Our weekend

It pretty much rained continuously from the time we arrived home on Thursday night.
A freezing southerly was moving across New Zealand leaving a trail of snow and flooding in it’s wake.
No snow or flooding for us thankfully – we just got lots of the cold wet stuff.
Friday was a lazy day with the fires blazing to try and keep us all warm and cosy indoors.

I spent all day in my dressing gown and pj’s.
It was the sorta day that made it feel right.

Anson drove out to town to sell his possum fur and skins.
He took Arjan with him.
Tim is going to miss him. He has been a great help.

I received a phone call from Shoshannah’s music school.
As an incentive to have their students term fees paid promptly they said that all who paid early would go into a draw to win $200 of grocery vouchers.
They called to say I had won!! 

Mahalia is on dinner this week.
She and I made a chicken casserole with roast potatoes.
It was delicious.
It had lots of olives in it much to her delight and some of the others abject horror 

Saturday I woke up feeling totally yuck.
My neck was stiff and sore, my head was aching and my hip and legs were aching.
I got up early and thought about taking some pain killers but once I stood up I felt better.
But then when I lay back down again my head started aching again.
It was too darn cold to get out of bed though so I huddled for another hour before I got up.
Then I did take some Panadol!
I wallowed under a very hot shower for ages and started to feel a lot better.

Azzan & I made mixed berry, banana & white chocolate chip muffins for brunch.
They were very delicious.

We did try and do some school work.
I managed to get all the books from the school room (it’s way too cold down there to work) onto the kitchen table and sorted them out.
Went through Nathan’s work books and decided that I needed to do something differently with his maths.
He is having problems with fractions and as I always struggled at school with them I felt we both needed help.
So I dug out some Key to Fractions books which I had used for the older children.
We are going to wade through them just to get a better grounding before he crries on with Math-U-See again.

I turned the left over chicken casserole into soup by adding lots of tomato and spices and letting it cook away in the slow cooker.
For dinner we had steak and roast veges, mashed pumpkin and cauliflower in coconut cream.

Shoshannah gave me a great massage.
Feet, legs, back and shoulders.
She is just the best
I was in bed before 9pm.
Tim reckoned I was snoring soundly by the time he came to bed.
I slept through till around 3am.
The rain had stopped and the moon was so bright.
The night was shining with silvery light.
I couldn’t get back to sleep so I got up at 3:30am.
Made a cup of lemon ginger tea and made cards for a couple of hours while I listened to the talk back radio.
It is funny hearing others who are also awake in the middle of the night!
Went back to bed at 5am and slept for another 3 hours.

Tim and the guys had to go out and do stuff so we pottered about.
I was sussing out some of the American Idol singers on YouTube and found Siobhan Magnus.
(we don’t have tv so don’t see all of these shows and I keep up with them via my cousin Sue who drops names on Facebook when she is watching which whets my curiousity )
What an amazing voice she has.

Also found a cute wee bundle from the UK – Connie Talbot and an American lass Bianca Ryan.
So cool to see and hear these fantastic young voices.

I added the left over mashed pumpkin to the soup I made on Saturday.
It was absolutely delicious.
Very spicy and peppy.
Just right for a cold day.

Tim had smoked up some salmon so Mahalia helped me turn it into Salmon Fettaccine.
We made a stir fry with zucchinni, carrot, onion, capsicum and broccoli strips.
Then I added coconut cream, garlic, nutmeg, salt & lemon pepper.
We made it more saucy by adding flour and water.
It was delicious.

Dinner chat was pretty bedlamish.
I was trying to remember all the conversation but alas my brain forgets what doesn’t get written down.
Amidst it though I received a text from cousin Sue.
I commented about it to Tim and Shanni said
I was FB chatting to Sue this morning
I asked what they were talking about.
She replied
The weather and stuff.
and then
Why does everyone talk about the weather?
To which Azzan commented,
Well, you have to talk about the weather sometime in your life so it may as well be now.

I went out to the washhouse to get something after dinner and found the cats sleeping.
It really amused me.
It was hard to see where the cats ended and Azzan’s slippers began.
They really did look cosy.

Tim & Nathan were having a major wrestling session after dinner.
Normally Tim lets Nathan get the best of him but last night he was top dog!
I guess he has to make the most of it cuz the way Nathan is growing Tim knows he won’t be physically able to stay on top for too long


They ended up on the floor in the kitchen.
Guys!

I was about to go watch a movie when Jesika skyped me.
So we chatted a while.

It was late by the time we finished so I took my movie to bed and watched it on the kids dvd player.
It was really good.
Now it is Monday morning.
So it is into the shower I go and hopefully we will get some school work done today.

At the climbing wall

On Wednesday the four children joined with around 25 other home ed kids and climbed the walls at Vertical Limits for a couple of hours.
It was interesting.
For all the climbing that my older children have done I have never been a part of it or watched it first hand.
So I was the novice.

It took a while for the lady to find me a harness as all the adult ones were in use.
But once she did and she had shown me how to belay we were all go.
While we were waiting the older three got climbing with their friends and Azzan took off up the bouldering wall doing a spot of free climbing.
I seem to recall something about not climbing higher than your shoulders but that didn’t seem to deter him!

Then Mahalia joined him and they crabbed up the wall flat out!

Once I got my harness Azzan was away laughing.
No fear in that lad.

Shoshannah and Kathryn teamed up and belayed for each other.

Mahalia having fun on the climbing ladder.

Kathy belayed for Nathan a few times.
He certainly is a different weight to belay than his young bro!

It was a great afternoon.
Hope we can get back there again soon.
The kids all loved it.

3 busy days

I think Tuesday’s sunrise was an imminent sign of the weather that was approaching!
Needless to say – it was very beautiful.

Azzan & made banana pikelets.
I did the first flip and he did the 2nd.

And then we all ate them with butter and honey for morning tea/lunch – so yummy

I processed the red capsicum that Graham had brought in.
Tim & Arjan did the green ones after we left for town.
I was busy most of the day although I cannot remember too much  of what we were all doing now.

The children were quite happy that we were leaving for town on Wednesday cuz we didn’t leave till 9am.
Quite civilized really.
We listened to a cd of horse stories by Jackie French on the way out called ‘Ride the Wild Wind.’
It was very intriguing and I really enjoyed it too.

We got there in plenty of time to do a couple of things before joining some other home schoolers at Vertical Limits to climb the afternoon away.
Pictures in next blog entry.

After that we dropped Shanni off at Kathryn’s.
Then we went out to visit Seb – he was off sick from work.
As we drove in the drive way Azzan caught sight of the two white female Grecian statues on each gate post and commented to me that ‘they haven’t even got their shirts on‘!!

Seb showed the kids around the castle and then we left him to it as the day was disappearing fast.
Azzan was quite taken with the suit of armour outside

We dropped Mahalia up the road a ways to spend the night with Kashana and family then we headed off to the supermarket before driving out to Wakefield to stay at Chrissy & Russell’s for the night.
The boys were delighted to be with their 3 mates and Joel made the observation that there were no girls!

We had a delightful evening.
Finally got Azzan & Asher snuggled down.
Chrissy and I talked till the late hours.
Thought Nathan & Yari were long in bed but then around midnight heard noises which said that they were still very much awake.

Had a good nights sleep – albeit a bit short.
Was woken by Russel leaving for work in his V8.
Well if it wan’t a V8 it was a pretty good excuse for one

I dropped the boys in Richmond at music and hooned off into Nelson pick up Shanni.
Margaret had taken her to the chiro.
I picked her up and took her to her first speech lesson.
I ducked back into the city to do a couple of jobs.
Half an hour later I was back up The Brook to pick her up and zip back to Richmond.
Out to Brightwater for riding.
It was too yucky a day to be out so they did theory for the morning.
I spent the hour doing a few things in Richmond before picking them up again.
They had been having a great time learning about the anatomy of the horse etc.
They were cutting out horse magazines and decorating their own files for keeping all their info in.

Picked up Nathan from Kip McGrath and drove back to Nelson for gym.
While the kids expelled all their energies there Chrissy & I zipped down to The Warehouse to do some quick shopping.
I then went off to my chiropractor and massage therapist for an hour.
Victoria took Azzan & Mahalia to dancing and then back to her place.
Chrissy dropped Shanni off at music and took Nathan to the library with her boys.

I am so grateful to my support friends for their help in moving the children about so I can get to my appointments. It makes a huge difference to my day to be able to have the time to get the treatment I need in amongst all the children’s busyness.

Once I picked up Shanni we all just wanted to go home.
So we got Chinese takeaways and my last Starbucks for the day and were gone.
I tried a new frappacino to see me on the road home.
Coffee based (of course), white mocha with Irish Cream syrup.
It was delicious

We picked up Azzan & Mahalia from Victoria’s and headed home.
The children were hungry so were very happy to see I had brought some dinner.
They ate voraciously while listening to more of the cd of horse stories.
It was dark and rainy.
I stopped a couple of times to eat my tea.
Only problem with Chinese take aways – you cannot easily eat and drive

We actually made it home by 8:30pm which was great.
It was dark and cold and beginning to rain.

Wet days

Sunday morning was pretty much taken up with chores and fellowship.
So I didn’t get to begin my gst until the early afternoon.
I took all my filing out to the kitchen and did it at the table.
It is easier with a bit more room to spread out.
I then moved the other computer so I could access my broadband internet connection and download the banklink files.
I then spent all afternoon coding.
I was all done and had the files emailed through to the accountant by soon after dinner time.
I couldn’t believe it.
I got it all done in one day.
Totally unheard of!!

I went to bed early to celebrate and watched ‘Shakespeare in Love‘ on my portable dvd player.
I really enjoyed it.
Especially how they entwined his supposed love affair in with his writing of ‘Romeo & Juliet’ and ‘As You Like It.’

It rained through the night and all day today.
This afternoon it poured down very heavily.
It is great to be getting it now before the winter sets in and it becomes too cold for pasture growth.

I asked the children to help unpack groceries and sort the pantry as it was rather a mess.
Mahalia got stuck in with Azzan’s help and made a good start.

But Mahalia got tired and disappeared.
I found out a bit later that she was feeling very unwell.
She actually was sick later on.
So I sent her off to bed with a hottie for the rest of the day.
I finished the pantry.

While they were tidying I made feijoa, pear and choc chip muffins.
I went to take a photo but they were so hot from the oven they steamed up my lens.

Here they are a few moments later.
Good enough to eat?
They sure were

Anson got the ’88 South’ in and the guys went out in the rain at 8am to do mussel work.
It was calm and the work necessary so they did it fast and came back in to hot muffins.
Then they got stuck into the bin of beans Graham had delivered.

It was quite a mountain to wade through but everyone got stuck in and dealt to them.
Took several hours though.
My camera is playing up so I cannot get the photo off it of all the guys working away at them
Not too sure what is going on with it but it is throwing wee hissy fits every now and then and won’t allow the data to be copied off the card.
I have formatted the card and it is only just a few random photos here and there that does it.

I have been tidying up paper work this afternoon and organising this weeks activities for the children.
Looks like we might all go to the climbing wall with the home schoolers group on Wednesday.
Azzan read me a story while I ate my lunch.
He is doing really well despite his thinking that he cannot read.
Anson popped in after lunch to do some paperwork.

Tim played some board games with Azzan cuz he was bored out of his tree.
Mahalia was in bed sleeping.
Shanni was playing with Lego.
He had no one to play with and nothing to do.
So Dad played Guess Who with him and then Game of Knowledge.
He loves answering the questions – and he is often right!!

Azzan, Mahalia and I watched ‘Five Weeks in a Balloon‘ tonight.
It was one of Jules Verne’s first stories and Azzan was particularly keen to get it a while back but we hadn’t had a chance to watch it.
It is really funny.
Red Buttons takes one of the lead roles.

Tim has tucked the darlings into bed so it is now time for us to hit the hay.
Night

Friday disappeared easily.
We slept in a bit after our late night.
Had to wake Ruby to get her to school on time.
Kids got organised and I managed to get dressed just before the real estate agents arrived at 9am to do appraisals on the house.

Then I loaded them all int he Safari and we headed off to do all the jobs on my list.
Popped into visit Rowena & Matt.
Kids enjoyed a half hour together before we went to see Kirsten for a few minutes.
She was showing Shanni how to clip Tinga’s wings properly.
But he was totally unimpressed by the whole deal and she only got one down.
But as they haven’t grown terribly much it was okay.

We then met Sylvia at the library.
She took the kids, I took Tinga back tot he house and headed through to Picton to meet up with Duncan.
He showed me around the building site.
It is a new centre for Coastguard and St John’s Ambulance.
It was really cold and trying to rain.
We went to the Echo and had lunch up on the top deck.
It was freezing.
Talked for a while and then I took Duncan back to work.

When I got back to the house there was no sign of anyone. Called Sylvie and found them at the park.
They had just gotten there and had found Ro & Matt and kids so were very delighted.
They wanted to stay there a while so I visited Jess on my own.
One of these days I will get to take my kids to meet her kids!!
We had a cuppa and a chat and a cry.
It certainly was a day for that

Then it was back to the house.
Said a big thank you to Sylvie for baby sitting and then we began packing up the Safari.
It was getting late and cold.
The kids were in VERY high spirits and driving me totally nuts.
I needed to take 5 so heated up some Apricot pie and sat for a few moments to eat it before we left.

We then popped into visit Conny for a few moments.
That visit took several hours.
The kids played with hers.
We sat and talked.
Pete came in and the kids began making pizza so we ended up staying for dinner.
The children had a ball hooning about outside playing spotlight.
It was great – burnt off some of their energy.
I finally dragged us all away at 8pm and headed off home.
Called in briefly to pick up feijoas from Ruth.
She was out so Ruby got us sorted.

It was a long drive home.
I was so tired.
Emotionally spent.
My eyes were really struggling to stay open.
I had to stop a couple of times to rest them.
We got back around 11pm.

We all fell into bed.

This morning the phone woke us at 7:30am
Normally we would be up and going for it but neither of us was today.
I went back to bed for another hour.
We have all been tired today.
So I stayed in my dressing gown and pjs all day.
We have unpacked the Safari.
The kids have done a few chores.
I sat by the fire all morning and read a book and ate chocolate Sultana Pasties.
Then I watched ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ with the children at lunch time.

Anson drove out with a load of wool today.
They were shearing while we were away.
Got it all done on Friday so getting the wool out the day after shearing is a fast turn around!
He is over at a party at Manaroa tonight.

I went to bed for a few hours this arvo.
Read another book and slept a bit too.
A lot of catching up to do!

There was the most beautiful rainbow this evening.

Tim & Arjan have been working on the wharf all day.
He is making progress slowly.

The chore chart has been turned for a new week.
Shanni is on washing duties.
She finds it much more of a chore than Mahalia did!
Hali is learning how to light fires and get the wood in etc.
Nathan cooked dinner tonight.
Azzan is on evening dishes this week so he chatted away with Arjan as he dried them.
Azzan is on floors this week so we had sweeping lessons this morning.

I am off to bed again now.
Have only got 4 days left to do the gst this month so am going to try and get a lot more sleep tonight so I am brain fresh to begin the attack tomorrow.

A night on the town.

We arrived at Mum’s house and discovered I had left the door key at home on the Terrano’s key chain – duh!
Thankfully Ruby was not too far away so we didn’t have to wait too long to get her to open up for us.
We unpacked.
The kids attacked Ruby with hugs and cuddles and lots of excitement.
We ate snacks and drank drinks and then got washed up and changed into our glad rags and headed out the door at 7pm.

We had tickets for The Sound of Music at  The Marlborough Civic Theatre.
It has been getting rave reviews so I was glad to be able to bring the kids over to it.
Because Nathan went home with Gary I offered his ticket to his cousin Ruby.
She gladly accepted them and we enjoyed her company.

It was a great show.
I am glad we made the effort to go.
Azzan was beginning to fade by half time but he managed to get to the end without going to sleep.
It had been a long day for him so he did well.


On the way home we stopped off at Seymour Square to go visit the coloured fountain.
My children always love to see it but we don’t usually stop.
I had fun with my camera while they had fun with crazy antics.


















Then over to the War Memorial clock tower,




…where Ruby gave them all a history lesson.
There is Richard William Mapp – your great grand uncle.

On the way back to the car a young male voice with a strong American country accent said
‘Miss Ruby! You are under arrest for stealing a cup of water from that there coloured fountain.’
You are hereby sentenced to 20 years in prison.’!!




The Court House steps looked like a pretty cool spot to pose too so we had to go there.


Smoking guns!

It was a fun ending to a good night out.

Then it was back to the house for a quick snack and off to bed.
We are camping here cuz there is not a lot left in the house.

Ruby & Azzan are sleeping on the sofas and Mahalia is on the floor.
Shanni and I are on the two remaining beds.
But we have the heat pump on so it is quite cosy.


Whew!

I set the goal of leaving by 5:45am this time.
So we did well and were gone by 5:55.
We took the Safari cuz Douglas was hitching a ride out with us.
It was weird driving it again after so many weeks of driving the Terrano.
It is manual and a heavier vehicle.

I had a VERY busy morning this time.
Lots of to-ing and froing.
Dropped Douglas at the Info Centre then Shanni off at the chiropractor at 9am.
Zoomed out to Richmond.
Left the other three at music.
Then zipped back to pick up Shanni and take her to meet her prospective speech & drama teacher.
Had a successful visit with her.
Shanni is very excited about starting classes with Adele next Thursday.
Then we headed back out to Richmond, picked up Hali & Azzan and took the three of them out to riding at Brightwater.
I then drove back to Tahuna to get the bulk shopping down at Trents.
Managed to get that done and still had time to stop off at Pak’n’Save in Richmond.
It is always dangerous to stop and chat when you are in a hurry in a supermarket.
But I hadn’t seen Murray & Marie for so long so we chatted a while.
The lived down home in The Croft for a number of years after Tim’s mother moved out of it and were like surrogate grandparents to our older children.
He is turning 80 in July!!

I had to really move it then.
Whizzed through the checkout as fast as the teller would allow – which wasn’t terribly fast
Then grabbed the lunch order.
Sushi for four of us and then saw the queue at Macca’s was way too long so got a sandwich for Azzan instead of his kiddie meal.
The lady asked me if it was takeaway and I said yes.
I paid for it and took off out to the car.
Unpacked everything and then couldnt find the sandwich.
Sure enough!
I had left it on the counter in my haste – duh!

Text Callum and asked him to have kids ready when I got there as I was running late.
They came running as I drove up.
We picked Nathan up on the way back through Richmond and headed to Tahuna – again!
This time the kids piled out to pick up feijoas that Sally had told me to come and get.
They got several bags in next to no time.
Thanks Sally – we all LOVE feijoas.

We got to gymnastics with time to spare so was able to stop and take a breather for the first time all day.
By then I had done all I had on my list.

Chrissy and I chatted while the kids had their hour of gym.
They all had a great time.

At 3:30pm I dropped Shanni off at clarinet and singing and took the other two to dancing.
Nathan sat in the car and read his book.
I went and watched the first half of Mahalia’s jazz lesson.
The were doing bar work and other floor exercises.
In case you can’t tell already,
Mahalia is the long lean lady in the pink shorts and tee shirt




Then I popped next door to watch Azzan’s ballet class.
In these photos he is the long lean machine in black!


These next photos just cracked me up!!


The expressions I managed to catch on the kids faces are priceless



Both the children are so much taller and leaner than the other students.
They tend to look all arms as legs!
But they are enjoying it and doing well so that is cool.
Mahalia would really like to do exams but as it would require extra days in town we will give it a miss for now.

Nathan whizzed over and got our order of sausages from the nice man outside Countdown.
He knows us well now!
Nothing like a good feed of bbq sausages in bread with t-sauce, mustard and onions after they have been exuding so much energy.

I got a frappacino and then we picked Shani up and were outa town by 4:45pm.
Gary was at his gate and we unloaded all the shopping into his truck and Nathan went with him.
They were driving to Port Ligar tonight so they can get on to shearing tomorrow.

We carried on over the hill to Blenheim.