Friday, 19 May 2017

Week 3 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

This post is short.  I've spent a good portion of the week sorting through paperwork for whaiāipo. There isn't much to write about for kura really.


Two of my brothers arrived this afternoon to store gear in our shed. We only had a brief catch-up as they had to return the rental vehicle to Tamakimakarau.  Still, we had a good laugh while they were here.  I finally met my younger brother's girlfriend.  I certainly hope their plans for next year come to fruition. :)


Mother's Day.

These were made by tamāhine 1, with a wee help from tama 5. :)

Tama 1 also had his fifth flying lesson.

Rugged-looking recording, I know, but that's our son, flying!!!!!♥♥♥♥

My jog today was a waste of time.  I ended up eating what I ran off.


Horse riding.

The kids spent their riding time playing different games.  Here they are receiving instructions before they played their first game.  Tama 1 and tama 2 rode bareback today.

We really need to get them riding boots.  Although their sneakers weren't particularly wet, they were damp enough to remind me we had better find boots very soon.

{Quick Update:  Went shopping and we managed to buy three pairs of boots.  The others need to be ordered.}

Next week the school moves a few kilometres away for the winter period.


We had band practice tonight.

Thought I'd throw this in for a bit of fun.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.


Our school bus went in for a warrant today.  Lo and behold, it actually made it through!

Quite a surprise to me, but yes, I'm relieved.  

Hopefully, by the time the next warrant is due, we'll have a different waka.

Tama 1 led the TKD class again tonight.

We've received a few updates from their instructor while he's in Vietnam.  He's enjoying himself and learning heaps to improve the art.  Look forward to seeing what he comes home to introduce into the Tao Do school.

This is for my whānau who follow the blog, especially my brothers.  We all remember George Wilder in our youth.  It was on this day (17 May 1962) that George Wilder escaped from prison.

Remember this one, boys?!!!!


Caught up with a friend of mine mid-afternoon.  It was great to catch up.

 Another friend of ours came around and fixed a sliding door window in the shed.


Tama 4 completed MUS Primer.  Need to order Alpha now. {Done}

I had tama 2 muck around with the little car today.  He's got it going again.  With luck whaiāipo will book the car for a check-up in the next few weeks.  We just need to get the VW Crafter back first. The mechanic said the part he was waiting for arrived at 4.30 this afternoon.  With luck, we have it back early next week?  The sooner we get it back, the sooner we can sell the Crafter and the school bus. Then we can buy a later model waka for the whānau.  Whaiāipo wants to keep waka iti as a run-about.  (You know, for all those trips I take into town by myself to catch up with friends over a mocha latte at Starbucks!!!!! HA HA HA HA.  Yeah, right!  What lifetime was that then?  For that matter, have I even had a mocha latte?  Probably not.)

Before I go.  I entered the following.  If it interests you, then click on this link

Just figured it was worth a try.  

You never know your luck.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite anō

Friday, 12 May 2017

Weeks 1 & 2 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I'm combining the first two weeks of Term 2 into one post, because in all honesty, there's nothing too exciting to report school-wise.

We did return to horse riding (yay!!!)

One of our instructors had to make the dreaded decision to stop teaching for a while.  She was finding it hard to keep up with her studies.  We will miss her.  I really enjoyed Dee.  It was sad to have to say goodbye after the first week.  But, we have another lady who has stepped in and I think she is going to be an awesome asset.  Watching her with the kids on week 2, I was suitably impressed.

The wind was very strong both weeks.  I had to buy tamāhine 2 a warmer jacket after the first week. She needs more layers than anyone else.

With the wind being so strong we had to huddle by the truck to eat my baking.  (I take baking each week, as well as apples for the horses).  Talk about hilarious!!!

The kids also returned to band practice.

The first week I decided to take a couple of cakes - no particular reason, just that it was the first week back of term.  

The kids are pleased to return, as am I.

I am also getting better at putting names to faces.  Naturally, I don't know everyone because it's only the learners on Tuesday nights.

Towards the close of weeks 1 and week 2, we had a mini-concert.  The pipers and drummers donned their instruments and played three or four tunes.


We will have to be like everyone else and buy some ear plugs now!!!  Being in an enclosed space, even with only a handful of instruments it is very loud.  BUT.  Enjoyable.

The boys received their very own drumsticks this week (we purchased them via the head tutor).

I managed to sneak this photo.  Tama 1 really doesn't like to be photographed, so I had to be quick in taking this one, lol.

Our school bus is getting really old.  I doubt it will pass its next warrant.  Tama 1 and tama 2 helped whaiāipo on Sunday to try and fix this lock.  What a total pain.  A few other things still need repairing but considering this was the first day off for whaiāipo in at least six weeks (yes, that includes Easter!!!) I am grateful for one job being taken care of at least.

We can't really afford to replace the waka, but we are definitely keeping an eye out for another vehicle.

Unfortunately, the school bus is not the only vehicle requiring work.  This has meant whaiāipo and I have had to use the teenagers' savings for their horse riding camp at the end of term 2, towards the mechanic bills etc. Luckily their instructor, being so down-to-earth, already suggested we pay it off each week.  So, that's what we're doing.  We pay for the weekly lesson, as well as a part-payment for camp.  That way, by the time the term finishes, we have paid for their camp. Thankfully, too, she already booked the three kids for the camp, so there's no chance they'll miss out this time.

I am truly grateful.

Truly.  I am.

Here's our little guy, tama 5, fixing his waka too.  Like father, like son.

He ties the hand trolley to the back of his tricycle and uses that as his trailer.  :)

I didn't get any photos of the three big kids digging the holes for the soak rings.  They got so muddy.

Even with the fine spell we have enjoyeded recently, the water table is STILL too high. The poor kids ended looking like their father aftet his typical work-day.

They managed to get two soak holes dug, which means two soak rings and a lid per hole.

Today, Friday the 12th it is pouring again.  Cyclone Donna is throwing some nasty stuff across the country for the next few days.

Here are the soak rings we still need to dig into the ground. Whaiāipo said we will have to try Plan B: enlist a digger to trench right across the property to fix the issue. Terrific! More money we need to appear out of thin air.


Tama 1 has officially completed MUS Geometry. He will now commence Algebra 2.
Tamāhine 1 completed the test for Algebra 26.
Tama 2 has completed Pre-Algebra 22E.
Tama 3 completed Delta 20F
Tama 4 completed Primer Lesson 28F
Tamāhine 2 continues with IXL.

We used our Melissa and Doug clock to assist tama 4 in telling the time.


The older kids take a break for Term 2.  They have completed Chemistry, Biology (tama 1), General Science and Science in the Ancient World (tamāhine 1 and tama 2).


Tamāhine has read:

I've finished reading:

Tamāhine 1 and I have also read

♥  Special acknowledgement to my friend "A" for passing this on.  ♥

I picked up a number of books to read next ... which ended up piling up into a mess in my room!!!  So, I've decided to concentrate on only reading:

I feel the urge to read Jane Austen again.  It's been a number of years, but yeah, that's what I've chosen to read for myself.

I am hoping to start reading the following as our read aloud:


The kids instructor is in Vietnam for the next three weeks.  That means tama 1 is taking the classes until he returns.  He's no stranger to running the class, but now that he is First Dan, I'm quite excited knowing our son is such a strong leader.

Tama 4 has been showing an interest to start for some time now.  Unlike his older siblings though, he is quite the chatterbox.  I would prefer he mastered the art of quiet before I let him join.  If he were being taught by others, not including his siblings, it would probably be fine, but because he has three siblings he is most likely to communicate too much.  (By the bye, tama 3 has no desire to follow his older siblings.) I will not prevent tama 4 from participating, it is just a case of maturity.  I know tama 2 was only six when he joined, but he wasn't the chatterbox like tama 4 is.

We shall see.

Each year, as we head into winter, I tend to have the older kids concentrate on their passions.  Move away from academics a little bit.
  • Right at this point in time, tama 1 is wanting to finish off his Latin.  After that, he will focus on flying theory.  He will possibly continue to teach himself te reo māori.
  • Tamāhine 1 will return to some art.  It's been such a long time since she's done anything artsy-craftsy.  I'd like her to get back into Meet the Masters too.
  • Tama 2 (well, this isn't anything different to his norm) will concentrate on his guitar.  I'm hoping he will continue his music theory.
  • Whether anyone wishes to continue with a second language during winter, is up to them. I'll certainly be encouraging it ... but up to them.
  • The teens will do more business mahi for their father.

Okay, I've run out of steam.  I've probably left something out.  Hei aha.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite anō

Saturday, 22 April 2017

Term 1 Holidays - Week 1

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

FINALLY, we collected our chooks and ducks about this time last Saturday. The weather over the past fortnight prevented us from heading north to our friends in Te Aroha. Wow! The flooding up there is just incredible. The river is a lake. They have a go-cart track which is completely submerged in water. As we drove into the township, the water was just metres from houses etc. Absolutely mind-blowing.

The journey home with the birds was quite unadventurous. Just the odd sound from one bird or other, but otherwise, an easy transition.

The kids built a coop. It's practically finished.  At least the birds can use it.

We also made a run for Marmite.  I just need to clear the last of the pumpkins from his area.  The space he uses is where the forts and swings are.  The kids will continue to use the forts, but as for the swings, they will be removed and possibly relocated.

They have more area along the southern side of the shed but we needed to close off some of the northern side to keep Marmite from pestering them too much.  We will extend behind their coop in due course (looking west - or right of the above photo), but at the moment they have plenty of room to explore.

We're taking a semi-school holiday for the fortnight - the younger kids more than the older three. Although the older kids are relaxing more, they also continue to keep up with a few academic subjects of their choice.  That being the case, I'll be leaving it there for this week's post.  Unless you wanted to know that myself and four of the kids didn't get home on Tuesday as early as we should have done following our supermarket shopping ...

On the good side, it wasn't raining.

And, we had just finished the grocery shopping so that meant the kids had food to eat while I took care the tyre! :)

That's probably the two most exciting things I can think of to share from this week's holidays. Everything else was the usual mundane stuff.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Week 11 - End of Term 1 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!


Tama 1 had his fourth flying lesson.  He's clocked up two hours now.


Horse Riding

The kids were split into two paddocks today.  That allowed the bigger kids to practice everything they've learned with a little more space.  

The weather is meant to rain again, so I finished off the weeding in the top gardens.  I didn't go outside onto the road area, though.  Not keen on being out on the State Highway with the amount of traffic zooming along at 100 kmph + eh!

Fred Dagg Died

He was 68. Showing my age.  He was a top bloke.  What kiwi didn't love his style of humour, especially this iconic song...

  • Everyone worked on daily maths.
  • Tama 2 did a page from Start Right Year 7 Logic, Reasoning and Problem Solving.  He came up with a couple of answers that were different to the answers in the book, but I gave them to him because he was absolutely correct.  How satisfying to see he is giving it proper thought.
  • Tama 1 is creeping closer to end of his Latin book.  How exciting.
  • Tamāhine 1 and tama 2 work on Duolingo at least two times per week.
  • Tamāhine 1 and tama 2 work well together using their textbook.  They will take turns to read sections and then come together to do questions.
  • Tama 1 reads a lot of his science while he practices tapping on his drum pad.


We had band practice tonight.  Although we had rain today, it cleared when we had to walk to and from the van.  

Nice!  I appreciated that.

This week we started picking up one of the members as she lives on the way into town, so it's only appropriate we give her a lift.  She is one of the drumming tutors.

Although tama 1 and tamāhine 1 went together on the first week, it was only tama 1 who started an instrument.  So that means this was tama 1's fourth week and tamāhine 1's third lesson. Tonight also marked tama 3's first lesson. (I took him last week but there was only one drum tutor.)

It's school holidays next week, so there's no band practice.  I didn't want to wait three weeks before taking tama 3.  He really wanted to go, so I made sure we went.  I'll just have to make sure he keeps up his practice.

Apparently, the senior drumming tutor is impressed with tama 1.  I recall after the first lesson, he made the comment to me that tama 1 did "really well ... really well."  I accepted that as he did okay. Others around me said, if he says that, then tama 1 must have made quite an impression.  The senior drumming tutor doesn't give out compliments like that for just trying.

Tama 1 had his lesson as soon as we walked in the door pretty much, and then he continued to practice while he waited for us to leave.

Tamāhine 1 has made progress.  Her tutor tonight gave a few pointers, but he did say that overall she's coming along very nicely.  She's also ready to move on to another practice sheet.

  • Long division proving difficult for tama 3.  He might do three correct in a row and then muck up the next two.  I usually write the incorrect work on the blackboard in order to watch him. The kids have always managed to work better when they use the blackboard.  I must remember to look on IXL to find some exercises for him.


Made sure I ordered a drumming pad for tama 3.

Also ordered more reeds for tamāhine 1's saxophone. Like a dodo I left it till there's a long weekend approaching eh?!  No worries.  There's always her chanter to practice anyway.

Everybody was under the impression Cyclone Cook would hit us today.  But then the reports started to say it would be Thursday afternoon.

The big kids are doing some mahi for whaiāipo.  It should be enough to pay for their horse riding camp - unless we're too late to book in.

Because we had just a typical rainy day everybody entertained themselves either reading, working in the shed, playing with lego, or, in mum's case watching programmes I've recorded for rainy days.

Piece of trivia for you:  In the August 2016 NZPB magazine I borrowed, I read that in November 2015, a US astronaut played bagpipes on the International Space Station.

Tama 3 has been learning division with remainders this week.  It's been quite hard for him.  We won't move on to lesson 20 until we've practiced a little longer. 

Tama 1 Geometry 29A
Tamāhine 1 Algebra 26A
Tama 2 Pre-Algebra 21F

Tama 2 attempted to start looking at Music Theory before lunch.  I guess a little bit is okay.  Let's hope he picks up the pace on it.


Although a state of emergency was declared, I'll be rather pleased if the cyclone fizzles out.  At least people have taken action to be prepared.  They can complain all they like that it was "all for nothing," but what would they say if something devastating like Edgecumbe occurred again, eh?  Yeah, you can't satisfy everybody can you?

Tama 3 - We started some practice using IXL and he became upset quite easily.  We took a break after only four questions.  He's fine with double-digit being divided by a single digit but try a triple-digit and he goes haywire. 

Big kids worked on science. 

Tama 1 going over Latin vocabulary.  Tamāhine 1 her French with Duolingo.

As part of tama 1's flying lessons, he now has to attend theory practice every Thursday over the next three months.  Tonight was meant to be his first night.  I was so chicken to drive out in the approaching cylone (it was meant to hit land around 6pm), that I asked whaiāipo to come home in time to drive tama 1 to the session instead.  Well!!!  That turned out to be a waste of time.  They got down there and hello! it wasn't on. The trouble is, nobody made contact to let us know.  Hei aha. 

Whaiāipo was going to drop him off and head to a job while tama 1 did his study, but, because it was cancelled, whaiāipo was able to get to the job sooner, which in turn meant he came home at a reasonable hour.

Right, I will leave the post there for this week.  Being the long weekend, we aren't likely to do any kura.

It also marks the end of Term 1 (if one follows the school system in Aotearoa).  If you're taking a break for the holidays, enjoy and stay safe e hoa mā!

Whether the cyclone hits tonight, well, I just wonder.  It's just after 9.30 in the evening and I can't say the rain sounds any different to any other night of rain.  But who knows  Maybe it will strike later in the night.  My brothers are meant to be travelling from Tamakimakaurau tonight.  I pray they are safe if they do decide to head home in this weather.

I'm hoping like anything that whaiāipo doesn't receive any call-outs over Easter.  What are the chances, you think?  P-L-E-A-S-E let him have a long weekend for once!!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano