Saturday, June 25, 2011

The show is over...

K and the wonderful make up mom!

The show that my two youngest were in, is over and while it was great fun, and very well done, I am glad there are no more night drives for late practices over the mountain in the cold and rain. We are enjoying relaxing at home in front of the fire and doing things at leisure now that the holidays are here.

The king, my peasant boy, and one of the sweet guards chilling out while waiting for the show to begin.

The drama teacher really prepared the kiddies well for the show and it went without a hitch. The kids did warm ups backstage and there was an air of excitement and lots of fun and laughter. I had the privilege of working with the designated backstage moms (backstage) on the last show night, and boy did those kids all know what to do when in the flurry of activity between each scene!

The show opened with a violin solo by one of the talented young cast members.

The two fairy godmothers were charming!

This was my peasant boys first on stage performance and he loved it!

K had a part in the production last year and she equally enjoyed her part as queen this year. I love that her king was a good few years younger than her and had to stand on a chair... it really added to the comical nature of the play! He played his part so well.

All the kids worked so hard, did so well and it was a great, fun production. Hats off to the wonderful drama teacher and all the backstage moms! I am so pleased that my kids have been able to experience being part of something that is such hard work, and yet so much fun! As one the moms said, "The fact that we can DO a play at all is a privilege. We could have lived in Tripoli or Kahbul or starving in the Sudan...", and yes, smile making memories were built all round!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Who would have thought.....

Who would have thought today was our winter solstice with the sun the furthest away from here, the least day light hours with the shortest day and the longest night of the year
.... and HOT...
about 26 degrees I think! So hot that it was a perfect morning for school in the garden and completing our chapter on leaves in our Botany course. (I had been putting this off due to cold and wet weather.)

The kids did some note booking pages on leaf classification. They took turns choosing leaves to add to their pages and checked in their book for leaf arrangement, venation, shape, and leaf margins. I asked hubby to put the umbrella up too but that was of no use as the sun was at its lowest point in the sky and so the umbrella gave no protection.

Hats were the answer!

Z was determined to find the biggest nasturtium leaf possible to add to his page!

He had fun tasting some of the leaves too.. the look on his face was priceless as he tasted the peppery nasturtium!

Never to old to have fun with bubbles!

After lunch the kids tried out an experiment from the Botany book....

It called for washing soda, we used bicarb instead so it didn't work. All we ended up with was a pot of crystallised leaves, never the less we had fun!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Feasting

After a particularly busy time in the last week, we slept in a little on Sunday and then the kids helped me to prepare a delicious breakfast feast for hubby. We got the idea from Minichefs : We didn't add the biltong, but used bacon instead. it was a real winner and definitely something we all enjoyed and will make again!

K made this sweet card and the kids had a gift packaged for hubby.

Recently, Hubby and I had seen a programme on TV all about hamburgers.... something we both really enjoy! He had decided that he was going to make us his own version of a gourmet burger and he was going to spoil us on Father's Day!
What a treat for us all! Nobody was allowed into the kitchen while he prepared the food with secret ingredients. The boys got a fire going in the lounge while we waited patiently for our dinner.
Wow, what a feast! He made his own burger patties with finely diced chili in them for extra zing. The burgers were served with the last of the pesto from my freezer, some feta and caramelised onions. The potato wedges were equally delicious! I love it that my Hubby is enjoying spoiling us with his cooking.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Another wrap up of a busy week...

Yes, another full and busy week has gone by. This has been a particularly busy one .... lots of pictures too!

Cosy evenings enjoying the warmth of a fire as the storms raged outside and rain came down in buckets.

Sunny but cold days and kids found a spot in the sun to get some work done.

A sweet 7 week old little visitor was enjoyed by all. Smiles brighten his little face as he gurgles and "talks".

K completed a sample beanie and hopes to be producing many more soon.

J taught his "little ninja's" with the help of his assistant K.

K made us a delicious chocolate cake.

Z tried his hand at "pigs in a blanket". We were particularly hungry that day as we had been to an early morning gym session before school. Hot lunch was enjoyed by all!

As show dates is fast approaching, there have been many extra practices for drama. Friday night saw a full dress rehearsal with sound and lighting.

Z plays the part of a peasant boy and K is the queen.

I was involved with the feeding of the five thousand .... just kidding, only 45 ... on Friday evening.

The kids have had a wonderful time at drama even though there have been many practices that have taken up free time. We are all looking forward to the show next week!

Z greeted the guests at the Chaeli cottage this morning as they arrived for the Art and Poetry Prize giving.

He received his Ambassadors T shirt at his afternoon meeting and I am sure he will wear it with pride!

K received a certificate of commendation for her art entry. Our little friend came first in his age category for craft with his Superman Wheelchair (seen above). His Mom received a certificate of commendation for her photographic entry.

This afternoon K had the greatest time taking part in a charity fashion show for Trevelyn Lodge, a home away from home for adults with special needs.

Sports wear

The stunning red dress!

Gorgeous summer dresses!

Boy am I glad there is still a day to breathe and relax before the next week begins!

Friday, June 17, 2011

A visit to the District 6 Museum

With a somewhat heavy heart, I write this post about this mornings outing to the District 6 Museum. I did not realise that emotion that would well up inside me to this extent. The atrocities that the families endured under the Group Areas Act of the South African apartheid government, are just downright wrong. The segregation, forced removals from many areas and other brutalities committed towards human beings are plainly unacceptable.

The museum is in what was once the Buitenkant Methodist Church, forcibly shut down for its stance against apartheid.

Outside the museum is a plaque that reads as follows:


District 6 was a vibrant mixed community of freed slaves, merchants, artisans, labourers and immigrants. It was close to the city and port. Under the Group Areas Act of 1950, it was declared a white area. The first to be resettled were Africans who had been forcibly removed in 1901. By 1982, 60 000 people had been removed and their homes had been flattened by bulldozers.

The Museum portrays the history of apartheid and its effects on those who lived there. In the centre of the main hall is a tall structure with the street names of District 6. According to out guide, these had been kept in storage for many years by the man responsible for demolishing the area.

Our guide, Noor, was a lively character and I have the utmost respect for him. He kept us listening to his every word. His grandfather had a home in District 6, in which his 30 children by 4 wives were born. Noor himself was born there, as well as his own children. In his mid 30's, Noor watched, tears rolling down his cheeks, with his two young children beside him, as the home that had been his family's for four generations was bulldozed to the ground.
He harbours no resentment today and has forgiven those who did this to his family.

We were then free to roam the museum looking over old photographs, paintings and physical remains of District 6. Most of this collection has been donated to the museum by the community of ex-residents. The daily lives of those that lived there are brought to life and there are no words for what these people must have been through.

The Fresco Wall, entitled "No matter where we are, we are here" occupies a vast area of 8m x 8m .It is dedicated to those who have made and continue to make the museum a living project.
I love the way the light shines through the stained glass window , giving a sense of hope.

The seven steps have a history of their own that lives on in the hearts and minds of those who lived in District 6

I pray that never again will our city see these atrocities again.

I thank God that our own children are not growing up in a society that thinks signs like the one on the bench above are normal or right.

Recollections of former residents, such as the one above, are scattered in the mosaic and cement floor.

To end our visit , we enjoyed some traditional koe'sisters made by a resident of the Bo Kaap.

It was a worthwhile visit and one unlikely to be forgotten too soon.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Super soup!

Winter is really here and the temperatures have dropped. The fire burns to keep us cosy and we sip mugs of hot coffee or hot chocolate. Blankets keep us warm as we get through the last of our work before the upcoming school holiday. We are tired and want to be done with the terms work but have chosen to push through and finish well instead of going on holiday knowing that the work was not completed.
Food is a comfort on these chilly days and we all seem to be hungrier than usual. Pots of soup provide healthy nourishment to our bodies and fill the hungry tummies. I usually make lentil and veg soup or chicken soup but the favourite is butternut soup!

This week I experimented with my usual recipe and the result was superb! The basic recipe calls for the following:

1kg butternut
1 onion
1 or 2 sweet potatoes
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup lentils
1 apple

The apple and the lentils help to lower the gi of the soup. I put it all into the pressure cooker and it is done super fast. This week I added 2 teaspoons of curry powder, a fresh chili from the garden and the juice of 2 oranges as well as a dash of cinnamon. Once cooked, I blended it and put it back into the pot with a swirl of Bulgarian yogurt.

I served it with some fresh coriander and crumbled feta cheese. I think it is one of my best buttenut soups and I will make this way from now on.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

In the garden today

With perfect weather this morning, and feeling somewhat better,I decided it was time to get into the garden again....
Armed with my two favourite gardening books, for inspiration and advice,I spent a good part of the day in the garden. Weeding was long overdue and thanks to hubby, I had a wheelbarrow full of the best compost from our compost heap as well as a bag of Alpaca manure compliments of my dad. Lots to be done!

The kiddies planted out their seedlings from our Soil for Life visit, each planting their own pot with lettuce, spring onions, parsley and strawberries, which according to my books, are good companions.

That does look like the perfect spot to rest and soak up some winter sun after a good morning of gardening!