Caleb’s story

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Caleb has quite surprised me. He was struggling with pencil grip and so has never been that keen on writing. One day after Rachel had finished practicing her spelling words on the white board, he surprised me by saying that he want to write a story.

This is how the story starts. He tells me the words and I spell them out for him

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Rachel’s Egg-cellent Market Day

Rachel and her friend Thomas had an egg stall at the kids market day. They each had 7 boxes and were very equitable and alternated sales.
Ollie also made some biscuits to sell. Caleb ran around and was the ‘support’ team. Although next time I think I will make some things with him to sell too.

They sold out on all their eggs and had a good time. They will definitely be doing the one near Valentines day in February

These are the little labels she designed and made for her egg boxes
Kids market day Eggs

I took some photos of her and Caleb with 2 of our chickens so she could show that the eggs were not just from the shop and that she is the chicken ‘farmer’
Kids Market day

At the market – when we arrived she was a little nervous
Kids Market Day

Egg Table

Other tables
Kids Craft Market

Photo from the Photographer that was there on the day Akaroo

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Rachel is a cub now

When I was young, girls went to Brownies and Guide and boys went to cubs and Scouts. In fact my ex’s sister and I knew each other through Brownies and Guides when we were growing up, and even though her brother and I did not work out, we were friends before and have remained friends now.

But now things are all inclusive and so girls can go to cubs. Rachel’s 2 good friends Thomas and Oliver go to cubs and so naturally she wanted to go too. She tried it out a few times and then we very happy to learn that her Dad and my Dad did cubs.

There are not many girls but it suits Rachel and what I love about cubs is that it gives her the interaction across a wide age groups. She learns to work in a team and as an individual. I think more than school it is a positive group and social interaction for a home school kid.

Here are some pictures, she was so nervous but she said her law and promise all by herself.

Her sixer and friend Thomas taking her up to the Akela

Look at her little nervous face

A small smile

Saying her cub promise and doing her salute

Getting her new cub scarf and pack colours

The many badges that I have to sew onto her uniform, best she get her sewing badge soon so she can do this.

Being introduced to the pack afterwards as the newest member

Her brother had the sulks and I can’t even remember why, but here he is in his rainbow colour jersey and hat and long hair – he wont let me cut it at the moment

It was very sweet and I hope she really enjoys it. The only problem I had was that although cubs is all inclusive now of race, gender and religion, it makes not allowance for those with no religion. So she still had to make a promise to God and her country. She thought it was a bit odd but we chatted about it and she knows other people believe other things. So it was fine. But still felt a bit odd helping her learn it and somehow a bit dishonest I guess but there was no non religious version.

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Titus Turns 1 – Hungry Caterpillar party

Photos as always but the wonderful Catherine from Cazpix

Birthday boy and Mommy

The Hungry Caterpillar theme. I got a lot of good idea off Pinterest and then just made it work for us, what I liked was that the worm eats a lot a fruit and it was easy not to have a lot of sweets as the kids loved that all the food the caterpillar ate was on the table. I did a row on the fruit he ate from Monday -Friday and behind was all the food he ate on Saturday.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturday
chocolate cake, ice-cream cone, pickle, swiss cheese, lollipop, salami, cherry pie, sausage, cupcake and watermelon

Sunday

Table

Crafts
making egg box caterpillars

I found a sticker book with the story so I read the story to the kids and they got turn to stick the stickers in

Titus and Bear played – bbf

Sleeping – the excitement was too much for some

Eating

With Oom Jacques

Cake and singing
Cake was made by Nadine from Jorja’s Cakes

Titus needs to learn to blow not grab the candle

The Geek looking Handsome

dirty

1 I can’t believe it

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Alice in Wonderland Party

It was Rachel’s 7th birthday in September and we had an Alice in Wonderland Party.
A huge thank you to Catherine to the amazing pictures as always.

Alice the birthday girl

 

 

 

 

 

This way, That way, Up, down Sign

Some of the Guests

Brothers, much better than Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum

 

 

Mad Hatter Boys

The Cheshire cat with his grin

 

White Rabbit

Queen of Hearts Soldiers

 

Papa looking just down right odd ūüôā

The Cake

My sister, Jenni, in the UK make amazing cakes and she found these figures for me to use as there was no way I could mold them. She then emailed me the design and talked me through how to make it. I think for a non cake maker it came out okay.

 

 

 

Party Bags
I used 2 liter milk bottles and cut the tops off to make the party bags which I then turned into white rabbit by attaching ears and eyes and a packet watch and drawing a face

Each bag had a bath fizz with hearts in which had made the previous week

A Mome Rath ( they are little pom pom head type creatures that make a arrow for Alice to follow in the forest) made from 2 different pipe cleaners gun gunned together with a pom pom head and googly eyes


 The rest of the bag was sweets and goodies

The Table Decorations and Food

 

I made a cake stand using odd cups and saucers and plates that I had collected at 2nd hand shops, they are slightly harder to find than you would think. Then I glue gunned them together ( well by I it is implied The Geek ūüėČ )

I found this Cheshire cat pattern on line and of course I had to knit it for the table. I did land up sewing him at after the cake and table was done the night before and the crown was made so I did not go to bed that night. *sigh*, I always try do too much.

I found these Eat Me and Drink Me signs from Pinterest here

Made Cheshire Cat Tails from marshmallows and chocolate, it was harder to make the purple than I thought it would be. Also saw the idea on Pinterest, not that mine looked even half as good

 

Our take on Bread and Butterflies

Queen of Hearts Jam Tarts

Heart Cupcakes

Rainbow Jelly, this was fun to make but took a long time

I found this little teapot with a hole in it and thought it would be cute for the Dormouse to sit in

Tea Party

Blowing out candles

All in all I think it all went well.

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Looking back 2011 and forward 2012

I get to the end of each year and think that it has been quite a whopper and that surely next year must be easier, but seeing as this is a recurring theme I am beginning to draw the conclusion that this is just life. There are 365 days in our yearly trip around the sun, that is a lot of days for good and bad things to happen. But 2011 did have some rather big life events

* 27 Febuary Titus Yme Tichelaar, formerly known as #Koos joined our family
* 15 March Natasha, Yme’s sister died (still seems unreal)

The rest of the year was just coping with these 2 events and learning to be a mom of 3. I have never enjoyed the baby time all that much, as I selfishly find it so consuming of my time, but Titus is lovely and a wonderful addition to the family. I can hardly believe it will soon be time to plan his first birthday.

I am not good at making New Years resolutions,I think there are only 2 things I would like to do this year as resolutions go. Blog more and be more organised. I am a little chaotic by nature and am never going to have an immaculate home but the chaos is starting to get to me.

Last year I posted a list of 60 things for an exceptional life – I was not aiming to do all of them but lets see how well I did

1. Exercise daily Рdoes vocal cord exercise count? But now that we have a dog I need to try walk more, still not sure it will be daily. This video is a very good reason to motivate me to walk though http://youtu.be/aUaInS6HIGo 
2. Get serious about gratitude – I did the 29 days of giving challenge just to help focus me outward
3. See your work as a craft РI really got into knitting last year, it is not my work but I nice sideline and I even designed a pattern or 2 which I must now write up 
4. Expect the best and prepare for the worst – Maybe, I don’t know I think i just like to hope the best will happen rather than the worst
5. Keep a journal.- No I was terrible at blogging last year
6. Read ‚ÄúThe Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin‚ÄĚ. – not sure this is one that I will ever tick off, there are a lot of other things I want to read first
7. Plan a schedule for your week – No but maybe in my new more organised life I should try this
8. Know the 5 highest priorities of your life – Does this include people? My priorities are to my family and friends
9. Say no to distractions. – big fail on this one, I am so often distracted.
10. Drink a lot of water. – no but I want to try this one too
11. Improve your work every single day – If this means trying harder as a mom each day, then yes, everything else last year took a back burner role
12. Get a mentor. – Had one already
13. Hire a coach. – No
14. Get up at 5 am each day. – But choice never, when kids wake me, often
15. Eat less food. – No I like food
16. Find more heroes. – I have friends that have survived and be through so much, they are my heros
17. Be a hero to someone. – I don’t know that I am a hero to anyone but a friend and a support, I hope so
18. Smile at strangers. – I started doing this, it is fun
19. Be the most ethical person you know. – I don’t think I am unethical but I am sure there must be some more ethical than me
20. Don’t settle for anything less than excellence. РAs a mom with 3 kids and home schooling and life some times done is good enough
21. Savor life’s simplest pleasures. Рsmiles and kisses from my kids
22. Save 10% of your income each month. This is one that I really want to do but it does not help when there is not enough to make ends meet let alone save. But this year I feel like it is save first and then plan the rest of the month, seems to be the only way it will happen
23. Spend time at art galleries.
24. Walk in the woods. – does walk on the beach count? we do this a lot. I love where we live
25. Write thank you letters to those who’ve helped you. no, i really should try do this, I do try always thank for gifts, not always written though
26. Forgive those who’ve wronged you. Рanger only eats you up and the other person is usually oblivious to it so might as well forgive and move on
27. Remember that leadership is about influence and impact, not title and accolades. – this could not be truer than in SA
28. Create unforgettable moments with those you love. – I think we did this, the moment that Titus was born was pretty amazing
29. Have 5 great friends. – Yes I am lucky, I have some fantastic friends
30. Become stunningly polite. – Hahaha stunningly polite, no not really
31. Unplug your TV. – I need to do something while I knit and TV is a good unwind
32. Sell your TV. See no. 31
33. Read daily. I read to the children daily, does that count?
34. Avoid the news. A lot of the time when it is just me and the kids at home we are rather removed from the news but sometimes it can feel a bit isolating. I like to try know the main bits of current affairs and news
35. Be content with what you have. – I am working on this
36. Pursue your dreams. – always
37. Be authentic. – People see through you if you are not being you.
38. Be passionate. Рthis is not hard for me, I feel and live passionately 
39. Say sorry when you know you should. – working on doing this more
40. Never miss a moment to celebrate another. РI hope I celebrate others and their successes
41. Have a vision for your life. yes
42. Know your strengths. yes
43. Focus your mind on the good versus the lack. – no I need to do this more
44. Be patient. – seldom, I need to practice
45. Don’t give up. Рhave not yet, but I did learn that sometimes walking away is okay
46. Clean up your messes. РI am not sure if this is physical mess or metaphorical, I am just working on our messy house to start with
47. Use impeccable words. – I love words and could really do with improving my vocabulary and not defaulting to lazy standard words
48. Travel more. This is hard with 3 small kids but a holiday to my parents for Christmas and a few days in the Magaliesberg was lovely
49. Read ‚ÄúAs You Think‚ÄĚ. – no
50. Honor your parents. – I hope I always do this
51. Tip taxi drivers well. I never use a taxi, maybe I should teach my kids this one for Mom’s taxi
52. Be a great teammate. –¬†I am not really in a team setting but I think I can work in a team
53. Give no energy to critics. – A lesson we could all use again and again
54. Spent time in the mountains. Climbing mountains with kids would just be silly, but I spend time looking and appreciating them, I spend time walking and doing out door time on the beach
55. Know your top 5 values. yes Honesty, vulnerability, 
56. Shift from being busy to achieving results. – I could do this more
57. Innovate and iterate. – always have ideas
58. Speak less. Listen more. – need to practice this, especially in discussions with the Geek when I feel like I speak over him too often
59. Be the best person you know. Рwith a world full of such amazing people this would be hard but I hope I touch the lives around me in a positive way
60. Make your life matter. – It matters to 3 little people at the moment

 

I hope 2012 is great for us all, I hope it is easier than 2011 but it is through the hard times that we learn and we learn where our support comes from. What are your hopes and goals/resolutions for 2012?

Christmas without her

To my dear Annatjie, Yme, Jacques and  Wouter

Christmas time, a time of family, presents, love and laughter, but also sadness.

Someone with a vibrance as big as Natasha leaves a huge hole. The first Christmas without her, feels surreal like soon she will phone to discuss presents or get excited about gifts for the kids.

She loved spoiling them, Rachel and Caleb were not even related and yet she loved them and spoilt them as much as any Aunt. She would have gone so overboard at Titus’s first Christmas.

I choose to remember last year and the secret Santa gifts, the dancing wind up penis and boobs. She was happy and laughed so much. I am so glad we got to have that last Christmas with her.

I love you all, and am sad for the pain you all feel this year. You are not alone, we still walk this road and remember her, keeping the memory alive together.

All my love
Pinky

P.S. Natasha damn we really do miss you!

Cherry Picking


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We went cherry picking on Sunday. It is the beginning of cherry season but the kids leave to Pretoria on the 8th and we wanted to fit it in before they go. It is quite a long drive and it made me grateful my mom talked me out of driving up to them for Christmas. The colder windy day gave me the perfect excuse to wear my new hat I knitted for myself. I so seldom knit for myself so it was nice to enjoy something I made.

We went to Klondyke Farm in Ceres. Titus loved the cherries and ate them with great gusto, there were even a few cherry stones in his nappy the next day. He would cry if Yme did not feed him them fast enough.

Here are a few pictures

I am Yme’s incomplete sentence

The thing about pink hair is that it makes you recognisable. There are not that many of us with pink hair so people remember you. I was in the wool shop on Thursday and a lady caught my eye and said “Hi, how are you?” So I was polite back but it was clear I did not know who she was. It turned out she was from Yme’s dad side of the family and I had met her at Natasha’s funeral. I met a lot of people that day.

She said “you are Yme’s…” slightly awkward pause as she did not know what to call me and then she said “oh and look how the baby has grow” and then lots of comments on how cute he was and that he looked so good.

I had a bit of a chuckle later and now tease Yme that my status is that on an incomplete sentence. I must admit it was a bit weird and did leave me thinking how sad it was that a relationship does not seem valued in our society until there is a wedding.

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Titus

Titus is 6 months if you can believe that. Saturday marked a half a year that he has been part of our family. He is a very dear little boy and I love watching his personality appear.
Babies are hard work no matter what but he has a very sunny nature most of the time to make up for his total dependence.
He is not skinny like the other 2 and was 8.5kg at 5m already
He likes food and we have slowly been introducing solids since about 4 months, mostly rice but now more veg and fruit.

Catherine has been taking a photo a month of our cute boy so we can document his first year. Here are the first 5 months. To see the whole set you can go to her Flickr page for our family.

Month 1

Month 2

Month 3

Month 4

Month 5