My dancing boy.

Azzan LOVES to dance.
I sat with my camera on fast action multi screen yesterday and shot hundreds of pix of him enjoying the music.
He gets into the mood of the music and makes up his own steps and movements.
He so loves it and just lives and breathes dance and cannot wait until he can have lessons.







Food Processing….. and total exhaustion!

We have had several busy days preparing food.
Graham had brought in a bins of capsicum, kumara and pears which all needed dealing with pretty much straight away. 

On Thursday while everyone was all down in the wool shed working I was up in the house preparing food for them.
They get mighty hungry when they are working.
I made a huge carrot cake but it wasn’t cooked in time so thankfully Graham had given me some chocolate cake.
I made cheese, relish & lettuce sandwiches for them as well.
I had already made a humungous pot of vege soup so they had that for lunch with kumara chips and cold ham for afters.
They enjoyed the carrot cake after lunch.

While I peeled and sliced the kumaras the girls peeled a big pot of pears for me – I made Pear Crumble for dessert.

On Friday we spent the morning writing letters.
I had mail to get organised too so I was betwixt the kitchen supervising the children and keeping them to task and helping with spelling etc, and trying to do my letters etc in the study.
It was rather a mind taxing morning.

Tim spent the morning out doing mussel work with Ivo.
In the afternoon he left Ivo to help us while he worked on the ’88 South’.
We got stuck in and processed the 2 bins of capsicum.
It took a good couple of hours to do and we were pretty weary by the end of it all.

Note Shanni’s wee helper inside the yellow scrap bucket!!
He really enjoyed fishing for the seeds.

While Ivo & Shanni helped me do that,
Nathan & Mahalia peeled and chopped up a box of pears.
I was washing and bagging the chopped capsicum for the freezer and stewing the pears to make desserts with.

Once all of this was done we then prepared potatoes,  carrots, kumara, onions etc for dinner.
There was quite a huge clean up afterwards.
But once it was all done I banned the children from coming indoors.

I was totally and completely and utterly knackered.
I needed to sit and rest without any noise.

A headache was advancing and despite copiuos drinks of water and a rest on the sofa it got worse.
So by the time dinner was nearly ready I was feeling quite sick.
I had to succumb to taking some Panadol.
That finally kicked in and helped immensely.
Seb & his friend Oliver arrived in time for dinner.
Then they went out for the evening hunting.
I got a second wind after dinner and got a lot done on my art pages while Tim and Alan talked the night away.

This morning we all got stuck in and did a big house clean.
The children were great.

Mahalia swept and tidied the backdoor area while Shanni cleaned the bathrooms.
They all cleaned their bedrooms.
Nathan got rid of rubbish and then walked around and got The Croft ready for our guests.
Then he and Ivo spent the rest of the morning in the vege garden.
Once that was finished Ivo did some pruning for me.
The younger chilren got enthused and began pruning the trees around their playhouse and path – their energy and enthusiasm was a treat to behold!

I had food to prepare for dinner.
Seb & Oliver arrived back home in time to help with a lot of that which was great.
I now have meals organised for several days
But I was totally distressd to find the pot of soup had gone off over night.
I should’ve had it in the fridge as it was such a large full pot and it never cooled down properly overnight despite the cold atmosphere.

The folk arrivd for The Croft bringing with them, at my request, the movie of ‘The Rabbit Proof Fence’.

We watched the making of the movie before dinner – it was very very moving and parts of it made me cry just experiencing the emotions of it all with the people.

Then after dinner we watched the movie.
The children were full of questions.
It is such a hard concept for them to understand that some people would want to take away someones else’s children just because they thought they would be better off becoming servants to the white people and breeding the native out of them.

If you haven’t seen this movie it is a must.
It is especially beneficial to watch the 2nd disc showing how they found the actresses etc beforehand.
Very very moving.

Shearing on Thursday.

Gary & Caleb arrived late Wednesday night so were ready to begin shearing at 7:30am Thursday.
They had finished shearing all the 2-tooth ewes by mid morning and crutching the hoggets by soon after midday so it was a pretty short and sweet day.
We were able to enjoy a leisurely lunch with the guys before they headed off back home again.

Shanni went down and took a few photos for me.

 Some of the sheep waiting for their haircuts

Tim is usually fully occupied during shearing with keeping sheep up to the shearers and bringing them in and letting them out and keeping everything ticking along.
One major hiccup this time – someone let about 30-40 sheep out into the wrong yard which meant he had to do some unnecessary sorting up by hand – which totally stuffed him – frustrating

Nathan was doing the shedhanding.

Graham came around to help on the table.
Hali helped with the wool too.
It gets sorted on the table and then put into the wool press.

The closest sheep are waiting to be shorn and the ones in the middle pen have been done and are waiting to be let out into the yard.

They get let out and then later on Tim moves them back up to the paddocks.

It was a flat calm day.
The wharf leads on out of the woolshed.

A rather idyllic picture I thought


We have been doing some concerted math and grammar before getting loose into our project work.
Azzan was literally eating his workbook yesterday.
Some of it was pretty basic so I didn’t mind him racing through.
I was fascinated though at how he was counting.
He had a few pages where he had to find and circle the required groups of items in the pictures.
The numbers up to 6 proved no problem at all.
He didn’t appear to even stop to think or count – he just looked and circled – no hesitation.
Then once he got to 8 I was watching him and using his fingers in groups of 4’s he would place them quickly over the group of 4 and count under his breath – ‘4 and 4 makes 8’.
Then onto the 9 page and it was ‘4 and 4 and 1 makes 9’
And the 10 page ‘5 and 5 makes 10’
I really haven’t been teaching him these concepts he is just absorbing them and can tell me the 2 times table without any hesitation.
He has the concepts of doubling and adding or decreasing by 1 without any hassle at all.

Later on we were reading about Australia and discussing the early explorers/discoverers etc.
One of the questions was how did all the animals get to be there?
Like, how come so many interestingly different animals are all just on that one continent when they all originally came out of the ark?
So we talked about that and I told them and showed them pictures of what some people think in respect of Gondwanaland being floating continents which fit together sorta like a jigsaw and that over time they have drifted apart.
I reiterated though that this was only some peoples conception of how things may have happened and that no-one really really knows and that one day when we get before the throne of God we can ask him all these questions that puzzle us.
The Azzan said in a very serious contemplative manner, ‘The earths continents can’t have floated cuz when you dive down in the water it is solid all the way down and you cannot get under them. So they can’t have floated.’
I thought that was the most solidly scientific explanation I have heard for a long long time

Then Azzan wanted to know how does a native get to be a native?
I think he was trying to work out how do the natives that we look upon as native get to be black when we are white.
So there was a big discussion as to what the original skin colour would have been.
Basic assumption – white
‘No,’ I said – ‘don’t you think we were all maybe more of a chocolatey colour and from there we have become and developed over time to be all the varying colours we are today?’

Then I read them a book called ‘The Took the Children’ by David Hollinsworth.
It’s about the stolen generation.
It is horrendous what happened to those children.
The children were all quite moved by the story and to realise that it happened in such recent times.

I have the book ‘Rabbit Proof Fence‘ which I am going to read to the children.
The movie is very very moving, so if you haven’t seen it go for it!!
I must try and hire it soon for them.

Shanni was fascinated by Nathan.
He reads everywhere – that is common knowledge around here.
But to have his book set up while he was making the sandwich – well, I do wonder if he really noticed what he was putting on his read!!!
Must be a good book Natey!!

Azzan was sorting out some videos – found we have a whole heap of Bible story ones that he wants me to put on dvd.
I really think I have a mathematician on myhands.
He loves to sort and put things into groups and arrange things.
But on the other hand he loves science, art and dance – quite an sweet enigma

Tim took everyone mustering at 3pm.
They found all the llamas.

They also found the sheep and brought them in for shearing today.

I spent the afternoon doing food preparation.
Made a humungous pot of soup from turnip, capsicum, pumpkin & kumara.
Then did dinner and stewed some pears.
Alan arrived in and cuz he was in the Cottage all by his lone Tim invited him up for dinner.
Then after dinner and after Tim put the children to bed we spent several hours searching for cars on the internet.

The week has begun

Just a brief recap of the past two days before I head off to my cosy bed.
Best place on nights like we are having lately.

We are back into school again.
It would be really great if I could just find the missing maths books
Mahalia has not done any maths since Brooke was here and Nathan’s test book has vanished.
So today I got Mahalia into doing catch up tests – as that was one book I could find.
I know they will turn up sometime – it is just really strange that they have escaped like this.

Began our unit study about Australia yesterday.
We are spending the rest of this term on it – it will be a big unit.
Had a look at the states and capitals etc, and drew up some maps – just basic introductory info.

Today we read about the Aborigine people – and found the the word comes from the Latin phrase ab origine meaning ‘from the beginning – or from the source.’

The people do not call themselves that – it is a term given them by the Europeans. Fascinating info we learned.

Australian Aboriginal People are not one homogenous group. Prior to Europen settlement it is estimated that there were more than 70 separate nations and more than 600 distinct language groups. Today there are still more than 200 distinct language groups still spoken. Aboriginal people do not speak English as a first language and many speak several aboriginal languages. Aboriginal people do not refer to themselves as Aborigines but instead refer to themselves according to their language sub group, tribe or clan.

One of the most misunderstood and badly treated indigenous peoples in the world.

We also read about the various explorers who discovered Australia in one form or another over the past 1,000’s of years.

I spent whatever time I was not doing school or cooking meals working on the accounts yesterday and today.
I have nearly finished

Tim & Ivo have been working on the fencing project for the past few days so they don’t get in till late for their lunch.
Ivo braved the waves and went kayaking this arvo.
Tim is trying to find our bull – he seems to have disappeared and he is worried he may have gotten his horns caught in bushes somewhere.

Nathan prepared the vegetables for dinner tonight and then he and Azzan made a Caramel Chocolate slice for desert – it was very very decadent.

Last night I watched The Fisher King.
What an amazing movie.
The dvd malfunctioned in the middle of it and as it was late I left it till tonight to finish watching it.
It is a very unusual movie but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
It was intense, funny, sad, poignant…. Robin Williams is so good.
He never fails.

I have also had time tonight to get stuck into my art project.
I will have to work pretty hard over the next few days to get it completed in time.
But I will do it.

I was gutted yesterday to get news of friends in Montana.
They were involved in a car accident on Saturday.
Please pray for the recovery of them all especially their young son K and daughter M who were badly injured.
They are all home now apparently which is great but K has got a long road ahead to recover fully.

Sunday and Seb :-)

This morning John was leaving.
We couldn’t provide what he wanted/needed so he had decided to move on.
Sarah got word she had a job starting tomorrow and Haichi wanted to get some medical assistance for an injury to her finger from a month ago.
So they both packed up and headed out with John.

That meant I had a heap of bedding to launder today.
Also none of them bothered to remake their beds which is an expected thing around here so that the accommodation is ready for the next people.
I was rather annoyed about that.
But thanks to Nathan & Ivo it all got done.

The freezing cold southerly is really hammering in here again today.
So what do the children do?
Of course!
They go outside and make huts on the verandah – duh!
I bet the next fine warm day they will be sitting around inside

We had a bit of a study – continuing with Zechariah.
Listened to Chuck Missler’s teaching about it.
Managed to take in about 40mins of it before Tim flagged.
It was really great and very, very informative but pretty intensive.
He is such a good teacher but you really have to concentrate and listen several times to absorb everything he is telling you.
So we will have to take it in little bites methinks!

Tim went and had a sleep after lunch.
Shanni found some old home movies and was enjoying watching Seb & Bri as little people.
For some reason most of the video’s were filmed when Seb was a wee toddler and he didn’t seem to be wearing nappies much!

I helped Seb gather together some food for his week on the boat.
Then he asked me to cut his hair.
I was totally shocked.
He has not had a haircut in so long and is most particular about how it is cut.

Anyway I gave it my best shot.
Shanni had to get these before photos first.

Consultation time.

I  cut fairly tentatively to begin with as it is easier to take off more later than to stick it back on again.
But he kept on asking for it to be shorter and less bouffie & girlie.
So eventually I got it to this.
He was very happy with it.
So was I.
I thought I had done a pretty good job actually
He’s not half handsome is he??

He then loaded up all his stuff and headed off into the sunset back to work for another week.

I tiddled around with my house pages.
I am still working on the prototype.
I think I nearly have it sussed.
My theme is Maori/NZ house.
As everyone else in the swap is from the USA mine should be quite original.

Tim smoked up some salmon for dinner.
It was delicious.

Then after he put the little people to bed he and Nathan got onto the computer to search TradeMe for diggers/excavators.
Tim is totally computer illiterate.
But he knows his son likes to spend time on there so he is making use of his skills to do all this searching cuz I am totally over it!

I’ve already had my mug of liquorice tea and munched on some very delicious Cadbury’s Old Gold Liqueur Flavoured Selection by the fire.
I am now off to bed.

The wind is storming around the bay, the waves are pounding on the beach.
It is a great night for a cosy bed and a good book.

Friday & Saturday at our place

We have had a Southerly here for the past few days.
Friday was still and so bitterly cold.

The girls spent some time weeding the garden.
They had to come indoors to thaw out before lunch.

Tim spent the morning working on the shed and John did mussel ropes.
Then once the tide was low enough Tim and John were busy working under the woolshed again.
Ivo from the Netherlands arrived on the mailboat.

He helped Tim in the arvo too.
Once the tide came in the two guys did mussel ropes for the rest of the arvo.

At dinner time Nathan & Tim were in fine fettle.
They are as bad as each other and there is always a fuss and a tussle going on when the both of them are around each other!!

Haichi was keen to learn some Dutch so she spent time with Ivo learning new words after dinner.

Seb was on his way home but the alternator belt broke so he stayed in Havelock to get it fixed and then spent the evening with his skipper watching the rugby.
So he came in very very late.
We didn’t see him till lunch time Saturday!

Saturday was cold – not as bitter as Friday – but still cold.
The girls spent the morning cleaning out the wwoofers hut and sorting the work clothes.
Then we moved a small green sofa in there and the larger green one up into Anson’s sleepout.

Tim took John & Ivo over the back of the farm to do some fencing repairs, digging post holes etc.
They came home for a late lunch.

I was on a mission to get all the accounts filed and then get stuck into some artwork.
It took my till lunch time to make dinner and lunch
Haichi & Sarah came in and helped me with some of the preparation.
After a while I got Sarah to spend some time with Azzan.
He has been missing out lately and has been demanding attention
He wants to do chemistry experiments all the time.

This one made him laugh when the gas from the vinegar and baking soda made the balloon blow up.

They played with Azzan’s farm animals too.

Seb brought home a mountain of washing so it took all day to get it through the machine and dryer.
I think he saved up the past 3 weeks of dirty clothes especially for me!!!
He and Azzan had a very raucus game after dinner.
It was a lot of fun to watch the two of them playing

Ivo went kayaking before dinner and the other 3 went walking.

There was a wonderful sunset.
The colours reflecting on the bay were magnificent.

Around dark it began to rain.
The wind started to blow and the storm began.

Seb & I started watching ‘The Cider House Rules’ but the power kept on cutting out.
So we eventually gave up.
The power finally stopped flickering and went off totally about 10:30pm and didn’t come on again till around 6am today.