Funny things children say :-)

Today was a funny mucky sorta day.

I had so much to do and now it is the end of the day and I still haven’t actually gotten it all done. I got the most important things done so that’s all cool.

I got Alice to run around to the Croft this morning to get it ready for the guests who are coming in while I am away. While she did that Seb sanded down the bookshelves and when she got back the sun was shining so she painted them up by the workshop so it didn’t matter if she made a mess – Jesika had warned me that Alice was a messy painter

Nathan got a roast of mutton cut up and into the wood stove and then he prepared all the vegetables for dinner. He has done a brilliant job of cleaning hsi room – I had given him an ultimatum yesterday morning that if is didn’t get done properly I was going to let Alice loose in there – shock! horror! – so he did it good this time

The girls have spent a lot of time in their tree house cleaning it up over the past few days. Shannie came down in tears this morning because she had it all tidy and Mahalia had messed it up and then ran away. So Seb came to the rescue and got Mahalia back in there to do her bit! Funny thing that when it comes to their bedrooms it is Mahalia who has the tidiest room and Shannie who’s is always needing help.

After lunch they all went mustering except Azzan and he was so quiet and good that I almost forgot he was here – he played on the computer most of the afternoon while I did my computer stuff and made calls. Have had a lot of appointments to tee up for several family members and that all takes time.

The other day there was an altercation between Seb & Azzan. I asked Seb what had happened and he said that Azzan had a Vivid marker and was going to scribble in a Bible so he took the marker off him.

Azzan said ‘I wasn’t going to scribble in it. I was just going to colour the words’.

Mahalia & Azzan love to ask and learn how words are spelt because they hear the older ones asking. Tonight at the dinner table Azzan told me that ‘c-a-t spells cat’ – I was very impressed, Tim apparently had been teaching him this morning.

Then Mahalia asked, ‘How do you spell Dad? Azzan said ‘a-p-e’ – man! I just cracked up. I had a mouthful of dinner and it was all I could do to contain it. The funniest thing was that he didn’t realise what he had spelled and he just laughed along with us cuz we were laughing. And when I told him after what he had spelled he thought it very funny too.

Alice helped me to get my chunky book pages finished tonight , just had the backing sheets to glue on so she was a great help. Took no time at all with two of us doing it. I did take photos but they were terrible so I will try again tomorrow in natural light.

Anyway, it is now after 10pm and I am tired and still not yet got clothes packed so I am going to find something suitable to wear to the city. We are off to Wellington – that is Nathan, Azzan, Alice and I. Be back on the night of the 1st. I will have lots to tell you then so watch this space

What a day!!

Well, so much for getting anything done that I wanted to do today!

I was awake at some crazy hour this morning around 3-4 am and didn’t really get back to sleep after that. Tim got up around 5am and I couldn’t believe it when I heard him talking to someone in the kitchen.
I got up around 5:30am and found Shannie up and making buns. Another early bird like her Dad!

The major benefit of getting up early is that I can get my emailing done in peace and I also get to enjoy this amazing sunrise. It was so lovely this morning – calm and so colourful, just had to share these pics with you all.
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I had to get moving this morning as Ian our builder was due in around 9am and was expecting hot muffins at Waterfall bay when he arrived. Tim & Seb cut up the rest of the cow so we could take it with us over to put in the freezer. We got over there just before 10am and I an hadn’t arrived so I got to work and measured up the Lodge so I can get the paint organised when I go to town this week. Took photos to to show the paint experts and work out what colours I want. Ian still hadn’t arrived so Tim & I watched a bit of documentary TV – I am so technophobic I had to call Jesika to get instructions on how to turn the TV on!!. Tim usually finds things to do over there so he did whatever needed to be done today. Ian finally arrived at 11:30am and had time for a muffin before the tiling contractor and his boss arrived.

It was an interesting meeting with 5 of us in a small bathroom trying to come to some resolve. It all ended up good though. The job is being totally redone as there were too many mistakes to correct. So the contractor spent the rest of the afternoon demolishing the tiles and getting it ready for the new tiler to come and do in a few weeks time.

I had to wait around till he finally finished at 5:30pm to lock up and come home. Nathan had come over earlier in the dinghy to get mussels for Ian and take me home so Tim could head off earlier and do some spraying of weeds up the hill.

After dinner, well actually there were still some tardy small ones still eating but that didn’t stop the antics of the big boys! Nathan & Seb just have to pit their strengths and although Nathan tries his level best he can’t beat Seb – yet! There will come a day but until then he just keeps on a’tryin’!

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While I was away today Alice was in charge. It sounds like they all had a lot of fun baking, having tea parties in the tree house and watching ‘Old Yellar’. Azzan has some teddy bear baking pans which he thinks are his personal ones and he loves to bake teddy bears. He doesn’t particularly care what recipe you use as long as they are used. So today Alice supervised the making of butter biscuits – there weren’t a lot left by the time we got home tonight so I guess they were pretty good

Sedentary Sunday

A reasonably relaxed day was had by most around here – Seb has found the new sofa’s are a comfy place to read and you can guarantee not to be disturbed if you are listening to your ipod at the same time!
He got quite stroppy with Shannie today cuz she dashes through the house and keeps on leaving the doors open. I heard him remonstrating with her and saying it was at least -27’C outside. Slight exageration but I guess he was feeling a bit cool today. The saying here is that they were born in a whare with the door flap open!!

I managed to convince Tim into fixing the book shelves – they really needed some serious adjustments before being painted and nailing in. I heard him comment as he carried them out the door ‘I will change my attitude and then the job will go well’! I don’t think he really was that keen on doing them today, but he did – isn’t he a sweetie

I had to laugh though, as when Alice returned home this morning after speaking to her folks, she said that everytime she went to tell them what she had been doing they already knew cuz they had been reading my blog – ‘Hi there Mr & Mrs Chinn – and yes of course you can come here wwoofing, you are never too old’

So then of course she and Tim and Seb and Nathan had to get online to see what they had been doing Tim read what had happened a few days ago and said ‘My trousers have been mended!-!’ He hadn’t even noticed I had done them Alice reckoned we were experiencing a cyber relationship.

Marco and Smirnoff caused a lot of hilarity this afternoon when they were found sleeping on the deck like this. Marco looked very comfortable – not too sure what Smirfy was thinking.

I am discovering why my bathroom always seems to have large puddles of water and toothpaste and soap for miles – I have an imp who loves to do experiments in there – I caught him today.

Tonight Azzan was reading a large book about the human body and he found a large poster in the back which he unfolded and studied. ‘Where’s my spine?’ He then lay down to see how big he was. Then the girls had to see how big they were. He even measured Alice but she didn’t stay long enough for a photo.

Seb & Alice are watching Pirates of the Caribbean 2 tonight and I have made a massive inroads in the creation of my chunky book pages. It was a bit tedious gluing on 78 buttons with gel medium and getting enough room to lay them out with weight on them to make she they stick right, so I am taking 5 and will finish the rest later. Tomorrow I should have them all completed and then I can show you – yeehaaa!

A Day in the Life of the Farm

I have been corrected severely – Nathan was NOT killing a dog tucker – it was a house tucker.
Big difference that must be noted. You have to be good at the job to do the house meat whereas any old anybody can do the dogs

Today Tim and his entourage went out cattle mustering. He took Seb, Nathan, Shannie & Hali. They didn’t get to leave until after 10am so Tim was getting pretty frustrated by the time they took off. He estimated they would be home for lunch. Well, they were – it’s just that lunch for them was 4pm!

Here’s a graphic account of their day – photo’s taken on my camera by Seb & Nathan.
This is the farm truck in all it’s glory
You need it to get around this territory.
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You gotta have long legs to get around these hills

Tim always wears cricket pads for protection now when working the cattle in the yards because he has been kicked in the knees and legs so many times. It has been quite serious as the cows can really kick a punch and have put him out of action for quite some time in the past.
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I am totally correct this time in saying that this cow is for dog tucker. She had cancer of the eye, poor thing. The children love a hands on biology lesson – they are always in boots and all to help with the cutting up. Tim assured me tonight that they have been shown the various stomach compartments etc, so they are learning heaps when they are out with their Dad – even if they don’t realise it

I decided it was time to sort out the monstrous piles of books that were lying about the hall. Jesika and I started a data base on the computer several years ago and I have all my books in there. We have a sort of mini library so it is very handy to keep track of them all to avoid double purchasing and for lending too.

However I have been a bit remiss of late and there is a lot not in there so I added them in while Alice did the physical sorting. Graham had built me a couple of new shelves above the study door while Tim & I were away in Kaikoura. They needed painting but we decided we would just sort the books and use the shelf for now and paint it later once we managed to round up some paint and brushes. That was a good plan except we didn’t realise Graham hadn’t nailed the shelves up properly. I had just walked out of the study to get some more books from my bedroom when I heard this huge crash behind me. The shelves had tipped and all the books were strewn over the floor.

So, plan B is to paint the shelves in next couple of days and in the meantime the books are in more piles – sorted this time though-!!

Azzan was so good today, he played on the computer, watched a movie and then painted. Alice showed him how to make potato prints so he had lots of fun with that. Not so much paint spread around today thank goodness

Alice wanted to have a l-o-n-g chat to her folks in Scotland so she ran over to Waterfall Bay tonight. She will have the phone to herself and be able to have a good long unhassled talk and we will see her again tomorrow.

We had a fairly easy dinner tonight – crayfish in a coconut cream mornay on rice with beetroot. No-one was particularly hungry after having a 4:30pm lunch.

Domestic delight

We’ve had a couple of very domestic days.
Mahalia and Mez made dinner yesterday – 4 huge yummy pizza’s and salad with apple & rhubarb crumble. While they were doing that Alice was buzzing about doing all the other chores I needed done.

I have been struggling with designing the prototype page for the 39 5″x5″ pages I am committed to make for a chunky collaborative book. Anyway, yesterday it all fell into place and I am now away. I have been working away at all the bits so they should all be finished fairly soon.

Funny thing was, I needed my sewing machine for it so I asked Tim to get it down off the top shelf. He got all excited because his favourite work pants needed mending. I found them draped conspicuously over the machine. So before I could begin the pages I ended up mending them plus some of the children’s clothes. Mahalia & Azzan have never really seen me sew so they got all excited. Azzan had to see how I did everything and Mahalia was so rapt at my mending of her pants. I am just so glad she doesn’t know how well I can sew. I had no pins and had to sew stretchy patches over a hole in the knee of her stretchy pants – an interesting result to say the lease. But she was very happy

Just to clarify for those of you who haven’t known me long – For many many years I used to live behind my sewing machines. I sewed all the older children’s clothing plus mine & Tim’s and others. But when I was pregnant with Mahalia 8 years ago I was introduced to rubber stamping. From then on my sewing days diminished as I grew more and more absorbed by my passion with paper crafts. I still have all my machines and I have quilts that I will finish – one day, in fact I felt quite inspired this morning as I was looking through some of my stash of materials……..there’s just only so many hours ion the day though

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Tim & Seb built the platform for the chicken house to sit on. Tim wanted to get it up off the ground to prevent rodents from invading and nesting under it. Now, not only is it solidly built like the proverbial brick outhouse, but it will not go anywhere in a hurry as it is secured and tied down and I am sure will withstand hurricanes and earthquakes!

They have got as far as putting a manuka perch in so Mahalia lifted all the Pekhins up on to it today – am not too sure if they actually know how to get down! Hopefully tomorrow there will be a ladder and more perches. And if Shannie is very lucky a nesting box or two as well. We won’t hold our breath but it is making faster progress that she anticipated. She spends he time trying to catch the roosters and keep them cooped up. She is a far braver lass than her mother – She just grabs them with no worries about them pecking her.
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Mez & Alice spent this morning weeding and tidying up the back bank. It looks heaps better now. It is really great to have a pre-winter tidy up in the garden. They did a good job. Just the right amount removed without denuding it!

Mez had to leave on the mailboat so she got a last hug from Azzan – he likes the ladies and is always ready for a kiss and a cuddle. He came out last night and asked ‘Am I cute?’ Well, what do you say-!!

Azzan decided to paint this afternoon. He got himself all set up with newspaper and paint. When he was trying to tip the purple paint out it went all over the table – urghhh! So I cleaned it all up and decided I would assist him and tip the paints into the egg crate so at least it would be more contained – and guess what? When I was tipping the green paint there was more in the bottle and it was runnier than the other colours and I had a flood of green. Thankfully Azzan likes green When he finished he very neatly laid them all out to dry. Later on he brought them into the study to show me and was most proudly asking me if I thought they were pretty good. Tonight he decided to sellotape them all together so he could decorate the walls of his bedroom.

Judging by the dead carcass over Nathan’s shoulder and the smile on his face as he walked by the house tonight, and the smell of dead mutton I am assuming that he and Tim were killing dog tuckers – I had wondered where they had gotten to this afternoon. Sometimes they are very conspicuous by their absence

Just another day…

Nathan had his net set again. He was a very delighted chap when he came back with this catch. 7 snapper, 1 goat fish, 1 carpet shark and 2 teeny tiny leather jackets.

It was a pretty ordinary sort of day really. Mez did a some gardening for me and cleaned the fish tank – we can actually see the fish now! I caught up the wwoofers book with photos and fielded texts from Seb. He was doing a few chores in town for Tim & I and Cat’s car was proving to rather difficult. He had to call the AA to get it started and then the battery died again so had to get help again. Most frustrating for him. But he and Alice made it home safely late this afternoon.

Shannie was busy today trying to catch her roosters cuz Aunty Sylvia had told her that they are not good for the hens if she wants to get eggs. So we have managed to convince her she needs to get rid of them. At this point she has them separated off so we will see what their fate is soon. She was pretty upset this morning because her youngest pigeon died but we got her side-tracked by talking about how she and Tim were going to fix up the chicken house. Psychologists really don’t have a thing on parents do they

He had zipped down to a friends on the way in and collected the children’s pottery that had been left there for us to pick up. The children were delighted to see the finished results of their work from the 23rd March. They can post pics of their own on their blogs but as Azzan considers this site as his blog I will post his here
I painted Azzan a wee bowl which he was absolutely delighted with – esp because I had an ‘A’ inside it and his name on the bottom.

Nathan & Mez zipped up to Waterfall to clean Jesika’s fish tank. One of her fish had died a couple of days ago so the water needed changing, Mahalia was very pleased because it wasn’t Lucky who had died. Lucky is the only one of Jesika’s fish that has a name – it came from the previous owners and was appropriately named because as the sole survivor in the tank it was lucky to be alive!

I was feeling rather weary this arvo and found it a bit of a struggle to think about dinner. It was a very simple fish dish but my head just wouldn’t function. It was nice to have Mez and Alice to help out. We had a good laugh over a few sessions of Russell Coights All Aussie Outback adventures before dinner.

Seb is back home so the internet is on at full throttle again –
Nice to have you home Seb

We have had heaps of fun over the past two days. My bro Duncan and his wife Sylvia brought our cousin Lyall and his wife Cathryn down to visit. I have not seen Lyall for 12 years and it is near on 30 since he came here so it was a real extra special treat to see them again.
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Here we all are – cuzzies three. Duncan with the beard and Lyall with none! I’m in the red shirt and Cat with the red hair – just in case you couldn’t tell

Sylvia happily ensconced herself on the end of the wharf with her fishing rod – we had to drag her in screaming and kicking after dark for dinner Cat just walked about in a breathless haze talking wondrously about the paradise she had landed in. Lyall was just happy to be back and had a smile on his face the whole time.

Today we went up to Waterfall to examine the bathroom tiling job and take notes. Duncan is a builder so we were getting a second opinion. We really feel that the operations manager of the Flooring company is shafting us as they are putting off coming down to assess the job. Both Duncan & Lyall agree that is is a very substandard job and not at all done in a tradesman like manner. So we will definitely be standing our ground.

We went up in the boat as it is quicker and it was a beautiful day. Cathryn and Lyall just loved it.
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On the way back Tim got a feed of mussels for the cuzzies – they were fair drooling when they saw them come up out of the water.
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Nathan took Lyall fishing and then Sylvia. He likes to give his passengers thrills

While we had some extra man power we got them to help move the chicken house that we had been given. It has been built like a proverbial brick outhouse and is extremely heavy. Anyway, with a few ropes and a few grunts and heaves the three guys got it down the orchard, right side up in a better position to give the chickens a warmer, dryer place to live. Now Tim & Shannie have to finish it with perches and nesting boxes.
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While we were busy up at Waterfall Mez looked after the 3 youngest and then took Azzan & Mahalia kayaking after we got back home. They had a lovely time over on Pipi Beach in the sunshine.

Time to go get the rams.

This morning we finally managed to ascertain that Josh and Summer would be home today so we got organised. I made some date scones and cheese toasties, boiled some eggs and chucked some apples and crackers into a box. We finally steamed out of the bay just after midday and headed down the Sounds to Manaroa. Rather later than we had hoped but thems the breaks!

It took us a couple of hours to get there, it was rather pleasant lying in the sun on the boat reading my book. We ate our lunch on the way there so that kept the children happy. Josh met us at the wharf and we loaded into the tray behind the tractor and got a ride up to the house while he was towing the ‘Frolic’ home.

We had a lovely afternoon. After a cuppa and date scones the men went off to sort out the rams we had gone over to buy. We sat out in the sun and watched the children playing. A lovely leisurely afternoon. Once the sun went we all went back inside for another cuppa. I was showing Summer some of my art work on the internet and having a look at her paintings – which I must add are absolutely wonderful anyway, we realised that the children were all very quiet – I found my three playing quietly together in front of the picture window – a delightful scene.
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Summer took Mahalia out to feed the horse – an Appaloosa called Rain. Mahalia is now on a promise to come back and actually have a ride next time. She is of course totally delighted about the prospect.

We finally dragged ourselves away as the day was coming to a close, daylight not too long in disappearing and it was getting colder. Josh loaded us all onto and into the ute and we went back to the boat to load the rams on board. By this time the tide was much higher so it was easier. Our three hopped up top to get a view of the proceedings and not be in the way – most wise!
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Wee Nathan was a bit anxious as to how it was all going to work……

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But with a bit of brute strength the 4 rams were loaded safely on board and we headed home.
It was pitch black and we hadn’t left any lights on so it was a bit of a mission finding the wharf but we were soon unloaded and sorting food for dinner. As we had been snacking all the way home the children were quite happy with a small plate of egg rice and salad and a story. So they were soon off to bed and Tim, Mez and I had a peaceful meal to finish a lovely day.

A silly sunny Saturday

It was a beautiful sunny calm day today. Tim & Nathan got out on the water this morning and did some mussel work. I did a bit of office work and Mez cleaned the Cottage. The children played. Mahalia did her reading lesson. She is doing well, just got to keep the momentum up. After lunch Mez got dinner ready and then went for a walk with the children. They are all being rather random at the moment so here’s some shots of the afternoon.

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Azzan is wanting to write all the time. He gets paper and pens and does his lessons – then he tells me he has finished so he should get a prize-!!

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He was getting Mez to help him with his lessons this afternoon. He is a cute wee rogue

I actually got to make a heap of cards this afternoon. They were quite simple ones but effective for what I was wanting them for.

After dinner Tim took Nathan & Mez possum hunting. I have just had to endure a blow by blow description of where and when and how they two that they got met their demise. Nathan is becoming a true hunter – the long winded after match stories are such a must and are oh! so boring to those who are not actually interested. I am sure they could give a Readers Digest version for the rest of us, couldn’t they?

Fridays been and gone!

Friday started out quite mild considering what had been and what was coming.
I went up to the orchard to see Shannie with her chooks. She is so funny with them. I spose I have never really been a chooky person so it is cute to see her so involved with them. The come up and eat out of her hand. They all have names and personalities. There are 3 roosters and they give the hens a real hard time. Shannie used to get upset about it but when Tim explained the facts of life to her she is ok now cuz she thinks she is going to get more chickens One of the roosters name is Darth Vader – most appropriate I thought as he is the most stroppy of them all but he is the most beautiful. I think we may have to do a rooster cull sometime to give the poor hens a break!
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I took the opportunity to prune the vines that were growing all over the pigeon’s cage while on the way to the orchard. They were totally engulfing the cage and the birds couldn’t enjoy the small amount of sunlight we are still getting each day. I know Cat is going to read this and she will not be impressed because she doesn’t like me pruning anything, but as she is on the other side of the world at the moment I am free to be liberal with the secateurs Also, as Tim says – there is only a few weeks between a good haircut and a bad one – so by June 1st when she gets home the vines will probably have grown another 2 metres!!

Tim & Nathan went out to do to bloke stuff on the farm. Stock work etc. The children retreated to the attic to play, they are fully involved in their Lego at the moment. I have a friend on Vancouver Island who is a teacher and one of her pupils has sent us a Flat Stanley. So I spent several hours in the morning putting together a project about his visit with us. Then the mailboat arrived and Mez from South Africa arrived. After lunch it came in really cold and poured down so Mez spent the afternoon cleaning the attic. It took a while but the children eventually stopped their play and got really involved with her and decided to have a massive shift around with all the compartments. I think they plan to do more today. Mez was quite enthralled at the children’s creativeness up there, with all their dolls houses & furniture they have made and how they sort out areas for each type of play. They have a Lego area, a barbie/kelly/pollypockets doll area, Azzan’s area. So despite the mess they have a certain order – sounds like my art corner

The weather here is very dramatic and I love to watch the sea and the hills change. They really speak to me about what is happening. I know it sounds crazy but I can look out the window and see the chill coming. Everyone laughs at me when I comment that the sea has a cold or a wet look to it, but it really does. The hills just get a frigid icy look to them, they become so clear cut. Then at other times we can watch the southerly storm rolling across from south to north and then the winds cut across the bay in such interesting patterns that they tell us what’s coming before it gets here. Yesterday was one of those icy days where the hills are so defined and the storm clouds are hovering above and then not too long after the rainbow began creeping out to tell us that the rain won’t last too long.
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And it was right because we have woken theis mornign to the most beautiful day, the sea is calm, the sun is waking the hills, it is still cold but the promise is of a fine day.

I decided to have a look on TradeMe to see if I could find some Biggles books for Nathan. I ended up having a real spree and have now bought 21! Plus a few other random books that I have bids on. If any of you have any books by Capt WE Johns (Biggles and Worrals author) and you no longer want them I would be very happy to negotiate with you. Nathan is really enjoying them and with Azzan coming along I am sure he will too in the future.

After dinner we managed to watch the rest of Power of One. Mez had never seen it. We spent a really interesting hour or so afterwards talking about South Africa and man’s inhumanity to man and what is normal is relative to where you live. She and her family now live in the UK. She has found that the fear she grew up thinking was normal is not actually the way she wants to live anymore.

Yesterday Mum had a day of blood tests and transfusions. Ruth went in and sorted out her house and food situation and then went up and got her from the hospital about 8pm. Welcome home Mum