Sunday, June 28, 2009

Around the house....

A couple of months ago, when hubby got an unexpected tax refund, we decided to splash out and invest in some new couches. They are really comfy and we have been enjoying them but I felt we needed to spruce things up a bit.
Today we did just that. We got some new curtains that turned out to be the wrong colour so they will be going back....but the new cushions and table runner have added a splash of colour and we love the new look! It inspired me to declutter the surfaces and go through the piles of books and papers that are inevitable in a family that lives and learns at home. I will be taking the curtains and the other cushions that did not go and getting more of those that we like tomorrow. Cant wait!


Friday, June 26, 2009

Sunflowers and smarties

On Friday morning I was so excited to see our first sunflower open. I had tossed the seeds of a sunflower head from last summer into the flower bed and have been watching them grow ever since. It has inspired to plant some more!

Friday was also officially the end of the school term but as we are taking a our holiday later, we still have 2 weeks of learning ahead. The children and I however had a some fun seeing how many smarties they could get from one bowl to another before the sand ran out of the timer. Of course the best part was eating the smarties afterwards.
The children were all invited out to sleep overs that evening so hubby and I had an evening to ourselves. We had a lovely evening with a take out dinner and watched a movie.
The younger two were with with family friends and we were invited to join them last night for a delicious springbok roast. We had a wonderful evening with our friends and the children had fun lying outside on the grass, all snuggled under blankets, gazing up into the blackness of the night sprinkled with a magnificent display of stars.That's what memories are made of!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Today when I fetched Josh from woodwork he had finished the two tone bowl he has been working on. It truly is beautifully made! We didn't think he would finish by the end of the term as last week he still had a way to go, and their lesson was interrupted by a baboon on the premises.
The bowl is so smooth and smells good too as it has been oiled. He is yet to decide if it will be gift for someone or if he will keep it.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

FOR TODAY Tuesday 23rd June

Outside my window...The rain has not stopped today as well as gale force winds and hail.

I am thinking... Its good to be warm and snug inside mt home.

I am thankful for...My home helpers : dishwasher, washing machine, tumble dryer and heater in this cold weather!

From the learning rooms... great bible stories, geography of the earths plates and their boundaries, rounding numbers, end of a poetry unit, Kepler, Amelia Earhart and so much more before we go on holiday!

From the kitchen...a wholesome vegetable soup for lunch and then cottage pie laden with more veg and a lemon meringue pie for desert tonight. (All made with the help of my sweet daughter)

I am wearing...Layers to keep the cold out, boots and a blanket wrapped around my waist (a trick from my dear far away sister!)

I am beanies in lemon yellow and more in baby blue to give to a friend for baby boxes given to new mums at a local clinic.

I am lie in bed with my little boy who wants his mums company tonight.

I am reading... my new Your family magazine and the second book in a series of three by Ted Dekker...the craziest stuff I have ever read!

I am get done with our geography before we go on holiday so we can start our new science book as soon as we get back.

I am hearing...the lions playing the emerging boks.

Around the house...the dishes are done, the children are getting ready for bed and so will I soon!

One of my favorite things...reading aloud to my precious children. It always leads on to such interesting discussions!

A few plans for the rest of the week: A rare treat of coffee out tomorrow morning; a special friend coming for tea on Friday; arrival of a client on Saturday.

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

I Love and miss you Mum

Please visit Peggy's blog at

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fathers Day

Cape to Cuba
Today we woke Eric with breakfast in bed and some lovely cards from the children as well as gifts. He had been admiring a shirt not too long ago but could not justify buying it for himself. Thankfully I had been putting aside my commission from my little business and had enough to spoil him with that new shirt and a voucher for a trip to the barber for the "Fathers Day Special" of a hot towel shave, haircut, head massage , manicure and a session in the full body massage chair. That chair is something else!
At lunch time we joined his parents at Cape to Cuba in Kalk Bay, one of our favourite restaurants.
We just love the interesting decor and the food is great! It is a true replica of old Havana. You can shop while you dine - antiques, cigars, Che Guevara memorabilia and religious artifacts and icons. The food is peasant style as in old Havana, fused with Caribbean undertones and nouveau Miami cuisine. It always reminds us of the short time we spent on Zanzibar and of the beach restaurants in Dar es Salaam.
We enjoyed the chilli poppers which have become a firm favourite even with the children. They too love the strawberry daiquiris ( non alcoholic of course). The children each tried something different on the menu : J going for the chillli chocolate pan fried steak with sundried tomatoes, K a wrap with chicken and all sorts of other delicious ingredients and Z his favourite, calamari.
Eric and I had the seafood paella , served in a pan and a real treat for the taste buds.
We had a great time and came home to relax with a family movie before heading into another busy week.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

SA Agulhas

I had heard some time ago that the S.A. Agulhas would be open to the public today. We set off to see it this morning. Before our tour, we were treated to hot chocolate and marshmallows, courtesy of the MTN Science Centre.
The S.A. Agulhas is South Africa's only Antarctic research and supply vessel. Antarctica lies approximately 4 500 km from Cape Town across some of the wildest seas in the world.

The ship has accommodation for 98 passengers and 40 crew, cargo holds, research laboratories and recreation areas. There is also a meteorological station on board from which weather observations are conducted while the vessel is at sea. The data is sent to the UK first and then to Pretoria and finally we get the information in the form of our TV weather reports. There are winches and 10 000 metres of cabling for deep sea sampling. There is a travelling deck crane for moving cargo from the holds and a large crane mounted on the bow that can lift a 25 ton tractor 20 metres onto the ice shelf of Antarctica.

There is a large hangar and flight deck on board that accommodate 2 helicopters.

The kids had fun exploring the helicopter.

All in all, it was a very informative tour of the ship and was enjoyed by all. We were all rather hungry after the tour and made the most of the sunshine by having a relaxing picnic on the lawns.

The children had great fun feeding the sea gulls our leftovers.

Friday, June 19, 2009


We received a letter this week from the karate teacher to inform us that J has been selected out of 90 students to join a group that will specialize in sport karate. They will receive extra training and take part in competitions nationally and possible internationally.
This is very exciting for him as he is passionate about his karate. We are proud of him and dedication and enthusiasm for the sport. Watch this space for news of the competitions he takes part in!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Where do the days go?

Well, I can hardly believe it is almost the end of another week. Life has been full! Monday, being an official school holiday, K decided it was time to put orderliness into practice . She and Z spent almost the entire day creating some sense of order in his bedroom. I was so proud of the way she handled the task and she helped him in his room. I was informed that it had to get very messy before it good get good!

Tuesday, being Youth Day, was another holiday. Eric had to pop in at work and so we decided to join him for the ride out along the coast road to visit an old friend of mine. In fact my oldest friend. We have been friends for 35 years! As we set off, we saw this amazing rainbow decorating the sky. It was so colourful and so bright. A beautiful reminder of Gods love for us!

The children enjoyed the visit out to my friend as she has 2 new puppies. They are adorable but oh so busy and energetic!

K having a cuddle with one of the pups.
Today we had the pleasure of baby Eric's company again. Poor little boy was not too happy today. I think his tummy was rather uncomfortable. My arms were well exercised comforting him. Thankfully we also managed to get through 5 of the 6 assignments for set out for school today. At one stage, I needed to get his bottle sorted out and handed him to J who has been an onlooker most of the time. He managed well but was not too charmed when Eric spat up some milk! The other two children just cant get enough of baby Eric and want to cuddle him all the time.

The only time he was truly happy today was when he had a deep, warm bath. His little legs kicked with joy! Now isn't that the cutest little smile!

K had some fun jay boarding with friends later this afternoon. She is getting so tall now and is developing her own style of dressing by mixing and matching all sorts. Its fun to see her develop her own tastes and style.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

The weekend was rainy and cold. Saturday morning the kids headed off to Acts club for the last time this term. Eric and I had the pleasure of going for coffee and a delicious croissant and a chance to just catch up after a busy week.
Z was thrilled to achieve his certificate for attentiveness: showing the worth of others by giving undivided concentration to their words.
The girls did their last baking session. We all enjoyed eating fudge brownies and blonde's to celebrate the end of term for Acts. The older boys continued working on their woodwork projects and J will go back during the week to finish it off.

Not so "Small Paul" spoke and drew for Acts Club .
He is a chalk artist evangelist who is busy "drawing others to Christ".
He presented a clear gospel message, accompanied by a large beautiful chalk picture. Not only were Bible truths taught, but the children were inspired to use their talents, art or whatever, for our great God.
He engaged the children and it was very interactive, giving one plenty to think about. He travels around the country visiting schools, churches and prisons.

Late Saturday afternoon, a friend and I headed off to church to join some other friends for high tea. We had a wonderful time listening to a talk on the language of apology. For the first time, I understood why , when my dear husband apologises to me, it does not feel like he has apologised! He is not speaking my language of apology! (through no fault of his own!) I think I will be buying the book on the 5 languages of apology so I can identify and understand my family's language and make meaningful apologies when they are needed.

We sat down to a scrumptious high tea with quiches, sandwiches, cakes and other delights. Each table had been decorated by a different person and there were over 200 ladies there. I am sure there was food for 500!

High Tea

This morning we had another spread for breakfast. We had my dad and brother coming to join us for a late breakfast. It was good to hear all about my dads recent trip to Canada and Arizona. He spent time in Canada at a Neurosurgical Congress and was elected as a vice president. He told us amazing stories of advancement in neurosurgery regarding deep brain stimulation for obesity, depression and even possibly Alzheimer's disease. We were fascinated!
K decided to make herself a cosy little corner in her bedroom. She piled it up with cushions and blankets and teddies and has spent much time lying there reading and snoozing this weekend.

This afternoon I made her a rosemary heart hanger to decorate her bed. I think it came out beautifully!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Keepers and more

We have been learning about time among other things in our orderliness unit. Z said he wanted to make a sundial. I was not too enthusiastic at the thought of making one as I had no idea of how to go about it. You can imagine how happy I was to find an email in my inbox with a link to a site where I could down load a free paper craft pattern for a sundial! We made it yesterday but as there was a fair amount of cloud cover, we could not try it out until today. The children were thrilled at the outcome.

This afternoon K and I haded over the mountains to our Keepers club. It was enjoyable to take the scenic mountain route and soak up the views of the sea while we chatted en route. Its good that we get some "girly time " together. The boys were visiting with their Ouma for the afternoon.

We had a great afternoon and I enjoyed learning yet another new skill. We learned how to make beaded dragonflies. That seemed like the simplest pattern to begin with and we have come home with patterns for many different designs.

It was such a sense of accomplishment for both of us as we have never done this before. I love learning new things.We came up with ideas of how we could use our new found skills: fridge magnets, gift tags and cards. My next step is try out the patterns for the lavender and the gecko. K got right to work making another one as soon as we got home.

When we fetched the boys, they had been picking lemons from Oumas tree that is laden with lemons ripe for the picking. The aroma is just amazing!

I look forward to making some lemon curd and lemon juice this week. I am sure we will have to make some pancakes too with lashings of cinnamon and lemon juice!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

A baby in the house!

You can just imagine our delight when the doorbell rang early this morning and Jocelyn was here with baby Eric. The children have been asking when he could come and spend the day with us again. Today was that day and we loved having this cute little 3 month old bundle of joy with us for the day.

He has grown so well, his thighs have little rolls of baby fat and he is a happy, smiley ,gurgling little joy! He has dimples in his cheeks and is wide eyed and curious about all around him. He is chewing on those tiny little fists when he isn't drinking his milk. A gorgeous little boy!

Their faces say it all!

Not ready to sleep yet!

We bathed him and he just loved the water and kicked those little legs like mad! I just love the way babies are so trusting of those taking care of them. They really gaze deep into ones eyes with a look that says so much. It reminded me of my own precious children when they were babies .

The day passed by so quickly and we had our fun and managed to get through some maths, language and some reading while Eric had his naps . I am not sure how much we would get through if he was ours....he is just too cute and the children just loved the interaction with him!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A gentle day...

I just love those days where so much happens but nothing is a deadline. Today was one of those days when we enjoyed our learning and there was nowhere to rush off to unless we wanted to.
J is forging ahead with his studies and doing so well. He had to do a science experiment which had him digging up a patch of grass and using water to show the effects of soil erosion on sand and then an area that has plants growing in it. Z was out there with us as fast as he could get there and joined in with the digging and messy fun. It was good to see my two boys laughing and enjoying each others company.

We had walked in the forest on Sunday and K had collected a sprig of pine needles with some tiny little pine cones growing on it. Today she and Z got to their nature drawings.

K pays so much attention to detail and she even found a suitable poem to add to her nature journal entry. I love to see her taking ownership and adding detail to her work. She also made a delicious batch of cuppachino muffins for our tea time guests today and is keeping up her habit of baking for the family. It sure is appreciated by the ever hungry boys and Eric!

We took advantage of the sunshine and met up with friends in the Tokai Forest for a late afternoon stroll with the dogs. There is nothing better than watching the children and dogs enjoy the wide open spaces and fresh air! It truly is good for the soul. There is an area that has been planted with fynbos and the aroma as one walks through is indescribable. I just love it!

We had been keeping our eyes open for mushrooms and the likes after the recent rains. We spotted this tree trunk covered in mushrooms.The children were delighted to find a number of tepees made out of sticks in the forest too.
We had a bit of a scare when the bigger girls were climbing their favourite tree that arches over the river. Our dear crazy dog decided she should join them! We could not believe that she climbed up there! We watched in horror as she fell off when she trying to climb down. I think it was a good two metres high! She had mud on her face but otherwise survived her fall and ran on happily. I am thankful that she is OK and has eaten well and been her normal self tonight!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Today was a gloriously sunny day after the week that was. The skies had been gray and the heavens opened daily. We quite enjoy the rain in our home and I find it hard to relate when others call it miserable or unpleasant or bad weather. Never the less it is good to see the sun again!

This afternoon we headed off along the coast road to a meeting at Shirley's. She has started a support group for like minded mommies to give and receive support in our journeys as wives, mothers and home educators. It is wonderful to be part of a caring group that seeks to build one another up and encourage one another.

Our topic today was an interesting one...."Fair weather friends" . I am sure we have all had some experience with that in our lives. I know how crushing it can be to see our own precious daughters face this type of thing.(Usually this is more common amongst females and boys just seem to gt on with it!) Unfortunately the world we live in is one that is self seeking and not one that puts others first. I was inspired by today's discussions to pay more attention to my own words and to teaching my children to speak kindly of others, even when they have been treated in a way that may have been hurtful to them.
As we love God and desire to be more like Him, we will seek to have all that we say be glorifying to Him. It is never glorifying to speak ill of others or to slander them in any way.

What amazed me about this afternoon was the way in which the children played together! There were a total of 12 children there and some had never met. They ranged in age from 17 months to 13 years. They had a great time , no squabbles and ALL played together in sunshine! As we left, mine were asking when they would all see each other again!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Keepers and Acts

This week the children and I spent some time talking about habits that we want to break or instill in our lives. It was a meaningful time spent together looking at the changes we want to make. It has been said it takes 30 days to make a habit and 90 to beak a habit. One of the habits K wanted to get into, was that of baking at least once a week. She got right to it and made a batch of low GI oat and ginger squares and a batch of bran muffins for the family to enjoy.

Friday was a stormy afternoon and we had our keepers meeting . It was so much fun! Shirley taught the girls and the moms how to was far easier than I thought and I think I am hooked! It was an enjoyable afternoon spent chatting and being creative while the rain continued to soak the earth. I was treated to date with Eric on Friday night and the children went to their grandparents for dinner. Eric and i had a wonderful time out together, catching up and enjoying a delicious meal and a glass of good red wine. A truly enjoyable day!

This morning it was Acts club where Z enjoyed the games and J continued with some woodwork. The girls were still doing their bread making course and K came home with a beautiful loaf of wholewheat bread for us to enjoy!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Feeling squeezed or pressed?

Recently I have been feeling the pressures of life with Eric working long hours and weekends and keeping up with all that needs doing to run our home and raise our children .
I have also been missing my precious sister who is a pillar of strength in my life. Someone that God blessed me with , who is usually near , but now so far away.... its kind of lonely without her here! A friend sent me this little quote at just the right time.
There is no oil , if olives are not squeezed
No wine, if grapes are not pressed
No perfume , if flowers are not crushed .
Have you felt any pressure in life today ?
Don’t worry, God is just bringing out the best in you