Saturday in town edited and corrected and updated!

Shanni has allowed me to share some photos she took on her new camera.
Thanks Shanni for todays blog pics.

Here is Mahalia & Kashana having a spa last night with the Barbies.

Mahalia was also running about with her camera.
They can be pretty dangerous creatures behind one!!
Sally & I were trying to have a quiet peaceful conversation but kept on having cameras shoved under our noses!!

It was about now that we banished them!!

Hali also captured the wonderful evening sky.


It was nice and quiet this morning.
I thought I was first up at 6:45am but met Shanni at the door heading to the shower.
I played on Facebook till she was out.
Azzan was snoring his wee head off when I came downstairs but I soon heard him come down and go straight to the piano to do his practice.
He was either half asleep or being extra diligent!

The day would not make up it’s mind as to what it was going to do.
I first thought it was going to be hot but by the time I got out of the shower it looked so threatening I decided not to hang out the washing.
We dressed in warm clothes but by mid morning the sun was out from behind the clouds and I was wishing I had some cooler clothes.
But it played peek-a-boo all day and I was grateful for the warmer attire by the evening.

We loaded into the Safari and headed into the city around 8:30am.
It was a good time to go to the market cuz it was early enough to still find close parks.
The children had never been to the Saturday market before so it was fun showing them around and exploring all the different stalls.
Of course Poppi caused a stir as Shanni walked around with him on her shoulder.
He was being a bit of a mischief.
Several times if I got too close to Shani he would hop over onto my shoulder.
That was okay, but he also did it to complete strangers a couple of times.
We are obviously going to have to some serious bird talking to him about stranger danger

It was soon near 10am so we drove over to Chipmunks and I signed the kids in and drove back to Equilibrium where I had an hours massage booked.
I had a consultation with Marta the massage therapist and then had the best massage ever.
She has magic finger and could really feel my pain areas.
She devoted the last 15mins to my shoulder.
It was wonderful.
I have booked two more sessions next week
I zipped back to pick up the children – they had had loads of fun there.

Then we headed straight out to Richmond to drop them off at Sally’s.
She took the 3 girls out to pony club at Edencourt.

Mahalia on Monty.

Shanni on M.

And Kashana on Popcorn.

Then she and Azzan went for coffee.
He told me tonight that it was an adults cafe and the only children’s drinks were very milky and he knew I wouldn’t like him to have it so he didn’t have a drink   – he just ate half Sally’s cake instead!

Sally was most amused at his questions and conversations.
Apparently he asked her if evolutionists celebrate Christmas.
When she said that some probably did he remarked that that was pretty stupid cuz they dont believe in Jesus and it is sposed to be celebrating his birthday.
Outa the mouths of babes!!

Tonight Sally took my 3 and her 2 to ‘Saints and Angels’ at Richmond Baptist Church.
They had a wonderful time.
Here is Azzan on the bouncy castle.

Meanwhile I went on out to Hope Community Church and joined the Refresh Conference that had begun that morning.
I got there in time for lunch.
The rest of the day was filled with various speakers.
It was a good afternoon.
We had a delicious dinner and were served and waited on by some lovely home school young ladies.
They did an excellent job of the food.

We were nearly at the end when I saw my phone which was switched to silent was calling from home.
So I snuck outside to answer it thinking it must be something important.
It was Anson calling to say he couldn’t find the gravy mix

It went on far later into the evening than I thought it would so by the time we had supper and talked some more it was nearly 10 by the time I got back to pick up the children.
Mahalia stayed another night with Kashana.

Azzan & Shanni chatted and told me all about their day on the way back here.
All in all a good day all round.
Thanks Sally, so much for looking after my troops.
Looks like Azzan has found another female to cuddle
It is now midnight so I am going to go sneak the hottie out from Azzan and refill it for me.
I need something cosy to cuddle while I am out here all on my lonesome

End of the week

Despite everyone being tired they were all up early today.
Except of course Nathan, who never is up until he has to be.
I managed to get everyone moving and out the door soon after 8:30am.

I had an early phone call from the DoC guy who said it wouldn’t be a problem to get the kakariki permit and to just come and do the paper work.
So, first stop was at the DoC office to fill out the permit application.
Then I stopped by Speedy Print to get the photo enlargements.
I was so rapt with them.
Took them all next door to get them framed.
Then had to buy some RUC’s as I was getting close to running out and didn’t want to run the risk of being caught.
Then we were off to Brightwater to drop both girls at Edencourt for horse riding.
Shanni had decided she would quite like to have a go at it so it was her first time and trial.
I had dropped Nathan off at the library on the way past so it was just me and Azzan.
We went on out to Wakefield and spent an hour or so with Jacqui.
Azzan loves to play with her children cuz they are all his size.
Jacqui and I chatted while folding washing.
So it was a friendly and productive time

Then at 11:30am I had to zip back to pick up the girls.
Shanni greeted me with a big smile.
She really enjoyed herself and yes, she does want to come again.
Mahalia was still riding so we chatted with Olivia and waited for Callum to finish with her.
She was disgusted that we had to rush off.
But I was on a time frame again so no choice to hang about grooming horses today!

We stopped to pick up Nathan and got some pies for lunch.
Azzan walked with me to get them from the bakery.
As we walked he commeted to me that he was very pleased he had helped me choose to wear a skirt today as he liked it when I dressed up in town instead of wearing jeans all the time!!

Then it was straight in to the city to the pool.
Instead of being late we were there in enough time to read some more of ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth.’

We had a 2 hour session today to make up for the pool malfunction on Monday.
It was good.
I cannot believe it – I swam a complete length without stopping.
Almost killed me but I did it

While the younger ones were having their lessons I was most amused to watch Yari & Nathan’s behaving like a couple of young bucks in the learner’s pool!

Melissa didn’t seem at all fazed by their ructions.
She just carried on teaching as if they weren’t even there!

After swimming Nathan went home with Yari and his family
We zipped straight into town and left Azzan at the barbers for a hair cut.
Shanni and I went to tell the lady with the kakarikis the good news.
We have got our permit
So she is going to get some for us and let us know when they are ready to pick up.
Then found Shanni a really pretty summer top in the Jeans West sale.
Got back to find my lad looking most gorgeous with his freshly cut hair.
Apparently he had been telling all our family secrets to the barber and he knew that I was the best cook of Curried Sausages ever!!

He has got this thing about the men in the olden days having longer hair and he was quite keen to have an olden days style.
But he wondered to me later if maybe olden days styles were better on men with dark hair rather than blonde like him

I left the 3 children eating their ice creams in the car while I flew through the supermarket before heading over to DoC to pick up the permit.
Only to find it shuts at 4:30pm and it was 4:36!
Oh well, I am sure it will still be there waiting for us on Monday.

The weather had turned really cold and I was prepping the girls to help unload the car and get the fire lit.
But when we came indoors the house was warm as toast.

Shanni started preparing the pastry and the fillings to make pies for dinner with our new pie maker.
I was fabulous.
We had a brilliant time being very inventive with what we put in.
Sally, Jackson & Kishana came for dinner so we just made each persons with the fillings they wanted.
It was so much fun.
Here is Shanni with the first three we made.

Salmon, feta, mozerella, capsicum, onion, tomatoes, egg, avocado……
Real healthy options and very delicious.

I can see it is going to be a great asset to our kitchen and the men are going to really enjoy making their lunches now

The kids had a great time playing.
Jackson & Azzan watched ‘Oliver’ with Shanni and Mahalia & Kishana played with their dolls.
Sally and I explored the garden and chatted till it was after 9pm and time for them to leave.
Taking Mahalia home with them.

So I am down to two darlings tonight and they are both tucked up in bed.
Shanni was a bit tearful cuz she was homesick.

But we have a busy fun day planned for tomorrow so I am off to bed myself now.

Day 3 in the city

We were up and out of the house before 9am today.
I was on a mission.
Had time to get some groceries for dinner and drop stuff back to CRT for Tim.
He had ordered 100 ear tags.
They sent him 2500!
Bit of an overkill.
Dropped Shanni off to spend the morning with Katherine.
Then we left Azzan & Mahalia at a hall in Richmond for 2 hours of drama with some other home schoolers.

I gathered up Yari & Ellie and took them into town and left them and Nathan at the Polytec.
There was an open day so the boys were keen to look around and get career ideas.
I went straight to the gym and did my work out there.
Had a weigh in – very depressing.
It is a whole year since my last weigh in and I am 8kgs heavier than I was then
Never mind. It is not too late to begin all over again – sigh!

After my workout I walked down to meet Ainsley for a cuppa and chat at Yello cafe..
Then we wandered over to Briscoes to have a look at their sale.

I soon ran out of childless time and had to beetle off to pick up Shanni and meet the others at the pool.
Chrissy had brought Azzan & Hali in with her after drama.

We had a good day at the pool today.
I did heaps better.
Yesterday was a bit of a disaster for me but for some reason my body coped better this time.

After swimming we went into town and found Shanni a cool wee camera on a really good special.
Her one is broken and she was really missing not having it.
Got talking to a lady who breeds kakariki. She was taken with Poppi.
So, as long as we can get a permit she is going to give Shanni some kakariki – as you can imagine Shanni is pretty excited.
So it was of to DoC to suss out getting a permit.
Do you think we could make any headway there?
The girl at the counter didn’t have a clue what we were talking about.
So I am now waiting for a call from someone who might know.
It shouldn’t be this hard!!

We zipped on out to Richmond and left Nathan at Taekwondo.
Then had nachos for dinner with Sally and her children.
The kids had a fairly riotous time with water balloons that Azzan had gotten at the $2 Shop.
I finally had to drag them away kicking and screaming cuz Nathan was waiting and I had to sort out paying for his gear.
Here he is demo-ing it for me.



We came straight home.
Shanni had a spa and Azzan put himself to bed. while I was talking to Tim.
I now have them all in bed.
Nathan is doing some piano practise and then we both will be hitting the sack.
Another early and busy day tomorrow.

Day 2

We were having a dawdley morning.
Did a load of washing and hung it out.
Then wandered around admiring the garden.
The kids were doing piano practise and playing with their dolls etc.
It was a beautiful morning with the potential of becoming a splendid day.

Then I called up the bank to make an appointment – 10am?
Yes of course we can make it!!
So skates on and Nate outa bed and we were off.
Got there with a few moments to spare.
The little ones settled in at the kiddies desk and drew pictures while Nathan and I spent the next hour getting him sorted with a bank card and talking through several other issues.
I had to send him back to put more money in the parking meter.
Hadn’t thought it would’ve taken so long

Then I spent some time sorting out photo enlargements at Speedy Print.
By this time the worms were biting so we zoomed back to the house for lunch.
The kids enjoyed just chilling out in the sun with their sandwiches.

Then it was back into town for swimming.
It was only day 2 but the kids really really did so well.
I was so impressed to see Azzan actually swim himself across the pool on his own.
I chuckled to see Melissa with the two wee boys on the edge showing them how to get their legs kicking properly.

Mahalia did so well that Melissa moved her up with the bigger kids.
She gets them in the junior pool while she is sorting out their breathing and strokes and kicking etc and then releases them into the big pool – which I might add is way cooler than the smaller one

Asher & Azzan had so much fun in the big pool after their lesson.
They were leaping off the edge and generally making heaps of noise and splashes.

After swimming we fed the masses and left Yari & Nathan at the library.
The younger ones asked if they could please go to a park.
So I ducked in and picked up Starbucks for us both as we drove past and we went to the Queen’s Gardens.
I had not been to the Chinese Garden before.
It is so lovely.
We sat and talked and talked while the children just enjoyed themselves.
The paving on the path ways was made from small smooth stones standing on edge int he tiles.
Shanni loved the massaging effect on her bare feet.

Joyous gay abandon

Azzan just had to clamber into the middle of the lake and play on the rocks.

Shanni and Poppi did some rock climbing.

We had to drag the kids back to the car around 5pm.
I went back to Speedy Print to organise some more photos.
Then we went and picked up the boys.
Said goodbye to the Harris family and did a quick trip to The Warehouse.
Shanni found a magnificent Bird book and some lovely t-shirts with bird on them which I bought for her.
I got some recipe books I had been wanting which were on special.
We actually only went to get a watering can!

When we got home Nathan got the washing in.
Mahalia & Azzan did their piano practise.

Shanni helped me cook dinner.
She had harvested some lovely broad beans and lettuce from the garden.
The beans were huge but still young and tender.
The kids really enjoyed them for dinner.

The wind was up and the bay was brisk with white caps.
This huge container ship was leaving port.
The ‘front door’ traffic here is really cool

Over on the other side of the Boulder bank the yachts were making the most of the good sailing weather.

Azzan was really weary and was trying to get into his book – ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’.

I cuddled him up on the sofa once dinner was under control and read Chapter 1 to him and Hali.
I have not read it before.
The language Jules Verne has used is fascinating.
It led to some interesting questions as to what words meant.

We had a delicious dinner.
Tim had sent out some Wiener Schnitzel so we had that with mashed kumara, beans and salad.
Then after a long talk with their Daddy I tucked the children into bed.

I have since then had a couple of long chats on the phone and am now ready for bed myself.

Day 1 in Nelson

I was woken this morning at 7:15am by the melodious measure of Shanni practicing the piano downstairs.
From then we all rose slowly and greeted the day.
It had rained very heavily over night and was very cool.
So we all dressed up warm.
We left the house sometime before 9.
Diverted into the city centre so I could have my morning frappacino.
Then out to Richmond to music.
Typical – when we come from 3 hours away we are early, but when we are so close we are late!!

I spent the next 2 hours walking to and fro between the music lessons and the library.
We hadn’t been to Tasman library before so I did the joining up thing and conveyed children back and forth along the street each half hour as they did their lesson change overs.
I was particularly making sure the girls understood the route to and fro so next time they will be able to walk themselves without getting lost.
It is not far but they are not familiar with the area.

We went to the mall and had lunch at the food court.
Then whizzed into town for swimming lessons.
The children enjoyed being in the pool so much.
Chrissy and her boys met us there.
Melissa took Azzan, Mahalia & Asher first.
Then it was the 4 bigger kids turn.
I gingerly got changed into my togs and waited.
The day had warmed up majorly which was good.
So once the kids were all finished Melissa got me in the pool by myself.
Chrissy will be joining me next week.
I have bought some goggles as my major fear is opening my eyes in the water.
That is one of the reasons I have never swam well.
Melissa reckoned I did way better than she had anticipated I would so that is cool.
It is my general lack of upper body and leg strength that is failing me.
So hopefully after 2 weeks of this I will be away and feeling much stronger.
I am wondering though whether my lack of iron is causing me to become more breathless than I should be.

After swimming we battled the atrocious after school traffic and zipped back into town and then out to drop Azzan off at Jazz.
We whizzed off to get dinner groceries and then dropped Nathan at Taekwando.
Then it was back to collect Azzan and on to visit Dave & Michelle to eat our dinner with them, socialise and wait for Nathan to finish at 7pm.
Got a text later on to say not to come till 7:30pm.
The kids were very very tired so it was really stretching them to wait that much longer.
However, Azzan had chosen a dvd of ‘Nutcracker’ ballet so they watched that on my laptop.

Then we went and got Nathan.
He is so enjoying Taekwando that he is going to have some extra sessions while we are in town.
We popped in to pick up stuff from Alan & Mike which Tim had sent out for us and then back here to the house.

The kids had icecream and then they were very quickly into bed.
The view from the house here is wonderful.
I took this photo tonight from the front door looking back towards the city.

And a cosy view looking back inside at the children eating their dessert.

All the windows have spectacular views.
My room is top right balcony.
The girls are below me.
Azzan’s window is above the dining room and Nathan is next along the top.

I took this from my balcony as I was putting Azzan to bed.

Nelson is such a pretty city

Saturday was pretty cruisy cuz the guys hadn’t had a lot of sleep.
Yari had forgotten to get his sleeping bag so wasn’t terriby comfortable.
Nathan tried to warm him up by covering him with a half bale of wool!!

Tim bought the boat in and around 11ish most of the crew had loaded up and they headed off for a days fishing and scalloping.
Chrissy and I stayed put with the 3 youngest.

Alan & Mike arrived in around lunch time with Tom – our UK wwoofer.
They had lunch with us and then went around to the campsite to do some work and then over to Waterfall Bay to stay for the weekend. Tom walked back around the track and got back in time to greet the fishermen.

Chrissy helped me sort out a heap of Azzan’s junk in the hall.
Then she took the kids walking so I curled up on Azzan’s bed in the sun for a sleep.
I was pretty whacked.
I slept till 5pm then felt refreshed enough to tackle making the asked for ‘very large light and fluffy carrot cake’!
Chrissy had bought Baking Soda for me so this time there were no hiccoughs!

I made a salad and put on a large pot of brown rice.
The fisher folk eventually came home.
They had eaten up large on the boat so they were all very full of fresh fish and scallops already.
I cooked up a few more pans for us and we all had another b’day celebration dinner for Nathan.
Chrissy made a trifle and we had that with cake and ice cream.
Deliciously simple.

We all of a sudden realised there was an over abundance of males around the table!!
(In fact over the weekend there were 4 females and 17 males on the property!)

Shanni was the lone brave female in their midst!!

Of course, Nathan & Anson were at it again.
They cannot help themselves

Nathan made a bit of a show of cutting his big light and fluffy carrot cake.
And even if I do say so myself – it was jolly good

Then it was the littlest bro and the biggest bro who were tomfoolerising around.
‘Smile for the camera Zani’!

Azzan has the perfect solution to big brother’s harrassments – instead of trying to physically get back at them he kisses them.
That is a sure fire way of making sure they let him go

After dinner the 3 musketeers Yari, Nathan & Nick went out hunting with Anson & Sebastian.

It was quite a late night – sounds like they got home somewhere in the vicinity of 2-3am.

Sunday, was a beautiful day.
There were a lot of fisher people on the end of the wharf enjoying the sunshine.
I called Cat in Melbourne before she had to leave her hotel room.
It was good to touch base with her and hear what was happening.
She flew over to Perth Sunday evening.
She had a great time catching up with Jesika and cousin Carlamia once her course had finished.
All is going well.
She has done her training course and now moves on to actually working in Perth but won’t know till she gets there as exactly what she is doing.
It will revolve around comms work though.

Then we had a late fellowship meeting.
That was good.
Lots of singing and discusions revolving around the songs and hymns.

Tim bbq’d up a heap of sausages and onions and we had hotdogs for lunch at 3pm.
It was so good sitting out in the sun.
It’s been a while since we have been able to actually enjoy the warmth and leisurely pace.

Because lunch was so late dinner was also late.
In between times though Chrissy helped me sort out my clothes as we chatted some more.
It has been lovely having her visit.
We have had some great chats over the weekend.

Dinner was pretty raucous again.
Well, what do you expect with 16 of us around the table??

The guys all headed off hunting again.
They are all young and unstoppable at night time.
Mornings are another thing though

We were pretty tired so I didn’t get much packing done.

This morning – Monday – I was up and trying to pack my clothes.
I was trying to remember everything I had to take out for the fortnight.
I got Shanni to pack Azzan’s clothes.
Then we loaded everything into the Safari.
It was pretty full.

I also had a large pile of stuff for the recycling centre which Graham’s son was going to take out for me.
Such a relief when you can actually get rid of the excess.

We were all loaded and headed off soon after 10am.
Had to stop briefly to say good bye to the guys.
Tim and Tom & Taiki aka Trev were planting the fruit trees – finally!
I had had them sitting outside the backdoor for days now so they would fall over them and get the idea that they needed to be planted.
Taiki has been given the nick name Trevour by Anson.
He is getting quite a buzz from it and now easily responds to it!
I did have a bit of a job to explain to him who ‘the Trevs‘ were in NZ entertainment history.

We had a pretty smoth trip out to town. Quite a bit of traffic on the road as it was the end of the long weekend. Just coming into Nelson when my phone rang and it was our swimming tutor saying that the pool equipment had broken down so swimming was canceled today.
If only we had know before 10am then we could’ve had the rest of the day at home.
Oh well, never mind.
We went and got groceries for the next few days and then came back to the house and unloaded them.
It is so good of Frances & John to lend us their home while they are way.
It is lovely and comfortable and has the best views of the harbour.

We went back into town.
Dropped off our old records with Estelle.
She has the equipment to copy them onto cd.
Azzan is very curious as to how it all done so we will go back this week to watch.

Then it was into town to meet up with Seb and help him choose a TV and PS3.
Man what a selection.
It was quite mind boggling what people think they cannot live without.
We were being told all this stuff about plasma screens, lcd screens, high resolutions and ordinary screens, etc etc.
I was like – ‘well back in my day we only had two choices of colour – black and white.’!
I am sure the shop assistant thought I came out of the ark

We finaly managed to make a decision and Seb very happily took it all back to his flat.
We followed so we could see his abode and meet is flat mates.
Then it was back home to cook dinner and get organised.
Managed to get the children all off to bed nice and early.
Now I need to head off before it gets any later.
Tomorrow is our busy day.
Classes all day!

I will finish with another Azzan quote.

‘How big is God?
He’s so big that he’s small enough to fit into our heart
big enough to hold the world.’

Nathan is 14 today :-)

Anson and Nathan went out possum hunting after dinner last night.
They returned just before I went to bed so Nathan had to bring his new found baby in to show me.

Beats me how these boys of mine can go out and cold bloodedly kill possums like a pack of macho men and then as soon as they find a baby they turn totally to sap.

Nate is keeping it in a box in his room.
This morning he found a syringe and has been feeding it milk.
It seems to have adopted Nathan quickly and clings to him with its sharp wee claws.

This morning Nate was eating breakfast and it was just hanging on to his hood.
Shame they are so cute eh?!

Shanni planted out the rock roses we bought in town.
She managed to get them in just before it began raining.
She was rather dismayed to find that a weka had pulled out the seedlings that she had planted a couple of days ago.
Frustrating creatures

It was such a nice morning that I got all enthusiastic and hung several loads of washing on the line.
Plus I stripped our bed and hung the sheets out too.
Only to have to quickly retrieve them all when the rain began an hour or so later.
Thank goodness for the dryer!

Anson & Nathan spent most of the morning shearing some sheep and Nathan killed a couple.

Seb arrived home this arvo.
The little ones were all delighted to see him again.
Actually we all are

Taiki from Japan arrived on the mailboat.
He very quickly got himself renamed by Anson.
He is now called and is responding to Trev!
I tried to explain about Fred Dagg and the Trevs.
But am not too sure if he understood.
I thought at first his English understanding was very limited but at dinner time he appeared to be able to understand quite a lot of our craziness.
He seems to be enjoying Anson’s Kiwi bloke ways.
So that is good!

I was feeling really really tired today – I think the busy few days earlier this week have caught up on me.
We were shifting some tables around to make a sewing corner just off the kitchen.
So we moved a table out of Azzan’s room as it was smaller and fitted better.
So he decided it was a good day to change his room around.
It wasn’t a good day for me to have him do that
He basically turfed everything out into the hall.
Then we had to wait till lunch time for Tim to have time to unbolt the bunks.
We stashed the top bunk in the attic and he is happy to sleep in the bottom part as a bed.
He was planning on sleeping way up in the very very high above the door bunk.
But Tim pointed out to him that if he got sick etc it would be so much harder for him way up there.

I was feeling that everywhere I turned the house was getting worser and worser.
But the girls have helped Azzan get his room a bit straighter.
Now I just have to tackle the school room and my room.
I so want to get them done before we go to town next.

I also had several phone calls with WINZ.
They succeeded in reducing me to tears for most of the arvo.
It is so frustrating dealing with them.
You are talking to turkeys.
No one that can actually help you really cuz they cannot make decisions for you, only lead you up a differnet garden path than the person before.
It really is very very frustrating and emotionally distressing.
I felt like telling them to shove their so called assistance right up where no sun will ever shine.
Maybe after the long weekend to mull over and think on things I might just do that

Tim was grading the road today.
He began it ages ago but it has been too wet to finish it.
So today was the day.
He thought that surely the rain must have stopped for now.
But no!
As soon as he got the grading done the rain came down again.
And we have people driving in tonight

We waited for Tim to come in for dinner.
So dinner wasn’t until way after 8pm.
My energy levels were waning fast today but
I did manage to make a carrot cake for Nathan – his request.
But had run out of baking soda so hadn’t been able to make the size he wanted.

He was happy with it though so that’s the main thing.
Shanni set it alight but only found 13 candles.
Not doing too well are we.
Sorry Nathan!!

Happy Birthday to our special 14 year old.
You are becoming a fine young man.
Bless you as you journey on your way into the life God ordains for you
I am sure it is going to be a most interesting journey.

 I gave him a book on NZ military history and Tim gave him the Guiness Book of Records.
We also gave him a fancy red sports car which is a radio, ipod speakers, alarm etc etc.

After dinner Nathan & Anson went up the hill to meet Russell, Chrissy and the boys.
The rain had begun and Tim was not too keen on them driving down the freshly graded road.
They are now safely delivered to The Croft.
Nathan, Yari & Nick are getting themselves sorted to sleep in the woolshed tonight.
Not too sure why, but they are boys and that is the sort of thing they like to do.
So they are walking around in the rain getting their gear organised to sleep in a cold draughty shed with the penguins, possums, spiders and rats.

I am off to my cosy clean sheeted bed with my book and electric blanket.
Have fun guys

Monday was a normal sorta day.
I did quite a lot in the study and managed to clear a major amount of the paper war.
Shanni was busy in the garden.
She is really enjoying her gardens.
She saw some guys planting out banks while we were in town and commented that she thought it would be really fun to do gardening for other people and could you do it for a living??
I can see some interesting strings beginning to grow from her bow – be fascinating to see what she chooses to do with her life in a few years time.
I am pretty sure it will have something to do with animals and plants.

Nathan has also been very fascinated with the issue of cloning for some time.
He found something in a Bob Jones science text book about cloning which provoked an interesting time.
Nathan’s question – ‘If they manage to clone a person, then would the clone have a soul?’
Can’t say I have ever had the need to think that one through so it really did start an interesting time over dinner.
This was also interspersed with discussions about the Roman Empire.
The other major thing happening in his head right now.
Nathan cleaned the library out of all the books they had last week and has been on the net getting more sent out.
So between cloning and Roman warfare and history  it makes the brain cells come alive

We had to get organized for Tuesday in town.
It is becoming sorta familiar in it’s regularity that we just do it now.
I let the kids sleep in till 6 and we didn’t leave till 6:30am.
Not too much rush as everything we were doing was later in the day.

Seeing as we had time and weren’t rushing I suggested that we might have a sit down breakfast.
So we went to Oasis. Hali got a ginormous meal and Nathan & I had to help her. Azzan & Shanni both just got a pie each and Nate and I had eggs.
I actually didn’t feel that great afterwards.
I think from now on I will stick to my early morning frappacino and eat later in the day.

We zipped out to Richmond and did a couple of jobs and then dropped the 3 youngest off at the Winningtons so they could play with their friends.

I had spent some time over the past days trying to find a sewing teacher but kept coming up blank.
Then one sewing shop suggested I try a a small local fashion design shop, called them they put me onto another lady who makes wedding dresses etc.
Went to see her Tues morning but we both agreed she was too busy to do what we needed/wanted.
She suggested someone else but only had a name. Another friend of hers had the phone number but he was in a meeting. I popped in to his office and left my number with his secretary.
Finally I got a call from him with the number of the lady.
I called her and she was most agreeable.
We agreed to meet up that arvo.
I went to the gym first while Nathan read books at Paper Plus.
Then we both popped around to meet up with Pam.
She was delightful and takes private sewing classes in 3 hour blocks.
She is a perfectionist who has fun with her students but expects the best from them.
Nathan and Shanni are now booked in for several sessions.
Nate wants to make a purple tuxedo with a green checked waist coat

I know it seems crazy me taking them elsewhere when I spent most of my life sewing.
It is just that I do not have the time to put into them right now and my sewing machine is actually gathering dust

From there is was all go. Hooned back up the hill to pick up the kids, it was beginning to rain so we loaded them in quickly and sped off to Annesbrook for Azzan’s 4pm jazz class.
His leggings had arrived so I helped him squeeze his muscley wee legs into them and tied his laces and he bounced off into class.
I then shot into Richmond.
I had 45mins to gather groceries and get back to him.
I was flying.
Nathan and I tore around Pak’n’Save in record time.
Thanksfully the girls stayed put in the car.
I hooned up to the checkouts with one eye constantly on the time.
Found a checkout with a very short queue and waited.
And waited, and waited, and waited.
The checkout operator and the lady in front of me seemed to know each other well and were having a good old chin wag and giggle.
I tapped my toes and tried to be patient but in the end I butted in and mentioned that I was actually in a hurry. The customer in front of me got real snotty then.
When it was finally my turn to go through the operator didn’t even speak to me till she had to
Oh well!

Then we zipped off up the road and dropped Nathan at Taekwando and back to get Azzan.
They were just finishing class. Phew!
They are getting ready for end of year production and Lucy had them up on the main stage.
Apparently, Azzan told me, Lucy had a line on the floor in the classroom representing the edge of the stage but the little girls kept going over it. So she took them in to the real stage to show them that they had to stay back!!
If any of you are around Nelson on November 14th Annesbrook Performing Arts School is presenting ‘dance 365’.
Two performances – 11am and 5pm tickets $5 per person.
And Azzan will be performing – isn’t that exciting
Let me know if you want to go and I will get you tickets.

We then headed off to Sally & Nick’s to have dinner and music.
The kids have so much fun learing music with Nick – I am so glad we found him.
I had to go back and pick up Nathan at 6pm.
He was bubbling. He is loving the Taekwando.

When we got back to Sally & Nick’s Sasha & David were there with Anson.
They had picked him up at the airport for me.
My taxi driving skills just couldn’t fit him in so they offered to help out – Thanks S&D
They stayed awhile and chatted and then headed back home for dinner.
When music lessons were finished we loaded Anson’s gear in and left for home.
Nathan managed to retain his front seat position in the car and Anson sat in the back with the little folk and watched ‘Prince Caspian’ on the dvd player.
Got home at 11pm.
Hopped in the spa at midnight – I needed to unwind a tad

Wednesday, I slept in a bit and then once up tried to activate things around the house.
It all seems to be getting rather messy these days.
Stuff everywhere – it is obvious we are away a lot!
I am collecting a pile of toys and clothes to take to the recycling centre next week.

It was still quite early and I was sitting in my study working at the computer before breakfast.
I had seen Tim on the wharf doing mussel ropes.
I heard a loud splashing noise and looked out the window and saw two major disturbances in the water.
I thought Tim must have put the dinghy in the water and be heading out to the boat.
Then I looked again and saw the most ginormous orca emerge from the sea just by the wharf.
There was two of them.
I yelled out to the others and they all came running to see.
But the pain of it all was that both Mahalia’s and my camera were somewhere in the Safari and we hadn’t unpacked from the night before and by the time we found Mahalia’s the orca had moved on around the coast line.
What excitement!
The bull was so big.
We have had them in here before but I haven’t seen them so incredibly close to our wharf and shore like that. They were probably chasing the sting rays that hang about here.
So sorry not to have gotten a photo – it really was so impressive.

Anyway, the day was all going okay and I was planning to drive over to Waterfall Bay so the kids could choose some fabrics for their sewing classes.
We were all a bit slow so hadn’t quite got there yet.
Around 1:30pm I got a text from Cat asking if there was any way of getting her passport to Wellington that night.
Good grief!
How on earth is that sposed to happen bar carrier pigeon was my first reaction!!
I called her up top find out what was happening.
Turns out there was a job opportunity in Australia that none of her senior riggers wanted to take and they had suggested to her that she should contact the boss about going. So she did. Yesterday morning.
Then it all of a sudden snowballed and if she was going she HAD to be on the 6am flight to Melbourne Thursday morning so she could take part in the training this week.
Then she is off to Perth for 6 weeks work.
And it all hinged on her passport.

She did some sussing from her end and found that if I got it to Nelson airport by 5:15 then she would get it that night.
It was by this time 2:15pm!

So I took a big breath and said I would leave – now!
Left Anson with kids and instructions and hooned back off to town again – only 9 hours after we had gotten home.
The normal 3 hours drive took me 2hours and 10mins.
I even had time to stop and grab a frappacino on the way to the airport and then got caught in 4:30pm traffic around Rocks Road!
Anyway, I got it to the airport and sent by 5pm.
All good. I then sat in the car and called Cat and had time to wind down and hear all the details which I hadn’t had a chance to hear before.
She was so excited.
Be a great experience and she will be getting more training and she will get to see Jesika briefly and see my brother in Perth too.
She hasn’t been to WA before – one of the few places she hasn’t seen!!

After such a rush I was too winded to drive staright back home again so I popped in to see Estelle, who is still in bed with the flu. Then I went and got groceries and wandered around The Warehouse.
By 9pm I was in the Safari and off home again.
I stopped a few times to make myself sandwiches from the yummy fresh Turkish bread, butter, tomatoes and capsicum/chilli dip. Most delicious.

I got back around midnight and crashed off into bed.

Today we were all up at the normal time.
I had a soak in the spa whilst reading ‘The Teenage Liberations Handbook’.
Then after we had done a few things I loaded the kids on board again and we went over to Waterfall Bay.
Nathan & Shanni cose a pile of fabrics.
Shanni is getting quite excited about what she can make and looking outside the square of what is possible.
Nathan is very emphatic about the fabircs he chooses.
Shanni cleaned out some greens from the vege garden.
Tim & Anson were out doing mussel work and were sosed to be coming over to help us with some things.
We waited quite a while and then gave up and came home.
They never came – men!

So now, it is time to go plant some plants and get dinner ready and think about the weekend.
We have to be packed up and gone by 10am Monday.
Swimming lessons begin 2pm Monday.

It rained heavily all through the night.
When we woke this morning the bay was still and calm and mirror like.

I hopped in the spa for a few moments and then hopped out and ran around with just my towel around me taking photos.
The rain had left droplets on the plants and the colours were just so beautiful.
This is the first Masquerade rose of the season nestled in amongst the wet green glistening leaves.

The jasmine is entwined all through the hebes.

Azzan has been wanting some cactus plants for ages.
We found these last trip to town and he is nurturing them along.
The flowers are so vivid and there are a heap of buds about to open.
He is delighted.

It was so still and calm this morning.
I was sitting in the study and I all of a sudden heard a swooshing noise.
I looked out and saw a pod of dolphins swimming past.
They are so tricky to get photos of but this shows the proximity to the wharf.

Their fins were mirrored in the water.

The other happening hting is – the wood stove is at long last back together again and was burning away merrily when I got home last night.
That made me very happy

Jura, Katka & Nelly all left today after a lot of indecision as to what they were going to do.
They finally left around lunch time which put paid to a morning fellowship for us.
Graham and I listened to Chuck Missler’s account of Cain & Abel from Genesis.
It was very enlightening.
There was a lot of ongoing discussion about it once Tim got back from towing Jura up the hill!!

We have had a bit of a sleepy afternoon and done not a lot.
I helped Nathan sort out his Facebook account as it was proving to be rather frustrating.
Mahalia & Azzan have been playing a new Grammer and Punctuation computer game I bought for them.
Great how they can learn stuff like that on the computer whereas it is so much harder from books!
Shanni has made some delicious lemon drink.
Tim popped out on the motorbike to open farm gates to get stock moving.

Tim is back now and is smoking some salmon for dinner.
the thought of it is making my mouth water so I am off to have dinner and hopefully a bit of an earlier night.

Matt & Kylie’s wedding day

I slept fitfully so of course didn’t wake till later than normal!
Woke at 5:45am
I was up and gone by 6am though.
It was a clear morning. No fog, good run through.
Huge slip down on the Whangamoas, it had been semi cleared but has traffic lights to direct around the one lane that is open.
Lots of signs of storm damage, trees down, rock falls and small slips along the way.

I got to town and headed up to the gym. Haven’t been for so long.
It now has new owners and a big face lift.
Felt a little strange, like I was somewhere different.
But the work out was the same
Just a tad harder cuz I have not been in so long.
Am trying to put things in place with the children so I can get them more easily on Tuesdays.

I went from there to Starbucks and was chilling out with my frappacino, checking emails etc on my laptop when Cat & Leeann and Sasha all arrived.
So we hung out until our parking meters expired.
By this stage it had begun to rain.

Cat & Leeann dropped Sasha back at work and then headed off to the marina to check out yachts.
They had already done the Picton marina on Friday.
Cat’s search for bigger and better is on and getting serious!

I put another hour on my parking meter and went to post a parcel and then popped into ‘Max’ to see if they had any clothes worth checking out.
I still had credit there to spend.
They had a sale on – boomer!!
So I spent nearly an hour trying on clothes.
Came out less my credit and a few more as well
All sale items bar one, which I just could not leave there.

Then it was time to get changed for the wedding.
It was at St Barnabas church in Stoke.
It was raining but not torrentially.
It was nice to catch up with a few friends while we waited to the bridal party to arrive.

Then Kylie was spotted arriving by horse and carriage and everyone was at the windows to catch a glimpse. The church turned in a real noise as everyone was exclaiming their delight.
It looked like Cinderella coming to the ball 

The 3 Matthew’s were waiting up front of the church.
The other 2 Matthew’s are both recently married so knew what Matt was going through

The 2 bridesmaids walked in wearing the most delicate shade of pink.
Then Kylie arrived with her father.
She looked absolutely gorgeous.

Her dress was exquisite.

The ceremony was simple with a great message of grace.
Brent Liebezeit sang during the signing of the register.
He has a very powerful voice and sang ‘Footprints in the Sand.
Our kids music teacher Nick was providing all the support music.
We finished with a lovely rendition of ‘Amazing Grace‘ whic I had not heard before.

Mr & Mrs Ashton

Phillipa had made the wonderfully, exceedingly, rich mudcake with the simply lovely white chocolate decoration.
The soft pink roses and ribbons echoing the bridesmaids dresses and Matt’s tie.

There were only 2 speeches.
Matt to Kylie and Kylie to Matt.
Very lovely, very moving.
They are such a blessed couple who ‘fit together’ so well.

The cutting of the cake.

After the cake cutting we all enjoyed afternoon tea while the bridal party slipped away to have photos taken.
It was raining at times heavily and then it would ease somewhat.
They had a back up photo spot at Melrose House if it was too wet outdoors.

It may have been wet but it certainly didn’t dampen the day one bit.

At 3pm I whizzed off.
Called in briefly to see Estelle who was sick in bed.
Gave her her b’day pressie for today,  had a wee chat and headed back into town.
I quickly fueled up the Safari and got some fresh veges at the supermarket.
Then went to find Cat, Leeann & Seb at The Sprig & Fern.
Took a bit of finding but finally got there.
Sasha & Nadia were there too.
Had a nice catch up and looked through all of Cat’s yachts she had been sussing out.
The time soon disappeared and it was 5pm and we all had to scatter in our various directions.
I dropped Sasha back to her car and got a Turkish Kebab to eat on the way home.
It actually made me feel really sick so I swigged on water for the rest of the journey to try and wash it away.
I stopped in briefly to check out the house we have been offered the use of for the fortnight I am in town with the 4 children.
It will be fantastic.
Thanks Frances & John for the offer

It began to rain when I got to Okiwi Bay and it was torrential through to almost French Pass.
Thick, thick fog through Garnes/Saville Bay but from there it was all clear.

I also got stuck behind a blue van which I could see was driven by tourists.
They just would not pull over and let me past despite having plenty of places to do so.
It was most frustrating cuz as we wound our way up the hill out of Okiwi they would speed up and just as I had gathered momentum they would brake on the corners.
In the Safari I need that momentum to pull into the up hill corners or I loose too much power and am constantly changing gears – they finally pulled over at the top
I zoomed past them and left them sitting in my dust mud!!

It was a lovely day out on my own.
Nice to be able to do what I wanted when I pretty much wanted to.
Haven’t had any of those days for a long long time.