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

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Sunday Snippet: Whatever You Do, Work at it with All your Heart…

March 24th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Our Bible Verse of the Week…

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Colossians 3:23,24

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart,

as working for the Lord, not for human masters,

since you know that you will receive an inheritance

from the Lord as a reward.

It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Week by Week

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→ 1 CommentTags: Sunday Snippet

World Wide Instameet Number 11 With @IgersCapeTown…

March 23rd, 2015 · 4 Comments

You have to know that a good spot to find us online is on instagram, @se7en_hoods. One thing Cape Town does very well is Instameets. An Instameet or Meetup is were a group of local instagrammers get together and meet. It is a fantastic way, not only to connect with the faces behind a lot of your followers, but to learn. I have never been to a meet up and come away with out at least one fabulous new tip tucked away in my pocket. The thing about placing a whole lot of instagrammers in one spot is that they each have their own view of the same thing… and to see so many creative interpretations of the same venue is incredible.

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If you are an instagrammer in Cape Town or visiting Cape Town, search out @igersCapeTown and find an instagram meet up and join the fun. This past weekend there were instagram meetups all over the world and Cape Town had not one, not two, but four meetups to join in. We finally made it to the Sunset at the top of Signal Hill. Heaps of other instgrammers joined in, it was a fantastic turnout.

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How do you find a group of instagrammers in the crowd… a large group of camera wielding individuals. The variety of instagrammers is in itself fascinating… all ages, and all stages. Some very professional photographers, some very creative photographers, some regular snappers, and heaps of beginners and all of them very enthusiastic about their craft. Or you can look out for the flag/balloon…

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Which was quickly forgotten as everyone dashed off to find their photograph…

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The Venue: Signal Hill

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Their is a little wildlife and of course coffee…

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And lots of interesting things to photograph… but typically folks go up Signal Hill for the views…

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The View from Signal Hill

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Is nothing short of spectacular, includes our mountain… and the Cable Car Station…

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The Twelve Apostles…

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And Robben Island…

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Of course there is our favourite park, Green Point Park…

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And ships and shipping…

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And of course there is people watching…

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The People

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It isn’t just the view there are heaps of folk for great people watching opportunities…

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The City SightSeeing Bus… heads up the hill for their night tour… really everyone heads up the mountain!!!

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There are always folk celebrating something…

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And others just standing around waiting for the sun to go down…

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And well, juggling of course.

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The Instgrammers

Tend to be a very creative bunch and will go to great lengths to get the shot they have been plotting and planning…

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They will lurk off into the undergrowth, to make sure that this is the perfect spot for their unique picture…

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They will balance on precipices to get the perfect shadow…

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It is the perfect outing for a photographic family…

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You can always take kids to a meetup…

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And enthusiastic photographers will meet plenty of folk with encouraging tips for their photography.

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This is @owl_books in action…

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The Sunset

This is why everyone goes up Signal Hill and manoeuvres their way through the traffic!!!

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And after the sun… the evening star.

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The City Lights

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If you would like to see other photographs from this instate then head straight over to instagram and look for #WWIM11_signal.

Previous InstaWalks or MeetUps…

→ 4 CommentsTags: Cape Town · Outings · Saturday Spot

Se7en’s Fabulous Friday Fun #267

March 22nd, 2015 · 4 Comments

Some weekends are just busy, in the best possible ways… great outdoors, tired out from fresh air… all good!!!

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This weekend we have hiked an epic hike… walked the PicknPay Ladies Walk and Planted Trees with GreenPop.

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I have a feeling that we are going to need a weekend off to recover!!!


Lovely Links from This Week

  1. I love this gift idea, on Minimalist Mom: This is what I would love to be giving my friends, they need it!!! The best gift idea ever.
  2. No words can describe this, just love this fresh baby post: Here we Are Again by Sarah Bessey.
  3. Imagine Childhood has so many fun things to do with eggs… who knew!!!
  4. Would you look at this cleverness on Yuppie Chef: Life Straw…
  5. Absolutely love Brian Wildsmith’s Birds on the Crafty Crow.
  6. Book heaven: The New Penguin Gallery, at the Guardian… Just lovely!!!
  7. This will never happen but oh there are days when I could do with this room in our roof… Though I have a feeling that if we had one of them… it would look far more like a book zone, thoroughly strewn with LEGO!!!
  8. Nice as a room in the roof is… I can’t get beyond the idea that so many people are in this day and age without access to clean water… Here is Mom Blogger’s for Social Good on World Water Day.
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    Infographic from the World Water Day site

    And the se7en + 1th link:

  10. A Blast From the Past:

Book of the Week


It is just ten days until the deadline for the Sketchbook Project, if you have followed us over the last while, then you will know how important this project is to us… and that this is where I need to spend the next week… Making and Creating!!!

That’s us… Hope your weekend has been a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you all… not to mention a GiveAway or Two…

→ 4 CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun

Our Reader’s Have Done It Again: They Have Built a Library Book by Book…

March 20th, 2015 · 9 Comments

And our reader’s have done it again and I cannot thank you all enough. Together we have begun a library for a school in need. Book by book and box by box… the books have been pouring in. We cannot thank you enough for making a difference… Here are the smiling little faces of the pre-primary class.

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It all began on World Book Giving Day, when we introduced our “Building a Library Book by Book” project. Half way into our project Niki Daly stepped in and encouraged us to keep at it, and I am so thrilled that we did. Yesterday, with the help of a friend, we were able to drop off a heap of books, just enough to get a library started.

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This is the School

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And this is the playground that serves about a thousand kids every single day.

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And here are the kids… typical, happy smiling, “take my photo please” kids….

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And this is their building project.

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And they don’t have a library at all right now, but here is their potential media centre and library. The head teacher and vice, are so incredibly driven and ready to work for their children to get them the books that they need and provide them and their parents with the literary skills to make a difference. It has been an absolute pleasure working with them throughout the project – even when I send seemingly strange questions to them, in order to bring their school to our readers, they have always got back to me timeously, and that in itself is a huge achievement. It isn’t easy, their resources are few and the children are many. You would think that as an inner city school this would be one of our easiest libraries to get started… but actually they are living on an island, where their internet cable is stolen every time they replace it and communication is really difficult, close to impossible.

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The Book Bus

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Ironically we arrived on library day, and this is the community library that serves the whole region. Many schools and community centres are visited by this book bus, otherwise they would have no access to any library facilities at all. Children’s books on the left, adults on the right. At first glance it looks wonderful, but to serve a thousand children in this one school, let alone the surrounding schools. There is definitely not even a book per child each week.

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The Kids

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We went on from our look at the book bus to tour the school and meet the most important people here… the kids. These are the youngsters that you have bought books for. Classroom after classroom of characters… I can see huge personalities seated at those desks. Little folk who are so excited about school and learning. They were so well-behaved and thrilled to show us their work… and so many of them said math was their favourite subject!

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My kids were intrigued, they have never ventured into a classroom before… and it is quite different to their own school around the kitchen table and a garden to play in and explore.

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I never thought I would be on the receiving end of a “Good Morning, Miss”… but I was so happy to be there…

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This little one really wanted to show us his school supplies and these two below were part of a class that sang us a song… “Smile, smile, smile…” actions and all.

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I tell you the truth the teachers in this school are doing an incredible work… their facilities are so few and yet they are persevering on and these children have a love for learning that is hard to find in even many of the wealthiest schools the world over.

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Piles of Books

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Eventually there was no room under my desk and it was time to load up the boxes of books that had been accumulating there…

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A massive thank you to all our readers for heaps and heaps of books that have been donated… we cannot thank you enough…

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Huge thank you to PanMacMillan South Africa for donating a box of books, filled with library essentials… posters and bunting and all sorts of goodies.

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Thank you to Penguin Random House, South Africa… for their box of chapter books… a lot of children are going to be pleased to see those.

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And a massive thank you to The Reader’s Warehouse, who supplied a huge box of books, packed with fabulous reads for all ages and stages.

You Can Still Help

If you planned to send books, but haven’t yet… please please send them on, if ever a school needed books to launch their library… if ever a group of children needed books to follow their dreams… this is the one.

Step 1: Select a Book or Books

  1. You can search through your books for gently used books that your children have outgrown or no longer love.
  2. You can buy a book or two with your children and package them up.
  3. You can shop at Amazon and ship directly.
  4. And you can shop on-line, locally at Loot, and ship directly as well.

While all the students do learn English, many of the learners have Afrikaans as their first language. English books are very welcome, so are books in Afrikaans. Any books will be great, story books, picture books, craft books, cook books, reference books… really any books. There is a large community being served here. If you are shopping overseas and would like to buy local language books then click on the South African vendor to find books and they will deliver locally for you.

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Step 2: Contact us.

Leave a comment and tell us that you intend to help or contact us. I will reply to you all as soon as I can with the shipping details, with the address to send the books you have chosen. There is a human person behind each and every email (that would be me) and they take time… please be patient the address will get to you.

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Step 3: Let us Know All About the Books You Chose

We would love if you could photograph the books you are sending, if you shop on-line then just send us a list of the books that you ordered. If you have a blog and write about it then let us know and we will have a Progress Post each week. I will pop the photo’s you send into the blog post and if you do have a blog there will be a chance for you to link up as well.

We are excited about this project and we really hope that our readers seize the day and join us. It doesn’t have to be huge, if even one percent of our readers pop a book into an envelope and post it off, we will have a library. So here’s to hoping that we hear from you all really soon. Leave a comment saying you would like to join us, contact us… Please share this post… whatever you need to do… we would so love to hear from you.

If you have contacted us and had no reply, please try again, one or two of the email addresses I received kept bouncing back… Please email again… there could well be a little glitch.

We know that a project with a deadline often works better so could we aim to get our books in the mail around mid-March. That gives you a week or two… to get mailing!!!

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We would like to thank Niki Daly, International Book Giving Day for their enthusiastic support and Biblionef South Africa, for helping us to find a community in our area that needs a library, over the years they have provided us with unprecedented support in helping us to pursue our dream to provide books for children just like ours, who otherwise wouldn’t have access to books.

→ 9 CommentsTags: Brilliant Books · Caring and Sharing

Folktales from Africa… A GiveAway…

March 18th, 2015 · 20 Comments

It is library week over here and for a couple of weeks we have been asking our readers to help us to build a library – book by book, for children who don’t have access to books. Well we really want to thank you all for your fabulous contributions, that just keep on rolling in, and so we thought we would bring you a Giveaway…

Folktales from Africa – A GiveAway

Folktales from Africa, Retold by Dianne Stewart and illustrated by Marjorie Van Heerden: Is a delightful book for children, filled with twenty folktales from all over Africa. The tales are divided into people groups and there is a fact file page for each group. These are stories that have been passed down from generation to generation, and word of mouth carries them on down through time. I firmly believe that a cultural literacy is an important building block in our children’s world of books. Books like these are important in helping young people discover the world that they live in. Certainly for children from Africa these folktales will have a special ring to them as they hear words and names, not to mention whole stories that they have heard told before, these stories will be familiar and comfortable… ready to be read again and again. And just as our children are intrigued by stories from distant lands, these stories will be intriguing to children from further afield.


There is a pleasant mixture of fact and fiction… the fact pages are really just a page of interesting snippets, and they are dropped in, every few pages to change the rhythm of the book, and keep easily distracted readers intrigued. The facts include a little bit of history, quite a bit of geography, a mention of famous people and cultural activities. The illustrations are engaging and delightful, colourful and filled with interesting things to look at while you are reading. I thought this book would make a good edition to our school this year, and began reading a story a day at the lunch table. And then, one of the gang claimed it as their own and it is firmly on the bedtime pile, which means it is essentially a “read over and over” kind of a book.

The GiveAway

So we have a copy of this book to GiveAway to a lucky reader. This GiveAway works in the usual way, leave a comment before the end of play on 24 March, 2015 and tell us “your child’s favourite book right now.” We will draw and publish the winners in the Friday 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.

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!!!

We would like to to thank Penguin Random House, for providing us with a review copy of this book and one for a GiveAway. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to write it and the opinions expressed are as usual our own.

→ 20 CommentsTags: Brilliant Books · GiveAways and Swaps

Sunday Snippet: Gracious Words are a Honeycomb…

March 17th, 2015 · 4 Comments

Our Bible Verse of the Week…


Proverbs 16:24

Gracious words are a honeycomb,

Sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.

Week by Week

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→ 4 CommentsTags: Sunday Snippet

Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post… #266

March 16th, 2015 · No Comments

That was the weekend… it started off on top of a mountain and somewhat blustery…

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Lovely Links from This Week

  1. Gotta say a sense of humour is essential to life and love, here is a Honeymoon tale that only a sense of humour and then only after the fact, could get you through!!!
  2. How totally cool is this Tinker lab Engineering Kids and Rube Goldberg Machine and while you are over at Tinkerlab… did you see these solar labs!!!
  3. Hmmmm, I have eight kids, and the associated grey hairs… Grey or not… I am always astonished at the amount of discussion it raises!!!
  4. Who knew fresh kitchen clippers could make you happy, but a friendgifted me with these and they are fab… and since we are over at Yuppie Chef… have you seen the new Breakfast Course in their Cooking School, I think it is next on our list!!!
  5. I cannot resist a good play space, cannot!!! Childhood 101 has 60 Inspiring play spaces to look at… and I’m loving them!!!
  6. My friend Heather Sanders, who blogs everything about homeschooling, wants to know: “Your Biggest Homeschooling Frustration?” Head over and leave a comment, or read the comments and see that you are most likely not alone…
  7. And just in case you need some real live letter writing inspiration… there is a load of letter loveliness in this post on The Story Warren.
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    It’s less than a month until International Book Giving Day…

    And the se7en + 1th link:

  9. A Blast From the Past:

Book of the Week

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah BenWell is the reason that this post has taken the whole weekend to hit publish. I had to read this book right the way through and word for word, I didn’t want to miss a thing. This is a book about a young teenage lad, called Sora, who suffers with ALS, (Lou Gehrig’s Disease). He is going to die and he grapples with the loss of his normal everyday life and his friends. He has lost the function in his legs and is losing it in his hands and arms as well, he can no longer attend school. And he worries about becoming more and more of a burden to his mum.

The book is set in contemporary Japan, which is refreshing in itself… it seems that most teen books that grapple with issues are set in the USA or the UK, it is reassuring to teens everywhere that teens all over the world have to deal with similar problems. Sora turns to the internet for friendship and finds it online in a chat room. Two online friends become good friends in real life and ultimately help him to reach his goal.

A multitude of teen topics like life online, loneliness, suicide. Don’t for a moment think that teenagers are not thinking about deeper topics just because they aren’t talking about them with their parents. The author clearly presents a window into the world of teenagers like no other that I have read. It is somewhat disquieting, though not at all surprising, that he turns to his online friends in his hour of need. In a nutshell… very compelling read.

The Last Leaves Falling by Sarah BenWell was given to us for review purposes by Penguin Books South Africa, we were not paid for this review and the opinions expressed are our own.

That’s us… Hope your weekend has been a fabulous one and we are so looking forward to another week of blogging with you all… not to mention a fun GiveAway…

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