Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My son.....

The inevitable has happened.....the words that pierce a mother right through the heart. They came from my oldest boy, Kellan. He's eight years old, that's right eight!
Let me set up the scene for you.
I was letting him know one afternoon, that I would be coming to his class this Friday, in my very first school volunteer opportunity. In South Africa, parents don't get to do that, in fact the Principle of the school Kellan was in there, made the statement that he doesn't want the parents anywhere on the school property!! (Maybe he was having a bad morning?)
Well, Kellan sits back and ponders on this news for a while, while mother dearest waits in anticipation for squeals of joy to emanate from his mouth. And these were his following words....
"Mom, just don't embarrass me okay???"
What is that???? I know I was bound to hear these words eventually, but come on....he's eight years old! Eight!! Well, Kellan took one look at my face and started smiling innocently. I couldn't help it, I just started laughing, and asked him what actions he would consider "embarrassing"? He shrugged his shoulders slightly and looking down at his feet mumbled......"I don't know Mommy?"
So I asked him if I came into his class, grabbed him by the cheeks and kissed him all over his face while saying "Hello, my baby!!!" over and over - would that embarrass him?
He looked up at me and very firmly said "YES Mommy!!!!
I'm seriously considering buying a disguise...... you know, those ones like Tom Cruise wears on his 'Mission Impossible' movies. And maybe getting a voice altering device. I can see I'm gonna be using them a lot in the next few years!

Monday, September 28, 2009


I've had a few days of sick children, and probably ended up catching their bug too, so it's been about 4 days of coughing and blocked sinuses. Medicine, nasal sprays and hugs as well. But kids are once again off to school, and the house is crying out for some attention. However, I thought I'd first catch everyone up on what's been happening in the Hersey home lately. (I will get to the housework.....I promise!!)

The kids are doing really well in school. They love, really!! I kid you not!! Never thought I'd hear myself say that, but it's true. They seem to have gotten used to the longer school hours, as opposed to what they were used to in South Africa. They have made friends, and are now starting to say "class" with an american accent! Some things haven't changed however, it seems the game of "kissing catches" is universal, as Connor has been playing here just like he did in SA. Lets hope it's a health conscious version of the game, what with the school worrying about swine flu etc, etc.

The only hiccup we have had to deal with, is Kellan's reading level. It seems SA is much further behind in this area, and Kellan has to have some extra tuition in order to catch up with the other kids in the class. It's actually quite concerning to me just how behind South Africa is, in this regard. I cannot vouch for Private schools in SA, as we only had experience in Public schools. But, I'm trusting he'll be caught up real soon.

Last week, I was invited by some neighbours, whom we have recently discovered are South African expats too, to a ladies get-together. They are all from SA, and call themselves "The Koeksusters". It was really nice getting together with them, and finding some answers on questions I've had since arriving in the US. It was basically the first social get together I've had since we've been here, and because I haven't made any other friends yet, it was great to mix, and meet other people. We had soup and salad, which is a very American lunch menu, and at first seemed a strange mix to me, but I'm really getting into it now. Especially brocolli and cheese soup...yum! It was very encouraging, and in the midst of all my homesickness, and loneliness, it gave me hope that soon I will have friends, and the homesickness will start to subside.
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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Computer bugs and Witty Wednesday

Well, apologies for AGAIN getting behind in my blog. My computer decided my life wasn't interesting enough, and caught a Trojan Virus.......nasty little things these viruses!!

So after moving all my documents onto an external hard-drive, and removing EVERYTHING off the computer, we were able to get rid of the nasty and then had to reload all the programmes and documents once again, sans virus!!

So that held us up for a few days. And now my little computer is loaded to the max with high-tech anti-virus software, that annihilates anything that even thinks it's a virus. Nothing is getting past this baby!!

Once again, it is Witty Wednesday. And I especially needed something to make me smile, what with the computer saga behind me. I saw this little video, entitled "Are Women Born This Way?". It did succeed in bringing a smile to my face.

Maybe this is the evidence man has been waiting for, as proof of the fact that women do talk three times as much as men do......even at this age.

Friday, September 18, 2009

What do YOU think of this?

Well, I read a disturbing article this morning. About an Arizona couple who were accused of sexually abusing their children, after some "partially nude" bath-time photos were found on a memory card stick taken to Walmart to be processed.

Now, from what I read, the photos were innocent photos taken during bath-time play while on vacation in San Diego. The children were 1 and a half, 4 and 5. The photos were shown to police, and the parents were not allowed to see their children for a few days, and did not regain custody of them for a month, while the state did their investigations.

The parents are now suing Walmart and the state, for making defamatory comments that they had sexually abused their children and taken "pornographic" photos of them.

Now, one can argue they should or shouldn't have taken the photo's to the store to be processed, and instead have printed them privately. But my goodness, can you imagine the trauma the whole family must have gone through during this whole ordeal? I can't begin to imagine how I would feel if this had happened to me? Now, I have taken bath-time photos of my kids before, granted they were babies, and young infants at the time....they wouldn't let me come near them with a camera now while they were bathing! But never would I have dreamt that something like this could have happened. It sure does make you think twice about what you take to get processed now.

I just found the whole story very upsetting, putting myself in the shoes of those parents, and trying to imagine how they were feeling while their kids were not in their care. It's a terrible thought.

You can read the full article here.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Witty Wednesdays

Wednesdays are odd days. It's halfway through the week, still two more days to go until the weekend. And it's sometimes hard to get motivated to push through.

I know I could do with a smile or laugh in the middle of the week to help me feel good about Wednesdays! So I have decided to officially declare Wednesdays my "Witty Wednesday" day!! (well, on my blog anyway!).

I hope you get a smile out of this video....he's one of my favourites.

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's America talking about?

These are a few of the Buzz words, and things that have and still are getting America talking....

  1. 9/11 last week, saw memorials and programmes being shown all over the TV. Still gets to me, even though I've seen the TV footage many times. I still recoil in horror seeing people jumping out of the windows, and seeing those planes fly into the twin towers like they were made of Lego. Unimaginable, and still very, very sad!
  2. 1 year anniversary of Hurricane Ike, that ploughed through Galveston and Houston. It was 420 miles in diameter and devastated the coast line, causing extensive flooding and $32 billion in damage. Crews are continuing to pluck shipping containers, sunken boats and other debris from Galveston Bay.
  3. Michael Jackson is still making some headlines here, although maybe it's his family more so. Latoya Jackson, especially, for saying she believes her brother was murdered, and that Michael himself predicted he would be murdered.
  4. Serena Williams for her outburst on the court over the weekend. But she has since apologised.
  5. Kanye West for his outburst on the Music Video Awards. And he has also apologised.
  6. Lady Gaga, for her very strange ensemble at said Music Video Awards.Lady Gaga was best dressed! Hahaha
    (Photo by John Carson on Buzznet)
  7. The death of "Dirty Dancing" star Patrick Swayze, at age 57. I can't even begin to count how many times I have seen that movie. (yes....I am one of those people!)
  8. Caster Semenya it seems has the sympathy of the American folk, in general. And people don't want to see her loose her Gold Medal.
  9. The new American Idols judge, Ellen DeGeneres. It sounds like a lot of people like the idea of her being the new judge, and hope she'll bring some humour to the show.
  10. The new US Open winner, Juan Martin Del Potro, who beat former 5 time champ Roger Federer.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Chicago dances

So I'm not really an Oprah fan, but I did love this. A Flash-mob dance, (no, it's not anything obscene, don't worry!) that is apparently the biggest one to date. Yes, they stage these things all over the place, so I've learnt. And Oprah knew nothing about it, for once it seemed, they got something past her! It was to mark the start of the 24th season of her show, and 21,000 fans joined in with the Black Eyed Peas, who were also in on the surprise.

I liked the fact that at the start of the song, no-one was dancing or looked like they were having fun except for one lone lady in the front. (I wonder what Oprah was thinking then??) But then things picked up.........the explanation of how 21,000 people pulled it off follows after the dance.

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bokomo, Mrs Balls and Bovril

I know it's serious when dear husband berates me for getting slack with my blog! *hanging my head in shame*

However, I have finally found some semblance of order, and routine. And we even manage to fit in an evening bike ride. And now we all have tennis racquet's and Andrew has been teaching Kellan "some moves". He really seems keen to learn, so we will probably end up putting him in a tennis programme at the local Recreation centre. The kids really look forward to the evening ride now, and are enjoying school, so they are doing really well.

On a different note, we had a delivery the other day.....what joy!!! The parcel from the South African Food Shop.....woohoo!

Since Kellan is a HUGE Pronutro fan, and you cannot find anything like that here at all (which is amazing considering the ENORMOUS selection of cereals here!), we decided to buy 5 boxes. 5 BOXES!!! .....I hear you say.....yes..... well considering we got the delivery less than a week ago, and we are already on our 2nd box, I don't think 5 boxes is a lot...really!!

Naturally we had to have Mrs. Balls chutney....duh! Peck's Anchovette Paste hasn't gone down badly either!

A little taste of South Africa......nice!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I love long weekends!

Labor union parade, NY., May 1, 1911 (LOC)Image by The Library of Congress via Flickr

Well, in honour of today's Labor Day public holiday, I thought I'd find out for myself what it's all about.
And thought I'd pass on the information to y'all too. (Whether you wanted to know or not!!)

So here is today's American History lesson courtesy of The Herseys! (don't say you never learn anything from our blog!!)

I cheated a bit and have inserted a piece from the History Web site, but if you feel that way inclined you can learn more from their web site here.

"As the Industrial Revolution took hold of the nation, the average American in the late 1800s worked 12-hour days, seven days a week in order to make a basic living. Children were also working, as they provided cheap labor to employers and laws against child labor were not strongly enforced.

With the long hours and terrible working conditions, American unions became more prominent and voiced their demands for a better way of life. On Tuesday September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers marched from city hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first-ever Labor Day parade. Participants took an upaid day-off to honor the workers of America, as well as vocalize issues they had with employers. As years passed, more states began to hold these parades, but Congress would not legalize the holiday until 12 years later."

That's it in a very brief nutshell!

Most families however see this day as the last long weekend of the summer
months! And I see that many stores here are having Labor Day sales, so I suppose many will spend their day in the mall.

We, however, will just be chilling out. And maybe look at getting out and exploring a bit.
I love long weekends!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

I love my GPS, I love my GPS......really!!

Well, you probably know by now the love/hate relationship I have with our GPS....if not, you can read about it here.

I have tried to make piece with "Roz", she has after all, helped us out of some sticky situations. (I choose to forget the times when she lost her cool with us, and led us on a wild goose chase to dead ends, and the proverbial street-with-no-name!) Let bygones be bygones and all that!

Take a look at this clip......and this guys take on the piece of technology we all love to hate!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Have bike, will travel.

This weekend we joined the hundreds of American families around us in the weekend family! (Well in The Woodlands anyway!)

Yes sir....we all got bikes!

It was originally a trip to the store to buy a bike for mother-dearest, as I thought it would be a great way to get to the shop & the kids school, seeing that I don't have my car yet. Soon however, the kids were on the bikes and riding around the store having great fun. So a purchase of one bike became a purchase of three!

You should have seen the way dear husband got all 3 bikes into his Volvo sedan.....genius!!

Then the bug bit, and soon we were off riding to the park, and later watched the kids ride up and down the cul-de-sac. Sunday came, and dear husband was off to the store again, to purchase his own bike! (We did Walmart proud that weekend!)

My family and I love our new bikes. The same cannot be said however, for my gluteus maximus. It is, at this moment, a slow and steady job to sit down without grimacing in pain. Even in spite of the hi-tech air-gel bike seat that I bought. Oh well, I hope my neighbours think I'm smiling in pure biker-delight, even though I'm actually snarling in anguish!

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