Saturday, September 26, 2009

A Challenge

I have finished my 500 piece puzzle! It took me a very long time to build and at times I felt like giving up! Building puzzles certainly teach me patience and perseverance! It was a real challenge to build!

Nancy built a puzzle too and finished hers shortly after me, which means that I get the reward for finishing my puzzle first!

Gabrielle got hold of my puzzle when it was in the early stages and put all the pieces I had built back in the box! I wasn't angry with her, just a bit wordless. I cried a little and then started building again. When my mom asked her why she had fiddled with my puzzle, she just relied: "I help keen up".

My puzzle was actually more a '498' piece puzzle because there were 2 pieces missing!

My mom got our puzzles from the library. I am going to build Nancy's puzzle now.

Here are pictures of all the stages:

My puzzle.

First I sorted the pieces. I put the side pieces in one box and the middle pieces in another.

I then built the border. I only found the piece that was missing after I started the inside.

This is how my puzzle looked after Gabrielle got hold of it!

Looking good.

Building with Rebekah in my arms!

Nearly finished!

Yippee! All finished!

Nancy's puzzle.

I like building puzzles. I cannot wait to go to the library and choose another one!

Another Wonderful Week #1

Well, another wonderful week has passed us by. It was slightly lonely as our dad took children, from the high school that he teaches at, on the Orange River in Namibia. We coped very well without our dad though, and actually had a nice week.

On Monday I made some chicken pies for supper. I had such fun putting them together! I put some little flowers that I had made from the left-over dough on the pies too! I don't really remember what else happened on Monday, it went by so quickly!

We had to go and fetch some things, that we needed for the market, from a lady who lives in Kenilworth . It is quite a long drive. My mom said that my dad would definitely NOT want to fetch it on a Friday evening after a long, tiring week on the river and the market the very next day. My mom promised all of us girls a treat if we behaved - it's really just to make the Little Ones behave, but we got to have a treat too, because we looked after them! On the way home we stopped in at a farm stall and I got a lemon and poppy seed muffin, my mom got a Amsterdammetjie and Nancy, Beth and Gabrielle got chocolate kisses. The kisses were basically just big sweetie pies, but made so beautifully, that one wouldn't want to eat it! My mom and I kept our treat for when we got home to have with a nice, hot cuppa tea. The others had theirs in the car - a good idea? Um, I don't think so -

chocolate on the seats,
chocolate in their hair,
chocolate on their clothes,
chocolate EVERYWHERE!

Gabrielle made a huge mess and had to be cleaned with a wet wipe! She was so messy and we thought it would make a cute photo of her sticky and dirty hands and face. My mom stopped the car, pulled out the camera, and took some cute pictures. That was Tuesday!

I thought I would show you this. I have been trying to knit a block a day. I want to make a lap-blanket for winter - yup, knitting, takes me ages! Here is a picture of me knitting with Rebekah sleeping in my arms!

Wednesday morning we took a trip to the beach. It was stunning weather. We all went down for a walk. Although my mom said to not put costumes on because the water was still too cold (16 deg) we ended up swimming in our clothes anyway! We found some sea anemones in a rock pool. I had great fun sticking my finger in them and having them suck my finger. I don't have any pictures, as my mom said that having a camera near sand and water would not be a good idea, especially since she had five children (one a baby) to look after and wouldn't be able to take photographs!

Here is another cute photo. Doesn't Rebekah look so sweet?

I decided I would play house and clean our home while Nancy cleaned the garden, which she was not ecstatic about.

On Thursday I turned on the cricket. I really love watching cricket and often I have late nights because of it. I sat on the couch holding Rebekah and I did some knitting while watching it. It was a great game and South Africa beat New Zealand! (sorry to all those New Zealand cricket fans) But, that's enough with the sports update, so lets get back to the real stuff!

We had some friends round for supper that evening and we also watched another episode of Little House on the Prairie.

And Friday? Well, Friday was my horse riding day. I usually ride on a Thursday, but my teacher changed it to Friday. My dad also came home from the river! We were all so glad to see him again! We missed him so much!

That's us - till next week!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Beth Is Getting Guinea Pigs.

"I want a pet of my own". Beth said one Saturday morning.

Beth hasn't got a pet of her own yet, well neither do I. My cat, Tom decided to leave our home earlier this year. He came back after 29 days but went away again a few days later. Jerry, our other cat is a family pet. Cody is also a family pet and Popcorn was Nancy's though he died a month or two ago.

I think Beth needs a pet of her own. I know that a pet is a big responsibility. When you get given a pet you feel big!

That's what started it! Now, Beth is going to get a guinea pig of her own, actually two because in the book on guinea pigs it says that they get lonely, so get two.

Beth is so excited and gets my mom to read guinea pig care books to her so she can be the BEST guinea pig mommy to her pets! She also look at the books by herself.

Later that afternoon, when my dad, Nancy an I came home from the market we had been doing, we found Beth looking excitedly through some guinea pig pictures my mom foung on Google Images. She was showing us pictures and telling us about other pictures she saw and really going mad about these cute little animals she wanted to get!

We don't just want to rush into this whole 'guinea pig thing', but take it slowly and learn as much about keeping them as possible. Like the old saying say; "more haste, less speed"! We also have never had guinea pigs before so my mom and dad also have to reaserch them!

We are trying to get one thing for her guinea pigs a week.

A friend of ours gave Beth their rabbit hutch for her guinea pigs.

I will post pictures when we are ready to get the guinea pigs. Beth, is so excited!!!

Delicious Banana Fritters!

Here is the recipe for the yummy banana fritters we had with our poetry tea party. These are lovely as a snack and taste very nice with some Cinnamon sugar on them.

Banana Fritters:


1 cup cake flour
1 and a half tsp baking powder
1 quarter of a cup sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
1 third of a cup milk
1 tbsp butter
2 bananas, squashed


  1. Mix all the dry ingredients together. Then mix all the wet ingredients together.
  2. Add the wet mixture to the dry one. Mix together, then add your squashed banana and mix again.
  3. Pour some oil into a pan and deep fry the fritters till golden brown.
  4. Serve with cinnamon sugar and enjoy!
Cinnamon Sugar:

To make cinnamon sugar, just mix some sugar with cinnamon. Add less cinnamon than sugar.

We make a double batch for our family - everything is in double for us! You can make different types of fritters. You can add apple instead of banana. you can also add pumking or corn, depending on what you have in the house!

This Is How I Blog (Most Of The Time)

Family Movie Night - Garfield

Yesterday night, we watched Garfield. It was on T.V. at 8:00pm. We have watched Garfield before, but that was a looooong time ago! It was Beth and Gabrielle's first time watching Garfield so they were really excited! It is such a funny movie and had us in stitches laughing at this silly cat! So here we go. Here is my review of Garfield!

Garfield is about a fat, lazy and vain cat who has his owner, Jon all to himself, until one day a dog is given to Jon by Garfield's vet, Liz. The dog's name was 'Odie'. Garfield disliked him very much because Jon took more interest in Odie and Garfield was left alone. One night Garfield is locked outside and Odie is sleeping with Jon. Odie wakes up and goes to see Garfield outside and sleep with him for the night. Garfield gets up and runs through the flap in the door (which Odie unlocked from the inside when he came out to see Garfield) and locks poor Odie outside. Odie runs off and gets lost. Then Happy Chapman (the bad guy) finds Odie and wants to take him with him to New York, as Odie is a talented Canine dancer (Garfield taught him how to dance) Jon and Liz, who becomes Jon's girlfriend look all over for Odie. Then Garfield runs off to find his friend, as he was feeling rather guilty for locking Odie outside, which includes lots of adventures. Garfield, together with Sir Roland the cat, and Lewis the mouse who has a love for macadamia nut cookies, rescue Odie from the hands of Chapman! Garfield becomes a hero and he, Odie, Jon and Liz live happily together!

We had burgers for supper. my dad makes our patties himself. It was a lovely meal!

All of us, very interested in the movie! We watched the movie together as my dad took his school on a camp on the Orange River in Namibia today and he will be gone for a week, and we wanted to have some time as a family together before he left.

We only got to bed at about 10:00pm, so we are very tired today!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Another Poetry Tea Party!

Yesterday, we had another poetry tea party. We had lovely time and read poetry from a book called 'The Works 4'. There were lots of funny poems in it! We made banana fritters for our tea-time snack and had a great time! You can buy this book On Amazon.

This is one of my favourite poems my mom read! (hope you like it too)!

Dear Mum:

While you were out
A cup broke itself on purpose.
A crack appeared in that old blue vase that great-grandad
Got from Mr.Ming.
Somehow without me even turning on the tap
The sink mysteriously overflowed
A stange jam stain, about the size of my hand,
Suddenly appered on the kitchen wall.
I don't think I will ever discover exactly how the cat
Managed to turn on the washing machine
(Specially from the inside)
Or how Sis's pet rabbit went and mistook
The waste-disposal unit for a burrow.
I can tell you, I was really scared when, as if by magic,
A series of muddy footprints appeared on your new white
Also, I know the canary looks grubby,
But it took ages and ages
Getting it out of the vacuum cleaner
I was being good (honest)
But I think the house is haunted so,
Knowing you're going to have a fit,
I've gone over to Gran's to lie-low for a bit.

Brian Pattern

I am going to have to keep you waiting for pictures of our craft, as we are still busy! The recipe for the fritters will be coming, wait and see!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

DVD Review: Little Little House On The Prairie Season 1

Many of you might have read the Little House On The Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder. If you liked them, then you must watch the DVD series with Micheal Landon.

My mom and dad used to watch these on television when they were children. They would watch an episode a week.

We have watched the first season and LOVED it! We were so sad when we realised it was finished!

Of course it is very different to the books, although you get a peak into life as a pioneer in the old days!

There are 10 seasons altogether.

If you live in South Africa, you might want to buy this series on Loots.

If you live overseas, you might want to buy this series on Amazon
Here is Season 1 on Amazon.

Bread Of Life

For my twelfth birthday, my grandparents gave me a little box which read: Bread Of life. It Also said: Give us this day our daily bread. That means we must rely on the Father for our bread for our bodies as well as bread for our souls. It is a little box with little cards that have verses printed on them.

I never really looked at it much and and looked at the other gifts I had been given.

This little box with verses in, had been kept behind the computer screen for quite a while - quite forgotten - quite dusty, but there, ready for one of us to open it's case and read the promises that God gave to us on it's cards.

I had completely forgotten about this little box, but when I found it, I wanted to look at those cards every day. Every verse I read, seemed to be so apt.

This little box is so special. It contains beautiful verses on which I can dwell on every day.

"For His compassion's never fail. They are new every morning". Lamentations 3:22-23, NIV

"Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is". Jeremiah 17:7, KJV

"For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and His ears are attentive to their prayer. 1 Peter 3:12, NIV

Such verses come at the time when you need them. We find verses and read verses, and hear of verses that have meaning and encourage us to carry on and complete the test and to do it cheerfully!

This little box, is truly: The Bread Of life!

What Is This?

What is this leafy-looking thingy?

Is it a leaf?
Is it a chocolate wrapper?

No its a..............................................?

I actually have NO idea what this could be!

Whatever it is, it can hide from all sorts of predators by sitting in a tree and looking like a leaf!

Its such a weird looking insect! I wonder if its a moth?

Nancy was sweeping the front stoep and came upon this leafy-creature. Out I came, armed with the camera and snapped away!

Its so amazing that a creature can protect itself! The camouflage on this leafy-creature is unbelievable! I really thought it was a crumpled up leaf!

Now, take a closer look at it. Can you see that it isn't a leaf?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Planting Lettuce

Yesterday we planted lettuce for our family's salads.

Gabrielle and Beth put their blue and yellow gumboots on and I put my big, black boots on. Gabrielle was playing 'Farmer Brown'!

We are going to plant our lettuce in old tyres. We have not painted the tyre yet, we still need to get special paint to paint them with.

On Sunday we bought six lettuce plants, two of each - 2 cos,2 red and 2 frilly.

We watched this YouTube video and realised we could also do that, even if only on a small scale for now! These people have planted lots of vegetables. They even have chickens and goats and they live on a small property in urban Pasadena, California. They live in the middle of a built up city, with a freeway nearby too! This inspired my mom to plant our own vegetables, although she has always wanted to do this anyway.

We planted the lettuce in tyres because we stay in a rented house and at any time we could move, leaving behind our good soil and vegetables. It is our family's goal to one day live on a smallholding where we can plant lots of vegetables and have our chickens, but we can't wait until 'one day' and hope we will live on a farm, we will probably never plant veggies then. We have to do what we can 'now' not sometime when we live on a bigger piece of land. We have to make a start and learn here, so that when and if we move to a bigger piece of land we would have made all our mistakes here and not waste time and money experimenting.

Unfortunately we found lots of fat, white, disgusting grubs in the compost we got from my granny and grandpa's house when we planted our lettuce. We took them out of the soil and laid them on the ground. Then Cody found them. It was so disgusting! He ate the grubs, no problem!

We found a spider and it's abdomen was half the size of it's body! We put it into a jar to show my dad. I will, from now on, always wear gardening gloves when I work in the soil! I don't want a spider bite from an ugly-looking spider like that! We found another spider, black this time, but just as scary!

We stuffed newspaper in the side of the tyre so that we would not waste soil filling up the hole. Newspaper decomposes, so it does not matter if you put that in.

We filled the tyre up with compost and seedling mix that we had bought a few weeks ago from the nursery in Noordhoek.

Each of us children got a turn to plant one lettuce plant. I planted a cos.

I am looking forward to the day when I can have lettuce leaves from OUR garden in my salad!

I will post pictures as soon as they grow bigger.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A Rainy Trip To The Nursery

On Sunday, we went to Ottery to a nursery called 'Hart Nursery'.

We went there to get some herbs. We ended up just buying a tray of different lettuces and a tray of strawberry plants. We also got a punnet of of beautiful, purple pansies.

It took a very long time to get there. We lost our way and could not find the nursery. We spent a good 40 minutes searching for this place!

We decided to go visit some friends of ours who live in Plumstead. We stopped in there to say hello and also just get the little ones (and me!) to the loo. We had some biscuits and got directions to the nursery.

We then drove there and I put Rebekah in the pouch. It was raining the whole time we were there, so most of the time I stood under the cover of the seed and tools shed.

We weren't there very long. My mom also just wanted to see where it was so that she could go there during the week some time.

When we got home I put some pancake batter in the fridge to rest and Nancy and I started our room. We will clean it properly tomorrow, but my dad says we must just make a start on it.

It has been very rainy and dark outside. Sometimes it makes you feel unhappy and dull, so a trip to the nursery, in the rain, is enough to perk one up! The pancakes were a lovely 'cherry on the top' to our exciting day out!

Spring Gifts

On Saturday we made these lovely spring gifts for some friends of ours who we went to for dinner.

My mom always likes to go to someone with something, she tries to never arrive empty handed.

As we can't always buy presents, we try and make them ourselves.

For these gifts, we put some petunia seeds, which we had in our gardening drawer, in pots which we had from some other plants. For the water tray, we used the punnets from mushrooms. To add some extra decoration till the petunias come up, Nancy made some flowers like the ones we made when we made our spring banners. We put them on ice-lolly sticks and stuck them in the pots. I found some garden rope and dipped it in the leftover green paint to dye it. I tied it around the pots and they were ready to give to our friends. When the seedlings come up, they simply take out the paper flowers.

This is a great gift for friends to celebrate spring!

How about blessing one of your friends with a pot of virtual flowers?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cleaning The Little One's Room

Yesterday we started sorting out our bedrooms. We started with the Little Ones' room first - theirs was the messiest room in the house. Last night the toy boxes fell over and everything fell out. We just heard giggles coming from their bedroom! When my mom saw that, well, she decided it was room cleaning time!

Nancy and my room needed my mom's help too. We can never make our room look very nice, as Nancy has her mattress on the floor.

We got the big washtub out and just put all the thing that were lying on the floor in the tub. It is amazing how the toys spread - under the bed, under duvets, on shelves, everywhere! We also were amazed to find Beth and Gabrielle's clothing in the doll box and in other toy boxes!

Nancy and I ( who do most of the room tidy-ups) love the part in 'Mary Poppins' when Jane, Micheal and Mary Poppins clean up the room - imagine? A snap of the fingers.... click! The beds are made! Click! The clothes are folded! Wow! I do wish we could do that! (And so does my mom!) It's definitely not the way cleaning happens at normal homes!

Cleaning is not something we look forward to. The Little Ones' room is always a mess, no matter how many times a week we clean it!

Here is what we did:

  1. Put all toys on the floor in a big washing tub.
  2. Remove everything that is in the way out of the room.
  3. Sweep and vacuum to remove all dust while you are cleaning. There is nothing worse than having dust everywhere when you are trying to put things back!
  4. Once all things are out the room, sort things into separate piles, including a throw-away pile and a give-away pile.
  5. Put toys in the allocated boxes.
  6. Pack back into the room.
  7. Stand back to admire.
We are going to clean Nancy and my bedroom another day. My mom says she has to pace herself! The problem is, the Little One's room took so long that our room has to just wait!

Everthing was neat and clean. A job well done!

Nancy, Beth and Gabrielle played on Gabrielle's bed for a while once we had finished. I made a tent for them out of a double unfitted sheet. I tucked the sheet under Beth's mattress and it hung down to make a nice tent. They are looking through the window they made! I remember playing a game like that when I was small. Nancy and I would put a blanket around Nancy's bed and pretend it was a royal bed. I unfortunately never, ever, EVER got to sleep there at night as my bed was on top and Nancy was too scared to sleep up on the top.

What fun it was for them to play in a nice, clean room! Nobody likes to play in a dirty room!

It is so nice to walk into a nice clean room again! I know we will have to clean it again tomorrow, but at least everything is sorted out, making our job MUCH easier!

Wagon Wheels

I love riding on the wagon Nancy has designed. Unfortunately my dad decided that it must be packed away. It was very noisy and I cannot tell you how many accidents we all had on that thing!

It is the trolley my dad uses to deliver the jumping castles (we run a very small jumping castle business from home). Nancy designed this beautifully. She used some wood for the seat and used some of my dad's rope as the reins.

I like riding and I like pulling. When I pull, I like to go as fast as I can and make poor Nancy and Beth scream with excitement. I tend to get a bit carried away and tipped poor Gabrielle out of the wagon/buggy.

She landed on her nose and has a nice bruise there. I felt really bad especially since Nancy had warned me to be more careful as I was going too fast. Gabrielle was so light and I turned the corner a bit fast and she toppled out. Nancy and Beth also had toppled out earlier but they were older and knew how to land without hurting themselves.

Gabrielle now has a nice bruised nose. When I ask her if I can see her nose, she points to it!

We were really sad when the wagon got packed away. It provided hours of fun for all of us (except our neighbours. The trolley was really squeaky)!

Gabrielle got on again and enjoyed herself when I walked with her!

Yummy Apple, Spice And Date Muffins!

Today we made these lovely muffins. We were looking for something to have as a snack and my mom came upon this recipe. They were so yummy! I have given the recipe below if you would like to make muffins. You can make them either with dates or prunes - you decide!

Apple, Spice and Date Muffins:

Makes about: 6 muffins.
Baking time: 15-20 minutes


half a cup wholewheat flour
half a teaspoon baking powder
half a cup white self-raising flour
half a teaspoon ground all-spice
1 third of a cup soft, brown sugar
1 quarter of a cup chopped prunes or dates
80 g butter, soft
1 egg, lightly beaten
140 g apple puree (we steamed and mashed our own)

  1. Preheat oven to moderate 180 deg. Grease muffin pan with butter and sprinkle with flour.
  2. Sift flours and spice into a medium mixing bowl. Add sugar and chopped prunes or dates.
  3. Make a hole in the centre. Add combined butter, apple and egg. Stir until mixture is smooth, but do not overbeat.
  4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden. Serve muffins warm or cold. Store in an airtight container for up to two days (ours don't last that long!)

Do not over- beat muffins or they will be tough. Stir until just combined.
We always double our recipe at least, as one is definately not enough!