We got here!

I didn’t quite get away form Motupiko as early as I had planned.
But it was ok.
The children had a lovely time down looking at Angela’s chicken’s. They were so excited cuz they saw an egg beginning to hatch out. When they got back they had a lovely time in the sandpit.

PICT3400 PICT3399

I finally had to call them to dust off the sand and get ready for our travels.
One last pic with Lydia and Jacob before we left at 11:30am.
PICT3401

The girls love to play spotting games – counting cars and trucks etc. Azzan joined into the I Spy game

‘I spy something beginning with ‘H’.’
We guessed all the things we could but to no avail.
the clues were rather random.
The last one being that it sounds like ‘sssssss’
I said but that is not ‘H’
We finally gave in and he gleefully said ‘It was Tap’
I said that tap didn’t begin with ‘H’ and it does not make the sssss sound.
He said ‘I forgot! But it does make ssssssssss when the water comes out’ – duh!

It took just an hour to Murchison – we got out to stretch our legs and I bought a South Island map book for Shannie – she loves to navigate for me. I do know how to get to where we were going but map reading skills are an excellent thing to learn and what better time to do it.

After the little ones had finished eating their ice blocks I told them to cuddle up with their blankets and sleep cuz we had a long drive ahead of us. And they did for quite a while. Even Shannie dozed off. The weather deteriorated the closer we got tot he Lewis Pass. We had rain for quite a lot of the way. There was also very very strong winds with signs warning of severe wind along the way. I got very dozey so had to pull over for a break just thru the Pass. I found my iPod so the four of us were all connected with one ear piece each singing our hearts out – well, I was anyway – to Vege Tales – On the Road Again. Great songs for travelling too.

We didn’t stop again until we got into Christchurch around 4pm. Then it was a quick fuel stop. And as it had come out very warm some more ice blocks were in order. By this time Azzan was reaching the end of his tether. He was getting rather stroppy. So I didn’t dally. We just zipped around the ring road straight to Alvin & Vonnie’s at Halswell. It was so good to unpack the car and just chill. I sent the children down to the playground at the end of the street but they didn’t stay too long. They were just happy to crash out in front of the TV for a bit before dinner.

So they have now had dinner, and a bath and are sound asleep in their beds.
I am just planning our day tomorrow and sorting out how we will fit everything into our week and then I will be off to bed too. After two very long days I am well and truly ready for a good sleep tonight.

A very long and busy day

Well, you know what happens when you have a later night than you should and you have the alarm set for 5am?
Yes, that is the night that Azzan wakes at 3am crying 

I managed to stagger into his room to see what the trouble was – his duvet had fallen off his bed onto the floor and he was cold. Unfortunately he hasn’t gotten to the stage yet of actually getting out of bed quietly and getting it back on! So I covered him up and went back to bed.

Only to have him come in for a warm up cuddle a 5-10mins later

He went back to sleep but it took me ages, I was really only just slipping back into dreamland when the alarm went off. I was up and dressed, had the car packed up and the girls up and dressed and he was still snoring with his Daddy when I pulled him out of bed at 5:30. He is a good lad though and wakes easily once he is standing.

We were gone well before 6am. Great start. It was blowing an absolute gale – I thought Shannie was going to get blown clean over to Wellington when she got out to open the gate. We had a good drive out. No one was sick – yahoo! It was raining off and on most of the morning but the afternoon came out really warm. Our morning was very busy – I had made a list and successfully got around all the appointments and jobs as I worked thru it systematically. Even was able to give Shannie and Hali an hour or two with their little girlfriends Kathryn & Sohpie between appointments while I zipped about doing other things. After Hali’s dentist appointment we whizzed thru the last few jobs on the way through Richmond and drove over the hill to Motupiko. The children were very glad to get out of the car and have the rest of the day to play with the Ashton children.

Phillipa and I chatted a bit and then zipped thru showers and headed back into Nelson to our home ed mothers night out. Picked up Chrissie on the way. Met up with Estelle and Ainsley. The 5 of us had a delicious meal at Smugglers Rest at Tahunanui. Estelle then had to buzz off to hear the Cornish mens choir and the rest of us joined the other 8 women who arrived then for our desert evening.

All in all it was a great night. My camera batteries died so I have no photos to share. But it was a wonderful restaurant – will be definitely going there again. Great atmosphere, friendly service and terrific food. It had the best and most diverse desert menu I have come across in a long time.

We got back home around 11pm. I was so tired I could barely keep my eyes open. But we sat up and talked over a cup of herb tea till around midnight.

This morning is bright and sunny. No wind as such today. It looks like it will be a good day for a drive south. Phillipa has taken the children down to her sister’s place so Shannie can see Angela’s chickens. She apparently has a heap and is right in to it. Shannie will be hugely inspired!

As soon as they get back we will pack up the car and head south.

Will check in as I can during the week.

 

A few more hours and we are outa here…..

I got productive early this morning and told the girls what I expected them to do towards packing.
Namely tidying their room so I could at least see some made beds and find some town clothes.

Well, the day went – not too sure where but it sure didn’t go where I planned it.

The girls spent most of the morning with Cat working in the vege garden. They are really enjoying seeing all their plants growing up there. With all the rain we have head recently it has given them quite a burst of growth.

I made Tim & Cat some more wheat free bread – it turned out really good – I seem to have perfected my recipe and they love it which is good. I add heaps of pumpkin and sunflower seeds and linseed. Much nicer than the bought stuff.

I seemed to be busy all day but never got to the packing until later this arvo. Then when I got to the girls room again around 3ish I hit the roof. Not a thing had been done.

So they came in and started cleaning very quickly.
Azzan had gone to bed and had a sleep so by the time I had raised Cain with the girls he was awake so I packed his clothes while he was resting. He is a heap better – in fact this morning he was percolating on all four cylinders. But by this afternoon he had flagged. After I had packed he went out and had a spa and was very ready for bed tonight.

I managed to find most of the required clothes for them all and tonight after dinner I loaded them all into the Safari. Along with all the other stuff I have to dsistribute around the town.

I also finished packing up my art gear – unfortunately when I bent down to get some stuff off a low shelf I slammed my head hard and very painfully into the corner of the filing cabinet. Man! did I yell! It is still making me feel yuck – put my whole night off kilter it did

After dinner the children had gone off to bed while Tim & I finished our dinner. I went up to see if they were in bed waiting for Daddy to read to them and found the girls in a very creative mess – I just could not believe my eyes – the mess was horrendous – I hit the roof so loudly that they scarpered and cleaned up very very quickly.

I am planning on getting them up and be gone from here by soon after 5:30am so needed them in bed pronto – they knew that but it hadn’t seemed to have registered till then

I am nearly finished packing up my stuff – it is really difficult at this time of year to know what to take as the weather is so changeable. So I tend to over pack.

Cat asked for a haircut in the midst of all of this tonight – so that got done. She is looking forward to us going. She loves it when the kids and I clear out and she can do stuff around here without us in her hair. I think she loves it as much as I do when I see them all sail out the bay on a camping trip – bliss

Seb & Cat are leaving for work at 6am so it will be an early mass exodus in the morning. Tim, Nate and Anson won;t know themselves! It’s Nathan’s real birthday so who knows what mischief he is cooking up

I am off to chuck the last bit in to the car and then I am in the spa and off to bed.
I am totally whacked.

What a day

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.
PICT3380
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
PICT3381

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.

PICT3383 PICT3384
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

PICT3385

PICT3388
He even lit his own candles!

PICT3390 PICT3391

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.
PICT3348

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
PICT3341
and the kittens
PICT3355
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,
PICT3367 PICT3368
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.
PICT3371 PICT3373
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

PICT3376 PICT3379
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
PICT3334 PICT3335
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.
PICT3323

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.
PICT3329
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.