Celebrations all round!!

It was the final of the Rugby World Cup in France this morning. So we were all u early and whizzing out the door to go to Waterfall bay to watch the game. England vs South Africa. What a game. England really tried hard but SA had such a tight defence they just could not break through. 15-6 was the final score and the jubilation from the South Africans was immense as was the disappointment of the Brits.
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While the adults watched all the game I did a stock take in the shop to see what supplies I need to get while I am away. I also did a cook up of toast and jam and hash browns that I found in the freezer. The kids got to it first
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Another 4 years and we will be watching the games here in New Zealand – not too long to wait

I have spent quite a while today on the phone talking to Bri and others plus sorting out my internet. I have changed my server from Xtra to Orcon – a good move. But this arvo for some obscure reason I am having major problems sending mail out. I am receiving it fine but it won’t leave – darn it!
Probably just a small hiccup somewhere but most frustrating.
But the great news is – Bri is coming home early December – I am so excited

Today was also the day we celebrated Nathan’s 12th birthday. It is officially on the 23rd but we brought it forward two days to fit in with our social calendar.

As soon as we got back from WB Nathan was in the kitchen. He baked two cakes and made the complete meal himself. He was very glad when Tim took everyone out scalloping because he got the kitchen to himself.

He did very well. Provided a delicious and wholesome meal for 12 of us. He roasted mutton, pumpkin, and potato chips. He made a lettuce salad and a rice salad. Plus he made French bread in a foccacia style. He decorated the cake totally by himself.

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Nathan has a difficult time at the moment to not be too severe or pull faces in photos so Cat was trying to show him how to smile

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He even lit his own candles!

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We all gave him 100% for such a great effort. He did good. No he didn’t – He did GREAT!

Conversations

Azzan and I have some pretty deep and meaningful conversations these days.

He hs been pondering about what things are real and what is not.
He was asking me about some of the movies they watch.
One series is ‘Superbook’ – an animation with two children and a robot who travel in time and end up in the middle of Bible stories. He was trying to figure out what exactly was true and what wasn’t. I was explaining that they were a bit like Adventures in Odyssey stories – where they characters are made up but the actual story is true – so you can get an understanding about living in those times.

Then he asked if Compassion and Mercy were true.
I said yes they are and and did he know what they meant.
He told me that –
Compassion is what you have for others who deserve it and Mercy is what you give to people who don’t deserve it. Because you have to give them a second chance.
For a 5yr old he had it pretty sussed I thought!

At dinner last night he got a bit sad and told me that he had never had a cheeseburger
(Rather random I thought, but still most important to him at the time)
So his two biggest bros gave him a run down on what was in a hamburger and how wonderful and greasy and fattening they were. Anson told him he would take him to Maccas some time and buy him one. And then there was a general discussion on whether they were better from Maccas or Burger King. According to Seb Burger King wins hands down on value for money – I personally don’t believe a word of it – can’t bear them-!!
So after all of this Azzan quietly said to me – ‘Now I know it’s yucky I don’t want one’ That’s my boy-!!

Tonight at the table he wanted to know who would look after me when I got very old like Granny (Sorry Mum )
I said that he would, of course. He gave me a big grin and a hug and appeared very pleased at the thought.

He is a lot better today. Buit he decided he did not want to get dressed this morning so he stayed in his pyjamas all day and was very pleased that he had tonight. When the girls were sent to get ready for bed – he already was

Nathan asked me yesterday if he could make his own birthday cake.
I told him that it would give me no end of pleasure to allow him that small favour
Shannie said ‘But birthday cakes are sposed to be a surprise.’
Nathan replied ‘Well, it will be to you.’

His 12th birthday is on Tuesday but we are celebrating it tomorrow – 2 days early because The Tyler family can join us and make more of a party and also the 3 youngest and I will be leaving very early Tuesday for our trip away.

So, he has now requested that he make all his dinner. He is planning the menu and has the meat out of the freezer tonight and is making very loud noises about cooking all day tomorrow – so we should be in for a feast tomorrow night.

Shannie gets a Scooby Doo magazine which features a different country each month. She loves making the recipes. They are interesting but simple with ingrediants we usually have on hand. Today it was nachos. They were scrummy dumptious. I even had to try these.
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I never know what photos I am going to find on my camera at night. Today Shannie asked if she could take a photo of one of her birds. When I loaded the pictures tonight there were 43!! So here are some of her chickens
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and the kittens
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Cute wee bundles aren’t they.
They are pretty intelligent.
They have been following Cat or Shannie into the toilet and then do their business in the corner – eeeuch!
Shannie thought this was hilarious when it first happened.
Cat didn’t, so has shifted their basket out of the wash house regions to give them the idea of going else where.

Hercules the goat is getting rather adventurous. It still sleeps inside at night because it is way too cold outside. Tonight Cat brought it in and it had a lot of fun chasing Azzan and trying to eat his pyjamas,
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It really is finding it’s goat legs – it straight away tries to climb the high peaks (the big cushions and chairs) and nibbles anything. It decided to investigate Shannie’s art workings – not at all worried that it was standing on the library books.
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It was pretty good at keeping just in front of Azzan. Nathan had felt sorry for it being out in the cold wind so he constructed this warm coat for it out of one of Tim’s old woollen socks. Very effective

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Cat was helping me make salad so tried to convince it that parsley and broccoli were more tasty than Azzan.

Tim has been busy mustering today – he was really whacked when he came in tonight. Anson is still working on his fence but still had plenty of energy to play rugby on Cat’s lawn. She gets rather annoyed – with all those very large male bodies hooning around up there on a damp lawn they very quickly turn it into a bog and her garden gets demolished. But they are typical bulls in a china shop – deaf-!!

Seb is making progress in his goal to gain as many NZQA credits that he can so when he applies for the Navy he has plenty under his belt. He has now got way over the requirement for English so that is a huge boost for him cuz English is not his strong subject and he has really had to work hard at it.

We did a small amount of school work this morning. Did a fact sheet about snakes and some basics. Eare arrived this arvo and bought in some ink cartridges for my printer so I can now get some more pics printed for the children to complete this part of their India unit. We will carry on with the history and religion once we get home again – they will be much more indepth than the animal studies.

I had a chat with Jesika today – she was very happy to know that she and Frances have finally got a flat to move into soon. And it is the very one they wanted Azzan and Shannie filled her up with all the local goss. The children really miss the older girls. Azzan often asks when Sunni is coming home He has an amazingly retentative wee mind. Sunni is the one he has seen the least of him being the youngest and her living away from home for the past 10 years – he still asks about her and talks about her as much as the others. It is very exciting because Sunni and Ryan are coming home for 3 days just after Christmas – it will be so good to see them. Vancouver is such a long way away. And Bri is coming home in January for several weeks too – cool We have to wait till April for Jesika to come home.

The update on that is this – Shannie, Granny and I are flying to Melbourne on Easter Sunday next year to stay a week with Jesika. Then we all travel to Adelaide and take the train (2.5 days) across the Nullabor to Perth. Then have a week in Perth with my two bros and then we all fly home on 16th April. Jesika is coming home then for 2-3 weeks holiday. Shannie is so excited. She keeps coming and asking me how long is it now?

I can see the next 5 months will fly for me but drag for her – she is very excited to be going to a zoo and also the anticipation of sleeping on a train

Beware – men in the kitchen!

We all had a pretty good day today.
Weather was still cold but at least the sun was shining.
If you were out of the breeze and shadow you kept warm – but otherwise……brrrr!

The children and I covered some more on our project. We read about elephants and did some more on Tigers.
I was hoping my replacement ink cartridges would’ve arrived on the mailboat but they didn’t. So I can’t print off any pictures for the children to finish their pages now until we get home in 2 weeks time – bother it!

Mahalia made better progress with her reading today – she really struggles. Some days the light goes on and she goes for it and other days it is such a mission to get anything happening. Nathan finished his story today and we sorted his spelling words.

I had told Seb yesterday that he was on cooking dinner today. I did expect a struggle but he was up and at it this morning with great enthusiasm. He got into the kitchen and cleaned up after breakfast, spent time showing Mahalia how to actually complete the dish drying process and then he got all the veges prepared and into the wood stove.

He then proceeded to bake a coffee cake. It looked pretty good and by the reaction from all the consumers it tasted great. He really can cook when he puts his mind to it. The main problem is that he would rather be on the receiving end of the food chain than the manufacturing-!! When he started cutting into it I suggested he kept it for desert, but no, he told me he intended on coming back in after he had helped Anson ram in some posts on the fence line just before dinner to make a desert as well. He did too. He made a baked butterscotch self saucing pudding and it went down a treat. Weren’t we just the spoiled ones

I have to say though that I am being very good. I lost 2.5kg during the 2 week cleanse I finished on Sunday. And since then I am being very careful about what I eat. I am not starving but I am avoiding all those things that I know as too dangerous for me – like wheat products and carbohydrates and keeping to minimal meats. So I just looked at the cake and desert and admired it. It actually is not too hard because I am have plenty of fresh fruit around to eat which keeps the sweet tooth happy.

Azzan was still droopy today. He seems to be running a small temp and has big heavy eyes. He decided while we were doing out school work that he would like to paint so he went down and got all the paints and happily smothered paint all over his papers and then spread them all over the floor to dry. We had to watch our step there for a while. That was enough exertion for a while, he had to rest after that. He managed to eat a little bit of lunch and then slept on my bed for a while.

When Mahalia had a spa he said he was too sick to have one While I was giving him a cuddle I heard a very upset Shannie coming inside. She was sobbing in pain cuz she had fallen off the tree house ladder and had hurt her arm. I suggested that seeing as it didn’t appear to be broken that she should have a shower and then hop in the spa.

She carried on for a while and then decided later on that she would, then Azzan decided he might just hop in too. When she got out Seb had finished in the kitchen so he joined Azzan. I was in the study talking to Tim and I could hear Seb through the wall singing at the top of his voice. He was taking off the old goat on ‘Hoodwinked’ and just changing the words – sounded hilarious. If you don’t know the movie then you need to check it out. It is a classic.

I couldn’t resist these photos tonight. Seb making salad and Anson carving the meat. There is not a lot of room in the kitchen when the blokes are in there. Not that I am complaining – I rather enjoy having them there
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Seb is beginning to look more like his dad every day. When I first went out with Tim (centuries ago, the children would add in here!) his usual attire was very short black shorts and a black bush singlet. Seb’s hair is not quite as long as Tim’s was and he hasn’t got the beard or the gumboots on but he’s getting there-!!

I had a great time in the study this arvo – got all the paper work filed, biffed all the junk, sorted piles of cast off clothes, cleaned the top of the desk and started getting things together for my trip to town. It is beginning to look like a very busy morning on Tuesday with a very early start as I have to have Azzan at the doctor by 9am – and it is a 3 hour drive to town! I now also have to take out all the lightening damaged items to various repair places to get them verified that they are faulty or dead for the insurance.

Anson has taken Nathan out spotlighting so I might just go find Tim and see if he wants a dip in the spa before we hit the hay. Sounds a good plan eh?

It’s soooo cold here today – brrrrrr!!!

We woke to a very cold southerly wind pounding in on the beach this morning.
It had been raining.
Cat went off to work and came back frozed to the bone.

Shannie went fishing last night and caught some fish for the cats.
She was especially proud of the leather jacket she caught – it was a pretty big one.
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Anson spent most of the day marking out his fence and digging more holes.
I suggested very strongly that Seb & Nathan should go up there this arvo and show some muscle.
Found out tonight that Seb did & dug 11 holes – and Nathan walked past and literally just showed his muscle.
That was all that was seen of him up there.
But he was sorta forgiven by the troops as he produced a pretty tasty lemon meringue pie for desert tonight.

I did some more on India with the children.
Today it was all about the Tiger, Indian clothing and architecture.
Nathan actually is taking what I have said to heart and he started writing a really good story today.
I am suggesting he writes something every day and then we can work on his spelling words. He has seen what I am doing with Shannie so he is realising that it is the way to go. He is such a bright lad but his lack of writing and spelling skills is really holding him back. Shannie has no worries in that area – she is prolific with her writing. I have started going thru her stories and writing every word that she mis-spells in a notebook and then she practises them. Very low key but gives her a focus without me having to destroy her stories with red pen all over.

Azzan is still not great. He is still running a slightly high temperature.
I was in the study this arvo paying bills and clearing away some paper work when he came in with a recipe book.
He wanted to make a fruit salad for desert tonight. But he was upset because no-one would help him right then.
So I explained that it was a little early to make it yet cuz the fruit would spoil and maybe he could go and have a wee rest on his bed and that I would help him once I had finished.

When I got things all cleaned up in here I went to look for him and he was being such a good wee man, lying in his bed resting and waiting patiently. As soon as he saw me he was up and with the all important recipe book came out to the kitchen to cook.
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So we cut up all the fruit. He did a great job and cut up all the strawberries, kiwifruit and apple all by himself, I cut up the oranges and added the grapes and a can of fruit salad and pineapple.
It was very yummy and went well with Nathan’s pie.

The two girls braved the conditions and had a spa before dinner. They didn’t waste too much time getting inside to the fire when they hopped out!!

Tonight Cat was saying that she was asked recently about all the children’s names and where they came from. I said I often get asked and did she and the guys actually know. All she really knew was that her 2nd name was from a girl in a tv show that Dad liked and Seb was from a movie that I liked!! So we had an interesting talk about them all and then I finished up by saying that when Azzan was born I really wanted a girl cuz I had a girls name picked out that I won’t get to use now. To which Seb replied ‘You did get a girl! Princess Azzan!!’
Aren’t big brothers so mean sometimes?
I must go look out some photos of my big brawny boys when they were small and dressed up in their sisters clothes so Azzan can get revenge

It is really really cold tonight – in fact it has been a struggle to keep warm most of the day so I think it might just be time to go snuggle under the covers with my electric blanket and book.

Wednesday night

Wednesday night and all is quiet.

I have had a couple of reasonably industrious days.
Yesterday was a catch up day.
I got a lot of research on the net done for our India project.

Azzan is not 100% at the moment.
he is sort of okay but not really.
He will be up and about and then he droops.
Yesterday afternoon he was drooping so I suggested he went and lay down on my bed. When I found him later on he was sound asleep on top of the bed. I covered him up and he slept for hours.

He came out just on dinner time and wanted dinner on the sofa. But he really didn’t eat much.
Seb was the same. He had a sleep too but he did come out and eat. It takes a lot to stop him from ingesting food!
Shoshannah and Seb and Mahalia are all having ear ache. It is not really bad but just enough to irritate them.
So they have all been getting garlic oil popped into their ears when they complain and Vit C in their mouths. It seems to be keeping it at bay.
It is a really weird bug though. Just enough to make them a bit wilty but not really sick.

Azzan told me last night that he wanted breakfast, lunch and dinner in bed today.

Anson and Tim went out mustering in the morning with Nathan and Shannie. They were getting stock ready to go out on the truck today. When Cat is not working for MacLab she is working away on her yacht. It is progressing but she is refusing to tell when it will go in the water. It is too hard a decision as there is always something more to be done.

Today Cat & Seb went harvesting oysters. Cat came home with a horrid head ache. She had been smacked on the side of her head by a large steel wheel and the side of her forehead was all bruised and it is sore right done the side of her face Hopefully it will be better after a good nights sleep.

Tim and Anson got the sheep and cattle sorted and loaded onto the truck this morning. Anson is persevering with his fence – it is coming along but still a lot to do.

Azzan came in to the study this morning. His eyes were barely open and he said to me,
‘I thought I was having breakfast in bed today.’
I told him I would get it for him if he hopped back into bed.
I wasn’t quick enough for him so he went out to the kitchen and poured rice bubbles into a bowl and added the milk. He then came and told me it was all ready for me to bring into him
He very happily sat up in his bed and ate the rice bubbles, plus a piece of toast Tim had already made for him.

Then he came back to visit me.
I was printing out a heap of stuff on India – then the ink ran out half way through so I made a quick call and ordered more. Hopefully it will get here on Friday’s mailboat.
Azzan said to me – ‘I have to walk slowly because me feet won’t run.’
I asked why?
He replied as if I was a half-wit – ‘Cause I am really really really sick.’!!

Then tonight while he was cuddling on my knee – after he had dinner on the sofa cuz he was too sick to eat at the table with us he told me that when he was sick he could still smile, he just couldn’t run

We had a really good morning at school today.
We covered a heap of stuff. All about India and it’s climate, I can now tell you how a monsoon happens and what effects it has and why India gets hit by them and cyclones and why so much devastation happens today and that India is the 2nd largest populated country in the world with over 1,100,000,000 people!!!

We also had a good look at the Ganges River – most interesting. I knew it was sacred but I never knew the story behind it or the fact that the Hindu’s believe it to be the goddess Ganga. And that they worship it just like any other stone statue.

Tim was busy on the phone after dinner so I cuddled Azzan up on the sofa and read him some stories while he was waiting for Daddy to put him to bed. The first one was ‘Brave Soldier Janosh’ which he really enjoys. During the story I was explaining to him why the old village men sat and believed all his very stretched war stories but the young student didn’t. It says in the story that the student would sneeze at the stories – meaning that he didn’t believe them. I explained that the student was more learned and could read whereas the old men were most likely unable to read and probably had never been outside the village so they believed whatever he told them.

After we finished that story we went on to read another, and then as I was about to read the 3rd book I sneezed loudly. Without blinking an eye lid Azzan said ‘then that must mean the story isn’t true.’ I was wondering what on earth he meant and then all of a sudden it clicked. I burst out laughing. He is just too quick that lad

And on that note – I am going to have my evening spa and hit the hay.

Home again – for a week at least!

I am just catching my breath.
I just spent the last two days in Blenheim.

Tim was not well on Sunday. I dragged him out of bed around 6:30am to have a spa not realising he wasn’t feeling too great. While I was packing I found he had disappeared back to bed. He was trying to sleep but this is what I found in bed with him
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I got them out and left him sleeping.
Azzan decided it was time to clean out his room so I left him with all his mess chucked out into the hall while he sorted things.

Mahalia and I finally left mid morning so we could get there in time to get some shopping done before most shops shut at 4pm.

When we got to the top of the hill we saw the oil-rig. It has been parked up there for a week or so. They bring them in to Admiralty Bay when they are on the way to somewhere else as it is way cheaper than in a harbour or marina. This one has had rather a stormy visit and nearly went ashore on a nearby point one night.
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It was a very windy feisty day – Mahalia & I agreed that it would not be a good day for a trip around D’Urville Island-!!

We had a good trip out, she is fairly quiet to travel with, not like my chatter box Shannie I was struggling to stay awake so just befor Havelock I pulled over to rest my eyes for a few moments. I must have had a quick doze cuz Hali was saying ‘Mum, Mum, there’s been heaps of cars going past, are we going to town or not?’!!

We stopped off briefly to unload at Granny’s and then got a quick bite to eat and zipped around all the shops I needed to get to. Got a new TV and DVD player for Waterfall to replace the lightening struck ones and some boat carpet for Cat & Tim. Whizzed through the library, and managed to find a pair of summer sandals for Hali in less than 10 mins. She saw exactly what she wanted and thankfully they had a pair to fit her so she joyfully walked out of the shop in them. We then went and got groceries and had time to pop around the corner to visit my friend Christine. She and Dave were enjoying a spa when we arrived so I sat in the sun chatting with them while Hali played with Bailey, their foster daughter.

We got back to Granny’s in time to cook some dinner. Then Mum’s cousin Daphne and her husband arrived. We had a pleasant evening chatting and then amongst it all I realised how late it was and got Hali off to bed. She had been so good and quiet that I had not been watching the time and it was after 9pm. Way too late for my little poppet. She’s not a good look when she gets to tired.

Next morning I was out the door soon after 8am to go post mail and get my computer on to the courier and then to my course by 9am. The course was ‘Licence Controller Qualification Training for General Managers Certificate’. It was an interesting day. The tutor was a nice guy, but he waffled too much at the beginning and then by the afternoon we still had a heap of stuff to cover and it felt like we were really racing to get through it all. So by the time it came to 4pm and we had to sit the closed book exam I was feeling totally brain dead. I was 2nd one finished and after he checked it I was free to leave. So I am assuming I did ok cuz he never called me back over anything – which is what he said he would do.

I zipped through another supermarket getting tail end things, fuelled up the Terrano and went to pick up Mahalia. She and Granny had had a lovely day. They had gone to Writing Group, then out for lunch, to the library and up to the hospital for one of Granny’s check ups. Then Ruby had arrived from school so they all went to the park to run around and feed the ducks.
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As we left we drove down the street next to Granny’s and just had to take a picture of the blossom. It is beautiful and as Hali said – it goes for miles and miles
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We got home and basically just headed straight to bed. So this morning I had to unpack the car and get washing done etc. Cat had gone to work already; Ans, Tim Shannie & Nate went mustering. Cat’s friends from Germany who had arrived while I was away headed off after breakfast. I had too much stuff to do and sort out that I flagged school today – I will get organised and back into it tomorrow.

It is becoming very dangerous to walk around here at the moment. There are wee critters under foot every way you turn.
I was hanging out the washing this morning and stood on one twice, you have to look carefully so you don’t shut them in the door etc….. They are cute but – they are going to have to go!!!!!!
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Boys!

Today I decided I didn’t need to get dressed too early.
It was Saturday after all.
Well, it really wasn’t a decision – I just never got around to finding clothes till nearly lunch time.
And I wasn’t planning on doing any school work, and there was no visitors coming or in the house – so who cares

Anson was trying to crack the whip and get me organised but I told him where to go
I also told him the children were totally fine and I had everything under control.
He finally gave up waving the big stick and went off to do some work.

The girls decided to pack up their doll village into boxes and move it outdoors onto the lawn. I dissuaded them from this as the grass is long and they had all their small dolly bits and I just knew what would happen. They didn’t want to set it up back in the school room – Shannie said they wanted to go somewhere different – so I suggested they use a small part of the lounge. Well, talk about taking liberties real fast. Before I could turn around they had their stuff ALL OVER the living room floor. I wanted to do some work at my art table but I couldn’t get there so I very firmly said they had to be more contained AND they had to go down to the school room and clean the floor of the mess they had left behind! They did this and then Shannie decided she didn’t want to play indoors so she took off outside.

Azzan was sitting at the table getting a board game out and Anson made noises about him going out to do bloke stuff. Ans reckoned Azzan wouldn’t go with him so I said why don’t you ask.
So he did and surprise, surprise, Azzan hopped down and went and got into some warm gear and went off mustering and getting fence posts with Ans and Tim. This has been quite a rare occasion. Normally Azzan prefers to be at home doing what Ans refers to as girl things.

They got home around lunch time and Azzan came in and told me he had been very busy and now he was very hungry – a good reason to be hungry

As we have no wwoofers at the moment Anson has set up his weights in the hut and turned it into The Gym. He has gotten Nathan up there working out which Nathan has taken to like a duck to water.

We were chuckling yesterday though. Nathan was helping Cat get bucketsful of gravel for her path. Cat is extremely strong and works jolly hard and has no problem with her fitness levels because of it. Nathan was telling her all about the gym and ‘Cat you really should come and have a go and get fit’!
To which she replied with great amusement, as she was shovelling and lifting more buckets onto the truck – ‘What do you think I am doing now’!!!

So we don’t look for Nathan in his room behind a book at the moment – we know where he will be

This arvo Anson got all the blokes up the hill digging post holes. He is putting in a new fence so he can move the pig pen out of the quagmire it is in now. All the 20-30 holes have to be dug by hand as it is on the hillside. I decided this morning that Seb could move his butt up there and apply some muscle too. He is very good at spending his day swanning around doing his school work and bouncing his basketball around in between times. I have nabbed him to help with vege prep and filling wood bins when he floats through the kitchen looking for food. He is a grazer – he cruises out of his bedroom and gravitates straight to the fridge or safe looking for food at any hour of the day. I guess he does have a large frame to fill but it does sometimes feel bottomless

I caught up with a couple of friends on the phone, watched part of ‘Oliver’ the musical with the three young ones. They enjoyed it – as I knew they would.

Azzan was telling me this arvo that he had found his china doll – it was hidden in the girls room he said. I asked him where had put it now. And he said ‘It is on top of Margaret – you know the one that died of smoking.’ We have a large framed picture of the two Princesses – Elizabeth and Margaret Rose. I was amazed at his comment cuz I am sure it is a long long time since I told the girls about her and I wasn’t aware that Azzan had even heard. He certainly has a very retentive memory.

I had the veges all under control and roasting in the oven so decided to spend some time on the net. I was researching Childfund – the organisation we sponsor 2 children through. Ans came in and begun waving the big stick again. Reckoned he had to get dinner under control – excuse me! ‘Well, the meat’s not cooked.’ I said that wasn’t my domain – I had everything else done. Then the jolly power went off again. So of course the stirfry which I had all ready in the wok to turn on wasn’t cooked yet. So I was getting a ribbing from Ans because it wasn’t all under control after all – and he HAD lit the fire you know. But now I could cook the stirfry in the fry pan on the wood stove instead – and of course once it was all cooked and I was about to serve up dinner – the power came back on!

Ans had the two little ones in the bath so when they got out for dinner I suggested Nate might like to make use of the hot soapy water before the plug was pulled out. So we began dinner without him.

He arrived out a bit later dressed in Anson’s Ugly rugby shirt that has either shrunk or Anson has filled out. He had the button done up at the neck. So Ans & Seb were ribbing him about how uncool it was to have the button done up. Ans then gave a demo of how you have to undo that button to expose your hairy chest So Nathan undid the button and sat down to have his dinner. Then a few minutes later of course the two boys were onto him again – telling him to do up the button, that it was disgusting to be showing off his cleavage like that-!! They are totally relentless in their humour – it just never ends.

Azzan ate his tea all up really good – he was sitting next to Ans. He then proclaimed out of the blue that ‘boys are bad and girls are good. Cuz B B B boys are B B B bad and G G G girls are G G G good’!!!! To which Seb added ‘B B B beautiful so B B B boys are B B B beautiful’. As you can see Azzan is getting agood grasp on sounding his letters

In amongst all of this riotous behaviour Cat and I were trying to have a conversation. She was telling us that Belgium has no government at the moment. That there are riots and division between the Flemish and French parts wanting a sort of independence. She had been talking to her Belgium girlfriend on the phone for quite a while this morning.

I also was trying to tell them all about what I had found out on the Childfund website and how I thought it would be a great idea if when the children got to an older age that we didn’t bother with birthday gifts but put that money into sponsoring another child in their name. Ans asked how old would that be and Cat said it would probably be 25! Guess who’s turning 25 in Dec?? When you think tho that $210NZ can give a girl a year of high school education in a 3rd world country – it really isn’t much to ask is it? We already sponsor two children – a boy in India and a girl in Mexico. It is so cool and I want to sponsor more. I have been getting the girls to write letters to them recently so it is not just me doing it all.

It is raining again tonight. The guys are watching a movie. Tim and I have been enjoying late night spas. Rather nice to lie out on the verandah with the stars above and the penguins serenading below and all the children in bed – true bliss

Friday – mail day :-)

Azzan came and told me that he had found my stash of balloons. I asked him how he knew where they were.
He said ‘I just thinked-inked-inked about it and then I just knew.’

I did intend to get some academia done today – but – oh well, never mind, we won’t go there!

I did get up at 7am despite the late night, I was a bit groggy but not too bad.
It came into rain again but it cleared up a bit later.
I had a lovely chat to my friend in the US of A – it was lovely talking to you Cass, and to hear your gorgeous Texan accent – am glad you could understand me, we do speak English over here

By the time we finished talking the girls had gotten occupied – they have taken over half – well most of the school room
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When I saw what they were doing I suggested very strongly that they actually tidy their bedroom first and not create more than one messy room at a time!!
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Here is Azzan being a very tidy wee man – sorting his books and working away at his room. He loves to get all his soft toys in the right places etc. It has been a good move for him to have his own room. He now has set boundaries that are his responsibility to keep tidy.
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Nathan was being good and was working away at his maths in a cosy spot by the fire.
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This is what the girls were creating – a village for their dolls.
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This is the box houses that Shannie was making yesterday.
She is very innovative and creates wardrobes and beds etc out of old containers.
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Tim, Nathan & Anson went over to Waterfall Bay to meet the Sky technician and put the new Coke fridge in the shop. Nathan did a date check on the shop products for me which was a good job done and one he enjoys taking responsibility for. They were away all afternoon. The Sky is fixed now but the lightening looks like it has fried the TV so it is hi ho hi ho & off to town we go to get a new one – Oh bother, said Pooh!

The children spent a long time in the spa this afternoon.
Shannie also made bread for dinner.
Seb spent time on my computer doing his English. For this he has to use mine as it is the only one connected to the printer. He is on a mission to get it finished now before his year on the course is up. And he did a tremendous job of cleaning the bathroom this arvo! Thanks Seb. When I need the bathroom to be cleaned – I know he does it extra good

The mailboat came today – the big excitement of the week.
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This is what we get most weeks –
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Junk mail and all – and it takes me most of the afternoon to sort it all out.
I like to get rid of the junk and packaging before it gets anywhere near my study.

I cooked Baboti for dinner, and while I was in the kitchen I decided to make a new batch of muesli as the last lot had gone already, plus I made some wheat free bread for Cat & Tim.

Cat has been cleaning and dejunking all day – she is a whizz at it.
Nothing is safe when she is on a mission. She got into the washhouse and Tim’s workshop
I heard noises of trailer loads of rubbish being taken away.

When the guys finally got back from Waterfall they were ravenous so they ate and left.
Probably why they haven’t come in for dinner.
Ans was determined to get at least another fence post hole dug for the day seeing it is not raining!

It is now 7:30pm and the children have just gotten out of the spa – again!
It is a beautiful evening and none of the big people are here for dinner yet.
That is the trouble with these nights – it is too inviting to stay out working.

Yesterday

Yesterday sort of happened – and disappeared somewhere.

I made a good start to the day.
Anson is very helpful at getting the children moving with chores etc while I am busy.
But yesterday he came down looking a bit blah!
Found out last night that he was blah cuz he hadn’t been able to work because of the rain.
Well, that was his explanation-!!
I told him to try getting out of bed the other side and he replied that it would be rather hard breaking through the wall!

We got to the school room and managed to get some reading done – I was just about to begin the project work when Seb called me to the phone.
Said it was someone from Ireland.
And indeed it was.
I had a lovely hour or so chatting with Janet who is coming over in a few weeks with her 6yr old daughter to live at Waterfall Bay. We are both so excited about her imminent arrival.

So, once we had finished talking it was after midday and the children had scarpered. So school for the day was over-!! But it didn’t matter because while I was talking to Janet we worked out all the info she could bring with her so the children can do a unit on Ireland for their Geography project. So it wasn’t wasted time! Thanks Janet. We are all so excited about you coming – Azzan is making wee notes and cutouts and keeps bringing them in to show me – and tells me they are for the little girl who is coming from overseas

Seb must’ve been hungry from several days in town – he reckons he doesn’t eat in town – but he sure makes up for it once he gets home-!! So he put on a pot of rice and cooked up a feed of sausages etc for lunch – that was good cuz the children all got fed without any input from me.

I spent the afternoon tidying the study, getting mail ready for today’s mailboat, and started tidying my art room.
Nathan got some veges done for dinner.
The men were out on the farm – Tim checking ditches and drains, and doing some maintenance etc and Anson happy cuz he was digging post holes

The rain stopped and it turned out to be a beautiful day.
I decided to empty the spa – it was looking pretty gross.
So that took most of the day to syphon and clean and refill.
Daresay we could’ve done it faster but I hadn’t done it before and didn’t really know the procedure and the guy at the shop was flat out till nearly 5pm so I didn’t get instructions till then.

Cat had left for work at 4:30am and got back about 5:30pm.
A long day for her and she was a bit disappointed to find the spa empty so she helped get it cleaned and the refilling process underway. Nathan got the wood fire cranked up to heat the water so we could fill it with hot water so it wouldn’t take so long to heat up.

After dinner it was full enough for me to begin the chemical additions – you have to leave an hour between each one and there is about 4 lots so it was around 11pm before I finished.
Anson took Nathan possum hunting so I stretched out on the sofa in the peace and quiet of the living room and watched ‘Love Actually’.

It was near 1am before I got to bed. – Oops!

A very wet day

It has been raining continuously today.
Tim is joyous.
He is adding up the totals from the rain gauge.
So far we have had over 100mls in the past few days.

The children and I did some more work on our India unit study today plus managed to get some reading done.
Anson was brilliant – he cooked dinner.
He is going to make a good catch for someone, he is so domesticated – I have trained him well
He and Azzan peeled all the veges and cooked a lovely roast dinner.
He also made some very yummy looking cheese and onion muffins.
I was extremely restrained and never ate any.

A southerly has built this afternoon and it has become quite cold so both fires have been cranked up.
I was sitting in front of the fire reading my book when Shannie excitedly came to tell me there was a kingfisher sitting in the tree outside her room.
She wanted me to take a photo of it.
I was just getting it focussed when Cat walked through the gate and it flew away – bummer!

Anyway, I found this lovely composition of New Zealand kingfisher for you to see instead.

Shannie was saying how much she loves the view from her window and I must say it is very pretty at the moment with all the blossom.
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The flowering vine – I forget it’s name – is extremely prolific, smothers the yellow kowhai tree though. I have to cut it back severely but will wait till the flowers die off. In the back ground closer to The Cottage is a pink manaka.

Tonight I insisted that the children had normal baths. They have enough spa chemicals for a while. Azzan and Mahalia were quite happy cuz they wanted to use his birthday bath foam – as you can see it got well used! I just hope there is still some left for next time.
Azzan was enjoying Hali washing his hair
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The only time we hear the waves crashing on the beach is when there is a southerly blowing. They are crashing now – makes a very restful sound.
I am sure we will all sleep well tonight