Parenting is not for cowards!

As usual we are up to our normal antics of finding exotic animals to play with. We went to a monkey and bushbaby sanctuary. It was a lovely facility with a natural forest crisscrossed by wooden walkways and bridges to minimalize impact on the environment and to allow the monkeys a natural habitat.IMG_9198 Technically this is a non-interactive facility, however, the guides do not prevent the monkeys from climbing onto you if they want to. It turned out these were very friendly monkeys who are ingenious at opening zippers and sealed packets. They really like phones and snacks so best leave your bags and empty your pockets into a locker before you go on this tour. IMG_9186These rope bridges are fun for humans and monkeys!IMG_9163The mountains in this area are rich in natural metals, especially platinum. It was really neat to see chunks of metal sticking out of the rocks!

IMG_9154The sanctuary really embraces the concept of environment conservation and so has recycled bits of the old mining machinery into the new features on the property.IMG_9150We have been working on a plant unit and D has been learning about roots, stems and leaves. These fig roots reaching down the cliff into the gully as they search for water were a lovely example.IMG_9176‘in the midst of all these  fun experiences we have been doing lots of school with math and our spelling every morning and D is really tucking in to our new routine! (most of the time 🙂 E is delving into a ready-made unit on Nelson Mandela from the What in the World links as well as research on the Voortrekkers (South African pioneers) and reviewing Zulu names of African animals. D is proving to be especially proficient at Zulu and loves using those names for the animals over English.

E’s card for a dear family friend:IMG_9016  She looked in her bible and chose a verse that she thought would be encouraging to him.IMG_9018  We have been looking at plant growth cycles and parts of plants over the past 2 terms and we finally have a measurable experiment to share!IMG_9008  D really enjoys pattern blocks, magnetic letters, peg boards and all other forms of kinaesthetic learning!IMG_8994 And finally a craft kit revived at Christmas allowed for some art time and fine motor skills.Photo on 2014-01-08 at 3.55 PM #2

We have been up to a few other outings as well with  a trip to the zoo homeschool program, ice-skating and  a lovely picnic at the Botanical Gardens with our homeschool group.IMG_5937 IMG_6024IMG_6033 IMG_6035

Today we took a trip to a local farm complete with pony rides and bouncy castle. E met a new friend and D happily chummed around with different buddies and even his sister. The excitement of the day though was when the worker brought out the tractor and a train of little wagons to take the kids for a ride. He brought it up then went to collect money from everyone while the kids started climbing on. Mistake #1) He left  mistake #2) it was running, mistake #3) he parked facing the tractor slightly downhill mistake #4) He either didn’t put the brake on or the brake failed. RESULT: the tractor, pulling all the wagons full of children began to head down the hill with no driver in sight. A couple of parents closest to the wagons started pulling kids off but as it picked up speed it became impossible and so I did what any crazy momma would do, I sprinted for the tractor to try and jump on and put on the brakes. I tripped and fell and was actually run over by the rear tire of the tractor then it hit a fence post and caught so that I managed to jump up and pull the keys and the choke to turn it off! It was a bit harrowing and I can only thank God that no one, including myself, was seriously hurt in the incident.

Life is all about these moments where you find out what you’re made of. Today it was 1 part courage and 5 parts crazy gut instinct to save my kids. Love those babies!

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