29 December 2008

Stepping back in time: July 2007

My cousin found some of her older photos and gave me copies and I was thrilled to see these ones of our children in the snow. You see we do not often get snow here in South Africa, and even then only certain areas get it. We had to ride 2.5 hours away from home to a Mountain pass to see this little sprinkling of snow but the children were thrilled. Can you see how they have grown?

27 December 2008

December collage

This is the first time I'm trying this, I made a collage in Picassa, of all our December holiday pictures, as there were so many. Let's see if we can see them all nicely like this...
Posted by Picasa

04 December 2008

Bouncing back!

I am pleased to report that Emma did so well with the surgery. She suffered quite a bit the first day from pain but today was much better. She is eating and drinking as normal now, and is her cheery self. I really felt God was there holding our hands. Unfortunately, she was last on the theatre list, and we were surrounded by 5 other squalling post operative toddlers, enough to break even steel nerves. Once I'd taken her to the theatre I returned to the ward for a cup of tea and I was shaking!

But she did so well. We were able to pray through it all and even in the theatre as she "blew up her balloon". Medical staff at this hospital were so caring of the child-parent relationship and God blessed us with friendly caring staff.

In the end the ENT surgeon inserted grommets and removed her adenoids, so we should see an improvment in her sleep apnea and hearing loss soon.

Thanks for all the prayers and concern.

We are off to the beach tomorrow. We are very excited as we'll be seeing my brother and his family from Australia. We have not seen them in about 3 years and they have not even met Shelley or Amy. The children are so excited to see their cousins.

01 December 2008

Emma-lee surgery

Just a brief note to say on Wednesday Emma must go to day hospital to have surgery that will hopefully improve her hearing and sleep apnea. Her adenoids must be removed, and they may insert grommmets (tubes) but we'll have to wait and see what the ENT sees.
We'll update as soon as possible. Not too keen on the anaesthetic but it's essential to get the adenoids out in these cases.

24 November 2008

Cookies and Cakes and Kittens

Well, the reason i have not been blogging or visiting other peoples blogs is all because of cookies. Yes, not the kind you eat, but something on your computer that does something. As you can hear, I don't know much about these cookies and so for a long while I could not log on here. Today i had some time, and step by step followed the instructions, so I hope no more cookie trouble for me.

Now, about cakes. We recently went to a bazaar and in amongst the books Joel spotted a recipe book, which he bought with his own money. As soon as we got home he wanted to make a chocolate cake to take to church next day.

So I said he could, if he did it all alone. We got all the ingredients out together and then he began. it was a great math lesson, for me and him, as the recipe was in pounds and ounces and we've got used to metric. Anyway he plodded on and finally out came a really good cake. All i helped with was the hot bits as I was afraid of an accident. He iced (frosted) it himself and I think it tasted and looked much better than my first, second and ... cake.

We recently added two new members to the family, two lovely little kittens. One for Joel, a black male he has named Smokey and a beige female who Emma has named Cameo. They really are very little indeed, I think they were malnourished, and need some fattening up. Anyway they love their milk and kitty food and everyday seem a little rounder. They were also rather dirty as they had lived outdoors, so on Friday I gave them both a bath, something I have never done in my life, and they are looking and smelling fresher.

We've finished off our formal school for the year but still have one more week of Weaver. We started the transport chapter in Volume 1, but we'll have to pick it up again in January. South Africa has there biggest holiday now, over Christmas and early January.

Joel finished off the first semester of Level 100 Christian Light Education, and has really done well. I am just amazed how the language skills he is using have been put to practical use. I look forward to next year, when we complete the semester. i am still so happy with this curriculum and have also started to add the Science and Social studies when they tie in with our Weaver. The first CLE Social Studies workbook, 101, was a perfect fit for the Weaver Volume 1, chapter 2.

Last, but not least, some new pictures of the children in our household. Isn't little Amy too cute, "pony girl".

Shew, I think that just about catches us up to speed with the latest happenings.

29 October 2008

Potty training fun!

Shelley is doing potty training. She stills wears a nappy (diaper) most the time, but occasionally she will let me put underwear on her.

Anyway she came down the passage today, proudly announcing,"Look Mommy!" and lifted her dress. "Wow," I said, seeing that she had removed her nappy herself, "Panties"

Then I peered closer, and saw, not one, two or three...but FIVE pairs of nickers on her!
She was so pleased with herself and I was in stitches;-)

25 October 2008

Weaver in South Africa

As many of my Weaver friends know, I was recently asked to put a Weaver table up at a little Curriculum expo held here in SA, in East London. It was really done as a ministry, as I am in no way a legal representative of Weaver or AOP here. And you can see in the pics, it was a very humble affair. I was very nervous because at the last moment I was also asked to give a few minutes talk about Weaver. I really wanted to do justice to Weaver and promote it and I pray that I did that.

Then 6 days later I held a little Homeschool Open Day in my town, amidst having a sick family. We had open house from 12- 4pm, and I gave a talk, with a discussion over lunch time. It went really well. My girls were so sick that they slept through the presentation, so I could give it my full attention. The homeschool families in our group rallied to my support and it was just so great to share with new/potential homeschool families.

After that we've had a few days where the children were actually too sick to do school. It's been bronchitis and ear infections! Exhausting.

With Weaver, we're on Chapter 3, studying the ear. I usually love it when the topics you're studying tie in with what's happening at home, but I could have done without 3 sick children with Otitis Media!

13 October 2008

Belles birthday

Shelley turned two today. The centre picture was taken early this morning as she opened her presents. Actually Joel and Emma opened them for her!

The picture on the left is Tracy, Amy and the birthday girl enjoying cake. And to the right is Shelley with her cake. Mommy did not bake and decorate this time, as the whole house is sick and my energy levels are low.

Lastly a picture of a chocolate faced 2 year old.

08 October 2008

Mini-tornado and rain at last

Today, after the intense heat of yesterday, our little town was suddenly struck by a huge storm. We haven't had rain in ages and the children were playing outside when they asked if they could swim. I looked up at the black clouds looming, and said,"Before we set up the pool, let's wait and see if it rains" And I started praying, hoping that perhaps this time we'd get rain.

Within minutes the rain poured down, hail stones began to fall and the wind whipped about. We all ran inside. I watched from our upstairs school room trying to make out what was happening, but couldn't see through the heavy rain. Actually it was a mini-tornado sweeping through our town. Our area was not harmed besides normal wind and rain damage. And our house was a bit wet in places as it leaks all over!

The other parts of town had roofs blown off houses and other structural damage. I'm so thankful we were not in it's path as I am unsure how this timber home would fare.

Also, I am so grateful to the Lord for the rain. Our garden is a soggy swamp, yeah! I hope the drought has been broken for the farmers too.

03 October 2008

More holiday fun at another farm

And so we finished the last bit of our lovely holiday, on another cousins farm. It has been so great to be out of town and closer to the veld. Only thing is, with the drought, the dust and wind have been non-stop since August. Yuck! The children do not seem to mind and spent a lot of time outdoors.

Chasing the chickens into the coop with a knob-kierie (stick) was Joel's and Colby's favourite part of each day. It was not very easy as the chickens were newly acquired and still very wild. It took a good 20 minutes some evenings.

The great reason for our visit was to celebrate a special boys fifth birthday.
And there he is with his ocean birthday cake, masquerading as a tiger. Isn't childhood magnificent? How many children can you fit in sand pit- at least five were in this farm style one, a tractor tyre!

The young ladies enjoyed the finer things, like the sun, pretty painted faces and of course, the food.

School begins again on Monday...mmm. I think we'll take the fourth term really slow

27 September 2008

September holiday

The first week of our September holiday is over. Despite bad weather we've been having a lovely time. We left for my parents home in PE on Monday. We spent a good week there. The children always enjoy being at Granny and Grandad. We also saw alot of my sister and her children, who we have not seen much of over the past few years. Wow, how they have grown up. Joel especially had a great time with his boy cousins, who, though they are older really entertained him so well. Thanks guys!

On Friday we returned home, and then this morning we went out for the day to my cousins farm. James had to photograph a wedding, so Tracy and Amy came with us. It was a chilly day, but we managed to look at most parts of the farm, that I have not seen in a while. Of course the children enjoyed then animals. We went to feed the pigs and hens.

Shelley was a little wary of the 200 odd mixed herd of cattle though! Emma enjoyed collecting eggs. the girls enjoyed holding the baby chicks, and i held my first one ever too. there were two new day old calves, so sweet.

Joel was pretty hands off the whole animal thing, but had lots of thought provoking questions. We've got to do some research into how many stomachs a cow has on Monday! He was exceptionally thrilled at his amazing find- cow teeth. These are now sitting on my bathroom shelf, awaiting a good scrub. (No, not with any of our toothbrushes) Yuck!

My cousins have two teenage children. Their daughter made some beautiful cupcakes for us all, which the children helped her decorate. Their son kindly pushed all the little people about in a miniture tractor and a small old fashioned car. Two homemade "broom brooms" also made wonderful toys. The children had such a fantastic time in the beautiful garden, and also climbed trees. It was a pity that the day had to end. But fortunately there is still another week of holiday, a visit to another cousin, a party and lots more relaxing. Yeah!

21 September 2008

Weaver birds and pretty girls

We've been studying Animal builders in our Weaver curriculum. They suggested Weaver birds, and we were so fortunate to see a male Weaver bird constructing a nest in amongst some dry reeds in a nearby veld. We watched for as long as Shelley could keep still, it was very interesting. It is amazing that this little creature will spend so much time creating something that may well be ripped apart or rejected by it's mate. What a self-less act.

We also drove around our town and spotted all the the castle like buildings we could find. I forgot my camera- there is a fantastic example of one just down the road. I love it when the children can see what they learning outside of a book!

Here is a picture of little madam the other day at church. It was so cute- the girls wanted to go dressed up in dresses and hats, with their little handbags.
I tried to snap Emma too, but she wouldn't oblige.

20 September 2008

My new blog about homeschooling in South Africa

Well we're on our third term holiday. This past term has gone well, and it seems we'll be able to take the Fourth term gently. I can really do with a more relaxed pace. So, we'll focus more on our Weaver Volume 1 as we're reaching our academic goals just fine.

Getting into the volumes has been harder than I'd expected. Sometimes it feels as though I am missing something. See, I'm still learning to WEAVE it all together.

The children enjoy our hands on activities. We made a volcanoe on Friday- that was fun. I am learning that less book knowledge and more hands on is good. I tend to gather a whole pack of books on our themes- forgetting that in Grade 1/2 it is not neccesary to cover topics completely- in any case with Weaver we'll hit the topic again sometime or with the supplement. Next term I plan to have a whole lot more fun, and to stress less.

In amidst the chaos of raising three children and homeschooling, I have started another blog, Homeschooling-in-South-Africa. I want to help homeschoolers in South Africa, and I hope the blog does that. I really want to bless other families who want to homeschool, but who are frustrated by lack of resources and information. It will be a slow process but something I want to do.

Print This!

11 September 2008

Turning 7

Joel turned seven years old yesterday.

I went over some of our photos from the past few years. Just look how he has grown.

Happy Birthday Joel. Thank you for being such a blessing to our family. May you always stay true to the Lord.

08 September 2008

Donkey Cart

I wanted to show those of you who are not familiar with it, the mode of transport used for goods, by the large majority of the population in our town. Small loads are pushed in wheelbarrows, but larger loads require a donkey cart, such as this one.

A cart can be hired for about R80 for an "in town" job. That's about $10. These beasts of burden do not always lead an easy life. Annually the community raises funds for the care of these donkeys with a Donkey Carnival.

These carts are permissible on all our roads, even the main street. They slow down traffic, but it is an acceptable part of our town life. Another common site is untethered donkeys, cattle and occasionally goats grazing on the verges in town or in the suburbs. Those of us without fences often have our garden plants nibbled at or trodden on by a hungry cow.

Naturally the children love it, on all our car rides about town they see who can spot an animal. Back at home its: " Hey Mom, there's a cow in David's garden, he's chasing it with a broom, come quick" Luckily we have a fence- so my plants are safe!