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

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Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #292… And a GiveAway Winner…

October 6th, 2015 · No Comments

Another week another desperately slow start… we obviously need some summer weather to clear the cobwebs out of our house and dash a heap of flu germs away… away… away. Spring is in the air, wherever you look and while we are lying around in recovery mode after a week of incapacity… the world appears to be leaping into action around us!!! In fact it has been about two weeks since we were in the great outdoors… and I sense our hiking feet are starting to look for a little adventure…

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Lovely Links from This Week

  1. When you are off the internet for an entire week and you return to discover fab posts like this on Nurture Store… The 21 Best HomeSchool Blogs to Follow. So many of my own faves on there… and us!!!
  2. Just the most delightful quick and crafty Fish Bowl on Krokatak… I love it!!! And a little more craftiness… these cute Yarn Monsters on the ZingZingTree!!!
  3. And Baked Eggs on a Bed of Roasted Tomatoes… on a Cup of Jo… that is looking like real wintry comfort food. Perhaps if I plan that for Saturday breakfast we will get some fabulous summery weather… life is full of contradictions!!!
  4. It is the annual 31 Days of October… a writing fest for bloggers all over the world… heaps and heaps and heaps to read and lots of lovely little inspiring surprises. There is something for everyone, including Mt. Hope Chronicles 31 Days of Book Detectives… you know you want to look at that!!!
  5. Here’s a Brave Homeschool Post that every homeschooler needs to read – everybody has been there: When Nothing is Working in your Homeschool… on Simple HomeSchool.
  6. I love that friends like Mandi at Life Your Way are not afraid to write: Breaking the Silence for Pregnancy and Infant Loss
  7. And beautiful rooms on Blossom… because interesting and inspiring rooms are one the things I pin most… can’t help myself, a kids room with a slanted roof and a map on the wall and I am totally sold!!!
  8. And an extra little link because we love Mick Manning and Brita Granstorm and I am sure everyone wants to know how to draw William Shakespeare!!!
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    Otherwise it is Bandana Season again… And if you haven’t noticed Bandanas are back in Pick’n Pay Stores… All over Pick’n Pay Stores… this is a good thing because you can do so many stunning things with a bandana and buying a bandana supports a very important cause that is dear to our hearts, take a look at The Sunflower Fund Website and see how you can support them.

    And the se7en + 1th link:

  10. A Blast From the Past:

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Book of the Week

This is a fun modernisation of What Katy Did… and if you read the classic then you will enjoy the quirky Katy in this version too. Katy is a fearless and feisty gal, the oldest of six siblings, always out there and somewhat reckless. An accident finds her in a wheelchair and having to come to terms with not only the physical constraints of that, but cope with her step-mother, who she had managed to carefully avoid up until then. Katy learns to view life from a very different perspective to the one she has always held onto so dearly… her personality carries her through… life in a big family, full of pranks and fun and getting along. This book is all about coping, if not conquering troubles, and staying cheerful while you are at it. Of course, it is Jacqueline Wilson, and so a great read… honestly you can’t go wrong.

We were given a copy of Katy by Jacqueline Wilson by Penguin Random House South Africa for review purposes. We were not paid for our review, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

A GiveAway Winner

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We posted a review and GiveAway post on The Giant of Jum and a Giant Mug GiveAway… and today we announce the winner:

All the entries…

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All together now…
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And the winner is:
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Chrish Sep 30, 2015 at 5:32 pm My favourite is a freshly baked cake in a mug with a dollop of ice cream.

Congratulations Chrish, you can look forward to hearing from us soonest…

We would like to thank PanMacmillan South Africa for supplying us with the Giant of Jum Mug. We were not paid for the review and the opinions expressed in it are as usual, entirely our own.

That’s us… Hope your weekend was a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you!!!

→ No CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun

Sunday Snippet: The Wilderness Will Rejoice and Blossom…

October 6th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Our Bible Verse of the Week…

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Isaiah 35:1-2a

The desert and the parched land will be glad;
The wilderness will rejoice and blossom.
Like the crocus, it will burst into bloom;
It will rejoice greatly and shout for joy.

Week by Week

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→ 1 CommentTags: Sunday Snippet

Se7en’s October And Your Free Printable Calendar…

October 5th, 2015 · 1 Comment


So October crept up on us… and after days of the entire family actually sick in bed, I know we are kind of shocked ourselves. We are starting to surface, and here is our October… somewhat later than we ever expected… but here anyway!!!

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Click on the calendar page, it will open in a new tab, print it out and then colour it and fill in the days that you want to celebrate… pop it on the fridge and you are good to go. You can still find all the calendar pages down the right hand side of our website and they are all gathered together in our Almanac page for easy searching… If you have holidays or ideas that you would like to add then please go ahead and comment, I would love to have our calendars packed to the brim!!!

Meanwhile, this is October:

1 October: Homemade Cookies Day

1 October 1908: Henry Ford Introduced the Model T

1 October 1924: Jimmy’s Carter Birthday (1924-)

2 October 1950: Peanuts First Published

2 October 1869: Mahatma Gandhi’s Birthday (1869 – 1948)

3 October 1906: SOS Established

3 October 1189: Richard I (The Lionheart) crowned King of England in Westminster Abbey

3 October 1916: James Herriot’s Birthday (1916 – 1995)

4 October: Child Health Day

7 October: National Poetry Day

7 October 1885: Niels Bohrs Birthday (1885 – 1962)

8 October 1871: Great Fire of Chicago

9 October: First Two Way Telephone Conversation

9 October: Leif Erikson Day

9 October: Moldy Cheese Day

9 October: World Post Day

11 October 1884: Eleanor Roosevelt (1884 – 1962)

11 October 1880: Boer War Began

12 October: Columbus Day

12 October: National Fossil Day

14 October 1066: Battle of Hastings

15 October: National Grouch Day

16 October: World Food Day

16 October: World Dictionary Day

19 October 1879: Thomas Edison Demonstrated the Electric Light Bulb

21 October: Apple Day

21 October 1959: Guggenheim Museum Opened

23 October 1940: Pele’s Birthday (1940 – )

23 October: Mother in Laws Day

24 October 2009: United Nations Day

25 October 1881: Pablo Picasso’s Birthday (1881 – 1973)

26 October 1836: International Red Cross Organised in Switzerland

27 October: International School Library Day

27 October 1848: Theodore Roosevelt’s Birthday (1858 – 1919)

28 October 1886: Statue of Liberty Dedicated

30 October 1735: John Adam’s Birthday (1735 – 1826)

31 October 1941: Mt. Rushmore completed

31 October: Halloween

→ 1 CommentTags: Celebrity Calendar

And Just Like That Se7en + 1 is Six…

October 2nd, 2015 · 20 Comments

I cannot believe it myself… our little guy just turned six. Like that in a blink.

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I love his joy and celebration style…
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And his dreaminess…
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The boy who has always loved books…
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Lots of them…
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Ain’t no mountain high enough…
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Always observing…
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Always wide awake…
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Even when he is pretending not to be…
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Loves a good day at the office…
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Drawing more pirates than you could ever imagine…
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And always ready for a project…
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He has his pack and he will travel…
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If his siblings can do it, so can he… with a smile!!!
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Always ready to explore new places…
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No matter what the weather…
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And search new horizons…
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He is destined for survival races…
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His middle name is probably “try anything…”
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Not afraid of hard work…
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And thinks volunteering is a way of life…
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Always ready to share…
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Always totally committed…
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Really funny…
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And serious…
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And just a touch of mischief…
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Blast from the Past

For our boy who never stops laughing…


For our boy who loves cooking…


For our boy who takes feasting very seriously…


For our boy who takes playing to… A whole new and involved level…


For our boy who is growing up way too fast…




Happy Brilliant birthday…


May Five be filled with fabulous fun!!!

You Can Read About His Well Documented Life Here…


→ 20 CommentsTags: Home Truths · Our Events

The Giant of Jum and an Instant Cake… A GiveAway…

September 29th, 2015 · 14 Comments

A couple of weeks back PanMacmillan South Africa gave us a copy of the Giant of Jum for review purposes. We reviewed it of course, The Giant of Jum is delightful. But we have a little more for you…

This is an extremely delightful fairytale by Elli Willard and Benji Davies. The illustrations are full of colourful details… just right for little people to gaze at and spot things of note. There is a very hungry and grouchy giant of the genteel “couldn’t hurt a fly” variety, who with wonderful rhythm and rhyme, is looking for a yummy child to munch. His quest of course is thwarted at every turn… because he is a very loving giant, who can’t help himself but help the children he would like to snack on. The children see him as delightfully tall and an extremely helpful friend – he can rescue errant balls, and cats in trees and even little boys too tired to walk all the way home. After so much rescuing the children are quite sure that they have a gentle giant on their hands and convince the giant that nice giants always eat…. CAKE!!! You may very well spontaneously need to make a cake after reading this book!!!

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A Giant GiveAway

We all know that giants have large needs and this giant needs a large mug on a daily basis… Welcome to my new favourite mug folks, and I have one to GiveAway to a lucky reader, somewhere in the world. Meanwhile, I have had this recipe tucked in my diary for about four years – it passes on from year to year and diary to diary… always waiting for the right moment to share it. And then my kids discovered it and they are away… Chocolate cake in a mug – a life skill!!!

60 Seconds Chocolate Cake in a Mug

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Meet the Players:
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup of castor sugar
  • 1-2 Tablespoons of cocoa

Let’s Play the Game: Mix all the ingredients together in your mug and pop it in the microwave for 50-60seconds. And you are done… a touch of cream, a topping of sprinkles or a couple of berries and your treat is good to go.

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2 Minute Chocolate Cake in a Giant Mug

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When you have a giant of Jum mug, which is a super huge mug, you might need something slightly grander…
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Meet the Players:
  • 4 Tablespoons of flour
  • 4 Tablespoons of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of cocoa
  • 1 Egg
  • 3 Tablespoons of milk
  • 3 Tablespoons of oil
  • 1 Dash of vanilla
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    Mix this up… spin it right round. This is easier in a mixing bowl, and then pour it into your mug.
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    Cook in the microwave for about 2 minutes. And again you can smother it in sprinkles or chocolate chips or a dash of cream.
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    The GiveAway

    So we have a Giant of Jum Mug to GiveAway to a lucky reader. This GiveAway works in the usual way, leave a comment before the end of play on Sunday, 4 October and tell us “What your favourite treat in a mug is?” We will draw and publish the winners in the Fabulous Fun Post after that. I won’t respond to your comments as I do on our other posts because I don’t want to be included in our own giveaway.

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    Our GiveAways are open to everyone: 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!!!

    And we would especially like to thank PanMacmillan South Africa who supplied the Giant of Jum for review purposes and the mug as a GiveAway to one of our readers. This is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are as usual totally our own.

→ 14 CommentsTags: GiveAways and Swaps

Sunday Snippet: He Made the Moon to Mark the Seasons…

September 28th, 2015 · 4 Comments

Our Bible Verse of the Week…

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Psalm 104:19

He made the moon to mark the seasons,
And the sun knows when to go down.

Week by Week

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→ 4 CommentsTags: Sunday Snippet

Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #291… And a GiveAway Winner…

September 28th, 2015 · 10 Comments

So we fell off the blogging world this past week but here we are back. I decided to take a much needed break from school and it quickly evolved into a week of volunteering, it was good and it was busy and blogging had to take a step back. Not to mention, a disastrous trip to the play park resulting in dental work for one of the hoods (be still my heart) and now we have a couple of sick little ones, that have taken to the couch with coughs and splutters. Needless to say, blogging and birthdays took a back seat. But it is a new week and I am optimistic, not to mention there are a couple of posts lingering in the draft folder and I just have to get them out to you all…


photo credit: Marike Herselman

One thing I do have is a heap of official photographs from Zambia, and I love this one of the school girl that I planted trees with…


Lovely Links from This Week

I might not have been able to write even a post or two… but that doesn’t mean I wasn’t reading… here are a few more links than usual and totally the best of the rest!!!

  1. The most Epic Post on the web this week: 41 (children’s) books to change my life… on Playing by the Book. I need to blog about this, I really do!!!
  2. A Complete Illustration of David Melling’s Tour in South Africa.
  3. I am so ready to be shuffling furniture around… I never ever plan it first, but I would be slightly tempted to plan and get the tape measure out because of A Beautiful Mess’s “How to Draw a Floor Plan.”
  4. Alisa Burke has a free colouring page that is everything to love…
  5. Re-Ignite Bible Reading That’s Become Boring… a Great Post on Head Heart Hand.
  6. Here’s a great post for homeschool moms, packed with resources for homeschool moms worried about teaching science: How to Homeschool Science, on Nurture Store.
  7. I spotted the perfect job for me, perfect Remote Scottish Village Needs A Teacher.
  8. Exactly the Bird Watching Post I need, from a totally unexpected source, Conrad Mbewe’s Letter from Kabwata, – the birds we see in our garden clearly named and explained.
  9. Great post for nearly new parents: 10 Decisions for Parents of Newborns… on Keeper of the Home.
  10. This NatGeo photograph on instagram spoke a million words about food wastage… go on, take a look and read the splab.
  11. Finally, have you seen The Topical Topic of this week: The Global Goals… so many good intentions in one place.
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    It is Bandana Season again… And if you haven’t noticed Bandanas are back in Pick’n Pay Stores… All over Pick’nPay Stores… this is a good thing because you can do so many stunning things with a bandana and buying a bandana supports a very important cause that is dear to our hearts, take a look at The Sunflower Fund Website and see how you can support them.


    And the se7en + 1th link:

  13. A Blast From the Past:

Book of the Week

Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan, Published by Penguin Random House South Africa: Last year in school, as a family we sought out books on Greek myths and read and re-read our way through them, finally we listened to the audio book of D’Aulaires’ Book of Greek Myths and my kids were hooked on Greek myths forever more. Percy Jackson is a natural progression to take reading and learning about the Greek Gods to the next level. Well Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes is the great, big, fat, 500 page version of the myths involving twelve great heroes like: Perseus, Daedalus and Theseus to name a few… You may or may not have met Percy Jackson in his previous books, he is the main character and hero, in the series after his own name. He is a young demigod, the son of Poseidon and the stories are written from his perspective… and explained really well so that the modern young hero can fully understand the ins and outs of life in ancient times. This is really ancient history rewritten as a teen fantasy. Keep in mind that Greek Myths were full of brutal head slayings and tragic deaths… and very unconventional relationships. If you are living with someone who is not afraid to put on their super hero cloak and head out to slay the world then this book is a must read. Not only is it one rip-roaring adventure after another, but there will be no forgetting, let alone confusing, the Greek Heroes after reading these adventure tales. My first thought was that my middle schoolers would really enjoy it, but after a little reading my way into it, realised that Greek gods were not exactly a moral bunch and there were some things in their lifestyles that wouldn’t have occurred to my middle schoolers yet, though Rick Riordan is very good at using humour to cover up a multitude of sins, this book is probably for teens and mine certainly enjoyed it.

We were given a copy of Percy Jackson and the Greek Heroes by Penguin Random House South Africa for review purposes. We were not paid for our review, this is not a sponsored post and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

A GiveAway Winner

We posted a review and GiveAway post on Justin Bonello and Helena Lombard’s Latest Book: Road Tripping, and today we announce the winner:

All the entries…

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All together now…
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And the winner is:
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Aunty Muffin Sep 18, 2015 at 9:54 am Those recipes look good! Roosterbrood is great, but really anything on the braai grill will be devoured by all of us!

Congratulations Aunty Muffin, you can look forward to hearing from us soonest…

We would like to thank Penguin Random House South Africa for supplying us with the GiveAway books. We were not paid for the review and the opinions expressed in it are as usual, entirely our own.

That’s us… Hope your weekend was a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you!!!

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→ 10 CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun