Monday, 26 January 2009

A pictorial view of our Auckland Anniversary Weekend

Kia ora koutou!

Rotorua was bathed in sunshine for the provincial anniversary weekend and although our whānau had coughs and runny noses, we made the most of the beautiful weather.

Friends and village neighbours shared the fun with our family, and I've tried to capture as much as I possibly could with the digital camera.

This is by no means full coverage of the weekend, but I hope you'll sit back and enjoy the following pictorial glimpse with me ...


Friends came for the afternoon; we celebrated Donald's new job which is less than 10kms from our kāinga!
He will commence 9 February

PS Happy Birthday to Campbell who will turn six this coming Wednesday!

Bake cookies
Whaiāipo spent a good portion of the morning
carrying out maintenance on the children's push bikes

Remember the $4.00 bike we scored from the Recyling Centre?
Here's tama 2 taking it for a spin to make sure everything's AOK
once whaiāipo had finished with it.

Tama 3 was very keen to have a go too!

Kids were in their usual creative spirits ... even though they didn't feel 100%

Tamāhine 1 made a rocket ... the cone part was squished by her little sister though!
Hei aha

Tama 1 made this jetpack

Following is none other than the night sky
Tama 1 not only used the hole punch to make this,
but he then used the black dots to make dalmation dogs


! Joel and Chase return from working on their aunty's farm
in Taihape over the Christmas holidays
(It was a long month to be without them!)

It wasn't long before the boys got itchy to ride the bikes

Tama 1

Joel on Rob's XR200


Bake a cake ...

More friends to say hello to ..

this time they're old school pals of whaiāipo


We catch up with Marcus a few times a year,
but this is the first time I've met Gavin

I love living where we are.
We may be on the State Highway, but it comes
in handy for anyone passing by to simply
pop in as they go past

Later in the day ...

Take a ride with dad


Start mowing the lawns
Fix the tyre with the boys

And the brakes

Practise a little fractions

"Do you want to take a photo of my helmet, mum?"

Mow some more lawns
Enjoy an evening stroll

Take dad for a ride

And finally, tama 1 made this little booklet

(remember, just double click to get enlarge the picture)

So there you have it. A small window into our weekend.


what's really exciting is knowing whaiāipo has
only a four day working week this week and then has the month of February off !!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Sick Day

Unfortunately the bug tamāhine 2 caught from Ngataiaroha seems to be extending to the rest of the children.

Tamāhine 2 wasn't well from around 9.30am-10 o'clock and then tama 1 felt miserable around 3 o'clock this afternoon. Tama 2 & Tama 3 appear to be okay at present. I think it's just a 24 hour bug (fingers crossed). I certainly hope so at least.

Although it took an extended length of time to accomplish, tama 1 and tamāhine 1 at least managed to complete three pages of maths (36 equations each). I am thrilled to bits that considering tamāhine 1 fell ill, she has at least grasped the double digits!! That a girl!!!

Here's two clips of tamāhine 1 working through her exercises.

Impressive huh?!

Here's another impressive kid ... tama 1 working on his triple digit exercises

And in case you're wondering what tama 2 was creating ...
body armour, using old envelopes

That was it for school today. I didn't push anyone to work on anything else as their attention span simply wasn't up to it today.

So, seeing as school was brief today, I think I'll jot down five reasons to be happy this week... I know, I know, it's been months since I did this, and yes, I realise I've dropped from ten things down to five!!! Sorry about that, but I need to give myself a break and not challenge myself with a long list.

Anyway, here we go ...

Five Reasons to be Happy this Week
  1. The children are confident in the swimming pool.
  2. It's Auckland Anniversary weekend this weekend. Yay! for long weekends!!!
  3. Friends could be shifting less than 10kms from us very, very soon!!
  4. I am working on a list of goals to achieve this year (eg exemption application for tamāhine 1, find ways to save money ...)
  5. Our goats haven't managed to get off their tethers. (I have to expand on this a little bit... our newest neighbours have started planting lots and lots of flowers etc, but they haven't got a fully-fenced section and our goats like all the neighbouring goats are clever animals and we're all wondering which goat will get off first to munch on the plants!!!)
There you go then. I think my random list isn't too bad actually, so I shall bid you adieu and chat to you (hopefully) āpōpō.

pō mārie (goodnight)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

On the day the USA celebrated the inauguration of their 44th President

Our school work was very flexible, lose and relatively non-existent today because I was hoping to watch the US Presidential Inauguration on TV this morning. Broadcast started at 5.30am (NZ time), so I knew it would be a long, long day. I'd already had a long night too, because tama 1 woke up three times I think it was. I'm not sure what disturbed him; I can only guess it was due to the heat of the night, but because he kept getting up, I would have to steer him back to his bed again. Not only tama 1, but of course, tama 3 decided he must also wake up more often than usual last night. How is it that babies have a sixth sense about things? They instinctively know when you want to do something out of routine, don't they? eg get up to watch the inauguration at 5.30am!?!

Now, I'm not here to get on my political soap box. I simply mention the inauguration because I wanted to embrace history-in-the-making. The fact that Barack Obama is the first African American President alone, as well as to be inaugurated the day after Martin Luther King Jnr Day AND in front of a crowd of over a MILLION people !!!! AND in freezing temperatures !!!! I just had to see something like that. We have a population of 4.1 million in New Zealand, so that means a quarter of New Zealand's population were present. That, to me, is just so mind-blowingly unbelievable. What it must have felt like to have been a part of that crowd!!!! "Wow" is all I can say!!!!

One thing I was particularly impressed with was Barack Obama stumbled swearing the oath. That made him seem more personable, more real - more human if you like - to me. Being on the other side of the world, people and events in the USA can sometimes feel very far removed from reality so little hiccups like that remind you that it really is a live broadcast afterall, and that he is very much a human afterall.

{I am also impressed that he swore the oath
on the same bible that Abraham Lincoln used.
How awesome is that?!}

Anyways, I'm not here to discuss whether I like the man or the politics he represents. The simple fact of the matter is, today was a hugely monumental event in American culture and is/was most definitely history in the making. I may not have ever watched an American Presidential Inauguration before, but by golly, I'm glad I did from my corner of the world.

Many bloggers were immediately to their blogs posting verses from his speech and giving their .02 cents worth. All power to them. I'm glad people feel strongly enough to voice their opinions. I love American patriotism. Sometimes I wonder if we Kiwis have nearly the same kind of patriotism ...

Back to school chat now ...

Having viewed this morning's television events, our schooling was very much a muddle afterwards. It didn't help either that tamāhine 1 scraped her foot on the deck and somehow managed to get four very large, very nasty splinters in her feet.

The bulk of our school work was mathematics. Tama 1 finished his double digit worksheets so I taught him some Roman Numerals. That was easy and a lot of fun.

[As an aside: I made full use of our unfinished house today ... as we have no gibbing in the kitchen, I wrote with chalk on the timber frames I = 1, V = 5, X = 10 etc!!!! Hey, not everybody can graffiti their walls for school eh?! hee hee)

Tamāhine 1 had a stab at double digits once she completed her mathebook worksheets also. She's been adding double digit plus single digit, but as we started back to work this week, I wondered if she'd be able to grasp double digit addition. Although it required a lot more concentration, and we used the Decimal Street and blocks for visual aide, I think she coped very well. In fact, I would probably say she did better to understand without my clumsy attempt at visual aide!!! Hei aha.

Well, other than swimming ... before the splinter episode ... that pretty much really was the way our school day panned out.

May I just say, I am very proud of my boys too. Tama 1 was just gorgeous how he tried to cheer his sister up. He spoke calmly to her and even tried to divert her attention by telling jokes or making silly gestures to get her to laugh. I didn't have to ask him to do anything, he simply came forward as the compassionate brother that he is. Tama 2 was also very delightful, he tried his very hardest to look after his little sister and brother. Honestly, tama 1 and tama 2 made the situation so much easier for me to perform the "surgical removal" and hopefully slightly less painful for tamāhine 1.

Big, big hugs and kisses to my helpful young men.

The following clips are from this afternoon's 'dip'

Tama 1 has been swimming the width as shown above for a few weeks now.
So I asked him to try swimming the length today ...

Gaining the confidence to put your head under water
is one of the biggest hurdles yet one of the
greatest accomplishments

I'm almost positive that this time last month he wasn't swimming
with his head under water!!??

I fully intended taking video clips of tamāhine 1 and tama 2, but I'm afraid I ended up trying to juggle the babies whilst holding the camera and I simply didn't succeed. Oh well, 'tis the beauty of having our own pool ... I can simply try āpōpō (tomorrow) !!!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Oh, one last thing .... I spoke to my friend whom I thought was coming to stay last week, and, well, um, I better not jump the gun here, but if I simply say "best of luck for Saturday, fingers crossed cos I know you'll get it" ... I'm pretty sure she'll know what I mean, lol.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Why wouldn't you want them at home?

I love the fact our kids are best friends

The above photo was taken between 7 and 7.30 this morning
The kids can often be found reading or drawing or
being creative before - or during - breakfast!

Well, they started out sitting next to each other during Maths

but ...

Tamāhine 1 drew the short straw to go into the classroom

A little bit too distracting for them to sit next to each other today. Understandable. They've been on holiday after all, lol.

We probably could've/should've achieved more than we did today, but two reasons why we didn't:
  1. We're easing our way into things.
  2. I had a very sore neck with no one to massage me ... until he finished work.

I just had to include a photo of tama 3. Like any kiddie, he loves to read. In fact, he has a particular fettish for the medical dictionary I'll have you know ... hmm, I wonder if he will become ...???? hee hee

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Dipping our feet to start with

My plan was to recommence school last week, but as I had been expecting friends to visit for the week, I (easily) put school off to this week instead. As it transpired, our friends didn't come so I probably should've got cracking and tried school, but in all honesty, the weather was simply too delicious to be stuck indoors for any length of time, lol.

However, we got things underway today ..

One thing that worked in our favour this morning was the fact that tamāhine 2 had a very early nap. It's not often that she naps in the morning anymore, so I made jolly sure we took full advantage of this opportunity.

It felt as though we'd been away from school for months. Everything felt awkward - almost foreign. I'm just glad I chose to ease our way back into things today.

Having had a break of more than five days from mathematics, I paid particular attention to holding a very short lesson today. Tamāhine 1 found it easier to use the blocks for a few equations which was fine, of course. Tama 1 found it easier when I sat down and worked through the thought-process together. Anything that reassures the kids is fine by me.

One of our routines has always been tama 1 (or tamāhine 1 now of course) reading to me as I prepare morning tea or lunch.

Tama 1 reading from Story of the World Volume 1
(he had no idea I caught him on video, lol)


The only one I didn't understand was "pa."
If you look in the next photo ...
see the second picture on the top line
(above tama 1's hand) has a character holding a key?
Do I guess that means Pennsylvania?
The answer had pa. which didn't really help me.
I didn't want to make the assumption that just because is American-based that
it would be the State of Pennsylvania. So please
let me know ... thanks.

We had many visitors today, the last of which was Nana Nancy who popped over to collect something from whaiāipo. Once Nana left I couldn't finish this post as I needed to get the littlies to bed, so I'm quickly completing this on Tuesday morning in between breakfast and chores.

With a bit of luck I will post after school each day ... well, that's the intention ... we shall see, lol.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Sunday, 18 January 2009

A new week unfolds

The older children went out with whaiāipo this afternoon. They headed off to a friend's farm to go riding for a few hours.

They left with three bikes but came home with two

Don't ask me which one (because I have no idea looking at the photo!!!), but our blue one we got for the kids at Christmas and the other two we purchased just last week; the yellow one for us and one of the blue ones for Charles. Whaiāipo collected them on Tuesday night.

Charles came down to ours on Wednesday night to ride with the kids, but today was the first opportunity whaiāipo had to take Charles's bike to the farm.

I'm quite sure we will be saving to buy a third for ourselves though because tama 1, tamāhine 1 and tama 2 (yes, he's only just turned four years of age!!!) all enjoy riding these bikes.

Our friend's son, Charles, is eight years old and gets along beautifully with our tamariki. It's great to have a friend who is only a few years older than tama 1, and it doesn't hurt that Charles shares the same interest as Romankids, lol.

View of Lake Tarawera from the farm
Photos above and below of tama 1

Another view from the farm - this time
Lake Okataina in the background
I stayed home as we had visitors arrive just minutes before we piled into the car. That was okay, Ngataiaroha is only a few months younger than tamāhine 2 so it was easy enough for me to stick around here while whaiāipo took the three older kids.

The children's surrogate/foster grandmother, Maureen, came over from Tauranga also. With a bit of luck we should be seeing more of Nana Maureen as she may have reason to travel to Rotorua more frequently. Yay! for us.

She has a beautiful, genuine wairua (spirit) and I do hope she manages to visit us more often this year. Maureen has a great passion for life and I value her friendship dearly.

Now, before I go ...

Yesterday I promised to include a clip of the children swimming, I know, but because they went out riding they didn't get home till after 6 o'clock. They no sooner arrived home when dark clouds appeared cooling the early evening very quickly, and besides it was time to think of preparing kai and settling in for the evening.

Weather permitting, I will record a clip during the week.

In the meantime I'll share drawings by tama 1. Riding motorbikes and swimming are two of his favourite activites this summer.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano