Azzan staggered into my study Friday morning and the first thing he announced to me was ‘I don’t really like Anne of Green Gables. Do you know why?’
Of course I was surprised and said ‘No, why?’
He replied ‘Because she had to walk through the haunted wood and there were skeletons chasing her and she got her friend drunk.’
Good reasons I guess
I did explain that the first was her over active imagination and the 2nd was her ignorance and also her friends gluttony.
He was satisfied with that.
He has been listening the to the story on cd – I know, cuz he has it on quite loudly and I sleep across the hallway from him

Shanni and Tim set up her first possum trapping line. So she was very thrilled to have gotten her first possum. She is plucking the fur to save up for the materials to build a new bird avairy. Could take her a while at 1 a night! She needs to get 20 to make around $90.

I have begun reading the story of John Bunyan to the 4 children in the morning – after chores and before they get sidetracked in to other things. I decided it was high time we began some group/family reading again as we had gotten out of the habit of it and as well, we haven’t been doing much in the way of structured academics lately.

Nathan spent most of the morning in the vege garden – he really has taken quite a shine to it which is great. He went out and helped Tim in the afternoon.

I had plans to finish off the school room. Well, I did do a bit of book sorting, and I managed to re pile the childrens work books onto a different trolley in a better order and that was about it. Shanni got the sewing machine cranked up and made pin cushions. She is very innovative and creates from her imagination. She made Hali a pin cushion in the shape of a horses head and even drew the face on it in felts. Looks really cool.

I lay down and read my book for a while in the sun. Very theraputic and necessary to my well being at the moment. The sun and the rest!

I was intending to do some more work in the school room last night but my body wouldn’t allow me to. I climbed into bed with my book at 8:30pm. I got Azzan & Hali to help me prepare dinner. Hali loves learning to cook. Azzan peeled the carrots for me. Hali did the potatoes and I taught her to make leeks in a white sauce. Then she helped me make ‘Aunty Sandra’s Quick Steamed Pudding’. She was very proud to have made dinner

Today, I was up early and in the spa. It is really nice reclining out there in the early peaceful morning soaking with a good book – total bliss Sandra called to say she wasn’t going fishing so I got organised to go visiting today.
I don’t get around to see her very often, in fact I realised I hadn’t been since last Nov. Shocking state of affairs – she is my closest neighbour. Anyway, the kids decided who they wanted to spend the day with. Tim was going out spraying weeds with the 2 boys. Shanni decided she was going with Dad. The other 2 came with me.

Hali & Azzan were doing the dishes. They knew I was tired and couldn’t stand much noise. There was an interesting conversation after I asked Azzan to be quieter.
Hali – ‘Just be quiet like you had to be at Granny’s’.
Azzan – ‘But that was Granny not Mum.’
Hali – ‘Old people can’t handle noise Azzan.’

By the time I had hung the washing, made muffins, booked Cat’s plane tickets, talked to a friend on the phone, and scooted around getting ready it was about 10:30am. So I hopped in the Terrano with the 2 young’uns and was ready to head off up the hill. Only to find Tim and co were still getting ready to leave themselves and they were blocking the exit route.
Seb was filling the cans with water while Tim was gathering up stuff.
Shanni decided that Jynx should go too….
unfortunately, once they got up to Buka Point Jynx decided to take off and hasn’t found his way home yet. Shanni is not in the least worried, so I do hope he has a good sense of direction!

Finally they were all ready and they headed off with us on their tail.
We soon passed them and left them in our dust.

It was a beautiful day – spectacular views at the top. The air was still very cold despite the sun.

We spent the rest of the day with Sandra and her wee grand daughter – 7week old Emma. She is a real wee cutie who is giving her Mum & Dad a real hard time and limiting their sleep time to less than ideal so her Grandma is enjoying giving them a break.
Azzan thought she was pretty cool too. He is rather keen on babies.

I had a good rummage through Sandra’s Mary Kay samples and chose some cool lipsticks. Best part was that some of them were on sale – I am not a make up person so it was fun to have time and space to try some on. Then we had a hand cleanse – of course the children had to be in on that too.

Finally left after 4pm and cruised off home. It had gotten really chilly. The guys had only been home an hour or so when we arrived at 5pm. Nathan had dinner underway. I was so tired and cold I wrapped up in a blanket and lay down on the sofa in front of the fire and read my book. Nathan came in and found me sleeping. Shanni got the washing in, Seb folded it all up and put it away and we finally had dinner around 7pm. Bri called up for a chat and I was sitting there talking to her and munching on a mutton chop when all of a sudden I realised my front tooth had broken So now I guess I really will have to make an appointment to see the dentist. Haven’t spent any time with him lately so I guess this tooth is telling me I need to. Bother it! Could do without the expense of it right now. Have to take Seb to town on Tuesday so will try and get an emergency appointment then.

For now though, I am going to go find my book and head off to bed.
My nose is running tonight and I have been sneezing – hope I am not coming down with another head cold

Today – I think it was Thursday

Today was Day 7 – the 2nd day of getting rid of varmits.
I got Tim to rub the Moov into my head and I went through the shower first.
I knew if I went last I would still be in my dressing gown at lunch time.
Then I did both the girls.
Nathan decided he wanted a haircut so I dealt to him.
At the same time I was doing all of this I was stripping beds and getting many loads of washing through the machine.
Unfortunately it was not bright and sunny today.
It was murky and overcast but there was a breeze so I hung multitudinous amounts of linen and clothes on the line and hoped for the best.

Nathan did a big back door clean up for me. Swept and hosed and got rid of rubbish.
Doesn’t take long for it all to build up.
There wasn’t a lot of action happening in Azzan’s room so I finally got in there and did it myself – cracking the whip to get him to help me.
I had a large rubbish bin and it filled up real quick once I was on the job!!
I got it nearly completed and then decided to shift his bed to the other side of the room.
He is very happy with the new look

Tim and Nathan went over to Waterfall Bay to take photos for me to send to the wedding pair and also to suss out a slip which came down in the last rains.
It is quite a good one and will be more than enough to fill in the craters developing on the other side of the jetty.
Getting rid of the rest of it could pose a bit of a problem
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I spent the afternoon sorting all the children’s books – I did them all on the kitchen table. Roz came around for a visit so I was able to carry on working while I socialised. I so want to get this spring clean finished before I totally run out of stream. Actually, I never intended it to be a spring clean – all I wanted to do was to clean out the school room – but the job has grown like Topsy. I managed to sort out a large box of the children’s books that they don’t want, so I can pass them on with the other 2 adults boxes of books. Hopefully I will find more I want to pass on before I am finished.
It is such a good feeling to see the decks getting cleared.

Seb arrived home mid afternoon. He had just done an overnighter out of Okiwi Bay – they were doing a beach clean up.
Shanni has moved the old TV and video player into her bedroom and Seb bought over a large box of videos from Waterfall this arvo so they had to watch one or two of the old favourites.

I began preparing dinner and then realised the children were obviously absent so I went looking and found them in Hali’s room playing with their paper dolls – they were spread all around her previously tidy room. I have to breath deep and realise that once I get one room cleaned it probably won’t stay that way longer than it takes me to move to the next
I asked them to go get the washing in and help get ready for dinner.
They did that and then decided to play schools – They moved all their stuff into the living room – I can’t win!
Never mind – I guess it would be totally boring if I didn’t have the wee darlings.
I might actually get something done that I want to do and that would just be too much for me to cope with eh?

Azzan has gotten into the habit of coming out of bed at night to ask me what this word means or what that word means. Tonight he came and asked me what ‘failed’ meant. I said to him that it meant not doing what you were meant to do, then I added – ‘you failed to stay in your bed tonight.’ He clicked immediately and gave a cute grin and disappeared off to his bed

I am of to soak my weary body in the spa and then get an early night.
Might be able to get the spring clean finished tomorrow – here’s hoping!

cleaning and sorting – exhausting!

For the past two days we have been cleaning out the school room.
It has been a major job.
I am exhausted.
I was so hoping to get it all done yesterday but we have ended up doing more than I anticipated.
I had such a whirlwind of a day – my brain was totally fuzzed out.
I had so many things on the go and some many people wanting me for various things that by the end of the day I was just beside myself with exhaustion.
I couldn’t even bear the children’s normal noise at the table.
Shanni is a treasure she just comes past and gives me a back massage and tells me she loves me sweet girl.

I had many boxes of books and other stuff stashed.
So we worked out what would work best for us now.
We stashed all the spare duvet inners and pillows up in the attic store room.
Then the children bought down all the board games.
Shanni decided they should be in alphabetical order on the shelves.
That took up too much space so I piled them all up a bit higher, still relatively alphabetical though

Anson called from the Land of Oz for a chat with me and Seb on my cell phone. It was good to stop for a wee while and talk to him. Had two other phone calls during that time though – it just didn’t stop all day

Hali tried to sort out all the younger picture books but got a bit flumoxed so I will do that last.
I got Nathan to cook dinner for us as I was working hard to get the job done and didn’t want to stop.
But once he announced dinner was ready I dropped everything and went to eat.
I was totally knackered.
Then Tim put the wee darlings to bed and we stretched out to watch ‘Tristan & Isolde’.
The movie was about half way through, just in at the end of a really intense edge of the seat battle scene and the power went off

That stopped Seb from talking on the cordless phone!
He’d been on it most of the evening.
The guys all decided they may as well go off to bed. I stayed up a while longer and chatted to Phillipa – discussing wedding plans – again!

I had to set my alarm for Seb as he had an early start.
So at 4:45am today my phone began ringing.
I went down and woke him.
Then snuggled back down again.
But then I had to get up to tell him something before he left and it didn’t seem worth going back to bed. So after I had a drink and checked the emails I woke Tim and we went and had an early morning spa.
The sky was wonderful
This is what I saw when I opened the curtains
and then within a few minutes it was on fire
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Tim was on a mission today, so no mucking about.
Breakfast was eaten and then he was off.
He took Nathan and went up the hill to do some fencing.
Then after lunch they went over the hill to help Graham load up timber. He is sawmilling for a neighbour at the moment.

Hali asked if she was allowed to clean the bathroom.
Well, who am I to deny my daughter that priviledge
So she was away, she had a big smile on her face as she cleaned and scrubbed.
Shanni helped Azzan make a pom pom. They tried to sort out the wool too but I think it was in worse tangles when they had finished!

I spent all day sorting books, emptying boxes, chucking out rubbish
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The board games are all on the shelves now – nice and accessible.
The books are getting put out into shelves, there are so many old classic stories that should be getting read and they don’t when they are shut up in boxes.
The children were fascinated to see books that used to be mine and Granny’s when she was little and also some that belonged to Great Grandma and to Tim’s family too. The couldn’t work out how come some of the books had survived Granny’s house fire and still could be read.

Shanni wanted to sort out all my dress patterns.
She has designs to make her baby doll some clothes
She also found this nighty pattern that she wants to make for herself cuz it looks like the ones off Little House on the Prairie.

I asked Azzan to tidy up all the library books so he did that very happily – can’t have him not helping!

It was such a lovely day I sent them all outside to play after they had eaten their lunch. Shanni is trying to teach the others to ride their bikes. It’s a bit of a mission around here as there is not a lot of flat land. Today was the first day that it has been sunny and warm enough to have the back door open most of the day. It was so lovely to have the sun pouring in the door.

I was so very very weary after lunch. My hips were really hurting. I guess all the lugging and lifting of the boxes haven’t helped them. I stretched out on the floor and did the exercises the physio gave me to do and then I lay down on the sofa in the sun and read my book. I think I might have drifted off to sleep too. I carried on in the school room after. The children came back in and helped with a few chores then they watched the last ‘Free Willy’ dvd. I gave them dinner while they watched it so when Tim came home he was able to tuck them into bed before we had our dinner.

We watched the last hour of ‘Tristan & Isolde’ – it was such a good movie. I googled them today to find out more about the story. Found this good site with several accounts of the legend. I believe I have heard it is the story that Shakespeare based Romeo & Juliet on??

Had a quick chat with Cat before writing this and then I am off to bed before I fall over.
Thank goodness Seb is staying on the boat tonight so I don’t have to wake up for anyone or any thing tomorrow.

Rain days

Sunday was very cruisy.
Had fellowship.
I watched The Ron Clark Story while the others played Settlers of Catan.
Wow! What an amazing guy. A story worth seeing, very inspirational.
can’t really remember much else at the mo.

Today the children were all packed up to go skiing.
Tim and Nathan killed a couple of sheep.
Tim got vehicles ready to go.
But we got word before lunch to say it was postponed again due to weather.
So everything was unpacked again.
The children played Monopoly and then cleaned up the living room.
I helped Seb type up some info.
Then the children watched the 2nd Free Willy dvd.
Great debates as to whether they were real orca or not.
Hali is convinced they were so we had big discussion about filming, graphics, robotics and stunts.

It has been raining here since early evening so a good call I think.
Tim went up to Waterfall to measure up the lawn for the wedding marquee and play with some dud lights.
Shanni helped me get dinner ready.
We had whitebait fritters – found a way better recipe tonight so they were delicious.
The three youngest all refuse to eat them so they have chipplolatas. Their loss
Nathan made a pear dessert for me. But the pears were disgusting – so we ate the yummy caramel from around them and donated the pears to the pigs.

There were arm wrestling antics at dinner tonight.
Seb & Nathan started it so we rapidly cleared the table back to prevent any breakages.
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then Azzan got hauled into the centre of things
and of course Tim was in there stirring things along
Mahalia had to challenge her Daddy to a wrestle too
and once she had beaten him she took on Seb
then Azzan gave Nathan a run for his money

After dinner Tim put the children to bed and then watched ‘Dear Frankie’ with me.
A rather heart rending story.

Thursday was a beautiful day in Motupiko.
Hard to believe we weren’t skiing.
Personally I was pleased not to be going anywhere.
I was so ready just to blob and do next to nothing.

I followed the Moov instructions to the letter and did the two girls hair.
Only found one dead critter in Hali’s hair so obviously had done a good job the night before.
Once I finished the girls they went off to play with Lydia. They spent their day between outside stuff and playing with Mahalia’s new paper dolls. The photocopied the dolls and made more clothes for them. Kept them busy all day.

Phillipa Moov-ed my hair – for which I was very grateful.
In between everything we were talking weddings and plans.
Having organised her 2 daughters weddings in the past year Phillipa is a wealth of extremely helpful information.
In fact I think she should set up business as a wedding planner

Azzan & Jacob played outside with the snowman which was still standing from the snow fall from last week.
It did actually require some propping up, but it was still enough of a snow man to keep Azzan very happy.

Then the two little barbarians dismembered it and melted it in the kitchen sink.
There was a morbid fascination in watching it all melt away under the tap

I spent a bit of time working on the computer until the signal disappeared so I couldn’t do any more.
Phillipa did a spot of gardening – her preferable place to be
It is fun to see what she is planning to do out there, but not my cup of tea. I love to enjoy gardens but I am not a gardener!

Later in the day the 4 young ones went for a walk down the hill.
Mahalia came all the way back to get food.
They were having a great time in the old bus and wanted to have a picnic there.
We never saw them again till after dark.

After dinner we watched The Cathedral’s Farewell Concert. I had bought the video several years ago and had just had it transferred onto a dvd. It was a great concert. I was very ready for bed but got a second wind after taking some panadol for my headache. So was still up when David arrived home from Christchurch around 11pm.

Friday morning I was up and packed in good time. We had breakfast and loaded up the car and were gone by 9am.
The Safari was finished so we went and transferred all our stuff to that and headed off to do some jobs.
I had a long list with times I had to stick to so I kept up a momentum and managd to accomplish quite a lot before midday.

I took the children to the Winnington’s so they could join them at gymnastics. Then I went and talked invitations with Tommy – nearly got them sussed. By this time I was pretty much caught up on everything for a while so I met Phillipa and we had an enjoyable lunch at The Suter Cafe. They have really nice food there and a lovely area to sit outside amongst the trees overlooking Queens Gardens. We chatted and talked wedding plans – again!

Too soon it was time to start running again.
I had an appointment with a lawyer that Catherine had recommended so I headed off there. A really nice guy and so helpful and reassuring. While there I met up with an old friend whom I didn’t realise was working in that practise. So it was good to catch up with him and also get double reassurance.

After that I met up with a friend at Starbucks for a coffee. Hazel is a friend who I met through Seb and she has agreed to give the children swimming lessons. The kids are really excited about it = she is too, so I hope we can swing a good number of trips to town that will work for us all. I then zipped about and did a few more things before going to collect the children. They had had a wonderful time with their friends and were not at all happy to see their mother! I finally managed to lure them away with thoughts of fish and chips for dinner. We shot down to the supermarket and then went to order dinner. They were really busy so there was a 25 min wait. So we wandered across the road to United Video to fill time and ended up coming out with a heap of hire videos.
By this time our food was ready so we headed off into the sunset munching on our fish and chips and pineapple rings. I added a bit of decadence to my dinner and had an apricot turnover. It was very yummy We had a good drive home. The children all eventually drifted off to sleep. I stayed awake listening to Marilla Ness. Haven’t had her playing for a while. But as the children always get first choice and it is always Rolf Harris, or The Carpenters or Doughnut Man….. I decided we needed a change. I was singing along with great gusto and soon found the ipod unit was sent into the front seat. I don’t think they really appreciated it as much as I did

Seb had arrivd home shortly before us. So once Tim and the children helped unpack the Safari and we had the little ones into bed, Tim and I sat and talked with Seb for a few hours. I gave Tim a very short haircut to make sure he wasn’t harbouring any varmits. I think he felt it was a bit cool for such a close shave. But as he tells me when pruning trees – they grow back very quickly!! It was 2am when we finaly hit the hay.

This morning everyone was very slow at waking. I didn’t get up till nearly 10am. Then I wandered around in my dressing gown for hours thinking that a spa might be nice. Graham came around and decided to do the chaisawing I had asked him to do. He had borrowed a chainsaw with a 5m length to it so he could reach all the trees on the bank.
It is so good now – I can see for miles!

Nathan has moved upstairs and has put out his flag
He and Tim were up on the roof doing things to the chimney.

Azzan and I finally hopped into the spa around midday while all the others got their lunch. It was rather nice to wallow in there with my book. Then I had my lunch and spent most of the afternoon making phone calls. Been a bit of a lazy day really. Tim & Nathan went up the hill to do some work – ran out of time to do the kills they had planned.

Shanni went out in the kayak to retrieve something red she could see along the beach. It was a large plastic bin.
She was pretty upset to day to discover two of her favourite budgies had died. Graham is trying to get a better cage worked out for her so she is excited about that.

We watched ‘High School Musical‘ before dinner. Azzan loves them.
He keeps trying to tell me that there is a High School Musical 3. When I queried it he covered his bases by saying that it was only in America yet
He really loves to watch the dancing. He was trying out the steps after dinner.

It has just begun to pour down with heavy rain – again!
Thankfully this time I am going to bed and have to reason or desire to be driving to town.

What next…..?

I woke before the alarm went off –  4:15am. Up and showered and woke the troops and we were all gone by 6am.

It had rained last night so I was a bit concerned about the road as we had heard the grader was in the area.

Why do they wait for rain before they come to muck up our roads??

I was driving the Safari with the 3 younger ones. Tim was following behind in Anson’s ute with the trailer. We had only been driving for about 20minutes when we hit the greasy stuff. I was going real slow and was in Low 4WD. I got into some thick greasy mud and ended up loosing control and slid into and along the water table. Took a deep breath and managed to get out of that and then a few seconds later I was skidding towards the outer edge of the road. I didn’t hit the brakes – vital important piece of information there! I DID NOT hit the brakes. That would be my normal reaction but Tim has been trying to teach me for the past 30 years and I am finally learning. It was pretty scarey but I managed to swing us out of going over the bank. I stopped and breathed hard and prayed even harder. Then we carried on down the hill at a snails pace. Tim caught up soon after. Then a few moments later I came around another corner and hit another fresh bit of greasy grading and slid. I stopped right there. By this time I was crying and was so frightened. I got out to talk to Tim. There was nothing he could do to help me as he had his own vehicle to drive. So I had to get in, take a big breath and carry on. I managed to get over the worst of it and thankfully soon after the road improved.

Despite the heavy frost the road was fine the rest of the way. In fact it was beautiful

We stopped at Okiwi Bay for a comfort stop and as we were about to get back into the vehicle Tim & Nathan caught us up and sailed pass with a toot. We followed on. Then just as we were leaving Okiwi Bay I could hear a weird noise. I had to get the children to turn their music down so I could figure out what it was. Then I saw it in the rear side mirror. We had a humdinger of a flat tyre.  I was stuck good and proper.
Tim had gone on. No cell phone coverage. I got Shanni to run back about a kilometre to the shop to get some help. Heaps of work trucks zoomed past while she was gone but not one stopped to see if I needed help. She finally wandered back, shop was shut and she didn’t know where to find Ian. So I flagged down the next vehicle. A couple of older men towing a boat and anticipating a great day out fishing until they were stopped by a desperate woman!! I didn’t feel so guilty after I watched them go about changing the tyre. It took both of them to do it and they needed a 2nd jack. I could never have done it on my own – it took two of them to lift the tyre! They were so lovely and happily did the job despite one of them having had a new hip put in not long ago!

Finally we were on our way again. We got to Rai Valley 3 hours after leaving home. It normally takes me less than 2. We were all starving so popped in and got a pie each and carried onto Nelson.

I called Tim as soon as we were in range and he met us at the tyre place. We had to stop for a Starbucks frappucino on the way though – man! I needed one by then. We did some juggling of vehicles. The ute was getting a new windscreen put in so Tim had a courtesy vehicle from there. I took that with the girls and Tim took the Safari and the boys and headed off to get the warrant done while the tyre was being replaced. A large sharp stone had penetrated right through the casing.

I had a doctors appointment for us three girls. We have had major problems with itchy heads and bumps on the scalp. I had checked Shanni’s hair for nits several weeks ago. Couldn’t find any so decided we needed to get the problem sussed out as it was driving us all mad. Our Dr heard the story and proceeded to check Mahalia’s head with a magnifying glass. I was horrified – she was laden with nits and we even saw an adult lice scuttle away from the comb   So I came away laden with info and tore across to the pharmacy to get some stuff to deal to them. $60 later I was armed and dangerous and prepared for battle!

Tim arrived in yet another courtesy car. The Safari has to have some major work done on it so he had to leave it there. We swapped courtesy vehicles and he took the children up to friends to play for a while. He then went and picked up the ute and went out to Motueka to pick up gear. By this time we had found out that skiing was off for tomorrow as there is too much snow and the access road is shut, so he decided to head home tonight.

I went to my physio appointment. I have had ongoing neck problems and decided to try a different physio. This one had fixed Bri & Tim’s backs very quickly so figured I might get a good deal from her. I was right – she was very thorough. She got it all sussed, has given me some exercises to do and also checked out my hip problems and got them sussed immediately. I will see her again next time I come to town for a follow up to see if I have been behaving

I managed to track down Tommy – he is doing Sunni & Ryan’s wedding invitations for us. We discussed them and then I went up to his folks and gathered the children. They hadn’t seen their friends for ages so it was hard to drag them all away. We did a few more jobs, got groceries and headed over the hill to Motupiko. We decided to carry on with our plans to come here for a couple of nights. The children were looking forward to playing with their friends here and I was also needing to have some time out from home. Plus the Safari is going to take several days to get the work done. So instead of the great hulking machine I normally drive which is not helping my neck one iota, I have a great zippy wee automatic courtesy car – it’s lovely

Tonight I got busy with the nit comb and killed a heap of critters in all our heads. Hali is usually really difficult when it comes to brushing her hair as she has a real tender scalp and no pain threshold, unlike Shanni and me – we like a good hard brush! – but she was so mortified to have these thing’ in her hair she endured my fine combing very long sufferingly. Tomorrow it is out with the ‘Moov’ – be gone you horrid varmits


Phillipa and I have just sat talking far too late so I guessI should sign off now and get some sleep. It is 21 hours since I woke up and not terribly long till the children will be waking



Onerous and exhausting days.

My alarm went off at 4:30am.
Just as well I set it as I would’ve slept in.
Isn’t that the way it goes – the mornings you don’t need to get up early you wake up early

We left right on 5:30 and had a good drive to town.
We ate Seb’s dust – he was streaks ahead of us.
But as he drives a car and we were in the Safari towing a trailer with Tim behind the wheel it was sorta expected

We stopped to get a pie at Rai Valley and then met up with Seb at Granny’s.
The two wee folk had been very good for her so I was pleased with them.
We left them and the 3 of us spent all morning at the court house.
A very tiring, frustrating and emotionally draining exercise.
I left earlier and went and did some jobs and the guys met me at the library.

Then we did the groceries, packed up the cars, piled Granny and the children and headed through to Havelock.
Spent a bit of time with police there reviewing issues and then left Seb to sleep the day away on the boat.
He was starting work at 5am today.

We dropped Granny off at Okiwi Bay where she is spending the week with 6 of her friends at a holiday home there.
Hali & Azzan were very good all the way home. They listened to my iPod. Then just a few moments before we arrived they started niggling.
‘Mum, Halia pulled a face at me.’
‘I was only being funny.’
‘Well, if you are being funny don’t look at me then.’

We arrived back home around 6pm.
Found all well here.
Graham had kept them occupied for the day spreading gravel and splitting wood.
Nathan had moved all his gear into Bri’s old room.
She appears to have vacated so he was pretty excited about that.

I mentioned to Mahalia that she could have first choice of moving into Nathan’s room and then Azzan got in on the act and he wanted to move there too. I finally said they weren’t doing any moving at that point cuz I was too tired to consider anything more and to just go to bed and sleep – we would discuss it in the morning!

Everyone headed off to bed by 9pm and I spent the next hour or so speaking with our friend Catherine who is a lawyer. She was a huge help putting things into perspective and when I finally got to bed I slept soundly.

This morning we woke early and talked for a while. Tim got up about 6:30am and I must have crashed. I was sleeping the sleep of the dead when the phone went at 7:30am and there was a loud noise in the hall. Woke feeling totally out of it. It was a real struggle to surface but I knew I had a lot to get done so I forced myself to get the feet on the floor.

The morning has been busy but we have accomplished much.
I made a huge carrot cake and a large Tuna pie to take with us tomorrow.
I also got all the veges prepped for dinner tonight.

Nathan finished cleaning his old room – it took a few goes cuz his idea of clean and mine are quite different
Mira helped and it was soon done.
Then they moved a bed in so Mahalia doesn’t have to sleep up in the loft bed. Bit high for her yet.
The table then got moved into the school room – that is a bonus for me, I gotta win something out of all this eh??
They spent all morning cleaning their rooms and sorting stuff.
I noticed Azzan depositing a large bag in the rubbish bin – that made me happy

So we now have 4 happy wee campers – all in their own rooms. It is really strange having only 4 small folk and each having their own rooms after all these years of juggling and sharing rooms.
The girls are now dressing up. They have on all their posh clothes and shoes etc.

So as we walk down the hall we have in the first room –
He has Hali’s old net as a tent over his desk.

Then Mahalia is the 2nd room
They all had to pose in Hali’s room in front of the wonderful horse fan that Bri brought her back from Thailand.

Seb lives in the 3rd but we won’t visit him today as he is not home.

Shanni is in the 4th and end room
The fan in the background has white herons on it. Bri chose it especially for our bird lover

Tim took Nathan, Mira & Takao out mustering sheep this arvo.
It was an interesting muster – I think slightly frustrating for Tim
I need to go pack some warm clothes.
It is looking likely that we will get some skiing in onThursday but the weather could close in later in the day.
The children are all very excited. I am getting cold just thinking about it

We are now all packed and ready to go and the skies have just opened.
It is pouring down.
Certainly having interesting weather these days.
So it is anyone’s guess as to what we will be doing on Thursday at this point.
Watch this space!

A quiet Sunday

I couldn’t sleep this morning so I got up at 3:45am.
I had been lying awake for a while wondering what to do. Tim was snoring his head off.
I didn’t want to turn on a light and read or go make cards just in case it woke him.
Then I remembered I had a new Bible study book and dvd’s and I knew exactly where abouts our bedroom they were.
I was able to creep out of bed, gather up my glasses and the study and go to the living room without waking anyone.

I piled some logs on the fire, made myself a cup of liquorice tea and sat down to watch the first dvd.
It was fantastic.
It is an Inductive Bible Study by Dan Finfrock of Intensive Care Ministries.

I was so enjoying it I watched 3 sessions of it and worked through the workbook.
It was great. Best teaching I have had in years.
Once it got to 6:30am I went and did some internet stuff for a few moments and then woke Tim up for an early morning spa.
It is really nice out there when the dawn is breaking.

I was in the study at 7:50am when Azzan came blearily out and said ‘It is nearly 8 o’clock’ – he knew Bri had said they were leaving at 8am so he was worried that he had slept in. I got him and Hali moving along. They had to find a few clothes and pj’s and then I made them a sandwich each and by 8:30am they and Bri were on their way.

The rest of the day has been fairly quiet.
I have been sorting photos for my Photomax site in between other things.
We had fellowship in the late morning.
Then after lunch Shanni & Nathan went kayaking with Mira & Takao.
They weren’t out very long and when they returned Nathan & Mira went in for a swim.
Total insanity
They came up and hopped into the spa to warm up.

Tim & Seb went around to Te Kopi to retrieve some sheep that they have been trying to get back for weeks.
This time they were successful.

We have had a chat with Anson and Cat today – it is good to keep up with the comings and goings of the older children when they are away. We love to hear what is happening in their lives and they like to keep up with what is going on at home.

Tonight I just looked out at the right moment to see the most beautiful sunset reflecting on the clouds billowing over the eastern Sounds. I shot outside to take a photo

and then there were three more photographers lined up

Shanni, Takao & Mira

It was beautiful one moment and the next it was gone and there was just a grey sky remaining.

Seb chopped up some broccoli and red onion for a salad, put on some rice to cook and then headed over to Waterfall Bay. Tim cooked the steak and I cooked some pumpkin.
Dinner was good

It has been quite quiet here today without the two little folk. Although Shani tried desperately to make up for their absence at dinner time! Talked to Mum tonight and she and the children all sound happy. They were having fish and chips for tea – a treat for all

I was all set to do the PAYE tonight, got into the IRD site and actually managed to do it without making any errors this time – whew!
Then I went to my internet banking site and I couldn’t find my digipass. It normally sits beneath my computer. I searched high and low for it. I cleaned the desk, searched the drawers and the rubbish bin, began trashing a heap of stuff that didn’t need to be in here – actually had a huge clean up – and then when I was totally despairing, Tim walked past and I asked him if he had seen it and then I caught sight of it. It had somehow gotten underneath my keyboard and each time I had moved it the digipass was scooting along underneath. Whew! So got all that done, and ended up with a clean and sort of tidy study from it all.
Had a lovely catch up with my friend Christine on the phone while I was searching. Seb arrived back – much later than he should’ve as he has a very early start tomorrow. So do I so it is time to get to bed, after my early morning I am feeling rather tired tonight.

A very busy Saturday.

Tim headed off up the hill with Takao and Seb to dig more fence post holes.
I was planning on hanging the washing on the line.
It rained

So it got put in the dryer – again.

I got the crew to clean up breakfast while I showered.
Then I got stuck in the kitchen for the morning.
I mixed up 5 loaves of bread for Tim.
While the yeast was proving I made muffins.
Mira was cutting up veges for Curried Sausages which I was making for dinner at the same time as the above.
Then she carried on and made 2 carrot cakes while I was mixing the 5 loaves of bread.

I managed to get some late breakfast around 11am.
We had boiled a heap of eggs for the curry so I kept 2 aside and had them with tomato, beetroot and feta cheese.
Man! Did I need that protein boost by that time of the morning.
I was flagged by lunch time.

I had more sausages to use but I was too tired so I got Nathan and Mira to make Sweet and Sour sausages while I took a break.

Consequently we now have dinner made for Monday night which will be great as Tim & I will be in Blenheim for the day with Seb. We also have cake enough to last for several days plus Tim has more wheat free bread to keep him going for a month or so. I had a slice before I put it in the freezer – it was good

I have been sorting photos most of the afternoon – it has been fun to browse through Seb and Bri’s younger days. They were so cute

Shanni has been sorting ski clothing for herself and the two younger models. Trying to convince them that it will be cold on the mountain. She knows that now from previous experience so she was a good advocate. So I think they are all packed and ready which will make Tuesday much easier for me.

Tonight Bri and I have been discussing and deciding what she wants to do to complete her Young New Zealanders Challenge Gold Award. We think we have it pretty much sussed, just got to check it with head office and then she is away.

Mahalia & Azzan are very excited because Bri is taking them with her tomorrow and is dropping them off at Granny’s for the night. They haven’t stayed on their own with her before so there were big cheers when I asked if they wanted to. Tim & I will pick them up Monday and bring them home and drop Granny off at Okiwi Bay so she can join her lady friends there for the rest of their weeks holiday. Granny suggested staying back so she could help out with the children, and with Bri dropping them off tomorrow it means they don’t have to have a 5am start to their day like their parents will have!!

A cold & frustrating day.

Well, the lightening and thunder did their best and we lost the power last night at around 9:30pm.
We also had hail with the rain.
Everyone piled off to bed, but I knew Seb was on his way home so I waited up for him. He arrived at 10:30pm cold, tired and very hungry.
He ate and went straight to bed.
I sat up a while longer and read the newspaper he had brought in with him.
Lots of drama about the local garage being seized by the courts.
It was around 11pm when I finally turned off the 12v light and hopped in to bed.
I was glad I had turned on my electric blanket earlier as my bed was still nice and snug to get into
I went off to sleep with the sound of heavy rain and thunder.

The power was still off this morning when we woke at 5am but I didn’t worry to much at that stage about it. Just lay in bed and listened to the transistor radio for a while.
At 7am I thought I may as well call Marlborough Lines and find out what was happening.
I was greeted with ‘Oh! we didn’t realise you were still without power’ – I was awfully glad I had called in and wished I had phoned when I had woken.

So Tim cranked up the wood fires and connected up the 12-volt light and we had a cruisey morning and were all snug and warm as long as we stayed in the living room.
It was frightfully cold outdoors and in the bedrooms.
More hail and heavy rain – brrrrrr.
Made porridge and toast on the wood range to fill tummies.
Then Tim decided it had cleared enough to go up the hill to work. So he and Takao went to do more fencing.
We had a few more downpours but they had the truck with a closed cab to hop in to when necessary.
I got Mira to cut up a heap of veges for soup. Bri had bought 60kgs of carrots home for us from Christchurch so I am using all the broken ones. I have managed to put several containers of soup in the freezer tonight. It is a great help to have soup base ready for when I am busy with school etc.

I spent the morning filing a mountain of paper work in the dim light of the hall – my filing cabinets are located near the study but in the hall so it is a job I tend to put off. It desperately needed to be done so I am pleased to have accomplished that task. Bri has been working on the computer all day – she is making a movie presentation of her trip to Cambodia and Thailand. Nathan did some maths. The power came on about 11:30am so I started cooking the piles of cut up veges in the pressure cooker. Tim & I had to go out after lunch so I left Nathan to finish the job and get dinner veges prepared. He is great help in this area – I did give him a small box of Lego yesterday to thank him for all his help this past week. That made him happy

When we got home Mahalia had cleaned the bathroom beautifully, and the others had tidied the rest of the living room. So it was nice to come home to.

It was quite frustrating having to go out today – it really cut into my day as I have so much to do and next week is going to be so broken and busy with several trips to town. We now have to go to Blenheim on Monday for the day so I am trying to work out what to do with the children so we can both go. Then on Wednesday we are all going to Nelson to join the homeschoolers on the next ski trip to the Rainbow. Hopefully the weather will be good that day. I don’t do cold very well

The mailboat came just before we went out so I spent the remainder of the afternoon opening and sorting the mail.
Talked to Cat today – she is sounding very weary. She is now the team leader and has all the responsibilities of being boss along with the paper work. On top of that the work truck was broken into a couple of nights ago while they were working and a heap of stuff was stolen – again!. Including her new camera and backpack which replaced the ones stolen only a few weeks ago and her wallet with all her bank cards etc. Ironically she cannot get a new drivers licence until she has two forms of ID. That was all stolen so – duh! I am posting up stuff but that all takes time so at the moment she cannot access her money, she is not legally able to drive and she also no longer has a firearms or diving licence or fuel cards and she is sposed to keep functioning They also stole the brief case with all the work papers – the record of what they had done for the past week and what they had to do plus site plans etc etc etc – totally frustrating. Hopefully she will get things sorted soon.

Bri has gotten word tonight that she is going to be working for the same company but down in Canterbury. So she is heading off in the next few days. It has been nice to have her home for a few days

We woke this morning to reports of so many roads through the country being shut and tonight the news is not a lot different.
More bad weather coming over the weekend