I am married to an amazing husband - Sean - who truly is my best friend. He is passionate about God, his family and making a difference. He is a leader in IT training and is an entrepeneur. He runs his own Web Coaching business from home - Slingshot. (though he does a fair amount of travelling locally, nationally and internationally). However working from home means we get to see him a lot and he gets to hear us a lot;))) He is training his children in the ways of the Lord which is a full time job and they absolutely adore their father.

We have 3 rough-and-tumble-boys (Declan 11, Ethan 10, Chad 8) and a princess (Ruthie 4years - who I insist on dressing in pink but who insists on running around with her brothers like the tomboy she is). I have homeschooed them for 5 years because I have seen the fruit it has produced in their lives(and lots of other reasons too). I don't think its an easy option but for them, its the best one. They are confident, social and outspoken children who share our passion for orphans and if it was up to them we would adopt every orphan we met and they would all move into our house. 

I was a teacher before I started homeschooling and spent 5 years teaching other people's children and then decided to teach my own. I have been involved in a number of ministries - youth, sunday school, worship,church website, editor and writer for a church magazine and setting up and establishing an orphanage

I gained a lot of experience being married to an IT man, as I am sure that some of you can identify with and so I have learnt (sometimes reluctantly) many skills that are web based. I won't bore you with the details but these skills have been very useful. We have found that together God has equipped us with so many skills that we just want to make available to the body of Christ and to be effective tools in the hands of the One who has called us.

We are a down-to-earth, noisy, passionate, loving and adventurous family - by no means exceptional. However we have put up our hands and said to God - choose us, we are available.

What I write about: Homeschooling in South Africa, Learning Mandarin as a Second Language, Parenting, Marriage, Journalling with Kids, Our travel adventures, Homeschool rooms - how to manage and decorate them, Reviews - theatre, books, products, a very occasional recipe, photo journals - and just about anything else that catches my fancy. 

So to try and help you find your way around this blog I will be working on this list to ensure that you can find what you are looking for.
You may not know me personally and some of you may know me really well but just so that you have a better idea of who Mel is, I wrote this list. After all you read my blog, you should probably make sure that I am not dodgy. Dodgy is a word we use a lot in our house. It means anything or anyone suspect 

So here's my life.

1. I have a tattoo on my right shoulder of a Pegasus. I had it done in Israel and have never regretted it. 

2. My left ear is smaller than my right ear - and the one is a little more floppy than the other. I could think of all sorts of names like "Dumbo" or "Big Ears" but instead I quietly tuck my ears away under bandannas, long hair and ignoring their imperfection.

3. I love satin pajamas. And so does Sean:)

4. I have big feet - a big round eight - fat feet, big feet which seems to somehow go quite well with Big Ears - starting to see a pattern here.

5. I love coffee. Period. I cannot be converted or weaned. My blood type is coffee.

6. My birthday is on the 15th October and I was born in 1972. 40 years old and counting

7. I was a high school teacher before I started homeschooling my children. I got so fed up with teaching other people's kids that I became rather nasty. Now I just terrorise my children at home instead. They love it and I love them.

8. I go to bed very late every night. I love having time to myself at night.
9. My favourite colour combination is red, pink, orange, lime green and yellow. I love this colour combination so much that whenever we move, at least one room in the house is decorated in these colours - currently its my kitchen and dining room.

10. My favourite teacher at school was my geography teacher - he dressed funny, he looked a bit funny and he had those long strands of hair combed over his bald spot - but he believed in me and always encouraged me. 

11. When I was in Grade 8, I was a drum majorette - a troupe, the lowest of the low. I never got to hold any interesting objects like flags or maces. I just had to march everywhere and I wasn't particularly good at that either.

12. I am so directionless that I think I could even lose my way in my own back garden.

13. My favourite type of fiction is mystery, thriller, espionage and legal detectives novels. I get lost in these books. I read them all at once. Three days of reading and then I come up to breathe. My husband knows not to bother me and to lets me just go into hibernation.

14. My favourite activity is watching a movie.

15. I got engaged 6 months after meeting Sean.

16. We got married after 11 months.

17. It was his khaki shorts and sexy legs that first got my attention.

18. I am very sensitive to smell. I have to smell good and so do others. 

19. My most expensive toiletries are smell related ones - deodorants, soaps, creams, perfumes

20. I love meeting new people and finding out what makes them tick, who they are and where they come from.

21. If I was a movie maker I would make a movie just on stories about how people met, fell in love and stayed married.

22. The one item I desperately want is a proper camera, I have an eye for photography but am limited to a small cheap digital one. 
23. I have 5 children, 4 by birth, one by adoption and one is sitting with Jesus, watching her mommy down here on earth.

24. Our family has always had a tag line we live by "there is always space for one more at our table".

25. We love China. We love the people of China. 

26. Our dream is to move to China permanently one day.

27. I have a tongue that is too quick to speak!

28. I can't touch the tip of my nose with my tongue or my earlobe for that matter.

29. I have a funny toenail on my left big toe because I dropped a shelf on it when I was pregnant with Ethan and had to have the nail cut off. It's never recovered properly. Neither have I.

30. My favourite colour is red.

31. My favourite colour to wear is pink.

32. My favourite position is first.

33. I eat peanut butter out of a jar with a spoon after dipping it into the syrup.

34. I never drink the last part of my coffee. Can't and won't.

35. Sweet or savoury - why choose? I love all snacks.

36. I don't like spending too much time with highly strung people, they make me nervous, and tense and edgy and highly strung.

37. My pet hate is listening to someone chew next to me when I am not chewing. When I chew with them it seems to drown out the sound.

38. If I were to have a nightmare about a particular animal it would be a maggot. They're so little, they could sneak in anywhere and eat you up. YUCK!

39. My worst chore in the house is cleaning out the drain after doing dishes, where all the muck collects in that little muck collector and has become all squishy.

40. I think about food a lot. 

41. And coffee.
42. I don't like my legs. They're like tree trunks that need felling.

43. I like my eyes and my smile, though I might not be able to see either of these very soon when my skin is completely saggy and covered in wrinkles but for the moment, while I can see them, I like 'em.

44. My surname before I got married was Claassen.

45. I am half English and half Afrikaans

46. Before I met my husband I travelled to 3 countries and "fell in love" in each one.

47. I have one sister who lives in the UK.

48. I love reading in the bath with candles, bubble bath and a glass of wine.

49. I love my blender and use it as often as possible.

50. My bread machine is one of my favourite items in my kitchen.

51. I enjoy speaking publicly but always wonder whether what I am talking about makes sense or is even worth listening to.
52. I have tried unsuccessfully to lose weight for many years and now am just happy to be voluptuous. I reckon that I am a far happier person when I can do what everyone else is doing, rather than being miserable and starving myself.
53. I love going on dates with my children, spending one on one time with them.

54. I used to be the top shot put athlete in my school.

55. I was a prefect in primary and high school, and now I wonder if it was not just a way of doing the things the teachers didn't want to do and a huge waste of time.

56. I don't like stories with unhappy endings. 

57. If there is one thing I wish I could do, it would be to fly. 

58. I love having people in my home

59. But I am glad when they go home eventually. 

60. I work on my computer every night.

61. I have tried to study my honours in Psychology twice now. Destiny seems to be speaking louder.

62. I am passionate about orphaned and abandoned babies.

63. I stay away from anything that resembles a series on TV, as I get hooked very easily. And if I watch anything while consuming coffee, I am completely and utterly ruined.
64. Lemon meringue is seriously my all time favourite dessert. If you make me a lemon meringue pie - I will declare my undying love to you and you will always be welcome in my house.

65. I love falling asleep on my couch with the light on and the TV on.

66. Wet wool and shoe laces make me get cold shivers - I avoid them as much as possible.

67. I refuse to touch anything that develops a skin on it - cooked custard, hot milk, overheated coffee.

68. I love buying mugs. Whenever we travel to a new place, I buy 2 matching coffee mugs. One for Sean and one for me. 

69. I love cappuccino with cream. Who could possibly want frothy milk when you can have cream?

70. My mother still fixes my clothes.

71. I chat to my mother every day or at least every second day. 

72. My dad gets jealous.

73. So sometimes I phone him just so he can feel important too - and then I ask to speak to my mother.

74. The most used word in this home is ... MOOOOOOOOMMMMM!

75. I love butter and cream and sugar. Preferably all at the same time.

76. I snore. Shame. I know. Sad. 

77. I have mole on my cheek that Ruthie (my 4 year old) asks in very public places and very loudly "Mom is that a pimple? Must I squeeze it?"

78. The shower is where I cry. 

79. I love pretty underwear - and so does Sean:)

80. I love my church family. I couldn't actually imagine life without them. I have parents, sisters, grandparents and aunts and uncles.

81. I love the Lord, he's the reason I am. In fact he's the reason for everything. And I owe him everything.

82. When I go shopping, I pick up a packet of chips off the shelf, eat it while I am shopping and pay for it as I leave. 
83. My best friend lives in Mtunzini, I see her maybe once a year but she loves me warts and all - we have been friends for 13 years and nothing ever changes when we see each other.

84. I get sulky and petulant when I don't get my own way. I am working on sucking in my lip and biting my tongue but it's hard!

85. I am a redhead, though slightly faded - and I hear that we are a rare breed. There are less and less of us every year, we need to be appreciated and looked after (in my opinion) with lots of special treatment.

86. When I can't fall asleep at night, I have a bath or a shower - it seems to tell my body that it's time to sleep.

87. My dream is to travel the world with my family and live out of a suitcase.

88. If I could have one wish it would be travel to every country in the world and give my children the chance to learn on location about every place.

89. Whenever I swim in a pool at night, I get quite scared and keep imagining a shark in the pool - too many of the old James Bond movies and Jaws.

90. I over analyze people and situations. I always imagine that I have done something wrong and try and work it out in my mind.

91. I used to work as a cashier at Checkers when I was 16.

92. When I lived in Israel I looked after 7000 turkeys and they scared the living daylights out of me on a daily basis.

93. When I lived in the UK I worked as a street sweeper, cleaning the streets of London, I even occasionally drove a garbage truck.

94. I love gardening but I spend a fortune on plants that eventually die. I need plants that don't need care or water - basically plastic would probably be the best option.

95. I drive my husband crazy by opening something new before the old is finished. If the toothpaste is on its last, I let everyone else finish the leftovers and I use the new stuff. 

96. When I make a peanut butter and syrup sandwich, I lick the knife when no one is looking.

97. I always eat the crust off round my sandwich before eating the rest.

98. I love lime milkshakes.

99. I love the ocean, I feel like God paints it a different colour for me every day. 

100. I love lists:)

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