Sunday, May 31, 2009

Acts Club

The children went off to Acts club on Saturday morning while I went to a grocery shop and Eric went to work. It was a busy day for all!

J brought home his finished woodwork project. A beautifully hand crafted lamp! The boys did all the woodwork and electrics . All we need now is a suitable lamp shade and the bulb of course.The lamp stand feels so smooth even though it has such a rustic look. I am so pleased that he is able to enjoy the satisfaction of such a creative project.

K is doing a bread making unit and she made the most delicious herb damper. We enjoyed it with a pot of butternut soup at dinner time. She is becoming so helpful in the home and is eager to learn new skills in the kitchen so that she may bless her family when the time comes.

This morning we all slept rather late. The weather has really turned cold and winter is setting in. With the grocery cupboards stocked again, I decided we needed to bake some wholesome treats. We don't buy these things bit prefer to make our own without too much added sugar and all the other things they add to foods these days. I had a happy little helper who did all the work....

Z with his freshly baked batch of "munchies " (crunchies) as he calls them!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Fresh Bread and more...

We have patiently been waiting for the month end to come so we can stock up on groceries again. It has been an interesting week of meals made from those items that have been hiding in the cupboard and the freezer! We have been able to make the most delicious breads thanks to my sister who kindly left her bread machine with me while she is away for a couple of months.

This morning I fried eggs for the children and served them on freshly baked herb bread. They wolfed it down! The machine was set straight back into action while we did our lessons for the morning. The aroma of freshly baked raisin bread was calling to the hungry tummies just in time for lunch! It was eaten with lashing of butter and plum jam while still steaming hot.

J has just finished reading Jock of the Bushveld as part of his studies. It is a true story by South African author Sir Percy Fitzpatrick. The book tells of Fitzpatrick's travels with his dog, Jock, during the 1880s, when he worked as a storeman, prospector's assistant, journalist and ox-wagon transport-rider in the Bushveld region of the Transvaal (then the South African Republic).
Fitzpatrick later recounted these adventures as bedtime stories to his four children. Rudyard Kipling, a good friend of Fitzpatrick, also took part in these story-telling evenings and eventually persuaded him to collect these tales in book form.
The book was first published in 1907 and had an extremely warm reception, being reprinted four times in that year alone. Since then it has achieved the status of a classic South African book and has been also widely read abroad - more than one hundred editions have been printed and it has been translated into Afrikaans, Dutch, French, Xhosa and Zulu, amongst others. Jock was saved by Fitzpatrick from being drowned in a bucket for being the runt of the litter (he would ruin the litter if left with them). Jock was very loyal towards Percy, and brave.

There is a statue of Jock in front of the City Hall in Barberton, Mpumalanga
He was once enticed to fight a baboon by Seedling. He killed the baboon in the fight, due to his small, stocky build.
Jock permanently lost his hearing when a kudu cow kicked him. This is attributed as one of the main reasons he died, as he could not hear Tom Barnett when he called him, and was mistakenly shot, because he was thought to be the dog killing chickens on the farm (when Jock had meanwhile already killed the other intruding dog).
Jock was an English Staffordshire Bull Terrier.

This afternoon we huddled under blankets on the couch to watch the original movie of Jock of the Bushveld. It was great to watch this movie together as we have studied so much South African history in the last year and a bit. I could not help but shed a tear in the movie. The children know their soft old mom so well and kept checking to see if I was crying yet!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Yummy maths

We have had great fun with numbers , measuring and plenty of number games over the last couple of days. The winner was the number cookies that the kids baked. They shaped the dough into numbers ,baked them and got to eat them when they got the sums right!

K enjoyed the baking so much that she decided to bake another batch of cookies today for our tea time guests tomorrow. She is really becoming very efficient in the kitchen and has decided she will bake regularly for the family. I love to watch her growing up and wanting to serve her family in this way.

Thursday, May 21, 2009


OK, I know I have already told you all about our day today but just had to share these spectacular photos of the lightening over Cape Town in the early hours of this morning. I don't know who took them, they were sent to me by a friend.

Lion's Head and Signal hill in the background.

Table mountain and Lion's Head in the background.

A spontaneous day

Today we woke to a thunderstorm of note. It seemed as if it was right above our house.Z snuggled up with me as we lay there listening to the storm pass. We were barely up when the phone rang and my dad invited us to head out to Stellenbosch to soak up some art....

First stop, after a scenic drive along the False Bay coast, was the Rupert Museum.
The Rupert Museum showcases the unique private art collection of Anton and Huberte Rupert. The art museum is set amongst picturesque vineyards and oak trees on the banks of the Eersterivier (First River)

Interestingly, the concept for the Rupert Museum has it’s origins in a fire. When an electrical-short threatened fire in the ceiling of their Stellenbosch home, Huberte Rupert made the decision to create an art museum. Huberte Rupert’s wish for the modern art museum was to provide an intimate experience of the extensive art collection, and the brief to South African architect Hannes Meiring was for a gallery that was neither ostentatious nor pretentious.She particularly wanted a homely atmosphere with smaller spaces furnished with Cape Dutch and other period furniture, ‘a space in which visitors could move around without confusion.´ In consultation with her architect, she was however persuaded to adopt a larger scale with greater distances between walls to allow the works sufficient breathing space. The final structure is approximately 2 000m² and comprises three exhibition halls and administrative spaces. Although bigger and less ´intimate´ than originally envisioned, it achieves a successful compromise between the demands of a modern art museum and the founder´s desire for a modest display space.

Grandpa and Z examining one of his favourites.

We were in for a rare treat as the museum is hosting the Rodin Exhibition . South African art lovers have the rare opportunity to view 27 bronze sculptures by legendary French sculptor, Auguste Rodin (1840 – 1917). Amongst the bronzes on exhibit are famous works such as The Thinker, The Kiss and The Cathedral. At the height of his career, Auguste Rodin was regarded as the greatest sculptor since Michelangelo. Straying from 19th century academic conventions, Rodin created his own sense of personal artistic expression that focused on the vitality of the human spirit. The children were very interested and enjoyed picking their favourite works of art.

Z posing as The Thinker next to Rodin's portrait.

K examining The Thinker.

The Kiss.

When he grew tired of waiting for us to finish looking at the art work, Z decide to sketch one of the sculptures. He did "Beginning of Wisdom" by Anton Smit.
We left the museum and drove the "sculpture tour "of the town , looking at the bronze sculptures of Dylan Lewis who is one of the worlds foremost sculptors of the animal form. The children grew very excited as they spotted the sculptures as we drove past.
We went on to enjoy a much needed lunch and cuppachino at one of the local restaurants. My brother happened to be working on a near by wine farm and came and joined us.The food was outstanding! I went for something a little different for a change: beetroot, blue cheese, walnut and pear salad on a bed of steamed greens....yum yum. We ended by all sharing a slice of the best chocolate cake I have ever eaten.
After lunch it was on to a local gallery and then on to the Sasol Art Museum. We had a great time together laughing and enjoying the art. We headed back to town having enjoyed our day thoroughly! My dad also met a gallery owner and she agreed to exhibit his own art.

Grandpa and kids outside the Sasol Art Museum.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

A Full Day........

After little sleep last night, I was amazed at what we actually did today. I usually don't function too well without much sleep. I need my sleep...Hubby worked right through the night and when he is not home, I just don't sleep that well. There is something reassuring when he is there next to me. There was even less sleep when my youngest decided to come and sleep in my bed at 2 am. That wriggly little body tends to wake me up but I still love it that he comes through if his sleep is disturbed. I know it wont be long before there are no little bodies creeping through the dark for the comfort of mom and dads bed...

We were up earlier than usual and by 8am a pot of soup had been cooked, dishes washed, breakfast done as well as maths and language! Hubby came home about 3 hours later and fell into bed for some much needed sleep after a good cup of tea.

Today the sun came out for the first time in a few days and we discovered some mushrooms growing on our lawn. The kids and I decided to do some nature study. We hauled out our nature books and encyclopedia to see if we could identify this fungus....we could not but the children never the less had a great time making spore prints and drawing the mushrooms.

Maybe you can identify them?

Z tried his hand at nature drawing and enjoyed it.

K had made a lovely nature journal earlier this year with the Keepers group and she did some fantastic drawings and some journaling. She has been inspired by reading "The Country Diary of an Edwardian Lady"

During our Geography we were learning about high ad low pressure so we made our own barometer. It will be fun to watch it over the next couple of days as the air pressure fluctuates.
We also read about the water cycle and something that had never occurred to me before: The water we have today is that very same water that God created on the 2Nd day of creation! It just keeps going round and round in the water cycle. We could have drank the very same water that came out of the rock when Moses struck it! It just keeps going round and round! An amazing thought!
J had some science experiments to do today too and the younger ones and I had fun creating columns of various diameters out of paper and cardboard to see which ones buckled the easiest. We look forward to a visit to my brothers building sites to "cement "the reading we have done regarding building and construction. I just love being able to share these full and varied days with my precious young ones!
To wrap up the day, Z ,Roxy and I met my sister in law and her 3 dogs in the nearby forest for a refreshing walk. The dogs had a great time chasing each other and running into the streams. Z had great fun too doing pole vaults and long jumps on the sandy forest floor. He needed to have some space to just run free.
With everyone sleeping soundly after all the days joys, it is now time for me to say good night too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

"School " on Sunday?

This week we have got back to our character curriculum and we have had great fun learning about building and the tools that are used by builders and carpenters. We read a few books and looked at pictures but there is nothing like getting down and doing what has been learned or read about. To use the senses and see the real thing and try it out is so much better than just looking at pictures. It cements what has been learned . The discovery and doing are so much better than "dry" books. That is what draws me to the learning lifestyle. Everything becomes an opportunity to learn something new.
While I made lasagna and some carrot and raisin muffins, hubby brought out the tool box and
the younger two had a great time discovering all his tools and their uses. They had a chance to use the spirit level, screw drivers, spanners, clamp, saws , chisels etc. The kitchen was a hive of activity and the noise was something else as they banged and hammered and had some hands on fun!
At one point I asked Z if he knew that he was doing "school"...he laughed and exclaimed how much fun he was having!

K trying her hand at using the saw.

Z watching attentively as Eric shows him how to use the chisel.

Z concentrating as he uses the chisel.

Friday, May 15, 2009


It has been a while since our Keepers group got together so it was great to all see each other again today. We met to do some cooking. We made my moms famous bacon and egg pie!

The girls all chit chatted as they beat the eggs, chopped the bacon and grated the cheese. The kitchen was a hive of activity!

While the pies baked, the moms had a good chance to chat over steaming mugs of cuppachino and do some planning for the coming weeks.

The girls were thrilled with their pies and the aroma was mouth watering! They all wanted to eat it right out of the oven but the moms had plans of a night off for dinner.

We enjoyed ours with baked potatoes and salads.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Simple Womans Daybook

FOR TODAY Thursday 14th May...

Outside my window...The rain is pouring down and we are heading for a stormy weekend. I just love the sound of the rain.

I am thinking...I know I can trust that my husband will get home safely from his work function tonight.

I am thankful for...A warm and cosy bed to sleep in tonight.

From the learning rooms...We are doing the character trait of orderliness and have covered creation and have read some books about construction. Z had fun getting all his school supplies in order today.J continues his self study and amazes me with his diligence in getting through all his work every day.

From the kitchen...We had a chili con carne, just perfect for this weather!

I am wearing...You guessed...a brown fleecy top over a pink long sleeve top and my hang ten pants.

I am creating...some order in my home and the lives of my children God willing!

I am see my mom and my 2 lovely sisters! Hubby has bought us tickets to Kwa Zulu Natal again! We are so excited!

I am reading...lots of library books with the children.

I am get some mending done tonight.

I am hearing...the sound of all that rain gushing down the gutters and the wind whipping the trees.

Around the house...the cats seem to have gone a little crazy and are chasing one another around like mischievous children with cabin fever!

One of my favorite things...a good pot of homemade soup in this wintery weather.

A few plans for the rest of the week:Keepers here tomorrow afternoon and Acts club on Saturday. Dinner with friends on Saturday and perhaps a trip to the seaside to see the enormous waves predicted for the weekend!

Here is picture thought I am sharing.....

Wern't the kittens just too cute, all snuggled up on the washing basket!

Please visit Peggy's blog at

Monday, May 11, 2009

Opa turned 72

Today was back to normal for us after a month of public holidays and Granny's visit as well as getting over colds and flu. We had a great school morning and the children spent time making cards for their Opa's 72nd birthday.
Z made him a chocolate cake for this evenings celebration and K did the decorating of it. They had fun and Z was so proud of his cake!

We enjoyed a wonderful dinner together with lots of laughter and fun.

Kids with Oma and Opa.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mothers Day

Today Mothers Day was celebrated. I was woken with a lovely breakfast and spoiled with all sorts of lovely goodies........chili chocolate, a magazine, a pretty hair clip, some shower gel , a beautiful heart shaped hot water bottle and some sweet homemade cards and gifts. Tonight my loving daughter gave me a royal home spa treatment of a foot spa and a back massage. We had a lovely time together as she pampered and spoiled me.
I am so blessed to be a mom. As a little girl I loved to baby sit and always dreamed of being a mom and having 3 children. I want to honour those who have made me into a mom.
I am thankful to my husband, without whom I would not be mom to the children we have. I am thankful to my children who are each so precious in their own special way. I love being with them and seeing things through their eyes. I love the chats we have all together and those we have one on one. I love the cuddles and hugs and I love it when they ask me to give them a back rub or a back scratch. I love seeing their pleasure when I have prepared their favorite meal.
I love learning new things with them and having them teach me new things. I love being able to help them work through issues and I love being able to teach them about our loving Father in heaven. I love watching them as they sleep, work or play. I love to see our eldest developing into a fine young man who makes me proud to be his mom. I am thankful that God has given me these children to be a mom to.
I am thankful to my own dear mom who has just spent a week visiting us. Without her example and love and care as I grew up, how could I have known anything about being a mom? I know she still prays diligently every day for each of her children and their families by name. I am blessed to have her as my mother. I remember the little love notes and trays in bed when we were sick and flowers on my bedside table. I was so blessed having her in our home this week. I loved having my mom here . She is a breath of fresh air and has such Godly wisdom in all situations. She is a good listener and a wonderful mom in law !
I am also thankful to my dear younger sister who has recently left our home town for a couple of months. I miss her .... she has always been a pillar of strength for me. We had our babies together and have spent many hours talking , laughing and even crying about parenting issues . She has played a massive part in helping me to be a better mom in many ways. I honour her as a wonderful mother today.
I am thankful to my dear friend Heather who has walked by my side on our journey as moms. We met when our eldest were just little infants. We too have spent many hours chatting, laughing or even crying about our children. We understand each other and I salute her today as a wonderful mom who has shaped my journey as a mom too.

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Acts Club

This morning was a gloriuos autumn morning with no wind and the suns rays warming the earth. It has been a week of sniffing and sneezing for me so it was great to be feeling so much better. I set off to Acts Club with the younger two and a friend. J is on youth camp this weekend.
Acts offers a sfe and fun environment for the children to enjoy group activities together. There is also emphasis on Christian character , training in life skills and sporting fun. It is run by a wonderful couple who have been home educating for a number of years. This term, the character trait is attentiveness.
The younger children play team games and do obstacle courses. Z just loves it and already says he cant wait for next saturday to come around!

Z balancing a pole on the palm of his hand.

The older girls are learning how to crochet. It is something I have always wanted to learn and so I tried my hand at it too. It did not come too easy to me but I will persevere! Knitting is far easier for me at this stage. But they say, one is never too old to learn something new....

K and her friend even took their crochet work outside on their break!
The older boys are making lamps but as J is on camp, he will continue next week.
"Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it"
Proverbs 22:8

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Seaside stroll

Today was one of those glorious autumn days in the Cape where there was no wind , the skies were blue and the sun was warming the earth. We took advantage of the warmth and headed out to Muizenberg for a walk along the catwalk. (My mums choice as she is still visiting) We had a clear view across False Bay to the mountains on the other side.
There were many others out enjoying the sun and sea....young and old , babies in prams, kids on bikes , families , fishermen , surfers and strollers and dogs too.

Our puppy enjoyed the sand and surf too!

I spotted some Oystercatchers and Seagulls sunning themselves on the rocks.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Super Saturday

Mum and I headed off to the Porters Market in Tokai this morning to enjoy some time with my sister in law and an old family friend. It was a trip I had been planning since I first visited the market a couple of months ago. I knew my mum would just love it! The setting is just so pretty.

We enjoyed steaming mugs of coffee and sampling all the delicious tasters at the market. My favourites were the pestos , chutneys and cheeses as well as the best chocolate brownies ever! Just my kind of thing! I came home loaded with a box fresh organic veg, chutney, pesto and some smoked snoek.

This display of Autumn colours at the market caught my eye.

The children had been to acts club, where Z enjoyed playing games and K learned to crochet. It is a skill I have wanted to learn for some time. Hubby was busy at home re doing our lighting in the passage.We now have sunken spots instead of the ugly fittings the house came with....hooray! We had a worker here helping Eric and he has also built me a composting bin. Soon I hope to start my own veggie garden.

K spent her afternoon making herself a miniature garden.

Friday, May 1, 2009

Autumn Nature Walk

This morning we set off for a walk in the Tokai Arboretum while J was on a mountain bike ride. It has been cold and rainy so it was good to get outdoors and refresh the mind, body and soul in Gods creation. The floor on the forest was thick with leaves shed during autumn.

We spotted these tiny pines covered in rain drops.

K found a porcupine quill!

The forest was clothed in rich greens with a touch of autumn reds and browns. I just love those autumn colours. Can you spot Z in the right hand corner of the picture?

Best of all, my mum was here to share the walk with with us.

Here are some of the spoils of our walk. We will try some nature drawings . The oddly spiked acorn cups and the leaves in the background are from the Sawthorn Oak from China. Its scientific name is Quercus Acutissima. I have never seen them before .

I was glad to have a warm bath after the refreshing walk.

Karate Kids

There was great excitement in our home yesterday as the children had grading for karate last night. They had "butterflies in their tummies" on the drive through to Camps Bay and there was much practising before the event began. It was a special event as my mum is visiting us from Natal this week and they were thrilled to have their gran there.

We were entertained as we watched them doing their kata and kumite and they all did very well and graded to the next belts!