Monday, December 19, 2011

Home School Matric Dance

Last week was the Home School Matric Dance and though our son is not in his Matric year, all IGCSE students were invited to attend the dance as there is no guarantee that it will be held annually.
At first he was reluctant to go but his sweet girlfriend convinced him it would be fun!

It is much lighter on the pocket when sons attend such events....
no fancy dresses to made, bought or hired....
no make up, hair and nails to be done...
no new shoes or pretty jewellery!
perhaps a new tie to match the girls dress,
and some flowers for the lucky girl!

It made me realise how big our kids are getting!
 It brought back memories of what feels like yesterday, when our son was just a newborn babe in the hospital and a sweet young friend visited us.
We didn't even know she was expecting her gorgeous daughter ( in the blue dress above)
In a flash they have grown into fine young adults.
They all looked beautiful !
Loads of photos were taken before they headed off for the dance...

A proud dad poses with his precious daughter.

The venue was a nearby church hall...
tables decorated beautifully...
red roses for the girls...
 glasses engraved with their names and the year...
delicious dinner....

Our son was reluctant to learn how to dance when he was younger and I jokingly threatened him that it would become part of his "curriculum" when he turned 13 and then forgot about my idle threat.
When he was about 14, he decided of his own accord, that he would like to learn to dance. We were more than happy with that decision as we feel it is a good life skill to have.
(something I still wish I knew how to do better!)
I love that he enjoys dancing and is able to lead a partner round a dance floor without two left feet!

They had a great evening, dancing the night away!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

paper & cardboard creations

A while back K was given this book by me and for the longest time, I have wanted to spend some time making cards with her, using the book as inspiration....

Rain pelted down today and we didn't have baby M for the morning, so it was the perfect time to get stuck into the book and get creative!

She works fast and is creative, using her imagination, whereas I am slow and really need to copy what I see!
She made about three cards to every one I made.

I love her "little old lady" with pink sparkly hair!

I had fun with the purple and greens in this flowery creation.

We used old books that were destined for the dump to make these cute kitty cards.
(K rescued them in the name of art from the lady who was going to throw them out!)

The colourful tiered cakes required lots of patience.

Pages of the old books were used to make all sorts...
the tiger is my creation and I think he is cute!
K loved making the "people cards"....
her ballerina is rather sweet!
I love the simplicity of the flowers too.

We got onto shoes...
I found them challenging and just made the red pair while K churned them out in various colours and designs!

We stopped after lunch and then just had to do a few more this evening.
I have not had the chance to photograph them all but we will certainly be enjoying many more hours of creativity using this wonderful book!

PS: I am able to order a copy of the book for anyone who would like to order, as it is one of the items in the range of toys/ books that I sell.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Holiday happenings

The holidays got off to a busy start with many weekend activities for all the family members...

All 3 kids went to different year end celebrations;
hubby and I went to the funeral of the father of a dear friend;
J had his usual session teaching karate on Saturday morning
then taught a private lesson to a student too;
the older two had their 2nd animation workshop;
J was employed as a waiter at a party on Saturday evening;
baby M slept over on Saturday night;
my neighbours provided an awesome meal of lamb and corned beef,
which we cooked
ate together here!

My favourite was the wonderful evening we enjoyed at Little Streams with family and friends last night...

A picnic dinner was enjoyed in beautiful tranquil surroundings..

Churches of the Constantia Valley united for Christmas carols...

atmosphere just perfect and peaceful!

Today we needed to just be at home.
Both boys were not feeling great.
Mountains of laundry needed to be done.

I found apricots at a really good price last week.
The kids helped me prepare some home-made apricot jam today.
It brought back fond memories of making jam and chutney on the farm with my sister two years back at Christmas time.

We used a microwave recipe I found on-line.
It turned out just the way I like it!
Sweet, fruity and tart!

We caught up on some garden chores...
clearing the tomato plants that have given us a bountiful harvest already,
relocating some strawberry plants that did not seem too happy where they were,
composting and planting some more seeds in seed trays.

I was in the mood for pasta and so we had a late lunch, come early dinner,
with all good intentions of getting to tae bo tonight...
alas that did not happen as K and I lay down for a long afternoon nap
(it that not what holidays are for?)
and when I woke, I had a bit of a headache.

Instead we spent the evening relaxing,
me reading aloud and the younger two making these...

delightful magazine Christmas trees!

I got the idea from another home school mama's blog
and you can see the tutorial here

We just need to add the stars to the top!

Thank you Mel for this fun craft!

Friday, December 9, 2011

School's out!

School is out!
We are all so happy to be at the end of the year
more than ready for the long summer holidays!

We celebrated this morning by going to watch the new Christmas movie:
Arthur Christmas!
Feel-good, fun & cute!

The children have worked hard to get themselves where they needed to be in order to end the year off well.
Here's a bit of what we have been up to....

In the last two weeks, the younger two and I have been concentrating on poetry in their respective language programmes.

We have read many poems,
they have memorised poems and psalms,
and written their own poetry.

The older two applied to a new Teen Animation School to learn how to create animated videos, hosted by the Entrepreneur Academy in conjunction with Motivate Cape Town.
The academy's goal is to identify and train up a team of super video producers and then market these skills to the small businesses and communities in and around Cape Town.
It is a great opportunity for the kids to learn some cool new skills and earn some great money!

As they were both successful in their applications, they attended the first workshop, where they learned the basics of marketing, sales cycle and how video can play a role in this for small businesses. They learned how to use GoAnimate, and then had to spend many hours putting their new-found skills to the test by each creating three videos.

K's videos for Nutty Wonder Bread were used as examples on the blog by
(you can view her videos by clicking on the link).
we figured she may have a good chance of making it through to the second round, where the top five applicants would get to continue the process of being trained as animators.

What a lovely surprise for both J & K when they received emails congratulating them on their creativity and high standard of work!
They have both been invited back to attend the second workshop this weekend!

At the second workshop, they will be given some business education to assist them in beginning to market their talents to small business owners. The Academy's vision is to provide each teen with the necessary skills in order for them to offer top quality products with a fast turnaround time, way below the professional industries rate, which is often out of reach for the normal small business owner.

I had agreed to sponsor them half their fees for the first workshop.
I feel it is important for them to be willing to spend some of their own money when they want to further themselves in any way.
K offered to do the catering for the workshop, and in return she had a reduced fee for the first workshop. They were happy with her catering (chocolate cake and some cookies) and she has been given a reduced fee for this weekends training and asked to do the catering again!

Needless to say, K has been busy in the kitchen with all this baking!

She also made a batch of delicious fudge as a gift for her art teacher as they had a year end party at her last lesson.

I too
(OH NO..not these silly lines I can't seem to get rid of again!)
have been busy in the kitchen making these cookie jars for our market day.

They look nothing like the examples I have seen online, but I was happy with the end result.
I made a gingerbread cookie mix as well as one with pink smarties for little girls and then some with astros for the boys. They look so pretty with the bows &
make lovely inexpensive gifts.

Tomatoes have been inexpensive so I have made some tasty chili tomato chutney too.
One to keep and one as a gift.
I used a basic recipe I found online and then added a bit of this and that...
the result is excellent if I say so myself!

K has also been busy with her card making, felt hearts and beaded serviette rings.
She often does her crafts while enjoying listening to our current read aloud.

Last weekend we enjoyed the annual end of year piano recital at the younger two's music teacher's home. She is one of the kindest woman I know, always encouraging the children and making them feel good about their achievements.

She blessed each child with a gift and had taken the trouble to look up the meaning of their names and attach that, along with a scripture to each child's gift.

When one of the parents asked her to play a piece for us, she said she wasn't sure what to play. The little voice of one of her youngest students piped up that she should just play from the book she is on! Too cute!

So, we have been busy as usual and the holidays are here. Two of the kids have been out to year end parties this afternoon and tonight we look forward to a fish braai at my brother.
Lovely start to a long summer holiday!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Liebster Blog Award

How nice to get another blog award!
Thank you Trixi!

The word Liebster is a German word meaning "dearest".
The Liebster award is given to up and coming blogs with 200 or less followers.
The way it works is to link back to the nominator, in this case, Trixi.
I just love her blog which contains such a wealth of information!

The next thing is to share 5 other inspiring blogs with less than 200 followers.
Leave a comment on their blogs and let them know that they are nominated for this cute award!
Then post the award on your blog and share the feeling of friendship shared over the miles!

My first 3 nominees are young home educated girls whose blogs inspire me!


then 2 home educating mammas whose inspire me

Thursday, December 1, 2011

More of what we have been up to...

Taking a break from my blog has not been such a good idea...
there is so much to catch up on but I am slowly getting there!

Recently K was asked by our hairdresser to be a model for her exam.
The hairdresser had chosen "pink" as her theme.
Of course K was thrilled as that meant getting a pink streak in her hair....
something she has wanted for about a year....

She got to wear pink in her hair, on her eyelids and on her nails...
great fun for a girl who lives in a pink room!

This same girl who is such a "girly girl"....
just won the trophy for best teen girl at her last karate grading where she graded to red 1!

K has also been very busy crafting and making all sorts of goodies to earn herself some pocket money.
On the weekend we had a market day at home and then she joined me at a local market too.
This weekend we have another market day at home so she is busy crafting away!

She has made:
felt Christmas decorations,
beaded angels,
delicious treats to eat
has taken orders for beaded serviette rings!

Baby M has been coming for his usual two mornings a week
(we got to babysit him last night too!)
he is just cuter by the day!
He is up and rocking and sure to be crawling soon!

He is such a ray of sunshine in our lives!

We enjoyed a fun evening picnic this week with friends at a nearby school.

Once it got dark, there was a laser light show!
I have never seen anything like it!
The music was loud,
the laser lights
Dads, moms, kids and friends had a great time dancing on the field until late!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Giving Thanks

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in EVERYTHING, by prayer and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4: 6-7

A week or two back, it dawned on me that Thanksgiving was around the corner. This is not a holiday that is traditionally celebrated here in SA, but we decided that it was something we would like to do as a family.

The last year has not been an easy year, and we can choose to dwell on that
choose to be thankful and count our blessings.

God is faithful and always will be.
He is greater than any circumstance.
He is our reason for a hope and a future.
He can turn our complaining and grumbling into gratitude.

In the weeks preceding Thanksgiving, we had a jar on the coffee table and each family member jotted down what they were thankful for on a daily basis and added it to the jar.
The younger two and I started reading Pilgrim Stories by Margaret Pumphrey. We are thoroughly enjoying learning about the history of the Pilgrims, their life in England, time spent in Holland and their new life in America. The children are fascinated by the American Indians and it seems we will kick of next year learning about them.

Anyway, back to our Thanksgiving dinner...

We had invited our new neighbour and her son to join us, but sadly, they had plans. An hour or two before dinner, her plans were cancelled and she asked if it was not too late to join us?
We were so pleased they could!

My sweet, kind neighbour came bearing contributions to the meal, a bunch of my favourite flowers and a fantastic gift basket filled with all sorts of delicious, decadent treats!

As hubby was carving the meat, he thought we should invite another of our neighbours too...
a quick call and he was over at our place in 5 minutes!

We were so thankful for the gift of a shoulder of mutton from my dear sister and her husband. We had the most wonderful evening, eating a delicious meal, laughing, playing some games and sharing what we are thankful for.

Desert was made even more delicious thanks to the gift of a jar of sour cherries from my sister too!

We have already planned who will be hosting next years Thanksgiving dinner in the neighbourhood!

Psalm 106:1-2, "Praise the Lord! Give thanks to the Lord, for his is good! His faithful love endures forever. Who can list the glorious miracles of the Lord? Who can ever praise him enough?"

In the garden this week....

First Sunflower!

Strawberry flowers.

Celery...loads of it!

Beans...thinking of curried beans and bean salad.

Broccoli....the only way my family likes to eat it is raw, in broccoli salad.

Peppers...raw in salads or added to stir fry.

Tomatoes...picking handfuls daily now.

Best way to eat them: balsamic vinegar and a little brown sugar heated and reduced until syrupy, then add baby tomatoes and heat over medium heat until they start to split. Add to salads or serve over pasta!

First granadilla flower!