Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Term 1 2017 underway

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

I'm here!


As of last Wednesday, we now have a 15-year-old. ☺ Tama 1 continues to bring us joy and immense pleasure.  He's always been quiet, mature, polite, empathetic, unselfish and very studious.  He's not much into having his photo taken anymore, and I totally respect that.  He gets that from his mother, unfortunately. ;)

Around October last year, I started to feel our schooling was in a rut.  Our daily routine was just that; a routine. I was wondering how to move out of the mundane a little bit.  I especially wanted to find something for tamāhine 2.  I had a couple of ideas in mind, but wasn't convinced I was on the right path.  Then, around mid- to late-November I read an email on the local homeschooling group and I knew God had heard me over the last few months.  He had me read that email on that particular day. (I don't know about you, but quite often I just delete emails without reading.  But this particular day, I actually stopped and read emails.)  Anyway, the email was from a local homeschooling mum who was reaching out to the homeschooling community offering horse-riding lessons which was exactly what I had been praying about for tamāhine 2.

I made contact with the instructor and she told me that they would be starting at the start of school term in 2017. In Aotearoa schools returned just a little over two weeks ago, hence, the kids have only had two lessons.

I'm just working on blind faith that we can afford this!!! ☺  Six of the seven kids are taking lessons. I've got a few more years before Tama 5 can join - so I guess that's one small saving for a little while. ;)

Luckily we don't have to travel very far; it's only two kilometres from home.  So that's a big saving in itself really, not having to traipse halfway across town.

I am absolutely grateful their instructor was keen to include tamāhine 2 with her siblings. After a lengthy kōrero, we are both on the same page about tamāhine 2.

Thank you Lord!

As her parents, we hope horse-riding will help tamāhine 2 to come out of her shell, help her to develop some confidence and build strength.

I've only cropped a few photos to share.  I didn't want to load photos or videos that show the instructor or her helpers, especially as I haven't sought permission yet.

This super tiny video I'll throw in.  It doesn't mean much to anyone else other than me.  It brings me joy to know tamāhine 2 actually involved herself without hesitation!

At 15 years of age, I feel tama 1 deserved something I know he has dreamed about but never expected to come to fruition - and that's to learn how to fly.  

On Sunday just gone, tama 1 and whaiāipo popped along to the Rotorua AeroClub to meet tama 1's flying instructor and to take his trial flight.  Considering he's never been inside a plane before, what a neat way for him to experience his first flight.  

Thankfully the airport is just under five kms from home, so it's another activity that won't require too much travel. He'll only be flying once a month at this stage. (I would hazard a guess though that any money he earns, he'll put towards extra flying lessons.)

Whaiāipo used his phone to video tama 1, but the wind just happened to pick up when tama 1 landed, so I've tried to take some screenshots from the video clips to include because the videos are too noisy and very shaky.

For his very first flight, he held the controls nearly the whole time they were in the air.  We saw him flying from here at home, but he approached the airport to land from further east of us, so we didn't get to see him as we had expected.  

All future flying lessons we will venture out to as a family, but for his first time I wanted tama 1 to glow in the attention with his dad.  Whaiāipo couldn't spend any time with us on tama 1's birthday, so I discussed the idea with whaiāipo of spending the Sunday morning with him.  

Tama 1 no sooner landed and had to say goodbye to the AeroClub members, to head home because, typically, whaiāipo received two callouts (never mind the job he already had planned to go to that afternoon), so it was a quick bite to eat with the whānau, and off out to mahi.  And that's why I had them go by themselves! Whaiāipo very rarely spends an entire Saturday or Sunday with us. 

A few weeks ago, the kids and I got stuck into developing the garden to the front of the property.

We had some heavy winds around Christmas time which tore one of the branches from tama 1's tree. Another branch was left hanging, so we bolted it back on and thankfully it is recuperating wonderfully.  Two small mandarin trees were thrown about badly, so I've dug them up and put them into pots to try and coax them along.  

I love native plants, so I can't wait to see them in a few years time.  I realise you probably can't make them out in the photos, but perhaps you can see flax and ferns and the native grass.

We haven't finished planting outside, but seeing as I'm slack at blogging, I better record something now, LOL.

Our pumpkin patch ...

We can finally afford a little more decking...

Only a little down the north-side to go.

This is the north-east, which of course, was the first part we ever decked years ago.

And down the south side (yeah yeah, I see the weeds).

The kids spend as much time as they possibly can at the lake swimming and kayaking.  We were fortunate to receive a second kayak for free, so now the kids carry two kayaks down. They're nice and light - even their mother has carried them down to the lake a few times with them.

During one of their swimming excursions, they even managed to locate their old raft which had disappeared over winter. Tama 2 spied it about half a kilometre north of where we usually swim, so that was very fortunate.

I think the very last thing I will mention is music.

The three older tamariki worked for their father throughout 2016, and the money they earned from their labours, they used to buy everyone's Christmas presents (which, might I add, their gift ideas were spot on.)

As for the three older kids, they had talked (with their dad) about hopefully buying themselves an instrument each.  Tama 1 was keen on a drum set.  Tamāhine 1 a saxophone and tama 2 an electric guitar.  Well, tama 1 was really lucky because whaiāipo just so happened to do some mahi for someone who wanted to sell his old drum set for $50 and that was just a week before Christmas. Tama 2 worked some more for his father and had enough to buy himself an electric guitar.  Tamāhine 1 saved enough to get a cheap saxophone.  She received a free harmonica to go with it.  Tama 3 showed an interest in that, and his big sister was happy for him to have it.

The kids are all teaching themselves ... luckily the sound from the shed isn't too loud, but it's loud enough, lol.

I don't know how much of their music theory the big kids remember, but at the moment, they will just have to carry on using the materials they have to hand, and good ol' YouTube.

That's all I'll write for this blog post.  I want to head out to do some weeding and get some much-needed fresh air.  I know I didn't mention how they're getting on with maths or any academics like that, but that can wait till next time.

Hopefully it's not quite so long for the next post though, eh?!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano