Friday, 31 July 2015

The most fun around in Gauteng at the moment is....

...BounceInc!

Oh my word did the kids have fun! I think it was the most condensed fun packed hour of the holidays. We were invited with A's BFF and her family to go for a session. We consider jumping ourselves but decided to first have a look and maybe next time. I am not sure that I will live through a high energy session like this though. For energetic youngsters it is the bomb!
The concept is simple you put on a special pair of socks with rubber or silicon patches and jump in huge areas covered in trampolines with different sections - like dodgeball (which Mr L and K played for 99% of their session), basketball, trick areas and more. There is also a huge freeplay area (seen above) where everyone ends up at some stage.


One section has trampolines and a huge bag to fall in. This makes a perfect practice ground for summies etc and some of the kids spent a lot of their session here.

























We were all rather entranced by the pro looking people in the trick section - gosh they walk and walls, do double summersaults en way more.

The kids had heaps and heaps of fun in the hour we booked and wanted to stay longer. Honestly I do not think they would have made it for another hour as they were all exhausted and very thirsty but the end of it.

This venue gets a 10/10 from us for pure good healthy fun. The areas are very well controlled and marshaled and I felt that my kids were safe enough all the time. Only a number of spots are available per session so it is not over crowded and everyone will get a chance to play where they want to play.
I am not sure how kids younger than say 6 will find this (there were no really small kids there when we went) but surely for anyone older than 6 it will be great. In fact my boys have already asked for their birthday party to be there.

Disclaimer - we were not payed or asked or contacted by BounceInc in any way to do a review - we just feel the need to share the fun we had. This connects back to my July holiday fun post as no 2 on both A and C's lists of best holiday moments. 

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Featured blogger - July

Just before the month runs out that I featured Karen we decided to answer a few questions about ourselves.

- What was the best thing that happened to you in your life?
Having my two daughters! They have enriched my life tremendously!

- What is the worst thing that happened to you?
My eldest at age twelve wanted to go and live with her dad. I had to fight for her, although she was not impressed with me! (The very next year she changed her mind completely!)
 
- What is the funniest thing that happened to you?
Friends of my youngest asking at school if I am her grandmother. I can also cry about it! But that is what happens when you are an older mother! I prefer to laugh about it! 

- What is your best me-time activity?
Reading! Anything!

- What music starts playing on your phone when pressing the play button?
Goldfish: He's Crazy

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

I scream,l you scream, we all scream for ....Lego!

My kids are total Lego fans and so am I. So we really could not miss the Art of the brick expo. I was delighted when we won discount on Living Lionhearts Instagram feed. I set off on a Friday morning with 4 kids in tow (my 3 and A's BFF) on the Gautrain and was delighted to find that the station is right at the Expo (and so is Burger King - be warned). We entered and as per usual the kids rushed for audioguides. And then in to enjoy the expo.

The first is a little introductory section with odds and ends and then the big art section followed - possibly where we spent most of our time. I love the way he made some paintings into 3 dimensional works of art. I loved this section because it provided instant opportunity for impromptu art and art history lessons .





























Then follows other section about emotions, some famous faces etc.


And the one I loved most of all - the swimmer. Magical!



Right at the end is what the kids loved most of all  - a huge dinosaur build out of Lego.

This is followed by a freeplay Lego and Lego games area where my kids spent almost an hour building several Lego constructions of note.

My insights from the Expo - it is way smaller than I imagined and one sort of feels as if you should have seen more for the money. However the kids' enjoyment factor was right on spot for the price. I loved it too. Forget the audio guides - waste of money. Watch the intro movie at the start of it and go. It is way over the head for kids and I could not listen to the longwinded talks with 4 kids around me either.I do not think kids under 6 may enjoy it as much - keep in mind that it was originally intended as an art exhibition - he for instance added the dino for the kids. But most kids love it - it was for instance Mr L's favorite holiday activity!

It is still open until Sunday and worth the go it it suits your family. Plan some time for the kids to play after.

Friday, 24 July 2015

July holidays reflections

I always love to chat to my kids about the school holidays and what they enjoyed most. They often surprise me with what they choose and with how varied the 3 different choices are. It also gives one a great insight into what they really love and value. Often it's simpler and the less costly ones. You will find the April holiday's post here

So this morning we had a chat on our way to school about exactly this and I though I should let them choose 3 things as one just seemed to difficult a choice for such a long holiday choc full of activities.

A chose: 1. Seeing a huge pod of dolphins really close at Pollock beach in Port Elizabeth



               2. Bounce Inc
               3. Giving her friend K a little soft toy and flowers after her grandmother passed away and
                  that K still preferred to spend the two following days with her.
C chose: 1. Flying in and airplane for the first time
               2. Bounce Inc
               3. Finding a rare intact shell at Pollock beach,  Port Elizabeth declaring it his new favorite    beach


L chose: 1. The Lego exhibit currently on at The Zone, Rosebank
               2. Eating Burger King for the first time (he loved the bottomless soda machine)
               3. Playing soccer in an inflatable court at Something Good, Port Elizabeth

For me just being at the sea and spending time with the family is always a highlight. There is just something about the ocean and the bush that speaks to my heart.

I have to admit as per usual some of them were expected (Bounce Inc, the flying and the Lego) , some speak to their personalities (A choosing the reflection of a true a friendship and nature - she is a big lover of nature, C's choice of a place with beauty and a beautiful object and L's choice of a sport activity) and some took me by surprise (? Burger King  - really? - I though we were just filling our tummies before heading back on the Gautrain)

I thought I will share some of the activities we did the holidays in a few posts to follow. Although some of them are seasonal most can be experienced throughout the year.

Monday, 20 July 2015

Back to normality

And just like that the 3 week winter holidays are over. I have to say that it was a good one. It was good to be in PE, but we also had fun at home. It was great to have the relative warm Gauteng sun on us yesterday as we hiked up the koppie with the pups. Having the Au pair in a few days in the holidays to do some fun outings with the kids was really a huge help. They never complained about being bored and loved the odd days just being at home.


So its back for term 3 - one that always feels very long and very cold to me. It's also the term where we spend a few hours at the hockey fields - this year it will be for two kids as Mr L decided to join his sister in the hockey. It's also drama Eistedfodd, English speech festival and a lot of ballet practice. I am sure the rest of the activities will ask their fare share of attention.

Wishing you all a great 3rd term!

Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Trains, planes..... no automobiles

(Does anybody remember the movies Trains, planes and automobiles?)
Beautiful clouds from the plane
On short notice, we decided to take the chance to visit the grandparents in Port Elizabeth. When I looked at flights (not wanting to take the 2200 km per car with possible sleepovers) there were none to be found at an even reasonable cost - and I am talking expensive! In the area of R3000,00 per person. Not a possibility in the slightest for us . So the long in our minds idea of taking a train trip some time or another became the idea to do it now. It seems like a good idea. Overnight in a little bed in two compartments and in Port Elizabeth in the morning. So we booked on the Shosaloza Meyl to depart last Friday. All set and ready, I phoned on Thursday to confirm the bedding booking, only to be told that in fact, the PE train was not running on Friday. Due to a derailment of  a goods train on Wednesday night the tracks were damaged close to Cradok and the train will only run the next Wednesday. We were offered a full refund or a reschedule. There was no way we could reschedule as  we would have no time in PE. Before considering a car journey, I had a quick look at flights and lo and behold, good priced flights were to be found on Mango - but only on Monday morning and returning of Saturday. But we booked and we are here. It's great to be at the sea although it is freezing and the wind pumping. It was 13 degrees yesterday with an icy wind blowing but we stopped at our favorite Schoenmakerskop and made the most of it.


And above all it's great to see the family. Because that is what it's all about. To see L and Oups enjoying their shared love of sport. To have tea with Ouma and talk books. To lie in my ned last night and hear H and his dad talking till late. To see the joy and love on the faces of the kids and the Oupa and Ouma. Just to be here. It's great!

That is Hunter, taking a swim! 

Tuesday, 7 July 2015

Mr C has a new passion

Mr C has a passion to create - to draw, to paint and to make things. His latest passion are these foamboard models of famous buildings. These two has LED lights in the base that they stand on that lights them from the inside.It totally amaze me how well he does this - all on his own. He really needs no assistance in getting them build and completed.

It always amaze me how my children differ - each have their very own happy things and places and totally different ways of doing things. Point in question - taking them to spend their pocket money savings. They have been saving for months and months so they all had a good bit of money to spend.

L was easy - he immediately headed for the Lego - he is a huge Lego fan. In 3 minutes he made his choice (which was thankfully under his budget). A decided before hand that her Sylvanian families mice had to have a baby so the baby and a high chair for her was a given. She did however took a good 20 minutes debating on what else to get for them. Mr C! Oh gosh! 35 minutes of debating this and that and right at the till he changed his mind and swapped one item. Then it was Lego, the models, then a dinosaur model. Taking his inner Libra to the top level. In the end he settled on the models above and some very pretty marble ghoens. In those 32 minutes L almost lost his mind waiting for his siblings. Amazing how even twins can differ in the simple task of making choices.


Thursday, 2 July 2015

Featured blogger for July

I am delighted that the featured blogger of the month exchange is up and running again. I was even more delighted to get an old blogging friend of my, Karen at Mom again at 40 to feature. We have met in person and have been following each others blogs for years.

She is currently on a wonderful family adventure in the USA so have a look at the very interesting things she are posting at the moment. In general she talks about life as a working mommy with a student and a grade 1 girl child. She always has something worthwhile to read or share.


Tuesday, 30 June 2015

It's winter school holidays!

And we are just taking things a bit slower. Gosh, how I love it. How I love to be just that bit less stressed in the mornings (ok not stressed at all), to not worry about which time the kids go to bed in the evening. To have the flexibility to eat dinner later, to have friends over on a Sunday and not worry about when we all need to get things in order for school the next day.  Last night you could literally feel the whole family breathe, relax and just be happy and content.

We have nothing big planned for this week - Hunter and I are both working. But there is a visit with friends for the kids, movies today with the au pair. Maybe put put or ten pin later the week. We are just breathing a bit deeper, relaxing a bit more. It's great. Good thing too because work is in the hectic scale and I am very stressed at the moment. Luckily I can shed it all as I leave the office and look forward to love and laughter at home.

So how are you doing? And the school holidays?

Thursday, 25 June 2015

On printing those memories

I have talked here before about my love or memory keeping - (this post sums it up best I think), I love everything about it - taking the photos, keeping the notes, sorting through them and printing photos and then completing the pages in my Project Lie albums. Years ago I used to make photo books - they are lovely but I have found that the regular pockets of time Project Life requires suits me better than the big once off effort of making an end of year book does.

I love turning this (my notes every week on the let with photo numbers added and my planned layout on the right:

And this: (prints)

Into this: (Project life pages or the same week as the notes above)

To me it's therapeutic, it's creative and it's fast compared to traditional scrapbooking. I do think what a lot of moms forget is that photos on a computer or phone is just that  - never really looked at or shared. And certainly not by our children who make up most of those memories in any event. I can not begin to tell you how often they sit and page through either there albums or our older photo books and talk about things we did and places we went to . And with the celebrating the everyday that Project Life offers - the remembering of those everyday bits and pieces too.

It's true that this all costs a bit of money and takes time but its worth every cent and minute. I have been printing my photos at Qphoto for a long time as the quality is always great.  With this in mind I have to tell you of something quite wonderful I have found:
http://www.qphoto.co.za/
You can thank me later. And it's the honest truth - I ordered my first 60 (I only paid or 10) and collected it - in a little box with a contact sheet as in the photo above. They do deliver at a fee - that is still less that 50 prints in any event. So for a year you can order 50 free jumbo prints a month if you register now!( I was in no way asked to do this by Qphoto - I am sharing it or my readers to use) You are welcome. Please tell me if you use this and how you will be sharing your prints - frames, albums, for grandparents - it's 600 free jumbo prints over a year.

So lets print some photos and share the memories.