10 May 2013

Another New Start

So much has happened in our household this last year, especially over the last two months.  We've wanted to escape the rat race for many years and have explored many options, such as farms and small holdings.  At last an opportunity opened for us and we have moved to a little coastal village in the Eastern Cape.  This has given us the security of living near others, which we felt we needed, and the break way.  Sort of the best of both worlds.

At last the move is over and we feel that Gods hand has been it in and over it in a mighty way.  so may little things have happened that have shown His face and shown us that htis is what He wants for us.  That has been so encouraging to us, as I must say it was rather a leap of faith, leaving daily work place, home and all you know.

Our new home ground-  the beach cliffs as sunset
The village where we live is quite, peaceful and oh, so very beautiful.  Our home is situated on the edge of the veld and about 1km from the beach.  We thought it might me a bit far from the beach but have found this has meant it is quieter.  The veld has enabled us to go for our long awaited Charlotte Mason style nature walks, right on our doorstep.  The road outside our home is a gravel one, and since it is a dead end, traffic is minimal.  From there it trails to a windy grass path into a beautiful bit of coastal bush.

From the lounge window, I can currently see a sprinkling of yellow and orange in the bushy veldt, as the tickberry bush and Cape honey suckle are in flower.  Shelley excitedly pointed out an aloe that has just started blooming, I think it is the coastal variety.  A large variety of birds also abound, I am embarrased to discover that I know so few of them, but it is part of the exciting learning journey.  We had a Knysna Lourie (old name) in our garden this morning.

Candelbra Flower
We are also finding a huge variety of flowers in the veld, some very interesting like the candelera, but I do not know the names of others.  I am finding my old East Cape Flower book by Ely Gledhill a little difficult.  The garden itself does not have many plants or flowers but I plan to plant it up with indigenous plants as we did in our old home.  The soil is very sandy, so I will have to start composting and go about it slowly.

Down at the sea there is a lagoon (estuary) which occsaionaly breaks through to the sea.  It is currently broken through and this has caused much delight and fun for the children.  On Sunday we found baby sole, shrimp, two varieties of prawn and tiny fish in the estuary.  I am delighted with the hours of fresh air, exercise and sunshine.

Naturally our dogs are also enjoying the freedom of having space to run and have been really good about coming when they are called.  I was afraid they would go running off into the veld and disappear. They are not allowed to run wild all the time as I feel that nature must be left alone. 

Surf at sunset
 We have also been blessed move closer to a lovely big Christian Homeschool group.  Having homeschooled with either alone, or with just a handful of people in the vicinity for most of the last 7 years, this means SO much. Those of you who are supported by Christian Homeschool Groups, count your blessings ;-)  This lovely group blessed us with a meal for the first seven days after our move.  This was such a help.

Four cousins on a Jungle Gym
Of course, I cannot act as if life is all moonlight and roses, and as you my know from previous posts, one of my irks, is homeschool blogs that consistently portray homeschooling as endless days of bliss where nothing goes wrong.  I prefer to be honest here, because I believe it helps other homeschool parents more.  First, there are things to learn about living here, like that you get ticks when you walk in the bush ;-) and that there are still criminals here and that if you don't lock up your bike it'll get stolen.

And, reality is, we are just recovering as a family from a very stressful time.  Before our move, my father-in-law had a mild stroke, which was a  stressful two weeks.  Right thereafter we had overseas visitors for three weeks, then the move two weeks after that.  During the visit, we also had our most busy time of the year in the family business, which involves photographing a university graduation.  This is an all week-weekend affair for the men of the house and extra recruits are needed.  My nephew and neice were happy to be involved, and a friends young adult daughter, so at one time there were thirteen people sleeping in my house and every bed/mattress and blanket was occupied!  My sil and I did the food for the shop and all people living with us.
How many cousins can you fit in a car?

 The end result was that by the time the move occured we were all exhuasted! And we'd missed school for two months instead of just our normal holiday.  So it is back to work. We're still enjoying My Father's World.  It really suits us so much.  I have found it helpful to revise the Charlotte Mason principles behind the curriculum- such as short lessons, it's given me renewed enthusiasm for school.

Also, health wise I am sorting out some issues, always tricky when you are the Mom and life must continue.  I will probably go for an op in June. 

After years of tiredness, we're tackling the longstanding anaemia problems.  Loosing the stress, plus getting all the fresh air and sunshine here can only be a good thing.

Praise God for a New Start!

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