Thursday, 28 January 2016

Children and their best friends, their pets - dealing with loss


Chase the Ball, By Kyle Logan


This is a Kickstarter project, but a really worthy project!

We have to help our children deal with the loss of their best friends, their pets! I do believe you can't shield your children from the loss, because they need to learn to deal with one of life's heartaches that we can't avoid! Most of the time we don't know how to do it. Little Miss got really upset when her silkworm moth died. I think we will have to keep our dogs alive forever (sic), because I can't imagine...

This project is the creation of a 6-minute movie which addresses the issue of losing a loved one, Chase the dog.
"Chase the Ball is a touching story about best friends; a tennis ball and his dog named Chase. Told from the tennis ball's perspective during the final day of Chase’s life, the tennis ball reminisces about their time together. Through these memories, we witness the formation of a life long bond not even death can break." 
Art by Juhmelly Calrson
To back this Kickstarter project, go here: Chase the Ball

Please share the project on social media if you are not able to contribute financially.
The share buttons are available on the Kickstarter page.

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

It was a good weekend



It was a very uneventful weekend! Also NOT!

While telling Little Miss of all the things she must remember about the weekend for her weekly feedback in class, I realize that it was actually a very good weekend!

We started off the weekend with an unexpected date night! Little Miss was asked to a sleepover, and we suddenly had a night to ourselves. We had tapas at one of our favorite restaurants, Tei Avon in Victory Park. 

Little Miss really enjoyed her sleepover and it seems there were no melt-downs or problems. 

Little Miss also had her first Voortrekkers meeting of the year on Saturday which consisted of lots of water sport activities! 
Although it was a cloudy day, it was still very hot and perfect for a day of outdoor fun!

Little Miss took a long afternoon nap, and Hubby and I could catch up with a little bit of movie binge-watching on Saturday afternoon. 

We were able to braai (barbecue) on Saturday evening and enjoyed sitting outside for long before it started to rain later on. 

Little Miss entertained us with card tricks for the weekend. She picked up some pointers at the BFF. 

We also took the very excited dogs for a walk on Sunday after church. 

Little Miss told us that she was separated from her friend in Sunday School because they sang too loud. They were instructed to sang at their utmost, and when they did they were moved away from each other! We had a good giggle about it, thinking about Little Miss being in trouble for singing? 


And for the rest of the weekend we had creations like this going up everywhere in our house!  ?? 
But it kept her occupied!

This is what great weekends are made of. Lots of family time and rest!

I hope you had a great weekend too?

Friday, 22 January 2016

Waze - an app that I use daily!


I am lost without a GPS or Sat-Nav navigation system in my car.

I used to get lost so many times in the dark old days (only yesterday) when there were only maps, and I struggled my arse off to read the maps. When I went around a wrong corner, I did not know my front from my back...

That's why I love the Waze app on my phone. I use it daily on my commute. The app learns your normal route, and starts warning if there's an issue. I love the fact that the community can contribute and we know where there are issues, such as accidents, road block, hazards, etc. As soon as Waze starts to redirect me from my normal route, I have learnt to listen!

It is very easy to report an issue. You can also thank other Wazers who have reported an issue.

The voice can be changed and I have been getting directions from C-3PO (the Star Wars robot)  in December, to the Colonel Sanders and a British Boy Band. Little Miss and I have favourite voices - the Safe Mode Kids who tells mommies and daddies to drive safe, and sometimes pitch in at a turn with "Number one, like my Mom!"


The app is free and downloadable in the App Store, Google Play store and from the Windows Phone store.
It chows battery.
It also uses data, but I have not found it to be excessive!

I can recommend it to all who does the daily rat-race traffic in cities worldwide!


Related post:

- A GPS for my head as well, please!


Disclaimer! I have not been paid or compensated in any way for this review!
                  I LOVE this app!!

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

San Antonio River Walk


San Antonio was placed second in Budget Travel's list of best budget places to travel to in 2016.
(What is the odds that I had my first overseas travel experience to a place that gets second best for this year?)

We visited my brother in San Antonio last year, and it was an unforgettable experience. San Antonio is a vibrant, beautiful and very friendly city soaked in history.

The San Antonio River Walk is one of the well-known city features with a 15 mile long river path alongside city restaurants and buildings and historical sights!


The well-know Texan accent of the guide was a real treat to us during the cruise.




San Antonio sightseeing near the River Walk

Walking in San Antonio city streets

The Student, Little Miss and my brother on the cruise

Statue of the patron Saint Anthony


This year marks the 180th anniversary of the Battle of the Alamo and the 125th anniversary of the arts-and-culture celebration Fiesta! San Antonio, and with those come a slew of free music festivals and parades!

This is definitely a city worth placing on your bucket list!

Read more: Budget Travel

I would LOVE to go again, and this time spent even more time at the River walk, as we did not cruise the whole route, or explored more of the sights on the route!


Related posts:

- Initial thoughts about America

- Things we love about America - tourist  insights about San Antonio

- A birthday at Hard Rock Cafe in San Antonio

Monday, 18 January 2016

Another year of gymnastics! Yes!



A few years back Little Miss was not impressed with gymnastics and gave us a hard time going each week. We told her to stick with it until the end of the year. The next year we went back, and she has been enjoying it ever since. Each year I ask her if she wants to continue, and it's always a Yes!

I am so glad we prolonged it, and did not stop with it immediately! (We have a rule that you have to do an activity for at least a year!)

It is such good exercise for the little body, and she is constantly doing head stands, hand stands and cart wheels at home and at school!
2015 end-of-year gymnastic championships

Her classes are on a Saturday, and it's been messing with our Saturdays for 5 years now! But we will be doing it while she still wants to do it!


Tammy Smith is still doing the Tiny Tumbles at Roosevelt Park Recreation Centre.
She starts the little ones from one years of age, and she has expanding her teaching now to older kids as well!
I can really recommend her!

Facebook: Tiny Tumbles


Related posts:

- Gymnastic Championships - a first

- The enthusiastic gymnast

(I was not asked or paid to say this! ;-))  



Thursday, 14 January 2016

Easy Bean and Lentil Casserole


I have thrown the food-making arrangements in our household in a disarray with becoming a vegetarian. Hubby loves preparing and barbecuing meat, and now he is feeling a bit lost.
The rest still eats meat, but now I have to come up with alternatives for myself, as well as side dishes for the family.

Luckily we have Google, and I can put in my ingredients (of what I have in the cupboard) for vegetarian recipes. I found the Speedy Lentil and Bean Casserole from food.com.
I made a few adjustments based on what we had available, and it is very good for a quick and filling recipe that will be added to my basic recipes of what-to-make-when-you-don't-know-what-to-make-and-you-are-hungry!

This is what I made a few evenings back.

Easy Bean and Lentil Casserole recipe

Ingredients:

- Can of Three Beans mix, drained and rinsed

- Can of organic lentils, drained and rinsed

- 2 Tomatoes, chopped

- 1 onion, chopped

- 4 green onions, chopped

- 1 tablespoon of olive oil

- half teaspoon thyme

- one and half cups of Gouda cheese

- pinch of pepper and salt

Method:

Heat the olive oil in a pan on the stove. Cook the onion, green onions and tomatoes until soft. Add the beans and lentils and the thyme until it simmers. The cheese comes on top of the dish. Dish up as soon as the cheese becomes bubbly!


Totally yum!

Next time I am trying it with a bit of chilly!

Monday, 11 January 2016

2016 - a few notes on the start of the year!



This is the week that everything goes back to reality!
I have been back at work since last week, so it does not feel as alien, and I don't have the millions of emails to sort through!

Little Miss asked me this morning if school is going to start tomorrow. She was very relieved to hear that she has two whole days left of holidays!

Little Miss in 2016

- She is not as excited about Grade 2 as she was about Grade 1.
- She is also worried about bullies in her class this year. I told her that we would sort them as soon as they start with bullying. We have already asked that she not be placed in the same class as two kids who made her life miserable the previous years. (I hope so, but I trust the school will honour our request!)
- We bought a new school case, but I recycled most of her stationary from the previous years. She was upset at first, because it's "old"! Luckily the complaints stopped when we put everything in a new stationary box for school. You can't see the difference, and we saved a lot of money!
- She is getting big and I love all the conversations we are starting to have. Real existential questions and remarks. I was in awe last night about the depth of her understanding about spirituality!
- I will try to write it down and share it here! (If she allows me!)


MomAgain@40

- This little blog has only a year left before the 40 won't ring true anymore! (Heavens!!)
- Little Miss is also getting bigger, and I am starting to censor more about what is being put here!
- I have a year to decide what I am going to do with this blog, but I think I will re-purpose or start a new blog with a new theme! I still love blogging, the community of bloggers and what I have learnt while blogging!
(There is sooo much I have gained from my experience here!)


Me, Myself and I


Yes
-
My word and my motto for this year is Yes! I already had the opportunity to say yes without thinking twice this year because of this!
- I have never regretted saying yes to new opportunities, and this year is going to be better and bolder!
- I still need to work on a Vision Board for 2016. It really works! (Does any one knows about a good Vision Board app? Off to search...)
- On the second of January of this year I became a vegetarian. I have always said that the moment I have to kill for my own food, is the moment I would stop to eat living things! I have been a hypocrite for most of my life! I am taking it day by day, but it is not as difficult to make other choices!
I still eat eggs and dairy which makes me a ovo-lacto vegetarian! (Little Miss tells me that I should stop eating eggs as well! For now I am feeling proud of myself for getting 10 days into the new year without eating any meat!) My family supports me, but it is difficult as we love to braai (barbeque)! My go-to food now for a braai is a mushroom! (Sorry Hubby!!)


The Student

- I feel unsettled about The Student as this is her year to start with a new job and finish the final studies.
- Everything is uncertain, and we don't know yet what is going to happen...


The Hubby

- I am extremely grateful for Hubby who keeps us together and fed!
- I am sorry for upsetting the equilibrium by becoming a vegetarian. (Thank you for taking it in your stride!)
- This year is going to be a better year for you as well! I know it and I feel it!


2016 is starting with new things, new challenges and lots of uncertainty!
BUT I have good feelings about 2016!


May 2016 be good to you as well!
What new things are in the pipeline that is worth sharing?

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Student - THIS is the FINAL year!



We still have a student in the home! The Student needs to complete that final subject for her Business diploma in the first part of the year.

I had to answer the following question this holiday: When do you stop supporting your child?
I suppose it stops when they are able to support themselves?
Or are you strict, and have a cut-off date?

The plan was that she stayed in Potchefstroom to complete the studies, but she was unable to secure a student job. The direct call center job did not pan out in December as we had hoped for.

We are back to the draw-board here in Johannesburg.
She is searching for student jobs, and internships and starting jobs in Communication.
It seems she will be able to start working full-time, because she can attend classes for the outstanding subject on Saturdays.

If anyone of you know about jobs in Communication, PR, HR and Media in Johannesburg, please give us a shout? (She has completed her BA Communications degree in 2014)

Friday, 1 January 2016

We nearly started the New Year with a third dog


We waited and celebrated the New Year in Pretoria. We were visiting friends, and stayed overnight as to not be on the roads.

We had a great New Year's Eve!

But we did worry about leaving our two dogs alone, especially since the black dog is highly strung and people are still doing fireworks...
(How stupid and irresponsible as our social media streams are filled with lost and injured dogs today!)

We got a Whatsapp notification this morning from a concerned neighbour about a black dog running around near our complex. From the picture it looked exactly like our dog. Luckily we could ask the neighbours to catch her. Little Miss freaked out and wanted us to go home immediately!

Our friendly complex neighbours caught the black dog, and put it "back" in our yard.
It is only when we got the picture and message about "three" dogs that we realized it is not our dog!

The one being sniffed on the photo is the one that was running around. Luckily she was taken to the vet and she has a micro-chip!

It all turned out well!

Thanks to concerned neighbours, and thanks to a dog that is micro-chipped!


Photo by the complex neighbour!