Friday 30 January 2015


Last night I went to bed at 8:20. I thought I would read a bit but it turns out that I rather slept an uninterrupted 9 hours and 10 minutes. I obviously need the sleep. And its all part of what my word for the year is about.
This year's word had no long thinks, reasoning etc around it. In fact, I stood on the beach on New Years day realizing that I had not even given my word of the year much thought. "Brave" served me extremely well last year and encouraged me a lot. This year is going to be tough, like last year but I need a bit more for myself, as do my hubby. We need a bit of sun to shine on us too in order to be the parents and the family we want to be. "Nurture" just came to me there and then - I grabbed the phone, wrote the words, took the picture and they were promptly washed away seconds later.
Nurturing our children comes naturally to us all. But this year I need to do it with even more conscience- L will need a lot of help to get him well on the track in his school career, C will need to build on confidence and A is in grade 4 that means she will need to get the serious school stuff like study and tests going. We also need to nurture time together and doing things that we love together.

But apart from that I also need to nurture for my own happiness:

My Hunter - my rock, my knight , my love. We had a tough and sick start to the year with this horrible chest thing.

Family - so very very precious. I need to nurture all those relationships even if they do not always come so easy as friendship.

Friendship - I was a terrible friend last year. Things just fell by the wayside of the troubles the year had. I need to nurture existing ones, rebuild others, maybe make new friends.

I need to nurture my relationship with God - learn more, pray more, read more, listen more.

Our house - it needs a lot of nurturing this year. Enough said.

I also need to nurture myself because I need my bit of sun too. An extended nights sleep is a good start. Doing things I enjoy talk to my soul - painting, Project life etc. I also intend to look better after my body - exercise, eat right etc.

So there's my word for the year. Do you have one?

Wednesday 28 January 2015

2 Weeks on....

School started 2 weeks ago today and as far as possible we have all settled in well.
Grade 4 school bag and roster

A is over her first fluttry moments in grade 4 but after last nights' parent information meeting about grade 4 I am not so sure I am ready. However we will tackle this - first project this weekend. First test in less than 2 weeks. She is continuing with all the extra murals and has very eagerly added Science club (only from grade 4 on) to her activities. It look very educational and like huge fun.

C has a lovely teacher - she is all about emotional development in grade 2 which honestly is an easy academic year if they can already read their second language. She has already noted that he can already read English and has started with supplementary English reading. He seem to be a bit unsure about some of his extra mural activities but I am sure as time goes it will sort itself out.

L is surprising us all - including his teacher. I have to say its very early days and I am in the back of my mind expecting trouble but who knows? She says he is her most obedient boy in the class. I am more worried he will miss things but we are working with her and the au pair to catch anything that may come up. It's wonderful to talk to a teacher that has first hand experience (her own grade 3 son has ADHD) and know what you are talking about before you even explain. He has very enthusiastically started with cricket - now that he has contact lenses it may just be a possible sport for him. The coach informed me that without a doubt he is his most serious/enthusiastic grade 1 cricketer.
Friday's sunset was beautiful

The au pair seem to be working out well for us most of the time. The kids adore being home more. I love that I get home a full 3/4 hour earlier and can cook then and not have the stress even over weekends of cooking a whole week in advance. We also all seem to be in a much more relaxed easier space. It's early days - but I think we have a winner.

So how has your first week or weeks been?

BTW we went to see Paddington - my what a great great movie. I would guess for kids about 4 and older and all adults its a must see. Just see that face below!
Also - I after the heat I am totally loving this soft, cool , rainy day

Tuesday 20 January 2015

A girly horse party

We have a  horse mad 10 year old - as I guess a lot of girls her age are. Hence we had a horse party at the stables where the kids ride. But, as she pointed out, it had to be a girly one. So with the stable owner we settled on a grooming party and for decor, we headed into the vintage type look to provide a bit of retro pretty with a girly turquoise (her favorite colour) and hot pink accents - mostly in polka dots. She was involved in most of the decor and making the decorations, the choice of sweets for the sweetie buffet , making the rice crispie and chocolate drops and she helped to bake and decorate her own cake.

It was by far the easiest, quickest decor I have ever done for a party. But let me show you:
The party table with the Candy buffet
The cake - a red velvet cake with pink velvet icing on top of blue velvet cake with velvet icing.
And the inside
We used the lovely ponies/horses that the kids got for Christmas as part of the decor and used lots of doillies for the vintage touch. I also managed to get beautiful horse themed cupcake holders that we used as part of the rosettes on the party packs and to server the chocolate drops in. For the rest we used cardboard horses I bought at a craft shop, horse stickers and a variety of ribbons.

Some details of the candy buffet - I used containers I had apart from two tin buckets I bought for next to nothing at the farm shop. The tins are old milo tins that I used for last year's lego party for the boys too. The glass containers are my coffee, tea etc jars in the kitchen.

This time we bought some sweets for their looks - all the pastel colours like love mottos, milk bottles, funny faces, jelly hearts and the  UFO type lollypops that you can clearly in the very first photo of this post in the glass bottle.

The rest of the catering was super easy - hot dogs for the hunger and loads of cooldrink and water. Having no parents and older kids sure has benefits.

The girls had heaps of fun - they could ride around the arena taking turns until they had enough (this came sooner than we thought but at 33 degrees C and in the sun it may be no surprise). Then they had a class in grooming the horses and in teams 4 horses were groomed. Then one of the grooms showed them how to plait a tail and mane and they then proceeded to treat the horses as real life "my little ponies" with ribbons and plaits to their hearts content. Then a white horse stayed behind and the girls had fun drawing on him with crayons. Most of them named this as the highlight of the day.

Following on my previous post of our Candy Buffets up to now (if you have not seen it - go and have a look - it gives you a nice idea of what to do and what not to - tried and trusted)

What was offered:
Home made rice crispie cookies, homemade chocolate drops, sparkles, chomps, love mottos, milk bottles, funny faces, kit kats, elegance fruit toffeas (3 types), fruit toffee strips, jelly tubes, lucky charm sherbet, ufo lollies, coconut marshmallow - hay bales! and  jelly hearts. We also had icies because of the heat.

One has to take into account that all the girls went to the party with us and it was only us two, one of the girl's parents that are friends of ours and our au pair - so the grown up factor is sort of out.

Total hits: Sherbet (after years of this this is no surprise) and rice crispie cakes (after the boys' party this is also no surprise ).Also all those ufo lollypops were eaten mostly right there and then. I never buy lollypops anymore as they are so unpopular but it seems this type is the exception. We bought them mainly because the fit into the pastel theme.

Miss: The coconut marshmallows. Just shows that it was the parents that polished them at the boys' horse farm party.

Favorite moment: The dad that was at the party tasted funny faces for the first time on his daughters' insistence. He left our house that night with an extra unopened bag I had - he loved them.

It was wonderful to see how much the girls enjoyed the party - there were many thanks yous, and we loved it, and I want to ride toos....

Monday 19 January 2015

Back to school 2015

So the first half week of school went by in the blink of an eye.  Not a single tear anywhere in sight.

Mr L in grade 1 is surprising us by coping well in the same school the other two attend. His teacher is very happy at this stage. It's early days  - here's hoping it will be an ongoing trend.

Mr C in grade two is as happy as can be. He adores his new teacher and has one of his 3 best buddies in his class. Being a rather shy little boy this means the world to him.

The Princess is extremely happy with a wonderful home room teacher. She was slightly apprehensive about today as they started to change classes for the first time and will get the anticipated huge amounts of homework from today.

Things are really different this year for us. Not being able to place Mr L in the school we wanted meant that we had to change the way we have been doing things. Up to now the kids have all attended aftercare at school. This has worked really well for us a most activities are based at the school. The other two also coped well with the group approach to homework at the aftercare but we knew that Mr L would need one on one attention with it - and possibly with things that were taught in class. So we employed an au pair to help us with all 3 kids. This is an added bonus that A in grade 4 will now be able to study at home where she has her own space and without a doubt a quieter environment. I really hope this works out well for our little family.

Wednesday 14 January 2015

When you really want to go to the Spur for your birthday but they are not allowed to sing to you.

These are no 5 shoes!
So a certain Princess had her tenth birthday on Sunday. Gosh 10! Double digits. Fair and square a pre teen. I love so much about our daughter - she is a passionate animal lover, has the greatest heart for those less fortunate and will always fight for the underdog. She always try to find the beauty in anyone and everything.

But I can see that she is finding herself a bit in the "neither fish nor flesh" category. For Christmas her biggest wish was a Barbie - as she herself said, most probably her last Barbie and she had very specific requirements for her. She loved her and played a lot with her Barbies - with both her 6 year old cousin and totally on her own. I love that she still plays with her Barbies because some of the girls her year are really starting to loose every little bit of what makes a little girl. I am quite happy for her to be on the less mature side of all this.

For her birthday however she had the very special request of "a proper Swatch watch" and she knew exactly which one she wanted. She did not mind that all the family contributed to make this dream come true. I know she will look well after it.

She also still wanted to go to the Spur for her birthday lunch (a chain of kiddy friendly restaurants) but asked us very specifically not to tell them it's her birthday so that, heaven forbids, they come with sparklers to sing for her.

So I guess we are warming up to what may be more challenging years - I am hoping that she will stay as sweet and kind as she is through all this.

Happy birthday sweet girlchild. Love you to the moon and back.

Tuesday 13 January 2015

Its been a bit more than a month since my last blogpost

In all honesty I also did not read a single blog in the time - or if it I did it was an exception. Not that I can think of any. So I went into Bloglovin this morning and went "mark all as read - 554 posts" and that's it. A fresh 2015 start. Its good to take a break from all this too.

Sardinia bay, Port Elizabeth new years morning.
I went back to work, Hunter did last week and the kids are starting tomorrow. Grade 1 for a calm Mr L, grade 2 for a very confident Mr C and grade 4 for a slightly nervous Princess.

We had a great break apart from a very stupid coughing thing H and I picked up over the holidays and are still recovering from. We spent a week at home, 2 weeks with the family in Port Elizabeth and the last week at home again. Yes, we had really not so great weather in Port Elizabeth, but that can be expected as it is really the weather pattern as per usual in December. We did however make the very best of it and spent time at the sea, rock pools, oupa's pool and in general just being with the family.

This year is going to be a great one - I have all the intentions that is should be. And in fact, I am just going to make sure it is.

How was your break?