Sunday, August 31, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up : The "Brutiful" One

"Brutiful"....a word I first came across on Momastery by blogger Glennon Melton. 
"Brutiful" is brutal and beautiful at the same time. Brutal as in horrific, painful, tragic or scary and beautiful as in beauty, love, growth, compassion, healing, life bringing and goodness. Life is like that when there is beauty in the brutal. I believe it to be "brutiful" and felt it this week with the sudden and unexpected death of my friend's 18 year old daughter. 

Just brutal that one so young should die. So many dreams and plans ahead. Such grief and loss for those left behind : parents, brother, extended family and friends. Loved and missed by all. So many unanswered questions....
but beautiful....
 the service and laying to rest of this precious young life. 
A magnificent stone church with beautiful high ceilings and stained glass windows. Beautiful pink and white flowers everywhere, beautiful tributes by loved ones. Beautiful hymns; "It is well with my soul" and happy chorus tunes; "Jesus loves me this I know".  The strength and serenity in her mother that only He can give at a time like this. A true testimony of God's love and peace....truly "brutiful".
Rest in peace sweet child that brought His love and light to all.

Besides this terrible sadness for my friend, we had a lovely week.

My niece came to photograph us for a photography assignment that she is doing on education, and as she herself was home educated, she has been photographing home educating families.

You will often find us on that couch with a good book!

Keren was interviewed by a university student who is writing a magazine article on art students and Zak and Keren auditioned as hair models for Allilon, a hairdressing academy from the UK. Today, Sunday, we had to get them back to Carlton Hair to see if they were accepted. Keren was picked and is very exited at the prospect of a weird and wacky new hairstyle. Today they are coloring her hair and tomorrow she will be at the hair show all day. It's going to be fun to see what they do with her hair. Zak was thanked for going to the casting and came home with a goody bag of great hair products.

Zak had some fun with friends this week and went to the monthly home school ice skating meet up but the rink was overcrowded so the kids got to play games at the arcade instead. He really enjoyed that as it is not something we would normally do.
 He also enjoyed the monthly nature club outing.

They did an impromptu hike up to Elephant's Eye Cave. I am so grateful to my friend for taking him along on these outings when I can't. And yes, despite the outings, he still got his school work done this week.

We received Keren's mid year exam results and she has done exceptionally well in all her subjects. Yes, even Afrikaans and math! This year has been a massive change for her in terms of curriculum and it is wonderful to see the results of her dedication and hard work. 

She got some new art supplies this week. Something that makes her very happy! She has been drawing and painting with watercolors all week in preparation for her final artwork.

This piece is an experimental exercise mirroring the mark making style of Van Gogh. 

We had a visit to the doctor again this week as Josh was not getting any better, in fact worse and he was sent home from work on Monday. His chest was not doing well and it is the first time in years his asthma has played up. Thankfully we still have a nebuliser which is helping as well as new medication. It has been nice to have him around despite the fact he has not been well. 

I had the wonderful privilege of being invited to my nephew's school on Friday. Each child invited a "special person" to come and visit them at school and see what they do at school.

 I really did feel special that I was asked to be his "special person" !

It was wonderful to observe him playing happily. I love the way the children are taught and expected to do so much for themselves. I watched as he mopped the floor after spilling water, set the table with a place-mat, and helped himself to snacks on a glass plate. He also had to wash his plate and dry and pack it away for the next little person to use. 

Everything is miniature, just perfect for little people.
 If I had to do it over and send my kiddos to school, that is the type of environment I would have wanted for them. 

The week ended with youth and Keren was MC and Zak invited two new friends along.
 We enjoyed a wonderfully relaxed evening with my brother and his family.
 A truly "brutiful " week.

.Weekly Wrap-Up

Monday, August 25, 2014

Thanks Living

Today I choose to share my thankfulness despite circumstances. 
A friend's daughter passed away yesterday. Too young and too soon.
 Finding joy and gifts to be thankful for, no matter how big or small,  has become a way of life... 
a life line in a sometimes sad and scary world. 

glorious sunny weather
morning walk before hitting the school books
generosity of my brother
faithful friends and family's prayers
my girl's delicious baking, enjoyed by us all
impromptu coffee and catch up with friends two nights running
heart shaped biscuit baked and decorated just for me
my sweet little nephew fast asleep on my bed
his sunny disposition and cute chatter in the morning
a caring letter of appreciation from my sweet girl
fresh eggs from my brother's hens
grace on difficult days
pancakes made by my sweetpea
weekend rest
wonderful evening of fun with friends new and old, celebrating Christmas in August
lovely gift, just the one my heart desired : fridge poetry
gift of sacrifice from my mum, much appreciated and needed
summer weather on a winter's day

solitary beach walk, warm water lapping at my feet, sun on my back
first braai of the coming season, gorgeous friends and good food
our youngest's birthday, wonderful day celebrating with family
pizzas by hubby for the celebration
wonderful news of our oldest's acceptance to university
friends and family who share our joy in this wonderful news
my gorgeous nephew spending the day with me, cute and constant chatter
evening of laughter and fun with my sweet friend
a refund I didn't expect
another prize won, a case of wine from a nearby wine farm
thankful for good medical care and medicine for my oldest
my sweet girl, preparing treats for her brother's party all week
Saturday sleep in, just what was needed
teens enjoying Zak's party...loud, hungry, happy
wonderful message on Psalm 23
beautiful sunshine and walk in the forest
conversations with my far away Mum
coffee with a friend
enjoying prize I won...soothing and calming massages for hubby and me at a tranquil spa


Saturday, August 23, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up : Sweets and Celebrations

This week it was Zak's 14th birthday on Monday. 
And because we home school, birthdays are holidays!
We started the day with the early morning tradition of kids piling into our bed and the birthday boy opening gifts. Hubby headed off to work and we all dozed a little more before I made a delicious breakfast.

 Because birthday boys have special requests it was waffles and bacon with syrup. Yum!
Later he was treated to lunch at Spur and movies.

 That was Keren's gift to him.
 They loved Guardians of the Galaxy.
Monday evening we had a house full of family who came to celebrate and enjoy hubby's home made pizza.

 It was a wonderful relaxed evening and a lovely start to the week.

The girl cousins were dressed exactly the same that day without even knowing it!

Tuesday we got back to the books. We have moved onto the Roman Empire, infectious diseases and immunity. I love the "ah-ha" moments when new things are understood and love to hear Zak explaining things that he has learned to his siblings. Such a privilege to be a part of that.

Josh took the day off on Tuesday as he needed to collect his drivers license. In the afternoon he and I took a drive out to the northern suburbs to UNISA (University of South Africa). We got the wonderful news that Josh has been accepted to study Industrial Engineering at UNISA in 2015! He is blessed to be able to work and study at the same time. 
Poor guy got so sick with bronchitis and only managed one other day of work this week. A trip to the doctor was necessary..antibiotics and cortisone and an inhaler. It has been strange having him at home but I am glad he is able to rest and get well. 

Keren dedicated most of her week to Consumer Studies practicals.
 She made Swiss roll, fudge, coconut ice, marshmallows, coconut biscuits, vanilla biscuits....

milk tart,

and a vanilla sponge cake. 

I am so thankful for all her hard work in the kitchen as tonight we have about 20 hungry teens descending on our home for Zak's party. She has taken care of all the party food and all I have had to do is provide hot-dogs, cool-drinks and popcorn. 

We had my little nephew here most of the day on Wednesday and Thursday there was a casting for Zak for a fabric softener ad. There was  the usual basketball, connect group, youth group and art this week. 

I love Zak's latest pastel drawing. 

All in all a lovely week. 

Weekly Wrap-Up

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: The one that was like wading through treacle

It was the fourth week of the school term and I am not sure why, but we all found this week a little more challenging than usual. Perhaps we are tired.
 Perhaps we need a little break.

Zak and Keren managed to get through all their work despite the fact it just seemed harder to get through. Keren had a presentation for art, on which she worked diligently, despite the difficulty and frustration of an uncooperative partner. She presented to her class on Thursday, it went well for her. Her teacher was very happy with her part of the presentation and thankfully will be marking the girls individually for their efforts. 

There was connect group, basketball and dinner with our youth pastor.
 I think that was my favorite thing this week as Keren baked for her Consumer Studies practical and we could all enjoy her efforts after dinner. She baked a short crust pastry and filled it with confectioners custard mixed with whipped cream and topped with fresh granadilla.

Simply delicious and enjoyed by all!

We walked a little too this week and it was lovely to get out into the fresh air and get the blood pumping and try and clear the cobwebs.

 Always good for the soul.

The week ended with youth for the kids last night and hubby and I just settled in to watch a new series.
 The weather is glorious today, there is no pressure to do anything and we are enjoying the weekend.
 Here's hoping your week was good and your weekend will be even better!

Weekly Wrap-Up

five minute friday: tell

Five Minute Friday - 4

For my daughter

I want to tell you so much.....
Tell you: you are loved and loving
Tell you: you are kind and generous
Tell you: you are smart
Tell you: you are important
Tell you: you matter
Tell you: you are strong
Tell you: you are needed
Tell you: you are more than enough
Tell you: you are beautiful inside and out
Tell you: your life has a purpose
Tell you: your dreams count
Tell you: your voice matters
Tell you: He made you, 
He loves you,
 He has plans to prosper and not to harm you

Tell you: there are those who will come in and punch the wind right out of your sails and make you feel like you just can't get the air into your lungs....don't let them, don't believe them!

Tell you: when you feel like you are sinking, that's when you reach out, there is always help

Tell you: stay gentle, don't let the troubles of this world make you hard

Tell you: there are those that will come into your life and make you see the sun where you once saw clouds, they will believe in you just like I do, 
they love you for just being you, just like I do. 
They are the once in a life time type of people, they are your tribe. 

Tell you: I will always be there for you, always and forever

Thanks for the link up Kate

Monday, August 11, 2014

Monday's Multitudes

It is good to give thanks..

gift white: my warm cozy gown protecting me from the cold
gifts eaten: cinnamon, lemon and sticky syrup pancakes made by my sweetpea
hamburgers made by hubby
gift outside: morning walk in the crisp air, good for the soul
community and sense of belonging in our church family
gift sitting: my youngest and me, sitting together enjoying an audio book, precious times
winning massages for me and for hubby and a dear friend
girlfriends, laughter and conversations
a visit from my little nephew, he asked his daddy to bring him to see me 
voice notes from my mum
early morning coffee and conversation with my oldest son before he leaves for work
my girl finishing off  preparing dinner and making tastier mac and cheese than I ever have
my sunny, sparkly niece popping in 
gift outside: good soaking rains

a glorious morning walk with hubby, the kiddos and the crazy dog 
my oldest and his girlfriend volunteering and making a delicious dinner 
my 3 year old nephew having fun in a bubble bath and sharing the cutest conversations with me
kids home safely from camp
delicious bacon and egg brunch made by my oldest
bread and wine shared this morning with church family
glorious sunshine, waves crashing on the shore, sun on my back and hubby beside me
sun-kissed strawberries eaten fresh from the garden
hubby making dinner 
fresh eggs from my brother's hens
generosity shown toward us
brisk walk in the cool evening air
time out with my girl, laughter and heartfelt conversations 

2210- 2236

Friday, August 8, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Stories and Sunshine

The week was cold to start with and we spent much time under duvets on the couch listening to our audio book of  Pilgrim's Progress and reading about Ancient Greece. 
Online science and math tutorials taught new concepts and Zak enjoyed his technology class where he begun making a table.

We finished up the unit on cells and of course we made a jelly and candy cell just for the the fun of it even though we have done it numerous times before!
He really enjoyed the drawings he had to do for geometry. I think that was hubby's old high school math set that we pulled out from somewhere in the office.

Keren caught up all the work she missed last week when she was ill. 

And there is always art....


His and hers.

This morning the weather was glorious and we took time out enjoying the sights....

sounds and scents of the forest....

The river was fairly full and we always make our way to this watering hole for our dog and this tree for our boy :)
Our crazy dog enjoyed the great outdoors enormously... 

and just look at our mountain!
 Table Mountain in all it's glory!
Such soul food!

We were back home early enough for the kids to get in a bit of work before they headed off to their youth camp.

 It's a short camp and they will be home tomorrow afternoon.
 Tonight I have the pleasure of relaxing while my oldest son and his girlfriend cook dinner for us. 

Weekly Wrap-Up

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Slow Living Monthly 9: July 2014

Another month gone by and great to look back and link up with Linda, the new host at Greenhaven!

“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.” 

Comfort food time. Stews and fragrant curry. Hubby and I were often home alone as the kids were out having fun with friends. He makes a mean omelet, a tasty, simple yet nutritious meal! We also enjoyed his home made pizzas with friends. Always a winner!

I did a little baking, bran muffins and some zesty lemon brownies with a lemon glaze.  Light and a nice change from chocolate brownies. I made a butternut pie too, yummy but a little sweet despite the fact I halved the amount of sugar called for in the recipe. My daughter made a delicious baked berry cheesecake for her brother's birthday.

My chili harvest was made into a home made harissa paste, very hot but delicious on a sandwich, in fact my guys eat it with anything and everything!  Beet and apple chutney was made too.

Over the holidays I spent some time sorting out the office and reducing the amount of clutter.
Hubby and the boys took apart the old washing machine and I got a large glass bowl out of the front door of the machine! 

He is also making an outdoor fire pit from the drum and the rest of his has been taken to the scrap yard.

Nothing new.

My winter garden is rather sad. Just a few chilies, tomatoes , herbs, lemons, granadillas and the first of the strawberries are being enjoyed. I have not done any planting.

I completed hubby's scarf and made one for Josh too.

 The guys love them and Zak requested one too. I was glad to be done once I had knitted 3 scarves exactly the same for each of the guys! Lets hope they don't get them mixed up!

A dear friend had posted boot cuffs on her blog recently.

 My niece and daughter went crazy for them and each just had to have a pair! 

The above are the pair I made for my daughter.
 They look good and make a lovely quick knit for an evening and would be a perfect gift too!

I was thrilled with myself as I have never attempted to knit cables as I assumed they were just too difficult. My sister assured me it's not difficult and offered to tell me over the phone how to knit them, but my neighbor showed me how and now I can knit cables!

  You can find the pattern for these boot cuffs at homespun living if you want to give it a try.

My niece loves her boot cuffs!

I found the Fish and Chip Project on Facebook and joined up.
 I knitted up baby beanies and booties to donate to the project. 

These little babes are sent home wrapped in newspapers as they have no clothes. It has been a great way to use up all the scraps of wool that are too small for any larger projects. There are some sweet and easy baby patterns on the page too. A friend just gave me a large packet of wool so I am going to try the cardigans and blankets.

I discovered that my old High School also collects baby beanies and the likes for their Wool for Wonders project. Knitted items are donated to children's homes. I will send some of the items there too.

I have been browsing the net for knitting patterns and also discovered a great site called The Whoot. They share loads of crafty ideas, recipes, patterns, handy hints and DIY ideas.

On Mandela Day, my neighbor and I spent our 67 minutes with Operation Smile. We colored and decorated rag dolls for the children who have corrective surgery with them.
The kids spent much of their holiday volunteering at holiday club at church.
I have been babysitting my little nephew and he has slept over too. Just love having the cute little guy around.

We have relaxed and slept in over the holidays and I have enjoyed the break from routine and the rest. 
Its been great to catch up with friends over coffee.

 We enjoyed  an outing to Kirstenbosch botanical gardens and the science center. 
Also lovely to get away for a night to my Dad's place.
We celebrated my neighbor's birthday and our oldest's 19th birthday too. 

How was your month?

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: back in the swing of things

The kids and their cousin kicked off the week with more birthday celebrations for Josh and treated him to movies and the Monday night burger special at Spur. I love that they are old enough to go out alone with either one of the oldest cousins driving, but my mommy heart always skips a beat until I know they are all home safe and sound! 

A great school week for Zak. We love the ease of online school! No preparation and daily schedules all there at the click of a button. The best part for me is that I can knit while reading and discussing lessons with him!
We covered so much: Alexander the Great, Pilgrim's Progress, John Bunyan, Moses and the Israelites, cells and cellular respiration, Pi, circumference and area of circles, force, Newton's laws of motion, experiments that went wrong and made us laugh and more!

 Zak enjoyed basketball practices this week to and a visit to a friend for the night despite the fact it was a school night. They went on an outing to Misty Cliffs for nature club the next day, and I was thankful to be able to spend the morning helping Keren get through 2 weeks worth of English lessons. Her week had not been great as she really wasn't well and needed to rest and recuperate. 

Thankfully she was feeling a bit better towards the end of the week and was able to go to art. There was great excitement when she received a new visual diary....

She decorated it with stickers, some that are literally years old and saved from her sticker swapping days. She remembers where each one came from and the significance behind each one. 
 Her art home work also took priority this week. 

I am continually amazed by what she produces.

The week ended with youth for the kids and hubby and I enjoyed a burger evening and movies with my brother and his little one. 
Here's to a relaxing weekend!

Weekly Wrap-Up