What to give this Valentine’s Day

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Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and each and every shop is drowned in pink frilly hearts and red plastic roses. Everyone is starting to think about what they’re getting that special person- the youngsters with giddy butterflies in their tummies and married couples with a desperate ‘I can’t get the same thing as last year, so what now?!’ Okay, I’m joking. It’s not that bad (for me, anyway!)

So, how do you figure out what to get/make for your special person?
Firstly, figure out their love language!
Not sure where to even start?
Try this nifty quiz.

Some people like gifts. Physical things. Like teddy bears, flowers, a new gadget, chocolate, a hand-knitted sweater… They like something they can touch and hold and smell and cuddle with.
Some like it when you take them on adventures! You could take them ice skating, tenpin bowling, mini golf or even something crazy like a hot air balloon picnic… They treasure memories, and carry those with them for a lifetime. They remember life in snippets, pockets, of things they DID with people they love.
Others like it when you serve them, like re-doing the bedroom, washing dishes, changing the car’s oil! This seems like the most un-romantic thing for those that like gifts, for example. But for someone who appreciates gestures, this is seriously the most romantic thing you could do!
Some people even appreciate it most when you simply spend time with them. Switch off your phone, and watch a series marathon with them. Do a spa day. Take a walk together. Have a chat over coffee. Even relaxing on the couch with a bag of chips and good conversation would be more appreciated than 10 boxes of chocolates. In this technology-driven disconnected age, switching off the tech and really connecting with another human is a priceless gift…
Figure out what your person needs (even if it isn’t necessarily what you would choose), and roll with it!

With gifts, you could easily step into the big, fat, clichéd pothole of red, roses, hearts, generic cards and cheap chocolate…
Be original!
You still have some time. Put a bit of thought into it!

Do something unusual.
How about a cool video professing your undying love (the Viva Video App or Lumen8, an online program, are great ideas! Powtoon, another online resource, even enables you to make a cartoon video! )
How about an ebook or ecard? You could use Canva (app or online) or Cymera (app) to create some amazing, personalized graphics.
Maybe a homemade treat is more up their alley. Cookies, cakes, marshmallows or even homemade jams could also go down a treat. Even a shop bought chocolate, melted down and poured into a different mould gives it that bit of a personal touch.
You could even put on a production/play for the family a la Winnie the Pooh!
A passion-based gift is also a very good idea, especially for the kiddos. Minecraft coasters, anyone?

Secret Valentines is something I’m planning on doing this year. Almost like Secret Santa- everyone draws a name out of a hat, and then has to write a letter to the chosen person to tell them what they like about them, what nice characteristics they have, and how they have impacted our lives in a positive way. This is a non-romantic way for friends to show appreciation for each other, and it’s a pretty cool homeschool craft (and gets a bit of letter-writing practice in there without them noticing 😉 )

 

All in all, just like Christmas is a time of giving and good spirits, so Valentine’s Day is a time of love. Everyone (well, mostly everyone) is giddy and happy and in a romantic mood. It’s the perfect time to connect (or re-connect) with a crush (for the kiddos), your spouse (if you’re the parent) and family.

 

Valentine’s Day is, if nothing else, the perfect excuse to spread some love in this unhappy world!
Go visit that old age home. Bake cookies for your sour grandma. Encourage your daughter to tell that boy she likes him. Even help her write a poem! Go on, get crazy with it! Everyone else is!

As Jesus said, go and love the world ❤

 

How are you spreading some love this Valentine’s Day? Tell me allllll about it in the comments!

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How to avoid end-of-January burnout

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The year started off on all-out, full-throttle energy! Now, the initial hype is over. Things are starting to mellow out a bit, getting calmer. You’ve got more time to think. So the doubts and uncertainty starts to creep in! Did you choose the right school (or was homeschooling really the best choice)? Did you really need to spend on the new TV, or the gym membership, or that expensive December holiday? Can you even do this? What on earth have you let yourself in for?!

 

Stop. Breathe. Chill.

 
Let me quickly remind you of something- YOU, my dear, are totally epic, and you CAN do this (whatever your ‘this’ is 😉 )

 

Now that we’ve got that little pep talk out of the way, let’s move on to the important stuff!

 

Curricullum:


My best advice here is don’t buy anything! If you want to test out a new homeschooling curriculum, try the free resources first. Want to do CAPS? Download a PDF for free to give a bash before you fork out thousands for a boxed curriculum you might hate! Want to try Charlotte Mason? Do Ambleside Online. Want to do worksheets? Download and print some out. Don’t commit too much money, time or energy to something now. Try as much as possible, take it slow. Learn, experiment and re-evaluate constantly.

 

Routine:


A good routine is a solid foundation for a good day. Trust me on this one. But, as with most things, you need to find what works for your family. What works for me (getting up at 5am, for example) might not work for you!

 
Set alarms. Multiple alarms! Also, keep them far from the bed, so you have to get up to switch them off instead of just snoozing them on the nightstand. I find something like classical music a nice intro to start waking up, and then to follow that with something jarring (like a cock crowing) on another phone! Usually does the trick!

 
Have your routine written down, preferably somewhere everyone can see it, like the kitchen wall. This is especially helpful with little ones. They really like knowing what comes next. Use stickers, whiteboard markers, whatever! Just get everyone to actually look at it, and most importantly, do what it says! Every single day, until it becomes a habit. If you suck at sticking to things like this, get an accountability partner! My hubby is mine. He can be harsh at times, but I’m thankful because I know he’ll always tell me the truth and keep me on the straight and narrow!

 
Remember to eat a healthy, wholesome, low-GI breakfast every morning. This sets you up for a good day. A hungry parent or child simply can’t think the way they are meant to. And no, cereals don’t count as breakfast 😉 Try something like egg on toast, rolled oats or even a breakfast smoothie instead!

 
Drink your vitamins (let me know if you want to use what we use!), pack a water bottle, move your body (even light exercise is better than no exercise!) and make some time to be quiet. Read, meditate, pray. Even if it is only for 10 minutes. It’s really important!

 

Extra murals:


Take it slow! Don’t do too much, too quickly! Find ‘the one’ by trying different things and then focusing all your energy on it. Also, start with a cheap to free extra mural, and later move on to the more expensive stuff. Take clothing, gear, kits and petrol into account when doing your sums. If you need to save up and only start Term 3, do that. Use your kids’ extra murals to make new friends and socialize! (Or use it to catch up on work stuff so you can chill with the kids once you get home). Extra murals should be fun. They should not add even more stress to your already-crowded life.

 
Last tip- don’t live through your kids… Please don’t force your nerdy kid to play rugby because YOU always dreamed of making the 1st team. Allow them to choose things the like, and love them regardless. Try and view things from your child’s point of view. Believe me, it’s quite refreshing!

 

 

How are you keeping your eyes on the important stuff? Are you slowing down a bit or still racing ahead? Are you taking care of yourself and refreshing your soul on a regular basis? How? Let me know in the comments section below!

 

Life Lessons Winnie the Pooh taught me…

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My kids have become obsessed with Winnie the Pooh lately!

 

The toddler sings the songs, and says (in her best British accent!) “Pooh Beah” whenever she wants to watch it! “Lumpy Wheeeen” is also a well-known refrain in the Myburgh house.

 
I’m generally not a huge fan of mindless twaddle, and I must admit that the wrong pronunciation bothered me at first… “Lumpy” and “heffalump” for elephant, “unspookables” for ghosts, etc. BUT I’ve come to realize that the stories are doing more good than harm. They’re not twaddle!

 
The toddler has started counting because of them.

 

 

The tween is less grumpy and sulky because she doesn’t want to be like Eeyore!

 

 

The stories actually DO teach value life lessons to young and old (and even the odd homeschooling mom 😉  )

 
Here are a few things the Adventures of Winnie the Pooh has taught me:

 
It’s okay to be sad at times. Your friends are there to help you through it.

 
You’re never too small to make a difference.

 
No matter how scared you are, when you CHOOSE to be brave you can accomplish big things.

 
Alone we are weak, but when we have friends watching our back and supporting us, nothing is impossible.

 
It’s okay to eat honey, be a little squishy and still love yourself.

 
Sometimes we just need to look at the world from a different perspective to see what we missed the first time.

 

Be kind to all people, be sensitive to their feelings, and they will love you even more.

 
“How to be a Tigger is up to you”- There is nothing wrong with being your own unique YOU.

 
Always be the type of person others can count on. Be reliable. Be trustworthy. Be someone else’s ‘safe place’.

 

 

Have you gained any valuable insights from the stories your kids watch? Share them with me!

More Ways to Entertain a Homeschooled Toddler

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Kids grow up so fast… Thing is, we need to grow with them!

So, here are a few more ideas for homeschooled toddlers (original here)!

1. Do hopscotch (I use this paint that simply washes off with water- Video DIY here) or play on a painted number line.
2. Draw henna shapes on their hands and feet and have them show daddy!
3. Do sensory play with cooked oats, yogurt, finger paint, spaghetti or instant pudding.
4. Go on a nature walk and pick up nature finds for the nature box (great to play with on rainy days).
5. Go on a nature walk and try connect the sounds to what they can see (dog, bird, plane, etc.)
6. Blow bubbles to encourage them to jump and clap.
7. Make a mud pit and give them old kitchen spoons and bowls to play with.
8. Give them fruit pieces and some sosatie sticks to skewer them on.
9. Play hide and seek by hiding stuffed animals and letting them find the ‘elephant’ or ‘tiger’.
10. Paint outside or in the bath with dishwashing soap (I use this non-toxic cleaner for EVERYTHING)

Have any ideas to add? Leave me a comment!

Life Lessons Homeschooling has taught me!

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Homeschooling has taught me a great many important life lessons. Truths I’m very thankful for!

 

Here are a few of them:

1. There is NO ‘perfect’ way to do things.

In life or homeschooling. There will ALWAYS be someone out there with a ‘better way’ of doing things. Thing is, that’s THEIR way. You need to find YOUR way. The curriculum, the schedule, the extra-murals, the social group that works for YOU and YOUR FAMILY. Because we’re all different, as we should be! There IS no one-size-fits-all approach that works. We are INDIVIDUALS with individual needs!

2. Embrace the change.

Learn to appreciate seasons. The ebb and flow of life. Because everything happens for a reason. We just need to find it, and adapt. Change is good. t’s not always comfortable, but it’s very much needed. Because when changes come about, and shove us out of our comfort zones, we grow, and learn and become better versions of ourselves.

3. Appreciate the little things.

I’ve learned to treasure the quiet, simple pockets of precious time I get to spend with these amazing little humans. The utter joy on gog’s face when she sees a butterfly, or feather, or leaf, or seed, or fluffy, or little bird is PRICELESS. I wouldn’t change it for the world. The meaningful conversations I’ve had with Snippie are also blessings I wouldn’t have had otherwise. These moments tend to happen after reading from God’s Word, or after prayer, or just while loafing outside under the trees. Oh, the times we’ve prayed and cried and laughed together. The ‘lightbulb moments’ when a difficult book makes sense. The musical ring of a poem read aloud. The helpful little hands when it comes to Poetry Teatime. The eclectic mix of drums, kids’ laughter, Capoeira music and gospel all mingling with the smell of incense and sunlight and wood. The little things matter.

4. You are enough.

As parents, we tend to feel ‘less than’. Like we’re not doing enough, trying hard enough or getting enough done. I have days when the house is clean, washing on the line, lunches packed, hubby off to work, kids fed, dressed and ready, AND school work done by 9am. I ALSO have days where I feel like crap, use the tumble dryer, let them watch documentaries for the day while lying in bed. You can do that. Give yourself GRACE. the world won’t end, but you will be a better parent after a good rest. It’s okay to replenish yourself. you  can’t pour from an empty cup!

5. It’s a way of life.

When you become a homeschooler, you become a part of a tribe. A group of likeminded individuals that are fundamentally DIFFERENT from the mainstream. A community. Socialization is not only nice, but necessary for homeschoolers and their parents. Join (or START!) a tribe. Because sometimes you just need to talk to people that ‘get it’.

Based in centurion? Pop me a message (072 082 3102) and I’ll add you to our Tribe! ❤

Re-mineralizing Tooth Powder Recipe

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I’ve made this tooth powder for a very long time, and I actually prefer it to the toothpaste as it’s less messy!

 

You simply wet your toothbrush, dip and brush.

 

You can add other flavourings like crushed citrus peels if you want, but I prefer to keep it simple!

 

The Recipe I use:

 

Re-mineralizing Tooth Powder Recipe

 

4 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay

2 CalMag pills, crushed

1 tablespoon Bicarb

8 crushed mint leaves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

A pinch ground cloves

 

Mix everything together and keep in an airtight container. Use as you would any other tooth powder.

 

 

My Legacy

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The other day I was thinking about what my funeral should be like. And no, it wasn’t a bad thing. we need to think about how we want to be remembered when we are gone.

Because we’re all going to die, sooner or later. Death is what you make of it.

Firstly, I don’t want my funeral to be a somber affair…

I want it to be more like a party. Without the booze. Please don’t bring booze to my funeral! You can bring herbal tea. Or booch 😉

I want balloons, and happy music (gospel is cool). I want people to be happy. To laugh about my shenanigans, to remember the good times.

When it comes to eulogies, I hope to be remembered as having been PRESENT in the lives of those I care about.

I want them to remember the times we spent together, not the money.
The fun we had, not necessarily where we had it.
I want my kids to remember the smaller things: how they could take my hand and lead me on a nature walk. How we would watch and chase butterflies together. How they could rest their little heads on my lap and tell me stories. How I would take them on picnics, and help them prepare the feast, and how we would lie and watch clouds/stars and how I would not be to busy, EVER, to do any of these things.

I want my husband to remember me as a good wife. A homemaker, caregiver and helpmeet. I want him to remind my children of the woman I was with a happy heart. I want to bring him joy all his life, and have my legacy live on in his heart for all time to come.

I want my parents to remember me as a caring daughter. Someone that genuinely cared about THEM, as people, that didn’t only show up when she needed something. That was there for them, in sickness and in health, and helping them physically when they got old.

I’d like my friends to remember me as reliable, happy and optimistic. I want them to remember me as a REAL, genuine and true friend. As someone that would help without wanting something in return. That would be emotionally available even if we haven’t spoken in a while. That would give advice without judgement. That would be a shoulder to cry on and a hand to hold and a heart to pray with.

I want to be remembered as a servant.

But also as a strong woman that stood up for the downtrodden. A gentle soul, yet not a pushover.
Kind, but not weak.

I still not there yet. I’m not this person yet.

But I am working every day to become her. ❤

 

The Dreamgiver: My Mission

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I have been put here, on earth, for a reason. And I WILL fulfil that purpose, no matter what obstacles stand in my way.

There is a book called The Dreamgiver.

The basic storyline is that, in a world of nobodies, there was a guy named Ordinary. He did everything the same way everyone else did things. They way things were expected to be done. He got up, ate breakfast, went to work, got home, watched TV, ate dinner, went to bed. Wash, rinse and repeat.

He wasn’t happy.

Till one day!

When he woke up, he found a white feather on his windowsill. This meant that the Dreamgiver had visited him! He has received his dream!

He ran out and told EVERYONE that would listen! He was so excited!

But not everyone was. Especially not his close family and friends. Following this dream of his could lead to heartache. To difficulties. It would be hard. And they didn’t want to see Ordinary get hurt. So they told him to pack away his dream. To go back to what he knows. To just be content.

But he couldn’t!

He set out, with little support.

He faced many dangers, villains and obstacles. But he was also blessed with helpers and friends at JUST THE RIGHT TIMES along the way.

And in the end, he achieved GREAT things for the Dreamgiver.

My MISSION in life is to do this. To follow my dream, and fill my Mache’-shaped hole in the world. Because there are tasks and people that I should get in touch with and they will miss out on living a fuller life if I don’t do my duty and follow the dream/plan set before me.

So my mission is this:

To go out and be a blessing; a life-changer and light-bringer, and to change this world to a happier and healthier place-one family at a time.

What is your mission? Why were you put on this earth?

Non-toxic Deodorant Recipe

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I’ve been making variations of this recipe for a LONG time, and it STILL works like a charm. In winter and summer. And it smells goooooood (well, if you don’t use something silly like citronella or tea tree!).

It is a paste you rub between your hands, and then onto your armpits. Just be careful with dark colours, as it does leave a powdery residue on them (it wipes off with a wet cloth).

 

Deodorant Recipe

5 Tablespoons Coconut Oil (melted)
3 Tablespoons non-GMO Corn flour
3 Tablespoons Bicarbonate of Soda
2 Tablespoons Bentonite Clay
15 drops Essential Oil
A bit of water to mix

Mix together all the ingredients till you get a thick but spreadable consistency.
You can use any EOs that rocks your boat. I like Lavender, Rosemary, Juniper berry and Neroli. Oh, and Orange!
Keeps well at room temperature.

Thrush Bum Cream

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I’ve been on this breastfeeding journey a long time. Two and a half years with my latest kiddo. So, because I DO need to sleep from time to time, we planned on night weaning. We even put it on the prayer list at Bible study. The great night wean was supposed to start last weekend. Then, lo and behold, I end up with a blocked milk duct. The treatment? You guessed it- breastfeeding. So I ended up nursing from that breast even more than usual. Tieties bonanzas the whole weekend. Milk duct is now cleared up! Yayyy!

Aaaand then the toddler ended up with a yeast infection. It started out looking like a bum rash (weird, if you’re a cloth mom), but airing it out didn’t help, and it got worse. Then little bums started appearing. Thrush. Eish…

And, another cloth mom thing, we can’t really apply those sticky yucky salves the doctors normally give without a nappy liner, otherwise it’s a fight to the death to get the gunk of your nappies. Too much effort for me.

Anyhooo… So I turned to my amazing tribe for some advice. They advised probiotics (applied topically), Tea Tree and Lavender (mine was finished) Essential Oil and Coconut Oil. Then I made this salve. And it works like a charm!

Thrush Bum Cream
3 Tablespoons Coconut Oil
1 Capsule of Acidophilus (amazing probiotic)
5 drops Tea Tree EO (don’t apply undiluted-it burns!)

Melt the oil, and combine all the ingredients. Apply with every nappy change until the rash clears up. If possible, also boost with an oral probiotic (you can pour a capsule of Acidophilus over food or mix it into yoghurt). Someone also advised a piece of SCOBY inside the nappy, on the rash, but the baby wasn’t game for that idea)