Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Wedding bells

On Friday we had the most beautiful family wedding. Our very own little Princess played her role so well as the smallest flower girl in the wedding party. Such a special day in every little girl's life if they get the chance. She enjoyed every little detail from the hair, dressing with the bride and the bridesmaids to the actual wedding. I love how their dresses were different but the same too. How the colours went with the bridesmaids dresses and their little corsages around their arms. I love how she sat at the table with the maid of honour and other flower girl and not with us. She was just so grown up and she literally glowed the whole day.

I also loved that the Boys were there. While Mr L did not really enjoy the heaps of strange people and all the things going on, Mr C was totally enjoying every moment. My word, how grown up he was! He sat at the table with his sister and not with us.  He went to ask the Maid of honour for a dance right after her date brought her back to the table after their first dance together ( just after the bride and groom's first dance) After that he had the honour of being the first man apart from the groom to dance with the bride!

We did not stay too late- we had two of the grannies to drop off and a very tired Mr L but we all had fun and I am sure the kids will never forget the day.

As thank you gifts they had a sweetie buffet and very pretty bags with Afrikaans phrases. The kids loved their party packs.

 Btw we had the best weekend ever this weekend. Just so relaxing, calm and peaceful. But more about that later. How was your weekend?

Thursday, 25 April 2013

One day I want to be....

Mr C: An astronaut - a change from the usual doctor or chef but really no surprise from a Space obsessed boy and one that had Space for a theme at school last week.
Miss A: A veterinary surgeon (gosh I think we have been on that one for the last 4 years) or a doctor but also someone that "does pretty horse riding in competitions - not jumping - thus dressage)
Mr L: A fireman - still. Really he has a slight obsession with this.
As part of our Project Life album I ask the kids one question every weekend - something to add to the album to keep those memories for us.

So the next 2 days are going to be very busy - this afternoon sees the first mini netball tournament and I am going with A - I may not be able to go to the others this year but my workload at the moment is such that I can go. In the end they chose and A team and a combined B/C team that will swap out - a good decision I think for the little ones and A is happy as best bud K is also in the same team. We did have a long talk to her last night about sportsmanship and the importance of participation. My hubby rocks at these things - really he is just way better than I am.

Tomorrow is our cousins big day - her wedding day. But it is also a big day for our Princess - quite possibly the only time she will be a flower girl - she is hugely excited. I am so happy that the weather is looking way better than last weekend. I am popping into the office to do something that will come in this afternoon late and I have to process tomorrow, but after that I am picking her up at school for hair (with the other flower girl) and dressing etc. with the bride at the venue. Hunter and the Boys will meet us at the wedding venue - I am so excited that the little boys will be there too and Mr C is apparently going to dance with the Maid of honour and the Bride. (well I did hear the Maid of honour asking both the boys for a dance - so it will be totally cute).

Hope you all have a great weekend! (BTW I accidentally went - "mark all as read" in Bloglovin - gosh its so easy to do that. So apologies if I missed something big)

Tuesday, 23 April 2013

This weekend...

 While Hunter was in the bush and we had heaps and heaps of rain and sudden cold on Saturday we:

Met friends at the local Spur as the horse riding was totally rained out. The kids had a blast and we had more than 2 hours of happy entertained kids and Spur's R20 breakfast.

 We visited my mom to pick up A's flower girl dress for Friday's wedding and had some tea. The boys were totally silly and over energized.

Crafted - Miss K was visiting and the girls painted rings - the boys painted wooden aeroplanes (still to be assembled.

I also did a nice bit of decluttering which made me totally happy - a 9/10 one.

 After Miss K left the Princess used a take away container, pipe cleaners, a feather and glitter to make a dog and a garden and pool for her doggy. I love the creativity. Totally imagined by her. She then tied it with a ribbon and opens it to play with.

Sunday dawned still rainy so we had "pannekoek": for breakfast - the SA version of crepes - with sugar and cinnamon.
After church and  a quick trip to the shops we had a lovely day at home as the rain stopped and the sun peaked out at times. We played hopscotch and drew on the paving with chalk

  Played with our puppies

Saw the chrysanthemums bloom and the first ripe lemons on the lemon tree. We then baked cupcakes with lemon frosting - Hunter's favorite to welcome him home.

We also had a visit from the bride to be and her mom, unfortunately to collect a plant A went to get at the church's "we care" inititative for the groom- who in a freak accident broke his arm on Saturday night and was being operated on Sunday afternoon. Luckily we had some cupcakes to console the bride. Yes, the wedding will go on - arm and all. (and no it was not a bachelors party or anything like that). They also brought little Dareus along to play with our puppies who were so good with him.

It was a good weekend, even though the weather was rather unpleasant - it was however great to welcome Hunter home Sunday night with a roast chicken meal who shared this beautiful image of the mist over the valley in Pilansberg on Sunday morning. (BTW they saw a leopard - such a  great sight)
 So how was your weekend?

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The way we see ourselves

We as woman often see ourselves in such a negative light - we would dwell on the bits we do not like, try to better them. Think of the fat around our tummies before we see the good calves we have. Dwell upon not full enough or too full lips forgetting our striking eyes. The list goes on.

Even the Princess at 8 is starting to get critical about herself - I often hear that she thinks she is too tall (and too thin) - when grade 1's think she is a grade 4 and ask advice. When her friends remark that she is so very tall. She once told me that she was never a cute grade 1 because she was too tall. Believe me, we try to focus on the positive of being tall. And although she is often told she is pretty by others she certainly does not think she is. But there's a fine line between being humble (like we want our children to be) and not seeing our own prettiness. Believing ourselves to be less attractive than we are. I guess it is a balance to teach our kids, and especially our girls as certainly the beauty label does not fall so heavy on our boys, that you are pretty and awesome in your own right without spurring on vanity.

I think this also goes down on us as mothers and how we see ourselves. A negative self image can not possibly create a positive one for our daughters. So let's rejoice in our frizzy hair, too big chins, too narrow lips and too round faces. In our flabby thighs and too narrow shoulders. Let's see ourselves positive. Let's break the negative cycle.Because hec, living up to Barbie is still not possible Let's face it generations of woman have failed - let's help this one to know they do not need to measure up to the impossible. That there is beauty in all of us - we just need to see it.

And please have a look at this - it may just inspire you to see yourself in a different light.
You are beautiful, you may just not see it as others do.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

So how do we explain this crazy world?

Yesterday I collected a very teary Princess from school - it transpires she may play C team netball this year (which truly I am as proud of as if she would have played A team - to us it is about doing your best and participating). It is difficult to help them through the learning curve of competitive sport but it is a great analogy for life in general. I dealt with it with exactly the attitude I described above and hope that it helps. Without doubt there will be more tears today or tomorrow when the teams get announced.

But that was not all. Then she said she heard that an 8 year old boy (her exact age) died in a bomb explosion in America at a marathon. Yes, even at the back end of the world in South Africa we are deeply touched with the Boston bombings.She cried a bit about this too - which possibly was just an extension of the previous tears but then inevitably the questions come. "Who did this?""Why do people do things like this?" "Are they bad people? "And the most difficult one of all "Why does God allow people to do horrible things like this?"  Luckily for me these are easier to answer than the questions she asked in 2011 about the Tsunamis and earthquakes in Japan. It's easier to deal with bad people than trying to explain why God allows natural disasters.

We have always tried to shield our children from the worst horrors in the news of the day but at some age they have to hear it. From grade 1 current news is discussed in the class. They have to learn how to keep an ear on current affairs and know what is happening around them. The difficult part is explaining and helping them deal with this crazy world we are living in. Really I am not sure I am always doing it as well as one should. I do feel that I dealt with the Boston story as well as I could yesterday. I think she worked through it in her mind.

But I do expect a fresh flow of tears about it concurrent with the netball news. But I guess that is how we as woman are wired in any event.

My question to you is how do you deal with the horrors of the world around us or are planning to deal with it? And with competitive sport?

(BTW - I have last week's (week 15) Project Life post up here)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

What a good weekend looks like:

  • Seeing a beautiful rainbow on our way to fetch A at a party on Friday afternoon after a day of rain.
  • Chatting to the hubby while each of us works on a hobby on Friday night while the kids sleep
  • Taking A to the first hockey clinic of the season while hubby takes the boys to horse riding. Seeing their enthusiasm for the respective activities.
  • Getting a huge decluttering task out of the way - possibly the best bit of the weekend. To motivate I give myself a "feel good" factor rating after a declutter activity - this one scored a 10/10. Made me so totally happy.
  • The kids totally entertaining themselves while I declutter away - no fighting, no crying. Just happiness.
  • Spending a relaxed Saturday evening while treating the kids to the Golden Arches, we watching rugby, they watching movies.
  • Finishing two books over the weekend! That makes me totally happy and being on track with my reading goals really thrills me.
  • Having a good church service with well behaved kids
  • Seeing once again how much they love our puppies. There was a cuddle fest going on Sunday morning.
  • A good and hearty but quick Sunday lunch. How I adore the gass braai we have and all the good food the hubby makes on it.
  • Taking my mom to coffee and cake on Sunday afternoon at a tea garden and seeing the kids enjoying themselves at the playground.
  • Seeing the 10 Egyptian geese goslings (but gosh, they are big now) of the retirement village padding up the street. 
  • Getting my Project Life planning done on Sunday evening, journalling cards written - just getting the photos printed today.
So what are the ingredients for a good weekend in your books? And did this one make it?

I very seldom talk about current affairs but my heart goes out to all that are affected in the Boston Marathon Bombings. Life is too short. Enjoy every minute.

Friday, 12 April 2013

This is just a wee bit scary.

I am always amazed at how fast the kids learn new concepts and take in new information. MR C was very excited to tell me all about wheat and baking last night. But some go faster or slower than others. Last night it was the Princess and the next 3 public holidays to come - learning the dates and why we celebrate them. It was no easy job but thanks to Hunter she got it down. Let's suffice to say that concepts like Soweto, trade unions and apartheid was all in the mix. 

BTW for those that asked - she maintains that the new teacher is very strict but she seems ok for now.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

At the moment....

I am not loving:
  1. The sudden cold weather
  2. Blocked noses and sniffles in the house
  3. Our alarm that went off twice last night
  4. Kids waking up from said alarm and not finding sleep easily again
  5. Me finding sleep even less easily than said Mr C
  6. My thinning hair, spotty skin and breaking nails (and yes, I am taking a supplement which smells horrible but forcing it down)
  7. Twitter - I have never been and will never be a tweeter of note. Too much noise, too much time, way too much over sharing.
 I am totally loving:
  1. Bloglovin - I lived in complete denial that Google reader was about to disappear and then when some other bloggers reported theirs just shut off I had to try something else. I totally love Bloglovin and have totally moved to it. The iPad (or rather it's and iPone app) on the other hand can do with some improvement.
  2. Chipstix from Simba- oh yeah! Totally over salted and vingegared. I think my blood pressure may be a tad low at the moment as I crave this.
  3. Lego - which is just as always stunning. The Princess and the Lion played for hours on Sunday.
  4. Project life - it feeds my need to be a memory keeper - it also feed my need for a tad of creativity. And it really takes max 30 minutes a week (including travel to the print shop). I will do a post on how to do this with very little time and money. To see my Project life album go to Captured by Cat
  5. The new Cinnamon core kit from Project Life - I really did not plan on buying another (I bought the Cherry edition initially and there are loads of freebies around) but this one is simply stunning. The graphics are exactly what I like.
  6. Reading - but I am totally not reading enough at the moment. I fall asleep way before I read just a few pages. 
  7. Goodreads - love it! Simply love it.
  8. Zambuk salve - the cherry one. Heals lips, elbows, heels
  9. Creche Guard's Omega 3 Brainfuel chews - at last, one that all 3 kids eat willingly!
  10. And Mr L's "Ek is lief vir jou" (I love you) that keeps popping up more regularly.
So what are you not loving and loving at the moment?

Tuesday, 9 April 2013

So today is back to school for term 2

I had two very happy and excited boys who just could not wait to see their much beloved teachers. I also had one slightly teary and stressed Princess who had to face a new teacher. Gosh and did the older kids make them all fear this apparent very strict teacher? I for one am happy that she will be their teacher as she is one of the trusty "old hands" at school. We did all we could last night and this morning to re assure her and I am so sure that this afternoon we will have positive feedback from her.

The weekend had a sick Hunter and sick Lion in our household but the boys did get their horse riding done. The Princess had a fitting for her flower girl dress (looks very cute) and she and I attended the kitchen tea on Saturday late afternoon. We had lots of fun of which the least was not the photo booth. The theme was great - she is marrying a pilot and the girls used "Bon Voyage" as a theme - I made some "Air Ingrid" (obviously her name is Ingrid) stuff for the party on Photoshop. The best was that it was a total surprise for her. She even made cupcakes for what she thought was her sister's birthday tea.

Sunday was filled with a visit to her mom's to give her the photos I took and to play with her Great Dane puppy. Gosh he loved the kids and they loved him. They played him into a long nap.

For the rest their was lots of Lego and play dough happening and general playing outside. The kids also did their usual bit of garden work.

Well, it's back to remembering activities, packing lunches, getting school stuff ready and waking up that half hour earlier. Onwards and upwards!

Friday, 5 April 2013

Busy, busy and more busy

Things are rather busy at work but much calmer at home. We are hoping for a relatively relaxed weekend - we have the usual horse riding for the boys and then the Princess and I will be attending a kitchen tea. I have been helping with some of the decorations (my thing really) but will show you more next week.

So not much content here today but I did put up my Project Life post of the last 3 weeks up at my other blog if you want to take a look. I have a post coming up about doing Project Life on the run - really if you ever had any doubt in your mind that you could do it - you can. Really, you need about 20 minutes a week. I will tell you how.

Hope you enjoy your weekend. It is all of a sudden slightly chilly here - Autumn is definitely here and winter is showing it's teeth. Oh dear, how I wish for an endless summer.

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

The things we do for our kids.

I have a terrible, irrational fear of snakes. In fact, I can hardly look at a picture of one without feeling slightly nauseous and disorientated. I think it has its roots in my childhood growing up on a large smallholding with heaps of snakes in the area. I will never forget the day I opened my cupboard door as a 6 year old and saw a puff adder amongst my shoes. Therefore I avoid the reptile section at the zoo and parks with snakes etc. I have however been very careful not to let that fear show in front of my kids. The Princess knows I do not like snakes, but that's it. Mr L has a rather irrational fear of all reptiles (which seem to be getting a lot better) but I add that one as just one of his quirks - after all he also had one for the lawnmower.

On Saturday I went to a party with Mr C - the invite was in the form of a bat so I really did not expect what took place on the day. After some play and cake and candles, a "creepy creatures" show took place. They were shown and was allowed to touch a bullfrog (what a beautiful animal), a 2 week old crocodile, a baby blue monkey, baby raccoon and tortoises. The guy doing the show was brilliant and gave a whole lot of educational info to the kids.

Then it came! He asked us all to sit on one wall and went about 10 meters away and brought out a puff adder, followed later by a cobra. The kids were all dead quiet and far away as he asked. Although not comfortable with this I stayed far back in the crowd and coped. Then he asked the kids if he can bring out a snake they can touch. A huge "yes" came from the crowd. And out he brought a Boa constrictor. After all the info he came close and told the kids they could touch if their parents came with them. Little enthusiastic C who was one of only a few kids to touch every single animal on offer before immediately grabbed my hand to go. So this mommy swallowed hard, sent up a prayer to be strong and touched the snake. I think my heart stopped for a few seconds and I felt physically ill. But I am proud I did it. Looking at the picture still makes my tummy turn but at the same time I feel incredibly proud of myself.

My dear C, if you read this sometime in the future, please know mommy loved you enough to do this. To Uranus and back, including touching a snake along the way.

So please tell me you have also done something totally out of your comfort zone for your  kids and btw have you ever touched a snake?

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A busy Easter weekend

Easter is the start of Autumn in our little corner of the world.

Our Easter weekend was filled with my BIL and SIL's visit from Cape Town, their friends, a party with Mr C (more about that later this week) and a big family get together on Sunday. In fact, it felt like Christmas without crackers and some white Easter eggs on the table in stead. 10 adults and 7 kids - a noisy but fun day. There was the traditional Easter egg hunt, lots of playing and laughing. I have to say that I am tired today and I think so are most of the members in our household but it was great to see new bonds formed as especially the 5 cousins got to know each other better.
We made these simple baskets out of party tubs, some cotton wool for tails and free printables on the sides. Quick, easy and cute and the kids loved making these.
 It's the first year that the Easter bunny had some help in our household as the Princess went to hide the eggs. Yes, as with Christmas Father she now knows and loved being able to help (although the finding part was way less fun for her)
Btw these Nesquick bunnies are delicious.

It's sad that we live so far apart and that it is so costly to get together as families more often. But I do feel that we have established bonds between the kids, made new memories to last for a while and we will see to it that we do get together in December again.The kids bonded so well with their cousins, especially M. Mr S is only 16 months so although they played a lot with him, the emotional bonds were formed with M.

 We had a little farewell breakfast at our local Wimpy yesterday, after which they had a short play time at home and then the goodbye part. A left with Hunter to take them to the airport while the boys and I had a little outing. Hunter made the 4 oldest kids one of these:
A slept with her family stone last night as I hear M has. As the longing gets too much, they will look at these and remember our hearts meet in the middle somewhere.