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Letter

I recently found this letter from my grandfather while looking for something else.

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His handwriting.  His words … and he is no longer here.

I read his letter and my heart ached.  We did phone.  We took him out for breakfast when we passed through Pietersburg on our way to Louis Trichardt.

We did not phone enough.

I read those words and how he mentioned how much a phone call meant.

I did not phone enough.

Maybe I’m older (I definitely not have more time now) but I realize that a call every now and then was not enough.  I should have called more often, with random news even if the phone call was for less than a minute.

I did not phone enough.

He must have been so lonely.  I cannot actually imagine a man spending so much time to write a letter.  He wrote a letter to all the family members.

I did not phone enough.

I try to make up for that mistake by getting the boys to phone their grandfather every Sunday.  (Not my parents because they SEE them every day)  They should phone their grandmother as well come to think of it.

Make those phone calls.  It takes a minute.  Phone while waiting to pick up your child from school or waiting for them to finish sport.  Just phone.  It must make such a difference to them and it is such a small thing for us.

Make that call.

I wish I had phoned more.


SPCA

I have been wanting and meaning to write this for the longest time but I had to wait until a day that I’m not too emotional about it.  If I had to write my absolutely true feelings there would be many a swear word and that is just not proper.

My mom and dad are very involved at the SPCA.  They are not employed by the SPCA.  They do it out of the love for the animals.  Love that most of us (including me) don’t understand.  We all love our animals.  We all take care of them.  (Hopefully.  I you don’t you are a podex)

They care more.  Do more.  Most of us sit on Facebook, saying how horrible animal abusers are but do we do anything?  Most of us don’t do anything.  We just sit and comment and while we DO get upset, we don’t DO anything.

My mom and dad do.  They are amazing.  My dad does physical work that most young men won’t.  My mom is constantly busy trying to find homes for the animals dropped off there to die.  They put their money where their mouths are.

Yes, that’s why some people drop them off.  The dog is old and they want the dog to be put to sleep.  REALLY!  Do you really think your 10-year-old dog will be better off in a cage, hoping that you will come back to fetch it and then be put down without you?  Really?  You must be some kind of special stupid.

Yet, my mom and dad spends time with those dogs.  Take them out into the husky run so that they can stretch their legs, feel the sun and get some love.

They are not alone in what they do.  You do get others who are angels and help as well but they are extremely few and far between.

I’m thankful that in a small way my children are a part of it as well.  They will help over weekends.  The homeschoolers go to give them treats of take them out to play.  They know each and every dog and it breaks them to pieces when after months and months that dog has to be put to sleep.  PTS because a puppy was chosen, instead of him. PTS because his owner didn’t want him anymore.  PTS and not knowing what he did wrong.  PTS and my children’s hearts break just a little bit more.

But yes, please continue breeding.  That R6 000 you make out of your dog every six months must make you feel good.  Oh you love your dog so much.  You take such good care of your dog.  Well, I’m happy for you.  Also for your dog but do the maths.  In a year’s time there will be 48 dogs.  48 dogs from just one mom in one year.  That is IF every bitch has only 3 puppies.  Will all of them be loved or will they end up in the shelter because wake up call,  they DO end up in the shelter.  Pure bred Yorkies, Pekinese, Jack Russel, Labrador, Boerboel….all of them.  They end up in a shelter.  So YOUR dog may be loved but I can tell you now that along the way one of them will end up at a shelter.  Yes, you choose the perfect homes for the puppies of YOUR dog but do those new owners do the same?  Or the owners of their dog’s puppies?  Stop being so idiotic.  Go to the SPCA.  Get involved.  Have your heart broken and that of those poor innocent dogs and then decided to breed.

I actually wanted to say thanks.  Thank you Mom and Dad.  Thank you for being the amazing people who you are.  Thank you for teaching my children to love just that little bit more than most people do.  Thank you for being there for those animals.  Thank you for trying so hard to find them new homes.

Just thank you.

You are amazing.


Why I ♥ homeschool

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That.  That is why.

However there is so much more.  I can’t possibly put all of it in words and I can’t possibly remember all of the positives but let me try.

  • Time.  He gets to spend more time on a subject if he needs to.  There is no rush to get to the next class or worrying that the rest of the class has to wait for him.
  • Time again.  Class doesn’t have to be 25 minutes.  If he is enjoying a specific topic, then we spend more time on it.  Learn more about it.  We don’t stop at what the book says.  We learn more.  Google.  Youtube (our best friend)
  • Time again.  If he is tired or battling to concentrate, I just skip the lesson and do it on another day.
  • Our relationship.  We have always had a close relationship.  (as I do with all my children) however he is now more willing to open up to me.  He is a happy chappy.  That is not always a good thing, since under that happy smile there is also anxiety, sadness, worry, stress.  Only recently he has started sharing the more negative side of things with me.
  • Bullies.  We don’t have bullies in our school ☺  (One of the reasons I wish I could homeschool all my children – bullies have no idea how much they hurt someone.  By the time they are grown up and realize it, it’s too late for the person who was bullied)
  • His friends aren’t just 11 years old.  One of his closest swimming friends is 14.  It’s not limited by grade.
  • Stress.  He has so little of it now.
  • Confidence.  He is another child.  Where he used to almost battle to talk to other people or hide behind me, he will now have conversations as though they are long lost friends.

The list is endless actually.  He is happy.  He is doing well.  As an example, he got 82% for history.  He did not learn for it.  We did no revision.  It was from what he learned when we worked through his book (google and youtube as well)  No stress.  Just from the time we spend on the subject, to make sure he understands and enjoy it.  It’s not a punishment.  It’s fun.  He wants to learn more because we make it fun.  We live the history.  We don’t read the history.

Anyway, off subject again.

He is happy.

 


Choir

Quintus has been in a choir since he was 9 years old.  That is 7 years now.  A very long time and a big part of his life.

It is a huge commitment.  He LOVES rugby and hockey but that always has to take second place to choir.  There is almost never a Friday that he can go to a party or school activity.  Long weekends …. what is that again?

After much talk and consideration and weighing good and bad, he decided that he is not going to continue this year.

I was torn myself.  Choir is extremely expensive and time-consuming for me as well.  I take him every Friday and wait for him for 5 hours.  Yet, I love hearing him sing.  I love seeing him do what he loves and what he is good at.

Still, it was his decision and I would respect it either way.

We sent a message to his choir organizer (choir mom) and oh wow….she did not take it well.  I think she was pretty upset with us and took some time to find the right words before she phoned.  She asked us so nicely to please reconsider.  She complimented Quintus on being such an outstanding boy with amazing qualities and strong morals.  She couldn’t let him go.  Neither did the conductor want Quintus to go.  He was going to phone Quintus as well (Quintus asked Starr to please not let him)

Quintus will now be going to the choir camp on Friday and make his final decision there.  Again, I will respect his decision.

I do think it is such an honour to be asked not leave by both Starr and the conductor.  Would have been easy to just let him go.


You can do this

I have read many articles on homeschooling.  One of concerns people has is that you cannot work and homeschool.  One article actually said that it is impossible.

Well, I’m here to say that it is very possible.

Possible for me and Zander.  Okay, I can work around homeschooling, true but still I have to balance work, homeschool, 4 other children, their sport and well….having a life and we do it.

If you really want to homeschool, take comfort in the fact that you can.  It is really not that big of a deal.

I’ve done the planning for this term.  I actually wouldn’t mind starting now already!   Although I highly doubt Zander would want to 😉


2016

Billy Connolly has a video clip where he talks about the words “fuck off”.

That is what I think of when I look back at 2016.  It can just fuck off.  Off it should fuck.

So it has.

It is a year where so many people lost their lives.  The one that hit me most, was the death of sweet little Nate. I cannot go to bed or wake up without thinking of him. Those beautiful eyes. The absolute joy that was him.

It is the year that broke Zander.  To see him shatter was painful.  (I have so much to say here but I keep on deleting it.  Not worth it)

It is the year that probably ended Quintus’ rugby.  I don’t think we will ever let him play again after he fractured his vertebrae.

Quintus is my rock.  He seems to manage to keep on standing regardless.  Again, I have things I want to say about relationships and especially how your relationship with your father / mother should be but I will not.  Let’s just say that people should treat others with love.  At all times.

It is the year that I cried more tears about my Bella than ever.  I know she won’t be with us for much longer.  Nearly lost her twice.  I’m so thankful that she managed to make it to 2017.  Now my next wish is for her to still be healthy by the time we go to Stilbaai again in April.

I can say though that it was a year that was good to Jason.  He earned his school honours that he so badly wanted.  He especially wanted to achieve that in Grade 8 and I was so proud when he did.

The year has been good for Kyla as well.  She loved the sport, the friends and feeling like any other loved child should.  It has been a huge learning curve.  Not always a walk in the park but overall she’s very happy.

If I have one wish for 2017 it will be that I hope it is a year that is “soft” on everyone.  A year that will be patient and kind.  Where everyone will feel loved.

I wish you the best.


Christmas 2016

We did it a bit differently. We were more relaxed which meant we could spend more time together.  No rushing to the kitchen to check on food or make salads. No hot ovens (really, who ever thought a cooked meal is a good idea in summer)

Instead we had a late breakfast, made mostly by my husband, camp style. On the stoep where we all were. 

We had a braai much later, with pre-made salads. 
We still ate way to much. We were thankful that Santa brought chocolates as gifts. Pudding was easy. Altough some people did have Christmas pudding after the braai. That would not include me. I love fruit and sometimes enjoy cake but definitely not fruitcake. 

Hope you had a special time with family as well.