The life and times of a home schooling mom of se7en + 1.

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Madiba Day and a GiveAway for our Readers…

July 18th, 2018 · 1 Comment

Today is Madiba’s birthday, and a cause for great celebration in South Africa,


Traditionally South African’s spend 67 minutes doing community service or volunteering on Madiba Day and as a family we usually spend the day painting a mural or planting trees… something that all folk will enjoy doing. Today we helped our friends at Sport Science Institute of South Africa painting murals and playing with primary school kids. We had so much fun and as my kids said, “Why do folk only do this once a year?”

Apart from Madiba Day it also appears to be book season, and last week I attended the latest greatest reads presentation from Jonathan Ball Publishers and one of the books on display was an illustrated biography of Madiba… It is absolutely beautiful… Nelson Mandela, words and paintings by Kadir Nelson. The book tells the story of a young Nelson Mandela, from his boyhood…

Through his schooling and onto years in prison as a political prisoner…

His release… and the transformation of South Africa…
The illustrations are out of this world, they completely make the book and the text has a lovely African lilt to it. If you are looking for a picture book for young children, about Mandela that also introduces the difficult topic of apartheid, then this is the picture book to start with. It will open discussion across all ages from preschool kids to high schoolers. This is a book that should be on every school shelf. This is a beautiful picture book and one that will definitely be read again and again and again…

GiveAway Time

Our GiveAways are open to everyone: Just leave a comment below… before 30 July 2018. If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away. Postage takes forever from here but eventually it should get to you! Good luck and happy commenting!!!

I would really like to thank Jonathan Ball Publishers for providing us with a copy of the book to review. We would like to declare that this is not a sponsored post and all the opinions are as usual, entirely our own.

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Se7en Bazillion Books You Can Look Forward to From Penguin Random House…

July 17th, 2018 · No Comments

So last week Penguin Random House South Africa had their latest and greatest reads book launch for children’s books, and I was thrilled to be there. We have been away on Winter Holiday… and so of course reading away. Here comes a galactic post of all that is new and fun and fantastic for family reading…


Let’s start by saying there are plenty of lovely books coming out… the books just keep on rolling and if your kids aren’t reading then read to them… and if they are reading… read to them still… because the world of adventure is literally waiting for them between the pages of books…

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Mickey Mouse was there…

To lead the way…
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Who wouldn’t want to read letters with Peppa Pig, or a The Book of Bacteria, written by Steve Mould!!!

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And would you look at this sweet magic… Winnie the Pooh for the win… I just love this!!!
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Because the simple things in life really do matter…
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And local books to look forward to…

Usborne Books Have Finally Arrived

Can I just say that there has never been an Usborne Book that I haven’t loved and adored… really never!!!

A lovely blend of facts…

And fun…
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Honestly, I could happily hunt for cats and dogs all day…
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It really doesn’t matter how old you are, there is something to love in these books… fascinating factoids and interesting snippets, all presented beautifully and in an interesting way… perfect for encouraging curious readers to explore…
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A Goody Bag of Note


So many wonderful bookish treats in there… and we definitely need to meet Ermine, and would you look at the fantastic cover art illustrations… lots to love and look forward to.

What We Have Been Reading Lately…


Natural Factual Fynbos

African Wild Flowers by Sally MacLarty:
A lovely addition to the Read, Colour and Keep Series by Sally MacLarty and Struik Nature. These books are perfect for young eco-warriors and outdoor enthusiasts. Just enough facts to peek their interest and satisfy their initial curiosity. A beautiful illustration to colour on each page and a centre spread for those young scientists that want to create an accurate nature journal with their colouring book.

We have been waiting for a flower and fynbos book for youngsters for the longest time, and this is definitely it. Twenty-four pages of beautiful local flowers to learn about… strong paper that would be suitable for pencils crayons, crayons, watercolour paints and markers. Already I have been able to answer, “What flower is that?” Questions a couple of times since we got this book… it is indeed a winner.

A Really Wild Picture Book

What on Earth is That? by Sarah Savory and illustrated by Fredéric Baele:
This is a fun read for little people who may never have come across a pangolin… Two young children are playing and discover a mystery all rolled up in a ball… a scaled ball.

They set off across the African Plains, asking plenty of more familiar animals, exactly what it is. They gather clues as they go, and eventually discover what their discovery is.

It is a sweet, brightly illustrated book, written in rhyme… a fun story, with a conservation message for young eco-warriors. At the back there are a couple of pangolin information pages, for curious young readers and their parents, as well as a collection of photographs of the author and her children, and pangolins, taken at the Tikki Hywood Trust in Zimbabwe.

A Dreamy Picture Book

Ricky of the River Pride by Lindsay Sherratt and illustrated by Astrid Castle: This is a lovely, African animal themed story about a little boy called Ricky who goes to sleep surrounded by his collection of soft toy animals that represent animals of the African plains. As he nods of to sleep he is woken by his wild animal friends, who have dashed to call him because their little friend the lion cub, who is the only son of the Ruler of the River Pride, is in terrible danger.

Ricky has to be terribly brave to rescue the little lion cub and then the cubs parents arrive on the scene… this could get a little dangerous really quickly, but all the animals quickly mention that it was Ricky that rescued their little one. They are all very grateful to Ricky for his rescue… and Ricky wakes up in his bed the next morning and wonders if it was all a dream. Or was it?

Sticker Activity Book Fun

Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach Sticker Activity Book: This has been pure Winter Holiday fun and a great reward for reading the actual James and The Giant Peach.

Bright and colourful pages in true Roald Dahl production style, it includes a peachy word search, codes, a crossword and a couple of pages to fill in, as well as stickers… plenty of stickers… because you all know: Stickers make the world go round!!!

Smashing Superheroes

Marvel Collection Thor & Hulk: Well I never expected this to be a book that would resonate with my kids and how absolutely wrong I was. This was in our goodie bag, from the event, and I popped it on the coffee table along with our pile of review books and this is the one book that was picked up by every single kid in the family. Clearly Marvel characters have infiltrated our environment. Hood 8 reports that: This is the story of how Thor needs to be able to lift an incredibly heavy hammer to prove his worth. But then Thor starts to boast about his achievements, his father gets annoyed with him and throws the hammer at Midgaurd… and tosses Thor after it. Thor thinks he is a person, one day when he is on vacation, he gets trapped in a cave by a fallen boulder. But then he finds a stick and tries with all his might to move the boulder, and it won’t budge… he gets so annoyed he hits the ground two times with the stick and realises that it is the hammer in disguise and it ends with him regaining his hero status. The second story in this book is about Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk, who starts off as a shy kid that loves science and when he becomes older he starts working for the army as a scientist. There is a very dangerous chemical that he is working with, but he doesn’t want to hurt anyone so he does his testing far away in the desert. A kid drives into the danger area, he rushes to the kid and shoves him into a safe house as the test bomb explodes. He felt like he was trapped and now his true self emerges as the Hulk.

Magical Middle School Fun

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The Magic Misfits by Neil Patrick Harris: This is a magical new series to look out for… seriously magic. Its a fun and in places funny read that we read together over our holiday… the best thing about this book is that there are real live actual magic tricks and How to Do Them, if you just follow the illustrated steps and practice, practice, practice… These tricks are scattered throughout the book.

The story begins with a rather sceptical Carter, his parents vanished without a trace and he is being raised by his criminal uncle, who is the ultimate… Bill Sykes, from Oliver Twist. Uncle Sly teaches Carter all his tricks in the hopes that Carter will fall into his wicked ways, but Carter has a very strict sense of right and wrong and is not interested in bowing to his Uncle’s whims. He runs away and discovers a side show type circus, full of word and wonderful characters, out of the frying pan into the fire so to speak. Carter and an accumulated group of friends find themselves outwitting a number of “obstacles” that come their way.

This book is about friendship and sticking together, no matter what… a collection of Misfits it turns out make a fine team. As you can expect from the latest themes in kids reads there is a lot of diversity represented here: kids of different cultures, abilities or disabilities, a kid with two dads and so on. This is the norm for kids reads right now, they all have a not so subtle message that everyone is getting on marvellously and everything is fantastic, whether this is the case in real life or not, your kids are going to discover this in every recently published book that they read. Just a heads up, and I see it as an opportunity to talk about topics with them that they might not have encountered in their everyday life aleady.

More from the Middle School Series

Middle School Escape to Australia by James Patterson and Martin Chatterton: Another fun read in the series… that might seem somewhat endless, but I have to say that Hood 5 inhales these and has honestly loved them all. These are your typical school stories, funny if you are a middle grader, less so if you aren’t. That being said, when one of my kids finds a series that they love then I let them read all of it, and if they want to read it again, then just carry on!!! In this instalment, Rafe is the hero and wins a school art competition, which takes him off to Australia on a winning adventure. Australia, it turns out is not all surfing and sunshine… it is full of weird and wild creatures and hotter than hot… A prize that turns out to be a rather challenging challenge.

When War Comes Knocking…

In the Mouth of the Wolf by Michael Morpugo and illustrated by Barroux:I often think that I will never have read enough Michael Morpugo Books. This is the true story of his Uncles, set at the start of World War II. Honestly if your children are learning about the World Wars or even if they are slightly interested in them… these are the books to read, they capture the true and essential spirit of the time: bravery, commitment and loyalty again and again and again. These books will teach you about being n adult in a world where you would much rather not have to be… in a time when young men would rather have been out with their friends they were called to fight in a war, leave the loves of their lives and go, not knowing if they would ever be back. I read this book in a sitting, and I am save it to read outloud to my kids. Two brothers… one is called up to fight and the other is a peaceful objector and works on a farm, when the brother in the airforce is in an accident, the conscientious objector is compelled to enter the war… as a spy. This is a peek into his love, what he left behind, and his daily struggles. The combination of Michael Morpurgo’s writing and the poignant pen and ink illustrations from Barroux, makes a very giftable book and one that will be read more than once. A beautiful coming of age story, in a time when life demanded much more than most of us would want to give. I absolutely loved the personal touch, the memory filled feel of the book from the author’s own life, and the section of family photographs at the end of the book make it an absolute keeper.

Book of the Year…

The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya: I have read so many books on the plight of refugees, and the horrors of war and the associated atrocities and I am so glad that they are being written… people need to tell their stories, people need to take the time to remember those that were lost. This book has touched my heart, it resonates with me… Clemantine doesn’t just write about her stolen childhood and the disruption to all that she held true… for the sake of a war that she might never understand, but in this book she shares her story and explains why there cannot be a “happily ever after” moment… famous for appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show, where Oprah reconnected her with her parents and family after twelve years of fleeing, somehow being alongside each other could not heal the rift created by time and horror… the loss and the grief could not close the chasm that opened up between here and her family. This book is a tragedy, that represents so many more tragedies. Read it… this book is a harrowing read and needs to be read, will change you. You can meet Clemantine on her website here.

All the Action

Bodyguard Fugitive by Chris Bradford:
Can I just say my kids love Chris Bradford, they are huge fans, since they met him… and not only that, but he gave us a fantastic interview. So this is book 6 in the Bodyguard Series, and apparently the last of the fast-paced, action-packed series… Conner Reeves finds himself hurtling around Shanghai, China. His fellow teenage “BuddyGuards” have been abducted and there is a price on his life. His only way out is to go on the attack against his enemy… Old enemies and new enemies line up against him and he has to rely on new friends and alliances to survive… there are many surprising twists in this tale and it is more than a little difficult to believe that this is actually the grand finale to the series that it claims to be.

You can meet Chris Bradford on his website… And learn more about the books on their dedicated website, right here.

And Some Mythical Myths

The Trials of Apollo: The Burning Maze by Rick Riordan: Book three in the Trials of Apollo series and of course it is gripping. Apollo has been punished by Zeus, and has been cast down to earth as a mortal teenager, called Lester. Lester has to restore five Oracles, without any of his usual powers. Three Roman Emperors are on a personal quest to stop Lester from completing his task, meanwhile danger looms on every front. Lots of Rick Riordan drama and you really should go back and read the first two books in the series, if you haven’t already… Begin at the beginning if you want to enjoy these to the max.

Strange But True?

Encounters by Jason Wallace: This book is unsettling, really quite dark and a challenging read, and that puts it straight into the Young Adult group of reads. The thing about this book is that it is based on true events… actual factual events that were witnessed way back in the early nineties. Six children at a school in Zimbabwe are interviewed about an event that happened at the school, and each of the witnesses builds on the story of an alien visit. But is their visitor really an alien, or perhaps the alien is someone much closer to home? This book is a little creepy, and as the story builds and the events are pieced together so one goes from: this is impossible, to this could really have happened, and then back again. The point is, you really don’t have to like a character to believe them and in this book there are a lot of unlikeable characters. Well worth a read if you don’t mind being more than a little unsettled.

And While the Kids Are Reading Something for the Adults

A Little Bond, James Bond

Forever and a Day by Anthony Horowitz: The Prequel to every James Bond book ever written, this is in fact the “Bond begins book.” Find out the back story to this world renowned spy. Of course we are huge fans of Anthony Horowitz and of course you can expect fast and furious non-stop action all the way. This is the book about just how, and why Bond, James Bond, got his licence to kill. Set on the French Rivera, you can expect syndicates, gang triads and such like, more important you will discover exactly where James Bond gets his signature drink from… “shaken not stirred.” This is true Anthony Horowitz and James Bond, an unputdownable race against time… a fantastic read with all the twists and turns will leave you somewhat like his martini… “shaken not stirred.” Fantastic action packed read and highly recommended.

And a Weekend Read for the Mother Person

Letters to Iris by Elizabeth Noble:
I totally judged this book by the cover… totally. The prettiest suitcase ever and filled with letters, honestly I wanted to read this book because I wanted to know what was inside those letters. This is the story of Tess, who is in a pretty predictable relationship, and the time seems right for them to settle down and follow the “happily ever after path”… only he thinks he has big news to tell her, he has been after a job in New York and thinking she would jump at the chance of a Trans-Atlantic venture and a fresh start. He is somewhat surprised when she is hesitant. Tess on the other hand, who is responsible for a grandmother who suffers from dementia and wouldn’t dream of leaving her in England, also has an unexpected surprise to share, only the longer she waits to tell him about his impending fatherhood, the harder it is to share. This is a book about finding true friendship, enduring and endearing friendship… not to mention life is full of lots of surprises. Even the people you know and love may stun you with stories that you never could have imagined… the truth is you can’t ever really know anyone. I love the letters that Tess writes to her baby week after week… they are sweet and memorable. There is a loveliness to this book, reading it feels like visiting a good friend for tea.

All these books were given to us for review purposes by Penguin Random House South Africa and Struik Nature. This is not a sponsored post and opinions expressed are entirely our own.

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What We have Been Reading Lately from PanMacmillan South Africa…

July 13th, 2018 · 1 Comment

So we are taking a break and having a bit of a holiday in the city… we do this from time to time, we swap houses with folk that live in the city center. When you have eight kids, house swapping is a great way to take a holiday. Apart from the fact that we have had unusually beautiful weather and have been enjoying the great outdoors, it is still mid-winter here, in the Southern Hemisphere… which means piles of books and reading in a sunny spot. We have been reading all week, during every available moment… so I thought I would bring you a couple of collections of what we have been reading lately posts… first up: books we have received from PanMacmillan South Africa.


Not a lot of our usual picture book fair, but tons of middle school reads… so enjoy, there should be something for everyone here…

Fun Easy Readers for Very Beginner Chapter Book Readers

The Gaskitt Family Stories by Allan Ahlberg and illustrated by Katharine McEwan:
We have actually reviewed these books before, in a post on easy chapter books for beginner readers, but they are so good that they deserve a second spin… It is not often that you get easy readers that are really interesting… the thing is easy readers usually have to use a very limited vocabulary list… and so can only be “so” interesting. With these richly illustrated stories and short, sweet chapters, they are in fact very fun reads. Meet the Gaskitt family: Mr and Mrs; the twins, Gus and Gloria, Horace the cat, the refrigerator and the car radio. There are lots of little surprises in the text and the illustrations, the car radio always has something to say and so does the refrigerator. These books are packed with interesting things to spot and observe, but they are not so busy as to distract their young readers.

  1. The Man Who Wore All His Clothes by Allan Ahlberg illustrated by Katharine McEwan: Mr Gaskitt gets up one morning and puts on all of his clothes… all of them. And nobody is the least surprised about it. There is also a robbery at the bank and a terrific chase across town that involves the whole family, and all’s well that ends well… read on, read on to discover why Mr Gaskitt needs to wear all his clothes to work.
  2. The Woman who Won things by Allan Ahlberg illustrated by Katharine McEwan: Mrs Gaskitt keeps winning prizes. Prizes for absolutely everything including a new hairdo, a year’s supply of cat food… winning and winning. All the while, the children keep losing things faster than they can replace them… all the children in the whole school are losing things. This is a lovely mystery story for beginner readers. Tame, but definitely not lame.

Family Poetry Fun

The Very Best of Paul Cookson: I have to start by saying my kids absolutely love poetry and a poetry collection like this one gets a lot of mileage in our home… we haven’t had it terribly long but it is already looking decidedly worn, as certain favourites get read multiple times as we wander through the covers again and again. We all know we have to read to our kids, it is the best thing… and often we know they won’t be able to sit still for an entire chapter… well poetry is an excellent place to start… because all children can relate to it and poems, especially the poems in this book are relatively short. This collection includes poems for every mood and it really is a short little book that you could fit in your bag and take anywhere. That being said… this little book packs a punch and it is full of clever little lines for the word lovers amongst us. We really enjoyed this one and everyone was very quick to claim their own favourite poem. And… let’s take this a little further and say that listening to a poet read their own poems takes poetry to the very next level, you can follow Paul Cookson on Youtube over here.

A Tween Series to Look Out For…

Emily Windsnap and the Falls of Forgotten Island by Liz Kessler: I don’t know where we have been but we have just discovered Emily Windsnap… the perfect read for tweeny girls, with an adventurous spirit and a love of the ocean… Gotta say Hood 6 loved this one and was thrilled to discover that that there is a whole series that has gone before, to love and to read. The story is about Emily, a girl who is part mermaid part person. She can breathe underwater and when she enters the water her legs become her seaworthy tail. There is friendship, and a tiny bit of romance (truly mild and perfect for my eleven year old), because n this book Emily and her best friend Shona, and her boyfriend Aaron are going to break away from all the adventures they have been having… and go on a tropical island holiday. Of course, when Emily isn’t looking for adventures, adventures tend to find her. An ocean outing to visit a recently discovered volcanic island and a beautiful waterfall turns an unexplained mystery into an adventure of a lifetime. This is middle school magic… and a series we will definitely be seeking out to read our way through it from the beginning. You can meet Emily Windsnap on her author’s website: Liz Kessler.

A Girl Called Owl by Amy Wilson and illustrated by Helen Crawford-White: A middle grade read that will be loved by lovers of fairy tales and folklore, of all ages. Typically, as a middle school kid you would so like to conform… and Owl does just the opposite… hard as she tries, with a name like “Owl.” Enough said! Not only does she have a problem with her name and an eccentric mother, but she has spent her life longing to know her father. This book is the perfect winter read, a folktale feel that reads like comfort food, and one of the main players is of course the father of winter, Jack Frost himself. While a lot of the magical world spirals through this story, Owl is a very believable teenage character, with typical teenage problems, whose best friend’s parents are going through a divorce… real issues that kids go through in their journey through life, with a whimsical spin. And pretty snowflake and owl borders and illustrations scattered throughout, makes it a very giftable book.

Maybe a Fox by Kathy Apple and Alison McGhee: Another middle grade read, this time you are going to need tissues… its sad and lovely all at the same time. Two sisters, Sylvie and Jules, have lost their mother and their father cares for them. Sylvie is a super fast runner and Jules, well, not so much. One day on a whim they head for the waterfall to toss their wishing stones and Sylvie slips and vanishes from sight. Vanishes all together, and another tragedy has struck the family. As Jules and her dad come to terms with their grief, Jules realises that there is more to the young fox cub that crosses her path than meets the eye. In fact, have the fox and Sylvie become one? A Mystery worth pursuing and a poignant tale for sure… reach for the tissues and settle in. Eleven year old Hood 6 loved this book.

The Never Ending Birthday by Katie Dale: When you have an absolutely disastrous birthday and you wish you could nothing but a do-over… and then you get one, over and over again. This is the story of twins, Max and Anni, who really manage to have the absolute worst birthday ever… ever. And then they have their birthday over, and over again… each time improving ever so slightly on the previous birthday… Max and Anni are transformed, and so are their birthdays. This is a sweet, light hearted read about a happy character transformation.

We would like to thank PanMacmillan South Africa for providing us with these books for review. This post is not sponsored in any way and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

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Se7en Reviews Kate Motaung’s A Place to Land and it’s a GiveAway…

July 8th, 2018 · 10 Comments

And we are off on a week of bookish adventuring… and I have a GiveAway or two for you. Let’s begin with A Place to Land by Kate Motaung. I have a friend who wrote a book… how exciting is that? And it is the perfect book to launch our week of books.

I love reading memoirs, the truth is that we all have a story to tell but we don’t all write our stories down. We all have a life full of hopes and fears, dreams and tragedies… and on the surface it may look like everyone has everything together, but the truth of it is, we are all “just holding it together” in our own way. I have a feeling that the more we read biographies and memoirs the more we will realise that our own stories are actually okay. They don’t all match up to flashy media lives and they don’t all match up to our perceived perfection of the “neighbours.” But somewhere within all our stories we discover kindred spirits. Whether we are stepping forwards in bravery or trepidation, we are all on a journey.

This book is a heartwarming story, written by an actual real life friend. Someone that I have known for years and years. Our children grew up alongside each other and we attended the same church for years, I have met her courageous mum, while she visited in Cape Town, and loved her enthusiasm for life. This book is the story of Kate, who through so many trials learns that there is a lot of truth to the expression “Home is Where the Heart is…” The story is about her personal journey of longing for home and a place to settle, not to mention her longing for the people she loves not to live on opposite ends of the earth, quite literally.

Set your heart on things above, not on earthly things. Colossians 3:2

When she was young, her parents were divorced and her home was divided in two… leaving her longing. She grew up and felt her heart pulling her to a life of missions. After years of feeling shattered by her own world and the loss of her family home, it was only when she began going on college mission trips that she realised that the world was not quite as she expected. The realisation that folk in circumstances very different to the circumstances that she had grown up in could be happy and content, and on the same journey to serve the Lord was in itself a revelation to her. Even so, she never imagined that she would end up serving on the far side of the world, in a place far far from her home in Michigan, working on a campus on the slopes of Table Mountain in the city of Cape Town.

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Her ministry became a team ministry, when one the students she was working alongside became her husband… and now her heart truly lay on far sides of the world. Home with her husband in Cape Town and their small children, or home with her mom and sister in Michigan. Add to the mix a multicultural family, a couple of kids, their own and adopted… and a desperately ill mom, fighting cancer on the far side of the world. This was indeed a difficult journey for Kate to be on. Her story is one of strength and endurance… overcoming the relentless obstacles placed in her path and her secure knowledge that her faith is in Christ alone.

Kate Motaung

A Place to Land

a story of longing and belonging

The thing I really love about this book is that not only does it describe Kate’s story, her journey so to speak, but it covers a world that overlaps with my own world… we have friends in common, a church in common and a faith in common. It’s touching to read about real live folk that you know and love in a book… I was drawn into this book and while it is almost 300 pages long, I had to read it in a sitting. In Kate Motaung’s book you will find a kindred spirit… a sojourner that will inspire and encourage you.

GiveAway Time

Our GiveAways are open to everyone: Just leave a comment below… before 30 July 2018. If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away. If you live on the far side of the world – enter away. Postage takes forever from here but eventually it should get to you! Good luck and happy commenting!!!

I would really like to thank Kate and her publisher Discovery House in the United States and Discovery House Distributors in South Africa for providing us with a copy of the book review and GiveAway. We would like to declare that this is not a sponsored post and all the opinions are as usual, entirely my own.

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Here’s to Ten Years of Blogging…

July 7th, 2018 · 4 Comments

We have had a week of hiking and adventuring in the great outdoors. Every single day… living the best life day after day, whatever the weather. And this is Cape Town, so the weather is all over the place… we have had pouring rain (hoorah) and snow on the mountain tops and sunshine for days. It has been splendid, it has been crazy and it has been fun. That being said… sometime during this past week our blog turned ten years old!!!


Ten years ago I posted a picture on the internet and hoped I could keep the grandparents updated with things we were up to… not for a moment guessing that we would make friends from all over the world. And that our seven kids would become se7en+1 kids. And ten years later we would still have things to tell you all… not expecting folk to follow along on our journey at all… it has been great, it has been fantastic in fact.

For ten years we have been sharing stories, sharing adventures and posting pictures of our life and times… peeks into our school day and following along on our outings and all the books!!! We are going to celebrate with at least a week of books on the blog. So many many great books to share with you. And watch out for GiveAways!!! I have one or two that I know you will all love!!! Happy reading, happy weekending… and most important happy blogging…

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Happy Brilliant Birthday to Hood 6…

July 2nd, 2018 · 2 Comments

It has been birthday season over here and we were thrilled to celebrate the birthday of Hood 6 this past weekend.

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On a wild and stormy day we headed for Cape Point…

Snow jackets and rainbow cupcakes were the order of the day…

Happy Brilliant Birthday


To the girl who is always ready to fly…
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Who brings a sparkle, and glitter and glamour to every occasion…

And a certain finesse… to any day out!!!

Sparkle away…
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A girl after my own heart…
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Who loves the ocean…
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And all it’s hidden depths…
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to the girl who can create a cosy booknook anywhere…

And can quietly read her way through any school day…

That’s if she isn’t creating…

Or drawing…
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Or photographing…
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Or mixing…

The girl with sweet freckles…

To the girl who is not afraid of anything…

We salute you…

Happy Happy Brilliant Birthday…
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Hope you have the very best year ever…
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Always full of fun…
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Ready for any adventure…


Previous Brilliant Birthdays:

And Hood 6 turns eleven.Hood 6

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 10 in 2016

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 9 in 2015

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 8 in 2014

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 7 in 2013

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 6 in 2012

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 5 in 2011

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 4 in 2010

Happy Birthday to Hood #6, 3 in 2009

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Se7en’s July and Your Free Printable Calendar…

July 2nd, 2018 · No Comments


Can you believe it is July already. Welcome to our calendar post… At the beginning of each month we print out a new calendar, just click on the calendar and it will open in a new window, ready to print (print it using Landscape it just works better). Then we read through the blog post and pick the days that we would like to celebrate. We write those days out onto our calendar and pop the calendar onto the fridge. On the particular date we visit the website and have a look at the links or create a fun post for our blog.


If you would like to now more about how we use our calendar for school as a fabulous resource of famous people and events then do pop over to the Almanac page for an explanation… Meanwhile, we hope you have a jolly July!!!

  • 1 July: Scarecrow Day
  • 1 July: Canada Day
  • 1 July 1863: Battle of Gettysburg (1-3 July 1863).
  • 1 July: International Joke Day
  • 2 July 1900: First Zeppelin Flew (1900).
  • 2 July 1937: Amelia Earhart disappeared (1937).
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  • 3 July 1937: International Plastic Bag Free Day.
  • 4 July 1776: American Day of Independence (1776).
  • 7 July 1883: Pinocchio first printed (1883).
  • 7 July: Macaroni Day.
  • 7 July: Star Festival Day (Japan)
  • 8 July: Liberty Bell Cracks.
  • 9 July: Sugar Cookie Day – Here is a list of our cookie recipes.
  • 10 July: Teddy Bears Picnic Day.
  • 11 July 1899: E.B. White’s Birthday (1899 – 1995).
  • 11 July: SkyLab fell to the Earth.
  • 12 July 1960: Etch a Sketch Introduced.

  • 12 July: Paper Bag Day.
  • 13 July: National French Fry Day (U.S.A).
  • 13 July: Bon fest and Feast of Lanterns (Japan).
  • 13 July: Puzzle Day.
  • 14 July: Bastille Day.
  • 15 July 1954: First Boeing 707.
  • 15 July 1606: Rembrandt Van Rijn’s Birthday (1606 – 1928).
  • 16 July 1969: Apollo 11 lifts off.
  • 16 July 1872: Roald Amundsen born (1872 – 1928).
  • 17 July 1955: Disneyland opened.

  • 18 July 1918: Nelson Mandela’s Birthday.
  • 18 July: Cow Appreciation Day.
  • 18 July: Nadia Comaneci scored the first perfect 10 in the Olympic Games (1976).
  • 18 July: National Ice-Cream Day (U.S.A.).
  • 20 July: Chess Day.
  • 20 July: Ice Cream Soda Day.
  • 20 July 1969: First Moon Landing.
  • 21 July 1899: Ernest Hemingway Birthday (1899 – 1961).
  • 21 July: National Junk Food Day (U.S.A.).
  • 22 July 1284: Pied Piper Arrived in Hamelin.
  • 22 July 1898: Alexander Calder’s Birthday (1898 – 1976).
  • 23 July 1888: Pneumatic Tires Invented.
  • 23 July 1904: Ice Cream Cones Introduced.
  • 23 July: Mosquito Day.
  • 24 July: Celebrate the End of the Tour de France.
  • 24 July 1783: Simon Bolivar’s Birthday.
  • 24 July: Amelia Earhart Birthday
  • 25 July: F.B.I. Created.
  • 27 July 1940: Bugs Bunny Debut (1940).
  • 28 July 1866-1943: Beatrix Potter’s Birthday (1866 – 1943) .
  • 28 July: First Finger Prints.
  • 29 July: Lasagna Day.
  • 29 July 1958: NASA Established (1958).
  • 30 July: Cheese Cake.
  • 30 July 1818: Emily Bronte’s Birthday (1818).
  • 31 July 1965: J.K. Rowling’s Birthday (1965).
  • Hope you have a great July…

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