Sunday, May 31, 2009

Another tooth lost.

Abigail lost another tooth this evening. It always seems to happen at bedtime! When the tooth fairy is all out of cash! But fortunately she wants to keep it to show Ouma, so the tooth fairy will be able to go to the bank...

Here she is with the still bloody gap!

That makes 4 out... and many to go!

Tanya's Twenty First.

Last night my youngest cousin, Tanya celebrated her 21st birthday which was last Sunday. She was the baby of the family for about 14 years (until Abigail arrived), the last of a generation.

It was a themed party and so the invitation arrived like this:

It is a record - remember those!! Very clever idea seeing as the theme was "Ladies and Gentlemen of the Swing era" and we were asked to wear black and gold. Fancy dress is not really my thing so I went more for the black and gold than the swing but everybody made some effort and they all looked great. Hats were donned, braces and jackets worn and the ladies had their hair in nets and curls 50's style.

My Dad, on the other hand, went all out. He was Liberace meets Coon carnival! But he looked great, like a real mobster!

Here are some of the other outfits:

(The birthday girl is in the bottom left picture with her sweet boyfriend, Chad.)

And here we have Al Capone and co.!

The hall was very nicely decorated and evening went off without a hitch! Very good organisation.

And very delicious food: spring rolls and samoosa's to start, Lasagna, garlic bread and gorgeous salad for main course and baked chocolate pudding and ice cream for dessert. Yum.

Cooked by this lady, Nadia. Well done, it was all DELICIOUS.

Tanya gave a great speech with a beautiful tribute to her parents and a little something about each person that was there and the role they played in her life.

Well done to all who were part of the organisation and


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Abigail can speak French!

(Ingrid, this one is specially for you!)
While we were driving home from school today, Abigail announced that she can speak French!
"'The' in French is 'Zi'" [the 'i' being as in 'in'] she said and then reading the name of a shop we happened to be passing "see, listen: 'Zi Bed Shop'! (The Bed Shop)"!


Every year around this time I have t-shirts printed for school.
They are made by a company called "Classmates" and their "claim to fame" is that they print self portraits drawn by all the children in a class onto t-shirts, sweat shirts, pillowcases, tray cloths and aprons, to mention but a few! My kids are still too young to draw portraits so we usually do hand prints.
Niave is very keen on aprons so I ordered her an apron this year because she didn't think much of the long-sleeved t-shirt I ordered last year!
The thing is in Niaves world aprons are not worn over clothes, aprons are the clothes!
But she looks very cute in it...

and you should see it from the back!!!
Here's a closer look at the design:

Another Niave-ism!

Earlier while we were in the car, Niave must have had something in her eye that was making it water. She said, while rubbing it madly, "Mommy, my eye is sweating"!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Readathon finale.

Tomorrow is the end of the readathon, all sponsors must be in so Abigail read 2 books tonight to take her up to 10.
"The Gruffalo" and "Monkey Puzzle", both by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler - a brilliant author/illustrator combo.

And so we come to the end of the 2009 Readathon!

These are all the books we've read.

Well done Abigail, you read all your books keenly and with lovely expression.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Pedal Power!

This evening Niave learnt how to pedal!!
Not too difficult you might think. But you'd be wrong! Once you know how to do it you kind of forget that it was ever difficult.

But it is a skill to be mastered and so far the 2 children that I have taught to ride a bike (i.e. my own!) have spent many months pedalling backwards for dear life. Now you may think that that would propel them wildly into reverse but the bike we have, that is 3 year old size, does not go anywhere when you pedal it backwards it just makes a lovely whizzing sound! So I was so very happy when Niave finally "got it" because as I've said before it will hopefully mean we can go on more "adventurous" bike rides in the not too distant future.

Here she is - deep in concentration!

Of course once she really gets going I'll have to buy some running shoes or maybe a bike of my own! Mmmm, now there's a thought!
Tonight's Readathon book was Jonathan Mark in the Park by Jacqueline Sibley.
This is actually one of my books that has migrated here from my parents house. It is a story about sharing with friends and listening to your mother!! And no, I did not choose it but I couldn't have picked a better book if I'd tried!!
And as you can see by the flash-reflection on the cover, I am still scannerless!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

More readathon.

We continue to read! (May it never end.)
Tonight Abigail read Niave her bedtime story. So sweet!!

The book was: If You Hold My Hand by Jillian Harker.

I love the illustrations in this book and it's just a very sweet story - perfect for a 3 year old:-)
We have now made it to 7... 3 to go!

We also started reading Roald Dahl's "The Giraffe, the Pelly and Me" tonight for Abigail's bedtime story out of this book that she was given for Christmas a few years back.

She loves Roald Dahl and we have tired of James and the Giant Peach which she knows almost backwards so we've moved on! We read some of the Revolting Rhymes the other day, she's sort of old enough to get the humour but she did look a bit confused at the end of the Three Little Pigs when Red Riding Hood walks off with a pig-skin handbag!!

There is a set if Roald Dahl CD's at Bargain Books for about R500,00! Every time I go in there I have a squiz at them again! I think it's one of those things that you just have to have!!! Ha Ha Ha!!
I think that after this it will have to be The BFG. There are just so many really, we could read Roald Dahl until grade 7 and still not be finished!!

Set painting.

At the end of the term Abigail's school is putting on a musical/play called "Dear Edwina". The whole school takes part at some level - some more than others.
The parents are also obviously involved in various ways and one way is painting the set and props. So, this afternoon Abigail and I went to the school to help with the painting. Now I am no painter so I just do the "labour" and someone else comes with the "talent" and makes it look like something!!

It is still very much a work in progress:

It is the inside of a garage which is where the play is set. As you can see I did not paint the tree! Abigail and I did the fridge - the green one. You know, one of those old 1970's fridges that probably stands in your or your parents garage? That's it. Someone still needs to come and do the ageing process and give it some 3Dness but we filled in the lines.
It made me think of that old Afrikaans TV program "Matewus en Marai" - oh my, how do you spell those??? Anyway, there was an episode where she gets a fridge and she's never had one before, it is bright green and she is so happy she can't stop crying!! I loved that program. If the SABC end up having to can all the soaps - they can bring some of those back: Ballade vir 'n Enkeling - I just think of the theme song and I get a lump in my throat.

Anyway, Dear Edwina sounds like it will be quite good so we'll have to wait and see!

Saturday, May 23, 2009


Fridays Readathon book was The Dragon Den - a Ladybird Key Words book. Really far too easy - a grade 1 level book but it was Friday and it was late!
Today she read another Percy book (we have a few!!) The Fox's Hiccups by Nick Butterworth.

So now we are up to 6.
4 more to go!

Friday, May 22, 2009

End of the week.

Phew! Boy am I glad about that!
Even though our Thursday book is missing in action we did read one.
Problem is the printer (that is also the scanner) died and so I was unable to scan last night.
But never fear, there are still members of the household who have a use for the appliance in question!

Our Thursday book was Angelina's Baby Sister by Katharine Holabird.

Most girls go through an Angelina phase (no, not Jolie, ballerina!), Abigail hasn't read one for a while but has recently become interested in ballet again so I thought it would be a good one to choose.
And today was "book character" day at school, as decided Abigail went as Heidi. She wore a red top and dress that she had in her cupboard and my mom quickly sewed an apron to go over it. She had 2 little Swiss plaits for her hairstyle! She looked really sweet, I must say.

Oh, and we had a little Armenian visitor today too!!

At school this morning we made flapjacks and had a little tea party, the children mixed their own batter and then poured their own tea etc. So when Abigail came home and heard about it all, we had to make some more! I must admit, it didn't take much persuading, and they were delicious. The recipe spoke about 24, we were lucky if we got 12 and they didn't last long out of the pan with these 2 eager customers waiting!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009


Today's readathon book was Mog's Christmas by Judith Kerr.
Abigail read her book to my mom this evening.
Mog books are very sweet - she is just so cattish!
If you have a cat you'll know what I mean.
Take our cat Bonny for instance, today she spent the entire morning sleeping inside a plastic packet full of boxes for recycling! Only a cat.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Three score and ten.

Today was my Dad's 70th birthday. That's quite a big number!!It was a run-around day for us with a trip to the dentist and all sorts - so we only got to see him this evening for a finger supper and tea. And of course the kids need to blow out candles!!

It's difficult to know what to give somebody who is turning 70 but I came up with 2 ideas.

Last year was my brothers 40th and we put together a collage of photo's from baby to 40 - the common denominator for all the pictures was that he was in them!
So I decided to do a similar thing for my Dad, only it was on a smaller scale.

We also had a special t-shirt printed for the occasion!!

Here's a closer look!!

It was quite tricky... get all the relavant parties... co-operate for a picture!!

We arrived home after a lo-o-o-ng day at 8:30pm with 2 very tired children and 1 who still needed to read her readathon book!! Oh dear. Well we made it through - only just!

The Tuesday Readathon book was The Cross Rabbit by Nick Butterworth, another of our favourite authors, I love the way he writes and his illustrations are beautiful too.

Monday, May 18, 2009


This week Abigail's school is having a:
Each child has to read for about half an hour a day (over and above their normal daily reading) for this week. It amounts to approximately 10 books for the week for the younger grades. For this they are sponsored or receive donations which go towards funds for the school.

On Friday they are allowed to go to school dressed as their favourite character from a book. Abigail has chosen to go as Heidi!

Tonight she read her first book for the Readathon:

My kids LOVE these books, and most Lauren Child books actually. Charlie and Lola books (there are many of them) are about a little girl - Lola, and her older brother - Charlie, and what I like about them is he is so patient and kind to her helping her out with all her "dilemma's". This one is about a trip to the library where Lola discovers someone else has taken her book. Charlie has to help her understand that it is a library so anyone is allowed to take any book and they don't belong to anybody.
Tomorrow they have to write a book review on the book they read this evening. Should be interesting...
So, we are collecting sponsors or donations for a very keen reader - we accept any currency, account details can be supplied!!!


You know it's winter when -

there are red hot coals in the fireplace:

the cats sleep inside at night:

the tumble dryer hums along in the background:

and the first "official" Cape storm hits bringing swells of up to 8 metre's:

We took a drive to Sea Point yesterday to see the swell (one of Grant's all-time favourite pastimes - he wanted to be swimming in it - or at least surfing!!) It was quite impressive. Some of us thought it was so impressive that they didn't dare venture out of the car

for fear of this!!!:

She stayed safe at her dad's side while I braved the wind and spray to get some pics!! The plight of the blogger I tell you!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Weekend.

This past weekend was a busy one from start to finish.
On Friday morning Abigail's school held a Mother's Day breakfast which started at 7:30!! In the rush to get done on time, I left my camera behind so no pictures! We had yummy croissants and muffins and tea. Abigail was very excited to present me with a handmade beaded keyring. It was very sweet.
Then it was rush home to school by 8:30. That evening we went to the food fair at church. I have been once or twice before but it was really great this time. There were loads of people and lots to eat and many goodies to buy!

Niave stayed home with Grant as she wasn't feeling well and we took Bryce with us for the evening.

Saturday was also jam-packed with a party in the morning and a friends birthday tea in the afternoon (this time I took my camera but didn't use it!). By 6:30 I still hadn't been to a shop and we needed quite a few basics so it was off to Pick 'n Pay at 7pm!!

Sunday was Mother's Day so I was instructed to stay in bed while Grant helped the girls make breakfast for me. Scrambled eggs on toast! Abigail was so proud!! I was given a new hairdryer as the other one exploded! I was very grateful because wet hair on a winters morning is not my idea of fun! Then it was a mad dash to church - going via Kodak to put into action my last minute gift idea for all the Grannies!! I was at a bit of a loss and by 8pm on Saturday night was still wracking my brain. But while in the queue at Pick 'n Pay I had an epiphany!!! Photo's!! Always a hit (specially in my family!) and since we'd newly had a photo shoot it seemed like as good a time as any. I printed out one of my family (mom, dad, brother, sister, me) and 1 of each of the girls for my mom and of the girls for Grant's mom and step-mom.After church it was another mad dash to find frames!!! Talk about leaving it to the last minute, it was more like the last second!!
Anyway, it all turned out well in the end and all the grannies seemed happy with their gifts:-)

We took a drive to the Avenue again to feed the birds and squirrels in the afternoon but they all seemed a bit fed-up(!) as there were so many visitors. We finally found a troop of co-operative squirrels on our way back to the car. (What is the collective noun for squirrels anyway? I'm inclined to think it may be a scurry!!!) We got home rather late and children needed to be fed, bathed, and put to bed after a very busy weekend. Then it was time for me to do some schoolwork which had been sadly neglected this weekend, so I had a rather late night finishing off some loose ends here and there.
The weather was absolutely wonderful all weekend and even today. Beautiful, warm, windless days. It was a good thing for all the wedding parties that we saw having photographs taken in the gardens. Beautiful dresses and quite an entourage for some. As one group walked passed Niave gasped and said "wow! look at all the angels"!!
I think that winter will be back tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Can we fix it?

Yes we can!!

(Sorry, couldn't resist the Bob-the-Builder line!!)

Niave - happiest with a screwdriver in hand!

Not forgetting the all-important protective eye goggles - strategically placed not on the eyes!!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

A step into nature.

This afternoon we did something that I haven't done in a long time - we went for a walk in Newlands forest. Although the weather looked a bit grey and wet, it turned out fine, in fact there seemed to have been less rain in Newlands than in Plumstead which is very unusual.

Anyway, we started out at the Newlands fire base - and took these pictures of the helicopter for Grants benefit - from every angle!!

We found a trail called "Littlewort" which was brisk and quite manageable for the children.

We walked up to a little waterfall, had a rest-stop at a picnic spot there and then down another path back to the base. All in all about an hour.

It was really nice to be surrounded by nature, trees, plants, birds, insects etc. At a point you get high enough not to hear any traffic.

We came across this poor tiny oak tree that had been devoured by something leaving it looking like an autumn doily!!

Being there brought back memories of when I was a child and going on church/family outings/picnics. It's definitely something we need to do more often.