Friday before the wedding

I was up early as I was picking up Sunni from the airport at 8am.
I wanted the girls to rest up cuz I knew the weekend was going to be busy and tiring for them so had told them to sleep in.
Tim had stuff to deliver to the hall.
Sunni’s plane arrived a few minutes early so as soon as she text me I zipped around to the pick up area to get her.
It was so lovely to see her again.
Auckland is not too far away on the scale of things but it is far enough that we don’t get to visit terribly often.
We went down to Riccarton and had breakfast at Drexels.
They were huge breakfasts – we pretty much rolled out of the restaurant!!
It was really lovely to just sit and catch up with each other.
We don’t get enough of that sort of time.
We had a quick wander through the mall to check out some stuff I needed to get.
Then it was away to buy the fruit and veges needed for the wedding.
It was way after midday by the time we got back to the house.
I had called ahead and asked Tim to start preparing the pumpkin.
I found him & Robin in the kitchen hard at it!

Sunni helped me make a Tuscan Pumpkin Salad.
While it was all cooking I made up 2kgs of garlic butter.
The caterers were going to do it but I had the butter and it was at the right softness to do then.
Plus I had the use of Elizabeth’s kitchen whizz and parsley.
So it was just easier for me to make it.

We had to go back into town for the wedding rehearsal that night.
Bri wanted us to come in for an early dinner with them at 4:30pm.
But we were flat out trying to get the salad made so didn’t get to leave Rangiora until after 4:30pm.

Tim hadn’t been able to get the stuff out to the hall as cuz when he went out there was no-one around to let him in. He doesn’t use a cell phone so he just came back and socialised till I arrived.
So before we went into Chch we had to go back out to the hall to drop off all the stuff into the chiller.
It was all rather crazy and a bit stressful trying to fit everything in.
There was a lot of driving between Christchurch (the church being on one side of the city, the flat on the other) and Rangiora (where we were all staying) and the hall at West Eyreton where the reception was being held.

We managed to get to the flat just before 6pm.
Had time to eat a quick snack before heading across the city to the church.
While we were waiting for everyone to arrive I went to visit Tim’s forebears.
His great, great, great grandfather and great, great grandfather are buried in the church cemetery.
John Shand was the first of the family to arrive in NZ from England.

The wedding was being held at St Peter’s Anglican Church in Upper Riccarton.
It is a lovely stone church.
Very solid.
Very old English feel inside with its dark heavy wood and stone walls.
There was some earthquake damage but it got the ok from the engineers a few weeks back.

The band was there practising when we arrived.
They sounded great.
The acoustics were wonderful.
There was a lot of silliness happening during the practise.
Frustrating for the bride & groom, bemusing for the vicar, but a happy outlet for everyone before the big day

Tim walking Bri up the aisle.
Getting the timing right with the music.

Nick & Seb chilling while Bri & the vicar sort out the signing of the register.

The young ladies.

Shoshannah & Mahalia were staying the night at Bri’s flat.
All the bridesmaids were there having a girls night and also to be on site for their early start the next day.
They had to be up and going at 6am to give them all time to be dressed and beautiful and get to the church by 11am.
We left the girls with Bri and headed back to Rangiora.

The previous days had been busy.
We were all tired.
Azzan had dinner with Robin & Elizabeth but Sunni had slept through because she was weary from her short night/early morning.
So we picked up Maccas for her on our way home.
Dropped off stuff for Jesika.
She was out at the hall helping Lizzie get the decorating finished.
After tucking Azzan & Sunni into bed (haven’t done that in a few years ) we decided that we needed more salad.
So Tim & I stayed up and cooked more pumpkin and doubled the amount.
I am glad we did as it all disappeared very quickly.
Everyone raved over it.
Thanks Mat for the recipe/idea and thanks Sunni for helping make it

A sociable sorta day

We enjoyed a slowish sort of morning.
It was nice not to be rushing out the door.
Just chilled and hung out with Elizabeth & Robin.
Then realised the morning had disappeared all too fast and it was 11am.
We whizzed off down the street to do a couple of jobs in town.
Mahalia tried on several pairs of swimming togs but nothing really suitable.

Midday we met up with Emma and her clan at the park.
Holly & Amber had packed a picnic big enough to feed them all plus my two.
Emma & I left them there to enjoy the day and we buzzed off to spend some time together.

I had been trying to find the Rangiora Bakery bit had had no joy.
Then realised that it had been rebuilt and was now a fabulous modern cafe as well.
It is called Artisan and is such a cool place.
We decided to eat there.
It was worth going just to experience the curly chips!!

We both had chicken & apricot filo and salad.
And did I mention the curly chips?

We spent a lovely couple of hours chatting over our lunch.
Then decided we should go rescue Holly & Amber.
Found the troops having a great time.

Mahalia & Celia – 2 pretty 10yr olds.

We had to say goodbye and go our separate ways.
I took my two and went to visit Jesika, forgot she was in town with Bri.
So we chatted with Willie for a while and then took her with us around the corner to meet all the ladies.
They were having a dress trying on session.
The bridesmaids looked great – the dresses were made by Gracie and are being embellished by Christine and she is doing a lovely job.
Had a sneak preview of Bri’s dress.
Looks loverly – say no more at this point

Bri wanted Mahalia & Azzan to stay with her for a while so I dropped Jesika back at the Whitemans and then went back tot he bakery to order the bread for the wedding before stopping for a refreshment stop at Elizabeth’s.
I only had a 15min stop before having to head off again.
This time it was to meet Bri & Nick at the hall for a meeting with the catering/helping crew.

Stopped at Oxford Rd on the way back and was chatting with Nicky when I got word to say Tim had finally arrived.
Nicky was able to come and take all the meet from him and put it in their freezer.
Nick also called past with the truck to take all the furniture Tim had bought down for them.
So all was good.
Finally hit the pillow around 11pm

Shopping for the wedding and Bri’s Hen’s night

The children and I drove into Christchurch and picked up Bri.
We had lots of food shopping to do for the wedding.
We spent several hours in Countdown & Pak’n’Save.
Then drove out to Riccarton.
Bri got some stuff at Pak’n’Save there while the kids and I got some smoothies and a frappacino.
It was quite hot and we were flagging so needed nourishment.
Azzan was too tired by this point so his legs refused to work!!
Bri jollied him along with piggy backs, and cell phone games.
We went out to Church Corner and got fruit and veges.
Then it was time to drop Bri back home.
She sorted out all the groceries and we took off.
Stopped in Papanui to get my necklace fixed and then zipped into Countdown at Northlands to pick up a couple more things for Jesika.
I let the kids get some Chinese takeaways for a late lunch as they were getting pretty hungry by now.
I found some cool clothes in Merric
Our day was disappearing very quickly so I headed back to Rangiora.
Remembered I hadn’t gotten a gift for the hen’s party so zipped into The Warehouse.
Dropped Jesika’s stuff off and got back to Elizabeth & Robin’s in time to shower and cool down.
I left Azzan with Nanny Gold.
Nicola picked up Jesika then me and Mahalia.
She took us into Sumner where we were meeting up with all the ladies for Bri’s Hens night.

We were greeted by Bri wearing her gorgeous get up that Damaris had made for her.
Bride to be

Doesn’t she looks lovely

We had a most enjoyable evening.
We all had pink head sashes and heat badges to wear.
The badges all were names Miss_______
I was Miss Terry
Mahalis was Miss Rable
There were also Miss Cellaneous, Miss Lead, Miss Deed, Miss Trust etc
Some declined to get totally in the mood!

Lizzie had a list of questions for Bri.
She had already asked Nick the same questions.
If Bri’s answer was different to Nick’s then Bri had to eat a lump of yucky chewing gum.

Bri took the questioning very seriously.
Maybe the gum was really yucky

Sisters in shoes!

Skip came to join the party later and had to beg for left overs.

Then it was pressie time.

Mahalia’s gift.
Now, what is this for??

I know – a hat
Bri displaying her Viking heritage.

A wedding pressie from Catherine & Dougal.
Oh cool! Bubble wrap!!
Even better than the pressie

Oooh! Super cool.
A Barbie Mate!

Modeling the beautiful plates from Willie and family

We all went our separate ways at 10pm.
Nicky, Mahalia, Jesika & I headed back to our respective beds and the other girls went off to find some more fun.

A very very hot days drive south

I was up early on Tuesday as I had planned on leaving at 7am.
However by the time I had showered and typed up a couple of references, etc and finished packing up the Terrano, it was 8am as I finished my fast food breaky – a delicious berry, pineapple & banana smoothie – and headed out the door.
Stopped to get Graham to sign some papers and then had a fairly leisurely drive to town.
It was nice not to have a deadline to be anywhere, so we just cruised.
The kids were overjoyed to stop at Rai for a pie & sausage rolls
I was starving so even I succumbed to a Chicken Pie!

Brief stop in Havelock and then to Blenheim to do some wedding shopping, sort out Australian money for Mahalia at the bank, fit a wiggly squiggly exhaust pipe in the back for Tim, and take library books back. It was way to hard for Azzan to take books back and not get any more out so I gave him a 10 book limit. When I checked the books out I suggested that he needed to brush up on his maths – there were way more than 10!
But they have kept him busy reading ever since.
He has discovered Aussie Nibbles, Aussie Bites and Kiwi Bites books and is literally eating them.
He just loves them and spend hours curled up reading.
It is super cool to see the reading bug attacking him

It was incredibly hot.
We were all drooping by the time we left Blenheim at 11:30ish.
We stopped at Seddon to buy some cold water and post mail.

We drove on to Kekerengu and stopped for a late lunch.
Azzan & I shared a bowl of Nachos and Mahalia wolfed down a Mediterranean panini.

Within seconds of some other customers leaving their table the seagulls were swooping.
It was all rather dramatic as they fought over the leftovers.

The wee sparrows were much quieter as they waited patiently for crumbs to drop.

The view from our table.

There were some wonderfully large ornamental thistles in the garden.
Azzan was pontificating that they were that large because they were meant to be because that is how they were designed to be

We drove on down  the coast and I stopped at Oaro to give the kids a leg stretch.
It was too lovely a day not to have some beach play time.
The tide was way out so Azzan was able to explore the rock pools and seaweeds.
I went rock hopping with him.

But the rocks were sharp on my barefeet and I couldn’t keep up with him.
He was rubbishing me from a distance for having tender feet!

The tide was swirling through the rocks.
The bull kelp was fascinating to a small boy.

He found a squeezy ball like thing in the kelp which was extremely fascinating to him for ages.

The wide expanse of sloping beach was perfect for cartwheels.

The day was disappearing so we had to get back on the road again.
The children were either reading or watching dvd’s most of the way so were quietly resting.
It was way too hot to be bothered doing anything else.

We got to Rangiora around 7pm.
Stopped off to get a few groceries and then called into see Jesika.
She had flown in from Melbourne that arvo & was staying with Erica & Adrian.
The kids were overjoyed to see her.
They had lots of hugs and kisses and then we headed across town to Robin & Elizabeth’s.
Had dinner with them.
Got the kids to bed and then I went back to see Jesika for an hour.
She was busy making wedding cakes.
The kitchen smelled wonderful.

Farewell to the Cousins

Shanni was up at 6am today.
She and Beth just had to play one last game of Monopoly Deal.
I discovered this arvo that she and Emma had been playing it until 11pm last night – so that explains why she has been off the planet today

It was still raining so David backed his truck down to the back door to load up.
He, Sasha, Beth & Emma headed off to Nelson just after 7:30am.
The girls were catching the 11:30am flight back to Auckland and David had work at midday.
It has been a fun few weeks getting to know the cousins.
The girls have really enjoyed each other

After they left we all sorta just crashed.
It was the first time in months that we had no-one extra in the house.
Azzan was watching ‘How to Tame a Dragon’ so we all zoned out in front of that.
Then I tried to get a few things done but no-one was very co-operative.
We are all so tired I guess.

Mahalia & Azzan wanted to go swimming.
So they took off down there.
Then the sun came out and the day became absolutely glorious.
Shanni joined them a bit later when she saw how much fun they were having.
The king tides are really big at the moment.

One of our wekas was checking out things in the garden.
They are quite okay in the garden – sometimes!
But once they begin coming in the house it is out and out war!!

I got Nathan to start doing a filter clean on the spa before we empty it.
We hadn’t used this product before so it was an all new experiment.
It was really funny.
It began foaming, and foaming, and foaming.
Nathan was like ‘Mum? Is this sposed to be happening?

It really was very inviting for the kids to play in.
But I was rather cautious about it as it was chemically induced so they sadly left it alone.

I headed off to have a sleep for an hour or two cuz I still had the headache.
I had a good rest and woke up minus the headache.
Tik & Glen were here when I got up so Tim & Nathan hadn’t gone and got the stuff from Waterfall.
Nathan was quite keen that Tim should begin loading the trailer now so it wasn’t all left to the last minute on Wednesday.
The plan is that I leave tomorrow morning with Mahalia & Azzan.
Then Tim will follow Thurs with the Nathan & Shanni.
We have friends coming in to babysit the animals.

I have the Terrano packed up.
Just gotta go pack my own bags now and then I can head off to bed.
Long day tomorrow.
Long drive on my own but we will break it and take it easy.

A southerly Sunday

I was woken by an earthquake at 4:25am.
It was a 4.4 and centred about 50kms south east of us.
Went back to sleep and woke up a few hours later feeling absolutely rubbish.
I got up and found some Paracetamol and lay in the spa.
Nearly went back to sleep in there.
My head was aching and I all of a sudden thought I was going to throw up.
I hopped back into bed and went back to sleep.
Was woken by the phone and was quite shocked to see I had slept though till 10:30am.

Our visitors were definitely coming and would be arriving in an hour so I staggered out to the kitchen and tried to feel alive.
It was pretty darned hard

Azzan came to see me.
He had found another way to have fun with the magnets from his Jishaku game!

It really was lovely to see Harold & Jana when they arrived.
We haven’t seen them in far too long – it may even be several years.
Graham arrived down too so we all enjoyed fellowship together.

It was a really scuddy day and getting worse by the hour.
Tim lit the sitting room fire it was getting so cold.

Despite the weather the kids wanted to go swimming.
The southerly was pounding in on the beach and the water was pretty murky and the tide was low.
All the better for an exciting swim I guess!

I spent a lovely time with Jana until it was time for them to leave around 5pm.
I was very glad I had made a casserole yesterday.
Tim heated it up and cooked some rice so dinner was easy.

David & Sasha took their boat out and went for a dive across the bay.
They joined the kids in the spa after their swim.

Tonight is the last night Beth & Emma are here these holidays.
The kids are trying to prolong their time together as much as possible.
Tim got called away to the phone just as he was about to read stories so they were all very happy to find things to do.

Mahalia & Beth were trying to brain their way through a Clue Finders game on the computer.
It foiled me so I reckoned they did well to suss it out.

Beth, Azzan & Shanni played a new game.
Monopoly Deal.
The Davidson kids introduced it to them and then gave them a game when they left.
They love it.

Beth has taught Shanni how to weave friendship bracelets so that is all the go here now.
She managed to squirrel some of my embroidery threads from my stash.
Sasha taught her how to make a different type today.
She also has been weaving in little beads to make them a bit more interesting.

It is pouring with rain tonight.
The southerly is really pounding in now.
The wind is blowing rain against the windows.
So much for my clean windows
It is a bleak, cold, miserable night.
I am very glad to be inside.

I am feeling a bit better tonight.
Not so sick but still very lethargic and headachey.
Am wondering if it is the same thing Nathan brought back from camp.

Saturday at our house

It was all very quiet in our house on Saturday morning.
The late night resulted in everyone sleeping in.
Except Tim & I – as usual!

I had spa and then watched the rest of the movie I had missed the night before.

I tried to keep Tinga quiet – his squawks are heard for miles and I didn’t want him waking Shanni.
We gave him some corn.
He loved it.
It was really funny watching him head down going for it.
Then he would worry his beak on the wires of his cage trying to wipe off the sticky bits!

After breakfast Raphael & Emilie sad their goodbyes and headed to Nelson.
Azzan didn’t want to let Emilie go so she was going to take him with her

The tide is really high at present.
The kids talked David into going swimming with them.

Shanni found my previous swimsuit in the going out bag and claimed it.
I must say it never looked as good on me as it does on her

Not so far to jump today!

But it’s still loads of fun cuz the waves are chopping up  and making the swimming more interesting.

Emma had a struggle getting back up.
Everytime she nearly hoisted herself up a wave would drag her back down again!!

Butterfly Dave!

Sasha commented that if she had realised that a spa was in the offing she might have joined the swimmers.

Instead she and Beth cooked up a storm.
They made dozens of Chocolate Chick Cookies.

I made a cucumber pickle.
I combined two recipes and used the veges I had on hand.
It turned out really yummy.

I spent most of the afternoon working on my gst.
I got it pretty much finished except for some final cash journalling.
It ended up reducing me to tears.
Tim came in to get me for dinner and I was sobbing in frustration.
I was following exactly what the accountants had done the previous months but it just wasn’t working and I could figure out why
So I shut the computer off and put away the books and had dinner and went to bed.

Busy Friday

We had a very active day on Friday.
I wrote a long list of everything that needed to be done and then delegated jobs until the list was pretty much done.
The children all worked very well.

We got washing done, floors vacuumed and swept, beds made, windows washed, bags packed, wedding stuff sorted etc etc etc.

Tim & Raphael went up the hill to grub out weeds.
Tim has been getting a bit anxious about the weeding timeframe so decided he would make a start.
After lunch he had a sleep in anticipation of the evenings hunting.

David & Sasha arrived in time to join us for dinner.
Then afterwards Tim & David took Raphael, Shanni, Beth & Emma out possum hunting.
Tim wasn’t too positive about seeing any possums let alone getting any as it was a windy night but they came home with two and everyone had a shot.


Sasha and I talked till about 11:30.
Then I hopped into bed with a dvd and a hot wheat pack.
Tim came in sometime after 12.
I woke at 1am and realised I had missed quite a lot of the movie!
Silly to even think about watching it so late especially after I had taken a heap of Magnesium and REM Sleep.

My Birthday Concert – part 2

After the intermission
Mahalia & Madeline danced to ‘Sweet Dreams‘.

And then a surprise guest singer.
Ashley Bear singing ‘Don’t worry Baby

Oliver brought the house down with
Put another log on the fire.’

Oliver & Azzan dancing to a ‘6/8 March’.

The Good, The Bad & the Ugly.’

totally with attitude!

Madeline & Azzan dance to ‘Telephone

Azzan sang ‘Memory’ and ‘I dreamed a Dream’

He has an incredibly strong stage presence.
Louisa & Raphael were blown away by it.
Raphael works with kids and choreographs shows for them at an alternative school in France and he reckons none of them have the natural connection with the audience that Azzan has at such a young age without any direction.

Josie & Oliver sang a Pirate Poem with actions.

Azzan danced very expressively to ‘Fish out of Water

Jack sang a Santa song with Tracey’s help.

Oliver had us all in stitches with his acting to the Yodelling song by Crazy Frog.
He did the shuffle so well
Just too sure if it was appropriate to the song!!

Then they all danced to the finale ‘Chariots of Fire.’

Azzan went around everyone thanking them for coming with big hugs.

Raphael got the final line up during dessert.

Brilliant show.
Thanks kids.
You made my birthday extra special

My Birthday Concert part 1

The kids had been planning and practising for a concert for weeks.
Shanni spend ages getting things just right.
Making flyers and invitations.
Getting the choreography and order of the programme just so.
She does a brilliant job.
They had extra performers this time which was great.

Oliver and Azzan danced many routines – all self choreographed.
Oliver has been learning ballet, jazz, hip-hop and piano for several years now so is a great encouragement to Azzan.
The first was to ‘Now You’re Gone
Danced with incredible feeling and drama

Shanni reciting a poem.

Poker Face


Madeline playing ‘Broadway’

Shanni playing ‘Oom Pah Pah’

A very attentive audience

Oliver playing ‘Joshua fought the battle of Jericho’.

  And Azzan dancing once again with gay abandon!

Emma was the compere.

She beautifully interspersed the items with jokes.

Tim’s favourite went something like this..
‘Dad went to buy a Barbie doll for his daughter.
He was told that one this one is $20, and that one is $20 and that one over there is $200.
‘Why is that one $200?’ he asked.
To which the salesman replied,
‘That one is ‘Divorce Barbie and comes complete with Ken’s car, Ken’s house and Ken’s boat.’!

Roger couldn’t resist a poke 

Beth was the iceream saleslady.

Jack was very into the ice creams!

Tinga doing twirls on the juggling sticks.

and outside during intermission Beth gave a juggling demo.