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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
A rather idyllic picture I thought
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
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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 was still and so bitterly cold.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It was a very chilly morning so I was fully expecting to see ice on the roads but really really hoping I wouldn’t.
There was a real white out fog through Rai Valley with heavy frost on all the paddocks but the roads were all good.
We passed 17 trucks on the way out to the main road.
A big percentage of them were power board guys – they are doing a big upgrade on the lines out here.
By the time we got to Springlands we were starving so we popped into the cafe for breakfast.
They do hugely wonderfully tasty breakfasts.
I had an Eggs Benedict with salmon & spinach.
Nathan had The Works.
I gave him beans cuz he couldn’t finish his meal.
He normally is a total gannet but he couldn’t manage to fit it all in.
I HATE leaving food on the plates – esp when I am paying for it.
Normally there are a few of us and we clean up what another doesn’t want.
But I had eaten my full too – my plate was totally cleaned – so I wasn’t helping him out this time!!
Then we were on the run.
I had a list of things I wanted to get finished before lunch.
I had to take some snow boarding gear out to the transport office for Cat.
It was being sent up to Sunni.
Do you think I could find the right place.
I had an address.
It was way out of town on the way to Christchurch.
Found an entrance and finally an office, got sent back around a few corners to another place and then back to another office just next to the first place.
Finally got rid of the gear and headed back into town.
Then I dropped Nathan and books of at the library.
He was spending the rest of the day there.
His idea of heaven
Then I went to visit my darling niece Sam.
She was at work and had squeezed me in for a haircut.
That was a great 40 minutes of relaxation and spoiling in the midst of a busy and long day.
Then it was around to the Councel offices to sort out some paper work.
Took about half an hour while they got files and got their heads around it all and then I paid the money and it was all done.
Just like that.
So easy when I was expecting a hassle.
From there I zipped into the Info Centre and collected Haichi from California who had just arrived on the bus, dropped her off at the library and then I drove across town to visit with Rowena.
She was the whole reason for my trip out.
Rowena was a sweet very shy young lass who used to work for me about 23 years ago.
She is now married to Matt and they farm down in Central Otago.
They have 4 delightful children who are not at all shy – unlike their mother when she was a girl
She hasn’t changed a bit.
Still the darling girl.
It was such a lovely catch up time with her and the family – haven’t seen them in over 5 years.
They are on holiday up here with her mother.
Next year they are coming to stay here – yippee! Can’t wait.
Then it was time to pick up Nathan & Haichi – also Sarah from Germany who met us at the library too.
We loaded on board.
Popped in to have a quick cuppa with Mum and then off to fly around the supermarket, post a parcel to Bri and get fuel.
Seb was waiting for us in Havelock.
Met up with him but he had to stay on to work for an hour or so longer.
We had dinner at The Slip Inn – was supposed to meeting a friend there but her car broke down in Nelson.
So that was a bit disappointing.
We had a good drive home with Nathan entertaining the ladies.
He is rather a ladies man these days
Haichi used to work for the team who writes Grey’s Anatomy and is right into films so there was about 2 hours of discussions on all sorts of movies.
Kept the trip from becoming too long and tedious.
Everyone was in bed when we got back so we unpacked, filled hotties for the girls and they went off up to bed.
I had asked for the heater to be turned on in their room earlier in the day so it would be warm as it was a bitterly cold night.
However John did not do it correctly and the heater was still cold.
Best laid plans of mice and men!!
I chilled out for abit, sorted mail and checked emails and then hopped into a snug cosy bed and read my book.
A really warm fuzzy sort of day
He told me that the reason he was sick was because he had not slept at all during the night!!
He was quite hot and was very happy just to snuggle down on the couch and sleep for the morning.
When he woke he still wasn’t too great and just sat around and watched movies for most of the day.
I kept him on water and fresh fruit all day.
He just wanted really really cold stuff.
Although at lunch time he needed a scrambled egg
Then at dinner he wanted to sit up with us and ate a small meal.
The rest of us did school work all morning.
Shanni wasn’t too great either.
We spent a long time on capitalisation and nouns.
Having a good get back to basics in grammar – good for all three to cover the ground together.
I did covers for the children’s Arachnid unit studies using photos of spiders and webs they had taken from around here.
Also helped Nathan with his maths.
Now if only I could find Mahalia’s math book and Nathan’s test book I would be happy.
They seem to have disappeared down a black hole somewhere
During school I got yet another telemarketing phone call from someone in India trying to sell me cheaper phone calls.
It was a total repeat of what I listened to several weeks ago.
She would not shut up when I told her I had heard it all before and to just get to the punch line so I hung up on her.
The children were most surprised at their mother terminating the call so suddenly
Had a good chat with Jesika – she has found us some accommodation and it looks great.
I did a small pot roast in the slow cooker.
It cooked beautifully.
But when Tim went to cut it he discovered it was a rolled ham – bother!
They ate it even though it would’ve been better cold.
Shanni & I don’t eat pork but she decided it tasted pretty okay.
I was able to enjoy a mutton chop Tim had cooked up in the wood oven so I was happy.
After dinner Nathan watched ‘Get Smart’.
I used to love the series when it was on TV – it is just as silly now
Had a call from Seb.
He was on the boat holed up in some bay somewhere.
Haven’t seen him since the 21st so good to chat.
Today the weather is much colder.
A southerly is rolling in the bay.
Both fires going and the heater in the school room.
I got dinner ready before school.
Lasagne was being requested loud and strong ever since Jan made it for us last week.
Nathan made the white sauce while I did the rest.
Unfortunately I cooked it a bit too long – still edible but Azzan proclaimed Jan’s was better – oh well
Shanni peeled some butternuts for me so I could mash them for dinner.
But then we forgot to – waste of her time!
Azzan was fine today thankfully.
He found a great encyclopedic cd and enjoyed learning all sorts of information.
He just loves to learn.
Shanni was not fine today.
She was very not with it at school.
We persevered with more noun’s etc.
I thought it interesting that out of the 3 Hali was the one who remembered what a proper noun was – and she is the youngest!!
We chugged along and then after lunch we all did our own thing.
Have talked with Cat, Sunni & Bri today.
Nivce to catch up with the bigger ones as they are all away and busy with life.
I was sorting out things for Cat & Sunni and getting ready for a quick spontanteous trip to town tomorrow.
A friend who lived with us 23 years ago is visiting Blenheim with her family so I am popping out to catch up with her.
Of course now that the decision has been made I am getting a list – Tim has things for me to get etc etc.
Nathan is going to spend the day at the library – his 7th heaven
Sunday was wet and stormy.
We had a good study in Zechariah Ch1.
About time we got a bit of depth into our Sunday mornings!!
Sometimes with smaller children it tends to get rather light and basic.
When Tim was reading the children’s story to them he mentioned Creation and then asked ‘What is creation.’
To which Azzan replied -‘It is matter. All of everything is matter so creation is matter’!!!
How did a 6 year old know about matter.
Well, he claims he has read about it.
That boy beats me sometimes – no wait! – most of the time!!
I sat by the fire had a lovely chat with my friend Jacqui in WA – she has been enduring the trauma of her youngest son going through chemotherapy over the past long months.
It is finished now and they are waiting for doctors reports.
It was really good to catch up on all her news – both of us have such busy lives that we don’t get to connect as often as we would like.
Tim, Shanni & John played Risk – for hours!
Tim wanted dinner at 6pm.
I had it ready at 6.
I had to clear the table around them at 6:30pm.
World domination is such a serious sport
The younger children are barking like dogs again.
The cough they had earlier seems to be re-occuring.
It is getting worse – poor kids.
I am dosing them up with heaps of VitC.
Last night Tim & I watched ‘The Gospel’.
It was very southern black gospel – I love it – but Tim had a hard job understanding the talk.
Being somewhat deaf it is quite difficult for him to follow speech when it is not clear.
Shame – it was an interesting movie with a good theme.
Today we managed to get into the school room resonably quickly after breakfast without too much problem.
Shanni wasn’t doing too well.
She is very blocked up and headachey and coughing and miserable.
Azzan is constantly blowing his nose.
Mahalia is coughing also.
Great concerto when they all get going!
We spent quite a while all doing bookwork – grammar etc.
Then we reviewed our Arachnid study and grossed Nathan out totally with how spiders devour their prey.
He was very happy NOT to be doing the study with us.
He finished working on his essay about Rome which he had been writing with Bri.
I was very impressed at how far his writing has progressed, and also as to his positive attitdue towards it.
The three youngest did some weaving – reinterpreting webs in their own way.
Azzan just wanted to do straight weaving with pretty fibres.
I framed it for him to make it a bit more presentable and lastable!
Mahalia knew what she wanted to achieve – she just needed a bit of help to get started in the making of her orb web.
Shanni – my artistic Shanni – she was right into it and drew the branches and then stitched a funnel web complete with spider and prey
It has been raining off and on – more off than on today which is nice.
Tim has managed to get a few calls made and also some outside work done.
I read some books to Azzan after lunch.
He is fascinated by virus’s and has been finding books in the library about warts, lice, colds & flu and other such like things that affect us.
So I found some Junior World Book Science books about virus’s – he was very excited.
I learned heaps too.
It was most interesting.
Tonight after dinner Azzan wanted to play Dominoes with Tim.
Tim had never played dominos before.
We couldn’t believe he had been so deprived.
So we all had lots of fun with Azzan’s big and bright set which took up most of the table once we had them all out.
After 3 games Azzan was getting too weary so we finished the games and now Tim has read to them all and they are all tucked up in bed.
Nathan & Tim are watching a movie of Nate’s choice – I can hear the sounds of guns etc
I think I might just go and do some art work – I have a few pages to do for a collaborative book.
I haven’t yet begun to plan them apart from in my head so have to get a move along as they have to be completed and in the USA by June 10th!!
And in the midst of that I have to squeeze in completing the gst – bother it!