Friday, February 29, 2008


Another good and busy day today. We started the day by doing jigsaw puzzles, something the boys haven’t done in a long time. Aaron normally battles with a 35-piece one, so I was especially pleased when he tackled, and completed with some help, a 100-piece puzzle. Caleb did a 150-piece one which is a fairly tricky one, but he usually has the spatial ability to work them out. While the boys were busy with those, I stayed in the diningroom and thoroughly cleaned and sorted the cupboard in the corner, which was not looking too good. I threw out a few incomplete games and some impossible puzzles, and vacuumed all the shelves and floor. Then at 11 we met Elza at the coffee shop. We didn’t stay for too long though as the boys tend to get bored there and can’t really enter into any conversation, but it was great to catch up with Elza. Nick wanted to start some more building today, as he fetched two buckets of building sand from Knollcombes yesterday, so we quickly went to the DIY to get some cement. He made good progress building a braai area in the upper bricked area in the back yard. He’s long been wanting to do this. Then he was off to bible study, after a supper of soup.

We still have the baby pigeon with us. Today it was very docile, not running away when we came near, so either it is sick, or has become used to us. The mother bird has been very diligent in caring for it, and even when she’s not feeding it, she is not far away. The father also seems to hang around in our yard quite a lot, strutting around in a very paternal way!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dressing right

First thing (only thing, actually) on today’s agenda was a trip to Longwood for me and the boys, where we bought some snacks at the shop and had our tenzees at the playground. We were anticipating colder weather there, so the boys took their super-strength arctic jackets, but fortunately they got left in the car. It was windy and a bit chilly, but not really long-sleeve weather after all. The shop was quite empty – not even a single packet of chips on the shelves!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Too young to shave

Today was D-Day…Dentist Day! Nick went at 8.30 to have his stitches removed, and came back looking reasonably unpained, with an antiseptic paste that had been applied to the wound – I couldn’t see anything of the hole because of that. There are bits of bone sticking out of the side of the gum, and Steve said it’s where the jaw was splintered when the tooth was pulled – those will wear off in time. Then it was my turn at 11.30. I needed more work done on the broken tooth on the top left, which had started getting sensitive again. I was convinced that the tooth had already been root-filled, but the dentist said no. This is the unfortunate part of island dentistry – he is the third dentist to work on this tooth in almost as many months, and he leaves on Sunday!

Aaron managed to cut his lip on Nick’s razor – he was experimenting with it, I suppose, and dragged the very sharp triple-blade over his lip, giving himself three very clean cuts, which started bleeding quite quickly. Nick stuck toilet paper over the wound, and then we let the boys watch a DVD – that’s sort of a house rule, that if there’s a wound with blood, the boys get to watch something!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Holidays begin again

First day of holidays today – and we had a pretty good time of it. The boys were eager to get going with their model helicopter and airplane which they got for Christmas, which I have been putting off until their school holidays. As soon as I was out the bath, we got started with painting the little pieces, then had a break for tenzees while the bits dried. Nick came down to help with the next bit of assembling all the wooden pieces and gluing them together. The model he was doing for Aaron was more complicated. The boys were really pleased with their efforts, and I must say, they did turn out quite nicely. That took us almost up to lunch, but I had time to give Aaron a haircut, and then I did Caleb’s after lunch. Both look much better now. I left the boys looking at books while I went to town during the afternoon for some grocery shopping. Andrew and Harry didn’t come today, I guess because of the holidays.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Mother's Milk

Our combined service today was well attended, despite the heat. Even though I was sad to miss Nick’s first sermon in his Acts series, I was also more than happy to escape the stifling heat in the chapel and get into the diningroom for Sunday School. After church, and the fellowship tea, and all the cleaning up afterward which that entailed, Nick and I sat outside in the back, enjoying the peace of the evening, watching the pigeons eat the left over sandwiches. Our fledgling seems to have finally found its mother, or perhaps a sympathetic auntie, who is feeding it. We saw this happening this morning for the first time. The fledgling sticks its beak right down far into the mothers crop, causing the mother to regurgitate something tasty for the wee’un. It’s oddly disgusting to watch, as they bob about, heads down, the baby bird almost hugging the mother with its wings spread out, beak-to-beak. But we’re glad that the baby is being fed. I did a bit of research on the internet about baby pigeons, and it seems that it’s uncommon to spot baby pigeons – you might have noticed this. The reason is that they stay carefully guarded, in their nests, until they’re actually ready to fend for themselves. I guess this is the case with the majority of birds – you hardly ever see the babies!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Blowing hot and cold

We took a break from the heat and humidity in town today, in that after GNC, we made up a picnic lunch and took it out to the George Benjamin Arboretum in Bluehill. We were anticipating a walk through the forest after our lunch, assuming that it would be a lovely day in the country, a few degrees cooler than in town. We were wrong! True, it was lovely, and it definitely was cooler, but we were essentially in a cloud! It was quite wet everywhere, so after braving our lunch in the drizzle on the damp, fungus-covered table, we decided to rather go straight home again. Nick took the boys swimming straight away – so weird to us that it takes about 15 minutes to get from one climate pattern to an entirely different one!

Yesterday we had our last day of school, much to our joint relief. It was fine, really, and we finished at about 12, so went to Sally’s for lunch, kind of as a term-end celebration. Nick only had soup, not really wanting to chew very much stuff yet; the boys shared a sausage baguette as usual, and I had my usual of a chicken-salad sandwich, and a cup of soup. Sally makes the soup herself, and it’s absolutely terrific. I said to Nick that it reminds me of coming home from school in winter, to a cup of fresh-off-the-stove soup that my mom makes.

The pigeon is still alive, but doesn’t seem to be eating much. I’m not sure if any of the other pigeons are feeding it when we’re not looking, but it is still pooing so must be getting something. Nick’s mouth is feeling a bit sore again this evening so he will be bypassing supper. I’ve had a good look at it, and it seems that the jawbone is sticking out and visible – it’s odd and gross. The gum hasn’t yet closed around the wound. When he rubs his tongue over the area where the bone is, it’s very sharp – he says it feels like he’s touching something he’s not supposed to be touching!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Updates on 'the husband' and 'the bird'

Nick is home with me again tonight, having cancelled his bible studies. He found that the talking and singing at last night’s study put some strain on his stitches, and his face is slightly more swollen this morning. He felt it best to take the night off and heal up a bit, and I agree wholeheartedly! He’s not in pain, thankfully. Our pigeon is still alive and kicking. He didn’t eat very much during the day, but I managed to give him some water at regular intervals, and then after our supper I tried some more white bread and he ate a fair bit of it. He manages to either peck it off the ground or take it from my hand, but it seems that he has to be in the mood. He spent a lot of time outdoors today, chasing after the other pigeons in the back yard, trying desperately to get one of them to feed him. It was a pathetic sight really to see him running around, wings out, whining at them and trying to get at their beaks, while they quite simply ignored him and carried on feeding. Then he would stop and stare after them as they ran off in another direction. Poor thing.

I had my craft class at Pillings today, in which we made felt finger puppets. Some of the kids just fly with the crafts, while other kids were quite helpless and couldn’t thread the needle, didn’t know how to stitch, couldn’t get the needle through the felt, couldn’t remember how to do the double stitch to begin and end, and if they had their way, I would have made the whole thing for them. Anyway, the class on the whole was really great, and they’re a lovely bunch of kids. During the late afternoon, Nick took the boys up on the mountain again to gather more broken bits of pottery, as we want to make a mosaic table top. The boys love going up, and come down with all sorts of antique junk.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Yet another pitterer-patterer

Once again we have a baby bird in our care; this time a pigeon. I saw it this afternoon when I was walking up the road to take the car out of the garage – it was sitting in front of the church door. Although a fledgling, it’s quite big and has most of its feathers in place. Its body is so fat that I had to pick it up in two hands, and it was pretty docile. I took it around to our back yard, where of course the boys were very excited to see it, and we tried feeding it with a bit of bread. It wasn’t too interested, so I tried some milky pronutro, but it didn’t like that either. I tried some more bread again later in the afternoon, and this time it took it, right out of my fingers. Seems to prefer being fed than picking off the ground, but it wasn’t doing too badly at pecking stones and dirt off the workshop floor, where we are keeping it safely. Hopefully it’s not too far off from flying – I don’t fancy another four-week stint with a baby bird, although at least this one eats basically anything – no tricky mackerel diet!

The boys and I went with Nick to Prince Andrews School this afternoon where he had a guitar lesson. I needed to take some photos for the next museum layout which is currently only swirling around in my head. It was ‘some hot’ in town and out there, but it was pretty nice being out somewhere different. I knew two girls from our Saturday mornings, although only one of them comes now.

Nick is feeling a lot better today; he says his gum feels a bit bruised, but there is no actual pain. His face is a bit swollen.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Nick in the chair

Nick had a tooth extracted this afternoon, and what should have been a fairly simple, in-the-chair extraction, turned into a two-hour long in-the-chair surgery. It was a root-filled tooth that was no good, so was very brittle and kept breaking when the dentist tried to yank on it, and then it had two roots as well, so was extra difficult to get out. He had to cut the gums on both sides of the tooth to be able to get a grip. Nick is feeling the pain now as the anaesthetic is wearing off – we’ve even cancelled the bible studies!

I finished two more pages for the museum scrapbook, so took them to show Lucy, the curator. I may have a bit of an issue developing with one page though, in that I took out the wording from the text which said that the island is 14 million years old, and that the volcanic eruptions which created the island ended 7 million years ago. I simply don’t believe in an old earth. The Bible gives credibility to the fact that the earth is only about 6 thousand years old, particularly according to the genealogies, and considering the radical changes in the earth during and after the flood. Because of that, I can’t lie and put in a statement to the effect of an old earth in the book – I don’t want to be associated with that! I ran it by Lucy though, who has taken it to the heritage society for approval. Hopefully they will okay the fact that the age has been excluded, because if they insist on it being included, I’m going to have to pull out of the project. Although it’s not an issue to die for, and doesn’t conflict with any salvivic issues or doctrines, it’s still my conviction. I have to go with my conscience!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Chicken recipe

Today has been so hot again, although thankfully it was overcast for most of the day, so it wasn’t the same scorching heat. Yesterday was hot HOT hot, so much so that when Nick took the boys swimming at 3.30, I went too and even swam. The water was about 32. We had the usual day yesterday, so nothing particular to say about it, except that I made a sort of chicken casserole cum stew for lunch – for those with a sweet tooth, here’s the recipe (not completely my invention – the soup and coke are an old favourite): fry a chopped onion in a pot, brown approx 500g cubed chicken breast fillets slightly, added about four sliced carrots and three cubed potatoes, then sprinkled a packet of dry brown onion soup over and added a can of coke. Let it simmer in the pot like a stew. I added a bit of extra water because it was getting quite thick, and then simmered it for just over an hour, I think. Of course, probably not a very healthy meal, considering all that sugar in the coke, but oh well. Church last night was excellent – Nick did a topical sermon on “Wolves in Sheep’s Clothing”, which was very relevant for our people, who can be taken in by every wind of doctrine.

We are into our last week of school now before a week of holidays. It was a bit tedious this morning, but we finished before 12. We’ve started a book called “Homer Price”, about a boy who likes to make radios and tinker about with inventions, so it’s right up Caleb’s alley. It’s definitely a boy’s book!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

In a rut

Our Saturdays are becoming very much like our Sundays – boring and predictable! GNC this morning, which is always quite well attended, and then after that I went to town with Aaron to collect the DVD of “Charlotte’s Web”, which I had booked yesterday. We watched that after lunch, and then Nick went to Tammy for the afternoon.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

About the boys

It’s Friday night, and unlike our usual Friday night, we are not watching a DVD! Nick has been roped into helping out with the Friday night youth group that Anthony and Elaine are running in the schoolroom, specifically to play guitar, which he is doing as I type. I can hear them singing through my window.

School this morning was really good. I started by administering a spelling test, although of course didn’t tell the boys it was that until afterwards. I just dictated each of their week’s words, one at a time, and they wrote them. Then we did a few other bits and pieces, and when it came to their handwriting, Aaron finished his in the blink of an eye. It wasn’t quite as neat as usual, but all the letters were facing the right way and were the right size. So, I was beaming. Then, in Maths, Aaron was never more than about a sum or two behind Caleb – normally Caleb has finished his whole worksheet while Aaron is on about the second problem! During the reading, again Aaron surprised me by enthusiastically tackling the story, and even saying that he would read the whole thing on his own, thanks, and didn’t want me to help him. His recognition of sight words is growing in leaps and bounds, so that his reading is going a lot faster. I think he was very much encouraged after today. Caleb, as usual, works like a star. He is extremely diligent, and never needs a second prompt to get on with what he’s doing. His reading also is coming on so very well – he often gets words that I think he will struggle with, words that I know he hasn’t read before. He’s also getting better at deciphering a longer word, sounding it out from left to right, instead of staring at the word as a whole and guessing it.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Valentines' Camp-out

It’s steamy and quite hot, although we had quite a heavy shower of rain for about half an hour at 1 pm. It was wonderful, but didn’t drop the temperature at all. Luvvy, I swea’in’ (sweating)!! I’ve just come back from a very nice craft class where the kids painted the clay creations they made last week. They were so quiet and well behaved, and would you believe it, my sleepover girls asked me to tell them the story of Maree and Ronald again. Most of the class, not being GNC kids, hadn’t heard it, and they were quiet throughout and loved the story. I ended by saying that Maree took up a craft class where she really wanted to tell the kids about God, and that if anyone wanted to know more, they should speak to her. It was fun, and I wove in the gospel and whatever else I could think of by way of teaching! I thank God for the opportunity to minister to the kids in that way – sometimes things come about in strange ways.

I was pleased to find onions in the Star at last. There were only a handful left, and not very nice ones, but I selected four of the better looking, non-mouldy ones. I went on to look at nectarines, and then a fresh trolley load of onions came by, so I picked out another three, better looking ones this time. Very happy to have such a good stash of them in the fridge now.

We dropped the boys off with Steve and Maureen for babysitting last night - it was great to leave the boys there and be on our own! The first stop was the Orange Tree Oriental Restaurant to pick up our pre-ordered take-aways, of spring rolls and pork chop suey, and then we drove down to the docks and parked outside Donny’s place. We walked along the rest of the way to the level space where the sand is dredged from the sea, and set up our camp chairs and ate there, right at the water’s edge. We saw a school of fish skipping over the water as something was obviously behind them, although we could only see a bigger splash working through the water, and we watched the glorious sunset. We both felt that this was certainly a memorable Valentine’s Day date, and ranked as one of the best!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

High Knoll out of bounds

We had quite a long school today – I don’t know why it went on so long, really, other than that there seemed to be a lot of work to get through! By 12.20 we weren’t finished yet, but took a break for lunch, and then continued with science – both an experiment and the usual reading, and Charlotte’s Web after lunch, finishing off completely by about 1.30. Then I had to brush Caleb’s teeth and take him to the dental hygienist, where he was supposed to have a fissure sealant done. However, when she looked in his mouth, she saw that the back molars aren’t actually through the gum all the way yet, so it couldn’t be done today. She just polished his teeth, and we left and went to town, still to look for onions, and still couldn’t find any. Home for 20 minutes, had a quick rest, and then Nick and I needed to go to the oriental restaurant so that we could decide what we want to eat tomorrow night, as we can’t celebrate Valentine’s Day on Thursday night. The food at the Orange Tree Restaurant is delicious, but takeaways have to be ordered in advance.

Another big section of High Knoll Fort has crumbled away, quite unexpectedly. The area had fortunately already been closed off since the wind took out a 12 foot chunk some months ago, so there was no loss of life or injury, but the timing was quite strange, as they were a couple of days away from reopening most of the fort, once they had gotten some safety nets or something erected over the danger spot. The whole area surrounding High Knoll has been closed off now, and obviously it’s quite dangerous. It’s a pity that such an historical building is falling into disrepair.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Show and tell what?

Today came and went very quickly. School was fine, with a bit of catching up to do from last week. I’m glad it was Caleb that had to fit in a bit of extra work and not Aaron, as that could have taken a very long time! Steve and Maureen were in the schoolroom for a large part of the morning, marking out chalk lines on the floor where the new kitchenette needs to be installed. Steve is going to be ordering the flat-pack stuff from the UK quite soon so that it can get on the ship when it goes up there in April. Things are happening, just slowly. After beading, I had to go to town quickly, mainly looking for onions, which are already sold out in most places. The Star hasn’t had theirs yet, so I’ll have to keep checking back. Supper was pork chops, mashed potato and carrots, which was a surprisingly non-torturous affair as far as the boys were concerned.

Tomorrow in school we have ‘show and tell’. This is a new concept for us, so I explained it today, and tomorrow they have to produce something to show the class (i.e. me and the other brother), and then discuss it. I’m not sure what they’ve come up with, but I have a fairly good idea that it’s going to be obscure and completely irrelevant to anything that they actually do, and they’re not going to have anything to say about it! Perhaps it’s a bit tricky at the moment as they don’t have any particular hobbies.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Out for tea for a change

We had a really good day today, slightly unlike our usual Sundays. I spent the first part of the morning, after Nick left, doing some crafty things, and then after tenzees I played a shop game with the boys which Caleb invented, which involved spending marbles as money at an imaginary shop, and drawing more marbles from the imaginary bank when we ran out. It was quite ridiculous but rather fun, and they got a kick out of me just simply doing something with them. Then I read two chapters of the Fabuland book to them, as they have missed the last three nights of it due to hospitalisation and messy room. Since their room was tidy, I thought it would be nice to do that. We only have one chapter left, which will wrap up all the loose ends. At 3 pm we were due at the house of some Port Elizabethans who are relatively new to the island – he is the new Adult Education manager. We have been wanting to get together with them, but the opportunity fell through last Sunday, so we made this arrangement early in the week. We had a really good time with them. We had a very relaxed afternoon and quite good conversation. I had to get used to the good old South African sarcasm again – I’m so out of touch that that particular brand of humour that I fail to recognize when someone is joking! Church tonight was Nick’s second part on the Eternal Destiny, about what happens after the Second Coming and Judgment. Again, a very good sermon, which makes me feel disinclined ever to sin again and to want to shake people and convince them that Hell is real!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Medically discharged

Caleb was back home before 10 am this morning, and very much improved. His breathing is pretty much normal again, but he still has a bit of a cough and is slightly wheezy. I have to nebulize him every evening at home for the next few days, and during the day if he needs it. Aaron and I got to the hospital just before 8 this morning, and Caleb was up and watching TV – still wearing the same clothes he was in yesterday, having bypassed pyjamas completely! I got him changed into fresh clothes, gave him his vitamins, and then he had breakfast of soggy cornflakes with hot milk and toast. Aaron had a cup of tea, since it was on offer. Then they both watched cartoons for about an hour, after which I switched off the ward TV (only Caleb and the old man were there), and we did some school – I read two chapters of Charlotte’s Web, and Aaron did his reading. All the hospital staff were very impressed that Caleb had so willingly spent the night in hospital on his own, and all thought he was very brave. I thought it was pretty normal for Caleb as he’s so independent. Caleb said he spoke to the girl in the bed next to him, who came in late yesterday afternoon, and found out that she lives in Longwood. She didn’t spend the night. At about 9.40 the doctor from Cape Town came to check on him, and listened to his chest and declared him fit to be discharged. She wrote out a prescription which was taken to the dispensary, but I didn’t want to wait for a very long time so called back for the meds later in the day – quite a lot of them! She prescribed a course of steroids to get his chest opened up properly, as well as an antibiotic, and another syrup for coughs and chesty things, AND a bottle of paracetemol (I have so much of that in stock now, it’s standard issue), as well as two sets of nebulising solutions. I didn’t want to start school again when we got home, so we cancelled the rest of it and will catch up next week. The bulk of the work of the last two days is done, and other bits can be easily caught up or slotted in.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Hospital visit and ministry opportunities

Caleb developed a tight chest during the night, and when the asthma pump wasn’t helping anymore, I nebulized him at 3 am, and then Nick did him again at 6 am. By 8 am we were at the hospital, because it was really quite severe. They nebulized him again, this time using steroids as well to try to quickly open up his chest. Shame, he was quite pale. He looked slightly better after that neb, and the doctor had a quick look at him and said I should come back later, as she wanted to see if his chest had opened. We were home again shortly after 9, and I sent Caleb upstairs to rest, as neither of us had very much sleep last night, and Aaron and I started school. By tenzees, Nick insisted that I take him back to the hospital because his breathing was so laboured again, and I managed to see the doctor again, who is a new lady and from Cape Town. She decided that it would be best to admit him so they can monitor him and nebulize him every four hours, so that is where he was for the rest of the day, and he is spending the night there too. Apparently there is a virus on the island causing this bad chest infection – when I was at the hospital this morning, about three or four other people came in early, young and old, with “the tightness”. Anyway, after leaving Caleb at the hospital, Aaron and I went to town to see what we could find by way of suitable hospital toys, and bought a stretchy frog with flashing lights inside it, and two books. Then I dropped Aaron at home, collected some clothes, pyjamas, and other requested toys and books for Caleb, and went back to the hospital. By then they were serving lunch, so I helped him cut up his chicken and mix in some rice and a few carrots (very nice food, actually). He couldn’t manage much of it, with very little appetite and coughing spasms. I didn’t stay long as I needed to get home to see to our lunch, and then I had the craft class, which was making door name-plates and sculptures. At 2.45 Nick, Aaron and I went back to visit Caleb, and stayed for about 20 minutes, just hanging around on the outside veranda, as Caleb’s ward opens out onto that section. When we were getting ready to leave again just after three, Caleb looked quite down, and actually followed me all the way out the hospital and sat on the steps. Poor guy. I had to send him back inside to be sure that he was safe and wasn’t going to try walk home! I sent Nick back up before he went on the rest of the way to bible study, with a little card Aaron and I made, and a soft toy, and two little sweets. Hopefully by now he will be settling down for the night. As you can imagine, school didn’t really happen very much today, although we got through little bits and pieces here and there.

Nick started a new Bible Study last night, in the Half Tree Hollow area at the Guide Hall, largely aimed at those who don’t come to our church (yet). Eventually they will be fed into the Knollcombes Chapel. The first night kicked off with a great start, with 14 people in attendance. I think that Wendy was the only person there who actually comes to our church and is a believer. Nick preached a very basic message, mostly gospel orientated, as those in attendance seemed to be very unknowledgeable regarding the wonderful truths of the Bible. Nick says that they really seemed to be listening, so perhaps this is the start of something! I had opportunity during the craft class this afternoon to share the gospel with the kids, who were actually quiet for 5 minutes and listened, until someone needed help making a flower. I quickly explained that we all sin and can’t get to heaven on our own, and that Jesus died to pay for our sins, so by repenting (which means turning your back on your sins) and asking for forgiveness, they can become Christians. This came about as one girl announced that she is my “sister in Christ”, so I asked if she knew what it meant to be a Christian – to which she answered, ‘no’!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Granny's stew

We had a rather long morning in school, only finishing at 12.35, but I think it was because Aaron took so long to read his little one page of reading. Probably it’s just too much reading for him, and perhaps I’ll start sharing the load with him! Caleb is still reading from the bedtime story book, and reads pages and pages before I tell him it’s enough, and even then he wants to continue. I’m very encouraged with his progress and constantly surprised at words that he copes with. Supper was a long-awaited and much anticipated mince stew, which they last had in South Africa when Granny made it. The boys were very excited that I was making it – aren’t they peculiar?! When it was finally ready, I asked if it was as good as yours, and they said it was. Aaron said, “it is Granny’s”! Caleb said, “thanks for making me sad again because you made me think of Granny”. Actually the stew was rather good though, although I only had two carrots in the fridge and couldn’t buy any today, so it worked out to approximately two pieces of carrot per helping.

We had a very good Bible study tonight on the portion in 1 Peter 3 where it appears that Jesus went to preach to the lost souls in hell, although in fact a more accurate interpretation of that passage is that Christ was preaching, through the Spirit, to those in Noah’s day who were about to perish, whose souls are now in prison. Jesus never went to hell at all – what would be the point anyway since the chasm is fixed? It was a very interesting study, with some debate and discussion.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I thought there were plenty of fish in the sea?

Nick has just arrived home from taking a lady home after the service. He was supposed to fetch her and another of our ladies for church, but we both completely forgot about it!! Oh dear, that’s terrible. I don’t know how she got to church, but Nick took her home anyway. The service was very good – Nick preached on “The Intermediate State”, i.e. what happens between death and the resurrection and judgment. He felt that this was a necessary message, as so many in our midst believe the wrong thing or are confused.

We took the boys across to Pillings to ride their bikes for a while after lunch, and then a bit later we all went to the pool. I took some beadwork with me, otherwise it can get a bit boring. The boys are wanting to help Nick with getting things ready for church, so at 6.30 they went with him to church to put the bulletins into the songbooks. We’ve introduced pocket money for the boys, with yesterday being the first of their weekly payments of 50p. They have to earn the money though, and their daily responsibilities include making their beds and tidying their rooms at the end of the day, and then they are also required to help in any other ways we deem fit, like helping Nick with mowing the lawn (sweeping the grass up afterwards) and washing the car. So far they are taking their duties very seriously, but are not satisfied with the mundane housework type stuff!

Another thing we can’t get on the island now is fresh fish. There is a fish shortage in the seas! It’s quite bad, actually, and the fisherman are struggling now to make a living. There seems to be a general lack of fish in our surrounds, which is very unusual. We haven’t had tuna steaks once since we’ve been back.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Coke diet

It was my turn to do the GNC teaching today, so went over my notes again this morning while Nick was at prayer meeting. I’m using a book now which I bought at the Augustine Bookroom, which is a huge help – I don’t actually have to do much groundwork preparation now, simply familiarise myself with the teaching! It’s set in the first four chapters of Luke, and very nice and easy to understand. I bought it in quite a hurry, so hadn’t really looked at it properly, but I can see now that it will work well for GNC. The club itself was okay, although all the boys are just so rambunctious and boisterous, so Nick has to keep threatening them with “no games” during the worship part to get them to behave. I questioned one of the boys as to his eating patterns before he comes to the club, as he is completely hyperactive and bouncing off the walls, and he said he had no breakfast, and nothing to eat, just a coke! Go figure!! I wonder if his parents realize what the effect of this is, apart from his black, misshapen teeth? I told him next week to have breakfast and no fizzy juice and he said “okay”. We’ll see. I took Caleb up to the hospital in the afternoon, for an annual checkup – apparently all the bespectacled children have a yearly appointment with the optometrist, although the hospital slipped up in letting me know of this fact, so good thing Scilla phoned to swap the time! Caleb’s eyes have not worsened during the year – his current glasses are still right for him.

Friday, February 01, 2008

< and >

I had the boys do their spelling words with a stick in a tray of sugar, and although I had my doubts about the feasibility of this little exercise, it actually worked very well. They loved the activity and did it properly. Aaron kept leaning forward with his nose almost touching the sugar, as he wanted to smell it. I was fairly certain that his tongue was actually finding its way into the tray, which would not have been very good as I had to pour the sugar back into the canister when we were finished. Maths was good today. We’ve done our first new concept now, which is the greater than / less than symbols (<>). I thought the boys might struggle a little as I remember finding this confusing in school, but either they are very bright or I explained it very well, because they got it the first time. Aaron kept getting confused how to write it though – I could see he understood it but couldn’t work out which side to start it on to get it facing the right direction, so I worked out that if he starts writing on the greater side, then it will automatically face the right way (that’s a tip for any homeschoolers reading the blog!). The boys wanted to make a mask after school, that they had seen in the “Peoples of the World” book we are working through, so I cut out mask templates which they decorated with feathers, pompoms and bits of foam. While supervising and assisting with that, I also had to prepare for the craft class at Pillings. They’ve shuffled the time of the class so it’s 1.30 to 2.30 now instead of 2 to 3, which really suits me very well – more time between getting home and Nick leaving for bible study. Anyway, I waited until about 1.50 for my kids to arrive, as they were having some or other meeting sort of thing, but the class still only ran until 2.30. Fortunately it was an origami craft and we didn’t really need the full hour. The kids were very good and mostly got the hang of what I was showing them.