Sunday, December 27, 2009

An Award

Saturday the 19th of December, we had another market at The Triangle Square Market in Fish Hoek. I wasn't able to be there, as I was competing at a show-jumping event. Nancy was at the market for me and she did really well!

At the end of the market day, the manager handed out certificates to various traders. There were only five traders who received certificates, and I was one of them!

Nancy accepted my certificate on my behalf. It was a 'Most Perseverance' certificate!

It has been a difficult year for us to keep up with the market, but I am proud to say that our family has come through. We started this market in February, on Valentine's Day. We have never missed a market!

We have experimented with different stalls, including selling seeds, egg and bacon rolls and hot dogs, none of which were worth the effort. The fudge stall has been the one which has thrived. The stall pays for my horse riding lessons and a few supplies for our homeschool here and there.

We have now committed to another market (run by the same manager), at Long beach Mall, every second Friday.

We had three 'trial' markets in November, just to try it out, and it really took off! It was much better than the Fish Hoek market!

We will still do the Fish Hoek market, and that will still pay for my horse riding, but Long Beach market will hopefully finance our homeschool books and outings next year.

What we like about Long Beach market, is that we are constantly busy, so it is not boring. I hate standing around with nothing to do, watching other traders sell. Long Beach market is so much fun! It is tiring, as it is a long time to stand and interact with customers, but it is certainly worth it!

Selling fudge has taught me so much!

It has taught me how to interact with the nice customers, the talkative customers, the rude, ones-you-wanna-slap customers - it has taught me how to take the rough with the smooth!

I have improved my maths a great deal just by taking money, giving change and counting up the amount we have made at the end of the day.

I have learnt self discipline. I now try and plan my time according to my schedule and expect the unexpected. I now make sure I am packed a day or two before the market!

I have learnt numerous business skills, like calculating mark-ups, profit and loss, marketing strategies, presentation, etc.

I have learnt social skills that I would not easily learn elsewhere!

Many a person has told us that we will never develop social skills, since we are home schooled. How wrong they have been!

I have worked with teenagers that are school-going. I have never seen anyone as 'quiet' as these children who are supposed to be 'socialised' because they go to school! They have no social skills at all! They are rude and totally unenthusiastic, which is terrible, as enthusiasm is the key to success!

Running a business has been an invaluable experience for us girls. We have learnt the true meaning of hard work and the value of money. Now we think twice before spending money, as we know how long it took to make it!

There is so much more I would like to say about running a business and how much you can learn. But I will leave that for another day! All I can say is that the best thing you can ever do is to start a business! You will learn so much! It won't all be nice glamorous, it will be difficult and tough at times, but the experience and sense of achievement is so worthwhile!

I highly recommend reading the book "Minding Your Own Business" by Raymond and Dorothy Moore.

Have a great week!


Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas Tree Shaped Gourmet Pizzas!

On Thursday night (Christmas Eve), we made Christmas tree shaped gourmet pizzas. We have started a new tradition this year: We are always going to make Christmas tree shaped pizzas and watch a Christmas movie. This year we watched 'Santa Buddies' (a very cute movie about Golden Retriever puppies. There are a few other 'Buddy' movies available.

We all enjoyed making our own pizzas, daddy and mommy too!

We made some pizza dough in the bread maker machine, as making it by hand and kneading it takes ages, especially since we need two batches to feed our family adequately!

My mom then cut out a Christmas tree template while the dough was rising. Then she rolled out the dough and cut out the trees.

Then my mom put the trees in pans, plates......and whatever else that was oven-proof!

Then came the tomato paste.

Then I helped chop, slice and dice the pizza toppings and put them in bowls on the table.

Then came the best part - well, one of the best parts, other than eating them! Decorating them!

Why wait till they are cooked? Gabrielle, eating the cheese!

Beth, enjoying putting meat onto her pizza!

Pizzas ready to go into the oven:





And the finished pizzas!





Gabrielle enjoying her pizza!

Beth too!

We LOVED our pizzas! Our movie too! We are all very happy with this new tradition!

It was lovely to be together, laugh and have fun! I feel sorry for families who don't want to be together, who rather delight in friends and parties.

Being together as a family is sometimes chaotic, but the joy of sitting together, snuggled up on the couch watching a movie is great, it is special. We must value each moment spent together.

What Christmas Eve traditions do you have? What do you do? Why not tell me about yours?


Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Wordless Wednesday


On Saturday the 19th, I took part in my third showjumping event. I rode Flashy Lady again, a cute little pony who is an amazing jumper!

I competed in the 50cm competition, 60cm accumulator class and the 70cm competition. The jumps were raised in the competition's jump-offs!

It was a difficult show for me. I was so excited that it tired me out. I was so unaware of everything that I didn't even hear the announcer calling me into the ring!

In my first class I didn't get placed at all. I did fine in the first round of the 50cm, but, in the 60cm jump-off, I forgot to do up my riding helmet. That caused me to lose concentration and I jumped the wrong jump and got eliminated!
I also didn't get placed in the 60cm accumulator class.

In the 70cm competition I got second place! I was a tiny bit nervous, but it soon evaporated when Flash and I were flying around the course!

The 80cm jump-off was exciting! I was holding the lead but then someone achieved a faster time than me! I got second place which was pretty good for a pony pair, at least I think so!

Next time I hope to do better, but for now I must be happy with peformance, even if it wasn't the greatest! I cannot be frustrated, I have to be happy that I got to at least compete!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Chicken Stir-Fry

This dish is probably my favourite meal! Pizza, pasta...forget those meals! Here is a great meal that is really quite healthy! It is filling, it is fun to make, fun to eat and eating it with chopsticks is the best part! Add a few tiny pieces of chilli and garlic and you've got a meal made! Here is the recipe, so don't waste any time! I can make this meal quite easily as it is so straight-forward! The chopping takes a while but otherwise it is fairly easy! How about making your family a great meal sometime during these christmas holidays?


100g pasta spaghetti
45ml (3 tbsp) olive oil
3 chicken breasts, cut into strips
30ml (2 tbsp) butter
1 medium onion, chopped (you could also use 1 leek, chopped)
10ml (2 tsp) chopped root ginger
3 carrots, peeled and cut into julienne strips
100g broccoli or cauliflower florets (broccoli is my favourite in a stir-fry)
1 medium red pepper, cut into julienne strips
2 sticks celery, chopped
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the sauce:

45ml ( 3tbsp) sugar
15ml (1 tbsp) soya sauce
30ml (2 tbsp) worcestershire sauce
60ml lemon juice


1. Bring water to the boil in a large heavy-based saucepan. Add salt to taste. Add pasta gradually and cook until soft, but still firm. Drain and set aside.

2. Heat oil in an electric saucepan and fry chicken strips until starting to brown. Add butter and saute onion and ginger until soft.

Add carrots, broccoli, pepper and celery and fry a few minutes. Add more oil if required. Add spaghetti and seasoning.

3. For sauce: Mix all ingredients together and add to stir-fry. Stir-fry for a few minutes and serve immediately.

Serves 4-6 people.

You can use beef as a variation


Thursday, December 3, 2009

Our Own Advent Calendar

Christmas is on its way! Wow! Already? Has a whole year gone by already? We are now busy counting down the days in a very special way. We are making an advent banner. We have made all sorts of advent calenders over the years including puzzles: putting a piece of the nativity puzzle in place each day.

My mom found this advent calendar on Activity Village. Then, each day you click on a number, for instance day three and then it will give you a whole list of all the things you can make and do. There is also a song and a craft. Sometimes there is also a computer game you can play. I loooove the 'Rain Deer Orchestra'. Have a go.

It took a while to make this calendar, but it was so much fun! I think it was one of the first big crafts that we finished in just one day!

Here is what we did:

What we used: ribbon, glue, sweeties, scissors and the numbers that you can print out here.

Cutting out the numbers.

My mom cut a A4 piece of cardboard in half to stick the numbers onto.

Beth and Gabrielle played video store while we did all the 'dirty work'.

We mixed and matched the numbers to the different coloured pieces of cardboard.

Sticking the numbers on the cardboard.

Punching a hole in the top.

Gabrielle comes to help. We sticky taped the sweets onto the back of each number card, but found the banner was too heavy and the sweeties kept falling off....not a good idea with drooling Little Ones around!

Cutting ribbon to attach the number card to the banner ribbon.

Tying the numbers to the banner.

Hanging the banner from one curtain rail to the other.

Hey, there is me!

You can see some of our other artwork in this picture, like the suns we made.

Each day my mom prints out a new Christmas colouring picture to place over that day's number, then we each choose a small sweetie......a huge treat in our house as we usually keep sweets to a minimum! By Christmas day we will have a colourful, cheerful Christmas banner decorating the room.
We had so much fun doing this craft, so why don't you do it too?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Operation Christmas Box

There are so many children out there with nothing - hoping that someone would show them a little love this Christmas by giving them a shoebox filled with goodies....

We have been making christmas boxes for the under-priviledged children of Cape Town. We have had great fun buying goodies. The Bible is so true when it says that it is more blessed to give than to receive. We have all been blessed out of this think that on Christmas morning, some little girl will open her box with delight and surprise!

My mom found out about this project from one of her favourite homechooling blogs, Se7en.

We have been busy filling the boxes for about a month, but you could collect through the whole year, so you don't get yourself busy and frustrated that you cannot find anything!

Okay, so what did we put in the boxes? Finding toys and things for a little box was fun! Nancy and I did our own boxes, while my mom, Beth and Gabrielle did one together.

I bought three playdoh tubs and my mom, Nancy, Beth and Gabrielle made playhdoh to put in the tubs!


Then my mom gave me a set of three Bible stories as I wasn't able to find any at our shops.

I also had a tennis ball, bubbles, lotion, packet of sweeties, a box juice and a teddy bear.

I bought a pretty pink t-shirt too. I also had sidewalk chalk and playdoh toys in my box.

Wrapping the box and it's lid was another story! Mine was the first box we had to wrap, but it took my mom a while to figure out how to do it! It was fun sticking all the Christmas wrapping paper on the box!

Once we had wrapped all the boxes, we put the toys in! Once that was done, we put an elastic band around the box, just in case the lid came off at some point.

Earlier today we delivered the boxes to the church running the project, so that they can distribute them on Christmas morning.

Next year we are going to fill Christmas boxes again. I encourage you to find a similar project in your area. It is wonderful for small children to help buy gifts for other small children. You would have thought the Little Ones were receiving the gifts!