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

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Se7en’s August and Your Free Printable Calendar…

August 3rd, 2016 · 2 Comments


Well hello August, I have no idea how it can be August already and so sorry our calendar is a little late… our electricity has been off, and everything is running a little slow as a result of that.

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Click on the calendar page, it will open in a new tab, print it out (landscape is best) 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!!!

→ 2 CommentsTags: Celebrity Calendar

What We Are Reading Right Now: The Easy Chapter Book Version…

August 2nd, 2016 · 3 Comments

In the journey of reading… from picture books to classics there is a vast array of books that make up the little steps and books in between. Jut above the level of easy readers and not quite the level of chapter books… these books are fun and vibrant reads where all the illustrations form an integral part of the story. When you child lurches into the world of reading and still needs a little (or a lot, depending), then these books are it. Firstly, they are fun for parents to read too and they fill the gap in bed time stories when your children want a little more than a picture book but they aren’t quite ready for a saga. The chapter’s tend to be short and sweet, the stories designed to grab your attention and the illustrations will capture you. These books are great and if you are looking for something fun to read with kids of all ages then these books are a great choice…


Se7en + 1 of the Latest Easy Chapter Books

  1. The Mysterious Traveller and the Night Sky Dragons by Mal Peet and Elspeth Graham: Oh my word, these are the most beautiful books… you will read them and hold your breathe… magical.

    • Night Sky Dragons illustrated by Patrick Benson: This is the story of a small boy, Yazul, who lives in a Han, a place of safety along the Silk Road. He and his grandfather have a great relationship and spend hours together making beautiful kites. Yazul’s father is disappointed in his son and wants Yazul to work harder and take life a lot more seriously. (spoiler alert) Their town is under siege and Yazul uses his kite making skills to conquer the enemy… he and his grandpa create sky dragons and the enemy flees… and at last his father smiles at him and Yazul knows everything is going to be good from now on.
    • Mysterious Traveller illustrated by P.J.Lynch: Is the story of Mariama, a girl raised in the Great Desert, the Sahara, by an old man who discovered her when she was a baby, abandoned in the desert after a sand storm. The old man is a desert guide, he knows more about the desert than anyone around, but in his old age he goes blind… and Mariama becomes his eyes. One day three visitors arrive and demand to be taken over a difficult route, until they discover that the old man is blind and head out into the desert on their own. Together Mariana and the old man catch up to the visitors and (spoiler alert) rescue them… and there is a surprise waiting for Mariane in the end of this book…
  2. The Gaskitt Family Stories by Allan Ahlberg: are pure fun and if you haven’t read them, then look out for them. Lovely beginner mysteries to read. The family consists of Mr and Mrs Gaskitt and nine year old twins, Gus and Gloria, and their cat, Horace. The children’s teacher, Mrs Fritter always has some sort of accident close to the start of the book and ends up with a crazy replacement teacher. The illustrations are perfect, lovely and busy… but not crazy busy. There are clever little things to look out for through out the books… the doormat changes all the time, the refrigerator has little messages for the family. You can read a lovely interview with Allan Ahlberg here, and meet the illustrator, Katherine McEwen on her website here.
    • The Cat Who Got Carried Away by Allan Ahlberg: Mrs Gaskitt spends almost the entire book in bed, but why? And then there is a huge black pram wandering through town and the children have a replacement teacher who is quite exceptional. And all the pets are going missing… all the questions do actually get answered. Just a fun read, that my beginner readers have loved.
    • The Man Who Wore All of His Clothes by Allan Ahlberg: Mr Gaskitt gets up in the morning and puts on all his clothes… all of them!then he heads for work and we find ourselves caught up in car chase across town, that somehow involves the whole family. It is only on the second last page, after a very interesting read, that you find out why he wears all his clothes to work.
    • The Woman Who Won Things by Allan Ahlberg: Mrs Gaskitt is on a winning streak… she keeps winning amazing prizes, like a year’s supply of Crunchy Mice cat food. Otherwise the children’s replacement teacher is the most amazing Mrs Plum, there is nothing she cannot do… and then things start to go missing. This is really a first mystery and a great one at that.
  3. Swashbuckle Lil, The Secret Pirate by Elli Woollard and Laura Ellen Anderson: Well as most of you know, Hood #8 is our resident pirate, and I have to say he was a little shocked to think that I was going to read a book about a girl pirate… but that song very quickly changed to read more, read more… this is pure fun. Two books in one and we read each of them in a sitting… because they are pure brilliant fun. Firstly they are stories that rhyme, and there is something magical about kids and rhymes. Imagine the stuff you like best and then there is more of it… much more of it, chapters in fact. Swashbuckle Lil will be popular amongst all pirate spirits, she is a gal who nobody else knows is a pirate… all pirateering happens right under the noses of her classmates, not to mention her formidable teacher. This is all good clean fun… and fantastic.
  4. Julius Zebra by Gary Northfield: I can honestly say, I have no idea where we have been and why we haven’t met this really funny zebra before… these books are must must must reads. In these books the illustrations play a large roll in the story, with some sort of cartoon to read on just about every page. For the beginner reader the reward for getting through a paragraph is a funny cartoon… A lot of snippets of information are packed in-between all the funniness… these books are great reads and as first chapter books they are brilliant: fat so an achievement to get through, short chapters so steady progress and humour all the way through. Ancient Rome with the animals of the African Plains, what is not to love. Our middle schooler boys really enjoyed these, and you can meet the author, Gary Northfield at his website here.
    • Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans: The story begins with Julius at the watering hole, he hates it there, it is dirty and disgusting and he decides to quietly wander off… and it only takes a chapter or two and Julius is captured by the Romans and finds himself on a journey to Rome. When Julius got to Rome he became a gladiator, with his gang of extraordinary, misfit friends.
    • Julius Zebra: Bundle with the Britons: Just one more task from the emperor, in order to win their freedom, the now popular Zebra and his crazy collection of friends head for Roman England. The Britons are a crazy bunch and the Romans need to win them over. This is funny, funny, funny all the way through… the best way to learn about ancient times… we are looking forward to much more Julius Zebra in the future.
  5. The 52 Story TreeHouse by Andy Griffiths and Illustrated by Terry Denton: This is hands down Hood #5’s favourite series of books, he literally absorbs these books as they launch… and if you haven’t read the previous books in the series then hunt them down and read those ones too. The illustrations are brilliant and totally totally make the book, plenty of details and oh so funny. The author and illustrator are the main characters in their own books… already that is a little unusual. They live in a tree house that expands from book to book, and they discuss the expansions as they go. Each book has new levels and incredible extensions, and lots of silliness. Imagine the most amazing place on earth, and double that, double that again and you aren’t even close. In this book there is a life size snakes and ladder board, with real snakes – yikes, and a ninja snail training academy, and a water melon smashing machine. You can meet the author Andy Griffiths here and the illustrator Terry Denton here.
  6. The Claude Collection by Alex T. Smith: Oh Claude we love you so… love love love. Claude is a small, plump, dog who wears a beret and a dashing jumper and his best friend is a sock, called Sir Bobblysock. He lives with his owners Mr and Mrs Shinyshoes, who go off to work everyday, and then Claude and Sir Bobblysocks go off on adventures. These two are very sophisticated and they are just as funny for the adult reader as the junior reader… trust me, read these to your kids before handing them over, you will enjoy them. Gotta say, we love Claude books and collect them.
    • Claude in the Country by Alex T. Smith: Claude and his best friend go for a visit in the country and the find themselves at Mrs Cowpat’s farm. Together they do a whole lot of helpful tasks on the farm: including getting the pigs ready for the Most Beautiful Pig competition, and saving the day, from a huge bull. The farmer asks them to stay on on the farm… but they choose to head home for a nap.
    • Claude in the Spotlight by Alex T. Smith: In this book, Claude and Sir Bobblysocks follow a group of gals to their dance class. Of course Claude and his many skills, impresses the dance teacher so much, when he chases a fly that is bothering him, that she invites them to join her at the theatre. He loves the theatre and then helps to solve the mystery of the theatre ghost… absolutely exhausted from their day out they head home for a nap, laden with cakes as a reward for solving the mystery.
    • Claude Doodle Book by Alex T. Smith: Of all the lovely things… a doodle book!!! With all sorts of lovely things to fill in… picture frames to fill, postcards from their travels to complete, a few pages relating to each of the books… and of course Claude’s basket is ready for you to draw Claude taking a nap.
  7. The Princess Black and the Perfect Princess Party by Shannon and Dean Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham: Something about this book appeals to girls, my two little one grabbed this book and vanished… as they read it together. There is a ton of pink in this book and a heap Books that make them want to read more, I am all for. There is an enormous amount of pink in this book, Princess Marigold is having a birthday… when there is a monster attack. Princess Marigold, transforms into the Princess in Black and tries to save the day before anybody notices that she isn’t at her own party. But somebody does notice. This is an ultra sweet book, and my girls loved it.
  8. King FlashyPants and the Evil Emperor by Andrew Riley: This is just a fun read… about a young king, Edwin, who is nine years old. Apart from his flashy crown, with smaller crowns up on it, Edwin appears to be quite a fine king… he has a wonderful invention the K.E.N.N.E.T.H. King Edwin’s Nutritious Nibbles Ejector, Thrower and Hurler… with which he delivers all the candy in the fully stocked candy store, to his peasants each week. The story is packed with imaginative problems, and more imaginative solutions… what really makes the book is the very creative names of the characters. Just a bit of fun that an emerging reader would enjoy whiling away an afternoon.

Thank you so much to PanMacmillan South Africa for the copies of these books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to create it and the opinions expressed are as usual, our own.

→ 3 CommentsTags: Brilliant Books

Se7en+1 Discover the Big Box Café…

July 31st, 2016 · 8 Comments

I am completely interrupting our flow of blogging to say that we discovered a little gem this weekend. We headed for the city for a brilliant book launch, which I’ll be blogging next week, and found ourselves in the heart of the city and in desperate need of a snack. We popped into the Big Box Café… Firstly it is French, and the perfect place for our French students to practice their skills. But the critical thing is that it is a Boardgame Café. Hello… heaven!!!


So we had coffee and toasted sandwiches and a delicious crepe filled with lemon curd. The food was fabulous… and we took no pics because we have priorities and there is entire wall of new and innovative games to play,, not to mention a whole ton of familiar classics as well.


Games for one…


Games for fun…


Games for two… so many spot it’s!!!



Games in all shapes and sizes…



Games for everyone…


Traditional games of every variety…


Beautiful wooden games…


Games of skill…



And this has to be our new favourite game… Qwirkle Cubes, Lovely wooden blocks… and requires rows of colour or shape… no reading skills required, really the whole family can play… It is the perfect game.




If you need to while away some time in the city… time will fly while you visit The Big Box Café… Coffee and games and ours of fun… I can see this is going to become a steady outing for our family!!!

This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid or asked to write it all… Just a spot we happened to love and thought we needed to share because it is really so very cool… happy gaming.

→ 8 CommentsTags: Cape Town · Outings

The Se7en Gang Hikes Up Lion’s Head…

July 31st, 2016 · 6 Comments

It has been rainy all week and the gang have been itching to get outdoors and onto the mountains… we have also had scheduled on the calendar for months, a hike up Lion’s Head in celebration of Ranger Day on the 31 July. When we woke up it was dark and pouring with rain… Not to mention we had watched this video clip, of A Dawn Hike up Lion’s Head, via our hiking friend at Table Mountain Treks, Justin Hawthorne. More than one of my kids thought that this was a killer hike after that. Turns out it wasn’t, everyone got there and back one piece and we highly recommend this adventurous hike for families with a fairly good level of fitness.


We are always astonished at the number of tourists that think hiking and walking are the same thing and they head out of the city and up the mountain in slip-slops, or even high heeled sandals. The weather did change for the better on the day and we had a glorious Cape Town winter’s day… but it could just as quickly change for the worse and you would need at least a sweater or some sort of rain protection. And the top of this mountain there is some fairly energetic scrambling required… you need to be wearing comfortable shoes. Everyone from age 6 and up loved hiking up Lion’s Head. It is a half day hike… though because of the scramble at the top I would suggest that maybe it isn’t the easiest hike to choose to launch up. Very small children and unseasoned hikers, those scared of heights might struggle with the top of this mountain… but it is glorious to get a view of the entire city, it is so worth it.


Let’s Begin at the Beginning


An a crisp morning view of Table Mountain…


Up we went and gearing up for World Ranger Day on 31 July, we had rangers there to guide us all the way. Rangers patrol our mountains everyday… if you spot them stop and say hi, they are full of wonderful snippets of information… they are a mine of friendly information.


The first time I have ever seen a natural forest of silver trees…


How beautiful are these shimmery trees…


The route circles its way around the mountain… you get a 360 degree trip winding your way up to the top… it is pretty epic!!!


We went past caves…


As you wind around the view is spectacular…


And up… did I mention up…


The day warmed up… and some of us stopped for a refreshing shower…


Drip… drip… drip…


And a window in the rocks…


And then there is the vertical route, with chains and ladders and well it is vertical.


And an alternative route that goes up and around… There were folk amongst the gang a little offended that we (I) chose the up and around route… turns out a mother person has a few limits!!!


And did I say up…


And around…


And up…


And up…


Another rest… and a beautiful bug…



The City Below







And if you are going to the top of the mountain… and it is called Lion’s Head…


Then you will have to draw a lion in the fynbos….


And then down again…


This is a great half-day hike, we will definitely be back to hike to the top with the hoods that couldn’t make it… this is a hike full of little surprises and lovely adventures…


Previous Table Mountain Hikes

Table Mountain CableWay and Maclear’s Beacon…

Se7en’s Hike to Visit the Disa of Table Mountain… (The Aqueduct and Smuts Track)

Se7en + 1 Head Up Table Mountain Again. (Skeleton Gorge)

Se7en + 1 Climb Table Mountain to the Top. (The Pipe Track)

Table Mountain, A National Park Right in the City Centre. (Platteklip)

→ 6 CommentsTags: Cape Town · Hiking · Outings

Se7en Journeys to the Middle East With the Read the World Book Club…

July 27th, 2016 · 7 Comments

This is Week Five of our Read the World Book Club Series. For the next couple of weeks we are going to be posting a pile of our favourite books from each continent… and you are welcome to join us on our journey. This week we are journeying to the Middle East (not a continent I know, but read on), along with The Simple Homeschool Folk and #Giveyourchildtheworld.


Welcome to the Middle East

In this section of the journey we are looking for books from Afghanistan, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon, Pakistan and Palestine. We don’t have a Middle East puzzle, like we do for the other areas we have visited, but we do have dozens of friends who live there and we would love to go on a virtual voyage over there.

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All virtual voyages require a feast to get them rolling. Pita breads are the way to go…

Se7en of Our Favourite Picture Books from The Middle East

We are Sailing Down the Nile by Laurie Krebs: We love Laurie Krebs’ books, their rhythm and style… inspire small people to ask for these books to be read again and again. A trip through Egypt and the fact pages at the end make this a fantastic “get to know Egypt” book for the picture book generation.

Listen to the Wind by Greg Mortensen: If you haven’t read the grown up version of this book, Three Cups of Tea, then I highly recommend it. Three Cups of Tea and the author are surrounded by controversy, but the story is a good one and worthy or reading to our children. It is the story of a man who is physically and emotionally spent, while trying to climb the notorious mountains of the Himalayas and specifically K2. He ends up in an impoverished village, where the villagers restore him to health. He promises to return and build a school for the children there.

The Seagull of Galata Tower, by Julia Townsend: Galata Tower is an historical tower at the centre of Istanbul, on the Bosphorous river in Turkey… there is a seagull that lives there, who is the descendant of a long line of seagulls… in a land where history is crucial to your story… his genealogy is important. He is a proud seagull and pride comes before a fall… just saying. He does realise that to get by in the world you do need friends. Otherwise there is a nice annotated map on the inside cover and views of life in Istanbul provide the background.

The Librarian of Basyra by Jeanette Winter: This is the story of a librarian, Aliya, who realises that to save her library as war approaches, she will have to take drastic action. Not only that, she is a woman and so has no power to command help, instead she has to outsmart and outthink the enemy. It is a profound example of how one person with a passion, can do great things. During the bitter fighting her library is burnt to the ground, and yet she manages to save every single book.

Nasreen’s Secret School by Jeanette Winter: Nasreen lives in war torn Afghanistan and has been traumatised by the things she has seen. Since her parents disappeared she has been unable to talk at all. In a country where girls are not allowed into school, Nasreen’s granny decides that the only chance to get help for Nasreen is for her to attend school. The challenge is school? for girls? in Afghanistan? Granny finds a way and at school she slowly discovers a world of knowledge completely different to the one she lives in. This is true story and full of heart, look out for it.

Sinbad the Sailor by Marcia Williams: A story book collection wouldn’t be complete if it didn’t have some ancient lore to go with it. Sinbad the Sailor provides a feast of fantastic tales, all set in the Middle East and provide a great back drop for setting the scene. Marcia Williams is a genius at catching the nuances of a story in her illustrations… these stories are classics for a reason… great reading fun and bright and colourful.

Sanji and the Baker by Robin Thanes and Korky Paul: This book is one of our kids favourite books, it is set “somewhere” in the Middle East, and is filled with rich flavours and spices of the region. Sanji lives above the bakery, and the aromas wandering up from the store below him… well that is what the story looks to be about, but actually there is a little lesson in this book. You cannot put a price tag on the simple pleasures in life… The illustrations are rich and lovely, packed with lots of lovely and exotic details. I warn you this book might inspire you to bake all sorts of different delights… cinnamon rolls, currant buns, sesame seed cookies…

Se7en+1 of Our Favourite Chapter Books from The Middle East

Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World: I have said it before and I will say it again, if you read nothing else this year read this book. We reviewed this book earlier in the year, my kids kept saying, “You must read this.” And then I did. I was a bit wary to read a book about something that was so publicised, I felt I had read the story in the news… that’s not enough, read the book. It is compelling to read the story from Malala’s perspective, she paints a vivid picture of the world and life that she lived in… not to mention what she stands for. Grab a copy, settle down and make this your next family read, my littlest wandered off but everyone else was riveted.

The BreadWinner Collection by Deborah Ellis: A classic in its own time. This collection contains three of her books, I wouldn’t recommend them for younger readers, but certainly for teens these are a must read. Traumatic, because for many children around the world, particularly in the Middle East, life is traumatic and difficult and just when we would think things were impossible, some more tenacious spirits just keep on. These are books about perseverance, living on your wits, and desperate, desperate times. They are an emotional rollercoaster and will leave most readers very grateful for what they have. I didn’t know there was a fourth book in this series and we will be looking out for it:

  • The BreadWinner: Parvana is an 11 year old girl, living in Afghanistan under the Taliban. She is not aloud outdoors and she is not allowed to be educated. Her father, an academic, is arrested and never seen again. It is left to Parvana to support the family. There is only one solution, to dress as a boy and head for the market place, where she reads and writes letters for folk.
  • Parvana’s Journey: This is the sequel to The Breadwinner and an unforgettable read. This follows Parvana on her journey through war torn Afghanistan, she is separated from her family and desperate to find them. Along the way she accumulates a number of children in desperate straits… they venture on together and finally reach a refugee camp. This is a bittersweet read and a good place to start understanding the harrowing effects of war on children.
  • Mud City: Is the story of Shauzia, Parvana’s best friend, who finds herself living in a refugee camp in Pakistan. She sees her dream of getting to France and a new life slipping away. She decides to take her chances living on the streets of Peshawar. It is a dangerous and frightening decision to make and life is certainly not easier out there, for this feisty with a strong will to survive.

The Kites are Flying by Michael Morpugo: Another book that we reviewed earlier this year, and is about the friendship between a journalist, with a video camera and a boy with incredible kite making skills. Set on the West Bank, these two forge an unusual bond. I would read this aloud to your middle schoolers… this book has a beautiful ending, and the journalist learns that behind every news story there is a whole lot of heart involved.

Seven Daughters and Seven Sons by Barbara Cohen and Bahia Lovejoy: Hood #3 describes this as a timeless classic, I take that as a must read! This book is set in an ancient Arab nation and is the story of Buran, one of se7en daughters, who who refuses to sit at home waiting for her father to choose a husband for her. Instead, she disguises herself as a boy and then takes a difficult journey by caravan, to the distant city of Tyre, and establishes her own business. There she meets the crown prince and they end up taking walks and playing backgammon together. Buran realises that if she stays her true identity will be revealed… she flees back to her family.

Shadow Spinner by Susan Fletcher: Set in the Sultan’s Palace, Sharazad must tell the Sultan a story every night, and every morning he decides to let her live… depending on how interesting the story was. Sharazad is running out of stories and so asks Marjan, who is able to enter and exit the Palace, to go and find stories in the market place. She finds more than she bargained for. This is an interesting story of heroism…

One More River by Lynne Reid Banks: I read this book in high school and it is one of those books that really opens up your world. It is the story of Lesley, in a wealthy Canadian family, whose father decides to to return to Israel, embrace their Jewishness more fully and live on a Kibbutz . Lesley is appalled and resists all the way. However, once Lesley is there, she begins to immerse herself into her new environment and there is a transformation in her. She meets a Palestinian boy, who lives across the Jordan River and they become friends as the world around them becomes more chaotic with impending war. This is an exciting read and well worth it.

Habibi by Naomi Shihab Nye: This is a similar story, to One More River, except the heroine, Liyana’s family, are from St. Louis and they are moving to Palestine. Liyana is friendless, she doesn’t speak the language and is finding herself quite out of her depth. She has never met and can’t understand the people that are now called “family.” And then she meets Omer, a Jewish boy, and of course they cannot speak to each other… not just because of language barriers, but because of cultural barriers. Throughout the book the tension between Israeli soldiers and the Palestinians… doesn’t quite lurk beneath the surface, but rather erupts and escalates as the book goes on.

Under the Persimmon Tree by Suzanne Fisher Staples: This one is new to us, waiting on the review pile… but someone has already sneaked a read from it and gives it the high status of “It’s a keeper.” This story takes place in war torn Afganhistan. It is the story of a young Afghanistan girl and an American Woman who lives in Pakistan after the 911 explosion. Their worlds are so far apart in so many ways and yet the story draws them together, slowly but surely their lives weave together… it is heartbreaking, but one of those books that has to be read. It will be in our next chapter book review – look out for it!!!

The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley: When I asked my older boys for a middle eastern book they both replied, The Blue Sword… it ranks up there with the best of the rest for both of them. So… this is a fantasy type book, set in the Middle East. Harry, the heroine, is a young orphan girl who is searching for something, she is not sure what, that is missing in her life. Corlath, King of the Hillfolk kidnaps her and they embark on a journey across the rough and rugged country… this pure action, magic and adventure… Unbeknownst to her, she has a special role to play in the future of the Hillfolk, only when she carries the Blue Sword does she realise her ability. Riveting from start to finish, this is a “keep forever and read again and again” kind of book.

Previous Posts in this Series

Se7en Are Off on a Book Voyage

Se7en Journeys to Africa with the Read the World Book Club…

Interview on Growing up in South Africa on Simple Homeschool…

Se7en Welcomes the Read the World book Club to Sunny South Africa…

Se7en Journeys to Europe with the Read the World Book Club…

Se7en Journeys to North America With the Read Aloud Book Club…

You are welcome to join the club… and if you do post on instagram use the #Giveyourchildtheworld hashtag.


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→ 7 CommentsTags: Brilliant Books · Se7en at School

Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #325

July 26th, 2016 · No Comments

Well hello from a wild and stormy Cape Town… thought I’d post some fun reads to distract ourselves from the crazy weather out there!!!


If you haven’t entered this week’s giveaway yet… then please head on over to this post and leave a comment…


Lovely Links from This Week

  1. The New York Times: Want to Work in 18 Miles of Books? First, the Quiz…
  2. If you finish your homeschool with SAT’s then this post is for you: The New SAT on Starts at Eight…
  3. Kara Fleck has a way with words, like no other: Making Sure That YOU fit into the Homeschool Plan…
  4. Best Playtime Activities Ever on Modern Parents Messy Kids.
  5. Maggie Whitely’s Twenty 20-Minute Crafts and Projects…
  6. The Way to Write for Children by Joan Aiken.. This is magic.
  7. If you are in desperate need of a holiday… then look no further than Babyccino’s and a week in Campagnia!!!

A Blast From the Past:


That’s us… Hope you are all having a fabulous week!!!

→ No CommentsTags: Fabulous Friday Fun

Se7en + 1 Do a Week of Volunteering…

July 25th, 2016 · 7 Comments

Last week began with Madiba Day, it has become tradition in our country to spend time, 67 minutes, doing some sort of community service. In the spirit that we want to raise our kids thinking that service and volunteering is a way of life. In our country there is plenty of opportunity to serve, you really don’t have to look too far. Last year we celebrated Madiba Day in the pouring rain with the rangers from SANParks and later did a week of volunteering on our own. It was such fun… that we really wanted to get involved again… so this year for Madiba Week we got together with the rangers and this time we helped them to upgrade a Club House for Seniors in Masiphulele. We didn’t have a specific job, just wherever help was needed we joined in. Here you go a photo rich post, beginning with our gang of volunteers…


And the clubhouse they helped to transform…


So much happened to this little building over the week… Not to mention life skills and heart skills learnt…


It really was a phenomenal effort by all the teams of rangers and we were just thrilled to be able to help and be a part of their project.

Day 1:

We began by taking everything outdoors…


And sorting and cleaning began…


Everything including the curtains…


And the painting began…




And the shape of a garden had been cleared and established…


And a lot of carrying was needed…






And even more…




And the champion carrier, who carried all these logs!!!


And then the building construction began…


Day 2:

We got to meet some of the seniors…


And just as all good projects begin with lots of energy and enthusiasm… the next day began with a lull… the truth is in volunteering there is a lot of waiting around. And so they went in search of things to do…


We did a hunt for garbage… And found a family of lizards…


That might have nipped during their rescue…


Paint scraped…


Floors swept…


And mopped…


And much more carrying…




And oh joy… the deck arrived…


And all hands on deck…



And seedlings to plant…



The garden planted… just before the rain came down…


Day 3:

More cleaning out… and carrying…




Some folk were clever enough to stay out of the rain…


Curtains back up…


It’s harder than it looks…


Everything back in and the couches covered…


Others needed to work on their decking skills…






Day 4:

The Medicinal garden was planted…


And the sun came out…


Food parcels delivered…


And new crafty donations…


Gifts shared…


And a tea party for everyone…


the deck was tried out…


Lessons about medicinal plants for everyone…



And that was it… a job well done…

Huge thank you to the SANParks rangers who let us join them and help along with their fabulous project…

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→ 7 CommentsTags: Caring and Sharing