A wet morning – time to have a catch up….

On Sunday night after everyone left it was sort of……………crash time.

The children and I hopped in the spa together then they hopped out to watch ‘Ratatouille’ – Julie gave it to the boys for a combined b’day pressie and Azzan just ‘had’ to watch it.
I checked the clock and decided they had enough time to watch it and still have an early night.
Shanni was very tearful – something that only happens when she is over tired, so I definitely was aiming to get her to bed earlier than usual.

Herbie phoned me while I was in the spa so we ended up solving the world’s problems till it was dark.
It was nice and relaxing a great for my knee just to wallow a while in there.
I know I should really have been icing it but the warmth and the elevation was great.


I came inside and the children were still engrossed in the movie. They were finding it extremely funny
Dinner was a non issue as they had all been grazing on whatever they felt like – we were all a bit over food by this stage of the weekend!

The children all said good bye to Julie as they would hopefully still be asleep when we left.

It took Azzan & Julie quite a long time to say au revoir as they had to have their final French lesson

The clock said it was 8:30pm so I was thinking they really should get to bed if they were going to get anything remotely like an early night.
Then somehow we realised that the clock was wrong and had been turned back to pre-daylight saving time
So the early night had not happened after all and I had several VERY tired children on my hands.
Mahalia does not do tired at all well
Tim had disappeared and we had no idea where he was.
I eventually traced him to Nathan’s room.
He had gone upstairs to say goodnight but Natey was busy on his computer so Tim had blobbed out on the sofa with a book and just wasn’t capable of moving far.
I sent Hali up to get him and Nathan frightened her
It doesn’t take much when she is tired but it took Tim forever to calm her down


Monday morning I was up before 5am and Julie & I left at 5:40am.
Had a good trip out with only a few photo shoot stops.
Julie got some great sunrise photos.
It was actually very cool and the dew on the grass at Okiwi made me feel like it was Autumn – not nearly summer!

We had breakfast at Starbucks, found Julie’s hostel and then began working out way through my list.
First stop was the hire place to organise wedding things.
Got that sorted and then it was the shop stock up.
Did what we could and then carried on out to Richmond.

Once we had done a few things there I had time to pop in and visit our friend Don who has cancer and is waiting for bureaucracy to sort itself out so he can begin treatment!
We had a lovely time entertaining him or was he entertaining us – whatever!
We enjoyed our visit. Kathy was at work so missed her smiling face.
Soon after we got there Cat arrived so it was quite a merry party.

Then we headed off to get Nathan’s b’day present and back into town to finish off the lists.
We enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Deville – Cat was able to give Julie some good tips on what to do and where to go for the rest of her South Island experience.

Cat left me at an internet cafe for an hour so I could work on my Photomax project.
We said our farewells to Julie, grabbed a drink and headed home.
Went down to Waterfall to unload the shop stuff.
I was quite tired so just wanted to get it all unpacked, priced and head home.




Tuesday was a beautiful day.
I was planning to start school.
But Cat was home!
She spent the morning with the children cleaning and de-junking.
It was great but once again no formal academia.
Shanni typed up her story on the computer.
She is working on a story for the Sylvanian competition.
I was very impressed that she stuck at typing it all by herself.

Tim wanted to get out early on the water and do mussel work as it was so calm.
He was a bit frustrated because Nathan’s leg was too sore and he couldn’t raise Richard so he ended up down on the wharf conditioning ropes until Richard was finally available to help.

Once Cat had finished the cleaning I heard the weedeater start up – it went for most of the day!
She had quite a mission on as the lawns hadn’t been mowed for months.
At midday I was feeling so bodily exhausted that I just had to go sleep.
The past few days with very little sleep had finally caught up on me.
I gave the 4 children instructions as to what to do for lunch and then told them that the only reason they were to come disturb me was if someone was dying!
I pulled the curtains and crawled under the covers and didn’t emerge for 2 hours.

When I came too, I staggered out to the living room and found Tim was home and having lunch with Alan.
Andrew, Tracey and children were also here visiting.
After several glasses of orange juice I managed to wake up.
Because of my iron levels being lower than usual at present I need to be taking the tablets 3 times a day, not just 2 like I have been. I didn’t have my glasses on and Hali had cleaned and rearranged all the containers of vitamins. I reached in and grabbed the bottle of what I though was iron pills and then after I had swallowed it realised it was Cascara (which normally is at the back so I hadn’t realised they were in similar containers) – oh well! I spose it will counter the effects of the iron pills-!!

Tim took Nathan & Alan out to do some more mussel floats after their lunch – he has quite a mission on at the moment so needs to get out and do them whenever possible.

I chatted with Andrew & Tracey for a while. When they left with Jack, Josie was not at all happy about leaving so I suggested Azzan and Hali might like to walk her home at 5pm. They were all very happy about that plan They were having such a lovely time in the tree house.

Dinner was easy.
I really didn’t feel terribly inclined towards food but I found some fish fingers that Alan had brought in so we had them with refried rice and eggs and stir fried veges and salad. There is still a a mountain of carrot cake left from Nathan’s b’day so dessert was taken care of easily too

I had fed the 2 wee ones early and read stories to them so Tim was able to tuck them in while I dished up our dinner.
I crashed out and watched the first part of ‘Mansfield Park’ – by Jane Austin. A most delightful story – so proper!

Today we have woken to rain – quite steady but no wind as yet.
So I guess Azzan won’t be walking around to see Josie too early.
Tim is heading out to do more mussel floats with Alan as crew this morning.
I am off to try and see if we can manage to discover the realms of academia today…..

Look who just popped in to visit me





Shanni is so delighted at how friendly Sonny is






Continue reading

Sunday – certainly not leisurely!

After only 4 hours sleep I was wide awake.
It was only 6:30am so and everyone else was still snoring, so I crept out to the spa with my book and wallowed there for a while.

Just after 7am there was movement as people began crawling out of their respective holes.

We had leftovers for breakfast – I had Tiramisu and fruit salad
Next week I diet!

Then Tim took Pat, Phillipa & Mandy up to Waterfall in the dinghy to look at marquee sites and to let Mandy suss out the kitchen.
Verdict is – it is all go and very possible and they have it all under control

While they were up there I gave the little folk some top up fuel – left over pizza and chocolate cake and then as soon as they arrived back we loaded into the Ashton’s van and the truck and headed up to the top of the hill.

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Tim took the children skidder boarding
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and caught a lamb who had gotten onto the wrong side of the fence
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After a bit of a chat and chill and admire the scenery session at the tailing yards the rest of us headed off up to the top of Crichtons Hill.
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On the way we were met by the locals…
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they were very curious as to who these noisy invaders were.
Not in the least bit shy either!
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They didn’t really appreciate Nathan’s attempts at trying to catch one.
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See….way down over there….at the end of the airstrip…..you can just see Tim and the children skidder boarding……if you look really really hard.

When we got to the top of the hill we had another admire the scenery and view session and the llamas decided they needed to come see what we were doing.
They certainly don’t have too many shy bones in their bodies!
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Then it was the downhill stretch.
The easiest part of the trek – yes?
No!
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The crew all hooned off down the hill but when I got about half way my stupid knee began to pack a totally wobbly and just got more and more painful with each step.
Phillipa and I sat and rested for a while and then moved down hill very gingerly sideways most of the way.

Pat was waiting down the bottom of the ridge so we wandered down the road through the bush.
It was beautiful.
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Some really gorgeous young Nikau palms

This amazing tree or conglomerate of trees and vines all growing and twisting together was really cool
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Then we could see the house & all the others on the wharf already.
Tim was just coming down the hill with the children in the van.
Good timing.
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I staggered into the kitchen and found Chrissy and Tim had lunch started.
We got all the food out and eventually had lunch at 3pm-ish.

Then it was the big clean up and pack the vans session.

The four young men were caught just before they all had to go their separate ways.
Billy, Nathan, Nicholas & Yari.
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It is so quiet here now.
Tim hitched a ride up the hill to pick up the truck.
My young folk are very quiet – it will be an early night for everyone methinks.

All in all it has been a great weekend.
All involved are totally knackered – but it was GREAT

Nathan’s birthday celebrations

There were 21 of us for dinner tonight.

Nathan brought his hangi food up – it had gotten a bit burnt on the outside but everyone said it tasted pretty good.
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The little boys were really tired and and the weather had turned really cold and windy so Azzan was very happy to forgo the proposed bonfire for him and his wee friends when I said he could have one sometime this week with Josie.

It took a while to get the food sorted and round everyone up but we finally managed to gather around the table by 7ish. – Oops! Just saw the clock on the wall and it says 7:50pm – it was late wasn’t it!!
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We had a feast – an excessive amount of food – won’t have to cook for a month by the look of the left overs-!!
After the mains were devoured and cleared away we brought out the birthday cakes.
Azzan had a chocolate cake that Chrissy had made.
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Nathan’s cake was a very large carrot cake – his request
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Seems he had help to blow out all the 13 candles – his mother nearly only put 12 on!
Maybe she doesn’t really want to grow up??

Then there were some presents for Azzan
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I love the eager attentiveness from the others

Nathan had to unwrap his presents very carefully and precisely with his pocket knife so as not to damage the wrapping paper – there was many comments to the effect that dessert was waiting…..
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The box of Lego was beautifully wrapped in newspaper and was ripped off very quickly and Billy commented that next time we should wrap all Nathan’s presents in newspaper – he might open them more quickly!!!
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Julie gave the boys a dvd of Ratatouille to share – could be a goer tomorrow arvo when they need to crash out after their busy weekend.

There was a lot of loud conversation to which the noise of the wee boys was adding to much to the volume so I took them off to my study and they watched ‘Lucky Luke’ and ‘Peter Pan’. After their long day at sea and the long soak in the spa and a big meal they were just about comatose by then and were happy just to sit quietly.

The four 13 year olds all disappeared off to the woolshed to find their sleeping bags fairly early after dinner – they looked absolutely knackered!

We had a good discussion about the wedding and then the ladies took the children off to bed and the men got stuck into the mountain of dishes.
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A great time for male bonding

Nathan’s real b’day in on the 23rd – next Thursday so I told him he will get the rest of his present then.
Didn’t have time to find it last week and certainly never had room in the Safari for anything more.

Right, I am now caught up on our day.
It is raining steadily now, I think we all had the best day and Tim is now getting his requirements for the farm.
I am off to bed cuz it will soon be morning.

Pottery delivery :-)

The pottery we painted on Monday was glazed and all ready to be picked up by Wednesday so Chrissy kindly collected it and bought it down for us.

The children were so delighted to get it back so quickly.

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Don’t the colours look so cool when compared with before the glazing.

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Mahalia was thrilled with her butterfly plate.

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Azzan couldn’t wait to get dressed after his spa to get his plate

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Shanni was so delighted she had to make a cup of tea immediately.

I did take a photo of Nathan with his triangle plate but it was really dorky and he wouldn’t thank me for adding it here – so I won’t, seeing as it is his b’day week and all!!!

The fishing trip part of the day

Shanni took some wonderful photos of the fishing trip today and has let me use them to share what they saw and did.
The wind died down and they had a wonderful time.

Russell and Pat were trolling between Port Ligar & Waterfall and just as we were getting to the wharf they both caught a dirty great big ugly barracuda each. The proved fascinating to the little boys of course.
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It is always a hive of activity on board the boat when there are a pack of keen fishers aboard.

The were surrounded by a school of large dolphins and Shanni got some great photos – they can be quite difficult to catch on film/screen cuz they are so quick but today they were being quite playful and co-operative.
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Johanna with her large blue cod – there was a better photo of the fish but this was a nicer photo of Johanna
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Nicholas bringing in one of the many sharks they caught
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Yari with a shark
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I LOVE this photo.
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Mahalia with an octopus tentacle sucking itself around her hand – they caught an octopus and cut off two tentacles to use for bait and then released it back alive. It is quite a common occurrence so please don’t get upset or offended by the apparent gruesomeness of them maiming a poor innocent creature

The sharks had heaps of babies inside them – it has always been a fascination for the children to play with them – they really are very cute.
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Jacob & Mahalia with their babies

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No! Julie – you don’t eat the egg sac – it is totally gross

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Lydia with her shark.

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Billy with another shark.

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Johanna enjoyed her day out on the briney – cute smile eh?

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Fish and chips anyone?

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I think Tim’s cod might be a little bit more on the legal side than yours Pat-!!

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A good days catch

Saturday – ladies part of the day :-)

The Ashton & Harris clans arrived at 10pm.
Tim bunked off to bed cuz he was totally shagged and knew that if he stayed up to welcome them he would never get to bed before midnight! Wise man-!!

I, on the other hand waited up.
Nathan went up and found them and brought a tribe of boys up to the house.
They wolfed down some cake and custard and then decided to sleep in the woolshed.
So they went off to get themselves sorted down there.

I took the remaining cake and custard down to the Cottage – it was met with much pleasure by the ravenous mob and was devoured with loud appreciation

I headed off to bed at midnight.
The boys were down on the wharf with Billy’s new slug gun blasting away at jelly fish and mackerel etc. – basic innocent sea critters who were brave or stupid enough to get in their way.
Matthias discarded his newly mature wedded status and went down to join the boys under the guise of the adult in charge!
They all eventually bedded down around 1am.
Well, that was when they were sposed to go to sleep but judging by the look of them tonight I don’t think a lot of sleep was had!

This morning all the boys were up and percolating early, as was Pat!
He was rearing to go at 7am and bucking against the trace of the others who were in cruise mode.

Nathan and the boys skinned the pig, then dug the pit, got the fire going and put the hangi down.

After consultation with Tim we all loaded aboard the 88 South around 10am and after much to-ing and fro-ing by various memebrs of the crew for forgotten items we eventually left Port Ligar.
We headed to Waterfall Bay so Chrissy, Phillipa and I could be dropped off there.
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Do we look sad at the prospect of having no children or men around us for the rest of the day??

We spent the next few hours sorting out marquee sizes, making phone calls to hire centres and discussing menus and items required for the wedding. It was a very profitable time.

We finally left around 2:30pm and walked – or should I say clambered – back around the track.
It has become a lot more over grown since I last walked around there and there is a lot of storm and slipping damage. We did lose the track a few times but managed to sort out a route to keep us going in the right direction.
It was a lovely walk amongst beautiful bush.
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There were a lot of these beautifully delicate wee native orchids along the way.
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These mushrooms were beautiful from above
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and even more so from below.

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There was considerable discussion as to the economical benefits of growing your own mushrooms while I was taking the photos

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It was also neat to walk at this time of year as the creeks and waterfalls were flowing well.

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The spring growth of the new baby ponga fronds were so picturesque.

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We had to clamber and bush whack our way over and under fallen trees.

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Then we were nearly at the end and in the clearing above Sparrowdise.
Andrew, Tracey, Josie and Jack were in residence so we stopped in for a cuppa and a chat.

As the afternoon was fading fast we took our leave and headed home.
Had a tiki tour to show Chrissy around as she had never been here before.
It was 4:30pm by the time we got home and then it was into producing food for the troops who didn’t get home till about 5:30pm.

Friday at our house

We blobbed out yesterday arvo and watched ‘Pay it Forward’.
What an amazing movie, what a boy to think of such a thing?
How could anyone not have more than a tear in their eyes at the end?

Everyone was quite tired last night so we all got to bed reasonably early.
I had a rotten nights sleep though.
Woke early after tossing and turning and felt like trash
Tim said he did too.

Once I got up and moving and a good drink of water my body began to function better.
Although I my neck has been causing me distress most of the day.
Shanni gave me a bit of a massage but I really need a good one.

Julie sorted out the attic cupboard for me this morning and then got more bedding sorted for the Cottage and the Hut.
Then she spent the rest of the morning cutting up veges.
She was a huge help cuz I was busy elsewhere.

I had quite a bit of mail and paperwork to do so that kept me in the study most of the morning.
Fridays seem to be completely taken up with getting mail organised to go and then opening it all and sorting it.

Shanni decided as it was a nice day she should bath the wee stray kitten that she is taming.
It is a wee character.
Quite shy and timid but it lets only her handle it.
The three wee ‘mothers’ bought it to see me after it’s bath – it looked even more bedraggled!
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And no, it did not scratch Azzan’s chin – I am not too sure why he felt the need to apply a plaster right there

Tim and Nathan went out early to do mussel floats – it was really calm so a good day for it.
This afternoon Julie made a huge carrot cake for Nathan’s b’day and I made a double batch of Tiramisu – there was too much mix so I just had to scoop it up as it flowed over the sides – what torture

The children watched Shrek 3 in the late afternoon.
Tim took Nathan & Julie out to tie on some more floats.

I realised that it was very quiet and sorta thought that maybe I should feel a bit guilty that I didn’t have a clue where the children were – but actually I wasn’t so I didn’t!

Around 6pm Shanni came to tell me that I just had to come down and see their aquariums.
So I donned my jacket – by then it was rather cool – and wandered off to see what they were up too.
They were having a wonderful time.
They had filled all the buckets with sea creatures from the shallows of the beach.
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Shanni had this small octopus in one bucket
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Of course there were also 3 cats in attendance, just in case someone might happen to inadvertently drop a fish.

They had several star fish – this one was very cute – if they can be cute that is!
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A rock fish
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and a large cockabully.

The tide is really low at the moment so they had a huge expanse of beach to play on and explore
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Note the stranded jellyfish all over the beach.

They then warmed up in the spa before dinner.
We had a yummy roast meal – Tim and Nathan went off while we started eating.
They had important bloke stuff to do.
A pig to shoot.

Nathan is putting down a hangi tomorrow and just had to have some pork to add to it.
So one of our pigs is now deceased.

It is now 9pm and Tim is finally putting the children to bed – it seems to get later and later these evenings.
I have just made a Mega Mud Puddle cake/pudding for our friends, The Ashtons and the Harris, who should be arriving any moment now.

Tomorrow will be a busy day

Our week so far….

The younger four and I headed off to Nelson on Monday morning around 8:30am.
Quite a civilised time to leave really but we left poor Tim with an almighty mess to clean up!

We had a few extra hours up our sleeves cuz of the music lessons being cancelled.
So we zipped around and did what jobs we could and then headed Stoke way to drop of the kids computer. It’s CD drive had died and our friendly techie Pete managed to locate another for us
As it is hard to get iMac’s that run OS-9 that all the children educational cd-roms are geared for it is quite important to try and keep this one going for a few more years yet.

Then we went out and visited Craig to see his birds.
It was a great visit, he has blue Indian Ringnecks, Barrabands, & Alexandrines plus cockatiels and budgies.
Shanni has decided she would like to wait for his Barraband to hatch the eggs it is sitting on at the moment and then she will hand rear one once it gets it’s first fledgling feathers. She is quite excited about it and Craig is very helpful so we will have a good coach.

We then had some time up our sleeves so we went out to MacMillan’s Pottery.
I had been promising Azzan that he could paint himself a new plate since his baby plate had finally broken.
So we all painted plates – it was fun.
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Azzan was just too much of a perfectionist though and wanted to do his like ‘that one over there’ – one very expensive, professionally painted art piece-!!
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He was finally happy to make a coloured pizza plate.
There are so many layers of paint under it, it will be interesting to see it once it is glazed.
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This is all the plates with their before look.
We should be able to pick them up in the next few days so then I will show you the after look – the colours are very vibrant once they are glazed.

We then hurried back into town to meet Nuana at Starbucks.
She is up from Te Anau for a few days so it was cool to catch up with her.
Rachel arrived with her 2 wee ones too.
So we had a lovely visiting time while Rachel measured the children for their wedding clothes.
Nathan kept her active young Jesse (6) busy while we were sorting all of the requirements.

Nuana then took the 4 children to the beach for the rest of the afternoon.
I had a physio appointment and then a trip to the gym.
Then I got Chinese take aways and made a quick trip around the supermarket for some breakfast food.

Shanni had her camera at the beach so I sifted out a few of the photos to show you the fun they had – there were many dozen photos-!!
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They loved the vast expanse of sand and spent ages building sandcastles and moots…..

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Nathan – pondered things from a distance.

Then they got loose in the playground
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Azzan thinking maybe he was Jonah and looking for a way out

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By the time I got back to the motel it was after 7pm and they were like hungry lions.
So we enjoyed a yummy dinner and I popped them to bed.
Nathan couldn’t find anything interesting on the TV so he trundled off to bed too.
Nuana & I chatted for a while before she had to go home.

Tuesday

We were all up bright and breezy, got the motel cleaned up and packed the Safari.
We had 6 appointments between 9:30am and 1:30pm.
Some of them crossed over so I was doing a juggling act.
I was able to pick up some things for Tim and have my blood test done on the way.
Then I dropped Nathan and his book at the dentist so he could wait for his 10am appt.
I then zipped Hali up to the Dr for her 9:30am appt.
Then it was back to drop her off at the dentist for her 10:30am session while I then zoomed down to Shanni’s 10:15 appt with the ophthalmologist.
Then back to collect M&N and up to ‘Deville’ at 11am to meet Ella and the twins for a quick lunch.
It’s a great place to take children as it is fenced all around with a locking gate – wonderful for two busy wee twins
Shanni walked down to her midday appt at the dentist while I picked up bulbs at the lighting shop. Then got Azzan to the dentist for his 12:30am appt.

We were all finished well before 1pm – felt great to get everything done and not feel at all stressed about it.

I was about to leave town when I realised Shanni had a present for Kathryn so we side tracked up there for 2 mins.
We had a lot of fun admiring Grace’s Alexandrine parrot – it just sits on her shoulder, and is so friendly and talkative.
Funnily enough we realised we are getting Shanni’s Barraband from the same person as Grace got her parrot.
An hour later we left town with the children saying ‘we thought you said we would only be there for 2 mins!’

We called in to my sister’s to pick up a wetsuit and found she was having a big clean out in Ruby’s room.
The girls found lots of little girls treasures – when they went back to the Safari with them Azzan was out of the car faster than a scolded dingo!
He wasn’t going to be left out of the treasure hunt-!!

Got through to Blenheim around 4:30pm. Was going to get takeaways but while dropping off the library books we went past the Top Spot restaurant.
I used to work there back in the dark ages – 1973&4 to be precise
So Nathan & I made a fast decision, shot back to Granny’s, I had a shower while the children put on the glad rags and we headed off for dinner out.
The children loved their meals.
It is a very basic menu – nothing of the new fancy sorta stuff – still very 1970’s food and still pretty much almost at 1970’s prices!

We had time plenty of time to get to the theatre.
It was really funny and soooooo different from the previous experience of CATS for the children.
This time we walked in and were greeted by a ‘cat’ purring around us and smooching up to the children – Azzan was particularly favoured by the smooches which he happily responded too

Then while we waited for the show to begin there were several ‘cats’ moving around through the audience.
I was kicking myself I hadn’t taken my camera.
I got this wee pic of Bombalurina smooching up to Hali & Azzan
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At half time the ‘cats’ were wandering amongst the audience again – this time they were being much more cheeky. They were stealing handbags, licking ice creams, and having cat fights in the aisles.

Apart from a few wee glitches with the sound at teh beginning the show was excellent.
The children really loved it.
Even Nathan conceded that ‘it was quite a nice show.’

Azzan LOVED it and took the programme to bed with him

Wednesday

I was up and down to the gym before anyone was awake.
Got back at 8am and got stuck into stripping beds and getting the children dressed and packed.
We pretty much blobbed out for the rest of the morning.
I tried to do some Photomax work on Mum’s computer but spent a very frustrating hour and got absolutely nowhere, in fact lost all the work I had done. I guess there is something wrong with her computer as it just would not co-operate.

So I loaded the children into the Safari and headed off to the library.
I spent an hour on the library computer and got heaps done – could’ve done more but the children had chosen their books are were all ready to leave.
So we ducked into Noel Leeming to get Nathan some ear phones and then to the Railway Station to pick up Julie from France.

We had time to have a quick lunch at Springlands Cafe and then collected Mum, dropped Julie at the Cyber Cafe, then the 4 children at Pat’s and then I took Mum to the hospital for her specialist appointment.
Despite being told by several others waiting that the Drs were running an hour or so behind Mum’s appointment was on time. It all went well and we were soon down the road again to collect the kids.
They were having a ball and didn’t want to leave.

Went back and packed up the Safari – not a lot of room once we had loaded all 6 of us in plus all the gear.
Then I shot into the supermarket as we left town and got a few necessities which meant Poor Hali was well and truly sandwiched in the back seat.

We stopped at Okiwi Bay and had a picnic tea while the children let off steam on the playground.
It was low fog along the tops but it didn’t slow us down much and we were home soon after 8pm.

I was sitting at the table chatting with Julie while the children were getting themselves sorted and ready for bed.
Azzan had the old brick of a cell phone he had gotten from Aunty Ruth.
He came and told me he had been talking to Mary.
I was quite surprised.
He had an imaginery friend who was extremely real to him for a long time but he hadn’t spoken of her in well over a year.
I had forgotten where it was she came from so asked him – it was Majorca – silly me to forget that important piece of information.
He told me she was living in Spain now and was getting married.

Azzan came back to me a few moments later looking very sad.
He said that Mary’s husband had died.
I asked him of what?
He said he had been ‘drinking drugs’.

He sadly wandered off up the hall and then turned around and said that he was very worried about Mary cuz he thought she might die too.
I said to him that she was far too bright to do drugs but he said it was because she had been trying to stop her husband from drinking drugs.

Thankfully today the conversation seems to be forgotten.
I am figuring that little people have far bigger ears than we give them credit for!

Today is Thursday and we have had a busy morning.
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Julie has helped clean the children’s rooms, vacuumed the house all through and I have put out about 4 huge loads of washing. I just got them all in a moment ago as it was beginning to rain, so am finishing them off in the dryer.

The children have gotten their rooms back into tidy order again and dinner is being prepared.
Tim has been busy doing mussel floats and getting his boat back into the water after it’s survey on Monday.

So now it is raining – in fact it is pouring down – I think we might just blob for a few hours and find a movie to watch.

Comings and Goings

The weekend has been busy with comings and goings of all kinds.

Andrew arrived in late Friday night to do some work on Bush Inn cottage.
He over nighted with his older sis Louisa at The Croft.
There was a problem with the water so he wanted to get it sorted before bringing his family up next week.

Nathan has a lamb, it’s fleece is as white as snow…..

It follows him into….. my kitchen on Saturday morning!

But alas it died last night
It has been rather poorly and he drenched it with cider vinegar last week and it seemed to sorta perk up but it never really was blossoming with health.
So, yet another of Nathan’s pet lambs has met it’s fate.

The puppy has been moved up nearer the bigger dogs at my request.
She was beginning to be a bit of a nuisance down here and was also giving the lamb a hard time.
It is bad enough trying to keep the cats outside but the pup was also getting naughty about coming in.

Tim and the boys went over to Puketea Sat arvo to help Graham with some logging and brought back a big load of firewood. When they got back Graham took Rose, Graham and the boys for a tiki tour in the PL3 and got mussels etc.
The wind had died down so they had a lovely wee outing.

Nathan caught me in the kitchen trying to cut up the remains of the very sticky and extremely sweet lemon meringue pie.

The children have come and gone frequently between here and The Croft.
Louisa took George, Madeline, Azzan & Mahalia to Bush Inn beach to play.
Shanni didn’t want to go because she was planning to work in the garden.
But no sooner had they all gone she decided that she had nothing to do
So she took the kayak and paddled around to visit them.
She found Mo & Jynx around there so had to bring them back on the kayak. She sorta didn’t figure that if they had made their way around there then of course they could get back home again!

She was annoyed cuz she realy wanted to play in the Pine Huts but the others were wanting a change of scenery.
However later in the day, in fact right on dinner time, they all took off for a final fling up there.
They came back before dark hot and happy

Andrew came around to say gidday – it just happened that I was  serving dinner and there was plenty for him so he joined us.
It was a pleasant meal with time to catch up and chat.

This morning Louisa and children had to head back to Christchurch. They came around at 10:30am to collect Billy as they were giving him a ride to Blenheim.


The two little ratbags spent a lot of giggly time saying good-bye to each other.
It has been so funny watching these two.
Rather reminiscent of 20 years ago with Mahalia’s big sisters Cat & Sunni and Madeline’s Aunties Olivia & Genevieve.


Nathan & Billy were extremely formal with their good-byes!

Graham, Graham & Rose joined us for fellowship with the three grandson’s.
It was lovely to have them all with us.
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Afterwards, because we were so late starting and then finishing G & R had to gather up Jayden, Zac & Levi and head back to town. I figured it wasn’t everyday the boys had all three g’parents together so grabbed some pix for them.

Graham, Tim and I chatted over lunch.
I did a few loads of washing from the Cottage and Croft and basically just did not a lot.
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There has been a small kitten hanging around that looks like Mo. This afternoon it came very close and Shanni got most excited cuz she nearly caught it.
Then she did catch it!
It was a bit of a wee fireball – hence the blurry pic-!!
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She managed to calm it down and got it into a bird cage and gave it meat and fish.
Poor wee thing was ravenish.
I don’t think it will take much to tame it somehow.
Tim is okay with keeping it if it is a boy – if it’s a girl it will be gone-!!
Names – when we are able to exam it more closely and figure out what it is – then Annie for a girl (cuz I reckon it looks like an orphan) and Azzan asked if it could be Theodore for a boy. Cat liked that name

The mussel harvest seem to be beginning for the season – there was a hive of activity in the bay today.
Then Tim had both companies trying to unload ropes at the same time – busy, busy!
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Later on this afternoon I tried to get the children interested in the idea of packing for town.
That is a hard one

I got Azzan’s stuff ready, made them all a very random dinner but they were more than happy with it.
A boiled egg, green salad, tomato, smoked salmon, and toast.
Then Macadamia Bark chocolate for dessert

The girls took a lot longer to pack their bags. In fact Shanni was still packing at 9pm – she just don’t wanna go to town!

Then just after she had made a long list of for her father as to how and what to do with looking after all her birds we noticed that the barraband wasn’t looking too happy.
She called up the guy were bought it from but he didn’t seem too worried.
Then about an hour later it literally fell off it’s perch.
She found him dead
A few tears and a phone call later – we have agreed to go visit him tomorrow and have a look at what else he has.
Either wait for a replacement to hatch and grow or get our money back.
Decisions tomorrow.

Well, I really should get myself off to bed.
I haven’t yet packed either, so I will have to do that in the morning.
It is not too early a get away tomorrow.
Music lessons have been postponed due to illness of the teacher’s husband so that gives us a couple of extra hours in the day – which I am sure we will fill in very easily.
Nuana is in town for a few days so she is going to take the kids to the beach while I go to my appointments. So they will really enjoy their afternoon. We don’t usually have time to go to Tahuna beach and they do love the wide expanse of sand there.

Friday

Tim took everyone up the hill to tail the last mob of lambs this morning.
It was still quite chilly but the children were happy – they missed out on all the other mobs.

I chilled out over a leisurely breakfast, read my book, hung out the washing, got lunch on and made date scones – then got the mail ready.

Tim actually got everyone back home by 11am as I had asked. Laurent & Aurelie were leaving on the mailboat and I didn’t want him to do his normal act of getting the wwoofers back just in time to run down to the wharf after a mornings work and me chasing them along with some food cuz they haven’t had time to eat or shower before they leave.
So today he excelled himself!


They had time to shower, eat at leaisure and have a wander around before the boat arrived.
They certainly timed their travel in and out well. It was a perfect day both ways.

While I was in the study today Shanni came in very pleased with herself – she had finally caught a baby weka and had it stuff in her sleeve.
She got it out to show me and while she was holding it it was squawking and struggling and then it did what all good weka’s do – it pooped on my floor 


You can see by her face that she has just realised what it has done – it absolutely stank so she got rid of the bird and quickly cleaned it up for me. I bet she was awful glad it hadn’t done it’s business up her sleeve!!

There was a huge bag of mail to sort through which kept me occupied for a while.
Tim painted the rest of his boat hull – it is all finished now.
He deserved his afternoon nana nap today

Mahalia stayed at The Croft last night and she and Azzan went straight back there after tailing.
Then they all came around to get their gear so they could go swimming at Bush Inn beach.
They wanted to have a beach party so Louisa obliged – although they chickened out on the swimming – it is way too cold.

They all arrived back about 6pm – in time for Louisa to help me make a Lemon Meringue Pie for dessert.
It was a spur of the moment thing – I really should have had more sense than begin making something like that so late but I felt the urge and just had to do it. It turned out VERY sweet – I will be cutting the sugar amount back next time.
It meant that dinner was a late so the children watched an episode of Little House on the Prairie after they had all had a spa.

Then Rose & Graham arrived with their three grandsons to stay in The Cottage.
They had brought with them Shanni’s newest bird – a barraband parrot.
So tonight she has got two large cages in her bedroom to keep her company .
She has named it Alice.
It is not sexed yet so it will be interesting to see if it grows into it’s name

It was dark when Louisa left with George and Madeline – so they headed off into the gloaming with the torch on the look out for the Pine Huts taniwha

Tonight after all the darlings were put to bed Tim and I watched the 2nd half of The Shell Seekers – it is a great movie based on the book by Rosamunde Pilcher with Vanessa Redgrave playing the main part. It was a very intriguing story, which once again has left us up far too late.

Oh! I nearly forgot.
The bestest news of all in the mail today.
I received Azzan’s exemption certificate from the Ministry of Education.
So now it is all legal