Happy Birthday Sunni
I know the party is Sat night and you won’t get your parcel till Monday but we were thinking of you all day.
I am definitely planning to be celebrating with you next year!!
Sending you lots of love from us all here at home.
I know the party is Sat night and you won’t get your parcel till Monday but we were thinking of you all day.
I am definitely planning to be celebrating with you next year!!
Sending you lots of love from us all here at home.
We are experiencing a pumpkin take over in our lives right now.
We have been very blessed with crates full of pumpkins of varying shapes and sizes.
Most of them are short termers which have to be processed.
Because of this I am coming up with multitudes of different ways to use them.
Normally we LOVE pumpkins – just roasted is fine.
But the kids are beginning to balk at them now.
This is what I have made so far…
pumpkin pies, vast quantities of pumpkin soups of varying recipes, pumpkin & chocolate cake – very delicious, pumpkin quiche, pumpkin in casserole, roast pumpkin, boiled pumpkin, mashed pumpkin, pumpkin & feta salad – delectably wonderful, pumpkin & ginger cake plus pumpkin puree in the freezer to be made into soup at a later date.
and just for a change
today I made date scones
Monday morning was completely taken up with food production.
It was a lovely interlude to my day to have Julie come visit at midday.
Tony & Andrew had come in to survey ’88 South’ so she came around with them.
After I had finished dealing to all the food I was able to sit and chat with her for a while cuz the men were quite late in for lunch.
I know school happened at least one day cuz I have photographic evidence!
This was Tuesday.
Nathan’s hood came up as soon as I got the camera out
The children were very industriously creating interesting pages for their projects.
The children and I were reading ‘Yeh Shen’.
It is the earliest written Cinderella type story ever recorded.
Set in China and written at least 1000 years prior to the first European on that we all know and love.
Just to set the record straight for Nathan’s sake,
he was doing his Kip McGrath English lesson – not Cinderella!
Shanni is being very diligent about doing her singing and clarinet practise.
To add to this she also has speech homework to do.
She always practises in her bedroom and I love to hear her singing.
I sometimes tippy toe down to her door so I can hear her.
Her voice is really developing under Jax‘ tutoring.
I am hearing much more strength and confidence each week.
She has been learning ‘Someone Else’s Story‘ from Chess.
I had never heard it before but now all of us are going around the house singing it.
It is such a lovely song.
Azzan found the BBC 1974 video of Heidi at the library so we all watched that.
It was so good.
Such a lovely production of the story.
I have been trying to find another copy of it to buy but to no avail.
There was much laughter around the dinner table one night.
We were talking about names.
Azzan for some reason calls Adrian, Gabriel.
Of course Adrian thinks that is pretty cool cuz it makes him sound more angelic
Then we were talking about how the Aussie’s totally kill names by not only shortening them but by putting a ‘z’ or an ‘a’ at the end as well.
ie Murray = Muz or Muzza
Marion = Maz
Sharon = Shazz or Shazza
I commented that my name was shortened only with punishment by death.
Tim of course had to stir things along and tell the kids that he could call me his
‘little ray of sunshine’
to which Mahalia muttered, ‘more like a thunder cloud’.
It was loud enough for me to hear and I just roared with laughter.
She was too quick off the mark with that one
I know I have been a grumpy, irritable, bag lately Hali and I am sorry.
I am consciously trying to make changes in my life so I am not so stressed and horrible to live with.
Please forgive me?
Wednesday found me in the kitchen ALL day.
We were processing more pumpkins.
Tim spends an hour or so in the early morning before breakfast cutting them all up and then I process them from there.
We are wading our way through the pile.
Beware! Anyone who visits here at the moment gets sent off with arms full of pumpkins.
I made about 12-14L pumpkin soup, put at least half in the freezer for a rainy day, did all the veges for dinner for 2 days, cooked corned beef in slow cooker, made a pumpkin & ginger cake, got a craving for bran muffins so made them and finally had a couple for my breakfast at midday!
Nathan peeled and sliced a large pot of apples and I made an apple crumble for dessert.
It was funny though cuz I meant to get a cup of rolled oats from Tim’s breakfast bucket but in my haste, without checking what I was doing, I got a cup of mixed grains from his other breakfast/bread bucket and had tipped it into the processor before I realised.
It turned out to be the yummiest crumble ever
Azzan was so helpful.
He peeled all the dinner veges for me without one word of complaint.
He just got stuck in and did them.
I was most impressed.
I made a tray of cheese toasties & packed lunches for Thursday.
Shanni made rice balls to add to the lunch bag.
Mahalia helped in all quarters. She made chocolates for Sunni’s b’day present and was my runner while I was cooking – very willing and very helpful and totally appreciated,
The men didn’t come in for lunch till 3pm!
It was actually quite good cuz I was so busy I didn’t want them under my feet.
I never stopped until 4:30pm.
By then I was totally exhausted.
Dinner was delicious.
Corned beef and roast veges with cauliflower cheese.
Not really the normal combination but I had been expecting a roast of beef when I planned the vege menu with Azzan.
After dinner I had time to take 5 while Tim popped the children to bed.
So I sat and made my darling daughter a birthday card.
I also finished off another card I have been making for a friend who will know who she is soon when it arrives in the mail
And then with a big sigh of relief I literally fell into bed!
I know I spent time getting photos burned onto cds
For some crazy reason iPhotos is co-operating now and I am racing through them.
I am also finding heaps of rubbish photos to delete along the way.
Saturday began with some blue sky.
It was looking really lovely.
Ti & Adrian took off up the hill with Shanni.
They had work to do and she was releasing her excess roosters and a hen up near the top of the hill.
She cannot bear to kill them but is happy to release them up with the turkeys.
As soon as they got up there the heavens opened again and it pelted down so they all came home.
The guys then attacked the bin of pumpkins that were in serious need of dealing with.
So they cut them up and took out all the yucky parts and then I put them all through the pressure cooker and turned it all into puree for soup etc.
I decided to make pumpkin pie for dessert too.
Haven’t made it in years cuz Cat always makes it
So I had to call her up to find out her quantities!
After lunch the weather cleared so Tim decided to try again.
They disappeared off up the hill and never returned till after dark.
So for the rest of the arvo the girls played with the Lego.
Azzan played on his computer and I played on mine.
Later on we got outselves back out to the kitchen to get dinner ready.
Shanni got the pastry all ready in the pie dishes while I made the mixture.
The kitchen was a bit of a mess.
I was pureeing up large bowls of pumpkin, mixing up pie mix, making fish sauce for dinner and Shanni was cutting up veges for the stir fry.
Glen & Jeff came over for dinner and arrived early so he could play on his computer.
He is trying to get broadband sorted.
A bit of a challenge out here.
I was so so tired last night I was nodding in my chair by the fire while the guys were all talking.
I fell into bed.
Shanni had helped me change the sheets so we had lovely fresh flannelette sheets on.
Tim thought that was wonderful
But I am finding them just a bit too hot so I didn’t sleep all that well.
Woke up this morning feeling a bit yucky.
Sat and played on the computer for a while with the wheatbag on my neck while I woke up.
Finally decided around 10:30 that I should get a move along.
So had a very long, very hot shower.
It was just what the doctor ordered
Here is an update pic of my thigh.
Really impressively pretty now eh?
No wonder it has been jolly sore.
I reckon it looks like a nebula!
Graham came over so we finally had fellowship in the late morning.
We talked about a lot of things.
I have a new book by Andrew Strom called ‘Kundalini Warning’ which I read a chapter from and that led into an interesting discussion and much Bible searching.
Of course we had pumpkin soup for lunch.
The kids were totally unimpressed!
But as Tim told them they will just have to get used to it cuz there is a lot more coming
Anson & Nathan arrived home with a truck full of…
And more beans and capsicum.
The children were delighted – Not!
We haven’t done a lot this arvo.
I have been doing more catch ups on photos etc.
Also got very caught up today with watching news videos about the tragic flash flood in Arkansas.
Tim cooked up some steak for dinner to have with left overs.
We also enjoyed the 2nd pumpkin pie
And discussed all the different ways we could use pumpkins!
As normal Tim has been reading stories to the children and tucking them into bed.
It is the one part of the day that he and they love.
I just heard someone crying tonight so called out to see what was wrong.
Mahalia came in sobbing her heart out.
I couldn’t work out what the matter was a for a moment or two.
Then she managed to tell me that she was missing Grandma.
She just cried and cried.
Azzan came and told me that Daddy had been reading them a story about a little boy who had died and that had triggered off her memories.
We cuddled and talked a bit.
I gave her a wee notebook of Mum’s that I had saved.
It was nothing major.
Just a book she had used when doing a first aid course.
But when I showed Hali and explained that the writing in there was her Granny’s and the writing on the inside covers belonged to my Grandma so was very intrigued.
Her comment was that Granny must have practised lots to write that neatly.
So she now has a wee book of her Granny’s that she is going to use to write stories in of her memories of things she has done and shared with her Gran, and letters to Granny of the things she is doing now.
Azzan was on fire duties last week.
We had given him instruction on bringing in all the firewood and setting the fires.
We had also told him he was never to open or feed the fires without an adult there with him.
In the past week or so a house in Blenheim was burned to the ground when a 4 yr old boy lit matches and set a duvet on fire.
I had been using this story as an example when talking with the kids.
They also have been to fire safety and awareness days.
Azzan is frightened of burning himself while lighting a match so I have been teaching him how to do it correctly.
For some unknown reason Mahalia had put a whole Readers Digest magazine into the fire.
Azzan had argued with her that she shouldn’t put it in.
So he took it out of the fire and was about to carry it outside to get rid of it.
Thankfully Shanni intervened and put it back into the fire.
But in the meantime, during the wee wrangle the house had filled up with yucky smelling smoke.
Thankfully Tim arrived and took control of the situation and had a serious talk with Azzan about fires.
I spent most of the rest of the day trying to sort photos. I had over 10,000 photos on the computer and iPhotos was playing silly games.
I was having problems copying photos from my memory card onto iPhotos and then for some reason I couldn’t copy photos onto blank cds.
I bought a spindle of 100 blanks and have had a heap of them coming up as unusable.
When I addressed this issue with the guys in the shop they said that with the cheaper cds they expected to get a certain percentage of duds.
Well, this spindle certainly has a percentage of duds – but it is a very high percentage
My other problem had been that I had been loading photos directly from iPhotos onto Facebook since I had upgraded iPhotos and discovered this new way of doing it.
But for some reason when I deleted them off iPhotos they were deleting out of my Facebook albums.
So I also spent some time reloading the photos that had deleted back in to the albums manually.
This however confused a lot of my friends who thought they were all recent ones!!
It has all been very frustrating and time consuming.
Adrian from Tauranga arrived to wwoof here for a while.
He is a very pleasant fella and I think we will all get along well.
There was a bit of school work done and a lot of lego play by the girls.
Mahalia is good at disappearing into her room to clean it just when I want school work done!!
She is a real neat freak when she wants to be and takes hours getting things just right.
I know when it is her turn to do the washing – it is always folded so beautifully.
Wednesday morning I made about 20 litres of pumpkin soup.
Put most of it in the freezer.
We have been given a heap of short term pumpkins so Tim is cutting them up and I am pureeing as fast as I can.
What I can make into soup I do and the rest is just going intot he freezer as puree.
Tim has been working on the boat.
He has to get the shaft out for survey and is also getting the hull cleaned ready to piant.
Tim & I took the two little ones over to Waterfall Bay for a couple of hours at midday.
Jenny & David had just left in the morning.
We are very sad to see them go – their 8 months has flown by.
Glen is staying on to caretake for a while so that is good.
I left Nathan baking and Shanni making rice balls for Thursday’s lunch.
We are now taking our breakfast and lunches from home as it was costing so much to buy the food in town.
The children are being really good about it.
Each week we are varying sandwiches, toasties and rice balls/sushi plus some baking.
When we got back from Waterfall I was trying to get the kids to get themselves ready for the next day but they were all a bit crazy and hypo so I got rather stressed
I was so tired Wed night and was very glad to hit my pillow.
I woke up to jet black darkness at 3am.
The power was off.
I called Marlborough Lines to report the fault and found it was off way back to Rai.
Went back to bed.
Couldn’t sleep for ages.
Of course just got to sleep in time for the alarm to wake me at 4:45am!
I really cannot praise our Linesmen enough.
They are often out in the night and awful weather getting our power functioning again.
Thanks guys, we do appreciate you all heaps
Our Thursday in town went well.
It was cool when we left here but I got quite a shock when we approached Okiwi Bay and hit frost on the bridge.
It was white all the way through there and as we got closer to Nelson we heard on the news that ‘even’ Nelson had had a 4’C frost.
The temperature as we drove up Trafalgar St was 2’C.
I never took my coat off all day.
Chiropractor is pleased with Shanni’s progress so she can skip treatment next week.
Her speech teacher is also positive with how she is doing.
The three youngest did well at riding.
The sun had come out and they had a beautiful morning out there.
Nathan had a change of venue and teacher for his Kip McGrath.
I was very grateful to Chrissy for picking him up after piano and transporting him into the Nelson KM centre for me.
He was assessed by a NCEA teacher who will be working with him for the last 4 weeks of this term.
He was really chuffed to report that she felt he was up to Year 10/11 level and was very, very positive about his abilities and the way he has learned here at home etc.
She wants him to do a course over the next few months which will earn him 3 credits once he turns 15.
He is really positive and doing well.
The time and money involved with taking him to Kip McGrath is really paying off.
I am so pleased.
While they were all busy doing the above I had an hour spare to meet Ella and her newest addition, baby Jonas, for an early lunch at Ambrosia.
It was really lovely to chat.
It has been too many months since we caught up.
The afternoon was taken up with gymnastics and then ballet, jazz and music.
Nathan went climbing with Yari and Leeann.
I went to the chiropractor and was tied up for over an hour so Nuana went and watched Mahalia & Azzan dance and took them to Starbucks to wait for me afterwards.
The boys walked over and picked up Shanni and took her back so she could do some climbing too.
As soon as my John heard about my accident he immediately put me onto ACC.
The fall certainly has not helped my neck and shoulders – if anything it has worsened it.
The Spinal Pelvic Stabilizers had arrived so I now have them to trial for a few months to see if they will lessen my hip & knee pain.
I then went and had my massage therapy.
When Scott heard what I had done he sat me down and gave me a talking to about destressing.
My life and my body are majorly over stressed right now.
I am not denying it.
I do know I am.
There is a lot going on in my life at present, some of it not terribly pleasant.
I invested in a larger wheatbag and some more Magnesium.
I am also having problems with stress excema on my eyelids and sides of my mouth.
I had a few moments free in the morning so I popped to the health shop and have now got some Calendula Cream that also contains lavender, thyme and tea tree.
I have been using that several times a day and it is helping majorly.
I met Nuana & the kids at Starbucks around 4:45pm and enjoyed catching up with her.
We hadn’t seen each other for months.
It was lovely to hear things were going well and that she is off to Australia for a holiday with a friend.
We waited for Seb to arrive at 6pm as I had things for him and he had things for me.
It was absolutely freezing by this time.
So we said a hurried goodbye to everyone then zipped around to Fresh Choice where I quickly spent half of my grocery vouchers that I had won.
It began to rain while I was there and as we drove it got heavier and heavier.
We went through torrential rain in several places.
But as we got closer to home it eased till there was nothing out here.
Shanni put the Celtic Thunder ‘Take Me Home‘ cd on and sang her heart out all the way home.
Her voice tones in really well with the tenors on the cd and the types of songs they sing.
I am really pleased with her singing progress.
She is developing a much stronger voice and is singing more definitely in tune now.
Plus she enjoys it and it makes listening more enjoyable for us
It was good to be in email contact with Cat and we chatted as the left.
I was reassured by her telling me that
‘I’m wearing my lifejacket an when on the fore deck we r cliped into the saftey lines!‘
They rounded Culdiff Point at 5am.
Once they got out there they were able to sail and motor as the wind was more favourable.
I crawled back into bed at 5:30am and when I woke around 9:30 I found messages saying
‘Just past Jacksons at 8:06am.’
then at 9:08am
‘Halfway across strait. Seas a bit rough but wind is barely 15knts’.
‘Motor an sails, the winds picked up now, we will b in Mana in 2hrs.
Jonnys been realy seasick!‘
Then at 2pm after they got to Mana
‘All showred an fed so off for a sleep as didn’t get any on the way over, we took 2 big waves over the stern so got rather wet! That’s how Jon hit his nose, he went flying across the cockpit an hit the cabin hatch!‘
Even though I don’t worry greatly about Cat out on the briney because I am confident in her confidence I am always very glad to hear she has arrived safey back on terra firma
The remainder of Monday morning was spent with the other children.
There was lots of busyiness as they were packing up to return to their respective homes.
Anson also headed out as the rain had stopped long enough for some sheep to dry out.
Marianne & John followed everyone up the drive with great trepidation.
They only had 2WD and the road had been rather greasy with all the rain.
Tim went up with them and said they had no trouble at all.
The house was very quiet after the mass exodus.
Just Tim & me and the four young’uns.
We sat and watched a silly kids movie ‘Flyin’ Bryan’ and just chilled out.
I was still feeling very sore.
This is what my thigh looked like on Sunday morning.
It is very very painful to touch.
My elbows are still sore but the worst thing is that I forget they are and then I go and lean on them and get an instant pain reflex!!
There are more bruises showing up in strange places every day and different aches and strains appearing.
I really did hammer myself good this time.
Meanwhile back at the ranch I was trying to motivate myself and the kids to get our gear unpacked from our Thursday town trip and to get the place tidied up.
But as we were all quite tired it was rather a futile exercise.
We just did what we could.
I discovered that Cat had left Mana at 5am so was semi waiting to hear from her.
She, in Alibi and John in Tama Tara came appeared around West Entry mid afternoon.
They had a flat calm trip over so not a lot of sailing.
But they had gone fishing and brought some lovely big fresh cod in for dinner.
It was actually good on Friday cuz everyone arrived in stages throughout the afternoon.
Gave us time to catch up and talk a bit.
Cat & John arrived first at 4pm.
Then Tim arrived early evening with his truck and trailer loaded to the gunwales.
Seb & Leeann came in from Nelson and followed down the hill right behind him.
Bri, Nick & Phoebe didn’t arrive up from Christchurch until 1:30am.
So we didn’t wait up for them!!
I had cooked a roast of beef in the slow cooker but it came 2nd place at dinner to the fresh blue cod that Cat cooked up.
Saturday morning the house was busy.
Tim was off outside doing things.
I had begun to make soup.
Mid morning I was talking to Jenny next door on the phone.
They had a fishing party in over the weekend plus they were preparing to move on a few days later so we had a few things to discuss.
I was walking across the living room whilst talking and somehow, still not entirely sure how it all happened, but I hit my head on the tree.
It has only been holding up the beam in the ceiling in the middle of our living room for the last 30 years!
But I walked into it and hit my head hard on the high branch.
It stunned me, and from the impact I spun about.
Lost my footing totally and just kept whirling around.
It was a weird sensation.
Just couldn’t regain my balance.
I must have hit a few things along the way and then landed with a thud against the ranch slider.
I was completely stunned and shocked.
Cat picked up the phone and told Jenny I would call back later!!
Something had hit my thigh & the muscle was in spasm and my elbows had taken a hammering so it was very difficult to get up.
I was also crying from the pain and shock.
Leeann & Shanni helped me up and over to the sofa.
I then sat with ice packs on all the places I could feel then.
That really put paid to my busy day I had planned.
I sat for several hours and recovered.
Cat, Leeann and the others all hopped onto Alibi and took her up to Waterfall Bay to leave on the mooring there. While they were away I regained myself a tad and supervised Shanni with the rest of the soup making.
My right arm was so sore I couldn’t lift or cut anything.
Shanni was wonderful and just did it all.
After lunch Tim and the guys unloaded the truck and trailer.
We played around witht he furniture and finally got it, well most of it, into place where I am happy with it.
Tim was stirring me up bigtime – he is a shocking tease – but not really a good day for that
He didn’t want Mum’s lounge suite as he reckoned we had enough seats.
But I have got it home and it fits in here beautifully and we now actually have a nice comfortable lounge area. I am really pleased with it.
Once I get all the other stuff sorted then the random chairs will all find homes.
My friend Marianne arrived from Nelson mid arvo with her family to stay in The Cottage.
It was nice to finally meet her John.
Their 2 kids and mine got right into socialising!
After dinner Cat, Bri & Seb got all the boxes of kitchen gear we had brought back from Mum’s place and sorted through it. They have taken what they can use now and Bri has boxed up what she wants for the future. It is nice to know that a lot of Mum’s things are going to her grandchildren and not passed on to strangers – even though it is mainly kitchen things. Once Anson has gone through the rest I will then pass on what is left.
The weather on Saturday was really good but Sunday turned very wet and yucky.
We spent an hour or two having fellowship and then food.
We had a very chilled out day.
I slept for a couple of hours in the late afternoon as I was very tired.
Anson was rained out from work so he headed back home to catch up with his siblings.
We ended up with 8 of our darlings home for the weekend.
It was lovely.
The younger children really enjoy it when their big siblings come home.
They all interact in different ways and it is fun to watch.
Cat & John got packed up to head back to Wellington early the next morning to try and beat the weather change. There was a nasty forecast.
That night we had lightning, thunder and torrential rain.
Monday morning I dragged all the school stuff out to the living room and we spent the morning in the realms of academia.
It all went reasonably well.
A few minor dramas but we coped.
The children all got on with their chores.
Am having to help Azzan with the washing.
But it is okay.
I get him to collect it all up and then I put it through the machine and dryer and get him to fold and put away.
He is doing fine.
Mahalia made lasagne for dinner.
She is doing okay too.
I am having to keep her to task though as it is too easy to get side tracked on things of lesser importance.
Tuesday was a freezing cold yucky day.
We sat round the kitchen table and did more school work.
Tim went out to do mussel work early as he was wanting to put the boat up on the trailer when the tide was right around midday.
I made a nice pot of pumpkin soup to warm him up at lunch time
Hali was lagging a bit with dinner so I made dessert.
Chocolate Fudge Self Saucing pudding.
It turned out the best I have ever made.
Just the best thing on a cold night.
I discovered Tim had slashed his wrist while out mussel working.
His story was that Glen was giving him such a hard time he decided he had had enough!!!
He wouldn’t let me near it.
Was the big tough guy and reckoned it was okay.
Nathan referred to his father as an emo
I had to wait until after his shower and when he was in bed I tackled him with steri strips and bandages!!
Not too sure what we did.
But I do know I had to get stroppy with Tim over his wrist wound.
It was not looking good.
He had been working on the boat all day and the bandage had slipped off and the wound had opened up and his arm was rather red looking.
As well as that he had a finger which he had crushed several days before.
It was not looking very happy either.
I gave him a good telling off and proceeded to get some very hot water and Epsom salts for him to soak his hand in.
He was complaining because the water was too hot.
To which Nathan commented
‘just put it in Dad – pain helps you find your inner self‘.
I then redressed it and before we left for town made sure I had another bandage on to protect it from all the dirty ‘man jobs’ he gets up to.
Thursday was our day in town.
I was pretty aprehensive about driving up our road as it had been so wet and Tim had been using the bulldozer.
So he drove me up to the top of the hill.
I must admit when we got there and I saw Nathan had driven the farm truck up in front of us I did feel a bit of a chicken
It was as busy as usual except this time Shanni’s speech teacher picked her up from the chiropractor so I didn’t have to race back.
So I got a few leisurely moments to sit in the back room while she was having her lesson.
It was a good day for riding so they all enjoyed that.
I managed to have an hour to myself while they were riding and ended up in Farmers.
They had a sale on.
I tried a few tops on and ended up with a really nice one at half price.
It was not what I would’ve chosen but the shop attendants were very helpful & suggestive which was lovely.
Gymnastics went well.
It was nice to sit and chat with a few other mothers.
Some hilarious conversations about tummy muscles or lack of etc.
Victoria took my tow to dancing.
I dropped Shanni at music and then went off to do a bit of shopping.
Leeann met Nathan at the climbing wall.
Chrissy & her 3 boys also stayed to climb.
I picked up Shanni and took her there so she could climb for an hour or two.
I picked up the other 2 and went to my chiropractor and massage therapy appointments.
The little ones were great.
They just read and rested in the waiting room. I didn’t get finished till nearly 6:30pm.
Zipped around and collected Shanni & Nathan and said thanks and goodbye to Leeann.
We grabbed a pizza and took off home.