Further wharf demolition

Friday was another mass attack on the wharf.
Tim and the 3 guys spent the day on it.
Tim used the boat to ;ull out some of the big outer piles.

At low tide he brought the tractor along to load all the timber that they had already pulled off.

After dinner Anson & Glen got stuck in while the guys were loading the tractor.
It all looked very precarious from where I was standing!!

Another beam hits the water.

They had the chainsaw going and beams were going in all directions.
There was less and less framework to stand on.

A bloke just has to do what blokes have to do

Saturday morning there was just the skeleton left.

Mirror calm – gorgeous day.


fun days

While the guys were working on the wharf Yui helped me.
She told me that she loves to clean so for a change from farm work she unpacked and sorted books onto my new school room shelves.

She did a heap of other stuff too.
She is great. I am really enjoying her lovely smile & effervescent enthusiasm.

Christine was in the study looking at some pictures and she turned around and saw this.

I was outside and just heard peels of laughter.
She commented that one moment he was bouncing around like a normal little 7 year old boy and the next thing she sees is this!!
It is one of his purchases from Auckland!

Today I woke very early and couldn’t sleep.
My arm was too sore and I was too hot and thirsty.
So I got up around 5am.
The rain started soon after.
It bucketed down heavily throughout the day.
We even had several good thunder crashes too.
Power went out but not due to the rain.
A generator in Rai Valley played up so it wasn’t off for long.

The three children all donned raincoats and headed off around the track to see George, Oliver & Madeline.
They had arrived late last night and there was now way my crew were not going to visit!!
They had a great time all day.
They all play so well together, it is great.

Tim took Kyle and Daniel out to do mussel work.
Oskar & Yui helped me.
They cleaned the wash house area out and then peeled carrots and veges for dinner.
I put on a casserole in the slow cooker once the power was restored.

Then when the rain stopped they headed off to find the Croft to do some cleaning.
They came back a while later looking slightly muddy and bemused.
They had gotten lost and walked up the hill instead.
So we redirected them around the road and they went and eventually got the job done.

While we were having lunch Louisa & Roger came to visit so we sat and chatted the afternoon away.
Janice and her boys all arrived so Tim helped them get unpacked and in the Cottage.

Then it was time for dinner and bed.
The rain was a real blessing today.
Anson arrived back for a late dinner.
He has been shearing for several days.

Now, I am all updated it is time for me to retire too.
Tomorrow will be busy so I need a bit of sleep before then.

My birthday :-)

Wednesday was my birthday.
I was really tired so couldn’t be too bothered with any fuss.
Not that there was much anyway!

Azzan was the first to spoil me.
He had been secretly hiding a blue box all the way back form Auckland.
He was so funny and making sure I never saw it.
He brought it in all wrapped up and inside was a lovely cut glass flower.
He then proceeded to bring me in a Christmas cracker to pull.
I asked him where he had gotten it from.
The dump‘ he replied, ‘and it was in a brand new box.’ he said proudly.
So from that pull I got a wee note pad and then later he brought me a wee gold teaspoon with a teddy on top.
He just loves to give

I cooked dinner with Yui’s help.
Grouper in coconut cream sauce with fresh butter beans, salad and brown rice.
All veges fresh from Shanni’s garden
She is such a great gardener.
She objects to having anyone helping her cuz they might pull out the wrong plants!!
She is loving being able to put food on our table.
Gives her such a buzz!

She also got busy and baked a lemon cake in the morning.
During the day it took shape and was presented to me for my birthday.
It was delicious.

When we were taking the photos I teased her about the tray the cake was on.
Her response ‘what’s wrong with it?’!!!

She iced it, place the star cake on top and surrounded the cake with rose petals.
Who cares that she presented it on the grotty side of the tray

Azzan brought me in this lovely lily.
I had just been admiring it in the garden and was rather taken aback that it had been picked.
But couldn’t really complain cuz he was so proud that he had ‘picked it with a nice long stalk Mummy‘!!

Shanni not only made the yummy cake she also made me a beautiful card.

It reads
‘We do not stop playing because we grow old.
We grow old because we stop playing.’

It is lovely to be loved

More of the wharf’s demise

When I returned home this is what the wharf looked like.

Wednesday was a beautiful day so Tim and the 3 wwoofers got stuck in and did a whole heap more in the demolition process.

Glen arrived over from Waterfall and was soon hard at it too.

There were large beams splashing into the sea as the hammers and chainsaw released them.
Kyle & Oskar rowed around gathering them all up and towing them into shore.

They reckoned it was way harder than it looked!!

Not a lot left to walk on now.

Some of the bolts are just to hard to undo so Tim decided to just chainsaw through.

It is beginning to look like a skeleton.
Rather sad really.
I feel like I am watching death by slow motion.

We have an update on the rebuild.
It is looking pretty likely that they can begin near the end of next week.
So it will be all go to get this one down by then.

To Blenheim and then home.

Monday morning Tim was up early to go to Motueka to pick up timber.
I met my friend Sally at Richmond for coffee.
She is over from the UK and we hadn’t caught up in so long.
It was great to share our news etc.

Tim took Azzan and Kyle from Colarado home with him.
I had a chiropractors appointment at 1:30pm.
It went well.
Am hoping that this guy can nail things for me.
Be nice to be pain free for once.

After that I spent an hour with my friend Roni.
She is our travel agent and I love hanging out with her and dreaming.
She priced up several overseas experiences for me to take home and dream about.

Then I headed over the hills to see Mum.
Got there around 5:30.
Duncan was visiting too.
Mum was looking rather weary when I arrived but she soon brightened up for a while.
I left her having a bath in the special spa they have there.
It is really cool.

The hospice ladies really make a fuss of their patients.
The light lots of candles, play gently relaxing music and of course load it with bubbles.

They use a hydraulic chair/trolley thing to raise the patients up and then lower them into the bath.
It is fantastic.

Mum looked like a movie star wallowing in amongst all the bubbles
All she needed was some bubbly!!

I left her to soak in peace and went off to visit cousins Conny & Peter.
It was good to spend a few hours unwinding with them before going to Mum’s house for the night.

Tuesday we all met up at the hospice for a meeting with the Dr, social worker and another lady who I cannot for the life of me remember what she does.
I only remember that she is from Nelson and she cannot say Onamalutu – the valley where Duncan & Sylvie live

We discussed how we could make it work for Mum to go back home.
Mum was pretty bright and participated in the discussion but was very ready for bed once it was all over.
We left her to rest and headed off into town for lunch.
Then we all met up again at Mum’s along with cousin Lyall & Cat who promptly got into the lawn mowing and gardening while we sussed out what we needed to practically do.
Duncan is going to put up several hand rails.
Ruth is going to help Mum sort her clothes out.
Furniture is going to be moved to make things easier for Mum to get around.
I am making a care roster to ensure she has someone with her most of the time and that her personal care and well being is taken care of.
We are also getting meals sussed too.

It was such a hot humid day that I was having problems moving.
I stayed put for a while and then went to Raupo for a wee snack before heading home.
I was very tired so had to stop at Elaine Bay to have a wee sleep.

The cloud formation at the Okuri hill top was fascinating.
It was like a thick grey blanket with a very difinitive line drawn across the sky.

I got home absolutely knackered so unpacked and did only what was necessary and crashed into bed.
After my spa of course

Leaving Auckland

We drove back into the city and found Sunni & Seb at The Grange.
The were enjoying a laid back time with some friends.
Azzan was very happy to see Claire again.

There was a lot of cuddles and smooches exchanges

All the while the crazy hilarity above was going on Tim and Henry were having a catch up chat.
Not too sure how Tim was able to hear with all the noise surrounding him!!

Another nice shot of Sunni and her bro.

We just had enough time to pop upstairs and get a fast dinner at the food hall before saying farewell to Sunni and making a dash for the airport.
Had to leave the rental car at the depot and get a taxi to the terminal, but made it with 10mins to spare so all was good.

We had a good flight back.
Azzan was full of beans so I was quite glad he was sitting with Tim.
Eare met us in Nelson at 10pm.
Seb had to make a mad dash for it so he could get his groceries before 11pm cuz he was starting work at 6:30am next morning.

It was a lovely weekend but we really hit the tarmac running!!!

Meeting Tahi and Fern

We headed off down the street to meet up with Tahi at Altar.
 A delightful cafe in Mt Eden Road.
It was really great to see her cuz we hadn’t caught up in the flesh for yonks.

The added bonus was to meet her wee cherub.
She was born on Dec 23 so is still a bundle of newborn deliciousness.
Fern Manawaroa Winnifred O’Conner.
A very auspicious name for the wee lass to grow into.
But with parents like she has I am sure she will do that admirably

Tim hasn’t lost his touch at all

Azzan wasn’t too sure about this baby thing.

But her cute wee fingers

soon enticed him to have a cuddle.

Isn’t she just the cutest wee babe?

She has the full quota of toes too

I even got to have a wee cuddle before we left.

We zipped around the corner and visited with Anneke for a few minutes.
She is the very proud grandmother.

We had to zip off to pick up Seb and get to the plane so we said our farewells.

Whangarei to Auckland

I was up early Sunday morning to get packed and underway.
Seb arrived back at 7am after a night out on the town in the big smoke of Whangarei.
He immediately fell onto his bed and was soon snoring his head off.
I didn’t quite get his bed striped in time

We packed up and chatted over breakfast and then finally managed to get him to wake and walk just before 11am.
I thought he was being very restrained before we left.
Malachi thought he made a great jungle gym.
Seb just treated him as if he weren’t there!

That must have been hard when he was suffering from major sleep deprivation, alcohol excessiveness and nicotine depravation. Not a good combination really!!

Lynne wanted a photo of the three of us.
So here we are in all our post wedding glory!

And here is the Welsh family minus the three eldest.
I wasn’t fast enough to catch Levi before he left.
Madi, Lynne, Ross & Amelia, Issac
Shiloh, Boston & Malachi.
Love their names

We had a pretty non-eventful drive down to Auckland.
This was our backseat passenger most of the way!

We pulled off the motorway at Devonport for a quick pit stop.
Then it was into the city to meet Sunni & Azzan at Starbucks.
Christian joined us there too.
We had a lovely catch up on what had happened with all of us over the weekend.
Sounds like Sunni & Azzan had a wonderful time together.
It was all very fleeting really as we all had places to go and people to see.
Seb went off with Sunni & Azzan came with us.

Evening of the wedding

After the wedding we went back to Ross & Lynne’s for an hour to unwind.
We said goodbye to Jeff, Brenda & family as they had to head on back south again.

We then piled into the vehicles and headed off northwards to the grooms parents home in the hills.
When Tim & I and 6 of our older kids did our big OE into the North Island nearly 15 years ago the building of this house was still a dream.
So it was very exciting to finally be able to see what the Lauder’s had achieved in that time.

It was also lovely to meet Les’s new wife Ann.
We especially loved Dawn so knew he had to find a very special lady to fill the gap she left.
Ann is definitely that special lady.
We also soon discovered that she and her late husband,  Baz Collis, had already had some involvement in our lives.
She seemed to have an uncanny knowledge of our children and their names.
She was also very keen to know about our young lad who was into making swords and knives.
It turned out that it was her husband, who was a knife maker, who had written a letter of encouragement to Seb many years ago when he read an article I had written describing our home educating journey.
Small world eh?

The house is sitting on a ridge so the car parking was at a premium. We all parked along the driveway leading down to the house.
The rain had eased so the day was quite pleasant.

Inside the kitchen was a flurry of activity.
Seb & Levi were chopping strawberries at a rate of knots!
Elizabeth was cutting pineapple.
Others were preparing all the makings for the burritos.

Zac & Naomi finally arrived back from their photo session with the rest of the wedding party.


Mr & Mrs Zac Lauder

The dinner was all laid out on big tables and we all made our own burritos.

Of course Naomi & Zac had to begin the food procession.

Afterwards there were speeches and a game to find out how much Zac & Naomi knew about each other.
It was hilarious.

It was a delightful evening.
An end to a wonderful day.
Blessings to you both as you begin your life together.
It will no doubt be filled with adventure and excitement as you walk in God’s will.

Zac & Naomi’s Wedding

The day of Zac & Naomi’s wedding was lovely.
It was a hot & sunny morning but with just enough breeze to make it pleasant.

It was a beautiful setting at Brantome Villa

They centred the wedding around the gazebo overlooking the lake.

Zac’s grandad was the introductory MC
He was filling us all in on why the bride was late – working on Lauder time already he reckoned

Praying a blessing on the day with the guys while we waited for the girls.

7 bridesmaids.
All looking lovely in the dresses that Naomi had bought and altered.
Zac’s two gorgeous sisters were among the young ladies.

and Laura.

And then Naomi arriving on her father’s arm.

The ceremony was short, sweet and to the point.
No songs or sermons.
No mucking about for these two!!

Naomi’s wee bro was the ring bearer and prayed a blessing on them both.

The first kiss – or was that the second

A special moment during the signing of the register.

The venue.
We all sat under the white gazebos and the food was to the right under the coloured ones.


I love the tranquility of this photo.
Almost old-fashioned.

The extended Calvert family

Zac sharing a wee moment with his grandmother.

The extended Lauder family

The cake.
‘Two trails become one road’.

Seb with his two mates.
The groom Zac and Levi.

Tim & me.

It was a beautiful day.
A simply lovely wedding.
Delightful fellowship with other guests and delicious home prepared food.

A gentle light rain began just as it was all finishing.
No one complained cuz they are in a drought up there and it was also so hot that the dampening was lovely.

I had a special encounter during the photo time.
There was a photo call for all who had been to Vanuatu.
Zac has been a missionary there for some years now.
After the photos were taken I showed him the photos of Ben & Anna with baby Simon I had taken the day before.
I had previously introduced Zac & Ben via email as they are both working in Vanuatu but for different organisations, but they have not yet met in the flesh.
Zac was so thrilled to see the photo and then told me that his pastors wife Hazel, who was standing right beside me, was one of the two nurses who kept Simon alive when he was born at 25 weeks on a remote island near to their mission station.
It was so cool to talk with her and hear a first hand account of all that had happened and what a wee miracle Simon is.