Wednesday, September 23, 2009

A day in the countryside

Recently I had a call from some medical clients of mine to ask if I could help arrange a wedding for a friend of theirs in Cape Town. Of course I said yes. I am game to try my hand at something different! I have met with a wonderful wedding coordinator and the two of us plan to tackle this project together.
Today we met with the couple and spent the day looking at wedding venues in the wine lands. It was a magnificent day! The mountain views were spectacular and I feel blessed to live in such a beautiful country.

The couple so enjoyed what we had found for them and by late afternoon, had settled on a venue that fitted their needs perfectly. This should be a fun project!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

My Boy

Just thought I should share this picture of J with you. Some of you have not seen him without his braces. It seems it was just the other day that Eric and I anticipated the birth of our firstborn. The time flys and we are blessed to see him growing into a fine young man. I had always been wary of the teenage years and all though we are not far into them yet, we are enjoying them!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fun school

We have been having a little fun today with our science....J had various experiments to do with the products of combustion. First he blew up a balloon using a 2 liter soda bottle with vinegar in it, by adding bicarb to it. (The kids enjoyed this as they first needed to drink the 2 litres of soda so we could use the bottle!)

He had also made some some water blue by boiling some red cabbage leaves. This water was put into glasses. He then used the balloon and a straw to blow the carbon dioxide into the water . The carbon dioxide caused a chemical reaction that made carbonic acid and turned the water a beautiful purple colour!

The younger two had great fun taking turns to blow through straws and change the colour of the blue water to purple too!

We also got a great resource for our bird studies from my sister and today we used chicken bones to make up a chickens skeleton.....real hands on fun! It was great for the children to see how it all fits together.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Karate Competition

Today we set off early for Onrus. It was a crisp morning and the drive along the coast was magnificent. The gulls were out looking for breakfast along the beaches and the roadside dunes were covered with Arum Lillies. I would have loved to stop and pick a bunch but unfortunately that is not legal....
There was great excitement as we neared the hall where the children had their Karate Competition. It was K's first competition and she did very well! In her division there were only 2 girls and the girl she was up against was a higher belt than she is .

K with her 1st place prize, a gold medal!

Z was competing against a number of boys his age and was disappointed that he didn't get a medal.

J competed against 2 other boys that were older and had higher belts. Their katas were very advanced compared to his. He secured 3rd place with a bronze medal.

We enjoyed watching the black belts show us some of their katas.

Lunch was a delicious burger at the competition,then we went on to Hermanus to watch the whales in the bay. It was amazing to watch them breaching and blowing spouts of water high into the air. We stood on the rocks and there were a few whales very close by. There were some close encounters with the waves splashing onto the rocks and one man even got washed into the sea. I think his ego and his camera were more hurt than anything else...

Finally home to an evening of homemade pizzas and a glass of good red wine. An early night for all!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Fruits of labour

Just thought I should show you some of the things the kiddies have been busy with. J came home from woodwork today with a beautifully hand crafted bowl. I just love the patterns of the natural grain of the wood. It just smells so good too. He also brought home his copper candlestick holder. It took a lot of patient work and it is not something he would like to do in a hurry again. At least he tried and produced something beautiful!
The younger two have been having great fun creating a Marsupials lapbook. We love doing this instead of a written project. There are so many amazing lapbooks online that are free and one can find them to suit anything that is being learned about. The children love being creative and adding their own bits and pieces ,slogans and drawings.

So as we head into the last school day of this week, we will hopefully finish off the Marsupials lapbook and get some more reading time in. I just love cuddling up on the couch with my brood and enjoying stories with them. We are busy with the Jungle Book now. It brings back fond memories of seeing the movie as a little girl with my gran. She got very cross with my sister and I for laughing at her when she closed her eyes when Kaa (the snake) was on the screen. She was terrified of snakes and couldn't even stand seeing the animated version! Of course we thought that was hilarious.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Some fun

The younger two are having fun with our Animal Classification and we spent some time doing "fun stuff" today . We mixed up 3 different puzzles and they had to make all 3 out of the jumbled pieces. We also found the plastic animals that have not been played with for some time, and they put them into their various classes.
As this unit falls in under the character trait of Orderliness, and that includes keeping our possessions orderly, K had a fun written assignment to do which I thought I would share with you.

One morning I woke up and decided to be neat.
Mom encouraged me by saying "If you are good and do so well, I'll bake you a treat!"
I started with my room,
The area of doom!
I made some way,
But then my friend came to play!
I told her " If you help me we'll get a treat!"
"Yes, yes!" she said, "let's make your room neat!"
We tidied toys ,books and clothes,
But soon we found powder and powdered my nose!
Then we found lipstick, blusher and eye shadow!
Also a cream with extracts from aloe.
Then we remembered what we were supposed to be doing, so we rushed to make everything neat,
And got rewarded with a lovely treat!

Team Equilibruim Update

Just thought I should give you an update on J's life at the moment....
My beloved big boy is so busy with his school work and has lots to fit in before we take our Spring break.He is kept very busy after school with First Lego League (Team Equilibrium)about 9 to 10 hours a week, and karate 4 to 6 hours a week. He is also doing woodwork and Acts on Saturdays. I do miss having him around. I know it is only a short while and things will calm down again.

Team Equilibrium is making good progress with their research project. Here is an excerpt from their blog written by one of the team members:

Anyway, the research project: Now that we have identified our community (kids our age), one of the main modes of transport (the bicycle) and a problem (safety), we need to find a solution – and we have. There are always two sides to a bicycle/car accident. The driver of the car couldn't’t see the cyclist, and the cyclist wasn’t prepared for the car. We decided to solve the problem with the driver not being able to see the cyclist. We are putting together a cycling safety pack. We have designed a cool, blue and silver or orange and silver camo high-visibility jacket that kids our age would wear, and we are putting a canister of pepper-spray in it too – as a bonus, we are also going to try and get a whole lot of Capestorm, Avalanche, etc, sticks that come free with the pack. (There might be one or two other things, but I can’t remember). Capestorm is donating a whole lot of fabric for us to design two of the jackets and they have given us the contacts of the people who can print the reflective silver camo design onto the fabric. So thanks to Capestorm for that. We also drew up a plan of action, which I can’t quite remember. Maybe it’ll come to me tomorrow. My brain is pap now.

I must say, I am impressed with these kids and what they have come up with. Last year they won the prize for most innovative research project so we are all hoping they do well again this year. I love seeing the way these kids put their mind to things and work out solutions. I think think they are truly blessed to have opportunities like this which push them beyond their comfort zones and require plenty of hard work, problem solving, determination and dedication to the team.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Today the children and I had a discussion around being thankful and how important it is to express gratitude when someone does something for you. We also read a Child's Book of Values and there was a section on gratitude. I told them about an email I had received, which tells the story of how the Japanese children thank their teacher at the end of each day for being taught. I didn't think about it much again as we continued with the activities of the day.

You can imagine my delight when K came to me with a gift later in the day. It was a brown paper bag with the words thank you on it, all tied up with a red ribbon. Inside was an "angel bear" that she had hand stitched for me, carrying a "Thank You" banner! This was so special and the little bear now graces my bookshelf to remind me of her gratitude.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Simple delights

The week is moving along at a steady pace and we are making good head way with our learning. On Monday night, I was so encouraged at the meeting with the Pillar Mom. She is so wise and always makes us laugh too. I took a friend along whose home ed journey is about to take off. We had a wonderful time and it was great to see some of the moms I have not seen in a while. I came away encouraged to do more" hands on" learning and to just show more love to the children in all we do and have FUN!

Today we were delighted to see that a Laughing Dove has made its nest in our back gardens tree. Gods timing is just so perfect..... the children climbed the tree for closer inspection and are looking forward to the sound of the chicks cheeping when they hatch. They also set up a bird bath in the garden and are hoping to see our feathered friends taking a bath soon!

Yesterday they had the opportunity to observe their aunt and uncles cockatiel . He has been moulting and they were pleased to find down feathers and a flight feather at the bottom of the cage.

We have been making a lapbook on animal classification which has been loads of fun. I found it free on homeschool share. They have some amazing freebies there to enhance ones homeschool education.

K has completed her little quilt and I think she has done a great job for her first try. She has been working away at it while we read. Our current books are The Jungle Book and Citizen Bird, which we are enjoying enormously.

K will take her quilt to Acts on Saturday and she will be sewing up to make a purse.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Around the garden...

We discovered that K's strawberry plant has got its first two strawberries! We need to make sure that she can eat them before any little bugs d0!

What a lovely surprise to see a Hadeda Ibis in our garden. Perfectly timed to fit in with our Zoology studies. We watched as it pecked around in the grass and it didn't seem to mind us getting too close either.

You know you're a homeschooler when...

I just saw this on another home school moms blog and had to share it with you.....

Saturday, September 5, 2009


Being Saturday, the children went off to Acts club while I went for a much needed haircut and hubby popped in at the in laws for coffee. K is learning how to do quilting and it is wonderful to see her learn things that I don't know how to do. J continued with his copper beating and I hope to show you the finished product next week! Z enjoyed the games at Acts and then went on to Upward soccer where he earned two star awards.

This afternoon K and I had a wonderful time at the miniatures fair. We went with our very good friends and spent hours browsing at all these amazing creations. I admire the men and women who make these teeny tiny replicas of anything and everything!They are truly talented! There were houses, shops, gardens, plants, furniture and anything you could think of. The detail is just mind boggling.

The girls had a great time buying all sorts of nick nacks for their dolls. K bought herself a miniature artists palette and some scraps of fabric to make a quilt for her dolls. I just love that she still enjoys her dolls at almost 12 years old.

My personal favourites were the miniature oil paintings done by the artist Cindy Lotter.

The paintings are all oil on canvas. None are painted with a magnifying glass, but with the naked eye only.The smallest is 20x30mm in size, the largest is 500x400mm.The paintings are not reproduced, they are all one of a kind. It was great to meet her too and chat with her about her art. Her attention to detail in each painting is incredible! I used a magnifying glass to examine them carefully and was truly impressed!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Mossbank memories July 25th

July 25Th was a special day as it was J's 14Th birthday. It was great to be with the extended family on his special day.
The morning began with shrieks of laughter from the girl cousins as they had been plotting against their Uncle, and had a shaving cream fight with him! Not sure who came of worse but fun was had by all!

J was taken out for his favourite, a lime milkshake, and cake by Pappa P. The rest of us went for an amazing walk up behind my sisters home . Last year this area had been covered in trees that have since been felled. It was a crisp morning and it was wonderful to feel the warmth of the sun and see the snow on the distant Drakensberg mountain range.

I so enjoyed the time connecting with my mum whom I miss having close by....

That afternoon we all headed into town for another party. My sister had organised this hat party for family and friends who could not make the party on her birthday. The venue had a fantastic view of the Underberg. This is a popular paragliding spot and we could see them from the garden of the B&B.

The cousins were inseparable and made up for lost time by chatting and getting up to mischief!

The venue was cosy and warm and the tables were laden with scones, jam and cream, koeksisters, mini milktarts, savouries and the best chocolate cake I have had in a while!

It was a pleasure to see my Aunt and Uncle from Hilton and to meet more of my sisters friends. The afternoon was spent enjoying good company and excellent food. We stayed way into the night and the hostess was most hospitable!

Aunty D and Z with their hats.

I just had to capture this colourful stained glass door at the entrance to the venue.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

More fun with Zoology

We had a wonderful time with our Zoology studies today. We are learning about feathers and their structure etc. Thankfully we had a bag of feathers on hand that K had collected when we were in Mossbank. We had contour feathers and semiplumes so we just need to find some down to add to our notebooks.

We had fun looking at them through magnifying glasses and "waterproofing " feathers with oil. It was amazing to see the water forming beads on the oiled feathers. I marvel at God's attention to detail in the construction of a simple feather.

The children had the greatest time racing round the garden with umbrellas to feel the air slowing them down just like a bird uses its tail and wing feathers to slow down when landing. I must admit I had to have a try too and it was fun! Z decided to jump out of the tree with the umbrella too....I just love this hands on learning! So much better than a dry book of facts!

We got to hang our suet bird feeders today too. They smell so good and K said she was tempted to make some into biscuits so she could have some too! (They are made with lard, oats, peanut butter, sugar, maize meal, seeds and raisins)
This evening we spent a little time watching some birds examine all that has been put out for them to enjoy.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Girls having fun

On Sunday we visited our friends the Roberts family. It was wonderful to catch up with them again as we haven't seen them for about 6 months.
The girls had a wonderful afternoon in Robyn's studio trying on wedding dresses, tiaras, jewellery and strappy little shoes. K said she felt like a princess and was thrilled when Robyn asked her to model for her in an upcoming Bridal show! She will be wearing a bridesmaid outfit alongside Robyn's daughter. She is SO excited! Needless to say, we hardly saw the girls all afternoon.