Sunday, July 31, 2011

Keeping my hands busy...

I love to keep my hands occupied when hubby and I watch TV. If I don't, I fall asleep, so this is what I have been working on for the last while.

Both are a gift for my sister in KZN. She got a pair of the fingerless mittens from me at late last year and has so enjoyed them this winter for the first time. She loves the way that her hands are kept warm , while still free to do what needs to be done. I adapted the pattern I used for the "snood" I had made for my daughter earlier this winter, to make a shorter wider one for my sister. It can be pulled up over the head to keep warm in icy winds and looks just a pretty worn around the neck.

A while back a friend blessed me with a huge box of fresh veg. In the box was some cauliflower and seeing that there are only two of us in the house who enjoy cauliflower, I decided to try my hand at some piccalilli.

The result: delicious, especially on fresh, hot, home-made bread with cheese!

My favourite way to keep my hands is busy though, is looking after my sweet nephew, who I am honoured to say is also our Godson. Recently we have had him here a few times while his mum and dad have been busy. He is such a joy and has the sweetest little smile. He is so talkative and he chews his little fists with great gusto!
He is going to spending his first over night visit with us this week as his mum needs to be in hospital over night. Thankfully the hospital is a stone throw from our home and I will be able to take him in for feeds. We are so looking forward to his visit.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A great suprise

A while ago we had the lovely surprise of finding out that K had won a prize in a give away on Jenni C's blog.

Jenni and her delightful little daughter made time to come and spend an afternoon with us and show K how to use her wonderful prize : ink, roller, lino and cutting tools. We had a great afternoon chatting about all sorts.

I look forward to showing you what she creates with her wonderful prize.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

more art fun

K has had some great fun at her art lessons. Here is some of her latest work.

She had to do a clay sculpture of herself, and in the photo she used, her hair had been curled. I love the way she depicted the curls in her sculpture.

In another lesson, she had to do a miniature self portrait.

I love the bright swirls of colour in this colour matching exercise.

This was a fun lesson where she made an abstract tree collage using cut outs and ink to fill it the details.

One of my favourites was this stained glass window depicting the 7 days of creation. She used tissue paper for this creation and it looks so beautiful with the sun shining through it.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Fifteen was fun

Fifteen years have passed since our eldest was this cute chubby one year old who we thought was so big!

Today we celebrate his 16th birthday and all of a sudden it seems as if the years are flying by too fast.

It is amazing to see the growth that has taken place over the last year.

He is growing into a fine young man who we enjoy, and of whom we are proud.

Fifteen has been loads of fun.

Here's to sixteen being super!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Indian Fare

After hearing of what my dear husband is capable of in the kitchen, my Mum specially requested that he cook one night while she was visiting. He willingly obliged and we were in for a real treat!

As usual, we had no idea of what was on the menu .....

What a feast was had that night!

He made Chicken Makhanwala, a butter chicken recipe that is extremely popular in North India... and now in our home too! The flavours are just incredible .... ginger, garlic, cinnamon, chili, garam masala, coriander and more all in a tomato and yoghurt curried sauce. He served it with home-made naan bread.

To quench our thirst, he served Lassi ... a yoghurt drink made with crushed ice and almonds.
The meal reminded me of our time spent living in Dar es Salaam where we first got to try all sorts of food we had never eaten before. There were some fine Indian restaurants there.
I look forward to the next meal my hubby will surprise us with!

Moments with Mum

Well, it has been just over a week since my Mum left after visiting for one wonderful week. There is something comforting about having her here that makes me feel that everything will be ok...
I always treasure the moments we have together I and miss her deeply when she is gone. It takes me a couple of days to get over the sadness once she leaves, and there are always little reminders that she has been here with us.

This visit was made more special as she was coming to meet her newest grand-baby for the first time. My kids were looking forward to having some time with Granny too!

There was the "welcome" sign to be made. Something the kids have always made for her when she comes to visit.

K busied herself in the kitchen making batches of delicious cookies to enjoy with her welcome cup of tea.

On her first evening here, my brother and his wife, the proud new parents came to introduce their gorgeous little baby boy to his granny.

Mum so enjoyed meeting him and being able to cuddle him at last. He is a much prayed for and long awaited little blessing. As she held him, I was reminded so much of when my youngest, now nearly eleven, was a tiny little thing who battled to gain weight as a newborn. Granny would just hold him and keep his little body snugly wrapped up in her loving arms.

Granny and the boys.

My Mum got to catch up with her friends in this neck of the woods.
We got to enjoy a girly movie together and have a walk along the catwalk on a glorious sunny winters day.

We spent time with my brother and his family, just enjoying being together.
Mum got to babysit while the new parents had a little time out together.
We enjoyed a day with my Mum's sister (and my cousin and her kiddies) who happened to be visiting her daughter here.

Mum got to sample the delicious "Mount Nelson Chocolate Cake" with chocolate ganache icing made by J this time around.

J kindly vacated his room and slept on the couch while Granny visited but she had a little visitor "sleeping over" with her most nights. In the mornings Z would be chatting away to her, long before the rest of us were awake.
I so enjoyed seeing my two teens enjoying chatting and laughing with their Gran.

One of the highlights of the visit was time we had at my brother's home giving thanks for their baby boy. He and his wife gave thanks for the life of their son, and dedicated him to the Lord. It was just beautiful. I am so pleased that Mum was here to share in that.

We shared her last evening here together with my brother and his family. It was an enjoyable, relaxed and happy time and she got to enjoy her sweet little grand-baby some more.

And yes Mum, "we have some lovely memories of special family times together to pull out and cherish in the days ahead".....

Sunday, July 17, 2011

My Minichef at the Mount Nelson

It was with great excitement we learned that Z had been picked to spend a morning at the luxurious Mount Nelson Hotel a few weeks ago. Spatula mag and Cape Town Kids gave the Minichefs this awesome opportunity to spend the morning with Executive Chef Rudi and his helpful assistant chefs, having a great time, baking up a storm! Each lucky little Minichef could bring one equally lucky parent with them and I got to be the one!

We were ushered into the beautiful Orchid Room for our morning of fun and each Minichef was kitted out with a chefs hat and a name tag. Chef Rudi welcomed us all and the fun began....

The Minichefs each had their own spot at the grand table where all their ingredients were measured out for the most delicious chocolate cakes they were to be making and decorating.

The table was laden with all things delicious for decorations. You name it, it was there.... smarties, jelly tots, fudge, marshmallows, biscuits, meringues, hand-crafted chocolate swirls, icing in every colour imagined and more.... sweetie heaven!

The parents were in for a treat too, with tea and coffee and all sorts of decant tea time treats laid on for their enjoyment.

The littlest Minichef needed a crate to stand on so he could see what he was doing!

The Minichefs got to enter the kitchen to see where their cakes were being baked and then the creativity began to flow as each one produced elaborate decorations for their cakes.

Once baked to perfection, the Minichefs got down to the serious business of icing and decorating the cakes...

Each creation was unique, and each Minichef pleased us punch with their results!

The atmosphere was amazing and Chef Rudi and his assistants worked patiently alongside the Minichefs, encouraging them in their creativity and lending a helping hand where needed.

The Mninichefs were then in for lunch time treat...

They got to enjoy lunch of pizzas (with any topping they desired) and milkshakes at the "The Chef's Table". This table is in an alcove in the kitchen and has a mirror on the back wall, giving a fish bowl view of the kitchen. I had told my Minichef about this special table and he felt very privileged to be able to enjoy this amazing opportunity.

Once the feasting was done, the Minichefs were all presented with a fun certificate and it was time to head on home.

We certainly had a wonderful morning of fun and are thankful to all that made the morning so memorable! And let me tell you.... that cake has been made over and over again in our house!

Thank you to the Mount Nelson for making happy memories for my Minichef!

This post is part of the 7th SACHS Blog Carnival for 2012 under the theme Kitchen Fun which is part of the South African Carnival of Homeschool Blogs. To join the carnival or visit past carnivals visit the SACHS Blog page. We hope you enjoy browsing 

Friday, July 1, 2011

Holiday time...

Holidays call for a less pressurised time without the concerns of getting work done and being here or there at set times. We are loving the break.

Time to enjoy the freedom of lying in a little longer under the covers on these cold mornings. Time to enjoy catching up with friends.
Time to enjoy the benefits of free movies.
Time for Z to enjoy the gyms kids holiday club.
Time for K and I to enjoy a few pilates classes.

Time to enjoy hours reading together, and reminiscing about the holidays I had in that part of the world when I was growing up.

Time for a walk on the beach.

Time for little boys to enjoy the freedom of wide open spaces under the big blue sky.

Time for changes to be made....


Our dining room table is one of our pieces of furniture that I love. Hubby chose it after we came back from Dar es Salaam in 2004. We had nothing then, no job, no home and 30 boxes with lego , school books , barbie and the likes. Most of our worldly possessions were left behind in East Africa. Just us, our 3 little kiddies and the fact that we knew we had made the right decision coming home. Anyway, now I am going off on a tangent....

Our dining room table has been in our " dining room", come room that gets filled with anything else we cant find a place for.... under piles of school books and anything else that has accumulated there! This holiday, we have made a change and I love it! The old dining room has now become the study, and where the computer and files piled up before, is now our new dining room.


Now I get to enjoy a piece of furniture I love , and we can enjoy eating there as a family without being surrounded by the piles of stuff that need a home... yeah that is part of my holiday plan to sort through all those things bit by bit!

Time to enjoy the kitchen....

......more time for enjoying making delicious treats to fill the ever hungry tummies! We had run out of sweet chilli sauce and thankfully my chillies just keep coming so I now have a stash of chilli jam in the cupboard to last for the next while.
I tried out a new recipe for cheese muffins and added some fresh rosemary.... simply delicious. At the same time, a batch of crunchies, some low gi muffins and a tasty vegetarian lasagne went into the oven.

Time to be creative.....

My sweet daughter gave me a beautiful invitation earlier in the week. I was invited to join her in a card making session. We both enjoy having fun being creative and so we lit a fire and enjoyed an afternoon of creativity together with some background music in the "new" dining room.

Time to enjoy our little nephew/ cousin....

(any time is fine for me as babies are my thing.... just gotta love them! )

My sweet nephew is two months old already! We had him here for a few hours while his mum and dad enjoyed some time out with friends. He is such a joy and so content. He dozed comfotably in my arms as I read to my children and when I put him down, he woke. He woke with the biggest smile on his sweet little face.
Next week my mum arrives to spend some time with us and to meet him for the first time!