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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Cinnamon Vanilla Rooibos Tea (Hot or Iced)

I started playing with different ways to drink Rooibos tea when I needed a substitute for my Five Roses tea with cow's milk. I love my Five Roses, but only with cow's milk, and that's not very conducive to my shrinking waist line! So, here you have it. Dairy Free. Sugar Free. Yummalicious!

1 Rooibos tea bag
1/4-1/2 tsp Cinnamon
1 tsp Vanilla
Pinch Cayenne Pepper
Pinch Salt
Unsweetened Almond milk, to taste
Sweetener of your choice (I use stevia)

Add 1 Rooibos tea bag to a large mug. Add hot water. Steep as long as you prefer. I like it strong so I just leave my tea bag in. Add cinnamon, vanilla, cayenne pepper, and salt. Stir. Add almond milk to taste. Inspired by Trim Healthy Mama's The Shrinker. Serve hot, or poor over ice. If serving over ice, add up to 1/2 cup almond milk. Enjoy!

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Boer versus Briton 1880-1902

I am in the process of adding South African history to our homeschool studies, integrating it with Tapestry of Grace. The Boer versus Briton (Anglo Boer War) section of All About South Africa would fit into TOG Y4.

Books to look for:
Ring Around the Moon by Maretha Maartens
Place Among the Stones by Jenny Seed
The Policeman's Button by Jenny Seed
The Spy Hill by Jenny Seed

Photographic Record of the Anglo Boer War
Anglo Boer War website

Field Trips:
"Luthuli Farewell Square is named in honour of early trader Lieutenant Francis Farewell and liberation struggle leader Albert Luthuli. Monuments here include statues in honour of Queen Victoria, a Boer War memorial, a Cenotaph honouring the fallen in both World Wars among other memoria. The square is opposite the eThekwini (formerly Durban) City Hall." (As a side note, eThekwini City Hall was built in 1903, so also a great visit for this time period.)
Battle of Magersfontein - Kimberly
Kruger House Museum - Pretoria

Thursday, December 4, 2014


My blog has been VERY quiet as of late. I think that it's justifiable with packing, moving out of a house, flying to another country and traveling for 6 months, and then moving into a new house. And that's not to mention any other "minor" events in our family during this time period!
So... I'm back. We are still settling into our new home, but we're back in Africa and life is beginning to look like normal, if there is such a thing.
While we were traveling, we ate lots of different foods. We enjoyed our old favourites - Arby's, Mexican food, cheesesteaks, Grinders from Mancino's, etc. We also had MANY delicious home cooked meals as we met new people and visited with old friends in their homes. We ate our way across the Eastern US! ;) And needless to say, instead of losing weight or even maintaining it, I gained. I stepped on the scales in Sept, about 4 months after we started traveling, and reality slapped me in the face! I was determined to make a change.


A couple of friends had mentioned Trim Healthy Mama (THM) to me months earlier, and I was interested, but the cost of the book seemed daunting, especially when I wasn't sure I would stick with the plan or if it would work for me. But now, I was ready to splurge. I needed to make a change! And I found that the ebook version from their website was a much better price.
That was the 7th of September. I started implementing the plan on the 9th of September. We were still  traveling in the US and had many meals provided for us, so I wasn't on plan 100% of the time. I love this way of eating! It has made a huge difference for me, not only in weight loss, but in the way I feel! I love that I feel hungry when it's time to eat, which is approximately every 3 hours. I have lost 31 lbs. (14 kg). And before I started THM, every afternoon I would feel exhausted. I felt like I had to sleep or I might just collapse! I no longer feel that way! In fact, last week on my birthday, I laid down to rest to "spoil" myself and got back up because I didn't feel like sleeping! It amazes me how much more energy I have!
I just wanted to share, as it was as a result of some good friends sharing with me that I found this great tool to get healthy. Check it out! You may even be able to get a copy from your local library!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Caramel Rooibos Tart

4 extra large eggs
1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup strong cold rooibos tea
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp table salts
2 tsp baking powder
2 Tbsp melted butter

2 3/4 C boiling water
1 1/3 C sugar
2 rooibos tea bags
2 tsp vanilla essence


1 can nestle treat filling and caramel topping filling (dulche de leche) (google how to make your own from sweetened condensed milk)
1 C fresh cream
white chocolate grated – dream Cadbury bar
preheat oven to 180°, grease a 24 x 32cm oven dish

beat eggs and sugar
add rooibos and vanilla
sift in dry ingredients and fold in.
stir in melted butter
turn into dish and bake for 40 min

Combine boiling water and sugar into saucepan. Add rooibos bags – heat until sugar
dissolves. Simmer for 5 mins, remove from heat, remove bags and add vanilla. Pour
over cake as it comes out of oven and leave to cool.

Beat nestle treat and cream together
Spread over cooled cake
Top with white chocolate curls

Monday, March 17, 2014

Alphabet Pasta Sensory Box

I filled one of the workboxes with alphabet shaped pasta and added some wooden letter string beads. I added the laminated flip book of letters & words that we created to use with "Teach Your Child to Read in 10 Minutes a Day" and instructed Mya to pick out 3 words from the list that she can already read.

She had to find the letters from the word, put them in the correct order with the letter beads on the string, one word at a time, and finish by saying the word out loud.

She really seemed to enjoy this activity, and even chose to spell the last word with the tiny pasta letters!

Play Dough Alphabet Activity

I had printed and laminated the alphabet stencils from Shirley Erwee's "ABC Fun & 1-2-3" a long while back, and was reminded of them today as I was looking for ideas for Mya's workboxes! We have used them with "Teach Your Child to Read in 10 Minutes a Day" to introduce letters, and have traced them with our fingers as a reminder how to properly write a letter. Now, we will use them with playdough for a fine motor activity!

It's simple enough. We make our own play dough - Dad even got in on the fun this time! Mya asked him to help her make it and, of course, he couldn't resist. Here is our favourite play dough recipe: Best Ever No-Cook Play Dough.

For the alphabet play dough activity, the child makes play dough snakes and forms the letters right on top of the cards. If she finishes with the letters that we have already learned quickly, then I will just give her free time with the play dough until I am ready for her to move onto the next box.

I am so glad I was reminded of them before I printed new ones. There are many free printables out there. Just search "Play Dough Alphabet Printables" if you need some!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Home School Workboxes

Mya starts Grade 1 this year!! Hard to believe. She's growing so fast! I am considering using a workbox system so that her schooling will be a little less teacher intensive during the school day. It will require a little more planning from me before school, but that is a good thing!
So, while we are on holiday, I am researching and planning. Don't let me fool you - I love to research!
I thought I would "gather my thoughts" on my blog, and maybe it would help someone else, too.

Right now I am looking for ideas for in the workboxes. We have our basics....

Word of Life Quiet Time
Math U See
Handwriting Without Tears
Teach Your Child to Read in Just 10 Minutes a Day
ABC Memory Verses
Little Footprints
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day

Here are some other ideas I would like to include (when not already planned for me in Little Footprints):
Calendar/Day of the Week/Weather
Fine Motor Exercises
Gross Motor Exercises

I have a long list of fine & gross motor exercises like painting, drawing, cutting, folding, crawling, marching, jumping, etc. I am looking for specific ideas to implement, like what to do with lego blocks, what to make out of playdough - something that she can do with simple or no instruction from me. So, stay tuned! I am going to post those ideas in separate blogs. When I finish them, I will link them up here.

And if you have ideas you'd like to share, I'm all ears! Just leave a comment!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Weather Calendar

I am creating a simple calendar for Mya to have a daily review of the month, day of the week, and the weather. Like I said, it's simple! I am using this in conjunction with TBB's My Weather Journal available for free from Teacher Book Bag.

Here is a photo and a link to the pdf files...

I printed the weather pictures from TBB's My Weather Journal and the calendar months and cut them apart. Then I printed the calendar. Finally, I laminated them all of the items. The calendar has no dates printed on it, so that it is versatile. I will write the dates on the calendar each month in permanent marker so they don't smear, and this can be cleaned off at the end of the month with nail polish remover, a cotton ball and a little elbow grease.

Home School Curriculum 2014

Here is what we're using for homeschool this year...

Brandon, age 14
Tapestry of Grace Year 3 - Rhetoric Level, which covers:
  • World History
  • World Classics of Literature
  • Fine Arts
  • Church History
  • Government 
  • Philosophy

Apologia Physical Science
Easy Grammar 
Math U See Geometry and Stewardship
Mavis Beacon Typing
Institute for Excellence in Writing
He is also using the recommended Vocabulary list for the SAT's, doing 15 words a week. We will slow down to 10 words a week, if necessary.

Marissa, age 11
Tapestry of Grace Year 3 - Upper Grammar/Dialectic:
  • History, Arts, Geography

Apologia Science Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day 
Easy Grammar 
Math U See Zeta (will probably start PreAlgebra mid-year)
Mavis Beacon Typing 
Handwriting Without Tears 
Spelling Power, Fourth Edition 
Institute for Excellence in Writing

Mya, Age 6
Little Footprints 
Teach Your Child to Read in Just Ten Minutes a Day
Math U See Alpha 
Handwriting Without Tears 
Exploring Creation with Zoology 1: Flying Creatures of the Fifth Day