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Hibernating mode

17 Sep

It’s only been a month, and a bit, that I haven’t updated this blog of mine. I think it went into hibernation, like me. The winter has been long and hardy and like a true procrastinating bear, I went into my cave and put back to tomorrow what could be done today.

So without any further ado, I shall write. Write about Matty, his teeth, Léa and her birthday, Killian, his hair and many other important topics such as these. All that, in time.

For now, I just want to post some pictures of the cold winter we had. A few weeks ago, we went to Hermanus just for one night with some friends. The winter sea has that **awe* element that makes you reflect about the grandeur and power of God. Watching it, I nearly froze (of coldness) but I survived and dare I say, almost enjoyed it.

My precious…

Are you warm enough papa? Stolen moment… Love it.

Found a little cave, sheltered from the wind. Thumbs up and still all my teeth!

Oh my word, am I cold!!! Many many layers!! Under that fake smile lies grumpiness…

Half-smiley girl

Cuddly boy and his mum…

Killian and Stopayne (It’s the name of his blankie). I’m so glad I captured this. Stopayne is as much part of our family as any goldfish or rat would be: same smell and lack of personality…

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Photos, photos, photos!!!

20 Jul

 

Karate is contagious!

18 May

Our house has become very safe over the last month or so, thanks to these 3 karate kids! Léa and Matty follow in the steps of Killian. Matty with his I-don’t-really-mind attitude is decidedly the most chilled out karate person I know. Léa listens attentively and tried her hardest to look the part. Mmmh, she makes me think of the prayer mantis character in Kung-Fu Panda, with her long dangling body.

But they are all super motivated (Matty in his own way), they love it, they sweat at it (Matt comes at the end of each lesson and tells me “Look Mama, I’m nearly sweating!’). Léa is practicing practicing practicing. She is in the same class as Killian (white, yellow and orange belts are together) and wants to feel that she is good enough.

I love the structure of karate, the discipline it requires, the respect of others and the way the gradings are organized. If you work hard, whether you look good or not, you will move on to the next belt (well, in the early stages at least) which is great for young kids. It helps them to stay motivated and to know that they can do it. No doubt, Killian looks much better than Léa, but to a certain extent, it’s irrelevant.

Here they are, taking their role very seriously! Killian not flinching (apart from the oh-look!-a-butterfly moment), Léa trying to look fierce, and Matt and his cooler-than-cool attitude. Aren’t they cute!!!

The only downside is the washing. Lots of white, white and white!!

Speaking japanese

16 Mar

Killian still sometimes gets confused between 8 and 9 in English, but ask him what a chokuzuki or gyakuzuki are, and he’ll show you. Karate found Killian, and he likes it!! I like it! He gets rid of his abounding energy and natural aggression, both at great speed!

A few weeks ago, he took part in his first competition, a kata competition. A kata is a form of choreography, made up of karate moves. The setting was quite intimidating, with lots of black belts instructors, many judges and lots of ‘kiai’ (shouts). Killian went into his hyper focus, anxious and very serious mode. He didn’t crack a smile from beginning to end – not even when he heard that he had won the gold medal (very exciting moment!!!).

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Now we – and by ‘we’, I mean ‘I’ – are hoping that the discipline and the self control that are taught at karate will have a direct impact on his life-outside-of-karate!

When the end is really the end…

15 Dec

In a previous post about Busy Kids, I had implied that it was the last one… but I lied. This one was the last one, for real, the very last last of the last of Busy Kids.

It’s sad because:

1. Next year, there will be no more Busy Kids

2. The Tubmans are not on the picture.

3. The Newills will be out of the country.

4. The kids are growing up.

But it created many memories, and many crafts and many friendships formed…

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Who can resist these smiles?

Busy Kids

29 Nov

On Friday we had our first Busy Kids of the term, and probably last one of the year. Just for that I thought it would warrant some picture-taking (or maybe I’m just too trigger-happy like Kerry would say). It’s been a good year at Busy Kids, it’s been a challenging year, it’s been a frustrating year too… but life is full of challenges and frustrations and joy too.

These busy kids have grown a lot this year in many areas. I remember how at the beginning of the year, there was a mum on duty to look after the littlies while the biggies were doing craft. Now in November, they are all at the big table: Sam, Matt, Becky and Jemma are not so littlies anymore. They definitely want their share of craft time! This last Busy Kids has reminded me that it is a real blessing to be able to create this learning environment for our children.

I think this year the kids learn to sit quietly for longer, to work together, to make playmates, to develop team work, to understand motivation by jelly beans, to tidy up before jelly beans, to wait for their turns, to give a chance to others, to try and be other-centered, not to fight over the best chair, not to jump on the couch, not to throw things in the pool, to ask questions by raising their hands, not to hit their neighbour with their hands, not to poke their mums, to go to the toilets on their own, to share their toys, to share their moods, not to share their germs, to love, to laugh, to live and to love some more… well, it’s been a very similar year to the previous ones after all!

The mums also learnt a lot. A lot of the things we learnt are very similar to the things the kids learnt. I will let you decide which ones of those things we had in common with the kids’ learning curve, and which ones we had already acquired ( like maybe not to jump on the couch?). Our Lord is gracious and is always transforming us and growing us. Thank goodness we’re never too old!!

This Friday, we did some christmas craft. The end result will only be visible next week after Taryn baked the goodies in the oven…So suspense suspense 🙂

These are a few shots of this last session. Hayley and her two monkeys Ben and Jemma are missing (we did so miss you my Hayls… and your two funny offsprings)

All ready to start the craft,

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Intense concentration,
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And let the fun begin,
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And if you, mums, wondered why you have backache, just look at your posture,

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There is also always time to snack,

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and to detangle hair,

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Next Friday, we’ll see the finished product of those christmas craft AND please please ladies, a group picture!!!

(More and hopefully last) First times

18 Feb

One of the last new thing we added on this year  – which was like a come back after a few years – was our mum’s group Busy Kids. We used to have a group of us, mums-at-home with kids-at-home and we ran a program with them, from play-dough to painting, via craft and music. It was around 15 kids and 5 or 6 mums. it was a lot of fun for the kids, a bit of hard work for the mum and a bunch of reaped benefits for all of us!
Last year, Hayley, Taryn and Kerry started again the Busy Kids group with their kiddies. Mine were half in school, half at home and it was a year of big change for us between my new job starting 2 days a week, Killian’s special needs becoming more apparent and a bum between two chairs: school or homeschool…

This year, it seems that we have made decisions that fit our whole family quite well. Yes, I’m homeschooling Léa. To get that french curriculum was quite a mission but after many trial and error, we managed to receive all the books. And it’s a com-ple-te curriculum: reading, writing, maths, science, science of the living, science of nature, music and art. All I need now is a week of 10 days, because 7 is just not enough!! The two boys are also home with me. Killian still goes to his special group and I finally start to see real change – which could be just maturity. As for Matt, since his new passion of puzzles (no joking, he build puzzles from morning til afternoon and we are not allowed to break the done puzzles!!!), doing school with Léa is very easy!

Now I’m coming back to the real topic of this post, and that was Busy Kids. We’ve started a few weeks ago already. The format is much simpler than the previous BK. One mum will read the book of the month/week (we work by themes – going along with Little Footprints, which is a south African curriculum. Taryn and Kerry are following it), and a craft activity based on that theme will follow, mainly by the big kids (Kiera, Léa, Katie, Jesse, Killian and Ben) while the younger ones (Matt, Sam, Becky and Jemma) play in the play room.

They have then a lot of free time to get to know each other  and be silly together, and that’s the main point too!! 🙂

Mattéas and Kiera are missing here…Not sure where they were! This is the beginning time of BK: songs, rules to respect, and the theme of the week introduced.

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