I started a trend this year of summarising the previous month with a photo-round up. I began with an alliterative title, and continued the trend despite the cheesiness it’s deteriorated into! Cheesy title aside however, there is still lots worth journaling this November, so without further ado:
Studying cells this month ended up with some fun activities like this one:
Sam has had a mostly child-directed learning experience this year – it’s what happens when you’re a middle child! But, he’s learning at pace and enjoying his growing skills. This is a sweet note that he made for his friend, Matt. That’s a globe with a smile on it. It reads “me and mat is for evu frens hra” Which translates into “me and Matt is forever friends. Hurray!”
Sam also completed his second I Can Read It! book. Such delight!
Granny and Grandpa returned from Australia with some gifts from cousin Jesse for the boys:
And T-shirts for the kids
Another Enzi chair shot of Sambo. We still love our chairs and they are a permanent feature around our table. To think we’ve had these since our eldest was 4!
Granny and Grandpa’s return to CT meant that we got to hang out and eat lunch together. Yum yum. The grumpy kid faces was indicative of their camera-fatigue. Poor kids!
November was also the month I got to enjoy a full day of spiritual nurturing. First at the Cape Town Women’s Convention and then later at bookclub with some inspiring women. The Convention was particularly inspiring thanks to the great teaching of Lesley Ramsay who spoke on a topic called “Is my God too small?” Read more about it here: http://cesa.org.za/cape-town-womens-convention-2012/
Thankfully, Craig was not away when this visitor came to hang out at our home. I was working on my laptop in bed late one evening; Craig fast asleep beside me. For some random reason, I felt to look up towards the opposite end of the room. That’s when I gently nudged Craig and said, “sorry to wake you babe, but I’m not going to be able to sleep with that guy in our room.” Craig’s blurry-eyed response was, “Jeesh, that’s big!” My Knight-in-Shining-Armour kindly relocated this guy across the road to a bunch of bushes in front of the opposite neighbour’s perimeter wall.
Debbie kindly invited us to join her and Charise for a strawberry picking outing. Yum yum! The VB family joined us too – hats and sunshine and strawberries! Love it!
Plus a visit from the local cat….
We stopped for tea at a lovely, beautiful tea garden on the way home – it was beautifully decorated. Just beautiful!
The kids were enthralled with this parrot that talked up a storm!
And we had a relaxing-ish tea! We determined that it was a place to revisit with our husbands one day, sans 11 kids.
We picked up pizza one Sunday for lunch from our new local pizzeria, Prima Pizza. Well, let’s say that I’m sold on their pizza. Delicious and COVERED with great ingredients. Yum yum.
One of the last Sundays in November saw us hit Camps Bay beach so that Craig could take some photos of a prop bottle floating in the water – for the artwork of my book cover.
Given that I am most likely going to self-publish, and do so on a shoestring budget, my talented sister, Kelly, agreed to try her hand at a cover photo for my book. But she needed a bottle-floating-in-water shot for the cover she imagined. Perfect excuse for a family outing! We spent the first couple of hours running around the beach, playing tag with the tennis ball and catch with the waves. Here’s me tormenting Kiera:
Hubby took some beautiful shots, but it was difficult to get decent bottle floating shots! I took a few shots too with my phone:
And my half-dying Canon EOS 350:
Craig has some stunning shots too – he put a couple on the Facebook page. After our trip to the beach, I left the bottle in the flower bed outside our front door. Ever the absent-minded (and, let’s be honest, lazy) person, I neglected to pick it for a few days. That is, until Micah picked it up and then smashed it all over the driveway! Thankfully, it was in keeping with the story of the book, so, before we cleaned it all up, I grabbed the opportunity to take some shots of it.
We started our Footprints on our Land (South African Heritage) curriculum in November – getting a head start on what we planned to start next year. One of the fun activities, related to the story we were reading, was a water experiment. So that the kids could learn a little about the water cycle we place a little ramekin bowl inside a large jug of water that was covered in plastic wrap. The little bowl was free of water. But, the stone placed on top of the plastic, directly over the bowl, caused the little bowl to collect water through the process of evaporation, condensation and then precipitation. Love this photo of the boys enthralled! It wasn’t that long ago that Kiera and Katie were 6 and 4 and enjoying Science experiments with the same degree of fascination!
For once, I’ve been fairly organised with Christmas gifts. And for once, I remembered teachers’ gifts before the term’s end, rather than way afterwards! The kids and I had fun putting together pressies for teachers. It was rewarding seeing their delight as they talked about their various teachers and what they loved about them. There are some well-loved teens/young people who teach my kids at Children’s Church and Kids’ Club!
This year, our Christmas tree decoration night shifted from Dec 1 to Nov 29 because Craig would be away for the weekend. There was far too much Christmas excitement in our home to wait until he returned. Can you see the delight?
We ordered pizza from Prima Pizza again (yum yum!).
And so began the Good Night Christmas reading experience for another year. Kiera got that book for her 1st Christmas. We read it to her when she was 2 and a bit for the first time and have read it to our kids ever since. Kiera is out-growing it, but the others still love the squeaky voice of Night Light, the narrator. I love the memories we have of this tradition and this photo warms my heart!
Since Craig was heading off to a business trip on Friday, he shaved his Movember Mo off a day early. Really chuffed with my non-gimmicky-fund-raising-style husband for taking up his boss’s challenge to do the Movember thing. He figured that if he was going to do this thing, then he may as well have fun with it – and so he grew a handlebar moustache! I couldn’t look at him and not think of a Harley-riding biker dude. On seeing the pic below, Bev (his mom) declared that he looked like a Mexican Bandit!I have to agree – but a gorgeous bandit none-the-less!
November ended with our final Nature Club of the year. We went to Arderne Gardens to learn about some of the Champion Trees there. We had fun doing a scavenger hunt that I picked up on the geocaching.com site. Unfortunately, the geocache itself has been archived (no longer in the garden) but the fun scavenger hunt was still doable and so we did!
And ended it off with a lovely picnic under a beautiful tree.
The rest of the day was a bit manic – it involved a visit to the doctor to establish if Sam had indeed broken his arm when falling off Kiera’s bed that morning, or if it was just a really sore bruise. We soon established that it was just bruised and Sam proved that within seconds of walking out the doctor’s office by hanging by his fingertips from the administrator’s desk while I coughed up a whole bunch of money I didn’t need to spend! Then it was race Kiera to choir, race others to kids’ club, race Kiera to her gym awards evening, race back to the VBs to fetch Katie and then race home to put kids into bed early enough so that we could race out of the house in time for Sam and Katie’s gym display/awards the next day! Phew!
Kiera was super chuffed to receive a platinum award, which we were all really surprised about. When I heard the scoring required for bronze, it sounded quite high, so I wondered if perhaps she would be getting bronze. So I readied the video camera for bronze. No Kiera. Silver then? Ready camera…. No Kiera. Hmmm, Gold then! Yay! No Kiera? By then I thought they’d forgotten about her! But it turned out that WP have just introduced a platinum award and now they take the extra 5 points from the vault jump into account, hence the higher scores. Kiera was thrilled to be called up for the platinum award. And I was thrilled for her. She has worked hard this year with the ability the Lord has given her and has improved enormously. Well done, my sweet girl – a lovely note to end November on.