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

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Se7en’s February and Your Free Printable Calendar…

February 1st, 2018 · No Comments


Welcome to February… Just cannot believe that February is here already…


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

Here you go:

  • 1 February: Robinson Crusoe Day
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  • 1 February: National Baked Alaska Day.
  • 2 February: Groundhog Day
  • 3 February: Elmo’s Birthday
  • 4 February 1902: Charles Lindbergh’s Birthday (1902 – 1974).
  • 4 February 1913: Rosa Parks Birthday (1913 – 2005).
  • 5 February: Western Monarch Day (U.S.A.)
  • 6 February 1895: Babe Ruth’s Birthday (1895 – 1948)
  • 6 February 1935: Monopoly Board Game.
  • 6 February 1911: Ronald Reagan (1911 – 2004).
  • 7 February 1812: Charles Dickens Birthday (1812 – 1870)
  • 7 February 1867: Laura Ingalls Wilder (1867 – 1957).
  • 8 February 1828: Jules Verne (1828 – 1905).
  • 9 February 1894: Hershey Chocolate Founded (1894).
  • 9 February: Clean out Your Computer Day.
  • 11 February 1990: Nelson Mandela Released (1990).
  • 11 February 1847: Thomas Edison (1847 – 1931).
  • 12 February 1809: Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865).
  • 12 February 1809: Charles Darwin (1809 – 1882).
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  • 14 February: World Book Giving Day.

  • 14 February: Valentines Day.
  • 14 February: Ferris Wheel Day.
  • 15 February 1564: Galileo Galilei (1564 – 1642).
  • 16 February: Presidents Day.
  • 18 February 1930: Pluto Discovered.
  • 18 February: World Whale Day.
  • 19 February 1473: Nicolaus Copernicus (1473 – 1543).
  • 20 February 1962: John Glen orbits the earth.
  • 20 February: Toothpick patented (1872).
  • 22 February 1732: George Washington (1732 – 1799).
  • 23 February 1997: Dolly the Sheep Cloned.
  • 24 February: Wilhelm Grimm (1786 – 1859).
  • 25 February 1841: Pierre Renoir (1841 – 1919).
  • 26 February 1846: Buffalo Bill (1846 – 1917).
  • 26 February 1829: Levi Strauss (1829 – 1902)
  • 27 February: Polar Bear Day.
  • 27 February 1807: Henry Wadsworth-Longfellow (1807 – 1882).
  • 28 February 1953: DNA discovered (1953).
  • → No CommentsTags: Activity Calendar

    Se7en’s Fabulous Fun Post #360

    January 30th, 2018 · 4 Comments

    School’s are back and we, as usual aren’t quite, we are in full summer swing instead. Early morning and late evening visits to the beach and in the middle of the day, when it is too hot to breathe… we are reading, reading, reading…


    Book Giving Day


    It is very nearly Book Giving Day and we will be ready to bring you a new library project on the 14 February, look out for that post… because we can’t wait!!! If you want to take a peak at the previous Libraries we have created with our readers then take a peak at last year’s library… and previous year’s as well.


    Featured on Red Ted Art

    Our 3D Hanging Heart Decorations were featured on Red Ted Art’s #31DaysofLove Pop over and check them out…

    Lovely Links from This Week

    1. Inspiration on how to write a story… when Frank Cottrell-Boyce tweets #500wordstips
    2. Because I love Handmade Charlotte and Valentine’s Day is on the Cards (!!!) – Valentine’s Crafts Kids Can Make on their Own…
    3. Love this… Decluttering Burst: Let Go of 100 Things in less than an hour… Yassss!!!! Do it!!!
    4. I firmly believe in being unable to do anything at all the first few weeks after having a baby. I am not alone: Pulling up the Drawbridge on Don’t Buy Her Flowers…
    5. Gotta Love Picture Book Biographies… on Imagination Soup…
    6. Jeff Goins and Please Don’t Write a Book This Year (and What You Should Do Instead)… and there is more… because this post is so good: How to Really Get Your Writing Done…
    7. And would you look at this: 31 Things Your Kids Should Do Instead of Homework… on the Parent Co.

    A Blast From the Past:

    Look how small they were!!!

    GiveAway Winners


    I announced last week’s GiveAway Winner’s of a complete set of Crazi Erazi… on our insta-stories… and the winners were…


    Book of the Week

    Well, since I last wrote a Fabulous Fun Post… I listened to possibly the most boring book on earth… so I will deftly ignore telling you about that, just to say that if anyone ever suggests you read a book called “Why we get fat…” save yourself twenty one chapters of tedium and eat a salad for supper. You will feel better for it… Meanwhile I rewarded myself by listening to The Girl Who Drank the Moon, by Kelly Barnhill… Love love love… this book has ALL the MAGIC. A miserable town that gives up their youngest baby to a hungry witch every year… and a confused magical woman that finds the baby every year, who can’t understand why these folk leave their babies out, and she makes sure these children grow up happy and loved, as well as imparting a little magic into each of them. Except Luna managed to drink more than a little magic when she was rescued… and she changes everything… this is a middle grade reader, think: fairytale, two parallel stories running alongside each other, with the main protagonists destined to collide. Loved it completely.

    That’s us… hope you have the most fabulous week!!!


    → 4 CommentsTags: Fabulous Fun

    Se7en Small Steps to Living Green and Saving Water…

    January 29th, 2018 · 6 Comments

    At the start of our school year last year we decided to do a green living project for the duration of the year… it turned out to be somewhat of a lifestyle project that we won’t be giving up any time soon. Our project began with a home audit, we wanted to see what we were using that was harming the world around us and what we could do to change that. We looked at our electrical usage, our car usage, our plastic, and just how much garbage we were creating. Some of the results were okay, South Africa has been through an electrical crisis, where load shedding had caused us to reduce our use of electricity significantly. A number of things had already happened that meant we were on a journey to reduce our garbage significantly.


    The most obvious environmental change that we started working on was our water consumption. Had we known back then what we know now, that a water crisis of giant proportions was going to hit the City of Cape Town and hit all the folk living here, we would have begun working on our water savings much sooner. It really helped us to chart our water month after month to see that the changes we were making were making a huge impact on our consumption and also on our water bill. The biggest change we made last summer was that we no longer swam, we stopped topping our pool up, expecting it to rain over the winter… one summer with out swimming would be okay. Turns out our pool is completely dry this summer as well, and I am ridiculously grateful that we live near the sea and that we can still swim regularly.


    Other changes we made were obvious: No longer tidying up by tossing clothes into the washer, doing the least possible amount of laundry, doing the dishes in a smaller basin in the kitchen sink, and only watering our garden with grey water. Water we had saved from showering and washing dishes, went onto our precious garden. And until last Spring we were fairly happy with the changes we had made. We had managed, just through obviously taking a lot more care of our water resource to reduce our water consumption significantly. But this summer the water situation has become a lot more drastic… and at this stage the stress of potentially no water has become a harsh reality.

    Se7en Tips for Saving Water…

    This summer the water crisis and lack of rain meant that the water we had been saving was setting us up to have some already good habits in place… we needed to get a lot more intentional about every single drop of water…


    1. Ecoflow Taps: In our plan of being intentionally green this year and buying one thing that will redirect our house towards greener living each month, we bought Ecoflow Adjustable taps during January, for the taps that we still use. The tap in the kitchen and the tap in the shower. These tap attachments reduce the flow of your water significantly, from your average of 15litres per second to 2 litres per second. It took a bit of getting used to, but over the month of January we have managed to significantly save water because of them and so we love them.
    2. No Flushing: This sounds appealing, but it is the harsh reality of living here right now… After about twenty years of saying flush the toilet, every single time a child went to the bathroom… it took exactly one day to train our children not to flush the toilets. The grownups in our house flush the loo and that’s it. We no longer use grey water for our garden at all, and only use grey water for flushing. Otherwise, hand sanitiser, rather than soap for hand washing after a visit to the bathroom.
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    4. Buckets everywhere all the time: It is not aesthetically pleasing, especially our buckets that we grabbed from a painter friend… but they do the job!!! We shower with buckets, the washing machine empties into buckets and there is some sort of container under every single tap, in case any water drips when it is turned on or off. In actual fact we no longer use most of our taps at all and no potential for drips.
    5. Only Absolutely Essential Laundry: Gone are the days of clean sheets every week, every other week at the most. And I don’t want to talk about towels. Using smaller towels is great, and hanging them out to dry in the sun when we use them really helps. Always using the washer when it is full and with the least amount of water.
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    7. Dishwashing: Only put the dishwasher on the lowest water cycle, and only when it is absolutely packed full. And otherwise washing dishes once a day and using the water from one wash up to soak the dishes for the next wash up.
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    9. Drinking Water: While we used to have a lot of spillage, or kids would over fill their glasses and we would water a pot plant with the excess… well not anymore. They pour less into their drinking glasses, if they want more they can pour more, but not the other way around. Also water bottles are working for us, they fill their water bottles and when they aren’t thirsty anymore than can just return the bottle to the fridge.
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    11. Showers: After years of telling teenage boys that they have to shower every single day, we now say they have to shower after they have been running or hiking. We having a running competition to see who can shower the quickest… our champions have the tap running for less than 40 s. A Shower looks like: tap on and off… soap, shampoo, and then tap on again to rinse off. Its fine in the summer, or after gym when we are all hot… I am not looking forward to it in the winter.


    I have a feeling so many folk are really doing their best to save water, I do find it annoying that some folk still have luscious green gardens, ours is completely gone. I find it annoying that there are folk on our block with two or three people living in their home that are using more water than we are with a family of ten. And I find it annoying to see the amount of fear mongering that goes on in the media… regular folk are completely stressed out about the lack of water. People are queuing at local springs throughout the night… and folk are buying bottled water (that comes out a municipal tap anyway) like there is no tomorrow.

    We have decided to concentrate on doing the best we can and save every drop, not just because there is a water crisis but because it is the right thing to do. Some of the changes we will never put back to how they were, I can’t believe how unthinking we were in our water expenditure before… I can’t imagine that we will ever bath again or even shower without a bucket. What I can say, is that eventually we are going to have to recreate a garden that is far more adjusted to the world of drought. And we will be starting with a fresh canvas so to speak… so that is going to be interesting.

    → 6 CommentsTags: Green Living · Thoughtful Thursdays

    Se7en Creates Their Own Mini-Library with Nal’ibali…

    January 26th, 2018 · No Comments

    We were surprised by a fabulous media drop… that we just loved and that inspired my guys to make and create, not to mention read. I am sharing it here… because firstly it is all about reading and all about books and multicultural fun and it is free. Such a fun book project, that you and your kids can join in wherever you are. Let us introduce you to Nal’iBali, which is an online reading resource where you can create your very own library of books. Every child should have access to a library, and if they can create their own library even better… And if the library they create can be in their own language, then you are absolutely winning!!!


    It is book season, actually every season is book season. Did you know that it is Multicultural Children’s Book Day, this weekend on the 27 January this year. Also, World Read Aloud Day on 1 February 2018. And, yes we are planning to launch a new “Se7en Builds a Library Book by Book Project” on the 14 February, for World Book Giving Day…

    All About Nal’Bali

    Nal’ibali is the isiXhosa for Here’s a Story, and is a national reading-for-enjoyment campaign. I know how wonderful does “Reading-for-Enjoyment Campaign” sound to my ears… Reading for fun sets children apart, reading to children and engaging them in stories in whatever form or style, builds their imagination and sets children free to explore further and wider than the world that they find themselves in. It is Nal’ibali’s goal to make stories available to children all over South Africa, freely and in their own language. The key thing here is, in their own language, a child needs to hear stories and internalise them and make the stories part of who they are. Stories in their own language go a long way to achieving that.


    As a mom, the one skill I would like all my kids to get a handle on is reading, but I know how hard that is for some children. While reading is a skill that our children can learn slowly and steadily, literacy is a gift we can give them, through stories, immediately. While their reading skills are still developing I am able to share stories with them that are way above their reading level and grow their adventurous spirits. The Nal’ibali website has tons of tips for reading, and enjoying reading with your kids. This is not extra school work, or more homework, this is reading for fun. Their website is packed with easily accessible stories. They have gone the extra mile to make sure that interesting stories are available: free printable stories, and stories to watch on youtube… and lots and lots of tips and activities and printables to make reading, with and to your children, a lot more fun.

    How to Make Your Own Mini-Libray

    Children can use the supplements provided freely in the weekend Newspaper, along with a whole ton of fun activities there are two stories and easy instructions on how to turn the stories into little books, as well as a story to read in the supplement… newspaper reading fun for kids. The joy is that if you don’t have access to the newspaper, then you can download and print their fabulous stories from their website.

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    My kids were very excited about creating their own books that we could read together and immediately set about turning the shoe box that the materials came in, into their very own library box.


    Firstly, with coloured paper they created the spines of some of their favourite books…



    And glued their works of art onto the lid of the box…


    This is not just a decorated box, this is their very own personal library to fill with books that they can make through out the year. (Here is a link to the bookish calendar and when the supplements will be out in the newspaper.)


    Let’s Talk About the Stories

    Our supplement was in English and Afrikaans, there are other languages available, look on their website. All the books are in two languages, which is great if your children are trying to learn a second language. I love that the stories are culturally relevant to my kids… with words and illustrations that have a distinct South African flavour to them. Exactly what South African children need to read and don’t get nearly enough of.


    The first story is The Best Thing Ever by Melissa Fagan, Lauren Nel and Stefania Origgi. This story is about a little boy called Muzi, who is off to visit his Gogo (granny). Muzi is sad because he will have to leave all his construction toys and he won’t be able to build the best things ever.


    And then he discovers that with things that he collects on his journey that he really can build the best thing ever… this story will inspire your children to construct little houses… just saying.


    The second story, How Dassie Missed Getting a Tail by Sindiswe Magona and Nicole Blomkamp, is a story with quite a few more words than the previous one… and is about a lazy dassie, who asks the animals that are going to visit the Lion King, if they will save him the journey and bring back a tail for him. They forget… their are consequences. It is a sweet fable.


    Thank you so much Nal’ibali for the Reading for Enjoyment Stories. This is not a sponsored post, though we did receive a media kit, so that we could share their story with you…


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    → No CommentsTags: Book Crafts · Crafts for Kids

    A Crazi Erazi GiveAway…

    January 23rd, 2018 · 15 Comments

    You know it has been a while since we had a GiveAway and you know most folk have done the whole back to School thing already… Schools are back, kids are settling into their routine… extra murals are rolling around and school lunches are being made… mostly. Well before anyone gets into a rut we are bringing you a little fun… because everybody LOVES stationary… even my homeschoolers, who have no idea about stationary packs or school lunches, are well equipped to love ALL the stationary!!! And these cute Crazi Erazi…


    Two Sets of Crazi Erazi to GiveAway


    I blogged about these little collectables towards the end of last year. If you are a stationary lover then you are going to LOVE these. How cute is this teeny tiny, complete set of Back to School stationary… from notebooks to highlighters, crayons to markers, flip files and even a glue stick…


    And they all fit snugly into a pencil case… a collection that is under control (I am a mom after all)!!!



    The GiveAway

    We have two complete sets of erasers to ship to any address in South Africa… if you are keen, and you so are… We are having an “old school” giveaway… all you have to do is leave a comment… no fancy hoops to jump through or links to click… just leave a comment and tell us what your favourite item of stationary is… anything at all… go mad, we would love to know!!!


    This GiveAway works in the usual way, leave a comment before the end of play on Saturday, 27 January 2018. 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. Our GiveAways are open to everyone: If you have won a GiveAway before never fear – enter away and if you have a South African mailing address – enter away.

    We would like to thank Crazi Erazi for this fabulous fun GiveAway. We were not paid for the review and the opinions expressed in it are as usual, entirely our own.

    → 15 CommentsTags: GiveAways

    Se7en Visits Nude Foods for Zero Waste Shopping in the City…

    January 20th, 2018 · 5 Comments

    I know this week was a busy week for most folk, heading back into school and all the routine that is 2018… so I have post for you to rest your eyes upon. We recently visited Nude Foods, the Plastic Free Grocery in Cape Town, and we loved it. Green shopping for the win.

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    We have so been looking forward to this store opening for the longest time… Cape Town desperately needs a Zero Waste Store, where you can bring your own containers, and if you find yourself there without containers, never fear they have green containers for you to buy too. They have produce bags and glass jars, which make excellent gifts (just saying), available for sale. Otherwise… nothing is packaged…


    Somewhere along the line we have been sold a myth, that green living and particularly green shopping is tricky and expensive and just something to avoid, especially for moms on the run. This is truly a myth… all we really need is a lovely store, that goes the extra mile to make green shopping truly easy for its clients and their products, easily accessible and presented beautifully, helps to go a long way to making it a great shopping experience… with or without your kids in tow. Nude Foods is that… a shop with a warehouse vibe to it, friendly and helpful every step of the way, the kind of place where time stands still, while you do your shopping in peace… no blaring intercoms, no bustle and crush, slow living at its best.


    Where is Nude Foods?

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    Nude Foods is in the city fringe, if you know where Kamili coffee is, then you are right there… If you see this store front, then you have found it!!! The address is 5 Constitution Street, Zonnebloem, and you have to check their website for opening hours.


    How Does Zero Waste Shopping Work?

    In a nutshell… no plastic containers, no little plastic bags, and definitely no plastic shopping bags…


    You take your own containers, you weigh your containers… you fill them up with what you want and then weigh them again, to determine how much you have bought… easy.


    Otherwise you can grind your own… or pick and choose your own fresh goodies…


    What is Available?

    Heaps of dry goods: grains/bean/nuts/seeds/flour/cereals/granola…

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    Even herbs and spices…

    And loads of chilli…

    Otherwise… a selection of vegetables to choose from, as well as fabulous breads and plenty of healthy snacks…

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    And loose fresh pasta… you have to bring a bag!!!


    For your glass bottles… there are oils, vinegars and honey…


    And there were also olives and preserves…

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    They also have green cleaning products, household and personal… soaps for you, soaps for your laundry and soaps for your pets…

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    And lots of essential tools for green shopping: bamboo straws, travel mugs, shopping containers and bags…

    And What Did We Buy?

    Some beautiful bread, a jar of olives that in most homes would last a while, and chilli flakes (because everybody loves chilli)… and it was all gone in a flash!!!

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    The Verdict…

    Great green shopping in the city centre, can’t be beat… if you are heading into the city for an adventure… then pop Nude Foods on to your must visit list…

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    Nude Foods...

    → 5 CommentsTags: Green Living · Visit Cape Town

    Happy Happy Birthday to Hood 7…

    January 18th, 2018 · 3 Comments

    There was a birthday in the house and Hood 7 has crossed over into double digits… how is that even possible. My life has sure come a long way from eight kids under 12, to where we are today…


    The Happiest birthday to this little hood…


    Who loves all things sweet…


    And has to try everything…


    Dressing for the occasion will never get old…


    Just cannot believe… ten already!!!


    Gotta say, she has cake skills…


    And reading skills…


    The sweetest big sister…


    And cutest little sister…


    And virtual adventurer…


    Not to mention a little bit of a nut…


    A creative little soul…


    with a love of all things scientific…


    And the great outdoors…


    A fully fledged eco-warrior…


    And writer of endless stories…


    Life may actually be in a story!!!


    Happy Happy Birthday, Hood 7… Hope Ten is terrific for you!!!


    Previous Birthday Posts


    Hood 7 turns nine…

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    Hood 7 turns Eight…

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    Hood 7 turns Se7en…

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    Hood 7 turns Six…


    Hood 7 turns Five…


    Hood 7 turns Four…


    Hood 7 turns Three…


    Hood 7 turns Two…


    Hood 7 turns One…


    Related Posts with Thumbnails

    → 3 CommentsTags: Home Truths