Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Oh my oh my

Yes, things are super busy, super crazy here.I am actually so stressed that I am struggling to eat. Yes, I am not a stress eater (thank goodness I guess).
  • I actually have travellers anxiety - well I have always had it but I have no idea why going on holiday stresses me out so much. Especially going to SanLameer like we are doing now - everything is there, if we forget something we can get it. Really, there is no reason at all. And yet I stress.
  • Work is super hectic - and quite possibly the main reason for my stress levels and the instigator for more than the usual vacation anxiety. I have so much to do and I am working so hard. But I trust that I will get all under control and that we can have a relaxed Friday afternoon packing before heading off. 
  • I am totally tired of the day to day run around, school stuff, remembering activities, early wake ups for kids. Only two days of school to go and we are there. 3 weeks of no worrying about homework, sport and all that. Bliss.
  • Waking up at the sea on Sunday morning is going to be pure happiness. Here's to much rest and relaxation and a great family time together. We always have a great time there. Not sure what the weather is going to be like, but we will take it all in our stride.
  • The Princess got her merit button on Monday - she is totally delighted (they need a certain amount of merits and then get a button to wear on their shirts) I am very proud of her as her teacher is very strict with awarding them. She also got a bit of money from us and together with a bit of savings, she increased the Zooble population in  the house by two, with hair..
  • The grade 1's had a "Come dress at school" day on Tuesday - all to do with their theme of being healthy this week. So they went to school in PJ's with clothes, hairbrushes and toothbrushes. There was much giggling as the teachers also pitched up in Pj's.
  •  The very great news is that both boys have been admitted into grade R at our school next year - I am much relieved. We will work through grade R and decide about our road ahead about this time next year. Here's hoping L keep progressing at this rate for the next year.
  • Mr L's annual check up at the specialist opthamologist has been moved from August to October - turns out the good doc has been very sick. I feel rather sick about this as his frame is really tired and to wait so much longer. I am literally calling every morning for a possible cancellation
  • I went to film the exam sequence on Monday with the DVD camera for the Princess' ballet exam. Gosh, I am once again astounded by what these girls are suppose to remember and do well with their little 7 year old bodies and minds. And Louisa, just for you - these are the character skirts I was referring to earlier. Gosh, they are pretty with all the different coloured ribbons - the girls are loving it. Possibly just a bit less than the necessary stomping with their little heeled black character shoes.
  • We tried our best to give our Superdad the very best Fathersday but the poor guy was man down for the day - a virus got the better of him and yet he braaied for us all as he planned. Because that is the type of daddy he is. All for us. We did spoil him with little hand made gifts form each of the kids - I especially love that the Princess' class made the whole key holder themselves from using a wood saw to drilling the holes for the hooks.The Superman mug is for our Superdad, filled with his favorite choccies.

 So my friends, this post has taken me most of the day to do as I start to type, get interrupted, work work, and then come back. Trust you are well - I will have to catch up on a lot of blog reading some time.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Here's to the man...

  • That makes us giggle constantly
  • That gives the very best cuddles
  • That holds us tight when we struggle to sleep
  • That comforts when the day gets too long
  • That keeps us safe
  • That encourage us to take part and be the best we can be
  • That always makes sure we know that our best is good enough
  • That takes us on adventures
  • That sacrifice his time 
  • That reads the best sleeptime stories
  • That knows "one mole digging a hole" by heart
  •  That patiently listen to grade 1 reading
  • That patch our bike tyres
  • That patch little hearts that gets hurt
  • That loves us to no end.
We love you to the moon and back dad!

Happy Fathers day to the very best dad in the world
(and the very best hubby too)

Thursday, 14 June 2012

So you want to bake too?

It seems a popular request to post last weekend's Apple Pie and Malva poeding recipies - so without further delay the malva poeding - will do the apple pie when I have a few minutes again)

My mom's malva poeding - it makes a nice moist and saucy poeding - serve with custard or vanilla ice cream
 Pre heat the oven to 180 deg C (356 F) and grease a oven proof dish of medium size.
Ingredients for dough:
20 ml (4 teaspoons) butter
250 ml (1 cup) caster sugar
2 eggs
12,5 ml (2 and a half teaspoons) apricot preserve/ jam
5 ml (1 teaspoon) baking soda
125 ml milk (half a cup)
5 ml brown vinegar (1 teaspoon)
250 ml (1 cup) cake flour, sifted with a pinch of salt.

Cream the butter and sugar. Mix eggs in one by one. Add apricot jam. Mix baking soda into the milk and add the vinegar. Add to the butter mix in turns with the sifted flour. Bake for approx. 45 minutes until a knife comes out clear.

In the meantime, make the sauce:
250 ml (1 cup) pouring cream
180 ml (3/4 cup) sugar
125 grams butter (4 oz)
125 ml (1/2 cup) boiling water
5ml (1 teaspoon) vanilla essence
Mix all together and heat until boiling. Pour hot over baked pudding as you remove from the oven.

Hope you enjoy it!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

A freezingly cold weekend.

In all honesty, although a lot happened this weekend, I will mainly remember it for the cold. And I did tell you I wanted to bake, and yes, baking I did.

But, let's recap, mainly in photos:

Friday night was spent munching home made pizzas and watching a DVD with the family. (I buy dough at Spar and make pizzas)

I baked chocolate muffins for breakfast
  The kids ended up getting huge cabin fever and I was fearing an episode of sibling murder. I have once again realized that we are certainly neither geared nor used to extremely cold weather. So when we dropped off the Princess at a party at 11 (stylishly dressed below in warm winter garb), I took an emergency detour to the Spur with my boys (the plan was our little market but it was way too cold)
Returning from the Spur in time to prepare for our friends (Hunter had a me-time morning) this was the temperature:
Blurry shot, I know, and not cold for a lot of my overseas friends, but freezing for us for a mid day temperature.We stopped at our local Spar for some braai goodies and got plenty of smiles - looking at my boys at the checkout I realized why! They can be so bloody cute all dresses in Springbok grear

We then had our family friends S&I and the girls over for the first Springbok rugby match of the season and a braai. The boys insisted on some SA national pride sporting their Boks shirts and a painted flag each. And the Boks won! Take it England!

Bake no 2 for the weekend happened for desert that night - my mom's apple pie. A fairly well known recipe but my mom always make it.
On Sunday morning it was possibly even colder - the wind chill factor must have brought the temperature way down and only Hunter and the Princess went to church. The boys and I stayed in, the kids all had a short nap and Hunter made a divine Blouwildebees potjie which our friends came to enjoy at 4pm on Sunday - they left before 7 so it was fine for a "school night". The kids were in bed right on time .

This time I baked my 3rd treat for the weekend - traditional Malva poeding - also my mom's recipe. Possibly the quintessential South African desert.
I loved baking so much this weekend - it was really great, not only eating it, but seeing others enjoying it.

Anybody need the recipes? And did you bake or cooked something great this weekend? How was your weather?

Edited to add (and proove Marcia's point): Temperature this morning: (see the little snowflake next to the temperature?)

Friday, 8 June 2012

Some random stuff

Hey, how have you all been? Yes, I have been quiet but really, life is hectic at the moment. So, some bullet points for the Friday:

  • I went to the school's open day and they kept the 2013 grade R parents back to explain the new system - in place in our school and several others next year but by law in 2014. So yes, we will technically have 3 kids in Primary school next year. It almost feels as if someone had "stolen" a year of my boys' childhood. However, we were assured that they will still be treated as the 5 year olds they are and will not wear school clothes just yet. 
  • I am totally happy that they will have many of the Primary school privileges - amongst that chess as part of the Curriculum from grade R now and will participate in the Revue next year.
  • I at last have picked up on the kids' cold for the first time this winter - I am fighting it with Septogard and early to bed times. I am hoping that, like the Princess, mine will be very short lived.
  • It is very cold at the moment and I hear tomorrow we will have a maximum of 13 degrees C. I know, for some of my non SA readers this seems warm - for us this is bloody cold. 
  • Hunter is now a Gautrain regular to and from work - I love how for the first time ever we have clean, safe and reliable public transport. 
  • Tomorrow is the first Springbok rugby match for the season - we will support our Boks. I have manged to find T shirts for the kids who have all outgrown last season's. Actually we have used them for the last two seasons.
  • Work is hectic - I do not seem to get on top. Enough said.
  • I really feel like crafting something, or baking something. Just making something.
  • I realized today that in just 2 weeks we will be heading for a blissful week in KZN. Which also means that we have only 2 weeks of school left for this term.
  • Before then I have to get the boys' admission forms in and all Mr L's reports etc together.
Best I get working again! Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Do not believe the box....

when it says: "Easy to assemble. Well, actually, we all know that but somehow we cling onto that myth time and again just to once again....ugh!. On Sunday the boys got big boy bikes (big excitement!) but they came in boxes, to be assembled at home. And yes, there was some frustration involved. What I can tell you is that there is a learning curve to assembling a bicycle and the second one took about a quarter of the time that the first one took.
What I can also tell you is that it took the boys one go up the driveway (quite a steep incline) and down to master the basics, and away they were.

The Princess got a hockey stick and ball due to her huge enthusiasm and good performance after her first hockey tournament. Yes, she had exactly two practices, and on Saturday played her first mini hockey tournament. And no, it's not because she is great or anything, everybody gets a chance as long as they have mastered the basic skills which thanks to last year's Playball, she did. She LOVED the hockey and went into the first game as a forward and was used in the second game as the same position. She enjoyed being in the thick of things, right at the ball and had huge fun.

Speaking of that, we had a taste this Saturday of possible future weekends to come - while I was with the Princess at the mini hockey tournament, Hunter and the boys attended their first rugby day. It was super cute and the boys had lots of fun, especially playing a game against their dads after their game and having the chance to tackle dad. The boys played against each other and true to their personalities according to Hunter. L was right there int he thick of things while C waited away from the action to steal the ball and score two tries. Regardless of it all, they loved it.

It is our philosophy to not only encourage an active lifestyle as a family, walking together, cycling and playing ball etc at home, but also to encourage our kids to do sport at school. We will never pressurize them into doing something specific (apart from swimming which we feel is a life skill and safety issue more than just a sport), but as long as they try their very best and enjoy and participate in some sport, we are happy parents.

So what is your take on sports and the kids? And what did you do this weekend?

Monday, 4 June 2012

Sometimes success is totally unexpected.

On Friday I watched my slightly reserved and often shy daughter get onto a stage and transform from a little girl into a clever little bunny. I stood amazed at the confidence, the faultless delivery and the total absorption in the moment.
To think the idea of drama was sort of an after thought when she did not get chosen for the choir. As a tool to breed more self confidence only. Their teacher even warned us not to expect too much as it was their very first performance and the technique is not really perfect.
But they did so well and got an A+. I loved the judge's comment that she could "see" there was a bunny on the stage.

I am in total awe of the amazing teacher they have that has managed to do so much with these little grade 1 girls.

It has done so much to boost her self confidence. And I am so very very proud of her.
Often one thinks you know what your children will like to do or be good at, but sometimes they surprise us. I am so very thankful for this bit of triumph after last Friday's disappointment. I am also thankful that she enjoyed her first hockey games on Saturday - but more about that later this week.

Do you know what your children will like or be good at? Or did they surprise you too?