was the last...praise the Lord that He had other plans!

Having gone through the pain of losing unborn siblings, I have become more sensitive towards those ladies who have either lost an unborn precious babe or not been able to have children at all...  Oh, what pain, and I pray I may never take the gift of life for granted!  

While my family may be rejoicing at this time in our lives, I realise many other dear ladies may be reading my post today and experiencing tremendous heartache...I pray that your hearts may be comforted by the True Comforter...I believe He aches for us in our pain, and sees our sorrow...

Sometimes we need to go through certain trials in life to be more sympathetic towards others...even though the past three miscarriages were not something we would have chosen to go through - no one likes to suffer - but we did come out of these challenges stronger in our faith and closer towards each other...

We chose to praise the Lord for seeing fit to allow my mom to carry and give birth to six healthy girls...I think experiencing the fragility of life makes us all the more thankful for the blessings we do have and more appreciative of the time we have had with them.

Every day we live and breathe on this earth is a gift from our Father in heaven, and each day spent with a precious loved one is only by God's grace...  I am striving to embrace and enjoy each swiftly passing moment and season in life, and thank Him for the privilege of being a big sister to so many...

Do I love being with them all the time...?  No.  Am I always wonderfully patient and giving of my time...?  Oh, definitely not!  But the Lord sees my failings and is so gracious in giving me another sibling to practice on...
How do we develop patience, self-control and gentleness within ourselves...?  By daily practicing!  What better way to rid myself of all selfishness than to be in this home where I am surrounded by imperfect individuals like myself and am constantly on call and available for His glory!  No, it is not easy and many times I cry out to our Father for His strength and grace!
And then He reminds me of the beautiful sacrifice made by my dear mother...

...She has laid down her plans and her life to carry another arrow for His army...another precious babe for the Kingdom...  I pray someday I may be just like her...what a blessing to learn from her and see the workings of our Almighty God in our lives because of her obedience.

We continue to trust Him to carry our baby brother and uphold our mom, giving her all the strength she needs...and I ask that you, my dear friends who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, would you keep this little one and my mother in your prayers...?

I am so glad to have had the blessing of sharing this special news with you today...all praise and glory to our Lord and King...for His love endures forever...

With joy in Christ ~

 "Lo, children are an heritage of the Lord:  and the fruit of the womb is his reward.  As arrows are in the hand of a mighty warrior; so are children of the youth.  Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them..."

~ Psalm 127:3-5, KJV

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Thursday Pearls

"We have all of eternity to celebrate the victories won and only a few short hours before sunset to win them."

~ Amy Carmichael

A blessed and wonderful Thursday to you, lovelies!

Hugs and love,

"So shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it."

~ Isaiah 55:11

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

The Sweetest Little Bits of Happiness...

...I was not intending to buy a beautiful tea pot today, I promise...  
And oh!  I just knew I shouldn't have gone into that second~hand store...  
But dear oh dear!  When I walk into a shop that has pretty tea cups, milk jugs, tea pots and other darling vintage~y items...I am a hopeless case!  

I was on the hunt for a pot to melt soap base in...yes indeed!  We are about to attempt a little soap making this week, dear friends!  
And then...I spotted it...
I fell in love and I simply had. to. have. it!  


 One thing I have learnt over the years that I have had an obsession for all things lovely is...never walk into a second~hand store with something...even a little your purse.

As I was about to head to the fabric shop to do some much needed material shopping...I did have something on me...  I walked out the store deep in thought...and walked back in...then I walked out again, this time carrying my darling little tea pot carefully with a big smile on my face!

You see, my mother and grandmother have a few of the tea cups in this set which you may have seen dotted around my blog over the years...  
And I also wanted to have something just like theirs...although mine has a yellow pattern on it instead of the green theirs has.  Don't you simply adore the pretty rose and leaf pattern?
But oh!  I love it and I have just poured myself a cup of tea...brewed in my sweet little tea pot of course!  {{happy sigh}}

"Tea and letters are the best combination..." 
~ Kelly-Anne

I also popped by the post office...and discovered a deligthful letter from my sweet friend Miss M, and also from Margaret who blogs at Tea in the Valley...  
My sister, Nancy, met Margie during a tea cup exchange earlier this year, and now all three of us write letters - blog friends are the loveliest, aren't they...?

And Margie sweetly included two yummy blends of tea for each of us...both Christmassy flavoured!  I just had to sample the one now, but I did save the Christmas Morning tea for...Christmas morning!
Hmmm...I love spicy tea, and it is all the sweeter knowing it was lovingly sent all the way from Canada by Margaret!

I have some other splendid news to share too...our lovely friends, Miss M and her dear sister, Miss J, are coming to spend a week with us soon!  
Oh, we are all so thrilled and are already planning tea parties, walks and photo~shoots in the forest, along with watching the concert Nancy is playing in on the 28th together!  

Sisters in the Lord are hard to come by, and I am truly thankful for these sweet friends who share our love of vintage, tea and all things lovely...and of course for Jesus!

Ah...I just had to share this happiness with you today, dear friends!
May you have a blessed Tuesday further...I am off to sew a bit whilst watching Sense and Sensibility...{{smiles}}

~ Love and hugs ~

Do you have penfriends in other countries?
Do you have an obsession for anything lovely and vintage?

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Announcing....the Sweet Giveaway Winner!

 Today it is time to announce the sweet winner of the Shining Stars magazine giveaway which I hosted last week...  

A big thank you to all the lovely ladies who entered...
And I would again like to extend heartfelt thanks to Hannah, the founder and editress of this beautiful magazine for young ladies for generously offering a year's subscription(4 issues) to Shining Stars to one of my lovely readers...

Now...without further ado...I announce that the winner, randomly chosen by my sister, Sindy is...

Sabrina said...
"Hi Kelly-Anne

Thank you so much for hosting this giveaway. I would love to enter. In addition, I have followed Radical Femininity on Google, subscribed to the Shining Stars website, shared this giveaway on Pinterest and followed Beautiful Girlhood on Google.

Looking forward to seeing which beautiful lady wins this lovely giveaway.


Dear Sabrina!  I do pray you will be truly blessed through reading Shining Stars...
Please would you send me an email with your postal address so that I can pass it along to Hannah?  Thank you!
{Email Address is on my side bar...}

Praying that each of you, dear friends, may have a blessed weekend!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thursday Pearls


"There is no neutral position in the Lord.  You are either becoming more like Christ everyday or you're becoming less like Him.  That's because whether you realise it or not, you're never standing still."

~ Stormie Omartian

Blessings and joy in Jesus!

 ~ Then thou shalt walk walk in the thy way safely, and thy foot shall not stumble."  Proverbs 3:23 ~ 

Painting by:  Richard S Johnson

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How Does My Garden Grow ~ November

Ah, how I love this time of year when the garden begins to grow in earnest...the little seeds and seedlings I planted in September have begun to flower and exciting is that?

The joys of farm living are evident in the Springtime...especially as the weather warms up and the spring rains fall!  As I once remarked to a sweet blog is as if one can actually ''see'' or ''hear'' the plants growing as they drink in the water and soak up the warmth!

Pretty flowers adorning the pathway...

Do come and take a walk with me around my November garden, dear friends...?

Bush beans flowering and producing beans in abundance!  They are Rio Zape bush beans, and I am growing them to!  Once you have tasted home grown beans in a dish, you will never want to buy store-bought again!

Albenga Bush Beans...

One of my favourite ways to cook green beans, is to cut them up into 1.5cm pieces and fry them over a medium heat in a little butter and some extra-virgin olive oil...add some crushed garlic - about 2 cloves - and fry for a further minute.  Once the beans start to turn slightly golden (or taste them - they should still be crisp...don't overcook the beans!), add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.  Stir and serve immediently as a simple and flavourful side dish.

Potatoes, all seven beds of them, growing so beautifully!  I love new potatoes, and can't wait to harvest these!


...And a few other lovelies...{{smiles}} pretty are these purple flowers...?

Gem Squash...

Ashley Cucumer...almost there, folks!  Hmmm....I can taste those pickled cucumbers!

...And beautiful peaches!  Ah...

...And I just had to share pictures of our little pooches...
My Izzie...

And her cousin, Chloe.  Chloe is Beth's dog...

 Oh, and before I forget, just take a look at this beauty overlooking our garden...  This is a Brown Hooded Kingfisher and he visits us quite regularly...I got as close as I could and snapped this before he spotted me and flew away...

What is growing in your garden at the moment...?  I know many of you are weloming cooler Autumn weather, and letting your gardens rest...but for my fellow readers enjoying springtime, may you enjoy each busy day sowing, weeding and watching...

Only a few hours left to enter the Shining Stars giveaway, my friends!  
Hop over HERE to enter if you haven't already done so...I know you would enjoy these delightful magazines full of encouragement for daughters at home!


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Shining Stars GIVEAWAY...Still Time to Enter!

Just popping in to remind you of the lovely Shining Stars giveaway which will be closing on the 12th of don't want to miss it!

To see my review and enter to stand a chance of winning a year's subsciption to this magazine, hop over to THIS post!

Blessings to you, dearest readers!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Shining Stars ~ Magazine Review and…a GIVEAWAY!

 Dear readers, I am so delighted to share this review with you today…

When Hannah, the lovely editress and founder of Shining Stars magazine, contacted me a while back asking if I would be willing to do a review for her, I happily agreed...

…And I was just thrilled when I discovered a few back issues in my mailbox and I eagerly pored over each page…

If you are a daughter~at~home, a potential daughter~at~home or mother~at~home, you will

appreciate and enjoy these beautiful magazines…each article encourages and inspires women both young and old to pursue beautiful, Biblical womanhood (even when it is difficult…in fact, especially when it is difficult!) and I was blessed by what the various authors had to share…

There are so few young women who have chosen stay~at~home~daughterhood, and thus it is very refreshing to read of like-minded young ladies and be encouraged to keep on walking this road…

Our homes are so important and we are blessed to have the responsibility of keeping them…and learning how to keep them.  I love what a fellow blogger shared with her readers…

“I firmly believe that the home is a beautiful canvas for biblical hospitality, servanthood and discipleship.”

Miss Jen, Blessed Femina


Shining Stars magazines are printed quarterly, and to subscribe, visit the website over here...

I originally thought these magazines were downloadable, and I was simply thrilled to realise that each magazine is printed on quality paper and mailed, so I can sip my coffee and page through a magazine…  I love being able to turn an actual page…  {{happy sigh}}

Each magazine has a different theme…there are also regular columns such as…

...A Peek into my Hope Chest

Being Beautifiers

Crafts in the Home

Healthy Living

Heroines in History

Little Ladies (for younger readers)

Meet a Star

Penpal Place…

…And so much more!


I love what Hannah has to say in the beginning of each magazine…

“…This magazine is made up of submissions from people who, in their understanding of Scripture, may “walk their walk” a little differently than you or I…”

There are certainly things which I may not agree with in these magazines…for instance, I don’t just wear skirts, but it is very true that we do indeed all walk the road given to us by the Lord, and yes…mine may look quite different to yours...  But I think it is important that we as Believers do what the Lord has called us as individuals to do, and it may not be the same for everyone…

Our main goal should be to share the Gospel with unbelievers…



I will most definitely be subscribing to Shining Stars, and I would encourage other young ladies to do the same…and if you are an aunt, mother or grandmother of a young lady, why don’t you gift her with a subscription this Christmas?  I know she would be blessed and inspired!

Oh, we need so much encouragement as we walk along this road, and it is wonderful to discover this in Shining Stars


Now, I have a truly wonderful surprise for you, dear friends…Hannah is sweetly offering one of my readers a year’s subscription to Shining Stars Magazine which is four issues…

Isn’t that delightful…?

How the giveaway works…

To stand a chance to win a year’s subscription to Shining Stars magazine, simply leave a comment below…
Giveaway will end on the 10th of November and winner will be picked randomly.  This giveaway is open to readers all over the world.

To gain extra entries…

Like Radical Feminity (Hannah’s blog) on Facebook

Follow Radical Feminity through Google Friend Connect

Subscribe to Shining Stars website
Share this giveaway through your choice of social media...

Follow Beautiful Girlhood through Google Friend Connect

Like Beautiful Girlhood on Facebook

*Please leave another comment telling me what you did so I can give you extra entries….


A big thank you to Hannah for all the time and love she pours into creating these lovely magazines…and also for hosting this wonderful giveaway today!

May your weekend be wonderful and blessed, sweet friends!
 P.S.  All thoughts are entirely my own...:-)

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Thursday Pearls

 “Trying to do the Lord’s work in your own strength is the most confusing, exhausting, and tedious of all work. But when you are filled with the Holy Spirit, then the ministry of Jesus just flows out of you.”

~ Corrie Ten Boom 

Thursday blessings, dearest friends!

~ I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.  Philippians 4:11 ~

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

A Special Expansion of our Little Family…❤

I had hopes of sharing about our new sister sooner than this, but alas!
Time flies when you are busy, my friends, and that is exactly what it has been these past few weeks...


With all the birthdays and other celebratory events we had in October (including Nancy's first orchestra concert), I just did not get a chance to write about Sindy and introduce her to you...
I know you will enjoy getting to know her as much as I have...

I will admit this hasn't been an easy journey, but I know it is worth it, and I am thankful for the sweet encouragement I have received from my parents and blog friends...and I prayed and asked the Lord to give me a love...a true, beautiful love for Sindy, and I can honestly say He started off small, and it continues to grow...

Love is not always something we feel, but rather a choice, and I believe that when we choose to love like Jesus loved, we will see a remarkable may not come right away, but it develops over time.

We are typical sisters and have our little ''problems'' from time to time, but generally speaking, we get along wonderfully and grow closer day by day...  And the little girls adore Sindy and invite her to join their games whenever they can...and she is so gracious that she gives in...{{smiles}}

It does take time to get to know discover who they are and their hearts, and I know it has been challenging for her as well as me, but there is a beauty in placing the other person above all our own needs and wants...

The Bible instructs us to take care of the orphans and the widows...this may not always mean adoption/fostering, but also financial support, or the giving up of your time through serving in an orphanage, helping a widow with things she need done, etc.
God uses us all in different ways and has a unique plan in mind for each of us and for our families...

We believe the Lord orchestrated this change, and when we trust Him with our lives, we can rest in knowing He has everything in the palm of His hand...all the good things and all the difficult, challenging things we will face...
Everything is ultimately for His glory, and I am humbled He chose us to be a part of that...

I will be sharing more about Sindy in the coming weeks...already she has discovered she enjoys papercrafting, and is helping me with making my mini cards...what a blessing!

And I think she is thrilled to be adding new skills to her reportoire such as cooking, baking and soon preserving...with summer just around the corner, we are looking forward to fresh fruit coming in...we love making jams, chutneys, pickles and preserves, and Sindy is keen to learn!

 I wish each of you a very blessed November...I do apologise for being absent for a few days, especially after writing about the surprise I had for you this Friday keep an eye out as it is coming within the next day or so...I haven't forgotten!

Blessings and love,


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Enter the coupon code PRECHRISTMAS15 at checkout to receive 15% off your entire order...
Valid till November 12th...

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Thursday Pearls

"Our wants and our real needs are not always the same.  We want pleasure, plenty, and prosperity - but perhaps we need pain, self-denial, the giving up of things that we greatly prize.  We shrink from suffering, from sacrifice, from struggle - perhaps these are the very experiences which will do the most for us, which will bring out in us the best possibilities of our natures, which will fit us for the largest service to God and man."

~ JR Miller

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”

~ Romans 5:3-5

May you have a blessed Thursday, dearest friends!

 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day.  For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all.  So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Overberg Baked Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust...


This delicious baked cheesecake is one of our favourite desserts, and we usually just make it for very special occasions...

One cheesecake goes very far as it is quite rich and decadent...thus, one only needs a small piece...hmmm...❤

I like to make a strawberry coulis to pour over the makes the cake that little bit extra special and pretty...

This recipe is very simple and quick to prepare...just be careful that you don't bake it for too long as the cake will crumble when you slice it...  I like to cut my cheesecake into small blocks and place them in cupcake wrappers...

Overberg Baked Cheesecake with Chocolate Crust

1 packet chocolate biscuits, crushed
100g melted butter
750 cream cheese
2 tins condensed milk
125ml lemon juice
60ml custard powder
30ml vanilla essence
250ml fresh cream

Mix crumbled biscuits and butter together and press firmly into a loose-based cake tin.  Mix remaining ingredients except cream together.  Whip cream and fold into mixture.  Pour into prepared cake tin.  Bake in an oven pre-heated to 180 degrees Celsius for 30 minutes.  Remove and cool.

We served our cheesecake at Nancy's sixteenth birthday high tea...  
I love sipping  tea and enjoying a little slice of this as a treat whilst chatting with special friends...the perfect combination, don't you think...?

I have a special surprise coming for you this Friday {hopefully}, dear friends, so do stop by don't want to miss it!

Blessings to you!


Tuesday, October 27, 2015

A Few Pictures from our Recent Family Day Trip...

 October is quite a busy month for us in terms of family birthdays!  With Sofia on the 12th, Nancy on the 14th and my dad on the 25th, there has been a lot of baking and celebrating around here of late!

One of our favourite pastimes as a family is spending the day at Ebb and Flow restcamp (our local National Parks Board campsite), and for a week leading up to Dad's birthday, we were preparing, planning and getting excited about playing cricket on the beautiful green grass, swimming in the river and having a delightful picnic on the water's edge...

  ^These four make life busy, interesting and fun...

But sadly it was not to be as the weather turned miserable on Saturday evening and we were forced to change our plans.  Now, bear in mind that we had already packed and organised everything for the next day's special trip.  We spent Saturday baking and cooking and thus, we were even more frustrated that the day wasn't as bright and sunshiny as we thought it would be...

^Oh, how cute are these four...?

But our heavely Father has other plans and although it is sometimes somewhat difficult to understand His ways, they are always higher than our own and the best we can do is trust that He knows best.
When we woke up to an overcast, chilly day, we were naturally disappointed, I think especially for the little girls sake as they had been talking about swimming at Ebb and Flow for weeks beforehand!

^Beth is a great big 'buddy' to Sofia...

We then thought a cooler day would be perfect for doing a day trip to Oudtshoorn and taking the little ones to a place where they could play, feed different animals and allow us to spend the day as a family. 
We took a simpler picnic along and enjoyed the day driving, laughing at the little girls (oh, are they so funny!) and enjoying the scenery...

^Sofia and Beth petting the donkeys...

We then arrived at a wonderful place where children can run, play and even do some fun activities including camel rides, called Wilgewandel...I remember going there years ago with friends of ours and I distinctly recall riding those camels!  
Have you ever watched them get up...?  Or been on one when they've gotten up...?  Quite a strange experience!

^Gabrielle...she is such a precious sister!

We decided to rather not do the camel rides (this time) and the girls went on a short donkey cart ride instead and also fed the animals...  There were alpacas and emus as well as goats, sheep, rabbits, geese and donkeys...the little ones loved it!

  ^Feeding the cheeky goat with Sofia (4) and Rebekah (6)...


I think the most fun they had was on the pedal cars...Nancy and Sindi joined them on this and I captured a few pictures of their happy faces!

^Beth riding her pedal car...Sofia was her passenger...

 ^Deep concentration...Rebekah driving her pedal car

^Gabrielle happily ''driving'' her pedal car...

The drive home was rather long and hot, but thankfully there was delicious carrot cake and tea awaiting us at home...{{smiles}}

All in all, I think the day turned out beautifully and Dad enjoyed spending the day celebrating with his family!

I think we are all more than happy to have a break from birthdays for the next while...mine is next and that is only in January...  Until then, we shall enjoy some lovely Christmas planning... 
I love the festive season, and all the delights that go along with it, including baking our traditional Christmas cake!

Dear friends, I so appreciate having you visit and always enjoy reading what you haev to say...thank you for the extra time you take to do so!

Blessings on your Tuesday!

And don't forget...  Receive 15% off on all heartmade purchases by simply entering the coupon code:  PRECHRISTMAS15 at checkout!  Valid till 15 November.