Getting our Game on

Life here is starting to get hectic as we plug in with so many great opportunities around us! E and I did Christmas shopping on Monday to send a parcel with our friend who was flying to the US this week. It was fun to pick out special items for our family and to be done the majority of my Christmas shopping at such an early stage! ūüôāImage

The following day E was able to join in with a local program called Honey Badgers at the zoo. IMG_5712

One of the many things this group does is participate in the care of the animals and so with the proper safety precautions, (the keepers put the animals into the locked section of their enclosures), E was able to make a fruit/bamboo kebab for the baboons then the kids were allowed into the enclosure to hide the food for the baboons to find.IMG_5727 IMG_5724

IMG_5746And this is why the baboons needed to be locked up before the kids were allowed in, check out the canines on this big boy!!! The baboon below is the dominant male in the Hamydras baboon troop. We learned that the male Chacma or Cape baboons actually have longer canines than a lion, YIKES!!! IMG_5718E had a great time connecting with her new friends from ice-skating and seeing the zoo. She listened to a presentation on owls and was able to observe a Southern White-faced Scops owl close up then followed up with a short research assignment about South African owls. (For more info check out this website: http://www.owlpages.com/owls.php?genus=Ptilopsis&species=granti )IMG_5893

Here are E and her new friends posing with… can you figure out what kind of skull this is?IMG_5843

The flora and fauna here is lovely and exotic to our Canadian eyes!  This flower is called Buddleja, and is indigenous to South AfricaIMG_5866

These meerkats were vigilant in their guard duty!IMG_5828

E also joined the sports program at a Christian school around the corner from our house. She will be swimming and playing tennis 4 days a week for the school terms that we are here for. She enjoys it immensely and the pool has a lovely baby pool where the kiddos can splash about after lessons. We are continuing with our math and language programs in the mornings but our science and socials has really been exploring our new environment.

We wrapped up our week with a trip to another homeschooler gathering at the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens. It was a beautiful day with new families to meet. IMG_5936What fun is it to explore a garden without getting dirty in the process?IMG_5987

And again, the flora and fauna here is just stunning! We have yet to find out what kind of bird and butterfly these are.IMG_5961IMG_6008

South Africa is a place of such beauty in landscape and people. We are all learning so much and enjoying the journey!IMG_5908

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Investigating and Invigorating; from the seashore to the park and all things inbetween

After co-op this week we drove to the beach to enjoy and beautiful day and explore our beautiful area!IMG_3110¬†IMG_3119¬†The next day we participated in our local homeschool association Sports Day event. E was worn out after all the running, hopping, obstacle course running and swimming at the end!IMG_3148 IMG_3149 IMG_3150As the end of the week approached we joined friends for a field trip to a local animal shelter. E saw the rooms where the animals were kept.IMG_3177The girls met a couple of volunteers who come to walk the dogs…IMG_3178And enjoyed some petting time with a friendly cat.IMG_3184She practised her interview skills by asking the receptionist some questions about the shelter and how it operates.IMG_3192¬†¬†IMG_3203At the end of the day she wrote a detailed journal entry about her experience:Photo on 2013-06-20 at 23.06We finished off our day with a trip to a local berry farm and a walk through their beautiful sitting garden.IMG_3215As we explored the garden we saw these bees hard at work and discussed their important role in our farm ecology and their current threatened status. We talked about the possible outcomes if we don’t protect our bees and made sure to give them wide berth so they can continue their vital pollination work!IMG_3211

 

Madly off in All/ New Directions

After a hiatius that took us almost through the end of July, here I am on July 30th and expanding the scope of this blog. This started as a way to track our weekly homeschool activities and report to our teacher, however, as our learning journey is so much broader than school I want to cast our blog net a bit wider. It is a time of plenty in our temperate coastal region. We’re in the midst of summer and my garden is producing all kinds of bounty. Having lived in the urban core of a couple of major Canadian cities for the past decade, this life in the burbs is GOOD! I have a garden, I have fruit trees and I have a kitchen I can bake in! This week our neighbour’s plum tree is loaded with beautiful golden plums and luckily for us, there are several branches that extend waaaay over the fence ūüôā I don’t know what variety they are but they are almost like small soft and very juicy nectarines but more tart in flavour.

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After eating rather embarrassing¬†numbers of plums fresh off the tree, the pertinent question has been “What shall we do with all these plums?” An on-line search revealed a few recipes and many recommendations for drying or canning them. Alas, we have no dehydrater or canning pot so I have decided to freeze some and bake like crazy. The first item on the list: Plum Upside Down Cake. I found the recipe here:¬†http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/plum_upside_down_cake/

Step 1: Take pictures of the gorgeous plums!Image

Step 2: Cut up said gorgeous plumsImage

Step 3: Make a caramel sauce to put in the bottom of the cake panImage

Step 4: Lay plums artistically in sauce.Image

Step 5: Make cake batter and pour in on top of plums

Step 6: bake at 350F for 35-40 mins until cooked throughImage

Step 7: admire handiwork and enjoy!Image