Thinking & Feeling

“The world is a tragedy to those who feel, but a comedy to those who think.” Horace Walpole

Friday, 30 November 2007

Christmas Cookies for Everyone

5 Years ago I stared our own family tradition of making Christmas Cookies. We don't do mince pies, Christmas Cakes or any of those other typical Christmas traditions, and somehow the baking of our cookies has become a ritual here. ( Last year's Cookies)

I used to make them myself when the boys were little, then the boys started watching eagerly, and now the 3 of us muck in together and it's become a family activity we enjoy together and we are getting more and more creative with them.

We make a big batch of cookies, using some of them to decorate our Christmas Tree, some of them to nibble on during December and a special one is always kept safely to be put out on Christmas Eve for Father Christmas.

Today I told the boys I'd be able to fetch them from school early for break up day and gave them several choices of things we could do this afternoon, including Ice Skating, Going to the Beach, Playing Cricket or Baking the Cookies, they both unanimously agreed the Cookies it would be, and so it was.

I divided our dough into 4 this year and made 4 different colours and flavours they were:
- Peanut Butter - pale
- Banana - Yellow
- Chocolate - Brown
- Cinnamon - Red

We added Smarties, Raisins, Cashew Nuts, Chocolate Sprinkles and chips, Cherries, and other sweeties.

This is the result:

They are busy cooling and I'm off to make some tea now so we can sample them.

Quinn - Grade 2 finished

Well Quinn has just completed Grade 2 and is deemed ready to progress to Grade 3. Well done Quinn. I am so proud of you!!!

This is Quinn starting Grade 2 early this year:
These were his Grade 1 results last year followed by this year's results for comparison.

Grade 1 TERM
Mark Description 2 3 4
1 Not able to fulfill Learning Outcome 0 0 0
2 Able to fulfill Learning Outcome with basic support 3 1 2
3 Able to fulfill Learning Outcome 16 13 10
4 Learning Outcome Consistently Fulfilled at a high level 0 6 8

Grade 2 TERM
Mark Description 2 3 4
1 Not Achieved 0 0 0
2 Partial Achievement 3 0 0
3 Satisfactory Achievement
17 18 15
4 Outstanding/Excellent Achievement 1 3 6

He has done really well getting all 3's and 4s for the last 3 terms and going from 3 4's to 6 4s this term. He has 'Always' and 'Often' for all his life skills to, which are the equivalent of 3s and 4s for those. So he is doing really really well, especially considering that he is the youngest in the grade.

His teacher also commended him for always trying his best. Which is all I would ever ask of him.

He slacked of a little on his recorder work this term, but got 70% anyway (89% last term), without even trying, or practising. Sadly he is giving it up, even though he has a good musical aptitude.

He wrote a Christmas wish list which was included with his report and it says:

'I would like solder pads and nee pads for my skatbord. Some DVDs. Some competer games. Sweets. A R11111000000000000 and a play stashan and games.' LOL.

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

When kids are sweet and we spoil it...

Man Mel wrote about this just yesterday and then I go do it today!

Quinn had a school outing to The World of Birds today. He got a packed lunch with chips, cold drink, heap of sweeties and a sandwich so he had more than enough food. He wanted a bit of cash, so Richard gave him R20, and asked him to bring R10 change back.

So when he got home this afternoon I asked if he gave Richard the R10 change back. He said no. So I lectured him on how he was supposed to bring change back. He said, 'Dad said he doesn't mind', but I carried on the lecture about the 'principle of it, and how he really shouldn't have spent it all. Yada yada yada.

So he says, 'But I didn't buy sweets, I found something I wanted to buy you for was a surprise'

Aw shucks, me and my big mouth!

Monday, 26 November 2007

Day at the beach

Well, Cape Town has now had 4 hours of summer - they were between 10am and 2pm yesterday, hope you didn't miss them - where there was both warmth and NO WIND!!!

The boys and I grasped the opportunity with both hands and dashed off to our bi-annual excursion to the beach. Somehow we are not beach people... Griff and I burn too easily, and the weather is always either too hot, too cold, too windy, too something.... but yesterday as in Goldilocks fashion it was JUST RIGHT.

We went to Fish Hoek, as I gave the boys a choice of; 'Stunning Beach - cold water' i.e. Camps Bay, or 'Ok beach, warmer water' ie.e Fish Hoek. They wisely chose the warmer water.

We found these weird jelly things on the beach, anyone know what they are? When we got brave the boys picked one up and it's literally nothing but jelly. Griffin brought some pieces home in a container and is besotted with them. He walks around muttering 'I love my jelly fish' and 'I always wanted jelly fish, and now I have them!'. He dropped one in the pool and was quite in a state that the creepy crawly would eat it up, we had to turn it off until he had retrieved his precious jelly fish! ;)
Quinn looking like he's in a James Bond movie ;)Tough job, but someone had to do it!

Tuesday, 20 November 2007


Last night I heard Quinn talking to Griffin, relaying something from his cub camp out. He said, "Todd's GAY"

I asked why, and he told me Todd turned and looked at another boy while they were making a wee. I asked him if he knows what gay means, he thought and then said, "Happy...... and SICK"

So we had a little talk about what it means to be gay, and that yes it can mean you are happy, but it also has another meaning. Also that just because a 7 year old watched another boy wee, does not make him gay. I also explained that being gay does NOT mean you are in any way sick - neither of mind nor body. And told him about how people are different.

Mostly girls like boys and boys like girls, but sometimes boys like boys, and girls like girls. I told him that 2 men can love each other and then they can even decide to get married, and sleep in the same bed. He asked "Like Randy & Earl?" (from My Name Is Earl). "Well no, they are brothers... but kind of like that."

I also told them that some of our friends are gay. Hopefully I managed to explain that right... ;)

Dream Catchers

Quinn has a book on Dream Catchers from the library at school this week, so we decided to make some last night.

Quinn made his on his own, Griffin go a bit of help. Both were eager to get off to bed to hang them up, and have happy dreams :)

Quinn's Dream Catcher hung on the ceiling above his bunk bed, with all the glow in the dark stars he has there....Griffin's dream catcher is hanging from the top bunk, so it can be close to him on the bottom bunk.

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Landmark's Fun Run - 3rd time lucky

The kids and I did the Landmarks Fun Run this morning. Or rather I did the 6km fun run and they did the 750m Kiddies Race.

This was my first ever running race 2 years ago, and I ran it again last year.

I woke the boys up at 5:45am this morning, and we all got dressed and ready and were at WPCC by 6:30. It was cold thanks to the driving wind that just won't stop.

I have had a cold all week (so did no exercise at all on Tues, Wed or Thursday because of it) and was feeling a bit phlegmy and chesty this morning, but I decided I could manage the 6km course anyway. It's in our neighbourhood, so I know the terrain and route well.

Anyway, I managed to get myself right to the front at the start, so had no dawdlers to contend with. I set off and it was ok, although I was feeling like I couldn't fill my lungs properly and this blooming Cape Town gale made the whole second half back a bit tough. I managed to push through without stopping to walk once. I didn't have a stop watch with me this time but finished in somewhere between 30-32 minutes. I did it in 35 mins the first year and 31:20 last year, so my time was pretty similar to last year. But as I finished the guy handing out the medals said 'Well done, you're the 4th lady finishing'. Wow I CAME 4th! **

This is the boys and I after I finished. They were playing on the jungle gym and came to wait at the finish a few minutes before I finished (Quinn had his watch (the stop watch) so I told him what time to expect me). It was the first time I had supporters at the end of a race. Nice!

Then it was time for the kiddies 750m race. Quinn was ready and willing:

Griffin was not feeling that strong, and had insisted slip slops would be fine! He was panting dramatically when I took the photo, even though he was having fun. In fact he said when he is 8 he wants to do the 6km run with me!

It was a fun morning. Afterwards we bought huge croissants on the way home and pigged out on those

I think a nap on the couch may be on the cards for later. Ahh! :)

** I think I must mention that all the REAL runners do the proper 21.1km half marathon, so the fun run is more the dregs... but there did seem to be a good few club runners and seriously fit looking people.

These photos of me in action are courtesy of Lindy:

Saturday, 17 November 2007

Quinn off on a Cub Camp Out

Quinn went on his first ever cub camp out last night. He was a bit nervous and reluctant initially, but on the day he was quite keen to go.

All packed and ready to go....
Quinn leaving home... oh they grow up so fast!
He was walking to his other school friend's house who is also a cub and who's dad was going along to the cub out.

He came back at lunch time today and evidently had a fantastic time. He said it was fun. He's been singing camp fire songs all afternoon .. you know the ones 'My eyes are dim I can not see, I have not brought my specks with me...'

They were also taken on a tug boat in the harbour and went out to ship to collect a pilot who was coming to shore. Exciting stuff!

Timelines of the boys' lives

I have been sorting through my photo directories and have made some new progressive time line collages. I just love progression pictures...

Quinn from 0-1 years old

Griffin from 0-1 years old

Quinn 1-4 years old

Griffin 1-4 years old

Quinn 4-6 years old

Griffin 4-6 years old

Brothers 2002-2005

Brothers 2006 & 2007

Wednesday, 14 November 2007

Who is the coolest kid on the block??

Quinn is!

Look who is the coolest kid on the block! Quinn with his 'it's not actually your' birthday present.*

An ultra cool pro skateboard brought back from the states by dad.
Made by Jason Lee (of My Name is Earl fame)'s skate company! RAD!

First try on the board

First fall!

This should be fun for the whole family!

I am very impressed that both boys have asked for sporty gifts this year, and both chose something different so they could share. No toys were requested. So we decided to get them decent quality things that will last well.

Quinn's birthday is actually on 3 January, but long story... in consultation with Griffin they decided to share Griffin's Birthday on Monday so that Quinn could get his 'big present' now. (Because he knew Dad was bringing it back from the states and he didn't want to wait nearly 2 months and we decided he might as well have it for the whole holidays.) They are having a joint party in December and they colluded to get their main presents now, have a big party with all their friends in December and then have their 'small birthday' in January. I have conceded because they planned and negotiated it so well, but I've told them this is a once off and won't be happening every year!

Griffin's Birthday

It was Griffin's birthday on Monday, he turned 6.

He had a fab day, starting with waking up early to find Dad back home, after being away for nearly 3 weeks!!! And a bunch of presents!

Excuse the wrapping paper, it's all I had, and hey it works! Wink

Hey JUST what I wanted!


Then it was off to school with his cake:

Then home to play! They made th crown for him at school. Note his new Ratatouille t-shirt.

We went to Spur for dinner, where he had ribs for the first time:
One hand is not enough any more!

I let him taste some sparkling wine, the response, 'Yum...YUCKY!'


Monday, 12 November 2007

A self portrait

Me and the extent of my photography and 'photoshop' (actually GIMP - I am a FOSS girl after all) abilities.

Sunday, 11 November 2007

Griffin's Birthday Cake

I just made Griffin's birthday cake to take to school tomorrow.

He ordered a dinosaur.

It was quite fun, and we got to use some of the left over Halloween candy - note the ghost marshmallow spikes on the back

ER visit for a splinter!

We went to a 4 year old's party yesterday, and it proved to be the most expensive party we have attended yet!

About 30 minutes in Quinn came to me crying (which doesn't happen often) and saying 'There's a piece of wood in my foot!'. He'd jumped off the swing onto a piece of wood, and part of it went into his foot and snapped off!

I looked and I could feel a hard lump in the ball of his foot, but it was hardly visible and nowhere near the entry point which I could see. He was also really wincing and sobbing. I considered trying to extract whatever it was but he was clearly in pain and I could see it was not going to be coming out easily.

What to do?

My friend asked if I wanted to go back to her house to try to get it out there, but I have enough medical training to know that this was not going to be easy, it was going to take some hectic digging, and there was no option to leave it in because it was deep and at an angle, it was agonising for him.

We were around the corner from Constantiaberg, so I thought I'd just pop in there and get it done. Well there was a huge queue there so after 10 minutes I left again and we went to the medi-cross instead. I am glad, there was no queue, and there was a lovely friendly doctor there.

She tried some locally applied crystal stuff which was meant to numb his foot, but that didn't work, and then she tried the spray on numbing spray, but that also wasn't strong enough. Eventually we agreed that she needed to inject a local anaesthetic. She warned it would hurt like hell to administer, but would help to numb his foot enough to be able to get the thing out afterwards.

Quinn was very brave but nearly hit the roof when she injected the sole of his foot. Shame man. The doc was lovely and sympathetic though. After that she cut about 2cm along his foot with a scalpel and got the splinter out. It was very wedged inside and quite big!

I wouldn't have been able to get it out myself, that's for sure.

It cost R545 though! Yikes!!! She told me it would have cost more at Constantiaberg, so I am glad we didn't stay there.

On the way home I said, 'Happy Birthday Quinn. I got you a piece of wood, and wrapped it in your foot' He thought that was funny.
Well, I guess it was inevitable, being a boy and all, that an ER visit was on the cards at some point. It happened today at almost 8 years old. Not bad going I think. Quinn on the bed in the 'procedure room'

Back home with his bandaged foot and 'show and tell' splinter.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Griffin on Thabo Mbeki

A week or 2 back I pointed someone out on TV, and asked the boys who it was, Quinn hesitated so Griffin yelled 'Thabo Mbeki!' and he was right.

Then next day
Griffin says, 'Thabo Mbeki is the boss of our country hey?' I agreed and then he giggled and said, 'But he's got a bit of rude name!' I didn't get it so just let it slide.

Last week on bin day the bergies were walking around with their trolleys as usual, so
Griffin says 'Look their's some Bekis'. He can't say the hard Afrikaans G sound yet.

So he thinks our President is Thabo M'Bergie! LMAO!!!
Laughing Laughing Laughing