30 June 2011

My Armour

I have the bestest, warmest gown. It is also the ugliest, most unflattering item of clothing I have ever owned. In winter I care not for fashion. At least not when I am at home, arbing around.



It is a standing joke between The Man and I. He calls it my armour. Apparently it screams 'back off, I am cold and unnattractive' and he also says it's the most hideous thing ever. If he didnt know what lay beneath he may well run screaming to the nearest outpost.

I have challenged him to find me something more appealing - that is as warm and as comfortable as my armour.

Do you have a go-to item of clothing that your significant other despises. And that you wear anyway? ;-)

29 June 2011

In my world

Today I spent a morning with a friend I have know for over 10yrs. Our lives have gone in different directions and we havent spent much time together while I have been raising my kids but somehow we just connect like it was yesterday! She enriches my life in a way no-one else can.

From there I went to gym - am loving my new trainer, G, she pushed me to do a workout I had found online that I NEVER thought I could ever do. But she knew...and I did it. Twice. I do go workout with her with mild trepidation - our workouts are not for the faint of heart, but I like to feel almost dead otherwise I fail to see the point...she gets that. She is also helping me reach my goal with running so all in all - a good fit is what we are.

Funny story: because I was going to be out all morning today I unblocked Disney XD as a treat for the kids. Well. You would swear that they had won the lottery! The excitement was off the hook. Amazing how something they totally took for granted 3 weeks ago is now such a rare commodity that it evokes such a response.

Right now they are playing Wii Fit Plus - am very happy with this purchase - great family game.

Happy days in our tribes world at the moment.

28 June 2011

From Cupboard to Office

I think I may have shared this before on one of my *many* other blogs but its so blooming nifty I think its only fair to share it again.

Again this post feeds into my craving for order from chaos. You wouldnt really know it but I desire order/freedom from clutter like I need solitude. That is A LOT.

Are you like that? Few things make me happier than taking a cupboard, shelf or surface and decluttering the sh#te out of it. Really - I glow with happiness.  The sad part is that within a week its all gone to hell because the people I live with dont really share my desire for order. :-(


Cupboard before

Home office after. 

*drool*

I swear if I had even ONE cupboard in my house it would be in serious danger of becoming a home office. Whether I needed one or not!

27 June 2011

Photo Post

We have had some good times lately.

A local skating centre is the new best treat.

Or our local garden centre is the next best spot....

Celebrating outstanding reports with hot chocolates all round.

Fun at the park in our estate

Riding to the park - new found freedom!

Celebrating Fathers Day at Cape Farmhouse

Happy Fathers Day!

A beaut winters day at our beautiful beach.


Happy Monday :-)  Make it good!

26 June 2011

The Happiness Project

I started reading this book last night. And my heart began to race as I read page after page.


Finally.

Someone gets it. Someone feels EXACTLY like me. Right down to the tiniest detail. I am not alone in this crazy place of discontented contentment.

I am going to share some excerpts with you from the introduction

**********************

" i had much to be happy about. I was married to Jamie.....we two delightful daughters....I was a writer...i lived in my favourite city/.....
but all too often I sniped at my husband, i lost my temper easily, i suffered bouts of melancholy, listlessness and free-floating guilt."

"i wasnt depressed and i wasnt having a midlife crisis, but i was suffering from a midlife malaise - a recurrent sense of discontent and almost a feeling of disbelief. Can this be me?'

'But though at times I felt dissatisfied, that something was missing, I also never forgot how fortunate I was.....'

'When i stepped back to reflect on my resolutions, i was struck their small scale.T ake January - Go to bed earlier. and Tackle a nagging task. These didnt sound dramatic or colourful or particularly ambitious.

'Other peoples radical happiness projects such as Thoreau's  move to Walden Pond and Liz Gilberts move to Italy, India and Indonesia, exhilarated me. ...... But my project wasnt like that.....I didnt want to undertake that kind of extraordinary change./.....And more important I didnt want to reject my life. I wanted to change my life by finding more happiness in my own kitchen..../.'


'...my real worry about my project: Was it supremely self-centred to spend so much effort on my own happiness?'

(the author goes on to quote various philosophers and modern scientists and concludes)
"....shows that happy people are more altuistic, more productive, more helpful, more likable, more creative, more resilient, more interested in others, friendlier and healthier. Happy people make better friends, colleauges and citizens. I wanted to be one of those people."

*********************

I have only just finished chapter 1 but I can already see that this book will be a valuable read.

Change isnt in the big things. It is in the tiny details of our everyday lives that we either fail to see because we are too busy or we fail to acknowledge the weight of seemingly small decisions that have far-reaching effects.

25 June 2011

Saturdays Meanderings

The man and I were going to go to Spier this weekend. We have a complimentary night due us but I cancelled at the last minute. I dont want to go when the weather is so miserable. I want to be able to enjoy the beauty of the grounds there - so we have taken a rain check. Think we will maybe go for his birthday or something.

Instead we took off this morning (got sitter for kids) and went to hang out with my sister and bil. The guys watched rugby and we yakked and drank tea. From there the man and I went off to look for a bicycle rack as we are off up the west coast shortly and want to take the kids bikes. Expensive business this bike rack story -sjoe.

We then pottered off to peruse the Cape Quarter as I had still not been there. It is lovely but I wasnt really in the shopping mood - we bought some pretty nifty gadgets at the Green store though. A very cool little solar panel (bout the size of my hand) that charges a little battery. From that battery you charge your cellphones, pdas, ipods, cameras and all those myriad of gadgets we have. (it comes with all the adapters)

It really is an awesome tool. Great for campers, hikers, bikers etc as you can strap the panel to your backpack and charge all your peripherals while out in the bundus. (not that I would EVER consider bundu experiences for longer than a lunch time)

I also found some BARGAIN kids audiobooks (R60) and regular books - poety, stories and activity ones at Book Warehouse. I love that place. All going in my Christmas box...only 6mths to go folks! ;-)

We arrived home to overexcited kids - they reminded me of puppies wagging their tails! They lined the driveway and shrieked in delight as we got home. I saw the need to exercise them immediately (puppies remember?) and we set off biking for an hour or so.

All in all a very chilled day. Love them.

24 June 2011

Holiday Reads

Un - clut - ter -er : def:

Someone who chooses to get rid of the distractions that get 
in the way of a remarkable life.

- Erin R Doland


*********************

On my reading list in the next 3 weeks (school holidays!)

My opening quote comes from this book so clearly I have to read it now!

Read review here
 
Read review here
 
 
Read review here


I may actually be hoping for foul weather so I have an excuse to stay indoors and cuddle with my Kindle!

23 June 2011

Books and Authors

I have been re-reading my copy of this book - i bought it some years ago, read it, made some changes and then fell back into old patterns. I re-read it this week and was again struck by the vitality, vulnerability and transparancy of this author. I thoroughly recommend it if you are looking to *choose less in a world of more.*



Imagine my shock when I logged onto her blog and discovered she had suffered a major stroke in January this year. She has only recently been released from hospital and has a very long and difficult journey ahead to recovery. She is 38, a mom of 2 young girls, a ballet dancer, a writer, a speaker and so much more. And yet, she is only human, like the rest of us.

Take a moment today, reflect and be grateful.

22 June 2011

Christmas in June!

It really does feel a bit like Christmas to me...so many wishlist items all arriving at once due to cirumstances all lining up in my favour!

A few of you may remember my post earlier this year of when my camera got stolen on the beach. It was such a day for me - not just the loss of the camera but all the photos I had taken and not yet downloaded. I was gutted. That was January this year I think.

I have since been using my cellphone camera for most photos. It has not been fun as I really like to take photos....like the rest of you! Insurance paid us out a couple of bob but not enough to get a decent camera ....so we waited and waited some more. KJ then told me about her G12 and 2 days ago I found it online at Arrow Photo...for a bargain price INCLUDING and 8gig memory card! Wooooop - it arrives today sometime by courier.


Canon G-12

 This is simply a spoil from my man. I found it online at Nivo -  It’s GPS-enabled so it knows how far and how fast I run - It comes with a heart rate monitor to display your heart rate in beats per minute. It also provides heart rate-based calorie computations so you can accurately track your calories burned.. There’s virtually no setup required, so I can just press start and run or walk with it...yeah!



Garmin Forerunner 110

Finally, I have decided life is too short to mess around with touchscreen phones. I am selling my wildfire and have purchased this (2month) old Nokia E-5 online at gumtree for half its retail value. Am totally stoked to be able to get it and be contract-free. (Another small step to being debt free. ;-) 

And yes - i could have had a BB ( but their cameras are cr@p) or numerous other phones but I CHOOSE boring Nokia cos I like them. (i still have my e51)  This modest upgrade has a 5mp camera, whatsapp, fb, twitter, mp3 player blah blah hopscotch. Last I heard you can even make a phone call with it!



Nokia E-5

 Can you say *online retail-high*?  :-)

-------------------------------------------------

(ps - further to the 'Changes' post of Monday I have gone a step further and downgraded our dstv bouquet to Compact. And kids havent missed a beat)

21 June 2011

Title-Less

With no tv to watch we have plenty of time for reading in the evenings.


Today I will be going in to my girls' school to be their Mystery Reader for half an hour in each grade.

It is Book Week and there are all kinds of exciting things happening revolving around the joy of reading. The Grade Ones are celebrating Dr Seuss while the Grade Fours are reading The Secret Seven...much to Honey's horror. She (and many others) are WAY past Secret Seven so she was less than impressed with this choice BUT they do get to do silent reading for an hour with their own books (and blankets and pillows!)

I really love being involved in the life of the school; it is a top priority. I love watching how the kids interact with one another and I really enjoy getting to know each of the children; with such small classes (on 12 per class) it is easy to build great friendships.

After reading to the kids I will be heading off to my friend to help her pack up her kitchen. It is with great sadness that we will be waving them goodbye next week. After 10years in South Africa they are returning to England. Not much would get me in any kitchen but right now I am happy to do just about anything to grab another hour or two with M.

The kids are all bringing friends home tomorrow afternoon for playdates. Love that term is winding down and there is no homework pressure - we can all just *play and chill*.

Hope your days pan out to be stellar!

20 June 2011

Happy Birthday Hooligan!



My boytjie. What can I say? You bring so much life, laughter and relative mayhem to our lives. That twinkle in your eye and cheeky grin can turn any ordinary day into something pretty darn cool.

You are such a blessing to us little mister. You cruise through this life with such energy. You endure being outnumbered by girls with ease and charm. You are not shy to compliment women on their *outfits* and then a moment later bust a move on your skateboard that leaves me pale.

From riding your bike, to playing cricket, soccer, rugby, ping pong, skating, baseball - you name it - you do it. Balls, wheels and dangerous physical play is what you are about most of the time ... I have had to learn to unclench my jaw when watching you at play. I have lost count of the number of times I have yelled to your father to come and help me...and then asked (peeping through my fingers)

Is there blood?
(and usually there is!)
I love the way you crawl into my bed early in the morning. The snuggle time we have - the way you nudge me and say ' turn your face to me mommy'

I love your independence but yet you still have to jump up, from whatver you are doing, to give me a kiss and a hug - even if I am just going to Pick n Pay. 

I love your dress sense - your affinity for jeans and high-tops!
I love your eagerness to present me with your (excellent) art everyday after school. 

I love your sensitve yet bold nature.
 
I love the way you open my car door for me - the little man of the hour when your dad isnt there to do it.
You are a young man of note and we are so very proud of you - we look forward to prayerfully partnering with you on your journey to being the man we know you are destined to be. 
  
Happy birthday little guy, we love you ridiculously muchly Hooli. 

19 June 2011

Sleep Tight

I love that this is now a standard for nightime....that I can now say :

Go jump into bed early and you can read for an hour. 




Two down - just one to go!  :-)

Steps to Change

* Living simply involves intention and purpose. 
It requires focus. It looks beyond the task at hand 
to the purpose behind it. 
  
******
 
So I have begun to take some minor steps to change the little things in my (our) lives that impact my big picture. They may seem silly to you, thats okay.

1. I have blocked Disney, Disney XD, Nickelodeon and KIDCO on my pvr decoder. I am tired of the american drivel that is being infused into my kids brains. All adults are cast as blithering geriatrics with no clue. Kids in these shows are rude, superior, sarcastic and insulting. I cannot fathom how I have allowed this crap in my house for so long.

2. I have removed facebook and push email from my cellphone. I will not be constantly distracted. I will wait in queues or at the robots or at extramurals without becoming one with my cellphone. I will not fill every moment by multitasking. I will, instead, read a book, have a conversation or stare into space.

3. I will read to my kids every day.

4. I will not schedule every hour of my day.

********

* Living simply involves changing our thinking, looking at our lives from a different perspective. It means stopping to ask myself WHY I am doing something and making choices that reflect my PURPOSE.


* quotes from Joanne Heim, Living Simply

18 June 2011

Quote Unquote

 I have always had a bit of a crush on Robert Downey Jnr- this made me smile! Can totally see him saying this with that wry smile of his.

17 June 2011

Getting Back to Basics

Some of you will remember my Intentional Living post from last week. It is not unusual to have these *epiphanies* about life and purpose and change occasionally, but to *do* something about it it less
easy.


How quickly we can just get overwhelmed by the bigness of it all and let it paralyse us into further apathy or complacency. I do not want this to happen.

For this reason I have decided to study again.   I will be the subject of my studies..... I am going to be doing the online course called MyCube4Change.

Go check out the videos on their site - I know many of you resonated with that post and perhaps this is also a tool that would interest you..

I am really stoked that my man is well on board and is, in fact, arranging for us to go away overnight next weekend to go through the course material and begin to make the changes that will facilitate the vision we have for our lives - both personally, as a couple and as a family.

16 June 2011

Books n Blogs

To read (or write!)  a blog....or to read a book.

This is the question.

I have to say I tend to head online before I head to pick up my book. And this time I happen to know I am not alone.

I am often overwhelmed (but in a good way) by the resources online (TED especially) and also the numerous books that are recommended to me on a daily basis. How to ingest all this stuff? Do I need to? How to avoid that *missing out* feeling if I cant get to see/read everything recommended.

These are some of the items on my To Hit/Read List right now:

Books:

Five conversations to have with your daughter.
We need to talk about Kevin.
The Glass Castle

Blogs/Websites

Ted.com (actually got sidetracked now watching TED while copying the link for this post!!)

Henri Nouwen - Youtube - Being the Beloved



Brene Brown - she asks this question : How do we learn to embrace our vulnerabilities and imperfections so that we can engage in our lives from a place of authenticity and worthiness? How do we cultivate the courage, compassion, and connection that we need to recognize that we are enough – that we are worthy of love, belonging, and joy?

MyCube4Change -  MyCube4Change is an on-line video-based course of 25 insights.  The course gives you a learning system that helps you manage change.  Once you have purchased a license; you download your manual and your 3-D cube,  and you’re on your way to change and transformation. I will be embarking on this journey very soon - I have my manual and my deep desire to change! Will keep you posted.

And there are so many more treasure out there in book and blog form...but you will not believe how long this blogpost has taken me because I keep getting sidetracked....watching/reading all this amazing stuff!

Happy long weekend peoples.

14 June 2011

Meme Tag

Thanks so much to Wendy and Laura for these lovely blog awards. I would be lying through my teeth if I said I didnt kinda love getting these. :-)


The rules are simple:

1. Choose five (or more) other people who deserve this award and pass it on.
2. Tell 7 facts about yourself.
3. Let the people you gave the award to know. (done)
4. Thank the person who gave you the award. (done)


Okay, you ALL deserve this award > I love your blogs. That is why I come back every day to read them. My gift to you? A list of lovely links. Enjoy!



Pink Wallpaper : a designing momblogger, full of gorgeous images.

Worksheets and Activity Pages for kids from 4 - 13yrs old - fantastic for revision and entertainment.

Get Ahead - SA educational resource. Bought their gr 4 cd for Honey and she does all her revision, tests etc on here. The BEST value for money I have come across in SA ito of educational aids. Gr 1-7.

A Soft Place to Land - just a beautiful blog to visit.


Lazy Girl Running - the title speaks to itself! Inspirational and amusing in equal measures.


Things Organised Neatly - this is literally pictures of things organised neatly. and it makes me insanely happy to look at them. :-) Go see.

Crafty Fun Sites for you and your kids - i dont do nearly enough of this anymore but i know some of you still have really younguns at home!

Finally, a brilliant home workout routine - all you need is your own body and the motivation to work hard! 

And finally seven things about me:

1. I have told my kids to 'Shut Up' on more than one occasion. Sad but true.

2. I have been known to leave the house with the beds unmade, breakfast dishes still on the table and the previous nights supper dishes still in the sink. Also sad but true.

3. People think I am fit but I cant run more than 3km without stopping. I am strong but my cardiovascular fitness is pathetic. I am working on it.

4. I am also about as flexible as a scaffolding. It is not good. Touching my toes one day may well be my greatest achievement aside from bearing 3 children as a clinically infertile female.

5. I used to consider myself quite breezy and superficial. And then I grew up and realised I am quite intense. But it is all in my own head, occasionally I spew it out here and then people are like, whhaaattt?

6. And then I post about shoes, just to ease the pressure for us all.

7. I dont like Hugh Jackman or Kiera Knightley.

Thatisall folks.

13 June 2011

Yet Another Milestone

It would seem we have reached yet another milestone in our family.  

All our children can now ride bicycles.  

Albeit with varying degrees of skill. Practice, I believe, will bring more enthusiasm and alacrity.



Today we surprised them all with their new bikes. (well, 1 was new, 2 were pre-owned). Honey chose her bike and chipped in ALL her birthday money (R600)  to get it! I was very surprised as she hasnt always been the most enthusiastic rider. I figured if she was that committed to it she deserves a chance to prove her enthusiasm. (besides, its black, so eventually Hooli will get it and he really couldnt be any MORE enthusiastic!)

Honey asked me why they are getting bikes now. They have had their birthdays already and it is too soon to be Christmas presents. I told her the bikes are Lets Get Active presents. She had a good chuckle at that but seriously? I think every kid should ride a bike for as long as possible and it just panned out that *now* is the right time for us.

I do have a grand plan. It is all very neat and Walton-family like in my head. I do hope it works out in reality. Even if only for a few years. It goes a bit like this:

Weekend trail runs with the kids on their bikes.
Walks/blading along Sea Point promenade with kids on bikes/blades/skateboards.
Camping/Mcgregor/random weekend outings with bikes.


We also live in a gated estate so the kids are free to ride all around here in relative safety.

Now all we need is a bike rack and some reasonable weather. :-)

11 June 2011

FiveTribe Talks Fashion

and by that I dont mean I am *really* talking fashion. Simply that I am sharing (and commenting) on some winter streetwear looks that have come across my desk lately. We all know this in NOT a fashion blog!

but its the weeeeekend, so lets have some fluff shall we?


Love everything about this, even the coffee!

Also a great casual look, although the boots arent my vibe

LOVE. I would have had  colour somewhere and more biker-ish boots.


LOVE. Again, a splash of colour would be my tilt on this.

Love this. But some looks are best left for under 30's!


Another great look, but i dont like brown with black
 
Such a great take on a blazer!

What I love about all these looks is how easy to wear they are hey? Throw on jeans, a loose top and jacket. Grab a scarf and a pair of great boot and you good to go fetch the kids!

Happy weekend peeps.

09 June 2011

Goodbye 'Message'

We have bunnies. Five until yesterday. We started with two, who were apparently both males.....turns out one was female. We found out this simple truth when Honey one day stumbled upon a 2wk old grey bunny hopping around our yard.

MESSAGE
She named him Message because he told us a story....Smokey was a girl and she had had babies! We then discovered the other babies and have since had 3 litters since Message was born in March.


Message and Lucy - dearly loved

He was extremely special to her and last night she found him in obvious distress. We rushed him off to the vet and he was paralysed. Just his little head could move - he had apparently broken his back somehow. The vet explained how fragile there little skeletons are in relation to how high/fast they hop around. Turns out this can happen very easily for young rabbits.


Lulu with Message and Lucy
Two hysterical girls returned home with a euthanised Message. We printed photos, drew pictures and wrote letters. We prepared a box for him with all his favourite things (straw, carrots, pellets, letters, pictures). Today we will have a proper burial where he will be laid to rest under his favourite bush.

Rest in peace little buddy. We will never forget you.

***************************

Honeys letter:

Message, my baby, I love you so
Message, my baby, please dont go
I love you Message my sweet baby.

Dear Message, from the moment I found you I knew  you were
the bunny for me. I'm so sorry that this happened to you. I hope
to see you in heaven onde day. I love you Message, Love Honey

Lulu's letter:

Dear Message, I hope you go to heaven and I hope you have a happy
time in heaven. I love you Message, Best love Lulu

08 June 2011

Further to Yesterdays Post...

If you havent read yesterdays post, please go there first to read it.

For those that have - this is what got me started on my little journey. I would suggest you grab a pencil and a piece of paper. Watch the clip - its roughly 8mins. Let me know what speaks to you; its a simply exercise - simplicity works for me so this was right up my alley!




Please be aware that these changes I am talking about are not goals or bucket list ideals. They can more be described as Big Picture changes.

Like this....I am thinking of my life in, say, 7 years time. What do I see? What do I *want* to see?

For me that is the first step. Isolating what I want to see in the years ahead. And then asking myself the questions...what am I doing TODAY to ensure I see those results in the years to come.

Simple hey?

Let me lay out some really basic ideas:

I want to still be married to the same bloke.
So...how much time am I investing in my marriage? Is it my priority? How can I make it better? What does my marriage look like to my kids?

I would like to be debt free.
So...how am I spending money? What am i teaching my kids about money? Am I informed of the lastest investment options? Do I want to work outside the home? Do I budget? How can I build towards this?

I want well-adjusted, socially adept, compassionate and motivated children.
So...how am I assisting my kids to develop these particular traits? What happens daily in our home to give them the best possible outcomes? Do I (we) model and embrace these traits?

I want to be technologically advanced and informed. But not dependent.
So...how do I temper this? What is necessary and what is unnecessary? What is useful and what is trash?

I want emphasis on relationships and quality of life.
So...that means stepping aside from the game of 'oh, I am so busy doing blah blah blah'. I dont want to be busy. I want to be not busy. I want to read, play, create,engage, explore,love and maybe occasionally grocery shop cos we have to eat! :-)

Okay, so these are just some things. They are by no means the only things rattling around my brain. Are you getting me a bit more? I am not looking to necessarily tour Europe or sail the Caribbean...I am looking at nitty grittys.

What are your thoughts?

07 June 2011

Intentional Living

For some time now I have been suffering some sort of inner discord. It has presented itself rather oddly with me feeling not at peace in my skin or my soul or my head or anywhere. I havent felt *right* .

Through a series of events which I will share later I have managed to isolate the stone in my shoe that is making pottering through this life mildly uncomfortable.

My behaviour/ way I spend my time does not match my core values. 

Just think about that statement for a moment. It is big.  I am not saying that I need to be a better wife/mother/christian/friend/daughter blah blah blah etc. It is more than all that.

I have certain values/ideas/dreams that I hold to and yet my daily behaviour does not match/bring me closer to the outcomes I desire.

Have you ever felt this way? I want to be more intentional about how I live. In a fun way. Not in a boring, chasing-after-the-wind way. The stuff I see in my minds-eye? I want to see it come to fruition.

I have begun a process to deal with this - it isnt going to be easy but it certainly is going to be empowering and life-changing; so worth the effort and sacrifice.

Am I making sense ? Do you have a clue as to what I am saying?  :-)

06 June 2011

Am I alone?

This is ridiculous.Am I the only one that battles to get my (now) 10yr old out of bed every morning? I know its a gene thing...I really battle....but c'mon?!!

This morning was insane....it was 0740 and she was still hiding undercover refusing to get up! I cannot (and wont) wrestle with her at this stage. She has to listen to me. >_<

Eventually I did what every good mother does. I bribed. Although I dont like that word. I began to incentivise albeit negatively.  

I began to deduct pocket money....we have a little chart that goes up at the beginning of every month. At the top is the total pocket money you get at the END of the month...but deductions (and additions) can occur at any given time during the course of those 30 days preceding pay-day.  So basically you can lose and gain all through the month...ending up with MORE or LESS than the original amount. Works a treat for my girls, I tell ya!

So I finally said :

That's it. You lose R20 off your pocket money with immediate effect. And I am going to stand here (downstairs at the breakfast table) and deduct R1 for every minute you make me wait!

Well, if you thought the speed of light was quick....hmmmm. She was dressed and downstairs within 90seconds. All to the tune of 'snot, trane, horrible mom, so unfair, so rude, blah blah, falalalala*.

Do (or did) any of your kids give you drama and eternal grief in the mornings?

************************

ps - we have put a moratorium on bedtime reading...she cannot put a book down (another pesky gene thing)  and I think this may add to the morning madness.

05 June 2011

Happy Birthday HoneyGirl


And now you are ten. T E N.  I have to say it a few times to let the reality sink in. You apparently dont feel any different to yesterday but, believe me, everything is different for me. The passage of time is marked before my very eyes.

When I look at you I see Grace. You know the story behind your being with us - you are my eternal reminder ... when my faith waivers in other areas, I just look at you.

It is with great pride I absorb every ounce of the young lady you are becoming. Sometimes I am not even sure how much I had to do with it - so *contained/together* are you! From a determined, rather withdrawn and fiercely independent 5yr old to this gregarious, fearless and utterly engaging tween.

I dont think anyone could have forseen what lay ahead - from your passion and talent for music to your sustained love for your Littlest Pet Shops and umpteen stuffed animals that STILL reside on your bed....the very same ones that used to reside in your cot!

Honey, you are a constantly and unassumingly surprising us with the evolution of your character and personality. If I have learnt anything in raising you so far it is that you should never box your kids (or allow anyone else to do so). You have shredded every stereotype we may have quietly held - you are outgrowing our wildest expectations for you and we are so very proud of the incredible person you are; from the way you care for your siblings to the way you sustain your friendships.

Happy birthday Honeygirl, I am excited (and somewhat nervous!) about the years before us...the next few are crucial in our relationship to help us weather those tumultuous teen years. I pray I can be what you NEED me to be. I love you; infinitely and more, always remember that.

04 June 2011

The Party

Today was the long-awaited Adventure party. Honey has been anticipating this since last year....when we said *nope, its more of a tenth party idea*. Imagine my horror when I woke up to piddling rain at 6am this morning!

It was touch and go as to whether the party would go on but by 0830 the rain stopped. We arrived at the venue just before 10am and the weather was BEAUTIFUL. The sky was clearing and it was warm enough for the kids to just be in long t-shirts. 

Starting out...all clean!


The kids has such a blast, the facilitators did a wonderful job of herding them around the course. Honey and her friends whooped their way around the obstacles - so cool to watch ten year olds so unprententious and full of vooma!

Lulu had a friend along, and even though she took an early tumble, she recovered enough to later conquer her fear and crack the foofi slide. (thanks to lots of encouragement from her friend, R)

Lulu and her friend, R

Hooli said it was his best day EVER. (and declared he wants ALL his parties here) He did everything the others did albeit with a little more help (the course is 8yrs and up) except he was not allowed to do the zipline (thank goodness!). He was less than impressed by this but thankfully his Uncle was on hand to distract him and take him adventuring elsewhere while we cheered the other kids on.

Hooli and Uncle D

It was especially heartwarming for me to watch this band of kids cheering each other, some were very scared to do a few of the more extreme activites but ALL did them - and the encouragement and unbelievable support from their peers was overwhelming. It was very special to watch.


A happy bunch

A moments hesitation before scaling the tree

Watching their mate climb to the top

The Cake...not made by me  ;-)

Honey on the zip line

The troops

So tomorrow morning I awaken to a 10yr old daughter....more on *that* reality tomorrow then...

03 June 2011

Fridays Thoughts

Tomorrow is Honey's much anticipated Adventure party out in Scarborough. She has been looking forward to this for some time and seeing as its her TENTH birthday we decided to splash out and treat her (and her mates) ! Take a looksee here at what its all about.

In other news:

1. We have booked a winter holiday here. Many of my friends have claimed Blanco as their dream holiday - back to nature and pure restful bliss. We are looking forward to a special family time and maybe even some snow! It is a 9hour journey from Cape Town which will be interesting....luckily my kids are awesome travellers....its me I am worried about!

2. Have found an awesome mountain bike for Hooli for his birthday, gears, shocks - the works. Best part is it is hardly used, comes from a friend of mine whose daughter simply didnt like to ride. What a bonus.

3. We finally sorted out our Wii...bonust is I was able to get one for R500 (long story) so have been able to purchase Wii Fit Plus, Just Dance 2, Mario Kart, Littlest Pet Shop games for the kids with the money they were given for all the birthdays. Happy days!

4. I am without a voice - laryngitis I am told is the official name. I dont feel too sick but sound ridiculous ... the bummer is that I cant train at all apparently. That is seriously annoying me. But I shall be good and take it easy.

5. Honey's violin recital went off beautifully a few nights ago. Such a treat to watch an ensemble of about 12 little violinists doing their thing. She is loving it now and her teacher has encouraged me to buy the Suzuki viline CD as Honey has (apparently) a finely tuned musical ear and will be able to teach herself from listening to the CD. I am amazed....the music gene aint from either myself or her dad!

6. Assessments start next week for both girls. I am not stressing at all as both are great students and dont really need to be pushed to achieve. We will take it in our stride and enjoy the ride!

Happy weekend everyone!