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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Happiness Project

We had a wonderful Christmas in Johannesburg.
The tree looked lovely with lots of presents.

The table was set.

Mel and Christine
celebrate Christmas on the 24th. 
Presents get opened at midnight.
But there was no way Ethan would stay up that late,
so he got to open his gifts at 10.

But since Santa comes on the 24th,
Ethan awoke to more gifts
on Christmas Day!


He even got to Skype with his mate
in Finland!


Christmas was a little quieter this year,
but it was still lovely.


Happiness is a lovely Christmas
with friends. 















































































Monday, December 30, 2013

A Very Gothic Christmas - C. Feehan & M. George

It's Christmas time,
so I had to read a Christmas book.
A Very Gothic Christmas
is not very Goth,
but it is a little Christmassy.

There are two little novellas here.
The first one,
After the Music,
is written by Christine Feehan.
It's the story of Dillon,
a famous musician.
Years ago,
 his wife got involved with the occult,
and after walking in on her friends
abusing young Jessica,
shots were fired
and the house was burnt.
Years later,
Jessica arrives on the island
with Dillon's teen aged children
in hopes for Christmas miracle.
Someone has been trying to kill the twins,
and Jessica hopes spending time with their father,
will bring them together as a family
and learn who is trying to harm them all.

Lady of the Locket
is written by Melanie George.
I've never read anything by her,
but after this,
I think I will.
Rachel Hudson travels to Scotland
to fulfill her parents wish, 
of spreading their ashes over Glengarren,
the Scottish castle where they met
years before.
She sees a portrait of the fierce Highlander,
Duncan MacGregor,
and something awakens within her.
After a stormy night,
Rachel finds herself face-to-face
with Duncan.
This one was heart-wrenching
but so lovely.





Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Dark Desires After Dusk - Kresley Cole

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year,
for many reasons.
One of them being,
having nothing to do all day,
but enjoy a book
(or two).

Dark Desires After Dusk
is another Immortals After Dark
book.

This one is the story of Cadeon Woede,
a demon.
He's fated to be with Holly Ashwin.
There's just one problem,
she's a human
and it's forbidden to mate with a human.
So Cadeon spends his days
watching her
and watching over her.

Cadeon is determined to help his brother
reclaim his throne.
When the opportunity to help comes,
he takes it.
It seems simple enough.
Deliver the Vessel to an evil sorcerer.
But when he learns the Vessel is Holly,
a Halfling,
can he give up his fate to help his brother?


The Happiness Project

We weren't able to make it to Canada
this Christmas.
So we decided to have a 
South African Christmas,
spending a week 
with mates.

Since it's summer here,
the weather's not quite as cold
as it is at home,
so our mate
took us to Gold Reef City,
an amusement park.
She thought Ethan would love it there.

He went on rides,



played some games,


Auntie Mel even won a big dog for him.

Ethan got to meet some miners,

and saw a gorgeous peacock.

Ethan even got to see Father Christmas.

Happiness is a fun-filled day.














































































Thursday, December 19, 2013

Writer's Workshop - Pajamas

Write a blog post inspired by the word:
pajamas

Last year,
my cousin started a new Christmas tradition.
She has three sons,
her oldest is the same age as Ethan.
We have another cousin
with a son the same age.
Every Christmas,
we try to get the boys together.
So, she had a fantastic idea.
Get the boys matching pajamas.


The boys had a blast in their PJs.


We're not home this Christmas,
but she hasn't let that stop
the second annual
pajama party.
She sent Ethan a pair.
I'm going to let him open it on
Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile,
everytime I think of pajamas,
I think of Sandra Boyton's book
Pajama Time.
What I like even better
was hearing it as a song.

And since I've now got it stuck in my head,
I'm going to share it with you...


Pajama Time by Sandra Boynton

The moon is up, 
It’s getting late. 
Let’s get ready to celebrate.
It’s Pajama Time!
Pull on the bottoms. 
Put on the top.
 Get yourself set to pajama-dee-bop-- 
It’s Pajama Time!
Now, some are old and some are new. 
Some are red and some are blue. 
Some are fuzzy. Some are not.
 But we can all pajammy in whatever we’ve got.
 It’s Pajama Time! 
Ooooo yes, it’s Pajama Time!
Some are pink and some are green.
 Some are the ugliest you’ve ever seen.
 They might be stripey,
or polka dot.
 But we can all pajammy in whatever we’ve got. 
It’s Pajama time!
Pajammy to the left. 
Pajammy to the right. 
(Jamma jamma jamma jamma P! J!) 
Everybody’s wearing them for dancing tonight.
 (Jamma jamma jamma jamma P! J!)
Now all around the room in one big line, 
wearing our pajamas and looking so fine.
It’s Pajama Time! 
Hop into bed.
Turn off the light.
 You can have a party in your dreams tonight. 
IT’S PAJAMA TIME!
(Hush, Hush.)
(Shhhhhhhh.)
GOOD NIGHT 
SLEEP TIGHT.




Wednesday, December 18, 2013

The Happiness Project

Last week,
was the last week of school 
before the Christmas break.
As tradition at IST
there was a class party.
This year's party was fabulous.
The class mum thought it would be nice
to have a little present exchange.
However, 
so parents didn't have to go out and buy something
the idea was to bring in a 
wrapped book
and take one.


There was a dance contest.



Ethan won.
But the best part
was not him winning
but the reaction of his classmates
when he won.


Happiness is having a wonderful
class.













































































Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Pagan Stone - Nora Roberts

Have you ever read a trilogy
or series
and got to the last book
and was slightly disappointed?
Well...
that doesn't happen here!

The Pagan Stone is the third
and final book in the
Sign of Seven Trilogy.
Cal, Fox and Gage,
along with Quinn, Layla and Cybil
are determined to fight
The Big Evil.
As July 7th approaches
they are willing to risk everything to save themselves,
their families,
friends
and the little town of 
Hawkins Hollow.

This is also the story of Gage and Cybil.
Both have the gift of seeing
the future.
Neither is looking for love.
And when you're out to fight the
Big Bad,
love is the last thing you're looking for.

This book is heartbreaking as well.
Gage lost his mother when he was young.
His father turned to the bottle
and beat him.
He then let out the Big Bad.
Is the way to win sacrifice?
Will Gage need to sacrifice himself?
Unlike the others,
he doesn't have a family.
He has no ties.
Is he the key to success?

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The Happiness Project

We have a cook!
Yipee.
We finally get home cooked meals.
Yipee!
On Monday, she came
and made some pizza bases
and homemade pizza sauce.
Which meant
that last night,
we all got to make our own
pizza.







Happiness is homemade pizza.










































































Thursday, November 28, 2013

Writer's Workshop - Pin It

You saw it on Pinterest ..... does it really work?

Some years ago,
I came across a Swedish pancake
recipe
and it became our Sunday tradition.
Every Sunday,
Ethan and I would make the pancakes together
and he'd slather on the Nutella.

So this past weekend,
our first in our new home,
Ethan wanted pancakes.
Unfortunately,
I didn't have any flour.
Scott suggested I make French Toast.
Ethan was excited about slathering
on the Nutella.
"You can't put Nutella on French Toast!"

And then I remembered seeing
on Pinterest
a peanut butter and jelly stuffed
French Toast.
If you can do PB&J
why not Nutella?

So I looked it up again,
and wouldn't you know it....
there's even a
Nutella Stuffed French Toast
recipe on Pinterest.
And it's super easy!
Even I can make it!!!

How easy you ask?
Well,
make yourself a Nutella sandwich,
or two, or three...

I cut them up into slices.
Grab some eggs, milk, vanilla and a tad sugar
(I used honey).
Whisk it together.
Drench each slice of sandwich
in the egg mixture
and place it on a greased
baking tray.


Bake at 200C for 8 minutes.
Then carefully flip them over
for another 8 minutes.

Enjoy!






Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Hollow - Nora Roberts

In between moving into our new place,
having a swarm of fundis
(carpenters, plumbers, painters, etc)
fixing things in the house,
unpacking,
studying,
going to the gym,
and
fetching Ethan from school
I've found some time
to read!

The Hollow is the second part of
The Sign of Seven Trilogy.
And while the story continues
with our boys trying to find a way
to beat the Big Evil,
this is Fox and Layla's story.

Layla also possesses the gift 
of seeing the present
and Fox helps her learn to use and control it.
Unlike the men
who were part of this since the beginning
and Quinn and Cybil
who were friends before
Layla is the outsider.
Something brought her there.
She is still unsure of herself
and what the future holds.

I love Fox.
He grew up in a vegan house
hippies and all
but he loves his snacks
and processed food.
He's true.
He's there for everyone.
He puts others first.

Layla...
I don't know.
While she's the outsider 
in this group,
she seems to hold that against Fox.
She can't commit to him,
yet fully commits to other things.

Either way,
book 3 is up next,
and you know I'll be reading it!



Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Champion - Marie Lu

It's the year of trilogies.
And the conclusion of some.
Legend is one of those.
Champion brings the story of
June and Day,
of the Colonies, Patriots and Republics
to an end.

And it was a good one.

When we last saw of dear friends,
June and Day decided to save the Elector
and go against the plans of the Patriots.
June became to Princeps Elect
and Day learnt he's dying of a tumour.

Champion picks up months later.
June and Day have not been in contact for months.
Eden, Day's brother
is slowly getting better.

The Colonies have declared war
against the Republic.
And the Elector
wants June to get Day to help.
Confused?

I love how June continues to be strong in this book.
And even though Day's dying,
he's also just as smart and 
just as strong.
He's also torn.
Can he love the girl
that helped kill his family?
It's not easy.
For either one.
And these emotions
are what made this book
fantastic.


The Happiness Project - Week 36

It has been
officially
one week
since Ethan started at IST.


And he's been loving it.

He gets up early,
no complaints.
He's happy when I fetch him from school.
He's even ok 
with wearing a uniform again.

I was terribly worried 
that the transition would be hard on him.
Thank you 
to all the teachers,
friends
and councillors
that made Ethan's transition
smooth.


Happiness is having a happy
child.



































































Friday, November 8, 2013

Blood Redemption - Tessa Dawn

It's been awhile 
since I was in the company
of some bloodsuckers.
So I felt it was that time
once again.

And Tessa Dawn was happy to oblige
with the release of her fifth book in the
Blood Curse series. 

Meet Saber Alexiares.
He's mean.
Ruthless.
A killer.
A warrior in the house of Jaegar.
A Dark One.
He has been captured by the house
of Jadon
and sentenced to death by sunlight.
But something strange happens on the day of his execution.
He does not burn.
He does not die.
He has a soul.
It turns out that Saber
is really a Light One.
Eight hundred years ago,
he was kidnapped from his parents
and raised as a Dark One.

Vanya Demir
is an ancient princess.
An original,
sister to both Jaegar and Jadon.
She witnessed the blood thirst of her brother.
She has a deep sense
of duty.

Plagued by dreams of a fire-breathing dragon,
Vanya decides to visit her sister
in Dark Vale.

Saber and Vanya's path
collide with the presence of the
Serpens Blood Moon.
Vanya is Saber's destiny.
But he is a savage.
He has no emotion.
Yet, if they are not united within 30 days
he will suffer the Blood Curse.
Can she allow that?
Will he accept who he is?
What he is?
Can he be redeemed?



Thursday, November 7, 2013

Writer's Workshop - Wrong

Something you were wrong about.

I have spent a lot of time
thinking about this prompt.
And I mean a lot of time.
I think I finally came up with a story to share.
However,
I do not believe I was wrong.
I was mistaken.
Forgetful.
Confused.
Irritated.
But not wrong!

Ethan has an iTouch.
And now that he's learning to
read and write,
he's taken full ownership of his iTouch.

He's deleted songs
he once wanted,
and apps
he had begged for.
He even created folders for all his apps
and organised them in a way
that makes sense to him.
And him only.

He even downloaded YouTube
and started 
watching videos.
But as his spelling
is still a work in progress,
I've worried about him watching something
inappropriate.

So I took action!
I disabled the apps store on his iTouch.
This would prevent him from 
deleting anything without
first asking.
It also prevents him from adding
new apps
without my approval.

Somewhere,
between disabling it
and syncing it yesterday,
I forgot about this.

I recently purchased a few new apps
that I thought Ethan would like.
I decided it was time to sync his iTouch
to my computer.
It's been forever since I had last done it.
As I'm doing this,
I'm noticing the new apps are not loading.
And I can't figure out why.
And then I notice it.
The app store is GONE!
OMG!!!!

Ethan, did you delete the app store?
Are you sure?
Maybe when you were moving apps around
you accidentally deleted it?
Ethan you need to be more careful!

Yes, I blamed my child
(wait - this is not a bad mommy post
let's get back to topic).
I just couldn't
for the life of me figure out
what went wrong.
Suddenly it dawned on me....
It was not a what
but a who.

I was wrong!
It wasn't Ethan that deleted it.
It was I that disabled it!

Well,
I fixed it.
And so,
this does not make me wrong,
just in error!


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The Happiness Project - Week 35

Anyone who knows me
will tell you I love Halloween.
Big Time!
Ethan and I even bought his costume
in May!


But this year,
with the move,
Halloween almost didn't happen.
I know!!!!

We left Lusaka before
Trunk-or-Treat
or even Halloween in the Hood
and we weren't sure
what was happening in Dar.

But then,
my friend Lara
 came to the rescue.


Lara,
a fellow Canadian,
loves Halloween
almost as much as I.
She was planning a kids party,
and when she heard we were moving
asked us to come to the party.

We were happy to oblige!

The house was decorated,


there was an abundance of treats




and even scary slime!



Even Scott enjoyed himself!



Happiness is Halloween with friends.