Friday, 30 September 2016

Five for Friday edition 19

1. I have completed our first month of our very own doodle challenge. It has been a big change for me to work with the felt tip pens - I love the bright happiness of them. On the other hand I find them slightly crude to work with October may combine them with pencils - we will see. Join us on Instagram for the October challenge please? Anyone can draw - I promise - just try.

2. Another week has flown by like nothing and we are delighted that the kids are on holiday this week. They are all tired and can do with a change of routine.

3. This is the most sought after item in our house at the moment - one week old and already well worn. The boys have been planning all week how they will spend their birthday money on Lego.

4. Our Ocean baby has been to the vet twice this week and gave us a bit of a fright. She seems to be on her way to health and happiness. Let's hope this weekend will help her to full recovery.

5. The boys celebrated their birthday at school today as the school closed. I took ice creams an hour before the school broke for the holidays and it was so much appreciated by all. Although I have to drive a bit further for the ice cream shop now as the one close to us closed down it is still a great idea and quite economical

So tell me about your five for Friday....

Thursday, 29 September 2016

I am exhausted

And by that I mean not just being tired. That I am too - the 3rd term is always long and tiring. I am however exhausted of all the fighting. It never stops! I did not grow up with siblings but I do know most have their fighting moments. However I am sure it does not need to be like this. I do hope that we have made a difference this week.

The fighting in our house in constant - with evenings being the high point of it all. That of course does not mean that it does not start with breakfast, and continues all the way to school at times. Well maybe I am exaggerating because it is interspersed with sweet moments and lots of love. But it gets to me - a lot! Trying to break up the fight by pointing out who is correct (if in fact one of them is) serves no purpose because I will often be accused of favoriting the other party - regardless if it is a plain fact and that I can show them the fact on google or in a book.

Although it seem to be mostly A and C , L the boys often have their issues and on the odd occasion A and L will have a spliff. But the fights that really gets to me most are the ones where it seems the fighting is about the will to fight - and nothing more.It actually makes no difference what the fight is about - I am of the opinion that they are fighting because they want to fight. Or, as I realized this week, because they are so used to fighting it has become a habit.

We are trying to break that habit - simply because I can not go on like this anymore. We had a talk to them on Tuesday night about stopping the constant fights. Yesterday I had to remind them a few times about our talk and every time they stopped immediately. I am convinced it is a habit we can break and although I am under no illusion that it will be the end of fighting I hope we can limit the fights to when they are needed.

Please tell me it's not just our kids.... please? And do you think fighting can become a habit more than anything else?

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Tuesday booksday - en tyd vir 'n Afrikaanse book resensie

As 'n mens se gunsteling misdaad skrywer 'n totaal ander veld betree is jy versigtig om soos gewoonlik, die eerste een te wees wat die boek koop. So het ek toe gewag dat die boek eers beskikbaar was in ons boekklub en toe hom opgeraap en dadelik begin lees. En so het my eie persoonlike Koors ontwikkel. Een om op elke moontlike oomblik te sit en lees. Om die boek so gou as moonltik in te gulsig. Wat 'n heerlike lees fees!

Deon stel 'n soort post apokaliptiese Suid Afrika aan ons voor deur die oë van 'n volwasse Nico Storm - maar ook gereeld deur ander karakters in die boek se vertelpunt. 'n Suid Afrika nadat 95% van die wêrel se bevolking deur in virus vernietig is. Nico vertel hoe hy en sy pa die Koors ontsnap het en 'n nuwe nedersetting in die ou Vanderkloof gestig het. Later Amanzi genoem, vorm 'n groep mense wat werklik strewe na 'n nuwe suksesvolle lewe. Soos met enige georganiseerde struktuur is die verskillende oogpunte en faksies gou duidelik. Meyer ondersoek die mens se verskillende reaksies op 'n probleem en hoe die sosiale maar ook persoonlike dinamika afspeel.

Wat ek veral van die boek geniet het was hoe versigtig Meyer sy navorsing gedoen het en hoe selfs klein dingetjies sin maak as mens daaraan dink. Hoe mense verskillend sal reageer op die krises. Hoe diere sal optree en verander. Watse tegnologie steeds bruikbaar of aanpasbaar sal wees. Wat sal gebeur met natuur reservate, damme, sluise en die klimaat in geheel. Die hipotese is gestel en versigtig ondersoek. Ek het soveel keer terwyl ek lees gedink - ja, natuurlik is dit iets wat kan of sal gebeur.

Van die begin af egter besef jy dat tot 'n mate is hierdie wel 'n speur storie - is daar wel 'n moord gepleeg - en dat dit wel 'n spilpunt van die storie is. Die ontknoping en einde is totaal onverwags. Dit behoort sy mees getroue leser tevrede te stel.

Ek vermoed ook dat Meyer 'n nuwe groep lesers gaan wen met hierdie - die jong volwassene mark is bekend vir hulle liefde vir appokaliptiese/distopiese tipe verhale - dink maar aan die Divergent en Hunger games reekse. Lees gerus met 'n oop gemoed as jy 'n Deon Meyer bewonderaar is- en vermy om Bennie of Lemmer te soek. Hulle is nie daar nie en hulle is nie nodig in die storie nie. Koors het sy eie pakkie heerlike kleurvolle karakters.

Vir my 'n 10/10 boek vir 'n heerlike lees in 'n nuwe en oorpsronklike rigting.

The book will be available in English in 2017 - do not miss it! Well deserved 10/10

Monday, 26 September 2016

A fabulous birthday party

Yesterday my boys turned 9! Gosh have they grown so much and not to speak of the growing up bit. I know I am supposed to write them their birthday letters but somehow the words for that is not to be found today. So in stead I will tell you a bit about a gem I found in Pretoria for their party thanks to one of the other school moms.
We took them and their friends Go Karting at the Kollonade centre. Boy was it fun! They all loved it. Some drove like hooligan F1 drivers around the tracks (Mr L most of all) while others were a bit more careful. In the end all had huge amounts of fun.

There are Go Karts for every size - even our smallest friend - a tiny 6 year old could drive his own little car while A and her friend drove full sized adult ones.  They are petrol karts so they go well and fast. The kids get a basic safety instruction and how to drive and off they go
The very best of all is that they are running a special - R100 per kid including 12 laps, a Spur burger and chips and cooldrink. We took along a bit of sweets (only 4 types), pretzels and in stead of cake, I ordered doughnuts at our local Spar and made doughnut stacks. Every single one was eaten - but we took a lot of the very little sweets home. It turns out if you feed them burgers and they see doughnuts to come sweets are not that important.
It's a great affordable party idea - for R80 you can buy more time but with the amount of kids we had there it was not an option. I think this will even be great for the teenagers as well. The 4 girls in our group enjoyed it just as much as the boys.

You can also just pop in for some Go Kart fun and just go karting. We are definitely going to do this as a family soon.

Disclaimer - K1 Indoor Karting have no idea that I am writing this. We paid the usual in full price for our party. This is one of my "community sevice" type of posts with items that I regard as great value and fun and need to share around.

Friday, 23 September 2016

Five for Friday edition 18

It's truly been such a busy week - it feels as if the school waited with everything until after the test series and went on and fitted it all into this week.

1. A had a fabulous week at the school's Cultural week. Her lyrical dance troupe achieved one of only four A++ in group dance and are now waiting to find out if they will be one of the few acts performing on the gala night. Her Seashell collection also won an A++ and have already been awarded one of the places on the gala night in the exhibition.

2. We also had house athletics and we are so very proud of our kids that all 3 went out and participated in as many items they could. That is what we want - that they participate and try their best. A did manage to get into the school athletics team for the first time- for discus!

3. We had the wonderful privilege to attend the exclusive pre screening of "The Secret life of Pets". We had so much fun with Nickleodeon and the movie is absolutely fabulous. Do go and see it when it opens at the end of the month.

4. My wonderful mother in law left on Wednesday to go back to Port Elizabeth. We are already missing her - and we had to promise the kids we will see her before Christmas. She has seen to it that I have a whole freezer stocked with meals - enough for every night of the week for at least the next 2 weeks.

5. The swimming season has started at school - and with that 6 am swimming in an unheated pool. I am always amazed that they still emerge smiling and chatting although they are literally blue and cold. The enthusiasm of the youth!

So - what are your 5 for Friday? And I do hop you have a great weekend.

Thursday, 22 September 2016

Things to do this weekend

Yes I know I have been very very quiet but life has been rushing along at a HUGE pace. My MIL has been visiting which is always so lovely. She left yesterday with my freezer full and our hearts empty.

This weekend seem to be one that holds many events We are celebrating two very special birthdays on Sunday with a party on Saturday. But there are so many other things happening

On Sunday Market at the Sheds are having their special Spring and Heritage day celebrations(see more about market at the sheds here) - there is a lot going on in the CBD of Pretoria around the market to celebrate Heritage day - see here for Spring in the City

Hazel food market is on every Saturday morning with selected night markets. There are so much to eat and enjoy and the little side market with crafts also has enough to offer.

A's favorite - oysters
Stunning schwarma
Belgian waffles

You can show your support for children with Cancer by visiting the Wall of generosity at Brooklyn Mall. This is a fantastic cause and runs with Cupcakes for Cancer. Go get your cupcake and honour your cancer hero. To find the early warning signs for Childhood cancer - see here.

Not in Pretoria but close enough, the coolest place to be this weekend is the Nerf Bootcamp. Best of all - it's free!

Thursday, 15 September 2016

Our little Instagram adventure

A lot of you know that I enjoy to doodle or draw. I have been following some doodle challenges for the last two months - with mixed results. I have even managed to get some of the guys and girls in the office to join in. What has most surprised me is our secretary who at first said that she can not draw and then started and has turned into an excellent budding artist. I am so impressed with her. Our student in the office is incredibly creative and I literally can not wait to see his drawings every day.

So last month we all struggled a bit through another Northern hemisphere challenge - our initial challenge choice has a topic that was not even know in South Africa - Satuday morning cartoons. The other one we chose had camping - which was ok - well sort of. The when we looked at September is was choc a block full of back to school doodles. So we decided that we were going to host our own challenge - with Southern Hemisphere topics and a good sprinkling of South Africa.

We have done our first 14 days (see my page above) and have thoroughly enjoyed it. What has doubled our joy is that we have had 3 Instagramers joining in - and wow, some of the drawings has been amazing. You have to see Cupcakemommy's - she has an amazing talent. Karen at Mom again @ 40 is also doodling along.

I usually doodle in outlines with markers and then colour with pencils - this month I am trying markers to colour in too. I am not quite sure I like them but it does make for bright and happy pages.

So join us if you want to -there is an incredible pleasure in producing something pretty and therapy in the act of drawing . And honestly - anyone can draw! Find me on Instagram as @catjuggles - our handles for this project are:

#rsadoodles #rsadoodlesseptember #rsadoodlesaday

So who are joining in too? You can start any day you want. We are alos planning on doing it monthly going forward and have already started on our October prompts.

In the same line - what do you do that makes you feel happy, creative and calms you? 

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

It's Tuesday - and it's time for books.

Hello fellow book lovers - it's Spring and for some I guess the focus shifts to other things than reading. However - a good book is always a winner. I have found myself taking a short lunch time break outside in our office garden over the last two weeks or so, enjoying the great weather and reading a few pages to clear my head from all the work stuff. I am loving the fact that for the first time in many years, I am still on track with my yearly reading challenge. Since my last books post I have read two books:

The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
 Suzanne Peacock moves back to her old town with her husband Neil - a town where her family still owns the big estate and where the family history runs thick in the memories of the townsfolk. Unhappy to be forced to move out of her beloved and more anonymous London and during a rocky part of her marriage she convinces her husband that she needs to open a shop and agrees that his much wished baby will follow suit.

At the same time she is forced to deal with her mother and the memories others have of her  - the one she never met and am convinced died giving birth to her.

The Peacock Emporium constantly switch in time frames, places and characters a lot like other of Jojo Moyes's earlier books. At first I could not get into it but by a quarter in I actually started enjoying it. Towards the end I found my that I read with a growing unease - which may simply mean that the story moved in directions that may not be within my comfort zone.

I did enjoy reading the book but the story line is tedious at times and the book is possibly much longer that it has to be. What I did love about the books are the wonderful full bodied characters that populate it.

It's one of those "good enough" books if you get what I am saying  - a 6/10 for me.

Moordvis/Dead in the Water by Irna van Zyl

Although I have read the book in Afrikaans I will do my review in English as it is also available translated.

To start of I have to say that this is possibly my most favorite genre to read - and there is a wonderful amount of great books written in it available in Afrikaans with very high standards and great reading to be enjoyed. I therefore read this book with a lot of maybe unfair expectations after good reviews in the press.

Irna van Zyl is a well known Afrikaans media personality and editor. This is her first novel and takes place in Grootbaai (or then Gansbaai) the shark cage diving capital of the world. It features Storm van der Merwe a detective punished after an incident and reduced to admin work. She discovers a body on a walk on the beach with dogs. The storyline develops from there.

The storyline in itself is well constructed and moves at a reasonable pace although at times it felt a bit slow. It is full of the necessary intrigues and complicated cross involvements and makes for a good read. What did bother me though was the characters and development of them - or more then - the lack therof. Storm herself is comes across as cold although I am quite sure that was not the intention.  To me she showed very little development taking into account all that happens and I did not find myself forming a particular attachment to her which I guess is not the worst of it. But Moerdyk - gosh, does every novel in this genre need an alcoholic policeman - as if Bennie Griesel has set that mark as a "has to have"? Moerdyk to me has very little or nothing that sparks even the faintest sympathy and no development whatsoever.

Moordvis or Dead in the Water is a good read but not in my top reads - a 6/10

So what are you reading? Any ones to add to my "to read" list?

Friday, 2 September 2016

Five for Friday edition 17

So how are you doing? The end of the week is in sight.

1. It was the Spring dance for the grade 5-7 last night. A was invited by friend Kr to dress and get ready at her house. Her older sister did these wonderful braid hairstyles for the girls (she is only 14!). They looked so very pretty - but also so very big.

 2. I have not as yet tried tuna mayonaise with the kids. I really do not know why not. On Sunday evening I did health bread toast with it for dinner and it was a hit. They had it during the week or lunch once again and loved it.

3. My mom's orchids are flowering again - every year I am astounded by the beauty of these strings of exotic blooms dangling down from a vase in my house. And yes! It's Spring !!!
4. Have you registered for Santa Shoebox this year? Pledges opened yesterday. I am so happy that with the Voortrekkers we have managed to pledge 61 boxes this year. I just love that Suzelle DIY is supporting them - and showing us how to pack a shoebox.

5. We received a lovely blogdrop from Pediasure this week. At some stage in our lives I am pretty sure L almost lived on the stuff - it was a great help. Now I am looking forward to use it as supplement on days when the kids may have had a lot of exercise and need something more to keep them going. I can definitely recommend it Pediasure

I hope you have a wonderful weekend - what's your 5 for Friday?