Saturday, 22 April 2017

2017 Term 1 School 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

Saturday, 8 April 2017

Week 10 - Term 1 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

This will be a super short post this week.

So, apparently, April derives its name from the Latin word aperire which means "to open", ie spring. That doesn't make much sense for southern hemisphere countries, does it? We're in autumn for heaven's sake. We need to change the names of the months, lol.

Just sayin' ....


The kids had the opportunity to try bareback riding towards the end of their lesson.  They really enjoyed themselves.

They had a lesson on tamāhine 1's birthday, too!!!  How totally cool, huh!?  They went for a trek, so that was doubly cool. :)


I took five kids to Highland Band practice this week. Tama 3 and tama 4 decided to come along to check it out. Tama 5 came because he didn't want to be left behind. We took the drum pad we purchased to get the okay.  We didn't take the chanter we purchased though. Tamāhine 1 and I prefer the chanter she has on loan. I will try searching for another one. Perhaps the one I bought will be okay as a spare for when she has the hang of it. I don't like it because it takes a great deal more effort, like you're playing the bagpipes. The chanter requires some "puff," of course! but this thing really tuckers you out straight away. Takes the enjoyment out of it.  Tamāhine 1 does well with the loan chanter. I want to find one that is similar to that.


The weather was absolutely atrocious.  Cyclone Debbie hit with a vengeance around the country.  We had a moat around three-quarters of the property.  We can't dig the soak holes in because we hit the water table only about 600 mls down!!!  So, we have soak holes to help alleviate the issue, yet we can't dig down far enough because there's too much water underneath still.

The most painful part of the story is, we can expect another downpour next week.  Ay ay ay!!!

Apparently, earlier in the morning, whaiāipo sent me a message to say TKD was cancelled due to the road being closed out to Rotoma.  Well, I must have deleted the message without knowing.  By 5.30pm he wasn't home so I bundled everyone in the van and headed out.  We got to the junction and road workers had it blocked off.  I explained we were heading to Rotoma and they said okay, but take it easy, there are lots of slips.

They weren't kidding.  At least half a dozen massive slips which had obviously been cleared during the day to allow single-lane access.  Then there were at least another half a dozen minor slips. Although I didn't enjoy driving in such revolting weather, it at least allowed us all to see for ourselves what it was like, rather than just seeing it on the news.

It was Edgecumbe that was flooded.  The entire township was submerged and therefore had to evacuate.


We were home today so I made sure I started reading I am David by Anne Holm.  My friend gave it to me at band practice last week.

Tama 1 decided he will do Advanced Biology.  Make a mental note to order the textbook.


Squeezed as much mahi kura in the morning because we had dentist appointments in the afternoon. Cruised up to see if koro was home in-between appointments.

Koro wasn't there (as we drove up the driveway, I remembered he was going to Murupara. Duh!!!) But, Uncle Warrick was still there.  He was getting ready to head up to Tamakimakaurau, so it was nice to catch up with him before he headed off.

We harvested our pumpkins when we returned home.  The kids collected 20.

Tama 5 took to them with the hose.  Ugh!  After all the rain we had last week, I really didn't want puddles again so soon, thanks! LOL

More soak holes were delivered today.  Hopefully, the amount we purchased will take care of the main areas where rain collects.  On a typical rainy day, we have two areas where the water pools.  I'll be glad if these soak holes do the trick.


Visit from Nana Nancy and Nana Maureen.  Coming from Pyes Pa Road they turned left, as they normally do and got to Hamurana only to be told they had to turn around and go back through the city.  There were no signs indicating the road was closed back at Pyes Pa Road.  Why not, I don't know.

Hei aha, the visit was superb.  The weather was wonderful, so we spent the bulk of it sitting outside enjoying the sunshine.  Loads of kai and plenty of good conversation and entertainment by the kids - and Marmite.

Whaiāipo popped in to say hi to his mum and then off he went again.  We didn't see him until 9.30pm.  Ugh!

If I've forgotten anything, I will try to remember to add it in next week's blog post.  At this time of the night my brain feels fried.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Week 9 - Term 1 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Rain.  We had rather a lot of it this week.  Monday was very wet.  A very indoors-day.

When it rains

Tama 3 and tama 4 were creative on Scratch.

Yeah, the coffee table's seen better days.  Hei aha.
Lots of lego on rainy days.

Tama 5 started building a toy swing.  

Tamāhine 1 and I sat down and watched Divergent.  I am quite sure that if I hadn't read the book, I wouldn't have watched the movie.  But, as I've said before, I enjoyed it in the end.

We've finally bought more soak holes.  The amount of water that pools around the front of the house, is just ridiculous.  So, we finally got more soak holes to help alleviate the situation.  Maybe we'll dig the holes on Sunday.  Not sure, we'll be a little busy so we'll just have to wait and see.

Although we lots of rain, we did have some finer days.  So glad to get outdoors again.

Like father,

In my haste to close the door in order to hide the mess inside,
I realised after taking the photo I didn't close it properly.

like son ...

Tama 5 is such a funny kid. So many times he will copy his father (like the above. for instance).  He gets the bungy cords and tie-downs and secures his load.  Don't even get me started on the things he unscrews or puts screws into, lol.

Tama 1 put in loads of effort in preparation of his TKD first dan grading.  Although he is a Black Belt already, he has had to wait until he was 15 in order to grade for the adult first dan. 

He and Tamāhine 1 aren't too keen on photos anymore for the blog, which is totally kei te pai.  I chose to get a pic of tama 1 as he did his 100 push ups.  No face, tama 1 - I hope that's okay with you?

I also cropped out as best as I could our ugly, messy shed.  It is such a junk yard.  Motor bikes, motor bike parts, plumbing "junk" and what would normally be found in a shed like a mower, ride-on mower, blah blah blah is just a jumble of mess.  The work-out area is a squeeze amongst the paraphernalia.  I don't even use it anymore.  The clutter just does my head in.  Hence, I moved my stuff into the house late last year.  The kids are better than me at looking past the mess.

Highland Pipe Band

I bought a drum pad (pretty sure that's what you call them).  It came with drumsticks but they have black plastic on the end, so I don't think tama 1 could use them as they won't be uniform to the rest of the band.  He has only put in a little big of drumming practice this week because of his TKD training, but at least he's done something.

Below is the chanter we have on loan from the band.  I realise you can't see it too well in the photo, but I was trying to make sure I hid the music sheets.  These are not ours, so typically, I am uncomfortable to have them clearly presented online.  Tamāhine 1 also didn't practice as much as she would have liked because the three big kids all trained together. They always tautoko each other when something big like a grading is looming.  (I love that!)

I will talk to the rest of the kids and ask if they'd like to try.  If so, we will all go next week.  I won't make a big deal of it if they say no at the moment.  They can always join in later.

TKD Grading

Saturday morning, 1 April 2017

We left for Te Aroha having to race to Bunnings to buy timber for tama 1's board breaks. Luckily they cut them to the right measurement for us so that saved whaiāipo having to cut them up there.

So, we arrived just in the nick of time.  Literally.

How did it go?  

Awesome.  Tama 1 excelled and showed his true character.

As he was presented with his first dan belt, his instructor made the comment that tama 1 has the potential to pass all of the higher graded members (senior instructor included).  It was a great wee speech.  Summed up tama 1 to a T/tee/tea.

I missed him doing his pattern because I was busy with the kids.  I caught most of everything else he did.  Probably missed a little bit of sparring but not much.  Just a pity I missed his pattern.  I'll have to ask if anyone recorded it by any chance.

Daylight Saving ends in Aotearoa Sunday morning, so clocks back e hoa mā.

That'll do for this week's post.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano