May, June and July have been incredibly eventful for the Best family. Blankets, a gas heater and my mother comforted me during my last weeks of pregnancy. Mom arrived in May to assist me. My husband and children appreciated the warm meals she prepared in my absence in the kitchen. My mother experienced the beauty of Cape Town, and the wonderful community the Lord has provided for us in South Africa. Mom who has mastered her smart phone flooded Facebook profiles with many photos of her adventures and grandchildren; especially her newest granddaughter Elle Jaye Best. Mom was able to stay until mid-July and enjoyed all the exploits of her South African grandchildren.
Leon Mack, her eldest grandchild, fulfilled his New Year’s resolution by making the Western Province U-13 rugby team. By God’s grace, he was selected from over 3000 young athletes who contended for the coveted 23 spots. Mom was able to attend the ‘capping’ ceremony, and was mentioned in an article about Mack in the local newspaper. Mack’s U-13 Western Province team went on to win the national championship. Mack has remained humble and is also a leader and mentor at his school’s Bible club that both Noel and Nala attend.
Noel has worked very hard to maintain very high grades while enjoying sports and dance. The school encourages every learner to participate in a winter sport. This year she started playing netball. Her heart for competition earned her a spot on the first team and she was selected ‘Player of the Match’ in her first game. For dance, she received recognition as the best dancer overall for girls 12 and under. She was featured in the local paper for this accomplishment. Also, Nala dances in the same dance company as her sister.
Nala has seen great success in school, art, modern dance and gymnastics. Nala enjoys academics and received all A’s on her report card. Her passion for drawing & creating continues to grow, and one of her drawings was selected for an art competition. Nala placed third for her age group in modern dance and qualified for provincial competition in gymnastics. We celebrated Nala’s 10th birthday during this time. She was my “baby girl” for a decade, and she will keep that title. Now, Leon and I have three kids in the double digits, and a new “little girl.”
As Leon and I have welcomed Elle into our home, we have realized and been reminded how much work and how exhausting a new born makes you. It was a blessing to have Mom here, and when she left in July, Leon’s parents arrived to see their newest granddaughter. Elle is their 7th grandbaby, and it was great to see their joy while holding and caring for Elle like it was their first.
Elle is now 2 months old. Mack, Noel and Nala give her a kiss before they leave for school in the mornings. Our hearts are overjoyed every time she smiles and tries to communicate with her ooohs and gurgles; so cute! We are so grateful to God for this bundle of joy.