Saturday, August 29, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
The children had the opportunity to do the illustrations for a bi weekly kids newspaper called "Learn the News". We thoroughly enjoy getting this in our inbox twice a week and often end up having lengthy discussions around the news articles. We look for the various countries on the map and I find it is a great way to broaden their general knowledge. The paper has stories related to world , Africa ,environment ,business and sport news as well as a section on this day in history.
J illustrated the story regarding the reopening of schools in Britain, despite swine flu.
Z illustrated the story on Angola where scientists are having a great time looking for dinosaur fossils.
And K did the illustration for the article on Malaysia where people who live their traditional way of life deep in the forests are ready to fight outsiders who come and cut down jungle trees
for their logs.
We have had fun with our Zoology studies and the children made seed bird feeders. We have been more aware of birds and it is amazing to see the children's interest sparked by our studies. K and I had the opportunity to watch some Egyptian geese one evening as we walked the dog while Z played soccer. Just today we had a Glossy Ibis in our garden. Z and I spotted a white dove this week too. We are also reading a fantastic living book called Citizen Bird, a beloved classic story of our feathered friends.
We hope to attract many more feathered friends to our garden with the seed feeders!
he says he would like to visit the moon some day.....
We moved on to some seasonal poetry today and then took advantage of the warm afternoon out in the garden and did some weeding and planting. I am hoping for some beautiful sunflowers and daisies!
The children had a great time in the garden and spent much time playing with little snails they had found. They named them, fed them leaves , raced them , talked to them and let them leave trails of slime on their arms...We found a lizard sunning himself, caterpillars, lady bugsand what looked like tiny cocoons under a nasturtium leaf.
We ended our day with a wonderful long walk in the forest with T. The children and dogs had a whale of a time splashing through the streams and getting thoroughly wet! I was glad to have worn my wellies too!
NEWSFLASH!!! Almost forgot to mention that Jand K made their grading for karate last night and J is now a blue belt and K is now orange!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
The tent was up, the chickens there,the hay bales arranged,the dance floor laid for line dancing,the lanterns lit and the decor was something else!It felt like we had stepped right into a Western! She sure knows how to get it all together!
The geusts had great fun riding the mechanical bull. I was not going to try it as I dont do "spinning".....it was bad enough watching some of those cowboys!
Monday, August 24, 2009
Sunday, August 23, 2009
The birthday boy.
The "stick game" was loads of fun! I was amazed at how far those children could jump!
They tossed water balloons to each other and the team who could keep it up the longest without dropping and breaking their balloon, won.
After the party the kids had to rush off for mock grading and then it was on to the 40Th birthday party...that deserves a post of its own!
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Her husband grew up celebrating birthdays with cake and candles at dawn! He had bought a chocolate cake and we entered the room singing happy birthday. The kids loved the idea of chocolate cake first thing in the morning! The first birthday he celebrated as a married man was somewhat surprising for him as there was no cake....he asked where it was and my sister was rather confused as to why he was asking for cake so early in the morning. It never crossed his mind that other families didn't do the same thing. Needless to say, he now gets cake at dawn on his birthday!
It was a special time of gift giving as the children and I are seldom there on her birthday and this year we decided to make it extra special by each giving her a gift we had made. Z had made a beaded dragonfly fridge magnet, K a cream scarf, J gave her the wooden bowl he had made at woodwork and I gave her a mosaic mirror. I had made the mirror the week before we left on holiday and it was my first attempt at mosaic. I was so happy with the result. It had be guarded as we travelled as I didn't want it to break on our travels.
My mum was there too by then and the kids were so excited about the snow, they phoned home to tell their dad! Sadly it turned out to be sleet and not the snow we were longing for. It melted shortly after hitting the ground.
The afternoon homemade hat tea party turned out to be a great success. We ate our fill on the most delectable Florentines, chocolate brownies, scones with jam and cream and other delicious tea time treats. My sister has wonderful caring friends and it was so lovely to meet them. Some of them had travelled more than an hour to get there! We are just not used to those sorts of distances in our home town but then country life is different.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
They all had fun doing an experiment to see how air pressure works for our Zoology studies. I must say, I am enjoying learning alongside my children! (excuse that basket of washing in the back ground!)My sister had sent me an email showing what chefs do when they are bored. It was a whole lot of very creative sculptures using fruit and veg. The younger two decided to try their hand at some orange and lemon faces. Rather cute! We had some fun yesterday with the pipe cleaners and made these creations. There are some wonderful sites on line where you can learn to make all sorts of things using pipe cleaners.
Today i headed off to the library to source the books we need for next week. I was so happy to find almost all that was on my list but when I got to the check out....I had the wrong library cards! How frustrating! Thankfully they will keep the books until Monday.
Z took a break from Acts club today as he was feeling under the weather and not up to running about. J continued with his copper beating course and K enjoyed cookery with eggs. They made deviled eggs and egg salad. They shared their cooking with the teachers and the boys doing the copper beating. I truly am grateful for the wonderful opportunity the children have to spend time learning new skills.
Friday, August 14, 2009
It is so easy to say things to one another that are not necessary. We need to learn to guard our mouths and think of the consequences of what we may say. Will it hurt the other person?
We have been challenged in our home this week regarding this issue. Sometimes older children "chirp" unnecessaries which are really harmful to delicate little souls who are still growing. As parents we need to keep an eye on this and gently lead our children on right path when they slip up. Above all, we need to treat one another with love and let our words be kind, necessary and true.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
Later that day we headed off to Margate and ended up getting the keys locked in the car...it was unfortunate but gave us the opportunity to explore a well stocked craft shop while waiting for a locksmith to arrive. This shop was very interesting with anything you might need or want when doing crafts, as well as various other bits and pieces. To my delight, I found a little brass bell that was very reasonably priced. I have always wanted a little bell in my home. As children, the bell was always rung at meal times to call the family to the table. Far more pleasing to the ear than yelling for everyone to come to the table! My dear older sister says she is STILL waiting for the bell to ring so that she can just arrive at the table for a meal! She will have that pleasure next time she visits my home!
We visited the beach market at Margate and found more items we had been looking out for and finally we rounded off our outing with a visit to Sabenza Villiage. Sebenza Village is situated in Margate surrounded by an 80 year old tropical garden. Stately rows of palm trees and large shade trees predominate the landscape. Central to the development is Paradise Plants Nursery with a flowing river and Koi dams.Surrounding the nursery are wooden shops housing a variety of crafts and artists. Ambiance and tranquility sets the tone in this bustling environment.
We enjoyed milkshakes and a bite to eat at the Tree Top Cafe which is built around the Indian Toon Tree, tree house style. The Indian Toon Tree is old in years but full of vibrance and full of leaves. It comes to full life in Summer and provides a wonderful shade. The Indian Toon Tree is rare and we enjoyed our experience.
We had a final beach walk late that afternoon and the younger children had a last frolic in the warm Indian ocean while mum and I spent some time chatting on the beach.
We spotted this interesting tree with strange looking fruit. The monkeys seem to enjoy it and mum thought it was the Jack Fruit. I couldn't identify it in my field guide so if you know what it is, please let me know!
The following day we all set off together in a north westerly direction to my older sister and her husbands home. It was a pleasant drive even though the journey was long. I couldn't help noticing the change in vegetation as we headed away from the coast. The tropical vegetation faded away and sugar cane fields and aloes took their place. Mum had prepared a delicious lunch of fresh rolls with all sorts of tasty fillings and we stopped alongside the road to stretch our legs and enjoy our lunch.
As we journeyed on after lunch, the land became more and more hilly. So typical of that part of our beautiful land. I noticed the Zulu huts scattered on the hills, goats and cows surrounding the huts, children walking home from school, spaza shops and some women doing their washing in a river. The land was dry and brown, yet beautiful. We passed a number of fires and saw the black scars of previous fires. This is fire season in KZN.
We finally arrived at our destination, Mossbank. It was as if we had stepped from the sauna into the freezer! It was wonderful to be there again and to see my sister. She had warned us it was cold and she was right!