Saturday, March 31, 2012

Krafty Kow workshops

Last year our teen daughter was part of a craft group that met monthly. The girls enjoyed learning new craft skills and producing something hand made. Arts and crafts are part of her life....she enjoys them immensely and is always working on some project or other.
 She has been privileged to be asked to run the classes for the first term this year. 
She has successfully run two workshops and made herself some pocket money on the side.
 It is wonderful to see her be able to pass on her love for anything crafty to younger girls and to see her sense of satisfaction at being able to generate some income for herself. 
She has learned so much from these experiences......
teaching requires patience with younger ones who need extra help,
working out costs and profits and budgeting,
planning and organizing each workshop,
understanding that work is required to earn money
reaping much more than financial rewards!

In her first workshop, she taught the girls how to make pretty necklaces.....long necklaces with hearts and pearl beads as well as sparkly key rings with crystal and pearl beads.

 One of the mums told me her daughter loves to wear her necklace daily. Another mum enjoys the fact that it is easier to find her keys in her handbag now days!

The second workshop was a great success too. 
The girls made ribbon charm bracelets, the charms being the armour of God. 

Each girl got a little card with the relevant verses and a pretty pink bag to keep their bracelets in. 
They can literally put on the armour of God daily.
 One mum loved it so much, she ordered one right then and there for herself!

As the workshops have been successful, she has been given the opportunity to run more in the new school term. For the first one, she will show the girls how to make beautiful beaded cards for mothers day and then there is a surprise item they will be making for their mothers day gifts too! 
The second workshop will be a scrap booking workshop where the girls will make mini scrapbooks...these have already been sourced by my entrepreneurial daughter as well as some gorgeous embellishments.

She has dreamed of her own little business for some time and came up with the name "Krafty Kow" a little while back...spelled with K as her name begins with K and she loves crafts and cows! 
So if you would like her to run a Krafty Kow craft workshop for a group of 6 to 8 kids, please let us know!
Unfortunately she can only offer classes in the Cape.

Monday, March 26, 2012

March Joy Dare Week 4

"We don't have to change what we see. Only the way we see." Ann Voskamp
No matter what ....I continue to count....
Day 20
(3 gifts that made you laugh)
266) the way my sweet nephew waved at PB Bear on the TV when he said hello....too precious
267) my daughter telling me the story of hungry seagulls eating chips off her head!
268) laughing and crying watching "The Help"

Day 21
(a gift salty, a gift sweet, a gift just right)
269) salt water pool, kids splashing, playing and having good old fashioned fun this afternoon
270) chocolate crunchies brought by my dad when he popped in for coffee unexpectedly this morning
271) a public holiday today...needed a day with no pressure, relaxing and enjoying a braai at our neighbours

Day 22
(2 gifts found in His word)
272)  "The Lord placed His throne in heaven and is King over all" Psalm 103:19
273) "The Lord is merciful and loving, slow to become angry and full of constant love.
 He does not keep on rebuking;
 He is not angry forever. 
He does not punish us as we deserve or repay us for our sins and wrongs." Psalm 103:8-10
 & more my own
274) seeing my daughter enjoy teaching younger girls
275) a sweet friend sending me hot freshly baked bread and a jar of grannadilla butter
276) watching them graduate tonight
277) hubby home from a day's work

Day 23
(3 gifts found in women today)
278) my wonderful neighbour taking my kids (and 5 others) to the beach by train for ice creams to celebrate the last day of term
279) reading Ann's posts, always a gift to me
280) sharing a good laugh with girl friends this evening

Day 24
(3 gifts spoken)
281) my daughter's thanks, thanks for taking her to a pilates class this morning
282) invitation to have dinner with a friend....though I love cooking, a night off is always great
283) invitation to have coffee at my neighbour.....her new coffee machine is tops!

Day 25
my own
284) hard work, 4 hours solid in the garden, good for the mind and the body
285) a friend taking my boy and 4 others...... with 3 dogs for a long walk in the forest
286) left overs for dinner

Day 26
(3 gifts almost gone)
287) apricots from my sister's visit in January...frozen and used the last tub to make jam today
288) chocolate from my birthday in December...still one box left to share with my mum while she visits
289) the wait...she is almost here....should be a half hour before my mum arrives this evening....cannot wait!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Graduation 2011-2012

Tonight we saw our youngest graduate. His year of serving as Pay It Forward Ambassador for the Chaeli Campaign has come to an end. It was a year in which he learned new things and grew as a person. He had to prepare a speech for tonight. I think back to his grade R year... for the first term this little guy could not even talk to the teacher....he would whisper in my ear and I would have to relay his message to he has grown in confidence and courage over the last few years! He had no problem speaking to a large group of mostly strangers tonight.

He spoke about his recent fundraiser for Walk4Wheels and how he has learned that one person is equal to another.....a valuable lesson for a young child to learn. He is hoping to serve the Chaeli Campaign for another year. As an ambassador, he will be required to attend a monthly meeting, assist with publicity regarding Chaeli Campaign events and plan an event to raise funds for a charity of his choice.

Keren graduated as a mentor to the ambassadors of 2011. She too was required to give a speech , regarding her activities over the last year. She enjoyed being a mentor to the new ambassadors and plans to continue being a mentor in 2012. She has also been put forward by the Chaeli Campaign to take part in the Presidents Award at bronze level. She began her service component last week by volunteering at the SA Navy Festival on behalf of The Pink Ladies, (a group of volunteers who look for missing children and adults throughout SA). She helped create awareness and tagged children with their parents names and cell numbers in case they got separated from their parents at the festival.

Our eldest has completed his bronze level for the Presidents Award over the last year. His speech gave an account of his activities for the various components of the award. His service component, a car rally, organised last April, raised funds for The Pink Ladies. The Physical Recreation component; karate and sport karate,competing on a regional and national level. For Skills and Interest; his teaching of Karate over the last year, and for the Adventurous Journey; a recent camp. He will proceed with the silver level of the Presidents Award in the coming year.

Pay It Forward Ambassadors, Mentors & President Award participators for 2011.

We look forward to another year of growth, learning and service with the Chaeli Campaign family!
If your children would like to become Pay It Forward Ambassadors for 2012 (age 9 and up) , please contact the Chaeli Campaign. It will be an unforgettable, life changing experience!

Monday, March 19, 2012

March Joy Dare Week 3

I read this today ..... 
"Accept and appreciate things now, and you’ll find more happiness in every moment you live.  Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for all the troubles we don’t have....."
So here is my list, thankful praise to Him for what I have....

Day 13
(3 gifts round)
228) the wedding ring placed on my finger 20 years ago tomorrow...
229) beading round serviette rings for a wedding this coming weekend, taking my mind off circumstances just a little and giving me time to chat and be with my sister
230) sitting round the dinner table with family and extended family again

Day 14
(2 gifts found in silence)
231) silently reading His word,quietening the inner turmoil
232) working in my veg patch in silence and alone...a little escape for myself
and 1 my own:
233) a rare treat...out for dinner....just hubby and I, enjoying a special deal of two delicious burgers for the price of one and celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary.

Day 15
(1 gift given away)
234) a gift given again......sharing some of my frozen corn
and 2 my own:
235) a day with no plans but plenty achieved 
236) our kind neighbour letting us get a girls movie out on her contract when she heard we felt like watching a movie this evening.... me and my daughter connecting, laughing and crying over the story

Day 16
3 hard eucharisteos
237) bone chilling, freezing cold winds and rain.... but thankful to be helping my daughter serve the community, tagging little kiddies in case they get lost at the SA Navy Festival
238) miss her terribly ALWAYS, but thankful to have my sister pop in today
239) thankful that hubby was not still employed there now.... the company that retrenched him in November 2010, closed their doors...
it would have meant he would have been working without integrity over the last year....
and 2 my own:
240) hubby making dinner tonight, giving me a break
241) another kind neighbour lending us a dvd that I have wanted to watch for the longest time

Day 17
a gift turned, a gift folded, a gift hung
242) a quiet day turned festive with friends and 12 kids here for a braai
243) hubby making the bed, folding the clothes and tidying up our room
244) washing hung out to dry by my sweet daughter
4 my own:
245) having my sweet baby nephew sleep over tonight...
love that feeling of arms heavy with an almost sleeping babe
246) seeing our kids all having fun, laughing and happy, surrounded with friends
247) a call from my beloved big sister this morning, missing her....
248) fresh basil in the garden, enough to make fresh pesto, some for a friend and some for the freezer

Day 18
2 gifts red
249) red petunias brightening up my garden
250) red cabbages growing in the garden
and lots of my own:
251) sweet baby....happy,smiling and playful in the early morning darkness
252)  breakfast at friends
253) lunch with my sister and then stolen moments in the shade, just the two of us, at the bottom of the garden.... having sisterly chats
254) my brother in law's good coffee and eating the best ever wedding cake!
255) sweet, glorious scent of white gladiolas that graced the wedding tables last night, now permeating my lounge
256) blessings of butternuts, onions and aubergines this week
257) precious moments connecting with our tired kids this evening....
lying on our big bed and reading together before bedtime
258) connecting with our teen son over coffee and toast before he turned in for the night
259) samples of dog food from Home Tester Club this week...
made for one happy dog!

day 19
3 gifts eaten

260) granadilla butter (recipe courtesy of a friend) at lunch time..... on waffles that were forgotten in the freezer !
261) a steaming pot of  tasty butternut soup for dinner
262) homemade "farm corn" bread with lashings of basil  pesto
and some my own:
263) a call from my "farm sister", announcing their safe arrival back home after a day's travelling
264) seeing her joy at her art report for the sweet daughter
265) even when I don't feel like one, her thanking me for being a "good mom" over the last few days when she has not been her sweetest!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Colourful Corn

On the weekend I tried out my own version of "Asian crunchy coleslaw" from my Jane's Delicious Kitchen book. This colourful salad certainly was a hit, even though I didn't have all the correct ingredients on hand.

I picked a beautiful red cabbage from the garden, one that had grown in a pot, on the patio.
I added some 'farm" corn and grated carrots, 
shredded fresh basil and spring onions (from the garden naturally)
The dressing:
2 teaspoons sugar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
a splash of olive oil
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
a splash of lime and coriander salad dressing
and a dash of chili oil
As Jane says,
 "Once you have tasted this will find it difficult to go back to coleslaw with mayonnaise!"
Her recipe calls for a few extras, but my adaptation was simply delicious!

During the week, I made something I have not made in years...


As a child, we ate this often....
it brought back some fond childhood memories.
With all the corn, I need to find interesting and different ways to prepare it.
 My sister had also brought some aubergines from her farm veg garden.....they needed to be eaten.
Onions, celery, tomatoes, corn, aubergine, courgettes, veg stock and seasoning made this a tasty meal, served on baked potatoes.

Next week I will need to find some interesting ways to prepare butternuts, aubergines and summer squash.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Corn in the kitchen

I was blessed with a big box of fresh corn from the farm and enjoyed processing it. 
Most of it was cut off the cob and frozen to be added to soups, stews , stir fry 
 or perhaps some corn bread or fritters.

I made a delicious salad to go along with our fish braai on Sunday evening. 
Simple yet appetising....
 corn, diced cucumber and pineapple tossed in a basic olive oil and balsamic dressing.

I love trying new and interesting recipes and decided on some corn relish....
 the older two kids and I are really enjoying it!

3 cups corn
1 cup diced onions
1 green pepper and a couple of celery stalks (picked from the garden)
about half a cup of sugar
15ml salt
30 ml mustard
a dash of cayenne pepper
150ml vinegar
simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes
quick, easy and delicious!

When my older sister was visiting I made a salad I had not tried before.
 It was adapted from a recipe I found in a magazine:
diced tomato and cucumber
thinly sliced nectarines and peaches
(the peaches came from a farmer in Stanford, freshly picked)
fresh basil leaves
the dressing contained olive oil, lemon juice and thinly sliced green chili
a strange yet delicious combination!

 In the garden I am harvesting the odd beans, baby tomatoes and courgettes as well as spinach 
and fresh herbs. The grannadilla is putting out new flowers. 
The peas are beginning to climb up the trellis built by my nephew and youngest son.

On the weekend I managed to get a tray of lettuce seedlings at less than the price of one lettuce in the shops. These have been planted and in between, my Egyptian garlic. I was so excited to be given these cloves from a garlic and chili farmer when visiting Stanford recently. 
Today I sowed more peas and I hope to have a good harvest....
even my youngest will eat these straight from the garden!

Home's Cool Co-op gets busy!

Due to all sorts of real life reasons, our co-op has not met as regularly as should have, but here is some of what we have been up to!

Having learned a little about Zimbabwe, we baked some traditional sweet potato cookies.
 These were really delicious!
My sister lent me a wonderful book , "Wild Honey", set in the Matobo Hills in Zimbabwe and the children and I are thoroughly enjoying this read aloud.
In our co-op time, we have moved on and done a study of Zambia. We are far behind Craig on his journey through Africa but that is ok.
 The children and I regularly read the blog updates and I am convinced that Craig is meeting with angels in Africa! The goodwill shown to him has me in tears and other times we laugh like mad at what Africa is really like. It makes for most enjoyable reading.

The children came up with a wonderful idea to raise funds to support funding for wheel chairs, given out on Craig's journey through Africa. There were many meetings and much planning went into their "event". As Zak is a Chaeli Campaign Ambassador, he needed to have a project to raise funds for, so it was great for him to have the girls on board too.

They were kindly sponsored a delicious luxury hamper to raffle, which really helped boost the funds they raised. 

Their main event was a quiz night aimed at youth but due to a poor response, fun loving adults were invited to join in too. Tickets were sold, the kids got donations of the most amazing prizes (by themselves),and had to write up their own quiz questions in the various categories too.Lots of hard work but so worth the growth and learning that took place.

The quiz night was a great success and loads of fun and laughter too.
 There were 4 teams and the kids handled themselves very well. Zak welcomed the guests and they were shown a clip on what Walk4Wheels is all about. The kids had to fight hubby off as he would have loved being the quiz master!
They took it in their stride and fun was had by all! 
The winning team, seen above with Zak, Keren and Jenna...the wheels behind this great evening! 
The best part was that each participant won a prize of some sort.

One of the lovely moms at Keren's craft club won the luxury hamper.
 Her little girl sweetly told me how much she loved eating all the chocolates in the hamper!

The kids went to hand over the money at the Chaeli Cottage last week. 
They raised enough to sponsor 3 a bit days, R770.00 in total. 

Here they are, picking the days they want to sponsor. 

Hard work, but so worth it!
 Well done Home's Cool Team!

Monday, March 12, 2012

March Joy Dare Week 2

Continuing to count as March rolls on...

Day 6
(a gift bent, a gift broken, a gift beautiful)
196) bent down to their level...precious moments playing with my nephew and a sweet baby girl 
197) broken routines as we enjoy having my big sister here in our home
198) beautiful new friends and beautiful worship music playing at K's craft class today

Day 7
(3 gifts in the kitchen)
199) coming home to find hubby cleaning up the entire kitchen without me even asking
200) tasty left overs at lunch today
201) smoked angelfish bought by my sister at the market we enjoyed visiting together this evening

Day 8
(3 gifts loud)
202) loud late night laughter shared with big sister and my kids
203) loud laughter and conversation shared over lunch at a market research session and then earning good money for my opinion too!
204) loud laughter and loud kids when the neighbours popped in for coffee tonight

Day 9
(3 gifts carved)
205) memories carved into my mind of the wonderful week my sister just spent with us
206) a carved wooded cross on my dressing table, reminding me of His love and a dear friend who gave it to me before she left the country
207) a carved stone heart...a gift from my other sister, reminding me of precious memories spent on the farm with her and her beautiful family
 3 of my own
208) safe arrival of my sister and her family
209) blessings of fresh veg from the farm and grapes from my sister's vine
210) seeing our boy's joy when he won the trophy he so badly wanted tonight

Day 10
(2 gifts in Christ)
211) Knowing these truths..
 "My Father… is greater than all; and no man is able to pluck me out of My Father's hand"
(John 10:29).212)
212) "I have loved you with an everlasting love…" (Jeremiah 31:3).213)
some of my own
213) seeing and being with my "farm" sister and her two gorgeous kids
214) seeing my niece and my daughter together....
cousins but "sisters" to each other that neither have .....
just loving every moment spent together
215) dinner under the stars with my sister, her sister in law, mom in law and a friend, and late evening laughter as we lingered around the table... relaying our funny, crazy and silly stories to one another 

Day 11
(my own)
216) processing a box of corn from the farm .....made easier with my new knife

217) swimming with my daughter on this sweltering hot day
218) gift from my friends mom... Cape salmon on the braai....cooked to perfection by hubby

Day 12
(a gift in wind, in water)
219) sitting on the grass enjoying the afternoon breeze with my nephew
220) boy cousins splashing, happy, wild and free in the pool
 lots of my own as I keep counting them...
221) having them all here unexpectedly....all the cousins together....all laughing at the littlest one!

222) my youngest and his cousin making me the trellis needed for the peas coming up in the garden 
223) dinner: sausage and tomatoes from one sister, corn from the other and marrows from my garden
224) after dinner treat shared with the chocolate aero....a birthday gift not yet eaten
225) my daughter doing her first video for their contract with Cape Town Activa
226) my January box containing 6 Knorr stock pots, 
Werda potato salad, Dove men's roll on and spray,
and Speko rice from Home Tester Club....
arriving just in time to share some with my sister before she left
227) borrowed school books brought from afar.... saving me lots 

Saturday, March 10, 2012

We have some winners!

Towards the end of last month, the older two took part in a regional kata competition. 

These competitions are great fun and they both enjoy taking part.

Aren't these little guys just too cute! 
Here J looks on as some of his little students take part in their first ever competition.
 The little guy with the blue belt won his first gold medal.

Both J and K walked away with bronze medals in their respective age groups.

Last night J took part in KAWP (Karate Association Western Province) Championships.
 He fell out in the second round of the kata competition but was inspired to do his best in kumite when one of his team mates walked off with 2nd place. 
Instead of medals, the athletes were being presented with trophies in commemoration of KAWP's 20th anniversary. He knew he wanted to take one of those home!

As his mom, I love to watch him compete, but at the same time, my heart races and I cant wait for it to be over! The atmosphere at these bigger competitions is vibrant and there is much cheering and excitement.
He won his first fight but lost his second, putting him in 3rd place in his division.

He got to bring that trophy home!

His friend who came second in kata also won 3rd place in his weight division. 
Two happy teens!

Monday, March 5, 2012

March Joy Dare Week 1

  Though they were only last week, the last two days of February are somewhat of a blur...
So I will continue counting gifts for March, adding in a few extras so I don't fall behind in counting 1000 for 2012.... 
Some my own and some Ann's ideas....


175) a delicious passion fruit cake made by my daughter

 176) having to sort out that room I have ignored for too long, so my sister and her hubby would have a room of their own while visiting
177) just having my sister and her hubby staying here for a few days
178) family dinner with my "big" sister, her hubby, "little" brother and his wife.... seeing my sis just loving meeting their baby for the first time!

Day 2
179) seeing my youngest having great fun building electric circuits at the science centre...
learning the way he does best...hands on fun!
180) his thoughtfulness in keeping a seat for me (right beside him) at the science show
181) overflowing thanks for the overwhelming blessing of an overflowing grocery cupboard, fridge and freezer
182) my precious daughter giving my sister and I relaxing pedicures and painting our toe nails

183) time out with my girl, enjoying browsing the craft stalls at the local school fair
184) seeing my boy have great fun with his friend at the school fair
185) surprising discovery of the way my precious girl learns best...understanding why she needs more of me in her learning time
186) catching up on much needed rest
187) having my sister and brother here.... 
enjoying a meal together....
catching up and connecting until way past midnight.

Day 4
188) my dad, my sister and her hubby at our breakfast table
189) waffles made by my daughter for breakfast....
topped with sour cherries brought from afar by my sister and her hubby
190) relaxing at friends and enjoying a braai, seeing the kiddies having fun playing cricket and target shooting
191) a belated birthday gift...2 lovely sharp knives and Lindt chocolate!
192) another bag full of fresh ripe passion fruit

Day 5 
(3 gifts found)
193) finding a shift in focus in finding gifts 
194) finding comfort in conversations with my big sister
195) finding truths I hadn't known until now, as we read our new zoology book today