Monday, January 27, 2014

Giving thanks

Life goes by so fast. 
It is good to pause and notice and give thanks for good and perfect gifts from above....

1861) celebrating a birthday breakfast with girlfriends, loads of laughter
1862) finding the books we need at the local library
1863) catching up with dear friend over a two for the price of one dinner
1864) my sister popping in for a visit
1865) beautiful people, doughnuts and coffee at tonight's church meeting
1866) a morning in the botanical gardens with my sister, our teen boys and their boisterous toddler cousin
1867) a sweet friend lifting my daughter to art lessons, saving me the hour long round trip
1868) another wonderful evening walk
1869) my son treating me to an ice cream sundae
1870) thankful for our eldest's good AS level results
1871) wonderful to open our home to a sweet teen so she could have her birthday party here, 
blessed to be a blessing
1872) thankful for travelling mercies for my sister and her family
1873) wonderful communion service at church this morning
1874) great to catch up with my mum on the phone this weekend
1875) gift in the kitchen: my sweet daughter making a delicious dinner for us tonight
1876) thankful that my daughter joined me on my morning walk

The Gravel Garden

While my sister was in C.T, the two of us enjoyed a wonderful morning visiting The Gravel Garden in Somerset West. My sister had bought some of her heirloom seeds from this South African seed company. 
The Gravel Garden is open to guests every Friday morning from 10 to 1. Visitors can stroll around, enjoy a cup of tea and delicious eats, trade or buy home grown produce and preserves and purchase heirloom seeds. Seedlings are also on sale. 

Those red onions peeping through the soil were just enormous!

The garden is a delight to stroll around in and the grow bags look like a fantastic idea. 
Everything growing in them seems to be doing incredibly well!

Never have I seen such enormous tomatoes!

A table and chairs tucked away in the garden, covered by an overgrown trellis, looked like the perfect place to escape to for some time out.

The Wendy house was a hive of activity with trading of fresh produce, talk of gardening and a general air of happiness. 

My aunt and uncle joined us and we relaxed under the giant plum tree to enjoy tea, freshly baked polenta cake and chili cheese muffins.

My sister treated me to a 6 pack of basil plants and my uncle kindly bought me some seeds.

New Zealand spinach, Detroit Dark Red Beetroot and Hellanthus Sunflowers...
Sunflowers with a dark red flower!

Oh, and another gift from my sister, some lovely wine from a local wine farm! 
On the tables out under the giant plum are numerous recipe books, books on gardening and more. Definitely a place to return to and enjoy at leisure....

Sunday, January 26, 2014

January's garden

The garden has suddenly been looking greener and there is lots of growth. 

I think it's the seaweed tea!

Can't wait for these pepperdews to ripen.

And for the tomatoes too!

Cabbages are forming beautiful heads.

At last I am getting some marrows!

Red and green chilies are abundant.

The little lemon tree is producing well.

And my favorite herb too!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: the one when school started again

We have had a wonderful time over the festive season with extended family and friends. There has been a hive of activity here as the teens and their friends have enjoyed themselves with numerous social events. But as they say, all good things come to an end and hubby and Josh have been back at work a while and we have started schooling again. Though holidays are wonderful it does feel good to have some regular rhythm to the days again.

We have started gently as we are still waiting for Keren's new curriculum to arrive. Days have been filled with loads of art, reading and some Afrikaans. One of the highlights of the week for me has been our read aloud time. We are thoroughly enjoying reading about Leonardo da Vinci and his very interesting life. Keren has resumed her art classes for grade 11 at Frank Joubert, now two days a week. 

She is working on various pictures of the Mona Lisa and has been decorating her visual art book while I read aloud. 
Her results for her grade 10 exams came and she did very well, passing all subjects well above average.

Zak has begun art lessons too as an extra mural. 

At his first lesson he produced this line drawing. 

This week it was painting.
We are thrilled that he is enjoying the lessons and it's wonderful that his class falls on the same day and at the same time as Keren's lesson. 

This week he was back at the first basketball practice of the season.

I decided he would do Konos this year, his first year of high school. He is a kinesthetic learner and this fits his learning style well as it is a hands on curriculum. He chose to begin with the unit on initiative and resourcefulness. We have had great conversations about him using his initiative and being more aware of his responsibilities....his head is often in the clouds so lets see what comes from this, lol. We are enjoying reading 'My Side of the Mountain" together, a wonderful story of a boy who is tired of city living and who runs off to live in the mountains. He must be resourceful in order to survive. While I read, he keeps busy with numerous sketches in his new sketch book. I was pleased to find a good number of books for this unit at the library this week.

This week I enjoyed a girlfriend's birthday breakfast one morning. It was great to catch up with the girls and have a good laugh. A friend and I also enjoyed dinner together one evening. Keren joined me on an early morning walk with walk/run for life. I made it to two more sessions this week and am really enjoying my walking. 

It was my sisters last week in CT before heading back to the farm and we had snatches of time together catching up, and a wonderful morning spent with our boys and our cute nephew at Kirstenbosch. 

The boys loved climbing the trees and messing about in the stream.

Yesterday we finally received Josh's AS level results! 
We are thrilled that he has passed and will be able to continue with further studies.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Joy Filled January

It has been such a blessing to spend time with precious family and friends this past week. 

1845) thankful for the delicious cake my daughter made this morning
1846) grateful to share my sister's birthday with her, usually she is back home on the farm

1847) thankful for the wonderful lunch my dad treated us to today
1848) wonderful early morning walk
1849) a sweet friend treating me to a belated birthday breakfast at one of my favorite places
1850) a houseful of happy teens, swimming, braaing, laughing and enjoying themselves
1851) a drive out along the coast road with my dear sister, chatting all the way
1852) wonderful morning spent with my sister and our aunt and uncle
1853) gifts of heirloom seeds, basil plants and a bottle of wine
1854) a houseful again, blessed and thankful that the teens and their friends enjoy our home
1855) my longest standing friend spending the day here, good to catch up with her again
1856) blessed by this morning's church service
1857) thankful for rest over the weekend
1858) early morning chats with my oldest on the way to work
1859) brisk walk with my girl, good for both of us
1860) wonderful marks for my girl's grade 10 exams

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Portobello Road

Last year my daughter and I were driving down Main Road Kenilworth.  Pretty bunting caught our eyes and we stopped to take a peek into Portobello Road, vintage style clothing and coffee shop. What a delight!

 I knew my sister and her daughter would love it....

So recently we visited for a joint birthday breakfast treat for the two of them.

Portobello Road is owned by a mother and daughter team, designer Jane Banks and her mom.

 The shop is a treat for the eyes...

Vintage style clothing, accessories, decor and gifts.....

                                                    The girls just loved those shoes!

Jane's own labels, Janie B clothing and Rewind Vintage as well as other designer ranges are stocked by the shop.

The staff are friendly and the service fantastic.

A selection of teas, juices and Origin coffees are served.

 Oh... and the best Chai Latte I have ever had!

Red Cappuccino served in a beautiful tea cup!

My sister enjoyed her pot of Earl Grey along with delicious cheesecake.

Breakfast was generous and my salami and pesto toastie superb. 

We will certainly be visiting again! 
A wonderful place for a mum and daughter catch up .

Do yourself a favour and pop in if you are in the area, enjoy some breakfast, lunch or a cuppa...
you won't be disappointed!
You will find them at 313 main Road Kenilworth. 

Monday, January 13, 2014

Joy Dare January

We are still in holiday mode around here which is in itself a joy. It's wonderful to be surrounded by friends and family and the summer weather is great too. 

1929) wonderful to have my sister and her daughter pop in unexpectedly today
1930) sounds of laughter as teen cousins reconnect
1931) grace from my hubby, always
1932) a gift sat with: my sister, my niece and my girl as the four of us enjoyed a birthday breakfast together
1933) spending a gift voucher from my mum
1934) a great walk this evening, so good for my soul and well being
1935) my kind hubby preparing dinner while I was out
1936) January's verse on my new calendar: Mathew 6: 25 
“So I tell you, don’t worry about the things you need to live—what you will eat, drink, or wear. Life is more important than food, and the body is more important than what you put on it. 26 Look at the birds. They don’t plant, harvest, or save food in barns, but your heavenly Father feeds them. Don’t you know you are worth much more than they are?"
1937) good results on medical check ups for hubby and me
1938) free gifts from the nursery, oregano and rosemary plants
1939) morning tea with family, great to reconnect
1940) lunch with my sis and her family

1941) walk along the beach, sun on my back, icy waters, colorful seaweed and my sister's conversation
1942) something beside me: my sweet toddler nephew sleeping beside me through the night
1943) His Word in church this morning
1944) 3 things about yourself you are grateful for: grateful for my health, my beautiful children and my caring hubby

Monday, January 6, 2014

January's Joys

A new year with new gifts, blank pages to be filled with blessings...

1915) the start of a new year, a year to live forward
 1916) a refreshing dip in our pool this warm evening
1917) catching up over coffee with my neighbour
1918) rest, lots of it
1919) a morning with a dear friend , enjoying breakfast together
1920) safe return of my daughter after a months traveling
1921) my sister and her family visiting for 3 weeks, wonderful to see her and catch up with her again
1922) breakfast out, just me and my girl
1923) belated birthday and Christmas gifts, a real spoil
1924) delicious treats from my sister's far away farm kitchen
1925) family feasting together on Sunday afternoon, cousins loud and boisterous
1926) Sunday message, He has 2014 and His promises stand
1927) thankful that my son is employed and enjoying it
1928) time spent with my sister today