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.