Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Grateful Thanks

This post is a little late but better late than never.
 There is always something to be thankful for....

2176) winning another competition, a massage at a wonderful spa
2177) evening with my dear friend, laughing, good coffee and sharing waffles
2178) gift of stone: the heart of stone gifted by my sister that reminds me of her daily
2179) my oldest handing me a cuppa first thing this morning without me asking
2180) sleep...lots of sleep
2181) plans that were cancelled...more time to relax
2182) thankful we are part of a wonderful church family where my kids are learning to serve others
2183) thankful to be able to give back on Mandela Day
2184) thankful to be paid for my opinion in a market research group
2185) hubby's homemade pizzas, laughter and friends
2186) my cute nephew popping in for a visit with his daddy
2187) my boy feeling better after an awful bug
2188) hubby doing shopping when I was down and out with a migraine
2189) hubby taking care of dinner too
2190) our beautiful girl speaking in church this morning
2191) sunshine after the rains
2192) low key start to school because we can
2193) wonderful evening out with hubby at the waterfront
2194) enjoying my prize recently won, a relaxing massage
2195) thankful we are getting into a good rhythm with the new school term
2196) sounds of my oldest two laughing and enjoying each others company
2197) blessed to be of encouragement to my sister
2198) thankful for answered prayers
2199) wonderful sounds of youth connect group in our lounge
2200) delicious celebratory family birthday dinner
2201) thankful for our son's health and well being for the last 19 years
2202) a good night's sleep with my three year old nephew snuggled up next to me
2203) a gift fresh:  free range eggs from my brother's chickens
2204) a gift at home: quiet after all the loudness and fun of birthday celebrations
2205) a gift in relaxation: a day with absolutely no agendas
2206) blessed with a bag of wool
2207) gift together: my youngest boy and I spending our mornings together schooling, a privilege to have this              time together
2208) gift heard: teens laughing loud and having fun
2209) spoiled with chocolates 

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Back to School and a Birthday

Monday dawned sunny and bright after a cold and wet weekend. Zak and I had both not been well over the weekend and I let him sleep in despite it being a school day...the beauty of home school!
As he wasn't feeling 100% yet, we spent Monday watching BBC Horrible Histories series one instead of diving into math and languages.

 Informative and amusing!

Keren had spent the night with her cousin and went to college with her just for the fun of it and to see what her days are all about. She took her art assignments with her to keep busy.

Later in the week we got into the rhythm of normal school days and enjoyed continuing to learn about Ancient Greece and we found Discovery K12 which is an online homeschooling curriculum. It covers each grade level in all the relevant subjects. We have added their science and their visual and performing arts to Zak's daily activities. 

Art classes and teen connect group started again this week. It was wonderful to have the kids here and to hear them actively discussing the new topic. Always loud , always laughing and enthusiastic. 

On Thursday evening we had a pre-birthday family dinner for Josh. The kids always get to choose their favorite meal for birthdays. He chose enchiladas, a joint effort between me and hubby, and a delicious berry cheesecake which Keren made.It was lovely to have my niece and Josh's girlfriend joining us for the celebratory dinner. 

Friday dawned, his 19th birthday!
 The last of his teen years!

 I can scarcely believe how the years have flown by so fast and that this tiny first precious babe of ours is now all grown up!

We so enjoy him and the fine young man he has become. We wish him God's richest blessing today and always and a wonderful, purposeful, awe-inspiring, incredible, fantastic, magnificent, extraordinary, blessed, thrilling, blissful, grace-filled, jubilant, delicious, unbelievable, astonishing, mind-blowing, spectacular, and ridiculously happy year ahead! 

As usual it was the traditional early morning family pile up on on our bed for birthday gifts and then a special birthday breakfast before he went to work.
On Friday evening family and friends joined us in celebrating his special day. The party went on late and we are all tired today but it was fun!

Here's hoping you had a wonderful week too!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Last of the Holidays

It was our last week of holidays before term 3 starts. I can scarcely believe the 3 weeks have flown by so fast and feel like we could do with another one off.
The days all had an early start with Zak and Keren leaving just after 6 in the morning with hubby. They spent their days working at holiday club at the Constantia campus.

They got home late every day and were tired but happy. I missed them terribly and the days were long without them. I am grateful that we don't usually get up so early and grateful that we made the choice to home school so we can spend our days together. 

My week was less productive than I had hoped it to be but I sorted the office and did the necessary daily chores and rested lots. The rest was good. I suppose that is what holidays are about as term time is usually so very busy.

My dear friend and I went to the monthly Girlfriends Getaway at the movies but were really disappointed with the movie. We didn't stay and watch it, but rather walked out and enjoyed coffee and a waffle together. It was great to catch up. That will teach me to review the movie in future and not just trust that it is a good choice!

On Thursday evening another friend and I enjoyed a market research group where we were paid to give our opinions on fabric softeners. It was a fun group with a bunch of lovely ladies! Afterwards she and her son joined us for hubby's delicious homemade pizza. 

Friday was Mandela Day and my neighbor and I went to do our 67 minutes for Operation Smile at the mall. 

We each colored a doll which is then given to the children who are operated on. It was wonderful to give back to the community and there was a happy festive atmosphere. 

Late on Friday evening Zak and Keren came home exhausted from their week at holiday club and their evening at youth. Poor Zak woke in the middle of the night feeling really ill. The day has been spent sleeping on and off as we had a really disturbed night. I am hoping he will be better in the morning!
Keren has been enjoying her first bit of real holiday and has made the most of enjoying time with friends today.

Weekly Wrap-Up

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July Joys

He is good, the source of all good things!
 Counting my joys and celebrating life while precious memories are made....

2142) gifts loved : my beautiful children
2143) gifts loved : my comfy and warm bed
2144) gifts loved : an early morning excursion to the botanical gardens with my two youngest
2145) gifts read: encouraging messages from my Mum
2146)gifts read: beautiful message of appreciation from my sweet friend
2147) my sweet and gentle friend treating me to breakfast, the two us laughing, sharing and even crying together, a blessed morning
2148) a box of wonderfully scented aromatherapy fabric softener to share with friends from Home Tester Club
2149) a gift in freedom: holidays, freedom to lie in in , freedom to relax
2150) a gift in family: my guys and me around the dinner table, good food and good conversations
2151) a gift in faith: comforting life giving , faith building words in a recent read
2152) a day with no agenda whatsoever!
2153) wonderful fun evening celebrating a friend's birthday
2154) a couple of hours paid work for me
2155) gift of enthusiasm: my gorgeous nephew and his cuddles
2156) eggs from by brother's chickens
2157) buyers for secondhand curriculum
2158) finding a beautifully warm jacket for my boy at 30% off
2159) thankful the kids can spend time with their grandparents
2160) surprise voice notes from my mum and sister who are together, lovely to hear their voices
2161) thankful for a tank full from a friend who borrowed my car, a real blessing!
2162) waffles shared with hubby
2163) catch up over coffee with a friend
2164) gifts from a friend who recently traveled to Italy
2165) wise counsel bringing hope and change for the better
2166) overnight visit to my Dad
2167) breathtaking views from his home, soul food
2168) free time, lots of it
2169) prize of a visit to the science center shared with a dear friend and her son
2170) hubby making dinner
2171) hugs from my eldest
2172) my girl, safely back home after a week away
2173) surprise visit from my bubbly niece
2174) happy voice notes from my Mum
2175) chats with my far away farm sister

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Another Wonderful Week

We are still on school holidays and it's been so good to unwind and catch up with friends again this week. Keren's week has been taken up with holiday club at Sun-valley campus and she has spent the week staying at her Grandpa. Zak has not been involved with holiday club and so had plenty of time for sleep outs, friends and fun.
On Monday evening hubby and I were kid free and decided to enjoy the burger special at the Spur. We shared a freshly baked waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce for dessert. A real treat and great to have time out together!

Still kid free on Tuesday, I enjoyed catching up with a friend at The Larder, a local coffee shop.
 It was wonderful to sit and listen to tales of her recent travels to Italy. 

The coffee was great and  though we didn't eat it looked like their menu was good too. On leaving, we discovered a basket of wool and knitting needles. The idea is to pick up where someone else left off, and knit while enjoying the coffee shop. The scarves knitted are donated to the needy. I love that idea and will perhaps return just so I can knit a while for a good cause :)

On Wednesday night Zak had another sleepover and I enjoyed a getaway to my Dad's place.

I love the peaceful views of mountain and sea from his home.
 It is always wonderful to be there

It was lovely to see my girl who I hadn't seen for a few days and we all enjoyed a relaxed, peaceful evening with delicious dinner and chatter. 

Thursday was a low key day with visits to the neighbor who sadly had to put one of her beloved dogs down. Zak was treated to lunch out and movies with her son. It was a good distraction from the sadness of the day.

 Friday came around so fast and I invited a friend and her son to share my winnings of a visit to the Science Center. The boys enjoyed the giant chess and all the other fun things to see and do. Sadly it may be one of our last visits there as it seems my youngest has begun to out grow it, and has been so regularly that he knows the displays and hands on activities very well.

The trip was well planned as Josh needed to be nearby for work so we lifted him and he joined us for coffee when he was done. On the way home we stopped at the barber and he lost his long locks which have been a few years in the making! 

I am sure the barber enjoyed cutting all that hair off ! 
I think his new look makes him appear younger and suits him!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Friday, July 4, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: The Holiday Week

What a lovely week indulging in the pleasure of school holidays! Time to just shake off all the stress of term time, enjoy each day without the pressure of completing assignments or tests or getting to a class on time.Time for friends, time for extra rest, time for reading and watching series till late at night. It has been wonderful!

Zak and Keren have spent much of the week at church, preparing for the upcoming holiday club. It's meant early morning starts with packed lunches and a day full of work and friends. Keren is part of the core team and has spent hours preparing for the two fun filled weeks ahead. 

Zak is part of the "vibe team". They are the MC's. I had a good giggle when I saw him dressed up with his dreads! The theme for the holiday club is "The Croods".

On Monday evening Keren and I went to the movies.

Gosh, what a beautifully, sad movie. We cried so much but it was wonderful anyway. I would love to watch it again just to take it all in again.

Early on Tuesday morning we braved the cold and took advantage of Kirstenbosch's birthday celebrations which meant free entry for SA citizens to the botanical gardens. We made our way through the gardens to find the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway, the Boomslang (Afrikaans for tree snake).
It did not disappoint. 

It was wonderful to walk through the tree tops, 11.5m above ground level and take in the magnificent views of the mountains, though cloud covered, and the city sprawling in the distance. 

At first the kids were somewhat taken aback by the gentle movement of the walkway in the wind. 
Despite being a man made structure in the beautiful gardens, it is not an eyesore.

The forest floor below is lush and green. I am sure that in time, vines will make their way up the uprights and it will be even more beautiful. Well worth a visit if you haven't been yet. I am sure that it will be even more magnificent on a clear summer day or at sunrise. 
I treated the kids to milk shakes and enjoyed a steaming rooibos latte at the restaurant before we rushed off to get them to the church for their day of work.

On Wednesday a dear friend who I have not seen in a while treated me to breakfast. It was wonderful to catch up and we shared, laughed and cried our way through the morning (as only us girls can!) We forgot the time and chatted on way past the time she needed to leave. 
Zak enjoyed spending the day at a friend on Thursday, while Keren was working at the church. I spent the morning reading, a rare treat to have hours to do as I please. In the afternoon I enjoyed coffee and a catch up with our pastor's wife. Last night we stayed up till 1 in the morning watching Switched at Birth!
Today, the end of a lovely week, has been stormy and cold. Zak and I have spent the day relaxing, wrapped in blankets, catching up on sleep and reading. Tonight we will be celebrating our neighbor's birthday and snow is predicted on Table Mountain. That doesn't happen too often!

I hope you had a wonderful week too!
PS: Happy 4th of July to my American friends!

Weekly Wrap-Up

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link -Up: June 2014

Winter, a lingering season, is a time to gather golden moments, embark upon a sentimental journey, and enjoy every idle hour."   John Boswell

With cold weather it's been comfort food. Sausage stew in a rich herb and tomato sauce or meatballs in tomato and red wine sauce, nourishing chicken soup with cheesy garlic scones or spicy nachos. Staying clear of carbs is not so easy in this cold weather and lunch is sometimes a batch of low GI flapjacks or pancakes.

Nothing much except the last of my basil harvest made into big batch of pesto with a hint of chili, delicious on  cheese toasties!

With cooler temperatures we have needed to keep warm. Instead of electric heaters, we have been layering on the clothing and I am often seen with a blanket wrapped around me Basotho style. 
We have also enjoyed log fires. 

 Nothing new.

I didn't plan my winter garden too well this year so the harvest is very small. I am still picking handfuls of cherry tomatoes, chilies, herbs and granadillas. We have a few lemons on the tree and a couple of sweet potatoes. My strawberries are just starting to produce.

“The greatest gift of the garden is the restoration of the five senses.” - Hanna Rion

I made beanies for my friend's two girls. 
I love the way the wool self stripes.

 I promised myself not to buy any more wool this month and knitted up another two snoods with wool I had. One was meant to be a scarf for hubby but when there wasn't enough wool, I had to go and buy more to make a new scarf for him as they no longer had stock of the wool I had been using. And then I saw wool I loved...oh dear, I just cannot go into the wool shop without buying something!

This month I have been reading some novels. Its been fun to read again. Zak and I have also been discovering Ancient Greece for school read aloud time.

My nephew has been spending Monday afternoons with us as usual while his mum is at work.
 I have not ventured out into the cold early morning air to join my walking group. I have however tried to fit in a few walks later in the day when its sunny and a little warmer.

I certainly have enjoyed the month which despite much school work, has taken a slower pace. 
Long naps have brought much restorative and needed rest. 
We have enjoyed catching up over dinner with friends we haven't seen in a while, log fires and cozy read aloud times.
The kids spoiled hubby for Father's Day and Father's day and breakfast with my Dad and brother was wonderful. 
My girl and I enjoyed a  girlfriends getaway evening at the movies where we were thoroughly spoiled with red carpet treatment. 
We enjoyed seeing our youngest's art on exhibition at his art school. 
The school term came to a close and we are now enjoying a much needed break. 

Wonderful to reflect, thanks Christine!

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