The end of another month

Why is it that I can never remember what happened yesterday?

I am sitting here struggling to think about what happened during the day.

I know I managed to make a card or two. I did do some more to the canvas I am working on.

I have just gone and picked Tim’s brains so here goes…..

Cat spent all day working on her hut. She has promised pics soon as it is nearly finished.
She was most bemused by a letter she received in the mail from Austria.
It was a very official letter written in German so thankfully Beat was able to translate.
It was a speeding ticket – apparently she got it May 2007.
Funnily enough that is when she and Anson were in Wyoming USA!!
So she is either a time traveller OR someone has used her name to get away with an offence. Which ever way it goes she has 2 weeks to pay or there are serious consequences. Like she won’t be able to visit Austria again.

Tim took everyone mustering in the morning.
I was busy in the study so by the time I got out to the kitchen it was quite late for lunch – like after 1:30 – but as no-one was around looking desperately hungry I decided to make three things that would feed the masses and last for several days. I made a big brew of Hummus, Iraqi Rice and Persian Couscous. It was a very late lunch but everyone was truly ready to eat by then.

Anson arrived home mid-afternoon bringing Estela with him. Remember her – she is from Brazil and spent several days with us in Christchurch and was also here wwoofing during the first school hols.

The children and I watched ‘Gorilla’s in the Mist’ about Dian Fossey.
Brilliant story. The children found it all a bit sad but it is good for them to realise that not all in life is happily ever after.

Masa & Megu cooked Okonomi Yaki for dinner.
It is a type of Japanese pancake with vegetables in it – it was enjoyed immensely by all. We had steak and salad with it.
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This is the Okonomi Yaki in front of them.
Masa is not very good at having his photo taken – too much posing
I made a large lemon meringue pie to celebrate Megu & Masa’s last supper with us.

There was much hilarity again at the dinner table. Anson & Seb were in fine fettle relegating us with tales and quotes from their first aid course. I pity their tutor – he must have had a battle trying to keep the class sane with Anson in it. There was another guy in the class who he was joshing around with who was very dark skinned. One of the things they had to do was raise one hand in the air and lower the other down. Then bring them up level and tell what colour their hands were. They should’ve been white and red because of the blood supply thing. The dark guy looked at his hands and commented that his were still black!!

We were at one stage discussing why Nathan needed special lambs milk to feed the baby goat. And why it isn’t good to put them onto cows milk when very young. Seb said you know if they have been given cows milk when they start saying ‘Moooooo’! Estela didn’t click for a few seconds and then once it hit there was more laughter. It just went on and on but I cannot recall everything to share with you – sorry – you just have to be here !!

Anson had been shopping for birthday presents while in town. He’s a very generous fella and loves to shop for his younger siblings. He gave Shannie hers – much to her delight it was more City Lego – a large box
with a fuel station and vehicles and several people. Of course the giving involved much craziness too.
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Anson had to try on the wee finger puppets Shannie had made, they are very cute and all have names.

All the older kids and wwoofers went over to Waterfall Bay to watch the World Cup rugby – All Blacks vs. Romania. We won 85-8 so are now in the quarter finals. This morning we discovered that they hadn’t long gone to bed. They all came back and had a party in Cat’s hut and hadn’t gone to bed till around 5am – so there were a lot of sorry looking people by the time they slowly surfaced mid morning.

Daylight saving began today – a week earlier than normal.
Herb and his Dad Graeme arrived in time for breakfast.
Then Masa & Megu packed up and left for there tramping trips around the South Island.
They said they will be back

The children are getting better. Mahalia all of a sudden made a rapid improvement at lunch time yesterday whereas Azzan, who had been good slid back again. Today he has been on the improve but still not too much into food and was just happy to cuddle up with Daddy for stories.

We had a changeover in The Cottage today so there was a mountain of washing.
It was extremely stormy, the best storm we’ve had in a while – mainly wind with some horizontal rain for most of the day. It was an act to keep the washing secured on the line but worth it with so much wind to dry it. We managed to get some washing dryish between showers and the rest went through the dryer. So there is now a mountain to fold tomorrow.

I finished the canvas I have been working on for the past few days. It is a present for a friend who is turning 21 soon. The girl in the pic is so like her it is uncanny.
It was really hard to get a good photo of it but you can get the idea of what it looks like.

The kittens are growing heaps now. Marco is a funny old cat – he seems have become the chief baby-sitter so their mother can go off shopping! Well, isn’t that what all young mothers prefer to do??

The girls were very quiet this morning – they spent hours in their bedroom with the Lego

This afternoon Azzan wanted to watch a movie so I put on ‘Ever After’ – it was such a good day for that one. I really enjoyed it. Hadn’t seen it all before so was nice to get the full story – now I know the true story of Cinderella

Despite there being 13 around the table tonight it was a lot quieter. Anson commented that it was quiet without Masa and Megu there. I rephrased that as – it was a lot quieter without Masa & Megu there for Anson to tease!!!

I am not too sure what is going on with my internet connection tonight – don’t know whether to blame, xtra or xanga or what – but talk about frustrating. I am getting the speed but nothing is happening. It took hours to actually get photos to load and nothing I do using Safari is happening easily. I have switched to Firefox and it seems better.

Well, I thought it was better but I couldn’t get the photos to come up so I have switched back to Safari to put them in the right places. Crazy! – it’s driving me nuts so I think I might just head off to bed and find my book. I am back to more of Torey Hayden’s books again.

A new kid and sick kids.

How fast do plans change?
Like the wind around here

Well, I had two days to do my gst and then Azzan got sick!

He started wilting on Wednesday afternoon. Developed a temperature and slept on the sofa. I unwisely had a late night and then he woke me at 12:30am – he was very hot and needed a drink. Then at 4:30am he came in crying with ear ache. I was fairly comatose and tried to comfort him with a cuddle. That didn’t work so I dragged myself out of bed to look for ear ache remedies.

The rest of the day I felt like a fonged out zombie. I had to get onto the accounts, I tucked him up on the sofa with a movie, he rested for a while and then not too long after I realised he was standing behind me crying. He was upset because he couldn’t find his shoe. He had gone and got dressed! I told him that no way was he going outside while he was sick. He winged and moaned that he was well now!

I convinced him to stay indoors. It was beautiful day and everyone else was outside but the air temp was cool. He wanted to watch a Little House on the Prairie so Megu & I and the girls watched it with him while we ate our lunch. I was very glad of some space to blob – the accounts and I were not getting along too well!

Then I sent the girls out to take Megu kayaking. When they got back Mahalia had a bath and then began complaining of a stomach ache and she also had a high temp. So Child 2 crashed! Then at dinner time I discovered that Megu had also gone to bed sick. So I had Azzan crying with ear ache and Mahalia crying with a tummy & head ache and also because Azzan was making so much noise! Between the spoonfuls of chopped garlic and honey followed by cranberry juice (a treat from Daddy’s medicinal supply used as a bribe), colloidal silver in their mouths and his ear, onion juice in his ear and lots of H2O to drink they seemed to settle somewhat. Well it would either kill or cure – eh?

Cat worked a full on day on the mussel boat – we had to wake her as her phone alarm had gone flat overnight and she had slept late, so she grabbed lunch and breakfast on the run. She didn’t get home till dinner time. Tim & the guys did some fencing, then he and Masa went bulldozing and moving fallen trees while Beat worked away on finishing the hut. He is doing a great job, the bathroom extension was begun around 6 years ago and never was completed properly so it is good to see it getting done now. Nate took Grant and the children fishing and then he and Ella loaded them all aboard for their return drive homeward in the late afternoon.

I gave Azzan a good dose of Paracetamol (hate using it but decided we both needed some sleep) and he was out to the count very quickly. Called a friend for some nurses advice on what to give Mahalia but by the time I got back to her she was very very sleepy and just happy for a cold wet cloth on her wee hot brow.

After dinner – a very quiet dinner – we watched Luther. It was an excellent account of the life of Martin Luther. I was so tired by the time it finished I crashed into bed hoping and praying for an uninterrupted nights sleep.

Azzan woke around 5:30am and came in to see us so I got up and left him and Tim to sleep a bit longer.

Cat went to work today to do some scuba diving. They had lost their mooring in the storm so she was employed to dive for it. She found it easily and then got paid for several extra hours to cover the dive time. She was pretty chuffed to get back so soon and have the day to carry on working on her hut.

Today the living room looked like this most of the day!
Megu came down to work – but after she had cleaned the Cottage and got the vege prep done she looked like death so I told her to rest – she slept the rest of the day away. Nathan cut up a pineapple for all the sickies and that went down well with them all.

Mahalia has had a very sore tummy all day, I suggested she have a soak in the bath for a while and that helped a little. The kiwifruit she then ate didn’t stay down too long though! She crashed out on the sofa again until Tim moved her to her own bed for the night.

Azzan’s earache seems to have improved although he did complain of it later tonight, but a warm hottie and some colloidal silver drops seem to have calmed him. He was happy to hop into my bed and watch a video. He was very grumpily and loudly yelling at me through the wall when it finished so I turned it off, told him off and went back to my work. He then curled up and slept on till we moved him into his own bed tonight.

Here’s hoping for them to be all well tomorrow.

So the past two days have merged between my accounts and keeping the sickies happy. Funnily enough as soon as I put on a movie for them their moans decreased immeasurably!

Seb arrived home this afternoon from his week in town. He was giving humerous accounts of the first aid course he and Anson attended. When I told him the children were sick – he was – ‘Right, I know what to do, I have just done a first aid course!’
‘First assess the scene…..’
He was also casting blame towards his mother tonight for his accident on the way home. He reckoned that it was the weight of all the fruit he had in his car that I had asked him to pick up which made his car unsteerable so he hit the bank. Couldn’t possibly entertain the idea that it might have been his driving at excessive speeds that could’ve been the probable cause

Look what Nathan & Masa caught while they were out mustering.
Looks like we have another baby.
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Don’t you just love its quirky wee lop ear?
I am assured that once it is big enough it will be released as I was having horror thoughts of a desecrated garden.
Goats are way worse than sheep for destruction of vegetation

I am still finishing off my gst – am in phone and computer consultation with my accounts lady. Just have to get it emailed and paid before midnight. I am really pushing the final hour this time but with visitors and sick children life just hasn’t been to orderly.

Plus amongst all of this I have been on the phone to the spa pool guys – we are having major problems geting the pool working. There appears to be a problem with the heating electronics and it looks like they will have to send an electrician in next week to fix it.

What a blessing I can do it online now.

Right – I am off to get it finsihed and hopefuly get to bed before tomorrow.

a busy few days

Yesterday was a wet drizzly sort of day.
A southerly came in during the night so the temperatures have dropped considerably and the waves are pounding on the shore.

Tim spent all morning over at Waterfall Bay with the electrician. Finally found the fault that had put half the house’s 3 pin plugs out – easily sorted for now which was good.

Cat left for work only to be called back home due to bad weather cancelling harvesting fro the day. No complaints though as she was able to do more work on her hut extensions.

The children played and watched movies. Tim brought Richard & Michelle and their two back for a late lunch. After lunch Anson took everyone up the hill to do some skidder boarding.

Michelle and I chatted the afternoon away while Richard and Tim wired the spa pool up. They had to get a cable across the house through the attic. Tim didn’t enjoy that too much. He’s too big to be squeezing thru wee spaces for too long.

Everyone arrived back in time for dinner – all full of fresh air and funshine

After dinner they played a card game of Prince and Pauper – although Tim was a bit rusty on the rules. I had a chat to Jesika. She is so busy at the moment that it is hard to find convenient times when she and we are able to talk.

Today, the children have had a bit of a blob day. Watched movies, played a bit.
Cat had a day at work, Anson left with a load of timber and headed to town. Unloaded that at the mill for treatment and then back into Nelson. Tim and Masa went up the hill to help him load it up and then they went fencing.

Beat has spent the past two days doing renovations and building repairs. Megu has done lots of baking for us in between the normal laundry and house cleaning.

Nathan filled the spa pool up with hot water and we got it functioning. I had to so a succession of chemical additives each hour and now it is heating – hopefully.

Azzan went down around midday. He has a highish temp and was very droopy. He curled up on the sofa and watched movies and slept the afternoon away.

Mahalia and Shoshannah made box cars for the wee ones. The twins really enjoyed being towed about in them.

Ella played checkers with Eli and some help from Eden.

Nathan took charge of dinner.
He organised and prepared most of it.
Ella bought up the casserole and baked potatoes but Nathan did the rest with a little help from Masa & Megu.
He spent a while typing up the menu – he lost it twice because he hadn’t saved it and the computer got turned off accidentally

Anyway, here it is –

Chicken, Bacon & Mushroom Casserole $8.50

Baked Potatoes $2.00

Potato Wedges $3.50

French bread $4.00

Baked Pumpkin $2.50

Mutton Chops 10.50

broccoli salad $4.50

desert – Mega mud puddle cake and custard

It was a rather random but yummy meal.

The 4 children ate Japanese style at the low table.
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Interesting smiles eh?

I have just realised to my horror that the month will be finishing this weekend.
The horror story is this –
I thought I still had another week left to do the gst
I now realise I haven’t and I have to get it done in the next two days – and as Queen so aptly puts it

‘thunderbolt of lightning, very very frighting me’

Guess what I will be doing tomorrow

A very busy noisy children day

We found Ella and Grant’s van parked right outside our back door this morning.
They had arrived around midnight so I am glad I didn’t wait up for them.

Our children have played all day. It has been fun to watch the interaction between the age groups. Some pairing off now and others in different pairs later.

Megu sorted out the linen cupboards for me and then I taught her how to make Pavlova. She then made two pumpkin cakes.

The chef at their restaurant sent them down a heap of food – we enjoyed chocolate brownie for morning tea.
Shannie and Eden ate theirs out in the sun under Nathan’s umbrella.

There was lots of giggles coming from the hall and in marched a trio playing some interesting musical instruments –
Hali on the sheeps horn, Shannie on the socks and Eden just giggled in tune

The twins are climbing anything that stands still long enough for them to get a grip so finally I got Nathan to bring down some baby toys from the attic to side track them. It was really cute to watch them – they are starting to actually play together – Ava decided to play carpet crabs for the pic while Brianna was more involved in the toys.

I got quite a lot more cards made this morning and then after lunch Ella got my baby back pack and we took off out for some fresh air. We went up to see how Cat’s new extension was progressing.
Megu spent the afternoon painting – this is what the ‘cave’ looks like from the front.
and from the back
Cat showing us where the driftwood was going to go – it is all done now, she’s a fast worker. I will get a pic of it to show you tomorrow.

Then Ella & Grant took the 3 little girls for a walk to The Croft.
I came back to the house and found Eli, Jesse and Nathan playing Settlers of Catan

I was a tad late getting on to dinner.
So while Ella went down to The Cottage to get some food for dinner Nathan baby sat the twins.
I heard him comment that it wasn’t that easy with two – one would be far easier to handle-!!
He did a great job though of reading to them and keeping them relatively quiet.
They sure are busy wee girls.

By the time Grant & Ella got back Shannie had Azzan & Eden in the bath and was reading them stories

The the twins were in too
Lots of fun and splashyness

Because dinner was late Nathan put ‘Flushed Away’ on for the children. We finally had a very yummy dinner and pavlova for desert.

We are expecting the electrician to come tomorrow so hopefully we will be able to use the spa real soon
On that note I think I should head off to bed – it is real late and all here have been sleeping for quite a while. It’s just begun raining again – we are getting some really nice gentle rain these past few days – and a southerly is pounding in on the beach. That should lull me off to sleep nicely

A cruisy weekend

Saturday was spent getting the house clean.
The guys were out doing guy things – digging holes, bull dozing and building with Cat, etc.
Megu helped me clean and cook.
Anson and Beat went out in the dinghy and set a net before dinner.

At dinner time I was relating my conversation about Mahalia’s teeth with our dentist to Tim. Because he sits at one end and I am way down the other end with the noisy hoards in between sometimes it feels a bit like trying to yell across a rugby field – plus there is so much interjection it is often hard to get a straight conversation! Anyway, I was telling them about testing the ph levels in the mouth because if they are high they can cause tooth decay. And Mahalia’s saliva has a high ph reading which helps to explain why she has had so many problems with her teeth. Nathan was wanting to know how they test the ph levels – he made some comment about not liking needles and he wasn’t having any tests etc done…..

So I took that line and was telling him that they get a huge big long needle about 6-8″ long and that they insert it through your mouth into the glands which go right through past the inner ear and almost to the back of your head. I was eyeballing him while telling him this so wasn’t aware of Masa until Cat burst out laughing. She had been watching Masa’s face – he was swallowing my story hook line and sinker!!! She said his face was a right picture. I wished I had seen it but I was too busy reeling Nathan in

Today Tim took all the big people out scalloping and to get Anson’s net in – they left about 6:30am and were home by mid morning with a wonderful catch of fish and scallops. It has been wet off and on all day. Really nice to be getting such a gentle rain.

The three young ones didn’t want to go so after they had done their chores they watched ‘The Silver Brumby.’
I had stayed in bed till around 8:30am finishing the book I began last night. I had a shower while the kids were watching their movie. I have to do my weekly weigh in – so far so good. the scales are still decreasing so that is good. Not heaps but at least there is no gains for the past few weeks. After breakfast I crashed out in the bean bags by the fire and read the next book in the series. They were the two Karen Kingsbury books that had recently arrived from Amazon. They are the sort of books that you just have to read to the end and then when you get there you wish you weren’t finished yet!

Seb went out to town today as he has several courses to attend this week. The first, tomorrow is part one of the Chainsaw safety course. Then he is doing a two day Work Place First Aid course with Anson on Thurs/Fri. I have just bought him this tee shirt. He was quite chuffed at all the comments he got last time he wore it to town – here is his cool look – can’t smile for the camera – might crack it!
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This afternoon Anson was on the receiving end of some tomfoolery with the little ones. I think he provoked it and he certainly wasn’t complaining about it.
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Azzan was having a great time – he would stand back and then jump and land on both knees on Anson’s side. A lesser man would’ve been curled up in pain – but I guess it is good weight training

We had a very plentiful sea food meal tonight. Masa and Megu cooked a pasta dish and Anson cooked the fish and scallops. It was all very delicious. Cat went to work at 6am and spent all day harvesting oysters. She bought a few home for dinner but we had so much else they are on a rain check for tomorrow.

Nathan & Beat watched ‘Cinderella Man’ before dinner so after dinner I watched ‘Step it Up.’ I needed a chick flick after the violence of the previous one It was such a cool movie – I am now off to bed with warm fuzzies

Our Girls Trip.

Mahalia and I have had a lovely girls trip to town.
We left Thursday around 7am. Had a fairly leisurely trip.
Stopped into see Syth – she is about 40mins from here and has the llamas. Mahalia was very sad to learn that two of the llamas had recently died.
We got to town around 11am, did a couple of things and then met Estelle for lunch.
Very handy having a cafe with electric power points – my phone was so close to flat.
We had a lovely lunch and then popped across the road to see browse the Save the Children gift shop.
They had some wonderful things in there.
Great place to find presents.

Left Estelle and went to do the rest of our chores.
We had appointments for haircuts mid afternoon. That was fun.
Mahalia had never had a pro cut before so it was most exciting for her.
She has lovely fine wispy curly baby hair and it was a real battlefield to get her hair unknotted.
She hated me attacking her with the hairbrush.
So I had suggested we bobbed her hair to give it a good start in the thickening up process.
Here she is before –
and during…
Lucie washed her hair
and Sandra cut it.

her baby curls hitting the floor
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She was totally delighted with the results
Scroll down to see…

We got back to the motel at dinner time and as it was still light and early we got some fish and chips and went to visit Uncle Martin and Sylvia. We shared our dinners and had a lovely few hours catching up.
Mahalia was so tired that she curled up and went to sleep on my knee.
She is not a light weight to carry down stairs and get into the car-!!

We both had a good nights sleep and were up and rearing to go this morning.
We popped back into town to get some things for Tim.
Mahalia wanted to visit The Warehouse – she had seen some Kelly dolls riding elephants in Farmers but they were a bit too expensive.
We went searching The Warehouse but couldn’t find any so she chose some princess dolls. The I found the Kelly’s. It was a hard decision. She wavered back and forth and finally chose the Kelly dolls. One for her and one for Shannie. She said to me ‘Why do they make so many pretty things? It makes it so hard to choose.’!! (I actually popped the princess dolls in and hid them away for when I need a future reward.

We then zipped out to see Estelle briefly, then high tailed out to Tasman to see Golda and Albert. They are packing up their house and moving to Melbourne. So they are very kindly taking Jesika’s saxophone over to her.

Then it was time to head back to Mapua for lunch at The Village Inn with the Sounds ladies. Got there to find Ella had forgotten we were coming so we started without her.

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She finally turned up on her motorbike.
her she is in her regalia with Mahalia – (like Hali’s haircut??)
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She zipped back home to change and pick up the three little girls and came back to join us.
The twins are still adorable – Ava (on left) is walking – Brianna is just standing and walking around things.
Mahalia and Eden played games inside for a while

It was a great interlude to our day and nice to catch up with the other ladies.
Mahalia hadn’t been too sure about how she was going to enjoy the day or if she would know any of the ladies.
Hard to believe this is our neighbours we are talking about here – such a sad indictment on our busy lives that our kids don’t know who lives nearby anymore
Anyway, on the way back to town she said – ‘All those ladies that I didn’t know were really nice, weren’t they?’ I think she was quite chuffed cuz they made a bit of a fuss over her and when you are the youngest girl in a big family that is special.
She has been telling everyone who asks if she is the youngest that she is the youngest girl.
It is like she has just registered that that is an important place to fit-!!

We headed back into town after 3pm.
Got Hali to her dentist appointment and while she was busy there I took off to pick up groceries and veges.
Got back to find her entertaining James and Raewyn. She was helping them clean the clinic. They were most impressed with her.

By the time we had gotten pizza for dinner and chosen some hire dvd’s it was getting late.
We called into my midwife to get another B12 shot on the way.

Mahalia had slept most of the way and I sang along loudly to Neil Diamond and Boyzone
I just love some of their songs.
One in particular always reminds me of a special friend we knew about 10 years ago.
He was killed tragically when the farming equipment he was using impaled him.
This song was sung at his funeral – I had never heard it before and it just so touched me.
He was a very firm believing Christian and heaps of fun to have around.
I so miss him.

(This is lyrics from
Boyzone – No Matter What

No matter what they tell us
No matter what they do
No matter what they teach us
What we believe is true

No matter what they call us
However they attack
No matter where they take us
We’ll find our own way back

I can’t deny what I believe
I can’t be what I’m not
I know I’ll love forever
I know, no matter what

If only tears were laughter
If only night was day
If only prayers were answered
Then we would hear God say


And I will keep you safe and strong
And shelter from the storm
No matter where it’s barren
A dream is being born
No matter who they follow
No matter where they lead
No matter how they judge us
I’ll be everyone you need
No matter if the sun don’t shine
Or if the skies are blue
No matter what the end is
My life began with you

I can’t deny what I believe
I can’t be what I’m not
I know, I know
I know this love’s forever
That’s all that matters now
No matter what

Got home at 10pm.
Tim helped me unpack and is now snoring.
I guess I should be sending up a few zeds too.

It’s nice to be home

Baking day

The most exciting thing to happen for Nathan yesterday was that he was finally allowed to light the new fire.
He has made it his personal responsibility to ensure there is enough wood stacked beside it to last an ice age, and he has successfully kept us all in furnace like conditions since the big match was lit last night
It really is living up to its endorsements though – it is amazing.
We are going to have to look into venting heat down to the bedrooms or else we are all going to be enjoying sauna like conditions

I couldn’t sleep this morning so was up before 4am and had some blissfully peaceful time making more cards and listening to the early morning radio.
Cat was up and gone before 6am – she had a days work on the oyster boat.
Tim left early to go get the rest of his boat trailer so he was gone most of the day.
Anson took Masa & Beat mustering.
Megu & Mahalia went around to clean The Croft.

I made raspberry and choc chip muffins and some wheat free bread for Tim & Cat.
The muffins disappeared very quickly so they must’ve been good.

The children all decided to bake too.
First Shoshannah made bread buns
I found them rising on the bench.
She had gone off mustering with the blokes.
I was thinking to myself – now this is an interesting colour for bread
When she got home I asked her what she had put in it – ‘Oh, I just added some cocoa’ she replied airily.
Only she could make chocolate bread and then allow everyone to enjoy it with pumpkin soup-!!
And they truly were enjoyed

Then Nathan wanted to make croissants
We ate them with our dinner. Very delicious they were too.
I had made curried sausages and eggs on rice and they went down well with that.

Mahalia had been wanting to bake a cake for days so finally she and Megu got together and made a chocolate cake.
They used up all 10 egg whites and the coffee mixture left over from the Tirimasu.
We have a special chocolate cake recipe that I inherited from Aunty Sandra many years ago – it is still our main recipe and it handled the improvisation very well today.
Mahalia was most proud to have finally baked her first cake and then iced it herself.
We had it for dessert and it was very yummy

Shannie was creating stories while all the afternoon baking was happening
Azzan enjoys listening to stories and music on cd. So he entertained me while I was making cards.
He told me he knows how to do the Boogie Woogie now

Then after all of that they took Megu for a big long walk.

It was a beautiful day and Shannie was jibbing at being inside.
Anson went to Pohunui in the dinghy – just hope it is calm for his return trip tomorrow.

Cat arrived home from work at lunch time so she and the guys carried on working on her bedroom extension. She is making great progress and as she typically does – fossicks for materials and then as she finds things her plans change and grow and develop into something quite different to first planned. The cave is turning into a mansion-!!

Well, I am off to Nelson tomorrow with Mahalia. We have a few appointments and a lunch date on Friday.
Be back Friday night – don’t miss me too much

busy daze

Yesterday was busy.
Quite good after a few lazy days.
There was activity everywhere.
I asked Megu to give the Shannie & Azzan’s room a HUGE clean out – we have/had lost several library cd’s and tapes so I was pretty keen to locate them.
Then there was a discussion as to when Shannie could have a room to herself.
That is not actually possible yet so I suggested if she could convince Azzan that he would like to sleep in his own room and Mahalia was happy to change then they could change rooms.

This is actually quite a big move for Azzan.
Ever since he left his cot he has slept with Shoshannah. When I put him in his bunk bed I would always find that he had climbed up into her bunk and would be cuddled up sleeping with her. So when I had the chance to buy some 2nd hand split King beds I put one in their room – thought it would give her more room. But inevitably I would find them cuddled up together on one side. Often Mahalia would move in and there would be three in the bed. Recently we split the beds and he has been happy to sleep in his own bed in her room. So this is the first time for him to be all alone in his own room.

this is the results
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Poor Megu!
It was a ginormous task but she did it with their ‘help’ and by lunch time they were all moved and Azzan had taken refuge in his very own room – under threat from Mahalia to ‘Keep It Clean’ – she hasn’t totally relinquished it yet

The kittens are growing and I was told by numerous people that the kittens have now opened their eyes, it was so exciting!! – they are still very tiny – Cat bought this one down to show me.

After lunch I went for a wander to see what was happening in the outside world.
Cat has another project on the go.
She is extending her hut out to make a bedroom. She is tired of her visitors having to take up all the living space when sleeping over so is pushing out the back wall to make a cave room. Should be really cool.
She has had Masa digging for days now and they are now making good progress. Seb had just gotten back from town and had to supervise events before putting the wheels back on his old car to move it out of Anson’s way.
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Anson & Beat chopped up a heap of fire wood to replenish the house supplies. Anson is on a mission – he has a list and is working his way through it. Near the top of the list – they have to clear some land and lower it to make room to build his car-shed and sleep-out. There is much discussion as to whether it will be done by tractor or bulldozer. Tim wants to get his dozer in there and get the job done – Cat doesn’t want him to make such a big mess. Watch this space to see who wins

Shannie made her Daddy a carrot cake in the teddy baking tin. She had help from Hali and Azzan. Not too sure whether the help was needed but they were in there whether she liked it or not. Azzan loves to wear Jesika’s cast off aprons.
The cake was great – she made is wheat free so Tim & Cat have really enjoyed it.
The anticipation of what was coming ……..


You do need help to blow out the candles, don’t you Daddy??
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Daddy with his three wee darlings

Masa had gone to Mt Cook for a job interview during the weekend so had missed all the birthdays, boat trips etc. So we saved Tiramisu for him.
He and Megu really enjoy deserts

Meal times with Anson here are so crazy – his sense of humour just over flows and never stops. His antics have everyone in stitches – he and Seb manage to impersonate so many different movie and colloquial characters. It makes for very loud and busy mealtimes

I was really tired last night because Alan & his friend had arrived the night before around 9:30pm and stay to talk till nearly midnight. They spent the day pottering around here and then drove back to Nelson later in the afternoon.
I went off to bed early – am reading yet another of Tory Hayden’s books. They really are gripping reading.
This morning Anson got Beat to help clean out the meat safe, Masa was doing more digging for Cat and Megu and I spent ALL morning food processing – AGAIN!
It never stops, but at least I have dinner made for the next two days now, plus lunch for several days.

The building inspector finally arrived this morning to check out our fire installations. He passed them both so was can now light the new fire and demolish the old one.

This afternoon Tim has a truck coming in to unload and load timber so everyone has gone up the hill to assist and/or watch the proceedings.

I am going to post this and then go do some art work. I have some ideas whirling in my head so want to have some space to try them out.

and than space is now…………….

The camping trip

I was watching the last of my movie when I got a text from Ans to say they were on their way home.
I text back and asked why so early – I hadn’t had time to de-stress yet !!
They normally don’t get back till much later in the day.
But the weather had come up yucky so they were heading back.
The arrived around lunch time so had all afternoon to unpack the gear and then most of the big people slept a while.

Here is an account of the trip from Cat’s camera.

When they were about to leave yesterday it was beautiful, flat calm and sunny.
Azzan had had a swim fully clothed so tore up to the house in a hurry for dry clothes.
I had seen him lying stark naked on the front of the boat and had chuckled about the cute bow sprit so was pleased to see Cat had thought so too and had caught the moment

Shannie filleting fish

The view from up the hill where the older crew went to look for game – the boat is moored below, the sun is beginning to set.

Shannie’s drift wood fort

Shannie, Azzan & Beat doing beach art
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Coming home – poor Megu and Azzan were sea sick
They must’ve been quite washed up cuz here they are sound asleep on the side of the boat.

Cat’s feet – I like this pic – quite artistic

Something amused the captain

Well, they didn’t catch any pigs or deer but they did come home with a good pile of fish.
So fresh fish for dinner was most delicious tonight. The little ones were so tired I fed them early. Azzan and Mahalia had a very deep and very long bath before dinner. I think he was in it for an hour or more!!

After dinner – while they were ‘supposed’ to be doing the dishes (Megu & Beat did them instead!)
Anson gave Nate some scrum practise.
I think there was a bit of a size discrepancy.

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Back to work tomorrow so off to bed now…..

All sorts

Well, that movie was great. (‘Never Been Kissed’)
I enjoyed it so much I had to watch the last scene over again
What a warm fuzzy way to go off to bed.

Saturday morning zipped past – sort of flew out of the window for me.
I have been organising a trip and that has taken up a lot of time with calls between the travel agent and family members to try and co-ordinate the right times to travel.
So I spent a long time talking with Jesika.
While we were talking the rest of the family decided to pack up and head off out to D’Urville Island on a camping trip.
They left around midday and then when I finished talking with Jesika I found a message from Brianna – so I called her – finally lunch was around 2pm I think-!! Or was that breakfast – can’t actually remember.

Seb spent all afternoon working on his ‘new’ car. I sorted and tidied the study in between phone calls. Plus spent a long time putting some story cd’s onto the computer so the children can listen to them. I am getting quite a library of talking book cd’s and I don’t like to let them go until I have backup copies because I can’t trust the little ones not to scratch them.

Seb and I were enjoying our dinner while watching ‘Catch me if you can’ – it was getting to be a rather intriguing movie and then….
The power went off

Bother, blast and all of that.
Seb found a torch and I called the power company and they said they would send someone out to fix it. The guy in the office must be a newbie cuz I got asked where we lived and where I worked. Excuse me?
‘Do you come into town to work?’
‘No, I don’t. It is a 3 hour drive to town’.
‘Oh, I guess it is a bit far isn’t it!’

Then another guy called to say that it looked like it was all of our peninsula that was off and were we having rain, wind, lightening out here. ‘No’, I replied.
So he figured it must be one of our furry critters at it again. (Possums for the information of all you foreigners and townies)

So Seb went off to bed and I read by candle light for a bit and then went to bed around 9pm and read for a while by torch light. Not the best so I went to sleep.

Must have been totally out to it when the phone went at 11:30pm.
I staggered out of bed, could barely talk I was so groggy – but I did hear the guy saying that they had fixed the power.
How kind of him to let me know.
I dare say I could’ve waited till morning to get that wonderful piece of news

Up early this morning. Seb left for Nelson at 7am. He is going to his mates b’day party.
Know what 17/18yr olds do?
They go to movies and then Burger King.
Sounds pretty exciting eh

I finished loading the story cd’s on the computer and then had my breakfast while watching the rest of “Catch me if you can’. What a brilliant story – now I want to read the book. It is based on the brief life of Frank Abignale Jr. The youngest con man in America.

Nathan took these photos of Shannie’s b’day that we missed.
Looks fun eh?
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and lastly for now
This is the sheep that drives me insane.
Her name is Josephine.
And she thinks she has total licence to stroll about our garden eating anything she fancies.
I threaten extinction, I threaten murder, and she disappears for awhile back out on to the farm or gets tethered somewhere.
But she always find her way back

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And as you can see – Tim does not help the situation – enticing her into the kitchen to eat fruit