Friday, 29 July 2016

Five for Friday edition 14

Gosh, Friday already . The week has flown by in the wink of an eye.

1. We have completed our Checkers Little Shop collection yesterday with the help of a very friendly cashier at the till who squeezed a few packets and declared she had the two items we needed. Lo and behold she was spot on! Now I will help out whoever I can. Interesting enough grown ups seem to love them a lot. The office is all abuzz with swapping out. And more than any other item the kids are very careful not to get them stolen at school.

2. I am one book ahead of my 36 books reading challenge on Goodreads. I have no idea when last I was actually on target or lo and behold over at this time of the year. It's making me very happy right now. I am reading this wonderful surprise of a book right now:

3. I have found so much joy in drawings again with the doodle challenge that I fined myself just drawing now - doodling like I used to. It's like I have re discovered a bit of myself. This is day 13 - 26 of July

4. On Saturday afternoon I rounded up the boys and we did the big boys bedroom clean out. 4 Big black bags for charity full of toys. It makes such a huge difference. And they did so well in helping and being patient about it. We were all exhausted after - but it was a great very needed bit of de cluttering.

5. The good people at Lifebuoy has sent us a little hamper to try out with their new Moisture Plus soap. Their well known germ killing soap with the added bonus of moisturisation - so important here in the winter. They also have great advice to stay healthy  - remember to : Not get too close and avoid contact with sick people, to stay hydrated, get enough sleep, cough wisely, nourish your skin and wash your hands frequently with germ fighting soap.

With that - I hope you stay healthy and warm this cold weekend. What is your 5 for Friday?

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Loving right now....

Gosh it's cold at the moment! The weather is rather crazy with tornado's and hail yesterday in our part of the world. And some rain - which is so appreciated. I am not going to lie - I am not a fan of the cold. But I am loving some of the little things that make the cold a bit more bearable.

I am loving going to the gym  during lunch times. It warms me up totally - especially those 5 minutes I spend in the sauna after exercising. I used to hate going ot the gym in winter - now I love it.

Citrus - all the glorious citrus. Oranges, mineolas, naartjies.... name it. I love it. Not a fan of pomelo though.

Electric warm water bottles - every night they get heated and placed in beds with little (and not so little) bodies to keep us all nice and toasty. I also think that it aids in falling asleep - I get that nice warm sleepy feeling if my feet are nice and warm.

Boots - I love love love boots. I found the perfect Jeep boots this year and promptly bought it it black and brown.

Scarves - I love pretty soft scarves. They keep you warm but also add a splash of colour to any outfit.

So what are you loving despite the cold or because of the cold?

Friday, 22 July 2016

Five for Friday edition 13

1. Remember the cauliflower shrubs that did not want to make heads? Lo and behold just before I thought to take them out we have one tiny head and a second plant seems to be on his way to make one. You learn every day...

2. Third term started with a BANG! Monday morning at 6:15am A had hockey skills test, followed by cricket trails for C and hockey trails for A on Tuesday afternoon. And this afternoon C is playing his first proper cricket match for the school. He looks super charming in all that white. A has also in the first week back at school written two maths and one science assessments. And there is a History one on Monday.

3. On Wednesday afternoon Saving the Survivors visited the Voortrekkers for the term opening. It was incredibly interesting to hear the survivor stories and those tiny little rhinos are the sweetest little things possible. The very famous Hope, the rhino that lost most of the top of her face in a poaching incident is their PR rhino and was saved by them. It was magic to see the progress on her healing. Please "like" their Facebook page in the link and support them. They (and many others) do amazing work.

4. I have without realizing it read so many Afrikaans books in the last while that I am planning to do a complete Afrikaans book review post on Tuesday. I used to read very little Afrikaans but there is an explosion of good crime/thriller writers in Afrikaans with the usual great writers. and I just had to read some of them. I promise and English book (or maybe two) the week after. But if you read Afrikaans I suggest visiting on Tuesday.

5.I received my stunning prize that I won on the relaunch of Bird & Design. Every item is a joy and I love the items she designed herself to bits. This has certainly made my weekend - much much joy! There are so many things in that box that I totally adore....Thanks you Andrea - I am beyond thrilled and it feels as if it was specifically designed just for me.

I hope you have a great weekend - care to share your 5 for Friday? Here or on your blog?

Monday, 18 July 2016

Movie time

We go to the movies a lot - a result of our Discovery Vitality membership as the kids really movie for free most of the day and we at a great discount. We have also trained the kids not to expect a full combo of refreshments at the movies - and they understand that we can see as many as their age allows if we stick to this. So we share popcorn, only get drinks or sometimes skip the whole lot. But we enjoy our movies to the full. We have seen all 3 the kids movies available these holidays and I thought I will give you a run down on them.

I saw the movie with the kids in the second week of the holiday. Firstly it is incredibly beautifully animated mixing live subject with super realistic animation. Secondly the tale is stunningly told - not 100% as per the book but close enough to satisfy a Rolad Dahl fan like me. I thoroughly enjoyed it as did the kids. The scary parts however are very scary and I think a child under about 6 might find it overwhelming. The funny parts are some of the funniest I have ever seen - gosh, that scene in the palace is hilarious!
The kids gave it a unanimous 10/10 and as to enjoyment for adults - I give it a well deserved 10/10 too.

ICE age 
The kids saw this one with our Au Pair during the last week. The general feeling was that it was very funny indeed and quite entertaining. A did mention that the bit of the little guy with his acorn is getting a bit too much but that is purely a personal opinion.
The kids gave it a 9/10 (two of them) and a 10/10 from Mr C. Out Au pair gave it a 8/10 for adult entertainment value.

Finding Dory
We  saw the movie yesterday for a last little holiday treat. We all really enjoyed it but it is not "Finding Nemo" - but still a great adventure. I loved Destiny - a great character added with her friend Bailey and it is in the end still a great Disney/Pixar movie with all the elements we expect.
The kids gave it a 10/10 (A) 9/10 C and 8/10 (L). I give it a good 9/10 for adult entertainment value.

We had a little discussion in the car on our way home yesterday afternoon and the kids all give the BFG as their favorite with two of them voting for Finding Dory in the second place and one for Ice Age in the second place. For me there is really no contest - the BFG is a MUST SEE (as The Little Prince was) for adults - even if you do not have kids. Just go - it is stunning and simply beautiful. I would really love to see it again.

I hope this helps for your movie selection with the kids - please tell me which ones did you see or are planning to see.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Five for Friday edition 12

It's the last day of the school holidays - on Monday it's back to school for the kids and earlier rises for us all. Back into routine. I loved being able to only get up at 7 for the last 3 weeks. We have had a good holiday - a lovely break at the sea, some quiet time at home, movies, a trip to the zoo for the kids and lots of cricket and hockey practice. It seems as if every mom has been trying to organize a last day before school starts play date for their kids. Without me initiating a single one all 3 my kids are spending the day with friends for one last play date before school starts.

Marcia tagged me a while ago on Instagram to a sort of meme where you are given a topic for the month with subtopics every day to draw or doodle and post. It was just what I needed to get me drawing again and I have completed my firs two page spread. Check out #ptldoodles if you want to join too. No need to be an artist - it is about exploring being creative and practicing your drawings

I have taken part in The Winter Book Swap organized by Cupcake. I loved my parcel of goodies and book received but loved it even more that the recipient of my box was so happy with her box of goodies.

Guys you need to shop around for everything. Mr C bought this same Lego set at City gifts and toys for R359 4 days before we saw this price at Reggies. I am wondering how the big shops can justify the difference of a whole R91!

I have joined a project choir for a set of performances in August. I am extremely excited about this - it is the first time in years that I will sing in a proper choir. This one is huge too - they are aiming for 400 voices with both the soprano and alto parties full, they are now looking to fill up the male numbers. We are singing songs from the musicals - some of my favorite music ever.

With that - I hope you have a great weekend and why not join in with your Five for Friday?

Thursday, 14 July 2016

On expos and exhibitions

Our kids adore the exhibitions and expos that have been doing the rounds for the last few years. Most of them seems to be planned in and around school holidays which makes them perfect as a holiday treat and day out. This holiday seem to have a particularly large haul of them with 4 major ones Gateway to Space,  Power of Poison, The Terracotta Army and Bodyworlds Vital). But lets be honest - they are not cheap entertainment either ( depending on how you measure this of course) but mostly money well spent. Most of them however are totally worth it especially if they spark some learning interest and give good facts to read about - mostly if you buy the expo magazine/ catalogue and can page through it later. There is no way the budget will stretch to do all of them so one has to choose wisely. I had a talk with the kids and they were most attracted to Gateway to Space and The Terracotta army. We are planning to do The Terracotta army in August apart that I have not seen many reviews on it and would love to know what it is like.

Gateway to Space was our holiday treat yesterday and it is one of those that we all really enjoyed a lot. From reading the early history of space travel to seeing the new Orion spacecraft currently in development it was an interesting day spent "in space". Most popular with the kids was the real size model of the old Mir space station that is rotated on an angle and really messes with the way your mind works. It feels rather odd inside and we all had giggles and laughs when Mr C on first entry fell over - like some other visitors also did. This was cosely followed by the movie prop of Darth Vader - my little Star wars fans loved it. The Space food totally fascinated the kids. I learned so much I did not even know about the subject. What I do love about the You/Huisgenoot exhibits is that the catalogue is nice and affordable (R40) in opposition to some of the others that cost a small fortune. Last night A was still awake at around 11 reading it and absorbing the facts. 100% worth it! She and Mr C also enjoyed the "5 degrees of freedom" simulator a lot and could not stop talking about it. Mr L at the time just did not feel like it.

 The new Orion capsule and model of the launch craft complete with it.
The big array of Space suits was fascinatin

Casts of Neil Armstrong's hands - custom gloves were made around these

I found the design of the Moon buggy's wheels fascinating

Space food - even shrimp cocktail and mac & cheese

On our way back home we had a discussion in the car on which of the Exhibitions we have seen has been favorites and which not. Funny enough there was, for once, total agreement on our top favorite one and the top 3. Also on the least favorite one there was absolute consensus.

Favorite exhibition ever: King Tutankhamun - Easter 2015. Every single one of us agrees that it was just awesome.
Completing our top 3 are: Gateway to Space and The Art of the Brick (Lego).
Least favorite: Ice Age - the only great thing was the rides after (which were extra if I remember correctly) The expo was very small and looked  a bit worse for the wear.

What are your thoughts on the exhibitions and do you go to them? All or try and sift through? And what are your opinions? Anyone seen The Terracotta Army?

Monday, 11 July 2016

The growing up thing

Gosh yes, I know I have been quiet - it's just busy at work and I try to squeeze off some time to spend with the kids during the school holidays. But I do have lots to write about .

I think a lot of you are aware that I love the stage our kids are in now. Make no mistake - every phase has its beauty and wonder - but I do find this stage where their independence grows so very rewarding. To see them on Saturday morning on the horses - how well they ride and how much confidence they show - Mr L had my heart singing - leading his class on his own with such great posture.

 Another step ahead was that Hunter taught all 3 kids how to row on their own while we were on holiday. Last time we rowed they were tiny little people and Hunter rowed us all in  a boat. Now they are 3 rowers - each in their own kayak - rowing strongly, balancing and steering well. Amazing their mom!
There are however always moments that we feel they grow up way too fast - moments where you think that this can not possibly be your child that is this big? Cue in a moment at Sanlameer when A and her friend came running out of the sea in their bikinis - not looking like the two 11 year olds they are but rather two excited teenagers chatting away. That my friends was way too fast. Thank goodness that later that evening they played pretend games with their younger siblings with as much gusto as ever. It's that odd in between phase I guess - to be appreciated on it's own too.

Some moments however are just perfect - on Saturday A and I tackled her room and donated much of what was little girl in it. All the baby dolls went, carry cots, camping cot, their accessories etc. Other little dolls, animals and some soft toys. Tea sets and pretend food. She kept her Barbies - up in her cupboard, and her two Lalaloopsies, my old Cabbage patch kids and her two Trashcan kidz and of course her Lego - and some other little odds like her little ponies, Zoobles en Little Pet shops. I am sure in the near future some of that will go to - but not too soon. Just a few shelves full - to make space for books. I love that she decluttered with such joy and happiness - I guess we should have done it long ago but for her the timing was right -  there was no sadness about it. Just joy at the thought that other little girls will love it and that she is making a better space in her room for herself. It also made me very happy to get rid of 5 black bags of stuff. We were exhausted after 4 hours of going through almost everything in that room but it is so rewarding.
So tell me about the phases your kids are in - are you enjoying it? Or did you enjoy the younger ones more?

Monday, 4 July 2016

Perfect moments

Sometimes life gifts you with a perfect moment - a moment when all that is ugly in the world disappears for a while, a moment where you feel at peace and where your whole being sighs in joy. Pure pure happiness! I had one of those on Monday afternoon as we stood on the beach at Sanlameer in perfect weather - just our little family together after a very excited drive down to the coast. I had a few more over the following few days. It was a great break.

It still feels almost unreal - our wonderful 5 days at the coast. I have forgotten how great the weather is this time of the year. You actually escape the Winter for just a few days. But we are all a little happier now, breathe a little deeper and feel that we had a rest and some time for each other.