Sunday, December 5, 2010

A quick catch up! Well, as quick as I can get!!!

How do you catch up with what's happening in your life when you haven't been around for a while? So much has happened. You know me, I can't do the short version! Well, I suppose I could if I tried....

volcano science experiments: bicarb and vinegar eruptions

the science of sound:it moves!

Here goes: Why have I not been around? A few reasons...

1) Ray's month or so of illness went from flu, to glandular fever to food poisoning to gall an operating table to remove a gall bladder and bigger than hazelnut sized gall stones. {He didn't really have food poisoning, it was the toxins from the infection} Through the whole operation experience we knew that the Lord was right by our side and it was a peace-filled time. Afterwards though, things fell apart a bit. So I've been learning a lot about the need for calm after the storms! It's so easy for me to rush in and try to take control of things again instead of resting in and waiting on the Lord for the next step. I feel like He's been saying: wait, let's do things slowly, just take it one step at a time, everything will get back into order again. Unfortunately I didn't seek Him first after Ray was finally back home, well again, and I tried to make things feel *normal* by following a set routine. Routine is important, but it isn't what should rule me, it isn't what should make me feel secure. I do find this tough though, seeking Him first. Although, in the past, I have learnt that routines don't need to rule us, I'm still learning that seeking Him first is most important! I'm hoping that this is starting to sink in to the deepest parts of me.

beauty on our mountain walks

he just loves creatures especially the small ones

learning about water currents and force is child's play!

2) In the midst of all this I used the computer as an escape pod and a research tool. Using it as a research tool isn't bad in itself. I learnt a lot more about healthy living styles and eating habits. But using it to escape from life, or more specifically, to escape from spending time with the Lord, ends up in me being like a dry well with very little life to share with my children when they most need me. So when Jenna stood next to me at the computer and said: "Mommy, you're spending too much time on the computer, you should be doing something with us, like teaching us!" I took that as my cue to shut down for a while and limit my computer time.

life is full of adventures on dad's new motorbike

3) After a recent home schooler's park day which had a few older children at it, Jenna asked me: Mom what does it mean to be home schooled? What?! Haven't we be doing this your whole life? What am I doing wrong that you don't get what we've been up to all this time? (I've always told her we can learn from our life experiences, books etc. and the interests we have. And believe me she's definitely done that!) And that's when I realised: she's wondering about all those older kids we saw at the park! Was she thinking home schooling was just for little kids like her? (Our usual park group has mainly under six year olds.) Or was she actually thinking-like most of our population-that school is just something you have to do when you're older? So that night I decided we needed to chat a little about it at bed time. And we came to the conclusion that she wanted to do school like activities again. So I told her I didn't think it was important for me to teach her to read-she'd done that herself already and ultimately I really want her to understand that she has the ability to teach herself many things using various resources. And I said I had been thinking about doing some number work with her and writing to help her to write some of her letters correctly which I had noticed she was forming incorrectly. And that's what we've agreed to do. On alternate days we spend ± 30 min doing Writing/Copy work (which actually means writing the words for a story she drew) or 30 min doing Maths (estimation, counting and number concept development). And if I'm really organised we may just do some Science experiments, crafts or play games! It's been going well. Some mornings Michael even gets involved. And some mornings she just says I'd like to play first mom and then we do school later! Or not :-)

Frank, our cat, is our hunter! A little mole who we rescued and relocated later to a nearby field.

we've eaten broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, strawberries, carrots and tomatoes from our garden

4) While Ray was sick (and the kids too at times) we sort of fell off the socialisation circuit. Now, while I believe that it is not important to run around to every activity to ensure that my children are getting socialised, I also realise that isolation is not healthy too! This was emphasised for me when we started to try to get out into the world again to socialise. My children, who are mostly very happy to go off to play on their own at a social event, became unusually clingy! Realising I needed to be patient with them, I remained near enough for them to see me and feel safe. After two or three social events I could see their usual exploring, assertive selves coming back and since then we've been trying to catch up with all those we didn't see while going through this "sick time". Admittedly though, too much socialising is draining for me so next week we'll be staying at home, well mostly ;-)

A Nature Walk around our area turned into a litter hunt upon my little nature lover's requests.

5) As Christmas is here we've also taken the time to make our first Jesse Tree Advent calendar. I'm really enjoying how it helps me to focus on the real Gift of Christmas! Of course this all took time and was a good way of keeping me away from the computer-that is after I had done all the research again!

Jen just loves bringing beauty into the home and often makes her own flower arrangements-setting an example for me to follow!

Ok, so this post hasn't been a short one-promise, I tried-I haven't even caught you up on our co-op nature walks we started or the home school picnic we had with the dads or our family mountain walk which we're trying to do more regularly.... oh well, I guess that's what happens when your life is full of learning, there's just so little time for recording it while you're living it ;-) Chat soon!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

A (Thurs)day in our life....

5:50 I wake to Michael's moaning. I get up to pull the blankets back over his cold body and return to bed.

Last night was a late night for all. Granny and grandpa visited. We put the kids to bed at 9:00 and Ray and I still took time to sit and chat and then catch up on house chores.

6:15 Ray gets up to get ready for work. I drift in and out of sleep as I listen to his morning sounds.

6:45 He comes in to kiss me good-bye and I hold on a little longer, loving him. He walks out...
Jenna calls out. She wants to say good-bye, but he didn't hear, so I get up to call him before he leaves. She loves to say good-bye to him in the mornings. I slip back into my warm bed.

He has blessed us.... remembering how much we miss him if he doesn't stop to say good-bye.

6:55 I'm reading from Streams of Refreshment. I lay there loving Him. I read from my Bible. I'm following a year plan-not too concerned if it's completed within a year or not. I just need a list to tick off. :-) I hear that Jen is up and she comes to tell me she's done her chores.

She has blessed me.... no continual reminders to make her bed this morning.

7:30 Jenna is playing with her doll's house. I go to ask her to play quietly as Michael is still sleeping. I guiltily climb back beneath the covers telling myself I really should be getting up, we have visitors coming today.

8:00 Michael cries out again. I get up. "I had a bad dream mommy." I hold him and climb into his bed for a cuddle. We lay there in the quiet until Jenna's sounds alert him to the fact that someone else is up. He gets out of bed and joins her in her room. Our day has officially begun.....

8:15 I start to make our bed. The children come in asking for breakfast. I walk with them to the kitchen. Jenna notices the breakfasts on the table (I like to set it out the night before), "It's not an oats day mommy"-we follow a meal plan. Oats is her least favourite breakfast and we have agreed she will eat it once a week. I reassure her that today she can have Pronutro and fruit. It's our cereal day today. I remember to put a worship CD on.

8:30 We give thanks, then chat about our plans for the day. I remind them they need to get ready quickly as friends will be coming later. We talk a little about how to be a friend and how to react if someone makes us angry, something we are working on with Michael.
Their breakfast is finished, they leave me to go and do their chores. Jen packs away cutlery. Mikey packs away cereals and opens curtains.

8:45 I help Mikey make his bed and choose his clothes. He chooses all red today. I leave him to dress himself and go to remind Jenna to finish dressing. I find her putting on her roller blades and remind her about washing up and brushing her hair. Michael comes out of his room, proud of having successfully dressed himself.

He blesses me... my little man is growing more confident in his own abilities everyday.

9:00 They see Ticha outside in the garden. He's home today and is doing a little weeding. They go out to ride on the road while he works on the verge. I take the opportunity to jump in the shower.

9:20 Charity does not come in on Thursdays so it is up to me to straighten up the house before our guests arrive. I check the menu plan for tonight's supper and take out the necessary goods.

10:00 Our friends arrive, my children excitedly go to greet them. I self-consciously finish cleaning the counters while saying hello to their mom. Should have gotten up a little earlier!

10:30 The plumber arrives to fix our leaking toilet. Michael spends some time showing him his tool kit. The children play in the garden on the trampoline and swings. They have a snack-picnic in the back garden and they even go for a quick dip in the pool. New friendships are growing around us as their mom and I spend two hours encouraging one another with what the Lord has been teaching us.

She blesses me with the truth that she shares... later on in the day I will remember her words.

12:00 We say good-bye to our friends and get ready for lunch. I ask the kids to tidy away the toys they have played with while I prepare the food. Michael willingly tackles the outside toys. No convincing needed today. Jenna is tired and needs a little guidance. I go to her and encourage her to pick up toys. Seeing that she is helping now I leave her to go and find Michael who has disappeared.

He blesses me... I find him in his room packing away his toys on his own initiative, no arguments today. You're such a helpful boy!

12:15 Their baked potatoe, droe wors and salad lunch is gobbled down while I enjoy the leftovers from last night's supper. Yum, creamy haddock pasta. We chat about their new friendship and how their play time went while classical music plays gently in the background.

I am blessed to hear Jenna remembered to be patient with the younger boy.... she chose to patiently remind him not to hit instead of reacting in anger.

12:40 I start the dishes while Jen finishes eating. Michael goes off to play. He finds a snap game and asks if we can play. I promise we will do so after rest time. Jen finishes off, clears the table and wipes it off while giving me sound cleaning advice for the future. Michael needs me in the bathroom. I go to help. I return to a little girl washing the dishes. Michael asks if he can help too, she let's him do the last few dishes.

I bless her with a kiss and a cuddle because she has blessed me.

1:00 We snuggle on the couch to read stories. We read a book about the Seashore and a folktale from a Children's Collection of stories book. Today story time is short I can see they are tired. I suggest a sleep for rest time today.

1:30 Everyone is tucked in bed. I lay down to rest. The 5:50 wake up call has beat me regardless of how long I lay in bed this morning. I fall asleep...

He blesses me with rest.....

3:00 I'm woken by a cat scratching at the window. I get up and wake the kids. Get a snack ready and tell Mikey to get the Snap game. I put on a blues CD to match the rainy weather outside. We drink tea and play snap. Michael is learning how to play and he is eager to snap a pair.

His joy and her patience with his eagerness to grab the cards bless me....they are learning to love.

3:40 We prepare supper together. This is becoming a more regular habit and I can see that they are learning to handle their different roles quite efficiently. Jenna is confidently chopping beans in her new creative style.

They bless me... supper prep is quick and easy today because of our teamwork.

4:00 I put on the Jungle Book 2 DVD and they settle on the couch with their blankets to watch. I tell them I'll be in the outside room checking e-mails. I catch up on the outside world via the internet and start to type a little of this post.

5:15 Ray arrives home. Michael puts on his rain jacket and goes out to greet him. Afterwards he insists that his jacket should be hung besides dad's on the door. Ray comes to say hello-he knows where to find me. It is good to see him again.

5:30 We go back into the house. The DVD is finished and the kids are building bunk beds in Michael's cupboard. We take the opportunity to catch up on our day and I fill him in on supper details and sleep times as I must soon leave for pilates.

5:40 I'm dressed to go. I haven't been very consistent with pilates lately due to all the illness in our home. I have to motivate myself to go. Giving loves and kisses to all I walk out into the rain.

I am blessed to have a husband who willingly allows me to leave at the start of the night time routine.

6:00 My body survives pilates. In fact I am quite impressed that I can keep up with all the stretching and toning exercises.... I'll feel it in two days time probably.

7:20 I return home to find the kids in the bath and Ray watching the weather. They're up to mischief and I get annoyed that he hasn't calmed them down. I'm reminded of what my friend shared with me this morning, but I still let my annoyance turn to anger. My flesh is winning. I eat supper alone at the table having said words I can't take back.

I am blessing nobody now.....

7:30 Ray gets them out the bath and dressed and they come through to the lounge. Michael asks for some of my food and I share a few mouthfuls. He leaves and goes to ask Ray if he can play a game of Tortie. They all play together while I finish off supper. Michael's ability to recognise numbers is improving. I go to sit beside Ray knowing I need to apologise and fighting with my conscience. I say sorry and he quietly accepts it.
Jenna asks to play Go Fish with the Animal Snap Cards. We play together as a family. Michael renames it Go Hunt!

8:00 Teeth are brushed and I read stories and the Bible to Michael while Ray reads to Jen. Separate story times gives time for one-on-one bonding. They both ask for water as we tuck them in and say prayers.

8:30 I get in the shower after asking Ray if he'd make the Raisin bread for the morning.

8:40 He gets ready to shower. I ask if he's angry. He's tired and quiet, he reassures me that he isn't. I ask what he'll be doing tonight... is it ok if I finish a blog post? He'll read or watch t.v. I leave to finish up this post.

We missed our Bible time this morning. Our story time was shorter and we didn't go for our Nature Walk but I'm happy with what we have done today.

I have counted many blessings....

Monday, November 8, 2010

Smiling at the Storms.

I grew up in a dysfunctional home.

My dad was a Bipolar disorder sufferer. His mental health was hardly ever stable for more than 6 months at a time. My mom worked most of her married life just to keep us out of debt caused by Dad's excessive spending during his manic times. (Manic Depressives/Bipolar Disorder patients can be compulsive spenders as well as extremely generous givers of their money during *high* moments).

I only realised recently, that although our experience was not your normal, happy suburban family story, as a young child I just accepted it as normal. I don't really remember thinking "we're not normal" until in my early teens.

However, although I may not have realised it as a young child, experiences shape you and some can scar you.

I've never been one to believe in the popular phrase "children are so resilient". It may seem at the time that they bounce back into life and carry on as if nothing unusual has happened, but trust me, if you look closely you'll see the negative effects of stressful times acted out in their daily behaviour. It may come soon after or it may come later in their teen or adult life, but unfortunately it does come....

Like it or not I have to admit that what I experienced as a child influences so much of how I handled life, it still does.....

The good news is: I'm now a daughter of Christ, adopted into His family where I now believe that as the Potter, My Shepherd and my Healer, He can restore the years which the locusts stole away as a child. He can apply the healing balm.
I refuse to believe that "a leopard can't change her spots", especially when she has Christ as her Redeemer. I choose to believe that with Christ in me He can change me to be more and more like Him.

Unfortunately though, as a result of my childhood experiences my knee jerk reaction to stressful moments has always been: Why me? Why this? Why now? When will it stop? Instead of having peace and joy I choose to get angry at yet another tough moment to endure-does life always have to be this tough?

Our last three to four months have been filled with sickness. After a winter of a terrible flu for the kids-which we seriously thought was whooping cough for Jenna- it hit Ray (who never gets sick) and finally myself. Having just recovered from that Jen went down with high temps which lasted 6 days followed by Ray getting hit with similar symptoms but worse results: glandular fever which had him flat on his back for a week with blurred vision from conjuctivitus. Michael followed next-confused by the temperatures and hallucinations and nightmares caused by the temps-he was extremely difficult to calm at night, thankfully his high temps lasted for a shorter period.

I'm not a great nurse. Whiny children who needed me within their sight 24/7 and a husband who couldn't breathe or sleep peacefully really tested my servant heart and patience. (I haven't handled sleep deprivation very well in the past). Normally I would have gotten impatient, lost my cool and I would have just wanted it all to STOP! But while we went through this storm I felt the Lord saying: I'm with you in this storm, smile! What? You've got to be kidding? Smile? Not me Lord, I'm better at moaning and complaining and wondering what on earth have I done wrong to deserve this? But repeatedly He said: With me in your boat you can smile in the storm. And so I did. And we survived. And we learnt many important lessons. My children learnt about putting other's needs before their own. And I learnt to look for the blessings in the midst of the storm.

A week after everyone was fully recovered I was going through another storm: the emotional after shock of a sick home. In this storm I didn't smile. I got angry. Why does *this* have to happen now? Haven't I had enough? My eyes and ears were closed and although I had just been through a storm where I had been continuously reminded that the Lord is always with us I thought: I'd take control again. I literally tried to row my own boat. Our routine had been lost while going through the sick times and instead of lovingly trying to lead our little sheep back to greener pastures while listening to My Shepherd's voice, I tried to control them.

The result: tantrums and tears.

I thought I was loosing my children's hearts.

After a very hectic tantrum session with Michael (who has a will of iron) I lay on his bed trying to calm him. And I didn't know how to! In desperation I prayed -yes, it does take a while for me to realise who actually needs to row our boat!

That's when I realised, he was struggling because he had never before experienced his mommy or daddy being so sick. His little world had been rocked so much He didn't know how to express it. Being defiant and angry is his way of expressing his confusion. (Something he obviously learnt from his mommy)
Going against every parenting book I've ever read, I felt I needed to tell him: I love you! Instead of trying to win the battle by controlling him, I had to listen to that small still voice telling me to love him. And so, lying there with a little angry boy, kicking and screaming and trying his best to hurt me I started to repeat: I love you Michael! to him. Eventually I could see his face calming and he stopped and lay peacefully beside me.

And the storm stopped.

Yes, the Lord had taken us through the sick storm and I'd learnt a little more about having peace within a storm, but I hadn't remembered that even after the storm I still needed to continue to rest in Him! Trying to take back control instead of resting in Him and following His lead I had almost plunged our family into an even bigger storm.

I'm sharing this today because I want to remember that it is always important to seek the Lord first and to remember that even in the storms there are blessings to be thankful for.

Does this mean that I will always ride the storms with a smile? Most likely not. Life's not perfect. I'm not perfect. I'm learning to accept that now.

And when I forget that, please remind me: His grace means that even when I kick and scream and throw a tantrum, He never ever stops loving me in the midst of the storm!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Life is a learning party!

Realising that learning takes place all the time is one of the mindset changes you learn to make as a home schooling parent. Our children learn while they're doing the shopping with us, while they go on mountain walks, while they set the table for supper time and even when they go to parties!

At a recent birthday party we attended we were entertained and taught all about snakes by Sean the Snake Man. A while back Jenna had seen a picture of one of her friends with a snake around her neck. Ever since then she has wanted to do that too. Seeing as mommy was dragging her feet in taking her to the snake park she was very excited to hear she'd have to wait no longer when we were invited to a snake theme party!

Now if you're squeamish about snakes (like me) be warned there are pictures here that may just make you sssssshhhhiver.......

This is the Cape Cobra. When Sean took the Cobra out I was wondering if I'd heard him correctly. I've only seen pictures of cobras with their hoods flared out. Where was this one's? Well, not only our kids learn everyday, but so do we! The typical Cobra picture you see in a book is of a cobra giving you a warning: Don't come near! If they're relaxed and happy, there's no hood! It's a good thing I know this now as just the other day our neighbour found one in her garden and had to call the Snake Park to come and remove it!

This is the Black Boomslang (Tree Snake-literal translation)-apparently one of the most venomous snakes around. She likes to tie herself into knots, this is meant to help her hold onto branches when she is in a tree.

At first Sean tried to convince us that this rather large snake was also harmful to us, but then he let us know that in fact she is just a young mole snake. Now if she's a young mole snake just how big does an adult mole snake grow to?! And yes, we have found these in our garden too! Or rather, I should say our cats have found them.

Do you recognise this stripey fella? I mean the colourful one by the way! Yip, that's my little man who jumped right up and volunteered himself as the first candidate to hold a snake. Guess that's what you get when your mommy keeps on insisting "You're the Bravest Little Man I Know!" Sorry I have to admit I didn't get the snake's name-too busy reeling at the shock of my little man about to hold a snake! :-) Perhaps one of you know?

And if that was a little too squeamish for you, just take a look at this little lady's necklaces!
And she just stood there and giggled gleefully! The innocence of youth!!

We've been reading through the Creation Story in Genesis again and we'd recently read about how God says to the snake: You'll crawl on your belly from now on. Well this got me thinking why did He say that? I think I got my answer: This creature looks like a snake.....or is it a lizard? She has snake like features, but she has legs! Sean said that she was (scientific) proof that once upon a time, long, long ago snakes had legs. This reminded me of what we'd read and I'm wondering if that is why God said that snakes would forever more have to crawl on their bellies? Perhaps they all really did have legs long ago. {Sorry I missed her name too-my only excuse is I wasn't standing near enough. Reptiles creep me out!}

And then it was our friend James' turn to be brave! Here he is with an iguana on his back!

Everybody (including Jenna) feeling his scaly skin.

After that it was time to get the really loooooooong snake out. He had everyone stand in a line.
With arms outstretched, waiting patiently for ........

Monty, the Python! Look at him! He's so long and fat!

And this is where I decided to get brave.... I knew I had to overcome my fears...... so I stepped a little closer..... reached out....... and touched him! And it actually wasn't too bad. He felt warm, soft and smooth. Nothing like I had imagined. See, I can be brave too......

But not this brave! (So proud of himself!)

And definitely not brave enough to actually look at him when he's in my hands!

Probably a little more uncertain like Rachie-but even she is braver than me!!!

If I am to be perfectly honest though, I preferred to look at the beautiful view!

In the end a wonderful time was had by all! Jenna had a dream come true, mom overcame her fear (even if it was just a little step) and the birthday boy had an awesome party filled with lots of fun and learning too!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Trains, planes and automobiles!

Things have been a bit serious around here lately and so I've decided to have a break from my educational ponderings to share a few photographs with you ;-)

Both Jen and Mikey (and Ray) love learning about different forms of transport. For a very long time Jenna has wanted to ride on a steam train. So when I saw an advert in our local newspaper for a ride on a steam train in Cape Town, we jumped at the opportunity!
The Atlantic Railway Association had organised a special day for displaying their trains along with some old motor vehicles and an old fashioned bus! Not only could we get a close up look at a steam train, but we all got to get on board and chug a little out of the station to get a feel for what it would have been like in the old days.

the red devil

just look at all that old wood work!

they just don't make 'em like they used to!

this was the train we got to squash into along with all the other enthusiastic steam train lovers

One day mommy, I'm gonna have a car like this!

dream big my boy!

Another highlight of the day was getting to ride on an old Beefeater Bus. We had a lovely little trip into town and around the waterfall in the center of Adderley Street. The kids and I didn't get to do the Fan Walk during the World Cup, so this was a little bonus for us getting to see the Soccer Fountain.

That's my "little" girl in the stroller-poor little chicken was still recovering from the flu so she needed her own means of transport to conserve her energy. Michael happily supplied the power behind her wheels.


When Jenna was around 18 months we took her to her first airshow. She was still so sensitive to loud noises that she spent most of the time with a scowl on her face and her fingers in her ears!
During a creative spell recently she created a picture of the air show which prompted her into asking if she could go again. So Ray did some researching and discovered that sure enough there was going to be an air show again this year! After excitedly counting down the sleeps to the long awaited day it finally arrived.

We were shuttled, very kindly, by the fancy airforce taxis to the display area-no long walks and fights for parking for us ;-) Besides seeing different types of aeroplanes the kiddies got their first up close and personal looks at different army vehicles.

G.I Joe and Josephine on board a tank.

Inside an American Medic vehicle.

A brief look inside a Russian Helicopter.

And please, don't ask me to remember this huge air bus' name!

Unfortunately walking around all the displays meant we missed a lot of seeing the up close action of the airshow. When we tried to find a place to sit to view the take offs, landings and action stunts we found the crowds of people too much to infiltrate. So having been unsuccessful at getting beyond enemy lines we retreated back to the transport vehicles and watched the final stunts at the wheels of this huge truck!


Every now and then Ray takes one of the kids on a Dad's Day out. Last week-end he took Michael to a Street Rod Car show.

A serious little boy discovers suped-up engines.....

taking a closer look inside.

Now that's more like it Dad-the Fast Cars!

His first official driving lesson.

After a lovely morning checking out all the big cars, Michael declared that the Drifter remote control cars were definitely the coolest! Boys and their toys!!!!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Our recent outing to Simon's Town.

We haven't been on an outing in a while-winter weather, winter illnesses and a need to stay indoors has kept us at home. So I thought that it would be good to get the kids out to continue our exploration of Simon's Town.

My plan was to visit the Heritage Museum but when we arrived at 10:00 we discovered that it only opened at 11:00. Not wanting to waste the opportunity of being out I decided to take my chances on visiting the Bronze Art Gallery just across the road. When we looked through the doors it looked like they had closed down as everything was grouped together in one corner and not displayed neatly on shelves. But, luckily for us, there was a lady working inside who opened the doors to let us in explaining that they no longer function as a gallery but they still create the bronze works there. And that's where our fun began!
I asked if we could do a behind the scenes tour and was surprisingly allowed to enter the workshop unassisted. We entered through large glass doors to the smell of melting wax and bunsen burner gas. As there was nobody to guide us I started asking questions of the ladies working at the workbenches. They seemed to be working with wax! Wasn't this a bronze sculpture house? After a few questions and photographs a very enthusiastic man decided he would give us our own special tour.

So here goes. I'm going to try to remember the whole tour for you:

The whole process starts with a sculpture. But not one of bronze. It can be wood, clay or any other medium which is easier to mould or carve. If the sculpture is a large one they "break" it into smaller parts.

This is a large sculpture (of a very thin Madiba) which they were supposed to use for the World Cup Soccer, but it hasn't made it to the bronzing stage.

After dismantling the original sculpture they make a rubber mould of it. These are moulds of smaller soccer sculptures.

The rubber mould is then filled with hot wax. When the hot wax is removed from the rubber it looks like the original art work, well mostly. If it doesn't this is where the bunsen burners and blades come into the process. Using a heated tool, workers neaten the wax works.

The wax statue is then taken to be dipped into another formula-which we were told is another type of wax.....

and is then covered in sand. This whole process is repeated around three times with different types of sands each time.

In between each dipping it is left to be dried by fans.

Once the sand is dry the "sand" statue is placed in a large sand pit. Now you have a hollow sand statue, lined with wax. Or so I understood?! The bronze is then heated in this large pot and poured into the hollow statue, melting the wax.

Our tour guide shortened the tour here. But basically there's a sandblasting procedure next, followed by a burning/colouring procedure. And the end result....

Something like this! Fascinating for me, think we lost the kids at the sand covering stage-but they still enjoyed all the business and interesting new apparatus to look at.

By this time it was close to 11:00 so we walked on over to the Heritage Museum. This museum was created in the memory of the Muslim community which had been forcibly removed in the early 70's. I never knew that the original Simon's Town community had consisted of mainly Muslims and I'd never learnt about the fact that this community had also been forcibly removed. We had always only heard about the District Six community being removed. This is why I love visiting museums-I hated learning History at school-but learning South African history right here on my doorstep makes History so much more interesting!

The museum is small but it is filled with memorabilia from bygone days. Photographs of the Muslim community cover the walls. There's a traditional eats table filled with examples of typical Malay foods.

And lots of old kitchen utensils to look at and learn how people from the past lived.

Jenna enjoyed looking at the Bridal gowns in both Bridal rooms where there are examples of wedding attire for children too.

Michael was sure that granny had one of these-no she doesn't use it still, it's just on display in her hallway.

The owner of the house is very keen to share his memories with you as he guides you through the rooms. He enjoyed showing the kids the old games he played.

Can you believe that this old newspaper kite would survive the Simon's Town winds?

Jen's highlight was seeing this doll all dressed up in it's finery-this is how Muslim babies are dressed for their dedication ceremony.

We enjoyed this museum, although it was small, it was interesting to get a peek into the history of another culture. A lovely morning spent covering History and Art in one outing!