I forgot to give this update but had to share.  In May, we had quite an accident at our house.  We had some friends over to make pizzas in our gas oven pizza oven on our patio.  It was the first time we were to use this.  Larry and our friend Aaron went out to get the oven started.  They tried three times with no success to get things started.  On the fourth try, the entire oven blew resulting in the entire ceiling falling on Larry and Aaron.  Courtney and I were in the kitchen and heart a huge boom (like a bomb) and felt the explosion as it shook the entire house.  Luckily everyone was ok, Aaron receiving a minor cut on his head.  We had neighbors coming into our house, expecting to find someone seriously injurred.  it was felt 6 houses down from us.  Someone was definitely looking out for us. 

Flash forward to now, the patio is fixed however, we are still fighting with the insurance company and landlords to have them replace our patio dining set, iphone and BBQ that was ruined.  They claim is was user error that we “must have left the gas on too long and it built up.”  Note to the insurance people, IT IS A GAS OVEN – THE GAS HAS TO BE ON!  and everyone else just says “Welcome to Africa!”  I’m still fighting on principal and with any luck, I’ll get the amount to replace our things in the next couple of week. Here’s to wishful thinking…




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Mendoza Clan Song at Church Variety Show!

A few saturday’s ago, we participated in our church’s variety show.  We decided to do a spoof off an old Hee-Haw song called “Where, Where Are You Tonight!”  We had fun with it and the kids were great.  If you’d like to see, you can view it on my facebook page at: http://www.facebook.com/video/editvideo.php?v=2151151551648

Aubrey & Emmaus are enjoying 1st grade.  This week they started after school activities which keeps them busy and very tired.  Emmaus has Cub Scouts on Monday and Karate on Tuesday and Thursday.  Aubrey has Girl Scouts on Monday, Ballet on Tuesday and Modern Dance on Wednesday.  We are hoping to get Tian & Rajko into some toddler tumbling soon.  Larry and I are doing good – just plugging along being parents and enjoying this experience.  August was a good break from my work travel so we’ve just been spending time as a family close to home.  Hope you are all well!

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Aubrey & Emmaus First Day in 1st Grade!

Getting to be so big - 1st Graders!

I LOVE My Twin!

We LOVE Our Daddy!

Kisses for Daddy!

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A Great Extended Weekend with the Family!

We had a wonderful extended weekend to spend some much needed family time before Aubrey & Emmaus start school tomorrow.  I took Friday afternoon off and took the kids to see a movie.  Larry and I then went on a date with our friends Sam & Brent (saw Captain America – great movie!).  Saturday we did our usual trip to the gym then to the grocery store.  We spent the late afternoon and evening with our friends the De Kock’s from church.  Great times playing Apples for Apples and visiting.  Sunday was Larry and I’s 12th Anniversary but because it was Sunday we delayed celebrating until Monday.  Sunday was a great day of church and then visiting with our good friends the Baumhardts.  On Monday I surprised Larry and we went to a spa for the morning for massages and facials and then lunch.  A great long morning to celebrate our 12 years together!  I can hardly believe it’s been that long — and I still really Love my hubby!  After lunch we picked up the kids and went to the open house at the American International school where Aubrey & Emmaus got to meet their new teachers.  Then we were off the gym, dinner and Family Home Evening.

Today we got up at 5am, got the family ready and were out the door around 6am to drive to Pilanesberg National Park – Game Reserve with our friends Steve, Nikki and their daughter Kate.  We spent 4 hours driving the game looking for animals.  We were lucky enough to see Wildabeasts, Wort Hogs, Zebras, Giraffes, Spingbok’s, Hippos, Rhinos and Elephants.  We weren’t lucky enough to see any Lions as they were already sleeping by the time we got to their area.  Hopefully next time.  It was a fun but tiring day but a good way to end the kids break.  They are excited and in bed, anxiously awaiting the first day back to school!





Wort Hog






White Rhinos






Elephants in the distance



The Gang!



On the way home --South African ingenuity at it's best! Anyone need a haircut?



How would you like to go under the knife in this joint. Uncle Jay --we found your new office!



Over the bridge at Hartbeespoort - A beautiful city by the water.



Hartbeespoort Dam



Old School Windmill - Very Dutch!

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A Trip to the Pretoria Zoo!

We had a great time going to the zoo with our friends the Milford’s in early July.  It was a pretty big zoo so we did lots of walking.  After 3 hours, the kids were beat and slept the entire way home. 🙂

The kids striking a pose by the Flamingos



Titan & Rajko checking out the snakes!



Hippos Lazing About



Beautiful Tiger - up close and personal



The whole gang!



Aubrey & Emmaus still the bestest of friends!

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Visit to a Safe Home for Kids!

We had the opportunity to participate in a give back activity through a co-worker’s foundation and got to spend a Saturday with some wonderful kids at a Safe Home on the outskirts of Johannesburg.  These children are taken from their homes–due to abuse, neglect, runaways, etc.  A wonderful Indian couple has opened up their home and without any funding from the government, started this safe home for children.  When we were there, they housed 14 kids ranging from 2 up to 14 in a 3 bdrm 1000 sq. foot home.  I was so impressed by their big hearts and humility.  We spent the morning reading, wrestling and just playing with the children.  It was great for Aubrey, Emmaus, Titan and Rajko to also experience the joy of giving away their things to other children who need it more.  We will definitely go back again for a visit soon!

Larry being goofy with the boys!


The "Mom" and some of the girls.


Beautiful Girls!


Rajko giving one of his great hugs!


Reading to the boys.


The whole gang!

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Family Update!

It is July 29th and the kids “summer break” which is really winter break in South Africa is almost to a close.  Aubrey & Emmaus start 1st grade in 2 weeks – I can hardly believe it.  We have had a fun few months, mostly doing things around Johannesburg.  Here’s what we’ve been up to…

Miss Mary, our live in help and newest family member on an outing with the boys.

Miss Mary with the boys - hanging out at home in their undies!


Lovely Black South African cuisine - one of Mary's favorites. Can you guess what it is? Cow Snout - that's right, teeth and everything. As Larry would say, "Mary, that's filthy, that's just not right."

Family Fun Day at American International School

Family Fun day at American International School – Aubrey Slip N Slid’n

Rajko riding the boogie board!


Titan on the swing ride!


Emmaus & his best friend Asfee - Family Fun Day!

 Daddy Daughter Dance Date at American International!

Daddy Daughter Dance at American International!


Daddy's Little Princess!


Aubrey dancing it up with the girls!

Family Outing at the Bird Park at Montecasino!

Titan feeding the bird!


Emmaus feeding the birds!


Boys...they can go anywhere and as little boys, they often do!


That's one big bird!



American International Soccer Tournament: The Ladybugs (Aubrey’s team) vs. The Froggies (Emmaus’ team).  The Ladybugs prevailed.  I was so proud of Emmaus though for being a good sport and being happy for his sis! 

Aubrey and her Ladybug Teammates!


Emmaus the Fearless Frog!


Strike a Pose!


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Capetown, SA (Part Two)

Burying Daddy in the sand!Job Well Done!Emmaus & Mom running from the waves!Titan chillin in the sand!Rajko, Aubrey & Emmaus striking a pose after climbing the bouldersThe Boulders we climbed!Pig Pile on Larry (Aubrey, Emmaus, Ben & Laura)Crashed out after a good day at the beach!Job Well Done!Job Well Done!Emmaus & Mom running from the waves!Titan chillin in the sand!

Rajko, Aubrey & Emmaus striking a pose after climbing the boulders

The Boulders we climbed!


Pig Pile on Larry (Aubrey, Emmaus, Ben & Laura)Crashed out after a good day at the beach!

DAY 4: This was not the best day as Emmaus ended up in the hosptial with a severe asthma attack.  We spent the morning hanging out as a family collecting shells at Hout Bay Beach, had fish n chips for lunch and then headed to the hospital.  Emmaus was a champ and after 2 breathing treatments, he was good to go!
DAY 5: Easter Sunday! We trekked to church, got lost so ended up only attending the 2nd and 3rd hour.  At least we get an  A for effort. 🙂  When we got home, Kelly and I made a nice Easter dinner and we had a very fun Easter Egg Hunt!

Look what the Easter Bunny Left!


Rajko & Titan with their goods from the Easter Egg Hunt!We LOVE Candy!


Yes, I know I'm cute!We LOVE Candy!

DAY 7: Cape Point

Baboon Family – They roam freely in Capetown and will come up to your car. If you have food, beware, they are known to snatch it out of your hands!

Capepoint "Cape of Good Hope"


Aubrey & Emmaus at Capepoint

 DAY 8: Headed Home, Night in the Karoo


Truck full of Happy South Africans on their way to work in the Karoo


Winelands outside of CapetownThe Rondoval we stayed at in the Karoo





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