Saturday, May 31, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with yummy treats

The week started with beautiful weather and an early morning walk with walk 4 life for me on Monday. I had good intentions of getting in more walks but unfortunately didn't make it the rest of the week. Next week is another week...

Here's some of what we've been up to...

Zak and hubby made a simple trellis for my newly planted granadilla bush. I am hoping it will grow quickly and cover the bare back wall.

The weather turned really cold later this week and we lit the first of many fires for the season. 
Jambo and Zak enjoyed warming themselves while I read aloud. 

The school week went on as usual despite the fact that Zak was not feeling great. We kept a steady pace and finished off our unit on China and did lots of reading. In science he is now learning about the central nervous system.

Keren kept up with her weekly deadlines and spent much time studying for next weeks art theory exam. We received her practical assignments for consumer studies which she couldn't wait to begin! This brought back fond memories of my days in high school, studying home economics. I always felt proud to bring home tasty treats for my family to enjoy.

She made a delicious yeast bread as her first assignment. 
Her brothers declared it the best ever bread! 
Nothing nicer than hot bread with lashings of butter!

The second assignment proved to be delicious too! 
Doughnuts made from scratch with glace icing! 
Simply scrumptious!

Josh has been working as usual but also doing a lot of driving now that he has his licence. He took my car into work on one day (in the rainy weather) and on others the driver at work was off sick , so he got to do deliveries all over the show for two days. He also got to drive his boss to the airport in the boss's new car. I am thankful that he has been safe all week and that he is confident behind the wheel. It is rather a strange feeling to feel so concerned for his safety on a daily basis. But I suppose that is a mamma's prerogative....

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May's Joyful Thanks

"Be cheerful no matter what; pray all the time; thank God no matter what happens. This is the way God wants you who belong to Christ Jesus to live" 
1 Thessalonians 5:18

I have much to thank Him for....

2062) hugs when needed
2063) generosity of a friend
2064) my sweet niece lifting my boy home when I couldn't
2065) happy sounds of girl cousins working on assignments together, such a blessing for them to be living in the same town again
2066) pj day on a cold and rainy day
2067) home cooked lunch because we are blessed to be able to do so
2068) time out and good laughs with a special friend...just what we both needed
2069) freebies from Home Tester Club
2070) cuddles and giggles with my 3 year old nephew
2071) thankful that our son passed his driver's license
2072) meaningful apologies and hugs
2073) time spent with my Dad
2074) delightful evening enjoying a three course dinner at new friends
2075) warm and cozy bed on a stormy night
2076) wonderfully inspiring church service
2077) hubby's home cooked pizza
2078) hubby helping the kids "get" their math when I can't
2079) hot buttered bread, freshly made by my sweet girl
2080) better nights sleep than I had been having 
2081) belly laughs with my youngest
2082) thankful to be able to bless others with clothes when they have lost all

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: The one with a taste of China and a new driver!

"Homeschooling is merely one way to wander through the years - a rich, layered, intimate way..." Julie, Brave Writer

And so we have wandered through another rich and layered week....

Cousins big and small visiting, 
crochet club, 
basketball clinic, 
walk 4 life,
extra lessons, 
new stories while snuggled on the couch, 
new and not always easy concepts wrestled with, 
school at the desk on the couch or even in a warm bed, 
formal letter writing, 
assignment writing, 
art lessons, 
connect group, 
and a morning off for a birthday celebration with yummy cake and more!

Some highlights...

A delicious Chinese meal prepared by Zak.

Virtual heart surgery with stem cells (go on, click the link and give it a bash).

Meeting the just born baby Alpaca at my Dad's place.

Seeing the portrait of me that my daughter is painting come along beautifully,

and.....drum roll...

our oldest son passing his driver's license!

I hope your week was rich too...

Monday, May 19, 2014

Thanks Living

I love the verse on my calendar for May and am thankful for this beautiful truth from His word...

2039) " Don't be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows." 
Mathew 10:31

2040) connect group conversations 
2041) honey, a gift from my neighbor's hive
2042) powerful prayers bringing peace
2043) blessed, loved and spoiled by my family on Mother's day
2044) beautiful messages from my Mum on Mother's day
2045) fun family outing
2046) hubby preparing a delicious paella, a night off for me
2047) my Mum, always faithfully keeping us in her prayers,
always encouraging and always ready to listen
2048) my sweet nephew's "nose kisses"
2049) best ever coffee made regularly for me by my oldest
2050) silly laughter and fun with my younger two
2051) coffee with a caring friend
2052) an encouraging book lent to me
2053) bowls of steaming soup on a cold rainy evening
2054) autumn sunshine and a Sunday family braai
2055) carefree creative morning spent with my girl
2056) girl cousins and their beautiful sister-like bond
2057) a burst tire but unharmed teens
2058) His beautiful message of forgiveness
2059) pizza evening with new and old neighbors
2060) evening walk with my girl
2061) productive school days

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Full and Fabulous

The week began with Mother's Day last Sunday. 
I was blessed with lovely gifts from the children, heartwarming cards, a wonderful voucher from hubby and the promise of tea out with Keren.

Beautifully crafted pot-stand made by Zak.

 We enjoyed church, a visit to hubby's parents and then a movie. Heaven Is for Real is based on the true story of Colton Burpo , a four year old from Nebraska , who says he experienced heaven during emergency surgery. A beautiful movie.
 On Sunday evening hubby treated me to a night off in the kitchen and made his famous paella. It certainly was a wonderful day and a great start to the new week.

On Monday Keren went to her second Afrikaans lesson with her new tutor. She is finding the lessons helpful and we hope the results will be good. This same tutor managed to help Josh get an A for Afrikaans in his Cambridge exams.
Our little nephew/ cousin spent the afternoon with us, always a joy to have him here. He dozed off on the couch as I read aloud to Zak and spent much of the afternoon asleep after his busy morning at school. 
In the evening Zak and Keren learned much at an Anti Bullying and Self Defense Workshop. 

Zak returned to basketball on Tuesday evening. The coaches are hoping to establish a new junior team to play in the Hurricanes club league.
On Wednesday evening we all attended a Mini Bible School at church with a guest speaker and dinner of soup and rolls.

The kitchen was a hive of activity on Thursday evening as the youth connect group took over and made pizzas for Friday night's International Food Fair. Proceeds from the food fair go to supporting church planting, Bible translation and support of missionaries beyond our church walls. 
The food fair was wonderful and we got to taste all sorts of yummy dishes from Cuban food to Italian, Indian, South African and may more!

Despite the busy evenings we had a great school week  and Zak and I are enjoying discovering China, ancient and modern. Kids of Courage has great books on different countries, available as free downloads. We are reading Bold Believers in China.

In Science he is still learning about the human body and he made a simple lung model

Keren finally completed the pencil drawing that has consumed her for many hours.
 It all began with photographing the neighborhood weeks ago....

I love the quality of this work of hers and enjoyed hearing her analysis of it too. 

Despite her very heavy school work load and numerous art essays due this week, she began blogging again. I enjoy her writing enormously. Her blog is called "no turning back".

We enjoyed Mom and daughter time out yesterday with a group of wonderful ladies from our church. The morning was spent being creative at the Clay Cafe. Neither Keren nor I have visited there before but we certainly plan to return! 

Her work was intricate and beautiful!

I chose the simple way out by doing a stenciled design on my platter. 

We look forward to seeing our items once they are fired.

So a full but fabulous week, how was yours?

Friday, May 9, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up : Almost back to normal

Another week has flown by, another week with a public holiday.
 This time a holiday was declared so we could exercise our democratic rights and vote in the national and provincial elections. It was rather significant as this year marks 20 years of democracy in South Africa. It was also the first time Josh could vote. He and I set off to the voting station at a nearby school and were in and out in about ten minutes. It seems we chose a good time as when we were leaving, the queues were snaking off the grounds of the school. 

During school this week Zak tackled his daily assignments and seemed to get through his work rather quickly. We discussed democracy and the voting process, learned about the circulatory system and new concepts in math.
 On Monday he attended his monthly technology class.
 I have yet to see what he made as it's a Mother's Day surprise for me. 
We began reading Roll of Thunder , Hear My Cry together. I love that he still enjoys being read to and I love the discussions around our read aloud books. 

In between the busyness, there was time for the boy and his beloved dog....

We had a little visitor on Monday afternoon.

 Our sweet just 3 year old nephew/ cousin will be spending every Monday afternoon with us. The look of delight on his sweet face when I picked him up from school was precious.

Keren worked diligently throughout the week and put in hours and hours of drawing for her art assignment. She didn't take advantage of the holiday,  rather choosing to work and keep on track with her weekly schedule. 
On Monday she enjoyed a visit to opening exhibition of The South African Society of Artists  at Kirstenbosch with her Grandpa. She is very excited as she is going to become a member of the society.
On Thursday she spent the day at her art school working on her exam practical. A long eight hour day working on this beautiful piece of art....

Somehow I forgot to set an alarm for Friday and Zak and I overslept. Perhaps it had something to do with the cold and rainy weather. Thankfully we managed to complete the mornings work despite the late start. Zak and Keren spent Friday afternoon at art lessons and Friday evening at youth. 
Next week it will be back to normal, the seemingly endless public holidays are over for now.


Five Minute Friday ; Grateful

Grateful: It's been a while since I have written a five minute Friday post. But yes, today I am grateful. Grateful that I can let my teens sleep in a little on these cold and wet mornings. Snug and warm in the dark early hours while others have to make it on time for the bell. Grateful for warm home cooked  lunches and maybe a spot of sunshine in the garden. Grateful for the years we have had together, learning together at home daily. Grateful for laughs during lessons and hugs from gangly teens during the day. Grateful they are home. Grateful I am home with them. Grateful for hubby earning a living for us. Grateful that my oldest is working and doing well. Blessed and grateful that it has been this way.

"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, May 5, 2014

May's Multitudes

Thanks giving becomes thanks living....

2023) beautiful, near perfect autumn weather
2024) perfume , a free gift
2025) products to use and enjoy from Home Tester
2026) connect group friends
2027) time with my eldest son, laughs, brunch and chatter
2028) message of love from my dear sister
2029) evening with my sweet friend
2030) treated to take out after a long day
2031) moonlit seaside walk with hubby
2032) time at my Dad's place
2033) all my teens home 
2034) gift before 9 a.m.....a Sunday morning lie in
2035) new friends made at church
2036) long distance Sunday chats with my much missed Mum
2037) a gift tasted....delicious seafood paella prepared by hubby for dinner
2038) a gift in a gorgeous chubby cheeked nephew's smiles and kisses today

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Slow Living Essentials Monthly 9 Link -Up: April 2014

April came and went in a flash. 
There were many public holidays as well as more school holidays.
 April's weather was beautiful. 

The leaves dressed in their rich autumn hues are still a delight.

“Every leaf speaks bliss to me, fluttering from the autumn tree.” -                                                                          Emily Bronte

With cool evenings making their presence  known we enjoyed soups again this month. I tried out a leek and potato soup as well as a delicious beef goulash and vegetable soup, topped with sour cream. Definitely a winning recipe and one I will be making again. 

My dear visiting sister and her hubby blessed us with kilos of apples, freshly picked at an apple farm in Elgin.
 I made the usual apple and oats breakfast bake for hubby, a spicy apple crumble and loads of freshly juiced apples with ginger and mint. 
I discovered "apple pie" water, a refreshing drink. 
To make it, place sliced apple in a jug, add a stick of cinnamon , half fill the jug with ice and then add water. The flavour develops over time and one can keep topping it up with fresh water for a period of about 3 days. 
Far healthier than a soda and so yummy!

This month I pickled chili from our abundant harvest and marinaded peppers. 
I paid a visit to the local Foodies and picked up nuts, throat lozenges and mayonnaise at greatly reduced prices.

 I tackled the spice cupboard, my mosaic supplies and my linen cupboard. Empty bottles were recycled, junk thrown out and things no longer in use were passed on. 
I was hoping to do way more as I had found an encouraging blog about reducing and de-cluttering 40 bags in 40 days.
  Perhaps this month will be a better month.

Nothing new here.

We harvested various types of chili, green and red peppers,  
herbs, baby tomatoes, lemons and granadillas. 

I planted carrots, peas and sweet-pea seeds. 
The nursery's free gift this month was 2 parsley plants.
My Dad delivered a bag of Alpaca manure which we have been using in the veg and flower beds. 

 I enjoyed various knitting projects in April and continued working on my mosaic projects. 
I couldn't resist this pink, white and lilac self striping yarn for a beanie for my friend's little granddaughter. 

Another friend received this chunky knit snood as a birthday gift. 

My sister and her hubby each picked out their favorite yarn for scarves too. 

I love the colour my sister chose. 

It has a fine thread of silver in it, giving it that extra sparkle and charm. 
The pattern is very simple: knit 4 rows; on the 5th row, knit two, yarn over and then knit two together, repeating to the end of the row, knitting last two stitches. Repeat knit four rows and on the 5th, make the holes until you have the desired length for the scarf. 

Oh dear, I need more hours in a day. I have a growing pile of books I want to read but just never seem to get there! 
School reading with my youngest has been about Ancient China.

My neighbour had an operation which has made her pretty immobile for now. It was good to be able to do errands for her and even practice my rusty nursing skills and do a dressing change for her. She is one of the kindest and most generous people I know, who is always there for others, so it was rewarding to be able to do something for her for a change. 
The teen connect group continues to meet here once a week and hubby and I attend our weekly connect group too.
We gave clothing to the teen group as they collected clothing and bric a brac for victims of shack fires. 

It was wonderful to see my sister and her husband again. We spent Easter Sunday with our Dad, enjoying fine weather, a delicious South African braai and good laughs. 
Our eldest went to his girlfriend's matric dance. They looked beautiful.
We celebrated birthdays with friends and my sweet nephew's third birthday.
Our youngest son was baptized.
 It was certainly an enjoyable month with many memory making moments. 

Thanks Christine for the monthly link up.
 It's been fun to look back.

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

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weekly Wrap-Up: Another Holiday Week

Due to two public holidays, the schools have all been closed for the last week. We run our school with government school terms so it was only fair for the kids to have the week off too. Despite being off, they both did some catching up, but also had loads of free time to spend with friends. 

On Monday we celebrated my nephew's 3rd birthday.
 It was a pizza party in the park.

 He is just the cutest little guy and it is a delight to watch him grow into a sweet little boy.

Moms, dads, and kids from tots to teens and dogs all enjoyed the sunshine and fun.

On Tuesday I lifted Josh for a work related round trip from Somerset West to Town. It was wonderful to spend time chatting with him as we spent hours together in the car. We enjoyed brunch at a delightful restaurant that he had discovered while working in Somerset West. He also treated me to the best coffee in the area. 
My dear sister popped past to say her goodbyes as she and her husband were heading back to KZN. It has been wonderful having them around over the last couple of weeks. 

On Wednesday I had a day to myself and spent time catching up on all those little bits and pieces that needed to be seen to.
In the evening my friend and I enjoyed Girlfriends Getaway at the movies.
Great laughs, spoiled with goodie bags and a prize in the lucky draw for me!

Worker's Day meant hubby was home and we visited his parents for coffee and enjoyed a trip to the nursery.

The nursery had a massive sale and it was great to pick out some plants for the garden at reduced prices.

On Thursday evening my niece and daughter whisked me away over the mountain for the night. Our destination was a magnificent house on a beautiful estate where they have been house sitting for the last couple of weeks.

What a treat to be given a delicious dinner prepared by them.

 Girly chit chat, movies, music, laughter and fun!
 Just what I needed!

On Friday, none of the kids were home so I got busy in kitchen. I harvested basil from the garden and made basil pesto with a hint of chili, some tomato and chili jam and beetroot and apple chutney.
 A satisfying and productive morning!
 After a day in the kitchen, it was kind of hubby to treat us to fish and chips for diner and we enjoyed a moonlight walk with our energetic and crazy dog down at the beach.

Today it was back to my Dad's art studio to sit as a model for the artists this morning. Keren was painting too and Zak joined us for the visit.

We got to see the week old baby Saffron enjoy her bottle.
She is just gorgeous.

A wonderful week! How was yours?