Wednesday, November 4, 2009

And the SNAKE is a .......

After much research and confirmation from a friend's husband (who knows a bit about snakes), the snake was in fact a Red Lipped Snake! The photo above looks just like him, but alive. He had a brown body, black head and very distinct orange cheeks, so there you have it! They are not too poisonous, but will give you a craker of a headache if you get bitten. Red Lipped snakes live in marshy or wetlands (there are a few in the area), come out at night to feed on frogs. Now owls, (we have seen large ones around here) come out at night to feed on the snakes. I am almost sure one of them lost his supper the other night, when perching on our roof! Hope you enjoyed today's zoology lesson!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Why I love Johanesburg in the summer

One of the very special thing of Johannesburg in the summer is the hot, lazy days then in the early afternoon, the signs of a thunderstorm approaching. The deep rumble and the huge threatening clouds in the distance, has something so dramatic about it, a feeling of something so much bigger than ourselves. It can be quite daunting for someone that has not experienced one of these storms. The air goes quiet, as birds and animals seek shelter from the coming rain. Then come the first huge spots of rain that begin to fall, the drama starts to unfold - lightening, thunder, sheets of rain blowing against the window panes. Then when it is all over, everything springs to life again. The birds sing, the sun comes out and everything glistens, looking clean and sparkling. The air even smells fresh and new, with all the dust and pollen being washed away. Sigh, I love thunderstorms!

Monday, September 28, 2009


There was much excitement today when we had out tea break. On going outside to hang up the washing, there next to our veggie patch ...... was a ....... SNAKE! It is quite small, about the length of my fore arm. The snake is brown, with orange cheeks. It is dead and already has ants crawling all over it, thankfully! Otherwise I would not have known what to do with it. Well, we took the opportunity to have a quick zoology lesson, but Caitlyn and Jaina can't believe that we have living creatures like this in our very own garden (neither can I) - they are supposed to be behind glass at the zoo! I have gone further to find out what kind of snake it is, but to no avail. If anyone has a clue, please post, as we would love to know who this visitor was.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Welcome back Spring, my Friend

Yay! Spring is in the air!
It brings with it the hope of new things, a new beginning, a promise of a fun filled summer.
I was taking these photos a little earlier today, when our guinea pig, Sasha, came out to investigate what I was getting up to - it is out of focus, but I could not resist putting it in!
2 weeks ago, we planted beans, tomatoe seeds, spinach seeds and (for my husband) chillie seeds. This week we started seeing some green leaves popping up. Did I mention how much I love this time of the year?

Friday, June 26, 2009

Air and Fire Experiment

1. Use modelling clay to stick a candle upright in the centre of a small plate or tray.
2. Pour water in until it is about 2cm deep.
3. Light candle and place a glass/glass jar over it. The rim of the jar must be under the water, resting on the bottomm
4. Watch the candle flame carefully as soon as the jar is in place.
You will see the water level rise inside the glass/jar. It does this to replace the oxygen that was used up by the burning flame.
Once the oxygen is used up, the flame goes out.
Try this, it really works. We did this yesterday and the water is still inside the glass.
Let me know how yours turn out!

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mmmm, Chicken Pie!

It's chicken pie for supper tonight, YAY!
Caitlyn and Jaina also had a "finger in the pie" ha ha. Yes, they made the pastry cut outs to decorate the top and had such fun painting the egg on the finished product.
Who knew leftover chicken ala king could be such fun!
What is your favourite thing to do with your leftovers?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

I Do Love to be Beside the Seaside!

Last week we went to Umhloti in Kwazulu Natal, for the week. Now bear in mind that we have not been away for over 2 years (not even a weekend).
We have been counting down the sleeps for such a long time. Caitlyn and Jaina had a great time in the sea (I must say that I did too!).
As you can see in the pic below, we had "visitors" that came looking for food most mornings! What a great life they must have, free food and look how peaceful he looks, gazing out to sea (or is it a biscuit he has spotted on the next balcony??).
At the swimming beach, the tide went out to reveal 2 beautiful swimming pools. There were swells and waves that the girls were "surfing" on.
On the rocks were huge groups of green anenemies(sp?) or sea flowers. It facinated Jaina who spent ages closing them all ("putting them to sleep for their mommy" - is what she said).
At night we toasted marshmallows over a fire. Notice the sea in the backround?
Then one morning, I was walking along the rocks and walked by a group of girls with a very broad American accent. I asked them where they were from and they said Michigan, USA. They told me that they were students touring South Africa. I told them that we were actually from Johannesburg and were enjoying an extended summer. Yes, here in JHB we are having very chilly weather right now.
Well, summer is officially over for us and it is back to the school books (next to the heater) for us!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mmm...mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day to all!
I was woken up this morning by Caitlyn and Jaina walking into my room with a breakfast tray, complete with heart shaped toast, fruit, juice and a cup of coffee.
They made me a card and in a beautiful bag was . . .
Lindt Chili Chocolate, my favorite!
What is your favorite chocolate?

Friday, May 8, 2009

Swine Flu

In recent weeks, cases of swine flu in countries including Mexico, the United States, Canada, Spain, and New Zealand have sparked international headlines and concern about the possibility of a pandemic, the worldwide spread of a disease affecting a large number of people.
But whether swine flu becomes labeled a pandemic or not, there’s no evidence in the United States or countries outside of Mexico that it’s any worse — or more dangerous — than the common seasonal flu.
So there’s no reason to panic. But it is smart to take precautions, like washing your hands often. To put things in perspective, here are some important facts about what’s going on.
About Swine Flu
Swine flu is a contagious respiratory virus that affects pigs year-round. The virus making headlines right now is a new strain of the swine flu, which is an influenza type A (H1N1) virus. This strain contains a combination of different flu viruses that affect pigs, birds, and humans. Because of the human component of the virus, it can spread from person-to-person more easily. Since this is a new strain of flu virus, people who had a flu shot this past winter probably won't be protected against swine flu. However, the virus does appear to respond to treatment with some of the same medicines used to treat common seasonal flu.
How It's Spread
Swine flu spreads in the same way that other flu viruses do — through the air when a person who has the virus sneezes, coughs, or speaks. People can also catch the virus after touching an object that someone with the virus sneezed or coughed on. As with other flu viruses, people who have the virus can be contagious a day or so before their symptoms start, so they can pass it on before they even know they're sick. You can't get swine flu from eating pork or pork products. Eating properly cooked pork is safe.
When Does an Outbreak become a Pandemic?
In the case of an infectious disease like influenza, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines a pandemic as any spread of a disease that is:
  • new to the population and has no vaccine yet available
  • passes easily from person to person
  • has caused outbreaks in at least two or more countries in different parts of the world
  • has the potential to cause serious illness and even fatalities
If the WHO decides that current swine flu outbreaks are a pandemic, it will alert governments to begin rolling out their pandemic preparedness plans. The plans may include guidelines for preventing the spread of disease, managing and treating infected persons, and vaccine development. It’s important to remember that a pandemic alert is a preventative measure and does not necessarily mean that most people will contract the illness or that many people will get seriously ill. It’s a way for governments to work together to stop the spread of the disease and find a way to keep it under control.
Who Is Especially at Risk?
As with other types of flu, kids with chronic medical conditions (like diabetes, heart disease, or asthma or other lung problems) can have more problems coping with the illness. They might get sicker and need more medical support; in some cases, hospitalization may be necessary. Pregnant women who catch the flu also are more likely to get sicker. Having the flu can increase the risk for complications during pregnancy, labor, and delivery. In infants, the flu can be life-threatening and requires immediate medical attention. Signs and Symptoms Symptoms of swine flu are similar to the common flu: fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills, and fatigue, and sometimes diarrhea and vomiting. Swine flu also can cause pneumonia, which can make it hard to breathe.
Kids with any of these symptoms need immediate medical attention:
fast breathing or trouble breathing bluish skin color not drinking enough fluids very sleepy or lethargic in babies, being so irritable they don't want to be held fever with a rash flu-like symptoms improve, then return with fever and a worse cough
If you think your child has the flu, call your doctor — particularly if you live in any of the states that have reported swine flu outbreaks. To help track a possible epidemic, doctors and scientists can find out if someone has swine flu by taking a swab sample from the person's nose and throat and sending it to a lab to be analyzed. Doctors won't know the results of this test for a few days. Treatment
Currently, no medicine is specifically developed to prevent or treat this new strain of swine flu, but it does appear that some of the antiviral medicines used to treat common seasonal flu may ease symptoms and shorten the duration of illness. Kids without chronic health conditions usually tolerate infection with flu viruses fairly well. But if your child does have a chronic condition, like asthma, make sure to check with your doctor to help ensure the condition is under control. Likewise, if you're pregnant and come down with flu symptoms or have been exposed to someone who has the flu, see a doctor right away. You may need to take antiviral medications as a precaution for yourself and your baby.
These at-home tips can help most otherwise healthy kids cope with the flu:
drink lots of fluids to prevent dehydration get plenty of sleep and take it easy take acetaminophen or ibuprofen to relieve fever and aches (but do not give aspirin unless your doctor instructs you to do so) wear layers, since the flu often makes them cold one minute and hot the next (wearing layers — like a T-shirt, sweatshirt, and robe — makes it easy to add or subtract clothes as needed) Remember to call a doctor if your child seems to get better but then feels worse, develops a high fever, has any trouble breathing, or seems confused.
Protecting Your Family
There is no vaccine against this strain of flu, although scientists should be able to develop one once they have analyzed the new virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that families take these precautions against swine flu: If you recently traveled to Mexico and now have flu symptoms, tell your doctor. Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or cough and put used tissues in the trash. If you don't have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your upper sleeve, not your hands. Clean your hands after coughing or sneezing — wash with soap and water or use alcohol-based hand cleaner. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. Keep sick kids home from daycare or school and limit their contact with others; kids should stay home 10 days after the onset of illness. Breastfeeding mothers who have the flu can continue breastfeeding, even if they're on antiviral medicines. But they may have to take additional precautions (like wearing a face mask) to reduce the risk to their baby. Talk to your doctor about how you can help keep your baby healthy. Eating Pork
Because the flu virus isn't transmitted through food, the CDC and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) say it's safe to eat pork. Of course, pork should be well cooked to avoid any illness. Cooking pork to a temperature of 160° F or higher will kill all viruses (use a meat thermometer to check the internal temperature when cooking meats). Don't eat pork that looks pinkish or bloody inside. There's no evidence that touching raw pork will transmit the virus — although it's always a good idea to wash your hands and all surfaces after touching any raw meat. Are U.S. Pigs Affected? Outbreaks of swine flu have been found in pigs in Mexico and Canada. The infected pigs in Canada contracted the illness from a herder who had previously been in Mexico. All infected pigs have been quarantined. So far, there's no evidence that any pigs in the United States are infected with this new strain of swine flu. Signs of flu in pigs are similar to those in humans. If you raise pigs or have a pet pig, call your vet if the pig seems to lack energy or has a fever, is sneezing or coughing, is having trouble breathing, or has a discharge coming from its eyes or nose.
Talking to Kids
Listening to news reports about swine flu can upset kids because they may focus on worst-case scenarios. You can help ease their fears by being available to answer their questions. You can tell kids that there's no need to panic about swine flu. The media and governments are on high alert to help limit the spread of the disease and help people who may become ill. The last flu pandemic that was serious enough to affect millions of people happened a century ago — before people had access to the medical knowledge, care, and medications that we have today. Reviewed by: Steven Dowshen, MDDate reviewed: April 2009 For more information or info on any other health related issues, visit

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Sasha is Pregnant Again!

Our guinea pig, Sasha, is pregnant again.
Much to the delight of Caitlyn and Jaina. You see the last time she had 2 babies, we put her and the babies into an enclosure, one of the neighborhood cats got in and took both of the babies. I think it was because there was no where for them to hide. Now, I think that we must leave it up to Sasha and let her have her babies in the garden and be free to run and hide wherever they need to.
She is due any day now as her tummy is really bulging on both sides. Seems like she will have 2 again.
I will post pics as soon as they arrive!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Greek History - Minotaur!

As the legend goes, the Minotaur was half-bull and half-man and lived in a huge maze under the palace of Knossos. A brave young Greek prince called Theseus set out to kill it. The daughter of king Minos gave Theseus a magic sword and a ball of thread. The deeper Theseus went into the maze, he kept unwinding the thread, leaving a trail behind him. He used the magic sword to kill the monster and then followed the thread back to the outside world.
What made this lesson even more interesting was that the palace of Knossos still exists today and you can do the virtual tour at , when you move over the pictures hold the mouse button down and you can "look around" in 3D. We tried to find the entrance to the maze to find the Minotaur, but sadly had no success.
Let me know if you find anything! :-)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Stonehenge, WOW!

It was built in stages over a period of more than a thousand years, and was finished around 1500BC.
To move one of the stones from the quarry 32km (20 miles) away, it took 10 000 men. Some of the stones weigh as much as 370 people. The holes that were dug for the stones to sit in, were dug with tools made of bone and deer antlers. The soil that came out of these holes were carried away in baskets by women. To shape the rock they used heavy stones. They also used these stones to carve out lumps/holes, so that each of these rocks fit like a glove into each other.
It is thought that it was used for religious ceremonies, but some experts think that the mysterious stone circle was also used as a giant outdoor calendar.
What do you think?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Earth Day

Today is Earth Day.
People all over the world are coming together to celebrate the natural wonders of our planet and to dedicate themselves to preserving those wonders for future generations.
In the southern Line Islands, the Ocean Now expedition is showing us just how rich and diverse our ocean can be--and what we risk losing if humans continue to pollute, overfish, and injure our planet's natural ecosystems. Precious few pristine and undamaged coral reefs remain, so it's up to us to raise awareness about the need to protect these rare gems.
We must all do our part, no matter how big or small, we can all make a difference!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Viva South Africa!!

Yes, once you have heard a lion roar in the bush in the early hours of the evening, seen an elephant majestically cross the path in front of you, looked into the eye of a buffalo a few meters away, stood at the tip of the mountain at Cape Point and watched the two oceans meet, lived and breathed in this beautiful country of South Africa, you can travel far and wide, but still know that South Africa is your home!
We have our elections coming up on Wednesday 22 April, please pray that it will be peaceful and that God's will be done concerning the future of our country.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Homeschooling and Loving it!

We only started homeschooling at the beginning of March as we ordered late and had to wait for our books to arrive. So, during the school break over Easter, we worked through. Not that it was too much of a punishment, as we are all loving the learning!
In South African history we have been learning about the Bushmen or San People. No one really knows why they did these beautiful drawings on their cave walls. Some say that it was done during story telling or braging sessions, others say it was to teach strategy for hunting the next day. It could even have just been for decoration. Whatever it was for, it tells us the story of the people who once lived there.
Jaina had to draw her own bushman art and Caitlyn had to write a story as if she were a young bushman, explaining why she did this drawing, what materials she used to create it and what her family thought about it when she was done. I must say, even though I am her mother, she is quite the story writer. One day I will post one of her stories and you can tell me what you think ....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yay, I am a Winner!

Thank you Anne for thinking of me when handing out this award!
Now for the seven things I love:
1. I love the Lord Jesus.
2. I love my husband and my 2 precious daughters.
3. I love pancake evenings.
4. I love crisp winter mornings and warm summer days.
5. I love painting.
6. I love a good comedy.
7. I love going to the theatre.
So there you have it, seven things I love.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Time for a Breath and a Cup of Tea

I have been working so hard that when people ask how I am, I have to take a moment to think.
I am getting one of my last orders out for a dance festival on the 04th of April and then I have a huge order that has to be done for a rally before our elections on the 22nd of April. It is good to be so busy, especially in these times.
My girls have been grateful for the extra bit of playtime I have allowed them this week due to my work load and have been very understanding. I am so blessed to have these two precious little pies. Did I mention that I have this home business due to them?
Today, at tea time, I took a moment to walk outside with my cup of hot tea and feel the sun on my skin. It still feels like summer at midday, but our early mornings and evenings are getting a bit on the chilly side. I noticed that all the leaves are starting to turn yellow and the birds are beginning to gather together to fly away to warmer regions.
There are certain things that I love about winter - hot chocolate (made with frothy hot milk and real dark chocolate), soup, warm cuddles from my children (who are both knitting their first scarves) and the crisp blue skies. Winter also has a comforting smell, the smell of fireplaces burning brightly in many homes. BUT winter brings with it ice cold wind that seems to go through every layer you have managed to put on and once I am cold, nothing can warm me.
Well, I suppose, every season holds it's good and bad things. It is up to us to just make the best of it.
Have a great weekend!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Where do I start?

Hello all! We are now going into our third week of homeschool! I can't believe how time has just flown by. This last week we studied the history of writing and wrote our names in clay using Cuneiform. This is what Caitlyn's name looks like:

I have not been able to post for some time as my hubby had to "redo" my computer as I could not upload any pics or post comments etc. Then we have also had 2 tragedies that we were going through. The first tragedy was the cat next door somehow got one of our baby guinea pigs (Vanilla). My neighbor was so distraught, she bought us a huge bouquet of flowers to tell us how sorry she is.

The second tragedy is that the 2 boy guinea pigs had not been getting on very well since Sasha has come out of the "maternity ward". We started seeing tufts of hair lying around the garden and then three nights ago I was woken by terrible squealing. The next morning Toffee was lying whimpering. I took him inside and after inspection saw he had wounds on his neck. I doctored his wounds but the rest of the day he was having fits and whimpering. It was emotionally destroying to see him like that (I am still trying to recover). Well, that night he took a turn for the worse and did not make it to the morning. So now we just have 3 guinea pigs.

Goodbye, Vanilla, goodbye Toffee, we know your lives were good in the time you were with us. You sure did enrich our lives.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Welcome to the World, little ones!

Well, our week took a turn for the better. Our guinea pig, Sasha, had started looking somewhat "well rounded". I got the feeling she might be pregnant.
As a precaution, we set her aside from the male guinea pigs, in her own little spot - as they all have free run of the garden.
Caitlyn and Jaina came running in, at lunch time, shouting "Mommy, she is licking something!" and "I saw a little brown face!"
What precious little things did I see when going down to the garden. 2 perfect little babies, in good health and Sasha is well. The girls were overjoyed to to see the new little arrivals.
Below is a video of the little ones in the "big outdoors" for the first time.

On Friday night, my dear Husband came home from work and told me to get ready, he is taking me out. He had arranged for the children to go to his parents. After we dropped them off, we went for something to drink, then a movie (The Duchess) and he booked a table for supper in a nice restaurant afterwards. What a nice valentine surprise! I keep telling him that now I know why I married him, ha ha ha.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

One of THOSE days!

Jaina has not been feeling too well, so this morning she just did her maths (her favorite subject) before going downstairs.
Caitlyn was not in the mood for maths (her worst subject), just the mention of it sends her into a bad mood. Well, thankfully she finished her maths but the mood and attitude stayed. You see she is 10 years old and the MOODS are starting to set in. I have not slept for 2 nights, being up with Jaina, so I am tired.
Then came the big blow up over Caitlyn's english lesson, simple past and future tenses. After calmly explaining it 3 times, I still got a blank look with "I don't understand". What she was really saying was "I don't feel like doing it, I want to go downstairs and play with my sister".
It ended with me shouting "Well if you want to be lazy and waste your brain away by not using it, GET DOWNSTAIRS!" and Caitlyn did not waste anytime. She is now downstairs happily playing with her sister.
Aaaaargh! What was my previous post about?
I am too tired to remember!!!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

15 Things NOT to say to Children

1. "Look how well-behaved your brother is!"
(Yup, well they are not the same child. Are they?)
2. "Stop crying this instant!"
(The situation might not seem so bad to us but it might be heart wrenching for them)
3. "You are not really angry."
(We cannot undermine or deny our children's feelings or imply that they should not be expressed)
4. "You never / you always ..."
(Any generalisation runs the risk of limiting a child to what he or she is at the moment - whether good or bad)
5. "I'm sick and tired of telling you to clean your room. The next time I have to remind you ..."
(Oh, the idle threats. How will our children ever take us seriously. If you are not going to do it, don't say it)
6. "You're the best ... in the world"
(This is a tough one. We try to encourage by exaggerating praise. Our children cannot be fooled and know whether our words ring true or not)
7. "OK, five more minutes"
(Negotiations, negotiations. And then we still ask ourselves why we have whining children. Let your yes be yes and your no be no)
8. " You can be so difficult sometimes."
(Been there, said that. This is self-esteem damaging. Oh, it hurt just to type that.)
9. "I haven't got the time right now."
(Well, you don't have 24 hours to give undivided attention but the suggestion is there that they are less important than what you are busy with) -
Need to take a break now, my girls say that they are hungry!
Okay, back now, lets carry on!
10. "Please pull yourself together."
(Adolescence is a time of intense emotion and ignoring this or suggesting it's a sign of weakness is insensitive and may cause communicating emotions later on.)
11. "No-one asked you your opinion."
(Don't reject your child's opinions. If you shut them out of adult conversations you will only have yourself to blame if she never offers an opinion when she is older)
12. "I don't like the friends you hang around with."
(This is a tough one too, as influence is a huge thing in their lives. They identify with a peer group. If you criticise the group, feel like you are criticising them and take it personally. Try to widen their social group)
13. "You should be a doctor/lawyer/teacher."
(Allow them to develop their own ambitions)
14. "After everything I have done for you!"
(Oh the guilt! Nobody asked us to spend an hour preparing a meal or giving up a full time job. We are what we are because of the love we have for our families. Expect nothing in return and love the surprises when they happen)
15. "You're looking a bit chubby, aren't you?"
(Ouch, I have seen this happen before my eyes. Someone said it to a young girl, I saw her flinch. There are so many eating disorders out there, we don't have to add to them. As the saying goes "If you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all!)
I think we have all fallen short somewhere along the line, but the wonderful thing about life is, we are allowed to make mistakes. We just need to learn from them and strive to do better next time.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Love leaves the Dust

If I live in a house of spotless beauty with everything in its place, but have not love, I am a housekeeper, not a homemaker.
If I have time for waxing, polishing and decorative achievement, but have not love, my children learn cleanliness, not Godliness.
Love leaves the dust in search of a child's laugh.
Love smiles at the tiny fingerprints on a newly cleaned window.
Love wipes away the tears before it wipes up spilled milk.
Love picks up the child before it picks up the toys.
Love is present through the trials.
Love reprimands, reproves and is responsive.
Love crawls with the baby, walks with the toddler, runs with the child, then stands aside and lets the youth walk into adulthood.
Love is the key that opens salvation's message to a child's heart.
Before I became a mother I took glory in my house of perfection.
Now I glory in God's perfection of my child.
As a mother, there is much I must teach my child, but the greatest of all is LOVE!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Mass Migration of Stingrays

Looking like giant leaves floating in the sea, thousands of Golden Rays are seen here gathering off the coast of Mexico. The spectacular scene was captured as the magnificent creatures made one of their biannual mass migrations to more agreeable waters. Gliding silently beneath the waves, they turned vast areas of blue water to gold off the northern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula. Sandra Critelli, an amateur photographer, stumbled across the phenomenon while looking for whale sharks. She said: 'It was an unreal image, very difficult to describe. The surface of the water was covered by warm and different shades of gold and looked like a bed of autumn leaves gently moved by the wind.
'It's hard to say exactly how many there were, but in the range of a few thousand'
'We were surrounded by them without seeing the edge of the school and we could see many under the water surface too. I feel very fortunate I was there in the right place at the right time to experience nature at its best'. Measuring up to 7ft (2.1 meters) from wing-tip to wing-tip, Golden rays are also more prosaically known as cow nose rays.
They have long, pointed pectoral fins that separate into two lobes in front of their high-domed heads and give them a cow-like appearance. Despite having poisonous stingers, they are known to be shy and non- threatening when in large schools. The population in the Gulf of Mexico migrates, in schools of as many as 10,000, clockwise from western Florida to the Yucatan.
How amazing is that?

Friday, January 30, 2009

Oh, my Gogh!

Art Lesson - Vincent van Gogh! What a sad, sad life story, of a depressed, lonely man with such an amazing talent.
At first he worked in an art gallery, did teaching, worked in a book store and even became a preacher like his father. But none of this made him happy or fulfilled. He then took art lessons and started drawing and then painting.
He started painting pictures of the desparately poor people that he tried to help when he was a preacher. The colours were very dark and disimal. One day he saw some Japanese art and the bright colours and shapes influenced his work.
His paintings seemed to come alive with colour and movement. Looking at this painting I can almost feel the wind in my hair!
This painting is known as one of his last. Looking at the road that leads to a dark unknown, almost depicts the end of his life. Shortly afterwards he shot himself and died 2 days later. Caitlyn and Jaina were most upset hearing this and could not understand how someone can get so desparately sad and lonely.
Eeeek, sorry to post such a sad story right before the weekend, but it interested me so.
We have kids club again this afternoon, not sure what the theme is, but will post on what we do.
Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Red Engine

This week we are learning about transport, so we took the girls to the James Hall Museum of Transport in Johannesburg. The fire engine you see in the backround has a wooden ladder! The top of the ladder is completely black and the rest of it you can see how the varnish had bubbled in the heat. I stood imagining what kind of fires it had been sent to put out.
But before we had gotten to this technology, we had been through the horse driven carts. What interested me was the cart that belonged to the everyday driver or businessman. It was complete with a seat on the back for the "groomer". Now a groomer was a young man paid to sit on the back of the cart and when they pulled up to a gate of any sort, it was the groomer that had to hop down, run and open the gate, wait for the cart to go through, close it again and then hop back up. So, even back then, men had "remote gate openers" they were just called groomers. Haaaa ha ha
My husband and I reminised about cars we remembered as children and the old petrol pumps we used to see.
We had a lovely day!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Smokin' Volcanoes

We are now in the full swing of homeschooling. Boy, am I having fun. Today I was reminded that school is not all about tedious, mindless repetition of old boring stuff.
First we went to to watch different volcanoes errupt. How exciting! We saw what a volcano looks like inside and how many volcanoes there are around the world.
What a wonderfully made and exciting place we live in!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

It's Today, It's Today!!

For our family, home school started today!
Fun and great learning was in store for us. The girls were beside themselves with excitement. I must say that I too couldn't wait.
We started off with a quick walk for some fresh air and our water bottles. When we got back we did our prayer with daily scripture and devotional.
The girls then did a puzzle while I got a few things done in the house. We moved on to English (penmanship and reading) and then had a tea break. After tea it was Maths, History (San and Khoi people of the Kalahari Desert) and Geography (mountain ranges of South Africa). Lunch Break with Daddy (came home from work for the occasion) and then finished off with Literature.
What started off as a "High Five Sisty, we are homeschoolers now!" turned into a .... WRESTLING MATCH!!
They were left begging for more but you know, tommorow is another day!

Friday, January 16, 2009


Today is the day that the stitches came out. Oh, the dread, oh the horror. Caitlyn has been asking all morning "how long is it until they come out" and "are you sure they have to come out today"! and "what happens if my knee pops open after they are out"?
But, bravely she marched in after the nurse and 2 minutes later and a few tears shed, out she came, brandishing a brand new knee. I had been putting on tissue oil the last week and it has healed quite nicely.
Whew, glad that is over and done with and Caitlyn please don't ever do that again!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Oh Ancient One

Sometime ago Caitlyn and Jaina had friends over to play. We had some, what we call poppers, (small paper teardrop filled with gunpowder). You throw them on the ground and they make a loud bang!
I told the girls, that when I was in school, the boys used to throw them at our feet as we were walking by to give us a fright.
Going round the corner into my kitchen, I overheard "did you hear that guys, in the olden days the boys used to throw these at the girls feet to give them a fright!"
Now, I must tell you, this is the first time anyone has referred to any part of my life as "The Olden Days"!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Play at Polyvore

Find me on PolyvoreLook what I created over at the Polyvore site. I must say it is soooo much fun!

Saturday, January 10, 2009


It has been a busy week, but a very good busy!
The schools are opening and all the dance shops are starting to place their orders with me. This is a small business I started nearly 6 years ago and I now have 6 ladies working part time for me making hair accessories for dancers. I love doing this, as I feel that I am still contributing to the family income but also have the flexibility to be with my children and now to homeschool them.
We will be starting school towards the end of next week, so I am trying to get the bulk of the orders done and the rest of the stock packed - ready to post when needed. If you are interested in having a look at all the products please feel free to visit, I would love to hear your comments.
Hope you are all having a great weekend, it's back to work for me!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Emergency Room!

This is how we spent our last few hours of 2008, in the emergency room.
My oldest daughter, Caitlyn, was helping her Dad with the braai outside. It was about 08h30 and was running up the tiled steps in our backyard - she tripped and fell with her knee against the edge of the step. When she rolled over screaming in pain, all I could see was bone sticking out through a cut in her knee.
My husband put her in the back seat of the car and I raced her to hospital. She was screaming all the way. I parked in the emergency zone and had to get one of the male nurses to bring a wheelchair to wheel her in. They took her straight in to a waiting bed, but after sterilizing the wound we had to wait about 20 minutes before the doctor came (you can imagine what ER looks like on New Years Eve).
I never want to go through this again, as I watched in horror how he injected numerous times inside the wound - my child was hysterical. I just wanted to pick her up and run out with her. Then, I think because the wound did not have a straight edge, he had to cut on one side. Caitlyn was going crazy, screaming "Mommy, Mommy" over and over again. All I could do was hold her tight and pray. 4 stitches later it was all over.
On a lighter note, while I was signing forms for her at the reception, in marches a teenage guy with spiked up hair and full of attitude (with his parents). I thought it was a bit strange that they were laughing and joking in ER until I overheard his mother on the phone, she said "Yes, we are in ER and he looks like a right old Mr Bean". On hearing this I looked over at him sitting next to her and nearly burst out laughing! There hanging from his finger was a metal canister, obviously very stuck. I had to show Caitlyn, just to try and bring a smile through all her tears.