Archive for November, 2012

This Week’s Happenings 11/5-11/11

Tuesday, November 27th, 2012

**Just realized that I wrote this post weeks ago and never posted it!  Better late than never I suppose!**

How is it already the middle of November?  These past few months have flown by!  Not much happened this week, Mikayla and I hung out a lot while Ben was gone for several different meetings in town.  This week should slow down for him some.

An interesting fact about Swaziland is that the school systems operate much differently than in the states.  Here there are three main testing years, Grade 7, Form 3 (like sophomore or junior year) and Form 5 (like Senior year in states).  Everyone in the whole country (in these grades at least) have set tests that last for a couple of weeks sometime in November (school year is over in December).  When the students finish their testing they are free to leave school, in other words there are no classes for them for the rest of the term.  The Form 3’s finished their testing last week, so they have had a lot of free time on their hands.  I offered to do a baking class with them twice a week and am so glad I did.  We have had so much fun.  So far we have made banana bread and no bake cookies. 

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On Thursday, we got word that the Queen Mother was going to be in the area to look at her cattle.  There is a big royal farm just down the road from us, that she visits once a year.  It is always a big production, the kids perform, she gives a speech and then there is a feast afterwards.  I decided it might be fun for Mikayla to see the Queen Mother so we set out on a rainy day to see her.  It was about a thirty minute walk, and Mikayla walked the whole way!  I was really impressed because she is usually asking to be held.  We got there a little after 12 (she was due to arrive around 11:30 or so).  It was 2:30 before the Queen Mother and her entourage showed up.  Love "Swazi time" (insert sarcastic tone here).  Then another hour before she made her grand appearance.  By that time my napless girl was running on fumes and being quite the stinker.  I did not think we were going to make it through the whole thing.  She did though…never ceases to amaze me.  Afterwards we grabbed some food and then made the 1/2 hour trek back home.  Again, Mikayla opted to walk the whole time playing and chatting it up with her friends along the way.  By the way, friends in Mikayla’s book are anyone who says hello to her!

On Friday Mikayla wanted to paint so I got out some pegs that I wanted to turn into peg letter people and we spent a good hour or so painting.  She has loved playing with her people all weekend! 

At one point during the week Mikayla looked at me and said, "Mommy your my best friend".  Sometimes she can be so sweet!

On Sunday Mikayla was up at 5am ready for a play date with Joe!  He promised her earlier in the week that he would play with her on Sunday and she has been looking forward to it since.  I am not sure Joe would have appreciated us waking him up at 5am to play though!

Coming up this week is the Feast of Mother Cabrini.  If you want to see last years celebrating you can check out some posts here and here.  It should be a good feast, one of our staff members got ducks and impala donated for it.  Looking forward to trying some duck. 

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Posted in Life |

Preschool–LOW Week 3 (Cc)

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

This week we moved onto the Letter Cc.  Here is our learning poster for the week:

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And here are some activities for the week.

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Here is a picture of her number book we add to each week.  The number and number word is at the top with space to put the correct number of stickers.  At the bottom I have made lines for her to write/trace the number.

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Acting out our Nursery Rhyme Three Little Kittens

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Letter C cat – I used a C for both the body and tail.

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Shape cat – I gave her different shapes that we stared by sorting and then putting together to make a cat.

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We made a Jack-O-Lantern bag for our trick or treating.

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She matched up crayons based on color.

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She used two triangles to make diamond shapes.

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Mitten matching activity.

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Special Halloween lunch – mummy juice, apple jack-o-lantern and hard boiled egg ghost with raisins for eyes and mouth.

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Number matching with stickers.  She did so good with this!

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Color by letter Cat

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Jack-O-Lantern coloring book.  Each page had a different color you were supposed to color the Jack-O-Lantern.  She worked really hard on this and it took most of our school time for that day!

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Stamping letters.  I had found this sheet at 2 Teaching Mommies website and she loved it.  The pictures had beginning sounds letters next to them and she stamped that letter across the blank space.

Next week we will move onto the Letter D!

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Posted in Parenting |

This Week’s Happenings 10/29-11/4

Sunday, November 4th, 2012

We had a beautiful week here in Swaziland this week. The weather was gorgeous (much different than the sweltering November we experienced last year) and Ben even had some meetings cancelled in town so he was home (working regular schedule) all week.  Next week is a different story, but this week was nice!

We started our "Thankful Tree" this week.  I drew a large tree on some chart paper and posted on the wall with fall colored leaves.  Each day in November we will work together as a family to say what we are thankful for and put on our tree.  Basically Mikayla gives us an idea and we fine tune it!  So far she is thankful for food (especially the people who make corn), art supplies, toys and maps!

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On Wednesday we passed out some candy to our neighbors and they graciously allowed us to let Mikayla trick or treat at their houses.  Since we only have a few Americans here that understand the concept, we trick or treated at both front and back doors.  Mikayla was so excited and had so much fun!  Ben even got in on the action too.

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Pretty (albeit cheesy) princess grin.

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Twirling in her dress from Uncle Tim and Aunt Chelsea!

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Mikayla and daddy ready to go.  Please notice his massive bag!  I think he was a little ambitious.

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Stephanie (a long term volunteer) passed out candy from both office doors.

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Sister Barbara even got in on the action!

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Joe, knowing Mikayla’s love for cooking, gave her spices in addition to the candy.  She LOVED this!

Joe’s birthday was a couple of weeks ago, but we were waiting until the sisters got back in town to really celebrate.  He requested a dessert themed party, so on Friday and Saturday I spent the day making desserts!  We ended up with quite the spread and all were on a sugar rush when it was through!  We had donuts, churros, cookie dough brownies, frozen cheesecake, fudgy oat bars, and rainbow cupcakes with icing!  We ended the sugared evening with a showing of A Bug’s Life on our "screen" outside!

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Joe with his birthday candle and spread.  The picture of the desserts is not great, but trust me there was a lot!

Today we have had another lazy Sunday filled with a walk to the river to skip some rocks, tomato basil soup (thanks Joe) and then plans to grill out tonight!  Last weekend we introduced Mikayla to "Family Reading Time".  Basically this is where we all take our respective books and spend some time reading (or in Mikayla’s case looking at pictures).  Last weekend she spend almost 45 minutes "reading" and then asked for it again later in the week.  This morning she asked if she could paint during Family Reading Time.  She spent a good hour painting this morning!  She is doing so good at painting and staying in the lines and is so proud of herself when she does so. 

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Posted in Life |

Our Adventures with Traveling Charlie

Friday, November 2nd, 2012

A couple of weeks ago, we received a letter in the mail from a friend in Kentucky.  Their daughter was participating in an exchange similar to Flat Stanley, but instead it was Traveling Charlie.  Each child in the class was given a paper cut out of a Charlie doll and then chose somewhere in the world to send him.  When you receive Traveling Charlie you are supposed to take pictures of things around your area and send a letter with pictures back to the class telling them all about where you live.  We were excited to be chosen to spend time with Charlie and Mikayla had a blast!  During our two weeks with Traveling Charlie, we did a lot of fun things.  Here are some pictures of what we did!

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Charlie got to spend one day in preschool while we had our learning time!  He learned all about Little Bo Peep and the letter B!

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He even got to go on an adventure to South Africa!  This is at the border crossing on our way home.  Hamba Kahle means "Go Well."

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We were even able to introduce Charlie to the Giant African Land Snails!  Don’t worry, I wouldn’t let Ben feed any to him!

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Charlie tagged along for one of our childcare meetings.  Here he is with Mikayla and some of the staff.  They were a little confused by why we were snapping pictures with a paper cut out of a boy!

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Charlie with our kitchen staff and a couple of the high school students.  Look at those huge pots!

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This is Mikayla showing Charlie where the kids wash their clothes.

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Mikayla, Charlie and some of the preschool students.

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This is a view from our walk up to the hostel.  It is really green right now, but soon will be dry again!

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Mikayla and Charlie posing in front of one of the mango trees.  They are almost ready to eat!

Below are some pictures of the animals we saw while traveling with Charlie:

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Posted in Life, Parenting |