A wild and stormy day



Tim & Cat took off before 7am to help Graham load and pull several trailer loads of timber up the hill before it rained.
I hopped in the spa and then a bit of a gentle rain began.
I quickly brought all the outside chairs in from the rain and headed out to the kitchen to start the day.

The power went off just after we had breakfast so we just pottered about for awhile till it came back on.
Then I decided that we should start watching some of our Shakespearean movies.
Nathan & I had found a heap of dvd’s at the video hire shop yesterday.
Including ‘Kiss Me Kate’.
So of course that was the one we watched.
Couldn’t cope with anything too heavy today-!!
It was funny though cuz the children got a bit annoyed with all the back stage story and just wanted to see ‘The Taming of The Shrew’!! We will get that next time, it had been hired out just before we got to the shop, bother it!

Graham has headed south for a few weeks to help out his daughter after her big op.
Cat & Pei Lin are working down in the shed on several projects that Cat is trying to get done before leaving tomorrow.

Azzan decided that he would like to make some dough as it was raining and dough making was a good thing to do on a wet day.
So Shanni mixed up some interesting sweet pizza dough and he was very happy to create, cook and eat it all

It is now pouring with rain, the bay is totally closed in and it is blowing a gale.
A good stormy day to stay inside by the fire.
So what did I just see a few moments ago – two little people walking past my study window in their rain jackets-!!

The children are now all up in the attic – not quite sure what’s happening up there.
Azzan has turned the living room into a toy shop.

Bri gave Zan a voice changer toy for a late b’day pressie.
So he is having a lot of fun today talking to us through it.

The rain is really pouring down now – it is turning into a right royal humdinger of a storm.
Glad I’m not out in a boat right now!!

I think I might just go get dinner ready just in case we get another power cut.









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Life on the farm while we were away…

Life ticks on here at home when I go away but I manage to get a glimpse into what everyone is up to now that Shanni has a camera
Here is a good one of the crew on Wednesday night shucking scallops.
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Tim is gathering a few bags up for the wedding before the commercial boats get loose over there.

Skadi and the children baked biscuits all Thursday morning.
Then she cleaned The Croft and got it ready for guests this coming week. It was quite windy so the guys didn’t go out in the boat but headed off up the hills to grub weeds and muster sheep.

On Friday Skadi & Adam left on the mailboat
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and Pei Lin arrived – a busy wharf that day!

Pei Lin is from Taiwan and was right into the adventure of living on the farm.
Tim took everyone up the hill to tail the late lambs – sounds like there’s a few more still coming too – a bit of monkey business with the hoggets and rams this year.
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Tim drafted the ewes from the lambs
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The mothers on one side
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and the babies on the other.
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There’s always something about lambs that attracts children

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Azzan getting a kiss

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Shanni finger ‘feeding’ a lamb.

Then there was a poor sheep having some lambing difficulties.
Shanni recorded it on video – of course
What a great lesson of life the children get – they are all in there, boots and all.
I could hear them on the video chatting and asking questions while Tim was struggling with this slippery stuck lamb.
He finally managed to get it out and all was well.
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Tim & Pei Lin- a good job done and the days work behind them
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Of course there is always time to skidder board off into the sunset after a days work
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Cat had a delicious dinner cooked by the time we all arrived in.

Our days in town

Thursday morning Nathan, Leeann and I were away bright and early.
We dropped Leeann off at Rai Valley.
She was hitching through to catch the ferry cuz she had an exam the next day.

Nathan and I arrived in Nelson early enough to do several drop offs and get breakfast before turning up at the Courthouse for the home schoolers visit.

We had a brilliant morning.
A gentleman at the courthouse took us all inside to the Family court room.
We all sat while he described the various types of court sessions and court rooms – and the whys and wherefores for each one. Because the main court we were to be sitting in on wasn’t yet free he decided we could do a mock trial.

Nathan was chosen to be judge, two other 15yr old lads were the prosecuting lawyers, there was a probation officer and a police prosecutor. Plus of course Ellie – the accused.
She was accused of stealing a free balloon from the Party Shop.
It was hilarious.
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I took these on my cell phone – not the best but you can get a wee look.
The boys were brilliant with their off the cuff wit and we were all laughing so much.
The court gentleman had tears running down his cheeks.
He has since emailed the mother organising the visit commending us –

‘He said he was really impressed with all you students, and how responsive you
were. He said he missed us afterwards and offered to have us back again if
we wanted to learn more.’

Then after that were ushered into the main court room.
It was a jury trial – expecting to take 3 weeks. We were there on the 3rd day.
Our children were so good.
There were 6 men up on drugs charges and 1 of them was representing himself.
I know we all have a legal right to do this but he really proved the benefit of employing a lawyer.
He was a total drop-kick and time-waster – nit-picking over the stupidest things which were not going to make any difference to the outcome, and I reckon if he had’ve had a lawyer the case may’ve taken much less time.

Most of our group headed off at the morning tea break but Nathan & I decided to stick around for another hour.
Nathan has now decided that he doesn’t want to become a lawyer-!!

We flew around and did a few more jobs, grabbed Nate some lunch and then dropped him off at the Careers session. He hadn’t been able to get to the 2 previous ones but after this session he is very keen to get back for next weeks one. I will have to see if I can find a ride out for him.

During this time Phillipa & I went up the street to the Yello Cafe for a drink and a chat. Chrissy took all the younger children off to the library.
We had the absolute bestest, most wonderfullest, delicious and perfectimo Brownie that either of us had EVER eaten.
It was totally mint!
I will certainly be going back to that cafe again

By this time the afternoon was getting away so we finished our jobs and wended our way up the hill to find Rose and Graham’s house where we were staying the night.
I did a quick change and then left Nathan with Rose.

I managed to find Brianna up a hill working on a cell phone antennae.
She was ready to finish work so she walked from the motel and met me at The Stables.
 It was our home schooling group’s mother’s night out for the term.

We had a wonderful night.
Lots of talk, laughter, frivolity, and discussion.
A great time.
Rachel had brought me Mahalia’s prototype flower-girl dress – it’s very pretty and Mahalia loves it.
By 10pm we all went our separate ways.
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Here’s some off us before we split the party!
Rachel, Michelle and Corine at the back
Angela, Hannah, Leisa & Gabrielle in the middle
myself and Ainsley at front.
Several ladies and Bri had already gone – and I have just noticed that Deirdre is hiding behind Angela!!


I was about dropping on my feet by the time I got back to the Davies’ house.
Nathan had just gone to bed and Herbie was home from work.
So we chatted for a short while over a cuppa and then headed off to sleep.


I vaguely heard Rose and Graham leave at 5am for work but didn’t become conscious until just on 7am.
I let Nate sleep in and chatted with Herbie, he helped me pack the ute as I had a heap of stuff just chucked in randomly.

Then it was on the road and over the hill.
Dropped Nathan off at Arrow Motels.
John & Sally are in the process of re-carpeting and they said he could have some carpet for his bedroom if he came and pulled it up.
I had just enough time to get into town and grab a frappacino before dropping the ute off at MSFord for it’s WoF.
Got there right on 9:30am and they announced that it would take at least an hour and probably more seeing as they needed to replace a bulb. My goodness! Our normal garage takes all of 15 mins!
They offered to drop me into town and then they would call me when they were finished.
Okay. I went to the gym and had a leisurely time there. Did my workout and chatted a while.
No need to hurry as I normally do.
Then I wandered about, visited some bookshops and finally after nearly two hours I text Nathan to call them up for a progress report.
It would be finished in 5 mins.
5 mins stretched into 10, into 30.
Finally I asked a shop for a phone book and called them myself.
‘Oh’ they said, ‘a young man called up so we thought you knew.’
I said ‘well, that doesn’t help me get back to you guys!’
‘I’m stranded here in the city centre’ – duh!
They were there very quickly to pick me up.

I zipped around and picked up Nathan, and his carpet, and a TV John was chucking out and other treasures that only Nathan could want
We went back into the city and met up with Janice at Morrison St Cafe for lunch.
I was having a bit of a hard day emotionally so it was good to be able to chat with her.
Then Bri turned up and we wandered back with her to meet her work mate.
They had split from work for a lunch break. It was lovely to be able to see her.
She is has been working in Nelson for past 2 weeks and has just one more to go and then she hopes they will be back in Chch.

Nathan stayed in the car after that while I zipped around getting groceries etc.
We finally left town around 5pm.

It is really weird driving home in the daylight – after the winter and having so many late dark drives home, it is now not dark till 9ish. We were home in time for dinner











Wednesday

Today Tim & Adam went off up the hills again to grub weeds.
It was a day that could’ve gone either way – turned out lovely or turned to custard.
It decided to stay nice.
I had a bit of a job getting the children into the school room this morning.
Once there we tackled family trees.
I had Shakespeare’s family tree so from that we devised our own one and the children spent the morning drawing them.
Took a while and there were some rather random results – glad that we are not listed historians

Skadi spent the morning peeling gallons of apples to stew up for breakfasts and make Tim’s requested Apple Crumble for dessert.

After lunch they all loaded on board the boat to take Cat & Leeann out diving – Leeann has to leave tomorrow.
So they fished, and scalloped and dived.
They didn’t get back till about 8pm so dinner was VERY late.

I wasted too much time loading photos on Facebook
So I had a quick scurry to put dinner on, Shanni was here so she helped get the fires going etc.

Anyway,
It is now late so I am off to bed as I have to be up before 5am.
Nathan & I are heading to Nelson for a couple of days.
Will load photos when I come back cuz Tim’s got the electric fence on and the internet connection is snail slow tonight.

My main news of the day is……
…..I got a phone call from the Education Review Office today – and – Yes! You got it!!
We are being reviewed on December the 11th.
It is exactly 10 years since our last review so I guess it is a bit overdue – not that I was at all worried – and I am still not worried.
After all these years I figure I must be doing something sorta right – no point is stressing about it

Schools in – for now!

I have managed to get things back into gear around here.
We started school this week and have managed to get two days in so far – and it has all gone well.

Monday Shanni & Nathan got their maths books out. Both struck problems.
Nathan with fractions and Shanni – well, just cuz it was maths

So I got out the Pizza Fraction Fun game I had bought a few months ago and they had a ball playing that for an hour.



Azzan got a bit annoyed with having to swap pieces when he didn’t want to and decided to give all his wedges back one at a time so he rigged the dial accordingly!
It’s a great game I would heartily recommend it


Anson called up from Oz in the midst of it which was a bit disruptive.
Hadn’t talked with him in a while so it was good to catch up.

We began our unit study on Shakespeare.
The children really enjoy unit studies.
Shanni just loves to be creative so it is no problem to her to present an interesting page.
Nathan is getting creative in his presentation too which is lovely to see.
We looked at his beginnings in the village of Stratford-upon-Avon.


We got dinner ready and the chores done before school, it is the way I have to work – can’t bear doing it afterwards. So we are always ‘late’ getting into the academics. But who cares? We always work way past lunch so we get it done sometime!

Skadi got stuck into weeding the rock garden.

It desperately needed help.


Tim took Adam, Herb & Seb out mustering all morning.
Then in the afternoon they all went out scalloping.
We had fresh scallops for dinner – yum!




Today Herb left just after 8, took Seb out with him as he has to start work tomorrow morning.

Skadi & I rallied around, got dinner ready and did the chores while the children began their maths.
Nathan did well, Mahalia did heaps, I didn’t even bother with Shanni today, she wrote stories

Once that was all done we went down to the school room and tackled Shakespeare again.
We got onto the Bubonic Plague today.
Did you know??
The year Shakespeare was born, approx 1/6th of his villages population died from the plague.
The year before 80,000 died in London from it.

So we are most fortunate today that William survived to enrich our lives.
And it was all probably because his mother kept sweet smelling pomanders and springs of rosemary near him to ward off the foul stinking aire!!

Azzan decided he did not want to get dressed to day.
So he stayed in his pj’s all day – his older sister gave him beans about it every time she saw him.
But I figured there was nothing wrong in staying in them so I sided with him.
He had a spa before dinner and changed from his green ones into his orange ones for tonight.
And Cat didn’t even realise he had changed!!
She must be colour blind


Skadi got back into the garden – it is looking much better but lots of gaps to fill now.
Tim & Adam went out grubbing weeds this morning.
We all sat out on the deck for lunch.
It was so lovely to sit in the sun.
Nathan caught us relaxing.



After lunch Tim, Adam & Nathan spent the rest of the arvo conditioning mussel ropes. The wind had come up so cooled the place down a bit.
I spent most of the afternoon sorting papers – I have to get a heap of titles and licences photocopied for our accountant.
Cat made pumpkin pie – it was delicious
I am back on my Curves diet again – but Cat and I decided that as pumpkin is a vegetable it is kosher as is the eggs and butter as it is all high protein – so I had a small inside piece without too much pastry and while the others had theirs with ice cream, I had mine with natural yoghurt – it was supurb!

Tim, Cat & Shanni went mustering after dinner – they have only just returned.
Looks like there will be sheep trucking out next week so Tim is trying to get them all sorted and ready.
Shanni was full of her exploits when she got home.
She always has lots to tell me, it was all about a lamb she caught tonight that went to sleep in her arms. Usually it is about her birds.
She is always so enthusiastic about life – well, about everything except maths

A Sunday Show

While Josie has been here the little children have been planning and scheming a show.
They were most put out that they couldn’t do it on Sat night – but we rescheduled it for Sunday afternoon.
We worked the time to fit in with Jack’s lunch time sleep

We had fellowship in the morning.
Herbie had arrived late the night before so we had a nice number with him and Graham there.
Cat & Seb joined us too.

Then it was lunch time I lay down on the sofa in the sunshine and tried to read my book.
But it was too heavy and I kept on falling asleep.
Tracey arrived around with the children so we chatted while the girls got the stage ready.
But the time it was all sorted and we were ushered out the sun had gone and we needed out jackets.

The seats were quite expensive – Andrew had the best view – his ticket was priceless

 
And then it was show time…….

It was quite a show, very random in fact.
The children enjoyed themselves.



Josie found it all a bit much and retired to her mother’s lap after the first number!


This was a joke telling session – Hali was asking the jokes in a loud American accent and Azzan was replying in giggles – so not a lot of it was audible to the audience!

There was a lot of lip synching and some very interesting dancing.
Azzan really was in his element – obviously he has been sussing steps from ‘Cats’ and our Irish dvd’s! 

If I had a faster connection I would load the video – it was priceless
Mahalia was doing really well, and was dancing amongst the audience when she turned to skip back up the steps she slipped and did herself quite an injury – she very quickly picked herself up and ran out of sight and declared very loudly to Shanni that she wasn’t doing that ever again-!!
Her doting Dad went and administered an ice pack on her shin.
The rest of us endured the rest of the show

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There were only three left watching when they heard Azzan say- ‘The last one left gets to see out show tomorrow for free.’
There was a fast exodus and only was Herbie left!!

Azzan has just come and told me – ‘How come you took pictures of our show?’
‘Didn’t you know that cameras were invertebrated?’
‘That means you are not allowed it.’
‘But seeing as you have already taken them it is toolate to worry now so you can take them.’

We then said our farewells to the Sparrow’s as they had to leave this morning.
Adam swam out to the boat to get the crayfish, Skadi & Shanni went part of the way and then they all hopped into the spa with Azzan.
I have a feeling the water wasn’t too tropical!

After dinner I watched ‘The Graduate’.
Have heard about it over the years and know the music but never seen it.
I found it in the library and decided it was time.
It was quite unusual to say the least and the audience numbers dropped off quite quickly.
I watched it to the end and from the weird beginning it turned into an hilarious ending

I was really wanting to get off to bed but spent the following hour or so having an altercation with Seb.
Sometimes being a parent is just too much
I can really sympathise with God when I have to deal with my kids – He must totally despair of His children,

A 21st birthday!!

Saturday night we celebrated Adam’s 21st birthday.

Mahalia gave him lots of massages and cuddles
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Skadi had made Black Forest dessert with caramel cream
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I made a carrot cake and Shanni loaded it with lots of candles in the shape of an ‘A’.
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I just love catching the onlookers in the act of blowing.
It seems to be something that is instinctive!

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Whew! Must have been a lot of candles – we were getting smoked out.


Happy Birthday Adam – many Kiwi greetings to you on your special day




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Leeann, Cat & Seb packed up fish from the days fishing.
There was a nice amount caught – and all legally outside the banned area, which includes our bay.
The girls also got a small crayfish but realised later that it had been left in the live bait tank – duh!

I had taken advantage of the fisher people’s absence to put my feet up and have a relaxing afternoon.
I watched the final three episodes of ‘Mansfield Park’.
It was really good.
I was able to do my knee exercises at the same time – so made quality use of my time

Unfortunately by the time the fisherfolk arrived home my neck was feeling really outa sorts and I was brewing a headache.

Shanni gave me a bit of a massage but it didn’t do too much good.
At dinner Leeann felt the lump at my C2 vertebrae and decided I needed a decent massage.
So after dinner I sat for ages while she massaged my neck and shoulder.

It felt so good.
But as the evening wore on I felt worser and worser.
I guess I was over tired as well.
I had had two day trips to town in the past week and the driving really creates havoc in my neck.
I was trying not to have to take any painkillers.


By the time Cat, Seb & Leeann had their spa and Tim had put the kids to bed I was curled up on our bed feeling really dreadful.
I finally decided I needed to take some Panadol.
I struggled out to the spa to join Tim but I just felt so bad.
Tim almost had to lift me out, I thought I was going to vomit.
So I curled up in bed finally got to sleep.