Thursday, December 20, 2012

Joy Dare December week 2

Giving thanks....

Day 11
1156) holiday freedom ...seeing my youngest happy and free, swimming and bike riding with friends
1157) picnic in the park today, a park a stones throw from home that we didn't know existed

Day 12
1158) my neighbour arriving at the gate with an ice cold soda for me.... just when I was wishing I had one

Day 13
1159) teen son making dinner again tonight
1160) friends popping in with dessert

Day 14
1161) sweet baby here again, fun swimming together
1162) blackberries, gift from a friend
1163) enjoying a silly but sweet Christmas movie with the kids

Day 15
1164) beautiful bright red Poinsettias, an early birthday gift, bringing cheer to my home and treasured memories of my now almost 18 year old as a toddler at Christmas time

Day 16
1165) perfect summer evening .... coffee and mince pies outdoors chatting with the neighbours
1166) meaningful chats with our teens tonight in light of the recent US tragedy

Day 17
1167) my birthday.... 
beautiful messages and phone calls from family and friends, delicious breakfast made by hubby, surrounded by family and friends, memories and laughter shared, blessed with lovely gifts....
thankful for another year and thankful for those that add joy to my life

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

When Christmas came early

 On the weekend hubby collected parcels at the post office and came home with a box from the USA. It was a wonderful and unexpected surprise! I had signed up with Worldwide Culture Swap for a mini holiday swap some time ago. Somehow I didn't receive the original email linking us with another family, so I didn't think about it again. Thankfully I now know who sent us this lovely gift and we will be sending their pack soon!

The children and I had such fun opening this generously filled box and delighting in it's contents....
it truly felt like we were opening gifts on Christmas day!

We received a letter from the Green family, the story of our Saviour's birth, and a copy of their family favourite Christmas songs. I love the colourful Christmas tea towel. There were also two mini Christmas stockings, a candy wreath, a beautiful tree decoration depicting Mary, Joseph and Jesus as well as some Christmas pencils and a big pen decorated with Santa. 

As we delved further into the box we found a snow globe, a cinnamon scented candle, candy cane flavoured pop rocks, peppermint flavoured hot chocolate, white chocolate hot chocolate and a cute bell shaped cookie cutter...Christmas cookie baking and decorating coming up soon in this house!

And there was more.....

.....a snowflake light that flashes different colours, flexible snowman and Santa toys , home made tree decorations and Crabby Pattie candy!

Mini candy canes with the legend of the candy cane completed this delightful surprise pack!

Culture Swapper

We are thankful to the Green family for the parcel and Worldwide Culture Swap for organising this fun swap!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Joy Dare December week 1

Counting blessings....

Day 4
1137) thankful for a good workout again today
1138) gift crafted...
 thankful for my daughter's help in making beautiful gifts
1139) a lovely evening spent celebrating a birthday

Day 5
1140) delicious dinner made by my teen son tonight
1141) catching up with my farm sis tonight

Day 6
1142) gift sweet...

 gorgeous baby nephew here again this evening
1143) my daughter unexpectedly getting a days work again
1144) friends popping in for coffee

Day 7
1145) plump delicious free range chicken, a gift from my neighbour
1146) first mince pie of the season
1147) my dad visiting
1148) surprise brandbucket full of delicious goodies to try out: cookies, nougat, sweets and iced tea
1149) my daughter's great end of term marks for art

Day 8
1150 ) gift held....
 an unexpected parcel from the USA...
a mini Christmas swap filled with all sorts
1151) gift heard...
my daughter's delight in answered prayers
1152) technology that allows my mum to send me photos from afar within minutes

Day 9
1153) gift ugly beautiful...
garden turned ugly with sand as the swimming pool is being repaired....
beautiful that the kids should be able to swim soon

Day 10
1154) bumping into friends from 24 years ago
1155) medical tests with good results

Monday, December 3, 2012

Joy Dare last of November

Day 27
1123) reading aloud to my tween son, enjoying that he still enjoys me reading to him
1124) coffee with a friend and talking gardening together
1124) movies and milkshakes with the teens

Day 28
(gift in community)
1125) the gift of our neighbourhood...always there for each other 

Day 29
1126) catching up with a friend that I don't see too often
1127) hubby's wise words

Day 30
1128) my neighbour doing my hair for me again
1129) enjoying an art exhibition with my daughter and neighbour this evening while hubby kindly watched over all the neighbourhood kids

 Day 1
1130) time spent with my daughter 
1131) perfect windless summer evening,
hubby doing a braai for dinner,
happy kids running around the garden at dusk
1132) chatting to my mum today

Day 2
1133) a call from my 'big" sister...lovely to catch up
1134) watching kids enjoying pancakes filled with home made lemon curd and  ice cream for dinner 

Day 3
(gift shining)
1135) shining lights in our home each night, thankful we have them
1136) catching up with a friend from my student days today

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Slow Living Month 11

Time to look back on a month that seems to have flown by with the blink of an eye. Our eldest completed his exams despite not being well, and the younger two and I have been furiously trying to finish up bits and pieces so we can enjoy the coming summer holidays.

Early this month we enjoyed lunches of decadent and delicious open sandwiches using garlic and herb, two peppers or honey and mustard flavoured cream cheeses. A much appreciated hand made gift from my farm sister. We topped them with lettuce from the garden and my home-made pickled onions and coriander pesto. 

My sister had also sent me some of her hand made houllumi ... delicious... we enjoyed that over a freshly picked spinach salad. Another of her cheeses was used with home made tortillas, filled with chicken cooked with onion and garlic from the garden. Her cheese also went into some tasty courgette muffins.
First courgettes from the garden went into Spanish omelettes, a simple yet tasty dinner.
My daughter spent a fair amount of time in the kitchen helping with baking: 
orange cake, pecan and carrot muffins, corn and chili bread, rosemary shortbread. 
The boys certainly appreciate her efforts.
Ooh...almost forgot....I made my first ever pumpkin pie and it was a winner even if I say so myself!

Not much in this department except the usual chili and tomato jam and then yesterday I made a batch of apricot and ginger jam. 

 Old stockings have been snipped up and used to tie up the tomatoes and prevent the wind from destroying them. 

The granadilla vine is heavy with fruit and numerous new flowers appear each day. Every morning I run out to check on my squash for new flowers and fruit. Sunflowers stand tall in the garden and bees and butterflies are everywhere.

I planted a number of seeds shared with me from my sister in law's visit to my farm sister: scarlet runner beans, watercress, cucumbers,  safflower, lemon basil, fennel 
and mustard greens.  
We have been enjoying herbs, chillies, first tomatoes, lettuce, spinach, green beans, first courgettes and garlic from the garden.

 I have been battling to find the time to be creative but my youngest made this wooden stool at his technology class.

My daughter has been enjoying making some pocket money helping out at Sweetarts. She has natural creative flair and is loving working with Jacki and learning from her.

I discovered "The Micro Gardener"a great website with ideas for the garden. A post on spring onions led me to discover that mine had gone to seeds and the seeds were ready to collect. I also made the "sensational spring onion salsa" as a side dish one evening.

I have downloaded a number of free books onto my Kindle Cloud Reader and have been trying to get some ideas for easy home-made Christmas gifts and holiday ideas.

Our youngest attended his monthly Chaeli Campaign meeting and has continued selling bath sprudels to raise funds for the Chaeli Campaign. 
My daughter held her monthly craft workshop where she showed the girls how to make beautiful wooden hanging hearts, strung with beads and decorated with roses.
She and I have also begun exercising in earnest again and are enjoying the enormous benefits thereof. 

 We enjoyed a number of outings; UCT Zoology Department, Newlands Rugby Stadium and the Cape Dairy Expo. 
There have been plenty of impromptu enjoyable neighbourhood dinners where we all just come together and share pot luck dinner, catch up and relax.
 We shared a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner too.
We visited the Cape Doctors Art Exhibition where some of my father's art was on display and last night we enjoyed an exhibition of the work of my neighbour's brother, Gavin Collins.

 Thank you Christine for hosting this great link up at Slow Living Essentials.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Joy Dare November week 4

Day 20
(3 gifts of traditions)
1108) birthday mornings when all the kids pile onto our bed.....
a tradition from my childhood home and carried on with my own dear ones
1109) a new tradition begun in our home last year and moving next door this year....
neighbourhood Thanksgiving dinner....
last year we were 8, this year it will be 15!
1110) a steaming cup of coffee after dinner, made by hubby or our oldest son

Day 21
( gifts family)
1111) family....blessed to have them all....near or far
1112) unexpected calls from them....always wonderful to hear their voices
1113) friends who have become family

Day 22
1114) blessed to celebrate a wonderful Thanksgiving dinner with family and neighbours tonight...
sharing heartfelt thanks and counting blessings.....
 laughter, tears of joy, good food and more....
   treasured memories created 

Day 23
(  gifts only in Christ )
1115) every good gift and every perfect gift
1116) undeserved grace and forgiveness

Day 24
1117) thankful for breakfast shared with dear friends we had met in Dar es Salaam... 
they are leaving for another city.....
a "so long breakfast" instead of goodbye as I am sure we will meet again someday
1118) chit chat with my cheery niece this morning

Day 25
1119) first magnificent sunflower gracing my garden

1120) a surprise early birthday gift from my sweet daughter, something she knew I would really enjoy
1121) messages, photos and voice notes from a sweet child and her mamma in Nigeria.... 
thankful to know all is well with them

Day 26
1122) thankful for a day that was not too demanding

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Hollywood 50's Fun

Over the last two weeks K has spent some time enjoying being creative and working for the owner of Sweetarts, Jacki. She is learning some amazing new skills "on the job" and making herself some pocket money too. These gorgeous 50's Hollywood cupcakes were made for Planet Productions for Cavendish Square's year end function.

The cute polar bear and penguin cupcakes were made for a function sponsored by Sea Harvest and Knight's Catering Company for Red Cross Children's Hospital.  

I am so thrilled that she is able to enjoy her natural creative talent and learn from someone as talented as Jacki!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Joy Dare November week 3

Unlocking the fullness of life in thanksgiving....

Day 13
( 2 gifts behind a door)
1092) my son getting much needed r & r and sleeping in really late today
1093) a rest for myself this afternoon in the quiet of my room
1094) sharing dinner and laughs with the neighbours and a friend visiting from the UK

Day 14
( a gift silent)
1095) strong silent hugs from my hubby
1096) wonderful work out again today....have missed regular exercise classes
1097) paid work for my daughter today, enjoying something she loves: creating edible art

Day 15
(a gift golden)
1098) brilliant golden yellow squash flowers greeting me each morning
1099) sparkling fairy lights...a gift from my friend

Day 16
1100) thankful for a good workout again this morning
1101) thankful for the long drive out to exams today, giving my oldest son and me an opportunity to catch up and chat....thankful too that his exams are over 
1102) thankful for a great evening with friends & teens going to youth tonight

Day 17
( gift of laughter)
1103) loads of fun and laughter today

Day 18
( a gift shared )
1104) a beautiful day with friends

Day 19

1105) thankful that our daughter was accepted to art school for next year
1106) thankful for great times enjoyed over the past week with a friend visiting from the UK....
thankful for all the gym classes he did with us too
1107) thankful for a visit from my sister in law and her sweet baby today

Monday, November 12, 2012

Joy Dare November week 2

The past week has flown by, so much happening in this journey we call life. 
So much to be grateful for...

Day 6
1074) thankful that supper was prepared early and waiting for us after the long trek out to exams again
1075) tomato plants, gift from a friend

Day 7
1076) kind friend who ferried us around to the doctor and pathologist for my eldest who has not been well for a while

Day 8
1077) thankful for my daughter waking me in the night to see to the youngest who was not feeling well
1078) awesome gym 24 class this morning at the neighbour, 
given by her friend who is a trained gym instructor
1079) gift of a cooked chicken and some cream cheese
1080) chats with family

Day 9
1081) wonderful informative outing with my younger two this morning
1082) better news than expected from the doctor regarding our eldest's health
1083) visit from my sweet friend, 
sweetened even more by the gift of a jar of honey
1084) relaxed evening having dinner at the neighbours

Day 10
1085) a morning enjoyed in the garden,
 compost from our heap and seeds shared and sown

Day 11
1086) chats with my farm sister

1087) growth in the garden
1088) a quiet day enjoyed with family 

Day 12
1089) thankful for meaningful discussions with my teens and tween each morning when we read the Word
1090) beautiful drenching summer rains today
1091) my cheerful daughter helping me bake and prepare dinner tonight

Friday, November 9, 2012

Mealie Bread

As part of his hands on activities in his SA History studies, our youngest has been baking mealie bread recently. We were pleasantly surprised at how delicious this bread is. 

Here is the recipe:
1 cup mealie meal
1 cup flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
3 teaspoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg
375ml milk
60ml butter melted

* heat the oven to 220 degrees C
* sift dry ingredients
* beat egg and milk together and add to dry ingredients to make a stiff batter
* add butter and beat until light and well mixed
* pour into greased bread tin
* bake for about 25 minutes
* eat and enjoy while warm

Though the texture is somewhat crumbly, each time he bakes this bread, it is devoured within minutes and thoroughly enjoyed! The proud little baker has also made a variation of the bread by adding freshly picked mixed herbs to the batter and it is just as good!

Culture Swapper

Monday, November 5, 2012

Joy Dare, last of October and into November

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. ~~ Melody Beattie

Day 30
1053) despite heavy traffic and more than an hours drive, 
I am thankful I got my son to his exam with time to spare
1054) thankful he said it went well
1055) thankful for a delicious left over dinner after a really busy day

Day 31
1056) first flower on the granadilla vine
1057) first onion harvested
1058) marathon bake and chit chat in the kitchen with my daughter....
orange cake, pecan nut and carrot muffins, corn and chili bread and feta and spinach quiche
1059) surprise pack filled with all sorts of goodies to try out from Home Tester Club

Day 1
1060) brisk early morning walk with my daughter
1061) surprise gifts from a friend who recently travelled to New York 

Day 2
1062) full and fun day out with my younger two....
discovering new things at the zoology department of the university and then the dairy expo with friends
1063) my sweet toddler nephew sleeping here for the night again....
him running to greet me with arms outstretched,

him playing with the boys skateboards,
 screeching, laughing and splashing in the bath,
 high fiving the boys goodnight and kisses for the girls,
 him falling asleep next to me making sweet baby noises

Day 3
1064) feeding my nephew freshly picked strawberries in the garden at breakfast and him asking for more
1065) a much needed nap
1066) laughing, chatting and catching up with my daughter
1067) long overdue chat with my mum

Day 4
(a gift gathered, given, good)
1068) gathered....fresh garden greens for our meals
1069) given....a wonderful variety of seeds from my sister
1070) perfect for spending time in the garden today and a dinner time braai with neighbours and friends

Day 5
1071) happy laughter from my daughter
1072) a dear friend popping in for tea
1073) taking the kids out to see fireworks tonight, and despite the fact the fireworks were banned in that area, enjoying a beautiful evening on the  beach

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slow Living Month 10

October is over...a busy month in terms of living life and getting back into the swing of school after a break that went far too fast! It has also been exam season again for our eldest. Our daughter was away for half the month on a wonderful trip to visit her cousins on the farm. 

It was a month in which I used all sorts of odd things that were hiding in the freezer or the pantry cupboard. 
Some frozen green beans and frozen basil pesto went into a nourishing chicken soup. 
The last of the Indian tomatoes from the freezer as well as some of the butternut and orange chutney were used in a delicious chicken curry.
A can of tuna made tasty fish-cakes using fresh coriander, spring onions, mint and parsley from the garden.

One of the meals that gave me the most satisfaction was the following....
spinach from the garden with broad beans from my neighbour's garden in vegetable quiche,
salad, freshly picked- baby cabbage and spinach, celery and spring onions with a dash of mayonnaise.
Both my boys added to the meal too. It was great to have them in the kitchen....
loud music and laughter as we worked together!
 The youngest made a tasty mielie meal bread and the eldest made the most delicious baked lemon dessert using lemons from my mom in law's tree. It had a simple shortbread type base and the lemon topping was baked, giving it the texture of a cheesecake.   

I have done a fair bit of juicing this month too. Usually orange and carrot juice. The boys and I also used some frozen berries that had been forgotten in the freezer to make smoothies at lunch time. I added a couple of beetroot from the garden to mine and it was simply delicious!

Tonight I enjoyed having my daughter back in the kitchen with me. We took full advantage of the fact the oven was on and baked up a storm! Spinach from the garden, onion marmalade and creamy home made feta cheese, a gift from my dear farm sister, made a tasty crust less quiche.  We made corn and chili bread, carrot and pecan nut muffins and an orange cake. 

I have tried to make sure I send hubby to work with a nourishing lunch instead of the usual peanut butter sandwich. Where possible I have stretched evening meals with extra vegetables so I can freeze a couple of extra portions for a healthier lunch for him.

Lemon curd has been made and enjoyed as usual by the children.
Frozen tomatoes lurking in the freezer made a batch of tomato and chili jam. 

On the weekend I discovered some sun dried tomatoes in the cupboard and made a tasty red pesto spread which we have been enjoying with my sister's delicious farm cheeses. I have an abundance of coriander in the garden and made some coriander pesto too. The jar has been devoured rapidly by my eldest! Tomorrow I plan to teach my daughter how to make it.

We continue to recycle paper and glass.

Both hubby and I have slowly been going through things that have accumulated in and around the house and we are aiming to reduce the clutter that seems to gather out of nowhere!


I stumbled across a simple vinegar and citrus cleaner and decided to try my hand at my first batch. It should be ready in a week or so and I am looking forward to trying it out. 

My garden is a continual source of pleasure and I am so enjoying this season in the garden. Though I am not harvesting much yet, I love noticing the new growth taking place....
bright yellow flowers on squash and cucumber plants,
tomatoes that I didn't plant springing up everywhere,
 first flowers on the granadilla vine,
 first fruits forming on the chillies, 
compact heads on cabbages, 
beans climbing ever higher day by day,
sunflower stems standing tall, much to look forward to!

We are enjoying the first strawberries, as well as lettuce and fresh herbs. 
This evening I harvested a perfect onion.... I am not sure where the others disappeared to but even that single beautiful onion brings me pleasure!

I have not been creative this month but my daughter enjoyed a 3D edible art workshop where she created cake pops and figurines. 

Much of my reading has centred around South African history during school time with my youngest. I have also been reading snippets from garden and herb books.

My neighbour and I have been sharing seeds and seedlings. 
Lifts are shared saving time and petrol and we walk when needed on days we don't have the car.

Hubby and I enjoyed an evening out with friends to a dance earlier this month.
A number of friends birthday's have been celebrated, and most recently hubby's birthday. 
We enjoyed his birthday with a  double celebratory dinner at home as it was the day our daughter returned from her farm visit too! 
It was a pleasant relaxed evening, neighbours joining in, good food and hubby playing all his favourite old CDs!

 Thank you Christine for hosting this great link up at Slow Living Essentials.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Joy Dare October week 4

Giving thanks....

Day 23
1032) audio books for my boy to listen to for school as I was not feeling well today
1033) a call from my big sister
1034) boys who have taken up the slack....
doing their sister's chores while she is away, without complaining

Day 24
1035) meaningful discussions with the boys over Bible time this morning
1036) thankful my eldest is preparing diligently for his exams
1037) broad beans from my neighbours garden again
1038) happy messages from my daughter on the farm

Day 25
1039) ice cream enjoyed with a friend
1040) an unplanned, but perfect evening braaing at the neighbours

Day 26
1041) a peaceful afternoon enjoying my book and some down time as I continue to recover
1042) talking to my girl on the farm...
thankful she has been having a wonderful time

Day 27
1043) thankful to get my hair done by my kind neighbour
1044) hubby helping me in the garden

Day 28
1045) growth in character, discernment and wisdom for our precious girl
1046) meaningful chats with my teen son
1047) thankful that our children are His and He is the gardener of their hearts

Day 29
1048) our daughter's safe journey home from the farm... 
feeling complete again now that she is home
1049) grateful thanks for the blessing of my sister and her family who cared for and nurtured her 
over the last two weeks
1050) precious moments watching my three re-connect after her 2 week absence
1051)  delicious gift of a wonderful variety of home made cheeses and butter from the farm 
1052) thankful for a wonderful dinner with neighbours celebrating her return and hubby's birthday

Monday, October 22, 2012

Joy Dare October week 3

Though I decided to take a break from my blog, I could not break the "thankful habit" I have gotten into over the last while. It reminds me to constantly be thankful to Him in all circumstances for everything....

Day 16
1010) thankful that despite mix ups as to where her boarding gate was, our daughter managed to board the plane safely and on time early this morning
1011) thankful for a safe journey to the farm with her cousin and uncle...
and being able to be in touch via messaging throughout her journey
1012) thankful to hear her voice and laugh tonight...
tired but happy to be there with her special cousin whom she regards as a precious sister
1013) thankful for calls from all my siblings today
1014) broad beans from my neighbour's garden

Day 17
1015) delighted that my asparagus have survived when I thought they were dead and gone

Day 18
1016) morning walk with my neighbour and her dogs...the little one pulling me all the way
1017) boys in the kitchen with me, laughing, music loud, one baking bread and the other a dessert
1018) talking to my daughter on the far away farm ....hearing about her making butter, cheese and ice cream
1019) my sister sending me photos of my daughter and messaging me to let me know all is well
1020) my sister in law visiting with my baby nephew two days running

Day 19
1021) thankful we had wood for an indoor fire....
enabling us to cook toasted sandwiches for a houseful of teens at dinner when the power went out!
1022) coffee, cake and laughter celebrating another birthday with the neighbours

Day 20
1023) houseful of happy teens again
1024) talking to my sister and the girls on the farm

Day 21
1025) medicine from my neighbour to try and fight what ever it is that my body is fighting
1026) hubby taking over chores so I could rest

Day 22
1027) a gift of broccoli seedlings and straw to mulch my strawberries
1028) thankful to be feeling a little stronger today
1029) thankful for my daughter's good term marks for art, and the wonderful teacher she has
1030) thankful for a visit from my brother and the way he made me laugh today
1031) thankful that as Ann Voskamp says,
 "You defeat your dark when thanksgiving is your default."

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Taking a breather...

Life has been filled with much recently. Some good and some not so good. I have decided to take some time  out from my blog and will be posting again when I am ready. 

Monday, October 15, 2012

Joy Dare October week 2

This past week I reached counting 1000 gifts to be thankful for. 
It has become a daily habit to find something to give thanks to God for no matter what we face. 
Sometimes it is not easy when life burdens one with challenges but it is worth it! 
So I will continue to count my blessings....

Day 9
989) acceptance in Him
990) His strength, not my own
991) knowing nothing can separate me from His love

Day 10
992) thankful to find joy, great or small even in difficult times
993) happy sounds of cousins on a long distance phone call.... knowing they will see each other soon
994) thankful for groceries just when there was little left

Day 11
995) thankful that last night's intruders did not get into our home and we were not harmed
996) thankful for some quiet time to myself while my eldest did his chemistry practicals and the youngest explored the science centre with his friend
997) humble thanks for God's family that is beyond our comprehension....
and His provision through someone we don't even know
998) thankful for financial help to replace our gate motor after it was stolen last night
999) thankful for a beautiful evening..
blessed to be surrounded by my family...
a simple meal shared outdoors...
  delicious best ever chocolate mousse for dessert
made by my eldest and his sweet girlfriend

Day 12
1000) reaching 1000 things to give thanks for no matter what life holds
1001) encouragement and blessings from my far away mum
1002) end of a challenging week...hopefully some rest and relaxation over the weekend

Day 13
1003) seeing my teen daughter and her friend enjoy a happy fun filled girls day today....

.....laughing at princess movies, eating pink food and wearing crowns!

1004) an evening of fun and dancing with hubby and some friends

Day 14
1005) conversations with my farm sister and my mum
1006) hubby's helping hands around the house today

Day 15
( a gift re-read)

1009) thankful for wise words on motherhood from Kat at Inspired to Action :

"The best I can do is to show them what following God looks like, what good choices look like, what love looks like. My job is to invite them to journey alongside me, teach them as much as I can and pray for them constantly.
Ultimately, though, their responses and decisions I must entrust to the grace of God. Unlike a marathon, boot camp or grad school, following all the rules doesn't mean I get the prize of perfect kids."
1008) thankful for friends who make me laugh
1009) thankful for shared lifts for the children me extra time to help my daughter get ready for her trip to the farm in the morning

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Science Centre Fun

Today the boys and I visited the Cape Town Science Centre again.
  It was good to just have some time alone with my thoughts while the boys were kept busy.

Behind the green door, our eldest was occupied with practical chemistry lessons. These lessons have been taking place over the last few months and have been of great help to him in preparation for his exams.
He will be writing physical science in the next couple of weeks.

Our youngest had a friend with him and they were free to explore.

A great place for busy boys to discover new things and learn while having fun.

Certainly one of our favourite places!

Monday, October 8, 2012

Joy Dare October week 1

Day 2
(a gift falling)
970) plans falling into place for my daughter to visit far away family
971) visit from a friend I haven't seen in a while

Day 3
972) early morning coffee at the neighbour in my pjs
973) house full of kids and their it
974) my mum sending me photos from her visit at the farm
975) having my precious baby nephew here this afternoon
976) another generous donation of bath sprudels for my son's fund raising project for the Chaeli Campaign
977) lemon curd and ice cream for desert

Day 4
978) rain watering my garden today

Day 5
979) morning walk and talk with my daughter
980) a friend popping in unexpectedly for a visit today
981) teens filling the house....loud and happy

Day 6
982) beautiful truth in Ann Voskamp's words...
" And He knows your name and He holds the stars and His girds underneath and He never lets go and He is joy and He is light and He is the warrior who defeats the dark"
983) my dad popping in for coffee and taking my daughter out to an art exhibition
984) laughing with friends
985) winning a book prize for my youngest

Day 7
(a gift eaten)
986) doughnuts brought for us by my daughter's friend

Day 8
987) good first day back at school today after the week long break
988) a brisk walk in the biting wind ...clearing the mind and getting the heart pumping

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Sweetarts 3D edible art workshop

Yesterday K enjoyed a fun afternoon creating some 3D cake pops and figurines with Jacki of Sweetarts.

My favourite are the Minnie mouse and the pink teddy bear!

Jacki is passionate about sharing her talents with youngsters and inspiring them to be creative.
If you would like to book a workshop with Jacki, you can visit her website here: 

Monday, October 1, 2012

Slow Living Month 9

September seems to have been super slow with not a lot happening compared to more productive months, but as usual it is good to look back and see what was was achieved.

We enjoyed a  fragrant chicken curry using Indian Tomatoes  from last months  freezer supply and the butternut and orange chutney that has been standing in my fridge for a while.It truly was tasty! 

I have wanted to use some Lavender from the garden in my cooking for a while so  my daughter and I tried our hand at some lavender shortbread. 

We also made shortbread with lemon balm. The lavender shortbread was the winner!
If dinner is cooked in the oven, I continue to make the apple and oat bake for hubby's breakfast. My daughter made a double batch of jam squares one evening too when she needed eats for a function. Her brothers were happy to have the extra delicious snacks too!
 As we had sufficient gooseberries, I made another gooseberry pie.
We have been enjoying guacamole at lunch time as avocados are in season. We add tomato, finely chopped onion, coriander and chilli from the garden, garlic and lemon juice...delicious!

This month I made a batch of sweet chilli and tomato sauce with tomatoes and chili from the freezer.
My home made pickled onions were great and I made a second batch which are just as good!
Lemon curd has been made again and again, enjoyed with pancakes and fresh fruit.

We continue to recycle paper and glass and I reuse card board boxes when I need to package any orders.

I have been neglecting my worm farm for some time and am always amazed that the worms are still alive when I do peek in there! This month I have been paying better attention to it and have reaped the benefits with some worm tea to use in the garden.
 The compost heap has given us an amazing amount of beautiful rich and dark compost which has gone into the garden.

My friends and I have been sharing seeds this month and we are enjoying swapping and trading seeds.
I have harvested tomatoes, lettuce, mustard greens, gooseberries, herbs and lettuce.
 I look forward to summer and more bountiful harvests!

We have planted a butter spoon tree and it seems to be doing really well. It was given to me by our local nursery in exchange for a bag of old newspapers on arbour day.
 Petunias were planted between the cabbages. Gem squash, strawberry,  cucumber and basil seedlings were planted . Sunflower, water melon,  spanspek, bean, radish and squash seeds went into the beds and pots.

I had fun creating this little feature which reminds me of my far away farm sister....
The wire heart was a gift from her, the base bought on a visit to the farm in 2009, and the stones were collected by her when she was living in a coastal town a number of years ago. 
The petunias are producing beautiful lilac blooms now, reminding me of her daily.

I knitted up a pair of chocolate brown fingerless mittens for my Mum and will be posting them to her shortly. Besides that, not much on the creative side for me. However, my daughter has been creating all sorts and I have lent a hand here and there when she asks for help. 
She made "tea pot" invitations for her 15th birthday tea party.

With the help of a friend she sewed her own "Infinity Dress" for her party in just two short afternoons. It is a simple dress with two long pieces that are attached to the sides. These can be wrapped in many different ways to create different styles for this beautiful dress. 

She also made tea pot, tea cup and shoe shaped cookies for her party. They were decorated by hand, each one unique and delicious!

A friend gave me a very early birthday present which I have been enjoying...
"My 100 Favourite Herbs"  by Margaret Roberts. 
It contains a wealth of  information about growing herbs, using them in the kitchen and to produce health and beauty products. 

I enjoyed a visit to a local market with my sister in law. It was wonderful to sample all the different wares and I came home with some fresh vegetables for the week ahead. 
Our youngest has continued to sell bath sprudels to raise funds for the Chaeli Campaign as well as Peace pops. 

This month we enjoyed watching our two younger children perform at the Artscape Theatre as part of the 
Shakespeare Schools festival 2012. 

It was a wonderfully entertaining evening. 

Beach walks and talks were enjoyed as well as a number of  friends birthdays.

Lastly we enjoyed celebrating our daughter's 15th birthday over this past weekend.

Once again I am thankful to Christine for hosting this great link up at Slow Living Essentials.