Hazy Days

the shadow of the life to come

Hazy Days

Archives for holidays

All about April 2014

Well, April began on a sad note.  Saying goodbye to the Newills.  Urgh.  I hate goodbyes.  Really, really hate goodbyes.  It usually takes me at least a few days to adjust, but this time around it felt like a month had passed before I managed to emerge from the fog of sadness and loss.  Even fun events were somewhat marred by the fact that we were here and they were there.  Nonetheless, life does, indeed, go on and so adjustments happen and we pick up and carry on.  And thank the Lord for Skype once again, even if it is too irregular for our own liking.

To help get over the sadness, we had some fun with our home educators outing group: the Cape Explorers at Acrobranch.  It’s a zip-lining, climbing venue of fun. 

The kids had a blast:

IMG_0023

IMG_0031

And so did the adults – like this particular adult who had lots of fun laughing at the other adults who actually climbed the trees and went down the zipline.

IMG_0034

This guy received a fair bit of the lady above’s laughs.  That’s what happens when you’re the guy married to her!

IMG_0037

Despite the giggles, I even enjoyed all three of the levels – weehee:

CE-Acrobranching-35

Yay!

IMG_0040

Ingrid, the Amazon Woman – fearlessly tackling the branches in the sky!

IMG_0042

Hmmm.  Here’s a little friendship that is too sweet for words. 

IMG_9994

Speaking of sweet – I LOVE this one of Sam – exhilaration anyone?

IMG_9998

More acrobranching photos here: Cape Explorers Acrobranching – if you’re interested in going, it’s an awesome party venue too or team-building option.  Their website: Acrobranch Constantia

April was also a time of great sunsets…

IMG_0358

A biking party at Tokai forest – fun fun fun!

IMG_4842

Lots of baking and cooking from the kids – these are Katie’s pizzas she made from scratch.  I can totally get used to leaving the house, only to come home to supper prepared from scratch and a clean kitchen to boot!  Of course, it has to occur more than once before I can get used to it!

IMG_4848

Even though the weather was colder and the sun went down earlier, April still gave us plenty of beautiful days and stunning nights.  This is one of them – Llundudno for a picnic supper and fun on the beach.

IMG_4857

And when one does not have one’s own dog, then borrowing a random dog on the beach gives the kids their doggy fix.  This doggy was waiting for her master who was surfing the waves.  While waiting, she entertained herself by chasing our tennis ball.  Fun for all!

IMG_4867

We had some dentist visits in April (and May – poor Craig broke his tooth and so had to go to the dentist after all.  He has resisted for the past 5 years or so!)  Mr Micah did very well.  The kids scored little hourglass timers and a hygiene mask after their visit.  So, when the kids were asking Craig about his visit to the dentist a couple nights ago, Micah asked with big eyes and all the seriousness of a 5-year-old, “Daddy, when you went to get your tooth fixed, did you get a timer too?”  Too sweet!

IMG_4888

This photo was to tease my friend, Ingrid – pretending that her boys were being subjected to mistreatment by me!  I got them to pretend that I was about to crash (we were in reality stopped) – just love Mattie’s face!

IMG_4900

We got a bit of culture one weekend, including a orchestra experience with the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra at Artscape.  It was lovely, but to be honest, I felt that it could have been a lot better. 

 IMG_4904

The music was stunning.  Really good stuff.  But, because it was geared towards children, I thought that they didn’t quite hit the mark too well.  They advertised in English, but then the entire first piece was the Carnival of the Animals in Afrikaans.  The Carnival of the Animals is a stunning introduction to orchestral music and the roles of the various instruments, but the children missed it because their Afrikaans is still very rudimentary.  Only my girls know the music well enough not to miss out too much, but the boys have only heard it a few times, so they got bored quickly. Then they played theme songs from movies that are age restricted for the majority of the audience, assuming the kids would know.  Despite being beautifully played, recognition was at a bare minimum.  They ended on what they thought was a high note – Bohemian Rhapsody – because, “everyone from 0-80 knows this song” – but that may have been true back in the 1990s, but kids today, unless they’re well-versed in music of the ages, just do not know that song.  So, again, missed the mark.  Hopefully next time they will aim at explaining more about the various instruments and having fun with playing them well and badly and maybe having play-offs between the various kinds of instruments. They are talking of a next time, so hopefully there will be lots of improvement for the family audience.  They really do an awesome job of the actual music though – stunning!

This is Ms Katie doing Maths outside.  She’s discovered that music + anything goes so much better than without music.  It’s amazing how much more school work she manages to accomplish when she’s listening to music too. 

IMG_4906

Kerry introduced us to Simply Music – a stunning piano programme.  It’s online and in some parts of the world, teachers train in this fashion and teach Simply Music style.  Basically, it teaches kids to play beautiful pieces right from the first lesson.  The method focuses on teaching chords, accompaniament and does not focus too much on reading music or recognising note names straight away.  These things come with time, but the focus is primarily on playing.  I loved the idea of the programme, so you can imagine my delight when just a few days later the Hip Homeschool Moms team was offered a free membership in order to review the product.  I was lucky enough to get one of the memberships offered and now my kids are loving learning piano.  They’re doing so well too!

IMG_4907

As with everything else that had to get back to normal after Craig and Kerry left, school, suppers, extra murals and all that had to slot back into its normal fashion.  Getting back into a full school progamme was a little bumpy as it always is, but days like these made my heart sing – each of the kids were engrossed in their seatwork, while I got to make dinner at the same time and be available to them as and when they needed me.  I love that.  Photos like these remind me that on the harder days it’s not always hard!

IMG_4919

My boy – so workbook adverse – has suddenly taken to workbooks.  Too sweet.

IMG_4920

More school sweetness. 

IMG_4983

Easter was celebrated in April – with lots of fun things, including Sam getting his first Adult Bible.  His delight was felt for days afterwards (and months before!). 

IMG_0057

We did all our other usual traditions as well, including our traditional hunt in the morning.

IMG_0090

And then spent precious time with family for lunch where we all got to meet our newest niece (and grandchild for Granny and Gaa here) – Maya. 

IMG_0119

More on our Easter celebrations here: Easter 2014

Part of the reason we celebrated Easter in Cape Town this year (and not Hermanus where we have for years past) was so that I could run the Two Oceans Half Marathon.  Since starting up running more consistently last May, I’ve been running on average about 15 kms a week.  I picked that up a bit to about 20km a week when I joined the VOB running masses on a Thursday night.  Lots of fun!  Russel has been an awesome running buddy.  By that I mean he tells me about races and then is kind enough to start the races with me, but we seldom end together.  He is too fast!

We both aimed for the Two Oceans this year – his second and my first.  What a wonderful experience!  We started super early and it was cold!  Here are just some of the runners – we were about in the middle so you can imagine that there were about as many people ahead of us too…

 IMG_4938

Russel kindly remembered to bring black bags so keep us warm – great idea, Russ!  These you can then tear off and toss when you run, but they keep you warm at the start.

IMG_4942

On the way we were well entertained by all sorts of groups – like the Cape Mistrels.  Such fun! 

IMG_4944

Conquering Southern Cross Drive.  I did it!

IMG_4946

Craig and the kids got up super early to in order to cheer us on.  They even managed to come to two separate spots and Craig managed to catch us on camera:

Russel, looking strong…

IMG_0006

And me, red, but feeling awesome at Kirstenbosch.

IMG_0015

I did manage to hurt my foot in the last 1km of the race.  I pulled some muscles or something.  A little physio and three weeks’ rest did the trick and now I am running again with no issues what so ever.  My dear friend and neighbour-down-the-road, Debbie, is joining me twice a week in the mornings as a “keep us running through winter” team effort.  On the other days I run, I’m hoping to push my speed up a bit.  I’d love to one day break 2 hours for a half marathon.  This time I did it in 2:15:13 according to my running app. 

April ended on a high note for us all when Craig’s colleague offered her raffle winnings to us.  Their company raises funds for charity through various means.  Each month a different team sector does something to raise funds.  One month a prize of a weekend in the Matroosberg was on offer, plus free ziplining for 4.  Alana won it, but then couldn’t take up her booking, so we scored big time!  We ended up having a wonderful time together in the middle of nowhere in a tiny little pondokkie of a house!  Here’s where we stayed: 

IMG_5107

The first day, I stayed inside, recovering from a sudden bout of the runs, whilst the rest of the family went 4x4ing.  What a pleasure it ended up being for everyone!  I got to rest, sleep and read undisturbed and they got to have a ton of fun, bumping over roads and seeing awesome vistas like these:

IMG_5095IMG_5096

The next day, we went to check out the ziplining.  Even Katie, who is absolutely terrified of heights and won’t even walk up or down steps that have gaps between them, had an absolute blast! It certainly helped that we had gone acrobranching, as the kids were a little more familiar with how it all worked.

All kitted up:

IMG_5101

Aaahhhh!  The anticipation!

IMG_5103

And then – the fun!  Sam went with Craig, Micah with one of the guides and Katie with another.  Kiera and I went on our own, except once when Craig went on his own and I went with Sam.  Fun fun fun!

IMG_5030

over roads, rivers and canyons we went – seven in total.

IMG_5040

IMG_5064

IMG_5075

Micah was not scared at all and just flew along – he declared that next time he is going to go on his own!

IMG_5083

The rest of the day was lunch, rest and then more exploring – firstly of the rock pools on the farm:

IMG_5132

Freezing water, but crazy kids and a crazy dad still stripped down to swimwear and braved the waters:

IMG_5136

IMG_5151

I loved the brooding look of the sky, so grabbed this photo from my phone:

IMG_5165

Then, home again along the rocky paths of the farm – four kids having a blast!

IMG_5168

We loved all the sheep – especially the little lambs

IMG_5172

 

what do you call a group of frolicking lambs like the ones below?  A gambol of lambs?  A stampede?  No matter what, too cute!

IMG_5179

Craig braaied in the evening, while the kids tore up and down the beautiful lake right outside our little housie.

IMG_5185

Stunning light!

IMG_5187

IMG_5190

IMG_5192

The next day, we took things slowly.  The kids spent hours on the lack in the two boats they’d discovered.  I actually got to relax and read on the porch.  I managed to finish reading 2 1/2 books that weekend.  That’s a pretty impressive feat since my relaxed reading has slowed to a near stop these days!  Ah!  Slow living for the win!

Of course, my reading was not completely interrupted, since I was often summoned to see what four children had managed to discover, including this water beetle bug thing that was well dead and very bloated.  Gross?  Well, yes, but also super fascinating!

IMG_5111

But, land was not really the kids thing in the morning, so most of the time my view was this:

IMG_5204

And my ears managed to pick up phrases like “able seamen, the pirates are coming!” or “quickly! to starboard! the enemy attacks!”

IMG_5219

It was a fitting end to a month that began mourning the loss of extended family.  How precious it is to have family and our weekend in Matroosberg was a wonderful time of remembering to count my blessings, mostly especially my own little family.

That was about it for April.  We are now in May – the weather is colder, the nights darker sooner and for longer, school is swimming along, I’m running more regularly again now that my foot is healed, and new patterns are starting to take place on the home front.  As I write this, I feel a sense of contentment and gratitude for all that has gone by and for all that lies ahead.  Most especially, I’ve been intimately aware of how good God is – his blessings are the ultimate blessings because they all come with the offer of Jesus’ saving grace.  This Easter we were reminded of that again and I am so incredibly grateful for His love and the fact that even with family halfway across the world, we still get to dwell under his blessing and get to know that this ain’t all there is.  The best is yet to come!

March 2014 – a month of family

Finally!  The month we’d been waiting for since flights were booked in 2013.  March!  The Ozzie family were coming.  Last time we saw them was Christmas/New Year 2011/2012.  And, BOY, did we miss them.  2 1/2 years means kids grow a lot and life marches on with birthdays missed and absences-of-the-heart that are sometimes more achingly hard to bear than we’d like to admit. 

But, 5 1/2 blessed weeks lay ahead of us and come the last day of February we were more than ready to welcome the Newills home to SA.

Waiting with GREAT anticipation at the airport…

IMG_9641

IMG_9644

Look!  Look!  I see them!

IMG_9647-001

First batch!

IMG_9649-001

Joy!

IMG_9651-001

Second batch!

IMG_9656-001

Aw!

IMG_9662-001

Arriving home and climbing into food.  Yum yum!

IMG_9666-001

IMG_9671

Lunch (would you believe it – Craig and Kerry arrived and then off they went to Coricraft to sort out their couch covers!  Yup – vintage Newills straight off the plane and I LOVE it!)

IMG_9674

Saturday saw us in one of our favourite places on earth – Skye Cottage, Onrus!  Ah!  Kerry brought glo-sticks for the kids, so guess what they did that night?

IMG_9679

The next day, we were in the pool at H&A..

IMG_9689-001

DSC00369

DSC00376

Well, Dads were in the pool and moms were yakking by the poolside.

IMG_9709

(and a certain dad was teasing a certain daughter…)

IMG_9725

Dinnertime in Onrus – crazy kids!

IMG_9762

Swimming at Mermaid’s Pool – aka Dawie’s Pool

DSC00413

IMG_9793

Mesha was VERY perturbed by her human mother swimming with those strange goggles on!

IMG_9799

This was one little girl with a very sore foot – she stood on a sea urchin and managed to get about 10 spines embedded deep into her foot.  Poor thing!

IMG_9827

OWW!

IMG_4529

This picture cracks me up – it’s another “vintage Newill” shot.  My brother teasing me.  That smile on his face is all brother-teasing-sister-delight!

IMG_9816

We left Craig, Kerry and the kids in Hermanus for a couple of days alone with Granny and Grandpa.  Hard for me to do!  I didn’t want to share! Smile  But they had a lovely time – riding horses, visiting friends and so on. 

DSC00458

DSC00463

When they returned, they spent time with us, the VBs and then with us again.  We were the official train station!  Craig and Kerry know just about the entire of Cape Town and so breakfast, lunch and supper dates were par for the course.  It meant we got a little more school work done.  And sometimes it meant babysitting for us.  But, thankfully, it always meant that I got to catch snatches of great conversation with them in the early or very late hours of each day.  Blessed conversation.  What a blessing it is to have them in my home when I can grab these moments. 

Not the most flattering photo on the planet – BUT – a picture of some of the evenings we got to share.  Ah!  I miss these so much. 

IMG_4751

Thankfully, they didn’t gallivant every second of every day.  We managed to squeeze in a few touristy things with them, too.  Like a visit to the Castle of Good Hope:

DSC00558

We were supposed to have this guide for our Cape Explorers visit to the Caste last year, but things got confused and so we didn’t.  So, the fact that we managed to secure him for our impromptu walk-around was awesome.  He was great with the kids!

DSC00574

Woah!  Big boy!

DSC00591

Kids in the dungeon – thanks to flash photography we can actually see them in what was a pitch-black room!

DSC00602

IMG_4587

After the castle, we went to the Company Gardens for a picnic.  The kids spent a good 1 1/2 hours playing, playing, playing…

DSC00612

DSC00618-001

And sometimes being filmed by random Asian tourists – we felt a little like safari animals.

DSC00628

DSC00630

DSC00634

Aw!  Love this cousin photo.

DSC00660

We got to see these theatre students come by – we’d seen them spotted around town, doing mime statue acts. 

IMG_4607

Another day, we went up Table Mountain on the cableway.  It’s been some years since we last did this – probably a good 4 or 5 years, when Micah was still a baby.  What fun they had.  Here: a shot of the castle from the Mountain Top.

DSC00828

Lion’s Head.

DSC00829

DSC00831

Kerry and the cutest 4 year old in the world – little E-K.

DSC00835

DSC00837

Sam made friends with the rock lizards…

DSC00848

DSC00849

The Cape Town Stadium:

DSC00851

DSC00861

On another sunny day, we headed to Robben Island – Nelson Mandela’s former prison, now a museum.

DSC00901

Let’s just say that the ride over was not my favourite activity.  I can do speed boats crashing through the waves at knots, but not the lilting crawl of a charter boat.  Blergh.  Apples kept me from hurling over the edge on the way there, and vinegar chips on the way back. 

DSC00912

IMG_4696

DSC00915

IMG_4693

Our tour guide was a former prisoner – imprisoned for organising a government protest at his school.

DSC00926

Walking the halls of the prison cells…

DSC00935

Taking photos of Nelson Mandela’s cell…

DSC00942

IMG_4703

The VBs joined us – and here is a photo of us all taken rather begrudgingly by a fellow tourist. (Spot the sun-safe Aussies in the party!)

DSC00947

Headin’ Home!  Oh so glad to be on terra firma, I was!

IMG_4712

Despite visiting dozens of people in both the Northern and Southern suburbs, there was still a looong list of people they wanted to see.  So, Open Day at our house it was!  Here are some shots…

IMG_4736

IMG_9924

IMG_9927

IMG_9930

IMG_9938

IMG_9940

Dinnertime at our house, meant kids in the dining room and parents around the kitchen island.  And, boy, it’s noisy in that dining room!  Can you see the respect on my son’s face? And how about Jesse?

IMG_9805

Jesse is clearly a product of his parents!

IMG_9808

I loved the times the kids had together – so very sweet!  They played and played and played.  Here Bex is reading in the early morning to her sister and cousin Micah.

IMG_9948

Saying goodbye is always the hardest thing.  Last photo of the Newill-Tubmans.  Smiles for the photo, tears for the goodbye. Sad smile

DSC00950

But, between the two – crazy family antics!

DSC00955

The last Cape Town weekend was choccers – A morning photoshoot for the family (taking Jesse and Katie away from camp to make it happen). Then the afternoon Open Day.  Then a Sunday pick up of kids from camp, followed by a wonderful, WONDERFUL theatre experience of The Sound of Music.  Ah!

First: photos on the beach.  Susie Leblond did another great job!

IMG_8995

QD2A0396QD2A0412QD2A0757QD2A9825QD2A9997

Those photos are just a few I randomly selected from our hundreds!  More can be seen at Susie’s blog: Hayes-Newill shoot.

After the shoot, my 67-year-old mommy wanted a swim.  So, she borrowed my swim dress and off she went.  She looked amazing!  Seriously hope I look as amazing at 67!

IMG_4735

And – evidence!  Kerry does iron (if she absolutely has to!) – this was night before the photo-shoot stuff:

IMG_4717

Sunday afternoon’s experience of Sound of Music – some very excited kids who couldn’t wait to enjoy the show!

IMG_4744

PACKED theatre – fully booked!

IMG_4748

(photo source: artscape)

More random family-around-the-house photos:

IMG_4561

IMG_4566

On some of the babysitting nights, Craig spent some time entertaining kids – iPad time…

IMG_4576

And storytime ….

IMG_4581

When the Newills weren’t with us, we had a fair bit of other-life stuff going one.  I ran the GWC Fun(d) Run 10km with Russ and his son Liam.  That was lots of fun.

IMG_4621

Kiera has been plotting and planning a movie for some months now and saving up her money in order to afford filming it (location, props etc).  This was such a woeful expression as she worked on her budget that I snuck a sneaky photo.

IMG_4630

Jesse came to SA along with a recently acquired game.  It was a throw-out from a friends’ house.  And a total trip down memory lane for us oldies.  The kids were hooked immediately and soon we were yelling, “switch it off!” for that annoying beep every time the spider ate the flower.

IMG_4762

Our tree got a good trim in the time that the Newills were here.  It’s been needing one for years and I figured that just before it shed all its leaves was as good a time as any.  At least that way we can skip an autumn of leaf-raking. Initially, the kids were dismayed.  Their climbing tree!  But for some reason, it seemed to make it more scalable and just about every kid has made his/her way to the very top.  Like Ms Bexter here:

IMG_4765

The Newills arranged things well – the last week of their stay in Hermanus with just family.  FINALLY, I had them to my selfish self!  Well, I did have to share with the rest of the family, but at least we were all in the same place.

My first morning was not so hot tho – this is who I woke up to in the morning:

IMG_4768

Shudder – I don’t do spiders.  Even rain spiders.

One evening, the kids put on a dinner theatre show, with programmes and rehearsed acts.  Here Sam does a special comedy-cum-lego show. 

DSC00993

Too funny.

DSC00995

Kiera gave us her much-practised version of Matilda, the Musical’s number “Naughty”.

DSC01001

DSC01003

The others also did a few items – Micah and Jesse did a shoot-out scene.  Bex did a beautiful dance and Katie and Emma-Kate did a make-up session.  Then, Kiera and Jesse entertained us with a rendition of Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?

 

DSC00966

DSC00973

DSC00984

DSC01027

Beautiful sunsets in H&A:

IMG_0357

My mom pulled out her old gramophone from when she was a little kid – much to the fascination of the kids and Uncle C.  And yes, Jesse is at it again!

IMG_0145

One of the many meals together – corralling this lot is quite an achievement.

IMG_0152

And some court time for the kids…

IMG_4770

One of the days we all headed out the beach for most of the morning until lunch.  The kids had an absolute ball on the beach – absolute! 

IMG_0182-001

Even Mr “I hate surfing!” got fully into and announced with great delight that “surfing is my favourite thing!”

IMG_0183

IMG_0189-001

These three little girls had been to the market with granny earlier – scoring these sweet hairdos, courtesy of another homeschool girl’s little R10/hairstyle stall.

IMG_0201-001

IMG_0212-001

And here’s the “I just got dunked by a big wave and I hate surfing again!” photo

IMG_0215-001

Kirsty came out for the last weekend and brought our dear friend Liesl with her.  What a treat for us to have some good long conversations with Liesl.  A treasure, indeed!  Here she shows off her lego earrings.  She really did come wearing lego earrings!  And the boys had a ball adding all their lego blocks to her earrings, as evidenced in this photo.  All I can say is, “poor earlobes!”

IMG_4793

IMG_4802

It was also Kelly’s birthday that Saturday, so we all got to Skype her via the TV.  What a jol!  It was noisy and chaotic but so joyous too.  This photo does NOTHING to back up my previous statement! Smile  By that time, all our noisy people were standing behind me and all Kelly’s noisy people had been banished to another room. Smile

IMG_4798

Dinner together.  It was really delish, but when two kids woke up simultaneously at midnight and starting puking, with two adults following a couple hours later, well, we began to suspect the chicken kebabs!

IMG_0231

Love it, Kerry!  This here is evidence that Kerry actually ate FISH.  And she enjoyed it!

IMG_0235

This was a couple of hours before the Big Puke.  The girls were booted downstairs to make room for Aunty Kirsty and her friend Liesl.  Everyone was super excited about sleeping in the same room.  But around 12am Becky awoke with the vomits and Micah did too.  It was quite an interesting night for the adults – first, cleaning up puke and then second, me coming down with the bug and granny Sally too.  Ew!

DSC01040

This would be a better night:

IMG_0250

And another better night in terms of health, but maybe not in terms of sleeping space for poor Jess!

IMG_0252

IMG_0253

Makhulu and her babies!  To think that Veronica has been loving Newill babies since I was 8 years old.  Look at all her grandbabies!

IMG_0290

IMG_4789

We went driving to De Kelders for some cave-finding one day – we didn’t get to the caves but we did get to see LOADS of these guys:

IMG_4811

We spent a lot of time by the pool.  This was one of those times when Craig and I looked after the 7 kids.  The best was telling Kerry that Jesse almost fell off the roof of Craig’s car – how the kids were all sitting on top, but Jesse let go of the roof rail and almost slipped off.  All the kids lied like experts and Kerry’s face was a picture of uncertain disbelief.  She handled it with good grace, despite thinking, “What!!?!!?!?!?”

IMG_4814

Another sunset – love it!

IMG_4829

Our very last breakfast together. 

IMG_4831

And, always one of the saddest sights: saying goodbye.  I hate it.  And here they are, heading back to the airport.  Back to another continent – 6 hours of time zone and a gazillion miles away.

IMG_4838

Every time it is hard to say goodbye.  But honestly, it really does seem to get harder each time.  This time, it took me a good month to start to feel like I could tackle life again.  Life outside of my head and heart, that is.  In fact, as I write this, there is so much in my heart and mind that I’ve been pondering on for the last few weeks.  So much impacts in so many ways.  But, so many of these thoughts are still very muddled and need so much more time to reflect, pray and grow. So, for now, I’m slowly getting back into it all again  – “it” being “life”.  School is picking up in intensity and frequency.  Blog posting happening again.  Life continues.  And I am so very grateful for this visit.  This visit and Skype.  Very grateful for Skype.

January 2014

All the happenings in January!  As I was sifting through our photos from January I was struck by 1) how quickly the year has gone, it is May already!) and 2) how much we’ve done when it felt like a month of building!

Without further ado – here are our photos:

New Year’s Day braai with friends…

IMG_9271

bonding over the iPad…

IMG_9283

And some light dramatic entertainment from the kids…

IMG_9293

 

I love that the kids are all old enough to play monopoly together – I woke to this one Saturday morning.  Love it!

IMG_3515

Despite the fact that Micah is 5 already, he is still subjected to his sister’s dress-up antics from time to time.  More 21st material, I tell you!

IMG_3520

Celebrating Nathan’s birthday – 8!

IMG_3558

Celebrating my birthday, I believe, with some sushi.  And Sam up for the challenge – a marble-sized ball of wasabi.  Yup, he swallowed the lot.

IMG_3568

A rare dinner out, just the two of us. 

IMG_3781

Getting ready for the new school year with these plastic file boxes.  They’re a winner!

IMG_3584

We started a different Language Arts programme this year, since we’ve been concentrating on South African studies.  I felt it was a good time to try another programme.  We love our Sonlight stuff and I’m currently deciding which of the next Cores to do for next year, but this year I am so glad we tried out LLATL (Learning Language Arts Through Literature). Sonlight’s LA was great for my eldest, but my second two are doing much better with LLATL.  And I am too – simply because it allows for greater independence in their work, which is what I need when teaching 4 kids in one go.  Sam still needs a lot of hands on with Mom, but this programme allows for that to happen easily.  It’s on par with Sonlight’s high level of academics, too.  And Sam LOVES the one-on-one with mom time, so that’s been a hit.  Here he is organising words into alphabetical order.

IMG_3586

Visiting our friends, the Myburghs – that’s Katie’s artwork on their wall.  Too sweet.

IMG_3898

When we did our renovations, I thought it would be best not to be there for the first week, what with walls being bashed down and an entire kitchen gutted, so we packed up and headed to granny and grandpa in Hermanus for the week.  We took our school books with as we had already started the school year, knowing that we would be taking quite a break when Craig and Kerry and their kids arrived in March.  Here the kids are packed and ready to go:

IMG_3601

Homeschool morning time in Hermanus:

IMG_9416

Me, teaching mom about “selfies” Winking smile

IMG_3630

One of the beautiful things about doing school work in Hermanus is that it feels like a holiday – afternoons in the pool!  Stunning.

IMG_3636

Or at Davie’s Pool – aka Mermaid’s Pool

IMG_3668

While we were away, Craig sent pictures of the gutting and the chasing…

IMG_3674

A bonus of being down in Hermanus was being able to share my mom’s birthday with her.  I took her out for lunch the next day, but on the special day, she had a bunch of her friends over.  Cake and company for everyone!

IMG_9355

IMG_9369

IMG_9371

Love this photo – the lady Kiera is talking to is Yvonne, a former school teacher at Sweet Valley.  She always has so much time for the kids and always shows such interest in what they’re up to.  It’s too special.

IMG_9382

Love this!  Taken when we went out for pizza one night.  Happy granny and crazy boy!IMG_9391-MIX

Heading back to Cape Town meant No Kitchen.  Which meant, make-shift kitchen it is.  The boys here got fully into helping make tuna salad – a favourite of theirs. 

IMG_3833

One early Sunday morning in January, we headed to Muizenberg beach for a walk and a swim.  The water was amazingly warm and we ended up seeing seals up close and then, lo and behold, Craig saw this bottle bobbing about on the waves about 10 metres away from us – coming into shore.  How ironic is that?  To see a bottle, exactly the same shape and colour as the one from Seekers of the Lost Boy, coming to land on the shore of the very same beach in the book?  We were all super excited.  It was empty inside – so no super-spooky coincidences there, but still very exciting.  We took it home and it now resides in our playroom.

IMG_3910

And – Hout Bay – a beautiful piece of beach that we love to visit in the early evenings, no matter the season!

IMG_3854

Catching Up

So, it’s been a gazillion days since I did a monthly update – well, it feels like it anyway.  I’ve been meaning to catch up.  So, to start off, here’s the last three months of 2013:

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

click the link to take you to the post about the month. Smile

Related Posts with Thumbnails
Page 1 of 19:1 2 3 4 »Last »
Hazy Days