Monday, 21 May 2012

Hiatus over

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back,

Well, seeing as I've pretty much decided to reopen this blog, I guess I better start tidying up the "Pages" I was making a long time ago.  There's a lot of work involved in revamping them, so it'll be a slow process.  I've deleted links that don't work anymore, and I'm trying to weed out anything too out-dated.  Also, I need to include a new title picture, but until I figure out what I want, I've used a photo we took at dawn on ANZAC Day (25 April 2012).

The past fortnight has been an absolute blessing.  I have needed this downtime to simply relax and recharge.  The children are enjoying it also.  Tama 1 has one more private Mandarin class and then has a month with assigned work while his teacher heads off to China.  I have to say I'm looking forward to having an extra hour's sleep on a Tuesday for a month :)

Other than Mandarin, it's kick-back, relax and enjoy the Autumn sunshine.

It's only been in the past few days I've felt enthused enough to start planning our next semester.  We school year-round, however, winter is always less-intensive.  Experience has taught me that a rigid winter timetable simply falls by the wayside because of colds and/or flu.

Each time I plan for an upcoming semester, I find myself contemplating Sonlight, Ambleside, Mater Amabilis, Kolbe, Seton, CHC, TWTM, Lesson Pathways, IEW, Cambridge ... the list goes on.  Here I am again looking over these wonderful resources, taking ideas from some and wishing on a star that I could afford the non-free ones.

I carried out a dummy order for Sonlight and just about had heart failure.  The idea of buying a Core package will remain out of the equation for this semester.  Why?  Because it added up  just shy of NZD$1,000 - and that was without finding out if I'll be charged any customs tax.  I simply don't have that kind of money, so it goes on the back-burner again.  In the past we've not been in a position to buy a boxed curriculum.  That's not to say I can entertain the idea of spending $1,000 post-bankruptcy, but I can at least start saving towards one now.

This year, I'd be quite happy to look more seriously at a boxed curriculum because I now have tamāhine 2 (turning 6 in September), as well as tama 3, who is almost 4½ to join the Romankids Homeschool Academy.  Basically, I want to continue enjoying homeschooling but I feel overwhelmed at the prospect of teaching five all together while trying to entertain a toddler to boot.  As much as I should be thinking of putting $'s towards finishing our house, I can guarantee you I will put that money towards more curricula.

I prefer structure to chaos; 
happiness to anger; 
sanity to insanity.

The three older children are busy with TKD two nights a week, St John, Cubs and Scouts one night a week.  Tamāhine 1 is looking forward to joining Girl Guides, but she has to be 9½.  They also enjoy increasing their hiking fitness with their Uncle, which I hope will continue for some time.  As soon as our car is roadworthy, the entire family will be back to the Redwoods with all its wonderful tracks.  Also, as soon as the car has a WOF, I will get them back to music lessons AND get back to the library!!!

Autumn weather has been fantastic.  A few wet days, but overall, beautiful sunny days.  Superb timing for our semester break.  I've enjoyed catching up with some old friends, autumn cleaning (um, that's a spring clean but only in autumn, lol.)  There's a lot more to give away yet, but at least we've made a start and I can see the making of a hallway upstairs again. :o)

Good News: Tama 1 not only WON the CurrClick Science Fair, but he also made it on the front page of our local newspaper - TWICE, and was apparently mentioned on one of the local radio stations.

{Links to the articles are on my FB page as well as a draft post - cos you know me, don't like to have any real names shown except mine.}

More good news - our house remains our home.  As of 10 February 2012, we got Insolvency out of our lives.  Whaiāipo is no longer a bankrupt, and we didn't lose our home!!!!  For how many years did we battle that?  Too many.  Was it worth it?  Yes.  Did our children suffer because of the ordeal?  No.  At no time did I ever lose sight of the fact that they are growing individuals and are more important to me than a silly house.  Although I could accept our family leaving to start again, whaiāipo wouldn't let go.  I knew what signs to look for in him should the stress be too much, so I hung in there with him and thanks to the support of my awesome family, we made it through and finally found a solution.

Having watched whaiāipo struggle with a failing business and swallow his pride through the experience of a bankruptcy, there was little chance I was going to give up the fight for him to save the house.  However, one strategy after another got shot down, so it really started looking gloomy.

On many, many occasions I suggested I go back to work full-time.  Luckily for me, whaiāipo refused I should go back to work to save the house, even though I did my fair share of working 40 hours, go out to build with him after hours and weekends, do the bookkeeping and raise babies throughout those earlier desperate years.  Besides, nobody would employ a mother of six in a law firm on hours to suit herself - well my old boss did let me do whatever crazy hours I wanted so long as I got the mahi done.  But he's now barrister sole, so I like I say, it wouldn't work.  Financially I'd make nothing after school fees, daycares etc.  Yuck!!! Our children have never been to anything like a daycare let alone school - and I seriously didn't want them going if we could help it.

Okay, so it was pride at stake.  Whaiāipo wanted to prove he could redeem himself and keep his home.  My job was simply to work in the background, discussing with my old legal friends and family, using every ounce of knowledge I could draw on to come up with the right solution.  We tried so many different ideas it was unbelievable.

November/December last year we almost had a solution, but at the 11th hour it was rejected.  And then, wouldn't you know it?  We got right down to the wire when whaiāipo himself came up with one last idea.  We tweaked this and that on the previous submission and hey presto!!! It worked.

So here we are, after a decade of trying, failing, scheming but with ultimate redeeming.

Against all odds, we did it!!!

Two of the biggest lessons I learned: put your home in a family trust even when your legal colleagues feel convinced you have a win-win business!!!! AND, never EVER deal with rich people.

Would I be happy if whaiāipo wanted to go into business again?  Yes, so long as he sticks to plumbing, or maybe drafting.  I don't want him to ever go back into the building industry again.  As a sole trader, it was not the right industry for him.  Big money, big outlays and too many big, rich, lying so-and-so's who just walked all over an honest, hardworking, trustworthy whaiāipo.

If he wants to go out and start a plumbing business, I'll support him because the outlays aren't nearly as horrendous as the kind of building business he was in.  He'd simply stick with small house jobs - not anything like a commercial building or anything.  But before we try doing anything along the lines of going into business again, I would make sure we finish our house; either go off and finish a law degree; or make sure I have my legal family create an airtight safety net so we are never faced with a decade of nonsense again.

... Allowing myself to ponder the idea of studying ...

To go off and study full-time I will probably have to wait for tama 1 to enter university.  
He's keen on politics, with an interest in law also (no surprises there!!!) and History. 

... Okay, so back to reality now Maree !!!! ...

Progress on the house?  Well, nothing since the photos earlier in my blog I think.  But that's because whaiāipo has worked like a Trojan to get us financially healthy.  At least we don't have lawyers bills etc.  Bills are squared away, food is on the table, we can buy firewood, .... All we need to do is save up to get our car fixed and then every penny can start going towards what remaining (which isn't a great deal) materials are needed for the whare.  At least we have Pink Batts everywhere now - feels rather roasty toasty!!!

I think I'll leave the post right here because it's extremely long, has no pics and you've probably finished your coffee by now, lol.

Will start writing another post shortly ....

Thanks for dropping by,
Naku noa, na

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