The year in pictures and some ramblings…

Serious hail that took over 2 days to melt…
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Our sweet Conure Marshmallow joined the family!

Our fluff ball that Jessica got as a birthday gift. A pekingese puppy that is now 8 months old and loves barking at the dark (Sooooo fuuuunnnnn! But I still love her.)

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Brother time!
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My mom turned 60 (2nd from the left) and to celebrate we surprised her with the  Mamma Mia show at Monte Casino and had a dinner at ocean basket. She almost didn’t make it as she had a car accident and was in hospital till the day before for tests. But we enjoyed it so much! Just missed my two other siblings in New Zealand.

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Kids got blessed with a new trampoline. Our old one was seriously missed!
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Rising temps! We even hit 39 Celsius last week

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Lapbooks were fun!
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Kids were blessed with a pizza play set that a friend made for us. I didn’t realize it would turn them into fake Italians too! But amazing fun times.

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Jessica has been getting Cooking Lessons with an older homeschooler and it’s have been interesting (My kids refuse to eat veg). Some yummy treats though.

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Year end book prizes and certificates for the kids and medals at exercise class!

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Our ‘gingerbread’ village

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Got her first sewing machine for Christmas and already made a little bag for her fake bird pet.

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Blessings to you all for the year ahead!

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A small garden success

Before winter I decided I wanted to start our first garden. We prepared the ‘patch’, we researched Farming God’s way, read Jane’s Delicious Garden, were given seeds to start and after mulching and composting, August arrived and planting began. I planted carrots, radishes, peas, lettuces, peppers and mustard to begin. Added tomatoes, beans and marrows. We were surprised with sunflowers in the middle of the garden (my daughter dropped the seeds she was holding onto before we managed to plant them.)
I also planted a pumpkin (I think it is anyway) that has just started growing…it’s taken forever!
We were also surprised with a gem squash and watermelon we didn’t plant!
Both are given a lovely crop! I never did manage to get lettuce or peppers to grow :(
Because of drought conditions and heat I have had really bad seedling conditions and nothing new is growing except beans.

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New Skills

2015 Arrived and school took up most my hours.
My breaks as usual were spent planning and printing. With the pending arrival of the mid year holidays, I made myself a promise. I would spend less time on school planning and use the time to learn something new.

After watching endless Masterchef episodes, I decided there were two things I wanted to learn to do well. The first was steak. Using Gordon Ramsey’s instructions i managed quite well on our first try using a few Rib Eye steaks. I also made a Sherry Mushroom sauce that was scrumptious.
The second thing I wanted to learn to make was something I had only ever heard about on Masterchef…Panna Cotta! What a very easy dish to make! My family enjoyed it very much and it has been requested a few times since then.

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Two other quite significant skills I have started learning this year is Crochet and Sewing. Although I have had sewing machines for quite sometime I just did very basic things and my mom has helped me pick up a few things along the road. But this year I have been quite serious about learning and with the help of a good friend and YouTube I have been successful.

I do realise I am in danger as being known as the bag lady! I really enjoying making them although I find it difficult to give them away as my daughter keeps claiming them.

Shorts for the kids
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My first tote bag and my daughters ballet Tutu tote.
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Bag my mom claimed the first because of the colour and my mom in law has the second one.

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I upcycled my sons cargo pants into a backpack…I need to lengthen the straps but he likes it.

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I made us a large swim tote with a waterproof inner. Works great but maybe a zip would have been good too.

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Upcycled Jeans bag

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My mom’s christmas messenger bag with pockets I made for her present. Attempted my first zip too!

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There are a few more things in between that I have sewed..clothing mostly for kids and myself. I have learned lots and hope to link pattern sites soon.

 

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Introduction to science…

Jessica has not been too excited about science. It has been a bit sad for me as it was such a winner with E.
It took me a few days to convince her that learning about science did not mean she had to be a palaeontologist when she grows up. (Her older brother has this dream!) She actually cried!

Today gave her a bit of a new view of fun that science can be. She got to build a weather vane! Thankfully we actually had a breeze and it all came together for her.

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Blessings!

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One week in and things are getting busy…

We had a very successful first week of school.
Our mornings start quite early. The kids seem to wake sometime around 5-6am. What is with that???
We are normally eating breakfast around 7am and begin a bible study. After morning chores, the little ones have some time to play while I begin with E.  They all seem interested and eager. Will see how long that lasts.
Some days are longer than others but we are settling in. I was worried about Elijah and the distractions the siblings would give him but he seems to be coping really well.

Gabriel is very keen and begs me to give him more activities. It can be quite a challenge sometimes but overall we are working it out. Jessica loves her school. She is enjoying listening to her read aloud, The Box Car children. I have quite a few follow ups so I am glad I invested in those.

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Preschool is alot of work. Planning, printing, laminating, cutting….not my favourite thing to do. It is worth it in the end though. Gabriel has themes each week and this week was Our Body. I made a preschool lapbook for him following mostly the ideas/printables from here.

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Gabriel loved the muscles and skeleton! The action songs and poems were a great it! It didn’t take too long to put together for him. I had all three kids participating and giving input so definitely worth the effort!

 

Blessings Everyone!

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Elijah’s Book of Wonder

Day 2 in Science and we had a big project! We are busy going through Real Science-4-Kids Biology Level 1 and we had an activity to create a kingdom poster.
Now being me, I first googled and looked on the forums for others that had perhaps done something similar (to have a clue on what kind of information to put in! Bad Lazy Mommy…or maybe Genius?) But alas nothing was to be found. Wikipedia was absolutely no help and very technical. Was a real struggle to get an idea of how things were supposed to be.

Elijah chose the Animalia Kingdom (GASP)…oh wait, no surprise, I knew he would. Why study fungi or bacteria when his knowledge of the Animal kingdom is already so vast! I really hoped he would be willing to branch out but not even plants could be as fascinating as animals.

After much discussion, internet searches and planning (me drawing him diagrams too), we decided how he would tackle this. I was thinking it would take a couple of weeks to complete. Much to my surprise it only took a few torturous hours.
The first hiccup was that Elijah refused write the information. Yes he is that boy that hates to write anything! So we compromised and I dictated and he typed. After agonizing and wanting to break out the wine as the typing speed was super slow (I kept a smile on my face and encouraged all the way though), my computer decided to freeze!!!
We waited quite a while before I had to restart the machine. I didn’t want Elijah to know all his work (about 3/4 of his information) had disappeared so I quickly retyped it and had him finish the rest.
So we had technology today as Elijah learnt about changing fonts, colours etc…Slow but good skills if he remembers them.

Our information was gathered from Kidzone and am so glad they have a child friendly explanation/break down. They only had 6 of the Animal classes but it was good enough for me.

Here is the result:

One very very happy boy feeling extremely accomplished.

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Blessings to you all!!

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2015 New Year and New Challenges!

Today we have started our new school year. It began with kids and I exercising along with FitnessBlender. After breakfast and Bible study the kids were allowed in the school and were greeted with giant tube ‘pencils’ on the desk with a written ‘Welcome back to school’ that had a chocolate bar inside with an ‘I love You’ message.

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A big start for school with J begging for more but complaining of sore hands at the same time. It was as challenging as I expected with her arguing about doing things her way vs. my way.
I left her with the Math-U-See manipulatives and she had a fun time building a ‘farm house and animals’.
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E had a good morning. He has become such a confident reader! I love listening and am truly blessed to have been along with him on this journey. E had only one complaint through the morning as he now has to do all his own writing and I am no longer doing any scribing at all. He is unsure whether science will be fun or not because of this reason 😀 We will see!!

G  just wanted his own worksheets/books/school. I will truly be glad to be done with preschool. There are so many rewards at the end of the day, it is always fun but it is lots of hard work to get it all planned and prepared.

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Curriculum Choices for 2015

Gabriel (4):
Little Footprints, Sonlight P3/4 repeated as the books are just too fun, Kumon books and lots of toys

Elijah (8):
Core:  Footprints in our land
Science:   Sonlight Science D
Bible:    Calvary Curriculum Topical Studies
Language Arts:    Sonlight LA3, IEW for writing and poetry, IXL, All about Spelling
Maths:    Math-U-See Gamma (South African version)
Art:   Artistic Pursuits (K-3)
Programming:    Code.org

Jessica (5):
Core: Sonlight A
Science:   Sonlight A
Language Arts:   Sonlight K
Maths:   Math-U-See Primer
Art:   Various Theme Crafts

Blessings!!!

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Science is AWESOME!

Part of our Science Curriculum uses Usborne Science Activities Vol.3

Today was a day of Catch up after three weeks of my whole family being sick. it turned into way more than expected.

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Sonlight Science Moments…

We have started our Fun with Batteries unit in Science. Loads of fun. Here is a video Elijah created for his Dad at work.

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Field Trips! The Sylviavale Heritage Museum

The Sylviavale Heritage Museum in Vanderbijlpark is a really nice outing for all the family. They have a village market on the weekend and sometimes have steam exhibitions! There is NO entrance fee so as a group homeschoolers this was really appreciated!
There is a very nice tea garden with delicious meals. Worth a visit/trip to the vaal

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Giant Chess

Giant Chess

Very nice playground for the kids while waiting to begin

Very nice playground for the kids while waiting to begin

Climbing around

Climbing around

Discovering...

Discovering…

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Old style kitchen

Old style kitchen

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Where are the horses?

Where are the horses?

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Learning about a sewing machine

Learning about a sewing machine

Cutting the lawn

Cutting the lawn

Off to the office

Off to the office

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Jessica loved this Model T ford

Jessica loved this Model T ford

I can do it!

I can do it!

Toys for Africa

Toys for Africa

Cars r us

Cars r us

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The general dealer

The general dealer

Cars at the ready...

Cars at the ready…

Driving - Gabriel's favourite new hobby

Driving – Gabriel’s favourite new hobby

Missing the water

Missing the water

The homeschoolers off to fun...

The homeschoolers off to fun…

 

Blessings,

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