Monthly Archives: September 2017

Building joy

Eli has been gradually building his birthday Lego, but he got real joy out of it today. He built a section of the fire station and was enamoured with the computers and equipment inside, and at lunch time he was very excited to show me. Later in the day he had to push through some challenges, but in the end got it sorted out on his own which was a very fulfilling process for him – lots of joy that he had figured it all out on his own.


Still plenty more to build, so more joy on the way.

Getting shirtless at Vergelegen

On Monday Donné took her folks to Vergelegen with the children, and one of the things that Grace loves to do there is get a milkshake.


The milkshakes are pretty big, so she and Eli shared one….but Eli decided to drink his part a little bit too fast and was soon turning slightly green.


With him not feeling great they started heading back to the car and Grandpa offered to carry him.


That might not have been the best choice for grandpa. Eli decided to get that green-feeling-inducing milkshake out, all over grandpa. So grandpa did the reasonable thing and took of his shirt. Jip, there go the Drennan’s – shirtless at Vergelegen and heading back to the car.

After that, Eli did feel fine though.

Eli’s 5th birthday

Eli turned 5 today!


We celebrated with a trip to the aquarium and the now mandated ice cream afterwards


Grace and Eli are backing up as the large stingray came by


The stunning loggerhead turtle is huge


Grace and Eli had lots of questions about the rare “pink meanie” jellyfish (which eats other jellyfish)


Checking out the rock lobsters


The tiny dark spot above the larger half dome dark spot is a little shark in its egg casing


Getting everyone to smile for a photo seems like a near impossibility at the moment, but I do love these guys dearly



Eli’s huge firestation Lego – we’ve got some building to do this week. The gift he seems to be the most enamoured with though is the small alarm clock that Grace bought for him.


Eli’s knight party

Eli is turning 5 on Wednesday and to celebrate we had a knight party. We went through many different party options through the year (which I think he started talking about just after Christmas), but finally settled on the knight party.

Ser Eli


Everyone got a personalised (hand made) shield and sword. The shields I cut out of 6mm plywood. The swords are a PVC inspection T and some 20mm conduit covered with a piece of pool noodle.


The PVC pipe inside the pool noodle give the sword….well…quite a bit more punch. Luckily we had shields too.


The knights (and the one princess) had to storm the dragon’s castle. First shoot a water balloon with the giant slingshot (which took some engineering to put together – a little finicky to load, but overall a success).


Climb the ladder to scale the wall, then up the tree and over the monkey rope.


From the monkey rope it was down to the rope swing to cross the moat, and then down to the dragon himself (to pop a balloon and start again). A super big thank you to Marguerite who made the dragon head for us.



We had a ring for throwing arrow darts through



There was lots of general sword fighting, with Steven taking on the little knights


And other adults needing to defend themselves


Eli also took some time to settle on his cake, but when Donné suggested that he could cut off the dragon’s head, then he was all in.



Hiding inside the dragon was some dragon treasure


At the end we rounded things up with a few rounds of “jousting” (also known as sword fighting while riding on dads’ shoulders’)

Knight lollies and flaming arrow marshmallows



The Knight Family Drennan’s (who really couldn’t quite all get it together to look at the camera at the same time for this photo).



Everyone had lots of fun, and we definitely enjoyed the party. Thank you to everyone who came, for all the gifts for Eli, and for joining in the fun.


Dragon cake

Eli had a knight’s birthday party today. There are lots of photos to process, but here is a sneak peak – his dragon cake! We had fun making it, and we’re really happy with how it all came out.



We put up a rope swing for the children and in preparation for Eli’s birthday party next weekend. That had me climbing trees and practicing my knot tying abilities (amongst others) while balancing on a branch.

The children are loving it


Eli has been learning to sew, knit, and crochet and is coming home with amazing things, like this handbag that he made. It is his design and made entirely by him, and he is very proud of it.