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


Tim and I were awakened early this morning by some strange noises.
We couldn’t quite pinpoint where they were coming from.
Finally about 5:30am I got up and was greeted by Jynx prowling into our room.
As you know cats are NOT allowed inside our house.
So he was given a short sharp shift out the door.
I decided then that I may as well get up and do all the banking etc I needed to do on the internet while it was quiet and also hopefully a faster internet connection.
Tim got up soon after and found Mo at the top of the attic stairs.
Both cats were inside – goodness knows how or when they got in.
They didn’t stay inside much longer though!

I was planning to do some reading with the children but by the time breakfast was cleaned up and they got on with their chores and I got Mira organized with her jobs other things happened.

Tim took Takao up the hill to do some more fencing.
Mahalia decided she would help Mira with the cooking so after we had dinner prepared they made peanut butter biscuits and a banana cake. Unfortunately most of them got blackish bottoms but I am sure they will get eaten.

Shanni and Azzan were browsing through a craft book. Azzan has gone through it many times drooling over all the things he wants to make and has multitudes of bookmarks all through it. So I suggested to Shanni that they settle on one thing and actually make it. So they decided to make a rag doll. It was a very basic one that you just cut out the shape yourself. While Shanni cut it out and sewed it Azzan cut up all the leftover bits into smaller pieces for the stuffing.

She had to go over the stitching a few times to get the seams wide enough and then they stuffed it. It took a lot…

By this time it was lunch so we cleared up and ate.
After lunch Tim took everyone around to Cape Horn to gather firewood.
There is a big muddy slip blocking the road so the little folk wanted to go play in it
When they returned they had to strip off and hose themselves down.
After they were cleaned up Shanni proceeded to make some clothes for the doll.
She found that you have to allow seam allowances etc
Finally she got a dress done and then she made a hat with a tassel on top.
She was very proud of her efforts and Azzan was delighted.
He has called her Milly (after Thoroughly Modern Milly!)

Nathan did some maths and is going to have to do some history revision as I decided he wasn’t giving it his best shot.

Tonight at dinner Azzan sat in his normal seat – at my left elbow.
He kept on reaching out to tap mmy arm to get my attention to talk to me.
I was getting a bit fed up so told him not to tap me again until he had finished his dinner.
Didn’t work!
He tapped me again and said he wanted to ask me 3 questions, I said to wait as I was listening to Bri.
Then when I was ready to listen it was
‘No really I want to ask 4.
But I can’t remember what they were now.’

Azzan told me this morning that he wanted to move back into Mahalia’s
room ‘because we are friends now and are not going to fight’ – well,
that lasted till tonight! He is back in his bunk so Shanni is
delighted. She reckoned it was the best news she had heard all year   
He is not very settled in his bunk tonight though – he and Hali just don’t seem to be
able to get it together so I am about to go read the riot act!!

It is a very wild and windy night tonight.
Time to close down and find my book I think.

Very wet but very blessed days

I planed to leave for Nelson a little later than normal on Monday just in case it was icy on the roads.
So 8am was my plan.
But then I ended up talking on the phone to the Police for nearly an hour and didn’t get out the door till 9am.
Had a good trip to town though.
It was frosty but no ice.
I listened to Chuck Missler on my ipod speaker all the way out – talking on ‘Daniel’s 70 weeks‘.

I got to town and did a couple of jobs.
Then popped into see a friend I hadn’t seen in around 4 years.
It was a good time to catch up.
We have both been going through hard times so good to share and listen and generally catch up with our families.

I left her later than I had planned so just had time to pop in to the gym. Hadn’t been to Curves in two months so was really needing to go. It was a good work out although I was very conscious of the time.
So no mucking about afterwards, Drove straight around to the motel. Dropped off my gear, changed into some tidy and warm clothes, turned on the electric blanket and headed off to pick up another friend.

We went to a CWCI dinner. Rosie Boom was the speaker. She played guitar, sang some of her own songs and spoke. She gave such an encouraging message – it spoke directly to my heart. Thank you God for allowing me to get there just to hear that message.

The title of her message was ‘Starry Starry Sky’. She spoke about the starry nights, the cloudy nights and the dark dark nights of our lives. She spoke from the heart and was so personal in her testimony and encouragement. She had us in tears and laughter as she shared stories from her own life and of her family.

One of the quotes at the end of her talk was what Hopeful said to Christian when they were locked in the castle (Pilgrims Progress), goes something like this
“Not everything is in the hands of the giant of despair.”
God is greater.

Clouds pass but stars remain.

By the time we had finished our evening the skies had opened and it was pouring down so it was a mad dash to the vehicles and back to the motel.

Tuesday morning I spent a bit of time chatting to my cousin John before leaving the motel. He was on his own cuz Sally had gone over to Blenheim to spend some time with her parents.

I zipped around and got a few more jobs done before heading back to Hope Community Church for another meeting with Rosie. This time she was speaking at their weekly ladies meeting and our homeschool group was joining them. We had morning tea together and then she sang and talked to us.

Her message this time was ‘Seize the day’
Motherhood is made up of magical moments. Don’t miss them!’
She spoke about how as mothers we can so easily run out of petrol.
We begin with a full tank but as time goes on we forget to check our gauges and before we know it we are out of fuel and we are sitting on the side of the road feeling vulnerable and isolated.

Yet another very encouraging talk.
Afterwards we talked with friends and then too soon we had to leave and get on with the rest of life.

I headed into Richmond to get my groceries. I normally don’t go to Pak’n’Save but cuz I was close thought I would stop in. I actually hate that supermarket – too big and impersonal, it’s like a barn. Anyway, by the time I got what I needed and was heading out to the carpark the heavens had opened. It was deluging down. I grabbed a hot chicken pie from the bakery and then hooned across the carpark and lifted the hatch on the Terrano to try and keep dryish while unloading. Everything still got totally drenched. Chucked it all in willy-nilly, sent the trolley flying and jumped in the door and sat there in my soaked dishevelled state! Found some tissues to dry off a bit and then headed into Nelson.

Along the motorway the rain began pelting down even heavier. It was totally scary. It was so heavy that the wipers weren’t coping on full speed. I was hitting walls of water. Incredible! Then at the end of the motorway it all of a sudden stopped.  From there on it was just gentle rain and then nothing.

I was planning on going back to the gym but I was so wet and tired that I decided to give it a miss and just head on home. So I grabbed some more groceries from Countdown, then my usual Caramel Venti Starbucks Frappuccino (I needed and deserved it ) and left town mid afternoon. I called Tim to let him know I was on my way – he was astonished & very pleased, I never leave town that early normally.

I listened to Chuck Missler again on the way home speaking on the book of Zechariah this time.
I had a long chat with Graham at the gate and got home just as the children were having dinner. Tim helped me unpack the car – it was all wet and yucky.

It began pouring down again later in the evening. We knew Bri was somewhere along the road traveling home.

We woke this morning and found she was not in her room. Thankfully it didn’t take too long to trace her to Anson’s sleepout. It was much easier & dryer for her to crawl into his bed than to get to her own room.

We sat around talking with Bri over a long late breakfast hearing all about her trip to Thailand and Cambodia.  Then the children have helped clean up the house. Amazing how messy it gets when they are loose for 2 days!! Shanni had fun cleaning out the bathroom cupboards – Azzan had fun keeping all the things that were thrown out

Our two new wwoofers arrived after lunch – Mira from Germany and Takao from Japan. Mahalia had fun this arvo showing them around the place. Seb came in on his work boat to drop some anchor blocks in so Tim went along to say hullo. Said Seb was very bright and seemed happy out there so that is good.

I spent most of the afternoon cutting out warm pants for the 3 children, a nighty each for the girls and also a warm sweater for me. Although I think the pants and nighties will get made very quickly but my top may take a bit of figuring out. I was trying to make sense of the pattern but ended up putting it away cuz it was dinner time.

I did have things I intended to do today but they didn’t happen so maybe tomorrow.

One thing Rosie did say was that the greater the gap between our expectations and reality the deeper the hole  between. I know I have to learn to close that gap!

Happy Birthday Jesika :-)

29 years ago today the Lord gave us our first daughter.
She was and still is very precious to us.
She arrived on the date she was due at 7:11am on Saturday morning after a fairly normal 8 hour labour weighing in at 8lbs 7ozs. She was our first daughter, and the first grandchild on both sides of the family – so totally doted upon 
She was named Jesika Frances.
Her names were special to us.
I had always wanted a daughter called Jessica after discovering in my teen years that my Great Aunt Tiny was actually called Jessie.  I thought it was such a pretty name, and such a shame it wasn’t being used. (The different spelling came a few years later when Jesika decided to
change it by deedpoll after Derek Prince’s adopted African daughter).  Frances was after a very special cousin of Tim’s mother who emigrated to Australia at the grand age of 98 and lived to 100 – you have much to live up to Jesika

The years have flown by.

She has filled them to the max.

The pages of her life book are covered with interesting adventures and journeys.

She has developed into a very capable, responsible, loving, generous, and beautiful young lady.

Jesika – you are a blessing and we are blessed by you.

A chilly Sunday.

It has been so cold here today.
It is clear and calm so there are no winds to blow away the southerly chill.
The sun is out which is nice but it still is cold – brrrr!

Tim & I have been waking quite early these days so this morning we went out and greeted the morning in the spa.
The sky was so clear, the stars really stood out.
It was magnificent to watch the dawn turn into day.

I had a long chat with a fellow home educating mother up north this morning about linking in with an umbrella academic institution in the USA. She has her son involved and is very happy with it. I am keen to get Nathan a little more structured and the one we are looking at sounds perfect. We have to do a lot more sussing though over the next week or so. He is at the stage now where he needs to be extending himself and this ‘programme’ is one where we continue to make our own unit studies etc and they help us to monitor them and categorize things he is doing to make sense for credits. As he is likely to be looking toward tertiary education of some sort I think it is important to be looking now. He is keen to do it and Tim is interested. So we will investigate more fully  and see what eventuates.

The children are being really good about doing their chores. The girls even hung out the washing this morning for me. Nathan is really moving up the ranks in responsibility and doesn’t bat an eyelid when asked to do things. He was showing Tim how his new computer games work today – he has just bought a 3 pack  called Pirates: Ascaron.

We had fellowship this morning – well it was around midday when we finally got together. Shanni and Graham had been having big discussions about her proposed bird avairy so we were a little late starting. We had a good talk – I read 2 Chronicles 20. It is a very interesting chapter. The little ones picked up straight off that ‘the battle is not yours, but God’s.’ It turned into quite a study that took such a while that Azzan was saying – ‘aren’t we going to sing yet?’ Then when we did sing he wouldn’t!!

We had quite a leisurely afternoon. Seb went off for a drive, the children played. Tim and I talked to each other and to others. Our emotions are still playing havoc. Nathan cooked dinner again – whitebait fritters.

I am off to Nelson tomorrow and will be home Tuesday. Tim will be here with the 4 young ones. Seb is heading back out to work after lunch. I am looking forward to a couple of days away. It will be especially good cuz I am going to a dinner and to hear Rosie Boom sing and talk. I believe she has quite an encouraging ministry. Just what the doctor ordered

I might not leave too early though cuz it is sposed to be fine, cold and frosty – not the sort of roads I enjoy traveling on. If I wait till a wee bit later than normal then hopefully there will have been more traffic to break up any ice or frost.