Friday, March 28, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with a taste of Spain

This week started with a wonderful "escape" for me. My sister and I spent Sunday night in the wine-lands with our dear Aunt and Uncle. 

We walked in the vineyards, enjoyed conversations and memories of days gone by, ate our fill on a delicious home cooked dinner and slept soundly in the equivalent of "grandma's feather bed". A wonderful time of recharging before the busy week ahead. 

Keren spent most of her week working for hours on her pencil drawing assignment. Despite the long hours, her picture was not complete by the end of the week in order for it to go on exhibition in Copenhagen. The quality however was excellent and had it been completed, it would have been sent.  
She received her term art mark and has done really well with an overall mark of 89%. We are so happy for her.

Zak spent the week tying up loose ends and completing sections of work that needed completing. I was grateful that hubby worked from home on the day he needed extra help with math. 

There was connect group this week, crochet group and Zak joined the monthly home school outing to the ice rink. We had the pleasure of visiting our niece's first term photographic exhibition at the Cape Town School of Photography last night.

We received an exciting Worldwide Culture Swap parcel from a family in Barcelona, Spain this week. 

We learned about Barcelona, Spain and enjoyed listening to a CD of flamenco guitar music by Paco de Lucia .There were photos and a collage of the family's local beach made by their little girl and a wonderful book on Picasso.

Their children drew us cute pictures of tortilla and sangria and we look forward to trying out the kid friendly sangria recipe.

We received a pencil , soccer cards, shells, a magnet and postcard of Barcelona, a wonderful Spanish Tapas recipe Book and Turron. Turron is a tasty confection made of honey, sugar and egg white with toasted almonds.....scrumptious!

Zak and I made Tortilla Espanola for lunch today. Such a simple and tasty dish!

And now we are going to enjoy a week off school until the new term begins!

Culture Swapper

Monday, March 24, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with an awesome surprise!

There is nothing boring about our days, full and bursting....

In our school this week we read Mathew and watched the Prince of Egypt. 
Essay assignments were written and fine tuned. New math concepts were taught and hopefully caught!

We learned about digestion and finished off an Afrikaans program. 
English and Religious studies were completed for the term (yay! 2 down and 4 to go). 
There was an all day art practical for Keren with Kasper Kobke at her art school.

There were two basketball games for Zak, one lost and one won. Morning walks in the rain for me and a 4 km fun Walk 4 Wheels in aid of the Chaeli Campaign for Zak and me.

As part of the Worldwide Culture Swap we received an  awesome parcel from California! 
Beautiful photos and wonderful descriptions of the life of the sending family were included. They sent us some of their favorite recipes, postcards, a flag, a map, loads of delicious candy, California poppy seeds, pencils, and vial of sand collected from a nearby beach. It really gave us a good sense of what their lives are like and we have learned much from this wonderful pack. We are grateful to the sending family!

We had visitors of the cute kind and made a tent under the duvet with loads of giggles and fun.

We got an awesome surprise when my sister arrived totally unannounced on Wednesday evening to stay for a few days!

We had an extra day off school as there was a public holiday so my sister and I went to spend a night with our Dad. The kiddos stayed home with hubby.
We got me meet the sweet 2 week old baby alpaca, Lyra.

We thoroughly enjoyed our stay and our brother and his little guy joined us for pizzas on Friday night. We missed our other sister...

Culture Swapper

Friday, March 21, 2014

Five Minute Friday: Joy

Joy: a splash of joy came through my doors two nights ago I stood in my kitchen preparing soup for dinner, the bell rang and I wondered who was so impatient by ringing twice. My youngest ran to answer and I called to ask who was there....
Next thing I thought I was seeing an dear sister from afar was standing in my kitchen...a total surprise! I sobbed as we hugged one another. I could scarcely believe what I was seeing. 
That evening, my unsuspecting niece visited and squealed with pure delight and joy as she realized her other aunty was sitting in my lounge. Beautiful to see!  
A splash of joy and love brought into out otherwise ordinary day. Her timing is right, I need my sister right now and its wonderful to have her here for a few days. 

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Counted blessings

Counting the ways He loves...

1949) an evening shared with a special friend
1950) thankful for 22 years of marriage and simple celebrations
1951) the sound and rhythm of the waves, the scent of sea air, hubby beside me
1952) good brisk morning walk to clear the cobwebs and boost serotonin levels
1953) a kind friend bringing some when we were out of coffee
1954) my dear sweet friend lifting my spirits and dropping by unexpectedly with a delicious pie
1955) house full of happy teens again on a Saturday evening, love that they love being here
1956) His word this morning, cheer filled church service, reminded of His blessings
1957) rest 
1958) a more relaxed school day than usual on a Monday morning
1959) my sweetest visitor here, my almost 3 year old nephew

Five Minute Friday: Crowd

Crowd: I love the crowd that sometimes hang out here on the weekends. Wonderfully and fearfully made teens who are filled with life and so much potential. Beautiful young adults unfolding before our eyes. I love that they love being here and that my lounge is crowded with all those gangly arms and legs, loads of loud laughter and loads of food. Every glass and plate is sometimes used.The cushions are all over the place and there isn't space to move.
 Sometimes hubby and I hang with the crowd a bit. Other times we retreat to the relative quiet of our room. The crowd enjoys their movie or games night and laughter echos down the passage. They are an awesome crowd and I would rather my three here, home with a crowd than out there in the unknown crowds. A blessing to have a crowd here. 

"Unscripted, unedited, real" Lisa- Jo Baker
Write for five minutes on the given topic, link up at Lisa- Jo's blog and encourage the person who linked up before you. Have fun!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: the one with virtual knee surgery

Days seem to run into one another and are bursting with busyness....

We have been reading Ephesians and poetry; learning about gerunds and the writing process; fractions, percents and decimals; democratic structures and design elements; the skeletal system, muscles and more. Crochet class, connect group and cupcake baking, basketball and early morning walks and more driving lessons. Youth group and another fun run. 

We had great fun with virtual knee surgery......
(click on the link and give it a bash)

at least I had great fun watching Zak's reactions...

He will definitely not be taking after his neurosurgeon Grandpa!

Keren received her results for her Mona Lisa art assignment. Her teacher commented that her enthusiasm and joy shows in her work. She did fantastically well with an overall mark of 89%. Wonderful for her after all the hard work she put in!

Her new project has been set and promises to be exciting. 
"More than Lines" is being run by a visiting artist, Kasper Kobke, from Copenhagen. He is a renowned pencil artist and wonderful teacher too. His drawings are photo-realistic and life like. She is blessed to have the opportunity to be taught by such a talented artist. The students who produce the best works over the next few weeks will have their work sent to Copenhagen for exhibition as part of the UNESCO International Arts Education Week in May. 

I had to smile when Keren made me a lovely cup of coffee in her mug at the end of the busy week, yes, we will KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Keep counting....

Sometimes with life's twists and turns, noticing and counting gifts and blessings is not foremost on my mind, but as Ann Voskamp says,
 "The only way to keep in time with your Beloved — is to keep counting blessings. The way to keep the rhythm of life — is to count the ways He loves."

1913) a wonderful picnic and evening under the starry skies watching Shakespeare with loved ones
1914) a surprise on my pillow
1915) conversations with my farm sister
1916) family dinner by candlelight to celebrate Valentines
1917) thankful for His amazing provision
1918) a walk on the beach hand in hand with hubby, pink skies and rising moon
1919) more unexpected grace and favour
1920) conversations with my gorgeous almost 3 year old nephew
1921) my sweet niece here for dinner unexpectedly
1922) moonlight swim with my youngest, thankful for our pool in this heatwave
1923) thankful for this mornings walk with my girl
1924) blessed by daily readings of the Word with my youngest
1925) good coffee made by eldest, enjoyed daily
1926) new connections with people in the church
1927) a wonderful evening shared with a special sweet friend
1928) blessing of a month free at the gym for my daughter and myself
1929) hubby's helping hands in the kitchen when I wasn't feeling well
1930) thankful for rest
1931) milk tart, a treat from our eldest
1932) thankful for wonderful youth pastors
1933) friends sharing in thankfulness and filling our chalkboard with their own thanks
1934) relaxed afternoon braai with friends, swimming , laughter and good food
1935) my youngest, the two of us laughing loud while learning
1936) thankful for ladies meeting together, being real, laughing and sharing
1937) a morning off school with my younger two
1938) wonderful evening meal at my brother and his wife
1939) blessed by this morning's message in church
1940) grateful for encouragement and conversations with my sister
1941) early morning cup of coffee delivered to my bedside by hubby
1942) dinner cooked for us by my neighbour, good food and good company
1943) sleeping in, much needed
1944) encouraging messages from my Mum this week
1945) knowing she prays daily for us
1946) houseful of happy teens, loud laughter and fun
1947) thankful for vegetables from our garden
1948) thankful for good school days

Friday, March 7, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: a busy one

The week has been busy again and we are all beginning to look forward to the month end school holiday..

I managed to fit in two early morning walks this week and Keren and I enjoyed Curves just once. 
Zak practiced basketball and there was a mid week match too. Unfortunately their team didn't win. 

He also enjoyed his monthly technology class where he made a spatula.

 He and hubby will finish it off over the weekend.

Keren ran her craft class and taught the girls and two adults how to crochet. It will be a long term project and they will be making blankets out of patterned squares. 

The rainbow colours of balls of wool have inspired me and I am keen to learn how to crochet too.

I had to run around a fair bit lifting Josh to and from work. He did some of the driving and despite my trying to press invisible brakes on my side of the car, he is actually coming on well with his driving. 

Online school has taken a new turn for Zak as he has been enjoying his recent purchase of a tablet.

He is rather chuffed he can use it for his school work. We experienced some load shedding this week and that meant a couple of hours with no power during school . We used the time to read aloud and Zak continued making HOPE bracelets.

Keren has been working late into the evenings on deadlines for art essays and many hours have been spent on her last Mona Lisa painting. We look forward to seeing the end results of her diligence. 

There were parcels again this week, the last of Keren's books, religious studies, and Worldwide Culture Swap parcels that we sent out to four families overseas.
 It's always fun sending and receiving these parcels. 

We put a mix of goodies into the parcels, no two being alike. There were handcrafted felt elephants by Keren, Rooibos tea, animal stickers, coins, stamps, animal crafts, flags and postcards and DVDs depicting our beautiful city. 

Tonight the younger two are enjoying a relaxed pj evening at youth with hot chocolate and popcorn. Keren is master of ceremonies.
 Josh is at an all night stay awake for Cansa Relay For Life. He and a team of friends will be spending 12 hours walking or running along a track to raise funds for cancer research and education. 

Tomorrow morning it's up bright and early for me and Keren as we are doing a 5km fun run. I think I may just spend the rest of the day relaxing....

Monday, March 3, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link-Up: February 2014

February saw us getting back into the rhythm of school and working. The weather has been gorgeous and the mornings are noticeably getting lighter later and somewhat cooler. 


With the warmer weather we haven't felt like eating hot meals. We have enjoyed braais over the weekends and simple veggie bakes with salads. At breakfast or lunch smoothies have been enjoyed. I freeze whatever fruit we have and blend it with a little water and some added mint, lemon juice or granadilla pulp. 

My daughter has done a fair amount of baking for different events. Her new favorite is the mini cupcake. 


My neighbor had a bumper tomato crop and far too many for him to eat. He gave them to me and I made a batch of Italian tomato sauce and shared it among the neighbors. We  used ours in a delicious lasagna that fed us for a few meals.

I made a batch of peppadew chutney with my small harvest. It was eaten on sarmies and with braai meat and disappeared in no time! 

Our granadilla vine drops fruit daily and we made a batch of cordial, substituting lemon balm tea instead of water in the recipe
A deliciously refreshing drink!


The usual recycling of paper and glass and composting of kitchen scraps has taken place. I am still using recycled packaging for my orders too.


 Nothing new..


I planted a lettuce six pack that I picked up for a steal of just R7.00 at a local nursery. My heirloom spinach and beetroot seeds have also been sown. Granadillas, tomatoes, chilies, peppadews and herbs have been harvested. 

Peppers and my first aubergine are growing beautifully.

 The lemon tree has a few little green lemons. 


 A friend of the kids wanted a slouch beanie so I finished another one this month. My sweet friend joined me for a morning of mosaic. I love getting together with her and chatting as we work on our projects. I am making hearts for my sister. 
My daughter ran her first craft class for the year and she taught the girls to make jewelry boxes from recycled coke bottles. The outside was decoupaged with colorful paper serviettes. The girls also made charm bracelets. 


By the time school is over for the day, I am done with having my nose in a book...
I do however enjoy reading snippets from magazines when waiting for my youngest to finish basketball.
 At night I try to read a little before bed but always seem to doze off.... 


Our youngest spent a morning volunteering his time to make HOPE bracelets for the Chaeli Campaign and also attended his regular monthly meeting.
My daughter and I joined Curves ladies gym for a month's free trial. We are really enjoying the fact that it's ladies only. 
Hubby and I joined a connect group through church and we have enjoyed the weekly get together.


The kids and I thoroughly enjoyed the Da Vinci exhibition and a morning at the waterfront. 
We have enjoyed beautiful windless evening walks on our beaches, a picnic in the park and Shakespeare under the stars, a Valentines dinner, a sweet friend's 18th birthday and picnic supper in our garden. 

Thanks Christine for the link up.

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 link up - Grab my button!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with a morning off

The weeks seem to fly by with so much keeping us busy.

People we've seen and places we've been...
Keren and I enjoyed Curves gym and did Zumba for the first time ever, we loved it! We managed to fit in a walk or two too. Zak attended basketball practices but there was no match this week.
Connect group happened on Tuesday night and it was lovely to learn more about the the ladies in the group. Wednesday night was a joint connect group at church. 
Keren's art class went to the Design Indaba Expo and she thoroughly enjoyed it. 
Zak is still working on clay in his art classes.

In our homeschool this week...
Keren has been tackling a subject per day in order to try and catch up and get on track. As she started school later in the term, her load is fairly heavy. 
Zak has been enjoying his online schooling and we started reading "The Cat of Bubates" as part of our Egyptian studies. While I read, he has been beading HOPE bracelets for the Chaeli Campaign. 

Keren has an order for 40 felt elephants, rabbits and owls so in between her studies she has been working furiously on making these. A great opportunity for her to earn extra pocket money. 

Our favorite thing this week was taking a morning off on Friday and going to the movies. We watched "The Perfect Wave", a beautiful movie with a salvation message and a wonderful soundtrack.