Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Weekend Fun

The past weekend was a whirlwind of activity and fun. J went to karate training in Camps Bay, hubby was working, and K painting with Grandpa on Saturday morning.

She so enjoys going to paint and learn from him. This week she was in for a treat as there was a visiting professional artist who spent the morning with them. K has started working on a painting of a photo that was taken while we were on holiday in Ladybrand. When she is done, I will post it for you to see.

While everyone else was busy, Z and I had to prepare for a birthday party that he was going to. It was a Star Wars themed party and he was going as Darth Maul! Hubby had managed to make him a double sided light sabre and now it was up to me to do the face painting.
He got the desired reactions from all the other boys at the party!
Sunday, while hubby was at his year end function for cricket, we went to a wonderful birthday party for one of my God daughters. It was her 4th birthday. She is really growing up and a delightful little lady at that!
The party was held at the little blue train in Sea Point. There is a lovely picnic area, climbing wall and playground. The highlight is of course the little train that runs all day, giving the littlest passengers hours of fun! Even my K (12) who vowed she would not be seen on the train had hours of fun!
T who was with us, decided to take the scenic route home. We ended up spending a couple of glorious hours on Hout Bay beach. The weather was perfect, the mountains and sea magnificent!
The boys could not resist a dip in the calm, but chilly ocean waters. Jeans and all! We enjoyed a treat of calamari and chips on the sand. The seagulls enjoyed the left over chips. Happy and tired, young and old, slept soundly after a good dose of fun under the big blue sky!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

School and more school

We have been hard at it getting through loads of work this week. It is actually break up day tomorrow for the Easter holidays but my dear J will have to keep going to catch up the terms work. His curriculum arrived a month late and the trip to Bloem also interfered with his school work.
He has had a great attitude though and has been ploughing through lessons and tests with great determination. I want him to have at least a weeks break before heading into the new term. We have had great fun doing lots of map work for Geography. This was one of my favourite subjects and one that I excelled in for matric. Accountancy is however not my forte and he and Eric have been busy with that most evenings.
For Life Science, he had to do a couple of experiments this week. In one of them, he placed a raw egg in vinegar. Because the vinegar is a mild acid, it ate away the shell. The children were fascinated by this raw egg with no shell but just a membrane!

It sure does look rather creepy!

While I have had to give J's school work a lot of attention, the younger two have been amazing. They have got on with their reading, maths, language,played games together and generally been very tolerant. It has taught all of us to be more patient as there is no way I can split myself in 3. (I am not sure how those teachers in a class of 30 do it!)

Z has kept himself very busy with various science kits that we have. I just love the way each of our children are SO different to one another!

Here is my little hands on scientist having great fun with all sorts of mixtures.... After asking him to clean up the mess, he informed me that is the reason it wont be a good idea for me to visit him when he is busy with science in his own home one day!

Garden and kitchen

After being away for a couple of days, it was lovely to notice that my little garden grew while I was away. I picked some ripe tomatoes and saw that the chillies, peppers, bringals and cucumbers had really grown. I think I inspect it so often that the growth usually seems minimal to me. We have enjoyed fresh lettuce and basil on our sandwiches every lunch time this week.

My sweet daughter had bought me a packet of fresh, hot, red chillies at the home school market day while we were away. The two of us experimented with making our own sweet chili sauce. The recipe called for a lot of sugar so it was rather sweet. We don't use much sugar in our home so we added lots more tomato, garlic and chili and ended up with 3 jars of delicious not too sweet chili sauce. We have been enjoying it with our cheese and lettuce sandwiches!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Whirlwind trip

After seeing our younger two off ,we saw J off late on Wednesday night. He was catching the bus with the Western Province Team to Bloemfontein for National Championships. Sadly on the way to the bus stop, we found out that one of the team members would not be making it. This was a disappointment for J. They had been looking forward to this trip they would be making together. The wind bit into us as we said our goodbyes and he was more than excited for his adventure! (As his mom, I did not find it too easy and felt rather anxious knowing he would be on board a bus through the night. I have never travelled across the country on a bus and don't plan to do so in the future either!)
We woke in the early hours of the morning to make the cross country trip by car to watch our boy compete. All went well as we listened to stories and made the 11 hour journey through our beautiful and varied country.We stopped to enjoy a bite to eat and kept in regular cell phone contact with J.
We finally arrived around 3pm and the bus had arrived at the same time. We contacted J after checking into out hotel and went to meet him at his hotel and take him a bite to eat. It was a brief visit as the team had to board the bus again for weigh in at the competition venue.

J and some team members from Jion.

Friday was spent at the venue. We were all rather tired but it was great to be there and see what it was all about. The venue was huge with 6 mats where different divisions competed continually throughout the day and late into the night. There was much cheering and the vibe was upbeat and the competition stiff!

View from our seats.
Saturdays highlights were Js fight and seeing my sister and her family!

J was thrilled to have his cousins come to see him compete. We appreciated their company and their patience as they waited until after 9 at night to watch him compete in the last event of the whole competition! It was a long day!
He was knocked out of the competition in his first round and felt disappointed. We however are proud that he made the Provincial Team and that he took part. He will now be gearing up for the next big event in Gauteng in just over a months time.
We are truly grateful to all the family and friends who helped in various ways to make it possible for J to compete and for us to be there and support him.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Corn picking

In the midst of all that is going on prepare for the trip to Bloemfontein, K and I spent a little time in the garden today.
For a while, I have thought the corn should be picked, and I didn't want to leave it too much longer. I have been checking it regularly but been uncertain as to the right time to pick....... it is the first time we have grown corn.
What a sweet surprise to see the big juicy kernels. The children had great fun opening them up. It looks as if they were not fully fertilised as the tops were not developed. Maybe we picked them too soon? Anyhow, tonight it was chili con carne with home grown corn for dinner...what a treat!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

All geared to go!

There was great excitement when J came home from training today with his Western Province team gear. It included a team tracksuit, beanie, back pack and a badge that needs sewing onto his gi. It is all happening so fast! He was also selected to compete in WSKF nationals in a couple of months time.

Fun run

Alarms went off early this morning as the younger kiddies, a friend and I had entered the Constantia Village 5km fun run. We arrived there bright and early at 06h30.
We took it easy, jogged some and walked some. It was great to be up so early and enjoy the crispness of the early morning. We each received a medal for taking part.
J and hubby headed off to karate training in Camps Bay and then on to Belville for WP training and finalisation of the travel plans for Bloem. An exciting time!

School fun

The younger two had great fun making a "telephone" to see if sound waves travel better through wool or air. This was part of our Zoology lesson. It showed them that sound travels better through wool, much like ocean water carrying sound waves a long way, and enabling whales to communicate with one another even when they are very far from each other.

After trying this outside, they tried to make it work between their bedroom as their own personal telephone!
In the sea turtle lesson, they learned that that female turtles have a very hard time on land when they have to pull their bodies hundreds of meters up the beach to lay their eggs. They had to try and move themselves forward without using their hands or legs to boost themselves forward. Not an easy task!

Our big boy has been fighting a cold this week. Not good timing as he leaves for Bloem very soon. I have let him rest and have been pumping him full of vitamins to boost him. He has however been able to do a fair bit of school work. We have enjoyed looking plant and epithelial cells under the microscope this week.

Around the house

Been meaning to put these up all week to show you what has been happening around the house. Hubby got around to putting up some of my birthday gifts....its taken a while I know!

My brother in law had made me this beautiful , handy jewelry or come whatever stand. It is so convenient to know where my sunglasses or other bits and pieces are.
My sweet daughter gave me these lovely wire hearts that she bought while we were in Ladybrand.

Hubby crafted these wooden hearts for my birthday. We had seen others in a shop in Ladybrand but they were rather expensive so even though I loved them, I didn't buy them at the time.

This lavender adorns my mantelpiece. The lounge is filled with the lovely aroma of lavender.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


The team from Jion who have been selected to represent Western Province.

This morning, there was great jubilation when we received an sms notifying us that J has been selected to represent the Western Province at the up and coming SA Trials in Bloemfontein! (From there, if selected, he could be taking part in the All Africa Games in Cape Town later this year.) This of course means that he gets his Provincial Colours too.
He has put in hours of training and we are very proud of him. He is so excited and really looking forward to the trip and competing.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Our Boy did it!

This morning we had an early start out to Belhar Sports Centre where the KAWP (Karate Association of the Western Province) Cadet, Junior, Senior & Veterans Championships were being held. I was amazed at J's calm composure and attitude. The day of the Provincail Trials had finally arrived. He has put in many hours of training for todays event.

He was up first in his division for Kata. Eric and I sat nervously on the stands as we watched our big boy go onto the floor. We couldnt imagine how he was feeling if we were SO nervous! It was a knock out competition and the score 2 to 1 in favour of his opponent. He was ok with that as it was only decided in the last 2 weeks that he would enter the Kata competion as well.
J in the blue belt.

Next came Kumite....that is very exciting to watch and the tension was high. Again he was up first in his weight division. He had to wear protective head gear as well as foot and leg protectors along with the mitts. He managed to get in some good punches and kicks but as it so often happens in these competitions, he did not score points. (Sometimes the judges miss these points) He came off knowing that he could have done better but we were all thrilled when he came in joint 3rd place with a bronze medal.

Now we wait a couple of days to find out if he is selected for the Provincial Team and if he has to compete in Bloemfontein in a couple of weeks time..........

Thursday, March 4, 2010

School fun

The week has had its challenges but on the whole, been going well. It has been incredibly warm in the Mother City and we are thankful for the swimming pool. The children have enjoyed a quick dip between lessons and before bedtime.We have enjoyed breakfast and lunch out on the patio this week.
My resident baker has been at it again, keeping the boys happy with her baking.

Yummy peanut butter biscuits and bran muffins!

We have had lots of fun with Zoology. The kids made cardboard megaphones and tested how they reflect sounds off various objects....just love the face Z is pulling! It helped them to understand how a whale uses sound to determine what kind of object is near by.
They are making Ocean Boxes, in which they will place models of all the various sea creatures they are learning about. Today they painted their boxes and while I read, they made these amazing models of the various magnificent whales they learned about. They tried their hands at an origami whale too. We have experimented with the freezing temperatures of normal and salt water and Z was amazed that the salt water remained unfrozen even after being in the freezer all night!
I found a fantastic book for Afrikaans to use with K and Z and we are making good progress as we laugh our way through the funny new words they are learning.
We had another session of Afrikaans with J and his school buddy and the boys are making headway. The same afternoon we did some life science and made our own wet preparation for the microscope. We looked at the membrane between the layers of an onion. It blows my mind to see how amazingly even this has been created! We looked at a tiny bug too and the detail is incredulous! I can see that we are going to have lots of fun with the microscope.
As J works hard to catch up with his terms work (due to his books arriving late) , he is learning so many new and amazing things. Below is the view from his desk out onto my little veg garden. He enjoys the greenery outside his window.
First and foremost on his mind this week is the Western Province Trials for Karate on Saturday.
After karate training and ballroom tonight, he was in the lounge, dressed in his gi and practising his kata. He is determined to do well on Saturday. Tomorrow, he will have most of the day off school as he has a further 2 hours of training and we need to get ready for Saturday.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Its jungling!

Yip, my veg garden is starting to look a little like a jungle! The comment passed by T when she saw it this weekend was,"It's jungling!"
It is so exciting to see the tiniest butternuts and gems on the vines that have rambled up the tripods. There are a number of green tomatoes and the chillies are starting to poke out of where the flowers used to be. I am picking green beans , baby marrows and peas! Mmm those peas never made it to the table as I snacked on them when I was feeling a bit peckish.I continue to pick basil and lettuce regularly and the corn are just about ready.
I hired our house helper's son to scrub down the last of my pots last week. He did a fantastic job, but I have not found the time to paint and plant since we are so busy with school.It will have to be a weekend job.