Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Super Giveaway for the Cape Dairy Experience at Sundringham

Some of you may remember that I mentioned in my post that we are heading to the Cape Dairy Experience in Sundringham on the 4 and 5th November 2011?  Well, we are soooooo going.  I am totally convinced that not only will this be an amazing learning experience, but so many lovely things for the parents too! Besides the inner child in me longing for those finger licking good yummy goodies like - ice cream, cheese, yoghurt and real butter; the children will love this event.

TheWoolworths Dairy Pantry will be teaching us how to make milk tart (proudly South African), roosterkoek and good old traditional pot bread.  So let's see:  Woolies (tick), milk tart (tick), roosterkoek (tick), pot bread (tick) - who could resist?

Oh and did I mention that there will be cooking demonstrations by food bloggers?! Go bloggers!  I didn't even know that bloggers could cook if my culinary skills were anything to go by - but then I am a uniquely unusual unculinary individual with a few bright moments of the ordinary.  My children think I should enter for Masterchef South Africa based on the fact that the only person they have really been able to compare my cooking skills to, is their dad? Did I mention their dad can cook? - oh yes! Fried eggs, french toast, scrambled eggs, boiled eggs and eggs with kind of left overy things in the kitchen.  So you can see why they think I am a chef;) But I AM getting a little distracted.

There are lots of things for the children to do: 
*  ice cream eating contest
*  milking demonstrations 
(be ready to answer all sorts of interesting questions about udders for those of you that have small children)
*  dog jumping competitions
*  tractor shows
*  they can milk a dummy cow 
(that wouldn't be a really dumb cow but just a prop)
*  boeresport games
*  jumping castles
and more......

The Price:  R30 for adults but children under the age of 13 go free! And in fact if you are a school group, provided you register before the event, you can go in free.  Our homeschooling group will definitely be going.
To find out more why not visit their website or call Mariana Rabie at 021 975 4440.

Here's the Giveaway
Thanks to Mariana Rabie and the Cape Dairy Experience, 4 of you will be able to go free.  I will be giving away 2 tickets to 2 of you that enter. 

Here's how to enter:  Simply comment on this post and tell me:  
What is your favourite  Dairy Experience?
Are you in love with the new double cream dessert yoghurts?  
Do you love milk and drink gallons of it just straight out of the bottle?  
Do you hide a secret stash of chocolate under your pillow?  
Do you love smelly cheeses?   
Come on 'fess up!
(Winners will be announced on Monday!)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Movie Review: Snowmen - What will you build that lasts?

Yes I had a "sneak peak" at a new movie released by Mpower Pictures. The introduction I was given prior to this screening was:

Snowmen is a humorous and heartfelt coming-of-age story about three unlikely heroes and the winter that changed their lives forever. What will be your legacy? What will you build that lasts? Snowmen prompts audiences of all ages to ask these life-defining questions, while affirming that it's not what you do that matters so much as how you do it.

Snowmen was created by the producers of notable films including The Passion of The Christ, The Ultimate Gift, and Braveheart.  The film stars Bobby Coleman (Last Song), Ray Liotta (Wild Hogs), Bobb’e J. Thompson (Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs), Josh Flitter (Ace Ventura Jr.) and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future). 

So the best way for me to measure the success of a film aimed at families was to watch it as a family - though on my computer screen. ( I can be a bit slow at times - yes I know).  So we watched ... and laughed... and watched.... and cried... and got angry......and laughed.  

I really enjoyed this movie.  There was one expletive of a mild nature but nothing that would stop me from recommending it.  In fact it took me by surprise and my children didn't even notice it.  

This is definitely a family movie.  It appealed to all of us.  We could relate to so many aspects of this film.  Issues that we all need to face - the bully, finding our place in the pecking order, overcoming our own weaknesses, being brave when we least feel like it, leaving a legacy that counts - so many excellent issues are dealt with in this funny and moving film. 

I found the 3 little heroes really likable and memorable, from the Jamaican boy who is having to adapt to a new school and new environment; the smallest of the three who surprises everyone with his courage; and then the young boy who the story is all about who narrates his life to us as audience.  I was captivated from the start.

I defnitely think that this would be a good platform to discuss some of these issues with your children as it creates that kind of space.  

Have a look at the trailer but if you want to find out more about this family movie, why not head over to the Snowmen Press Room

Trailer for Snowmen

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Out and About: International Kite Festival 2011

Once again we headed over to Muizenberg to go and look at the awesome kites at the International Kite Festival.  I think I have become a little jaded (Sean would say spoilt!) but I found this years one not nearly as awesome as last years kite festival but that didn't mean that my children didn't.  I know that when next year comes rolling in, we will definitely be there again.
 I couldn't resist joining the children's queue to get a photo with Scoooooobbbby Doooooo!  Don't tell Sean;)
And then there were some really cool dudes looking not too cool but don't tell them I said that:) Love them to bits.  Note Ruthie was not in this photo but she is terrified of big fluffy things walking around wanting to hug her.  She goes into a state of absolute panic and no one can convince her that that doggy is a nice doggy - who can blame her.  For her size he probably looks like a monster the size of a building.

After Scooby we headed off to look at some of the kites
We found some avid kite makers.  Aren't they just delightful? 

There was even a learning opportunity.  Of  course this is a homeschooling mom! We found the MTN Science Mobile which had the children puzzling and fiddling and trying to solve all sorts of riddles.
I love this look of absolute fascination.
As usual this was a big hit for our children.  I am starting to feel more and more like a local Capetonian, rather than a KwaZulu Natal expat as we expose our family to all the local flavour.  We are looking forward to the next big event - we LOVE events.

The next biggy is the Cape Dairy Experience which a new one and its all about - yes you guessed it - DAIRY!!  There will be some purebred dairy cattle and goats, animals paraded in a show ring, lots of butter AND yogurt AND cheese AND ice cream AND ice cream - did I mention there would be ice cream?  Added bonus - its only R30 per adult and children under the age are free. It's a Friday and Saturday and don't make the mistake of thinking that both days are the same, they're not. So it would be really worthwhile to go both days I am sure.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Book Review Blog Carnival

Hosting this week's Book Review Blog Carnival has really been great.  I love being challenged and stretched to do new things. And this is one of them.  So I had an overwhelming number of submissions! I can see that I will have a lot of really good books to read.  I was going to write my own review as part of this carnival but really - there just wasn't any more space and I didn't want to leave someone out!

JHS at Colloquium reviews : "The Language of Flowers" by Vanessa Diffenbaugh (her debut album)  - A novel of an abandoned child  who is moved from foster home to foster home.  At the age of 18, through a chance meeting in a McKinley Park where she was sleeping at night, she meets a flower shop owner who offers her the opportunity to follow her interest in the language of flowers.

She also reviews: "Claim of Innocence" by Laura Caldwell a legal thriller written by an author who has a history in litigation and a law professor adding depth and authenticity to much of this thriller, as it unfolds.  Surprising twists and dark secrets are but a few of the things to expect in this novel.

Movement 121 Blog offers a review of an intriguing read "Social Innovation Inc: 5 Strategies for Driving Business Growth Through Social Change" by Jason Saul and how business growth can be truly encouraged by looking to meet the needs in society.  With so many societal problems, this book looks like it might give some perspective on how to make changes through big business.  Why not head over to them now and read their review.  In fact Movement 121 looks like a worthy group to get involved with.

Clark Bjorke presents us with a review on "A Conspiracy of Paper" written by David Liss.  London slums, posh clubs, organised crime bosses, murder, prize fighter turned detective - all set in the 18 century.  Clark has been reviewing books since 2007, so he offers a wealth of literary perspective.  And while you are over there, why not pop over to his other review "Coffee Trader" by the same author.  David Liss' historical fiction has clearly caught this reviewers attention.

Zohar of Man of La Book swings our attention to World War II with his review on a non-fiction book "Auschwitz: A Doctor's Eye­wit­ness Account by Dr. Mik­lós Nyis­zli.  "Winter in Wartime" by Jan Terlouw , a novel set during the same time period, is especially appealing for the young adult.  His historical fiction review on "Wings" by Karl Friedrich, a novel about women air force service pilots during World War II complements this historical collection, from so many varying perspectives.

A serious crime fiction addict, Kerrie of Mysteries in Paradise reviews her latest fix "Stagestruck" by Peter Lovesey.  For a bit of drama, read her review on crimes that have happened in the theatre.

Jim Murdoch of The Truth about Lies blog is reviewing a novel by Karin Alvtegen; namely "Betrayal", the author of international bestsellers "Guilt" and "Shame".  Though if you have read any of Karin Alvtegen's books, this one will offer you something very different to what you are used to.
And while you are there, head over to his review of "Tamarisk"written by Gerald Murnane. This is the story of a young boy growing up in Australia. He is a solitary-type and prefers to immerse himself in his own imaginary world. His father is a compulsive gambler and because of this the world of horse racing becomes central to the boy’s fantasies. It has been called “one of the very best books about childhood and the world as the child finds it."

"In Defense of Food" by Michael Pollan is reviewed by Kevin of Invest it Wisely.  And yes it's all about food - great food!  What sets ordinary food apart from great food?  We all want to be healthy - find out how.  And if you're quick, you might still make it to his giveaway which ends tomorrow, where he is giving 3 copies of this book away.  Don't wait!

 If you are one of those individuals that cannot stomach a read longer than 100 pages, Blog Magazine Era reviews a new men's lifestyle magazine "Men's Magazine Journal" which includes some big names like Michael Douglas and Lance Armstrong with even bigger stories.


 Taryn Hayes of Hayes Happenings is a South African homeschooling mom who offers us 2 reviews on children overcoming physical challenges.  "A Door in the Wall" by Marguerite de Angeli is a heartwarming tale of a child having to deal with the hardship of having lost his legs due to illness; while   "Follow my Leader" by James B. Garfield . is written about a blind boy who was blinded by a fire cracker.  Both these books are a good choice if you are looking for some extraordinary living books that will change your child's perspective and world view.

"Garter Snake at Willow Creek Lane" by Janet Halfmann will help your children learn all about snakes and nature.  And it is quite aptly called the first of the Smithsonian Backyard Book series.  If your child is a nature lover or curious about things slithering in the grass, this review written by Roberta Gibson Wrapped in Foil might be just the one you need to read.
Of course the dads dont' want to be left out in the cold .
Read Aloud Dad presents us with a very humourous review of a children's book that encourages the fun fantastical things that our children love so much as well as having real educational value.   "Officer Buckle and Gloria" by Peggy Rathman is a book about safety tips and living safe presented in a fun way.   Read this review if you are a parent and considering your next book buy.  Lots of lessons to be learnt.

And if you are looking for an old favourite, head over to Boys Matter who writes a brief review on Tom Sawyer but also offers a list of books to read that your boys might enjoy.

I would love to hear what you are reading at the moment.  What's on your bedside table? Is it a light romance, criminal thriller, historical novel?  Or is it just today's newspaper?

Saturday, October 22, 2011

The Untouchables - what are you hiding?

 Recently I met a woman - a beautiful woman, wealthy with lovely children.  I looked at her and remember feeling not quite insecure but feeling a twinge of envy and a moment of awe.  Then I found out the truth - struggling marriage, things not quite what they seem - pain, sadness, lost hope.

We are so quick to think we know someone by the way they dress, how they treat their children, how they interact with others.  But like an iceberg, we are only seeing a small part of what is actually there.  The hidden things, those things that they don't share with others or choose to hide all for the sake of appearances.

Like my children reminded me as I was discussing this very thought with Sean - "Man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart".  The problem is that we have become experts at hiding.  We hide our true feelings out of fear of being hurt.  We don't say what we think for fear of rejection.  We might think we are being transparent when we bravely confess our weaknesses but really we're not confessing anything at all. 

I know that there are many things that I am prepared to talk about, and yet there are those things that I consider 'the untouchables' - .  those things between God and myself.  Yet the times I have felt the unction to confess these weaknesses or sins, it has opened up a door of freedom for myself and for those listening because everyone is  scared of being honest about who they really are.  And as I do I discover friendships that will pray and support; I discover God's grace, mercy and healing and I discover the platform for others to open up and be true to others and themselves.

Are you trying hard to look like you are not struggling because your husband is in ministry.  How can you possibly allow others to really see the truth?  Better to keep a brave face, a big smile and say very little to anyone.

Have you lost hope because you've just discovered your teenage son is involved in pornography but are too ashamed to tell anyone?

Has your husband let you down?  You married a man who you thought shared a passion for God and yet, years later he is consumed with making money and has no time for God.  He's at all the meetings, says the right things but you know the truth.

Are you so in debt but you want to maintain appearances.  Others might know you are struggling but not how badly.  You spend when you don't have but you can't seem to help yourself and now because of this you can't afford to pay your rent or your children's school fees.

You've lost the inclination to be intimate with your husband and you now suspect that he might be looking around?  And in fact you think that it might be better to get a divorce because life was so much easier before marriage and children.

Are you drowning in housework, homeschooling and children?  All day you read blogs about those "together" families and feel like such a failure.  Your husband doesn't know what chaos actually exists when he is at work all day and you're too afraid to ask anyone for help.

So many things that we can hide - all for the sake of appearances and what others will think.  And yet I know that as we talk about these things, there is an opportunity for others to step in and support you.  You don't have to struggle with this alone.  People who count,  will not laugh or ridicule you, they will want to be there for you. You might need to accept some honesty and even correction but if they are really interested in your future and destiny, they will help you to make the adjustments.  They will not leave you to flounder as you drown.  God is offering you a life rope through the people He surrounds you with - why not take a chance?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Mother's Link Up

Link up for blogs written by mothers - being a mother is a special calling - and we have so many things we can share with one another so we can learn from each other.  You can share a link to a post or an article on your blog about being a mother - whether its about your children, homeschooling, how to be a faithful wife, reflections or lessons on mothering - anything you think will encourage others.

 To share a link to your post about being a mother, you can use the Linky below . . . just share your link (make sure the link goes directly to your post), title, and image (it’s easy)!

You can do this by placing your cursor over the image, right click and save to your computer.  Add to your blog gadgets and link it to this blog:

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

You didn't pinch him did you?

Yep that I did!  My youngest son - after an endless series of cheeky responses, running around all over the place while all the other children were listening, blatant disobedience -  was subjected to a pinch.  And boy did he let me know it - he started crying at the top of his voice (not because of the severity of the pinch but rather at the offence, and I do believe he has been taking drama lessons in private too).  Of course embarrassing me and clearly exposing me as "THE PINCHER" ! 

Oh, I try so hard to be that sweet patient mother that all of you are.  The ones that quietly rationalises the offenses with their children, gets them to sweetly tow the line and then still be all together together.  Can't be done sorry! I lose my temper.  I get impatient.  I grit my teeth and smile when actually I really want to frown. In fact I sometimes want to run around screaming like they do when they can't get their own way.  I am clearly an alien living on the wrong planet.  I am surrounded by Perfect Parents (absolutely no sarcasm in that comment - they really do look like that).  The worst being that this week we are doing our webinar on discipline - and of course the same week I am hosting this discussion, I find a bunch of hooligans in my company.  They behaved so well last week and even yesterday - no angels mind you- but they were 'fairly compliant' - but not today! 

So I am starting to realise that maybe this webinar could just be for me.  I need real handles all the time.  What worked a year ago doesn't work now. They get older and due to such impressive schooling habits with an incredible teacher (that would be me:)  - they are getting smarter and know how to talk their way out of so many situations.  They've learnt how to lie well! Ooooooh yours are Christian are they?  Funny mine are too and yet they know how to tell lies with a straight face. 

So looking forward to this week's webinar.  I think we need fresh perspective all the time on how to train up our children, how to make a difference in their lives so that they make a difference in others.  Our children are always changing and though our values stay the same, how we mentor them has to change as they change. 

So join us for this week's discussion, come ask some questions and share some wisdom.  No one who participates in these webinars is pretending to be an expert but just willing to share some of the lessons we have learnt along the way.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I don't feel like it!

Oh the days when we wake up and every part of our being shouts:  I DON"T FEEL LIKE IT!!!

Yes of course as mothers we always want to:
*  cook dinner
*  be homeschooling when other moms send their children to school
*  get out of bed in the morning
*  listen to the endless tales of woe about sibling offences
*  look pretty
*  be a noble woman as described in proverbs
*  be patient and kind, gentle and loving, considerate and unselfish

Well today I woke up and I thought I DON'T FEEL LIKE IT!

!! I don't feel like making anyone anything...scratch in the cupboards and find something to eat!!!!

!! I didn't want to teach Maths, English or Zoology, in fact I seriously contemplated getting school application forms for next year but the thought of actually climbing into the car to do that - required just that little too much effort.

!! I wanted to curl up in bed with a good book and forget the rest of the world existed.

!! I pretended I didn't hear the bickering and fighting outside because I was tired of being the peacemaker when I was ready to start a war!

!! I didn't feel like putting on pretty clothes - I wanted to wear my most comfortable PJ's with the hole in the one leg, an over sized T-Shirt and mismatched socks (did not want to find the matching one that fell behind the couch last week)

!! Who is this noble woman in proverbs that makes us all look like idiotic, lazy, incapable women anyway?  I would love to meet the woman who has forever made me out to be lacking.

!! I want to shout, to scream, to huff and to puff and to blow someones house down - not my own of course because I still want to vegetate like a big sprawling couch potato.

 And then I had an epiphany (clever word that - makes me sound incredibly intelligent)- IT'S OK.  
The world won't fall apart if they eat non-organic colourant rich cereal for a day. 
My children won't be sad, lost individuals if they don't learn today why birds have funny wings that enables them to fly, while we just fall to the ground as we flap our arms wildly.  
 A bed is a good place for a book, even if it means reading it out loud to my children.  
  I don't have to be the peacemaker, let someone else do that or leave them until they run out of arguments.  
I don't have to look pretty for a day - after all you can't tell me that Sean has not seen the worst of me when I wake up up in the morning.  Only movie stars look glamorous in the morning - most of us smell funny, look funny and scare other people.  
The noble woman was just that - a noble woman.  I am Mel Grant, and nobility is not in my blood - after all I'm a mother.  There's nothing noble about mopping, cooking and cleaning runny noses.  
And finally best to keep the piglets far away from the big bad wolf, and let me be! After all tomorrow is a new day and then maybe I'll be a Sleeping Beauty...

A Tribute to Special Moms: Poems for Mothers

I have been very nostalgic about my mom recently.  I have been reminded of how even at the age of 38 (in two days 39), I still have a mother who takes care of me.  Yep, I thought I would outgrow her, after all I am a mother now - so surely that would be my role?  But it doesn't work like that - that umbilical cord may have been cut, there is still an invisible one that exists.  

My mother is a one of a kind because:
*  she put up with me in my teen years (like if you like did what I did, I would like toss your butt out my like door:)
*  she always seems to know when something is wrong without me saying a word - I'll get this call and she'll say something like "Hi is everything OK?  I have been thinking about you"  ..... oh boy, then I really blubber.
*  she thinks about me when I don't think about her
*  often her giving is as a sacrifice to something she would like
*  when I was involved in a wrong relationship while living in Egypt in my wild days, she flew across the world to "save me from myself"
*  my mom loves my children passionately and spoils them in a way that only a granny is allowed to and get away with it
*  she encourages me to be a better person, to expect more and to live more
*  she makes me laugh at myself and at life
*  she drives me crazy

So as a tribute to all mothers for an unofficial mother's day in my books - a mother's day for 2011 in October (who would have thought?)- I have collected a few poems for mothers, for you to enjoy or possibly even send to your mother today.  It could be your biological mother, your godmother, your step mother, your spiritual mother, yes even your mother-in-law - they deserve a tribute for their sacrifice, their love and their support.

 In God's Image by Carolyn "Banker" Harris

God made mothers in his image,
He molded every part,
He gave a little extra
When he made a mother's heart.

He knew when he made mothers
to give an extra share
of love and understanding,
and a heart that really cares

He gave them a special smile
as if kissed by the golden sun,
He put a twinkle in their eye,
and then He said well done.

But when He made you mother
You were the greatest one by far
and I wouldn't change a single thing
for you're perfect the way you are

God hand-picked you to be my mom;

(I knew this from the start)…
And no one else can ever fill
Your place inside my heart.

Many times I've failed to see

How much you've done for me...
or how you gave your very best
So sacrificially.

But Mom I need to tell you,

How very much I've grown…
I know you've place my needs above
Any needs you had alone.

You've been the greatest mother,

My teacher and my friend…
You've shown me what it means to give,
(And give and give again.)

I'm thankful for you, Mother,

Much more than I can say…
All my life, you'll be with me
And your love will guide my way.

Our souls are joined together

In a bond that will not stray…
You and me, our spirits free,
Forever and a day.

From FreeDigitalPhotos.Net

To my mother by Christina Rossetti
To-day’s your natal day,
Sweet flowers I bring;
Mother, accept, I pray,
My offering.

And may you happy live,
And long us bless;
Receiving as you give
Great happiness.

Photo by David Castillo Dominici

To my mother by Edgar Allan Poe
Because I feel that, in the Heavens above,
The angels, whispering to one another,
Can find, among their burning terms of love,
None so devotional as that of “Mother,”
Therefore by that dear name I long have called you—
You who are more than mother unto me,
And fill my heart of hearts, where Death installed you,
In setting my Virginia’s spirit free.
My mother—my own mother, who died early,
Was but the mother of myself; but you
Are mother to the one I loved so dearly,
And thus are dearer than the mother I knew
By that infinity with which my wife
Was dearer to my soul than its soul-life. 
Photo by

 The Best Mother by Anonymous

I said a little prayer for you
to thank the Lord above
for blessing me with a lifetime
of your tenderhearted love.

I thanked God for the caring
you've shown me through the years,
for the closeness we've enjoyed
in time of laughter and of tears.

And so, I thank you from the heart
for all you've done for me
and I bless the Lord for giving me
the best mother there could be! 

Photo by
You Where There by Anonymous

You were there when we took our first steps,
And went unsteadily across the floor.
You pushed and prodded: encouraged and guided,
Until our steps took us out the door...

You worry now "Are they ok?"
Is there more you could have done?
As we walk the paths of our unknown
You wonder "Where have my children gone?"

Where we are is where you have led us,
With your special love you showed us a way,
To believe in ourselves and the decisions we make.
Taking on the challenge of life day-to-day.

And where we go you can be sure,
In spirit you shall never be alone.
For where you are is what matters most to us,
Because to us that will always be home...

Mother's Day by David Young
 —for my children 

I see her doing something simple, paying bills,
or leafing through a magazine or book,
and wish that I could say, and she could hear,

that now I start to understand her love
for all of us, the fullness of it.

It burns there in the past, beyond my reach,
a modest lamp.

I would love to hear about what makes your mother special to you.  
Why do you love her?
What special moments do you share with her regularly?
How has she impacted your life

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Winners of the Vinolia Luxury Soap Giveaway

So there was no Mother Matters discussion group as we are sorting out technology and trying to find a platform that works the best - but we will be up and running again next week. However there were some winners that needed to be announced.

So for those of you that entered the Vinolia Luxury Soap Giveaway - the winners are:
Jenni C, Autumn Vine, Shelley, Aneesa
Well done all of you , I will be contacting you to get your postal details so keep an eye on your email.  

Look out for our next giveaway coming up next week!

Foreign Lands and a Sweet Smelling Weekend Giveaway

South Africa - a land with unique blends, fragrances, colours and food.  A unique culture.

After studying for 3 years at varsity, I left for foreign lands.  Now for those of you that have done this, you know what it's like.  Mom normally makes a package specially for you and either sends it via snail mail or with someone's-child-who-is-also-travelling-and-who-you-have-never-met-but-these-two-mothers-think-you-will-be-the-bestest-of-friends! NOT!

These packages were always very special, a taste from home.  A very South African parcel - the marmite, biltong, fizzers.... the list was always endless.

Now I had all of these but I had one other thing I always asked for - Vinolia soap.  Yes I know, sounds silly doesn't it?

But I love these fragrant soaps.

I love them because it leaves the most amazing fragrance on your skin after you've been in the bath or shower and especially at times when I haven't had perfume. I often sniff my skin (OK so I know I'm odd) because I love the smell so much!

I have been using these luxury soaps ever since I can remember.  The others on the market just seem to fade in comparison.  They cost a little more but they are definitely worth it.

So because I love this soap so much and wanted to offer it as a giveaway, I contacted Amka and asked them for a giveaway for some of our readers - and they gave me 4 packages!  Each giveaway has 4 luxury body soaps - Lavender,  Sandalwood,  Wild Rose and Angel Lilly.

I was not approached, bribed or offered all sorts of benefits for this little advertorial.
I just wanted to share one of my favourite things.

To enter this giveaway, just answer the following question in the Comments section of this post:
“If you were far from your home country, what would you want your mother to send you in your parcel"
Would it be something to eat? Or would it be a special item from home?

Just comment and and you’re automatically entered to win these fragrant luxury soaps
One entry per person, please.
Winners will be selected at random and announced Wednesday evening at our Mother Matters Discussion Group.
This giveaway is open to everyone even if you live far far away! If you have won a giveaway before you are welcome to enter again! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Reaching Out to Orphaned and Abandoned Babies

Some of you may or may not know that iKhaya LikaBaba is something very close to our hearts.  It started in our home almost 4 years ago.  (For those of you who are Afrikaans, you can read our story here) We moved to Cape Town a little more than a year ago but since then, this home for orphaned and abandoned babies has just grown from strength to strength as a ministry of Solid Ground Church, our family in Empangeni while were living there.  They are truly changing the lives of children who previously would have had no hope or future.

These children are precious and in fact our daughter is one of those little ones who blessed us by joining our family.  Ruthie is our princess and our joy and we would never had such a precious child if it were not for iKhaya LikaBaba.

I know they are in KZN (KwaZulu Natal in South Africa) and some of you may be in Cape Town, others in other parts of the world -  but may I encourage you to partner with iKhaya LikaBaba (The Father's House).  And there are so many ways that you can make a difference to the lives of these children
*  Adoption
*  Foster Care
*  Sponsorship
*  Prayer
*  Partnering with your business
*  Debit Order

They have just created a new video so you can catch a glimpse of the remarkable, life changing work they do.

iKhaya Likababa Promo from Brett Michael Innes on Vimeo.
iKhaya Likababa is a Zulu phrase meaning, “House of the Father.” It is a refuge, a home, and place of family for orphaned and abandoned babies in the province of KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. At ikhaya, the children not only receive food and shelter but care is also provided to meet their physical, social, and emotional needs.

We at iKhaya are growing and we invite you to grow with us as we reach more and more orphans with hope and a future.

Visit to find out more information.

Peachy Read Aloud that has us in hysterics

“Wear the old coat; buy the good book.” C. S. Lewis is quoted to say.
So we read books, lots of them! Our children read alone (or pretend to in Ruthie's case), they read readers occassionally when we do a more structured reading lesson and we do at least 2 read alouds at any given time.  Now I know some of you are thinking - Declan has just turned 11, can't he read yet?
Of course he can, so much so that I have to remind him to eat, breath and shower daily.  If we were to allow it, he would never leave his room:0 
However we have a time daily where we read a book as a family.  This often means 6 in a our double bed with lots of "stop kicking me"...."mom Chad's taking up all the space".... "I'm falling off the bed" ... but we all manage to squeeze in (which is becoming more and more difficult as the children get bigger and bigger).  And I love it.  And then we read and read, and sometimes we don't want to stop reading and reading because a book is so entertaining.  We have one of those at the moment.  It's an oldie but a goodie.
James and the Giant Peach
  We are sooo enjoying the wonderful characters that Roald Dahl has created.  As usual they seem to have a lot of attitude and are so distinctive and memorable.  One cannot but help be drawn into this tale of extremes.  At times I found myself unable to even read as I giggle uncontrollably at some of his descriptions.  I read with different voices and really start to get into my characters which of course just has the children rolling around laughing so much that we have to stop to breath,  before we carry on.  
Some of my favourite characters in this book is surely Earthworm (wimpy, fearful, pessimistic and such a moaner), Centipede (bossy, unforgiving and a bit of a bully, with numerous shoes) and of course brave James who really grows in character, confidence and strength as the story progresses.
Opinions from the children:
(11)Each of the characters has a very different nature and that the earthworm is always so depressed. I also love that Roald Dahl makes it so funny.  What I don't like are the terrible aunts because they are always treating James like a slave.

Ethan: (9)
Well one reason I like the book is because the centipede is always commanding everyone to take his boots on and off and the worm is always complaining about things that don't actually happen.  The glow worm is always asleep when they tell her to switch off the light.

(7) I like the book because the worm always interrupts and says "I don't like this idea".  But the centipede is always saying carry on and saying "I like this part" because he knows the worm might get hurt.  Every time they have to go out and they have to go out through the top, the centipede says that they are going to be stuck there forever.  Ladybird is always telling everyone to be quiet.

(3) I like the book
. (and if you read between the lines, she does loves giggling at the boys while they are roaring with laughter)
We have read a number of Roald Dahl books are listened to them on Audio Books which is a great way to travel around.  We listen to audio books in the car and sometimes you want to just get into the car just so you can hear the next chapter.
Some of the other Roald Dahl books that we just adored and couldn't get enough of were:
 Danny the Champion of the World

  Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Esio Trot

What is your favourite Roald Dahl book?

Something New !!!:  Book Review Blog Carnival

I have been asked to host a book review blog carnival on the 23 October 2011.  Your book review can be written about:   fiction, non fiction, children's books, novels, history, biographyor any other books you think our audience will enjoy.  To submit your review simply by emailing me the link to your post.  I will need to check of course that the content is suitable (as there are a few weirdo's out there, myself excluded of course), that's all you have to do. 


Vinolia Luxury Soap Giveaway

If you haven't entered already - why don't you.  Just comment on the post about what you would want your mom to send you if you were in a far away land,  and you are automatically entered into the draw.