Showing posts from January, 2012

Random Thoughts and News of the Week

I'm sure you've all missed my thought filled posts, so here are a few things that have been swirling about in my head these past few days. I'm going to start with a few things that I find irritating in this country. Let's start with the cooking spray. In the states, I was too cheap to buy Pam, but even the off brand cooking spray did what it was supposed to do; it coated the pan. When I spray my can of Cook 'n Bake, I am always in for disappointment on many levels. Most of the spray ends up drifting around in the air, with only splotches of the pan getting anything close to a coating. The combo of the spray wafting through the air and the very strong artificial "butter" smell wafting up my nose is just too much for me. I don't like it. Another thing that is irritating is all the power outages. We've been told many times that it is just a normal part of living out here, which is all fine and good, but it is annoying. It just is. In the states we h

Wild Kratts reports

If you have kids that watch PBS, then you have probably seen or at least heard of Wild Kratts. Wild Kratts is a cartoon based on two real brothers, Chris and Martin Kratt. Tyson and Jori absolutely loved watching the Wild Kratts cartoon back in Michigan and continue to love watching the few episodes we downloaded off of iTunes. For Christmas, Darin and I bought them the series “Be the Creature”, which is a non-animated show about wild animals starring the Kratt brothers. We thought this would be a series the whole family could enjoy watching together, and after 2 episodes I’d say we thought right! Last week the kids wrote reports about the Wild Kratts, both the show, the Kratt brothers and how they like to pretend to be the Wild Kratts. Enjoy! Jori’s report (punctuation added by me) We lik to play wilthe krats. It is fun. Me and Tysin has ur batapack. I luve plaeng wiulthe krats. We se lots uv anumths. I luve luve luve plaen wilthe krats. Ha ha ha. My and Tyson lik to pretend that w

Random News of the Week

Hi from rainy, chilly South Africa! I know we aren't having the cold and snow that our friends in the Midwest and Washington are experiencing, but after so many days of temps around 100, the mid 60's seem very wintery to us. The sun has been hidden all day, so the lack of sunshiny rays and the slow drizzle of the past several hours make it seem even cooler out than it is. I'm enjoying the change from the ordinary and just enjoyed a nice cup of hot chocolate while sitting out under the lapa (covered patio area). We sent Tyson and Jori outside to play, Darin is reading a book and I thought I'd take some time to catch you all up on what we've been doing around here. This past Saturday was probably one of the busier days we've had in the past few months. We enjoyed some down time in the morning, but then we packed up the whole family so Darin and his hard working buddy, Tyson, could finish up some work at the apartment complex they'd been at earlier in the wee

What we are eating

I know that what we eat isn’t very exciting to some of you, but I figure that if we can make these meals out here, then they should be pretty simple for you all back in the states to make them as well. I spent a lot of time on the internet tracking down recipes while we house sat, so some of the recipes are from online sources. Others are from our Wycliffe cookbook and others are ones that friends have recently posted on Facebook. Nice that we have so many sources to draw from! I have made this first recipe twice since being back at the farm. The first time it was kind of a mess, but still tasted good enough that the kids wanted me to make it again for breakfast. The second time it turned out much better. The little paragraph at the end of the recipe was one of the comments that someone else had made about it online. The first time I made the recipe, I followed her directions, but it was way too soggy. Darin, who has an egg allergy, ended up getting sick : ) The second time I only us

Planes by Tyson

I got a paper airplane book from my grandma.   There are 2 small planes that are called glider, bug.   There are 2 big planes called jet,dart.   I threw all 4 out of our upstairs window.   After that I threw them off of our water tower.   I used my tape measure to measure how far I threw them.   I thought that my glider would fly the furthest but it didn’t the jet did.   I predicted that the dart would fly the worst but the bug flew the worst.   The chart below has data in it that we wrote down during the plane tests.                                                  


I(Darin) worked today for money for the first time in over 7 months.   When we left the US in June, I had no idea that it would be such a long vacation.   I’d say the first 2 months were kind of nice taking it easy, while our bank account still was looking somewhat healthy.   Once we got to month 5 and we were running out of money with nothing much developing yet with the gas station, I started to panic a little.   Because of my immigration status, I’m not allowed to work for anyone other than Sediba One Stop, the name of our station and the company that we are half owners of.   After talking with some people here, we realized that I could possibly find work as a “consultant”, with my employer paying me thru Sediba.   So I started to put the word out that I was looking for something part time.   After a month, I didn’t have any leads.   So I talked to someone at our church here about putting an announcement up on the bulletin board where others have advertised houses for rent or roomma

Random News from the past few days

It is Sunday night, just before 9. We have been home for 4 nights and this is the third night that we have been without power. It has been going off right when we are making dinner or soon after we eat and has been coming back on sometime during the night, so we're hoping it will be on again when we wake up tomorrow.  The kids were playing with some modeling clay today and after dinner they were pretending to be on the show Ultimate Cake-Off, which we watched several times in December when we lived in the world of cable TV. They were being very serious about things. They are the green team and they are making a farm cake. Tyson made the grass (green and yellow, because some of the grass is dead) and a cow with a cow pie and Jori made the wall/fence that goes around the barn. That is all they completed today, but the competition will be starting up again tomorrow morning. I had them do a skills test, which is part of the TV show as well. They had to make flowers out of "modeli

Heading Back to Hammanskraal

It is Wednesday afternoon and we are getting ready to head back to our South African home. We all went swimming earlier today and now the kids are soaking up a few more TV shows while Darin and I get all of our stuff packed up. It has been really hot here the past few days, around 100*F. It has been a total pleasure to have a swimming pool to swim in during the day and air conditioning to keep us cool at night. We're planning to continue our "holiday" until Monday. We'll spend the rest of the week getting unpacked and reorganized, going grocery shopping, visiting with friends and getting ready to home school again. I was able to find some information online and I am cautiously optimistic that our second half of the school year will be better than the first. We'll work on doing a better job keeping our blog updated as well. Tyson already has an idea for his next report involving paper airplanes, so stay tuned for that! Hopefully posting by email will work out e

New pictures AND video are up!!

We've put up a lot of pictures and even some video clips of the kids for your viewing enjoyment, so go check them out! Our pictures can be seen here  and the videos can be seen here .  We are really enjoying these last few days of "luxury" living. We've all been taking advantage of the swimming pool, watching more than our fill of cable TV and eagerly surfing the web. We don't have any plans tomorrow except for laundry and lots of swimming, so we hope it's as sunny and warm as it was today!  Alrighty, don't forget to go and check out the pictures and videos!