Saturday, August 27, 2011

"My life through a lens"

K received the following invitation from Epilepsy South Africa :

"We would like to invite you to participate in an exciting project where we invite you to photograph “My life through a lens”. The aim of the project is to capture a day in your life which tells us of your challenges, interests, frustrations, joys and aspirations. The difference with this project is that you will be working in pairs. One of you will be a person with a disability and the other without. Together you will capture your individual lives and have an opportunity to examine your similarities and differences through a lens of camera"

She was selected to take part and we eagerly set off to the Frank Joubert School of Art this morning for the first workshop. We met with the friendly social workers from Epilepsy SA, and a photographer who gave the participants a brief lesson in photography. The workshop included making collages and discussing various types of photographs as well as hints and tips on how to capture images. Each participant was given their own disposable camera to "go and get out there, and have fun while capturing their lives through a lens!"

After I had sat in on some of the workshop, I enjoyed capturing my stroll through the art school's garden...

.....everywhere I looked, there was some hidden treasure that captured my eye

I wondered about the artists.....

.....and why they did not decorate their own gardens with their works.

Around each corner was something new to see....

......tortoises sat on top of walls

.......trees loomed over quaint cottages

........ pillars adorned with works of art

.........odd couples perched on ledges

............pots hid in high places

...........and castles were camouflaged among trees

But most beautiful of all .....

.....was the carpet of Camellias created by none other than the Master Creator.

Full and fun...

I can hardly believe it has been over a week since we celebrated our youngest's 11th birthday! A full but fun week!

As last Saturday was taken up with mock grading, teaching little ninjas for J and a friends party, we decided to have Z's party on Sunday. Not my favourite day to have a party, but if we didn't do it then, it would have been weeks before we could.
The weather did not turn out as we had hoped it would, so we had to move the party from a beautiful outdoor venue to our home. Thanks to a friends brilliant idea of having a Wi party, the boys had a fantastic time! The best hit was the dancing game which was played teams of four. Too cute to watch these little guys copying the cool moves!

Moms and dads hi jacked the TV once the kiddies party was officially over and had a great time playing Buzz, a general knowledge quiz game.

Z has been disappearing a lot this week....

.... disappearing into the pages of a book that was one of his favourite gifts.

We embarked on a new learning adventure this week with some dear friends and the Walk4Wheels#to change 222 lives
Craig Sieben, partnered with The Chaeli Campaign, is embarking on a remarkable journey on foot from Cape Town to Cairo! 16 000 km, 15 countries and 222 days, no public or paid transport will be used.
He will be raising awareness and carrying a message of hope that focuses on the abilities of those who are "differently abled". He will host workshops and distribute educational material. The goal is to change the lives of 222 children ( one child for each day he will be on the road ) in a significant way, by providing assistive devices and educating the family and community regarding the child's abilities.

We are getting involved, following his journey, raising funds, and learning about the various countries along the way. We are so excited to be doing a co op with our friends and look forward to all the fun we are going to have along the way!

We kicked off our learning this week by doing physical maps of Africa and a simple quiz.

We have a new student in our school two mornings a week now! 

He is the sweetest little student and we look forward to fun we are going to have with him. He tends to doze off during the lessons, but that's ok! He enjoyed an outdoor botany lesson on trees with us this week. (And I missed him on the days he was not here!)

K had a wonderful time at her girls group that meets once a month. The girls were taught how to do a manicure and each came home with the necessary "tools" and a bottle of nail polish. It was such a treat to have her give me a manicure while we did some of our school reading. 

Thursday evening was nail biting.... J and K had grading. K did well, achieving her red belt!

J had a gruelling half hour or more grading where he and the other student were put through their paces and given constructive criticism. A very high standard is expected at brown belt level, and both boys did not make it but have been given the opportunity to grade in a weeks time.I think I know where he will be most of this week coming .... training, training and more training!

This morning however, he had the sweet taste of victory in a team kumite competition, coming home with a silver and a gold medal!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Birthday Celebrations

Birthdays are fun.....

......especially when you are 11 and all your birthday wishes come true!

One excited boy woke to our usual tradition of piling into mom and dad's bed, surrounded by siblings, to open gifts. The excited exclamations confirmed that he was happy!
Then it was off to Oma for more spoiling! 
Phone calls, text messages, fb messages and emails poured in throughout the day.

Big sister lovingly baked a birthday cake

 and then the birthday boy and his sister had fun decorating it.

Friends and family gathered to celebrate

and spoil the birthday boy more!

Far away cousins were missed....

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Elephant's Eye

On Tuesday, we took advantage of the public holiday and joined some friends on a walk to Elephant's Eye Cave.

That was where we were heading for...
the sun shone brightly, the wind was a little nippy at the start but.... was great to be outdoors and enjoying the wide open spaces in nature.

The last time I headed off in that direction must have been about 20 years ago!

In just a little while, we warmed up and it felt like we were on top of the world and the views where spectacular!

The strong, pleasing scent of Fynbos was a reminder of childhood walks in our mountains with my family...

....the delicate flowers were magnificently displayed in hues of pinks and purple upon the mountainside.

After heading up, it was over and down where we were greeted by spectacular views of the bay in the distance....

In the shade of the few Pines left on our mountains, we enjoyed gazing out into the distance with a pair of binoculars that one clever dad brought along.

To our left we had the most magnificent clear views of the Constantia Valley and the back of Table Mountain.

On and up a little more to a lookout post...
.....time for some delicious cookies before heading on to the final destination.

The last up hill stretch was well worth it and we spent some time admiring the views from the cave while the two youngest boys explored the cave, before scampering back down the mountain to enjoy a well deserved picnic at the dam.

The kids enjoyed seeing this lovely example of phototropism in this tree trunk as we had just read about it last week in our Botany studies.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Special delivery....

On Wednesday evening we had a special delivery of Baby M to our home! My brother and his wife were going to a friends party and we were thrilled to be babysitting.

I love the way my brother arrived with baby in one hand and baby bag in the other. He is a real hands on daddy!
I joked with him asking if he could stay for the night and about an hour later he called to ask if it would be ok for the little man to sleep over. He is such an easy baby and we just enjoy him so much, so it was no problem.

He is growing beautifully and is full of smiles.

He slept well next to me and had a good night, waking at 06h00 for a bottle and back to sleep until 08h00. I slept in that "awake' mode again, checking that he was not too hot or too cold during the night.

It was such a joy to wake to this sweet, smiling, precious little face next to me.

He had fun being entertained by his cousins in the morning and promptly went back to sleep just after 09h00. I don't remember my babies sleeping so much. Perhaps all the entertainment was tiring for the little guy.

His mommy, well rested , came to fetch him and waited until almost lunchtime for him to wake.
It was a treat to have him here.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Fabulous Finds....

Today was one of those days that I just needed some cheering up. If I feel like that, I either need to get out a little or I curl up for a snooze. This afternoon the beautiful weather beckoned me outdoors, and I decided to take the younger two along for the ride and we had a fabulous time...

Fabulous find 1) a chameleon!

We have read and talked about chameleons and perhaps rarely seen them (they were common when I was a child) but today the kids found this one on the fence outside Soil for Life. They got to hold it very gently and watch it change colour. They wanted to bring it home but I was afraid our kitty would make a meal of it so we left it behind.

Fabulous find 2)....

..... the perfect place to celebrate Z's up and coming birthday!

We are trusting that the weather will be good and that he can celebrate with his friends in the beautiful gardens at Little Streams ... the perfect place for a bunch of busy boys! Perfect for hide and seek, treasure hunts and tadpole catching!

Fabulous Finds at Soil for Life:
3) organic lemons at just R4.00 per kg
(just in time for my next batch of sweet chilli jam)
4) organic celery for R7.00 a bunch
(fabulous to watch it being picked straight from their garden for us)

5) lettuce seedlings
6) a seed tray full of broccoli seedlings just ready to be planted out into the garden.