Friday, 30 June 2017

Week 9 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!


Horse riding went really well.

After the younger ones ride, they will play around me, and quite often lend a hand with whatever needs attending to - which is quite often, the exciting horse manure. :)


As soon as the kids finished their maths this morning, and I completed my morning business checklist, we headed out. The kids stayed and played with friends while I went out for a coffee. As much as it was a business meeting, it was a treat for me to be without the kids for a couple of hours.

We returned home around 2 o'clock. We had lunch and then caught up on reading and writing for the younger ones. Afternoon chores soon took us through to 4 o'clock, then everyone escaped to do whatever.

Band practice tonight. I filled out forms for tama 1 and tamāhine 1 to attend the Learners weekend in a couple of weekends time. Tama 2 had his first official chanter practice. Yay! I've made a note to print out a copy of music for him.Luckily he followed his big sister for a lesson, which meant he simply borrowed her copy this time around.I'll have to make sure we find him a folder and be organised next week.  

If I remember correctly, the other kids all started three weeks before the end of term 1. Tama 2 joined in three weeks before the end of term 2.  {Just sayin'}

I updated the Band calendar to include the Learners Camp. We just need to think about what we can take as a shared kai for the Saturday lunch.


The weather has been lovely this week, albeit cold.  The kids and I have managed to enjoy the outdoors without stomping around in muddy puddles for a change. :)  Bit slack for the washing though.  Today the weather was cold and no wind, so rather pointless hanging anything on the line. But, it's better than having it on the drying rack inside. If I had a dryer, I'd probably take the easy lazy way out and use that, but we've always coped, even with the amount of laundry for nine people.

Tama 3 has been splitting his maths over the day.  He's finding the longer division tiring. Rather than sitting down making it painful to complete in one sitting, we try to accomplish at least one page per day.

The younger ones writing is coming along fine. I won't pretend I find it difficult to be positive about Tamāhine 2's writing, though. As much as I can see improvement, nobody else would.

Enough said.

The little ones and I had to take the older kids to TKD practice tonight. 

Practice at the Ngongotaha Community Hall on Wednesdays from tonight onwards. I'm glad this is the only time I had to take them. There were no seats for us to sit on so we stayed out in the foyer. Well, I know there will be seats, but being a new hall and I didn't want to interrupt a training just to ask for seats, we were perfectly happy having the foyer to ourselves to stay out of the way.  The little ones ran around without disrupting the others.

Whaiāipo joined us after his "instruction evening" which made me happy. 

On the way home he rang me and spoke with one of the kids.  Apparently, I needed to get home because the guy whose van we have been storing at our place was coming to collect it.  We no sooner arrived home and quickly opened the house for the kids, then handed over the key and have a wee chat with the guy. 

I'm glad to see that one gone. 

I just want our Crafter back now, mate!


Tama 4 really isn't keen on learning to read. Have I mentioned this before? I probably have. He becomes anxious at the mere mention of starting a lesson. I've chosen to take the easy way out with him in the past, I know, but I'm hoping to gently press him along next term. By then I will have worked out a rhythm to combine work, school and activities more efficiently.

We watched the BFG this afternoon.  I had no idea we had the kiwi comedian, Jemaine Clement, acting in it.  That was a pleasant surprise.


Another chilly day. Really rather difficult to conjure up any enthusiasm for too much mahi today. 

The older kids knew I wanted them to lend a hand in the shed, but they weren't too surprised when I said we'd wait until it warmed up before we ventured over there. What a wuss huh!? It was a mission, however, we accomplished the task of moving the fireplace from shed to lounge. We will sand it and then apply a couple coats of paint. The weather's not looking too flash for a while, which means we won't be using it because it's dangerous to get up on the roof to work on the flue. Kei te pai. We're doing fine as it is, but yeah, I've decided to bring the fireplace back into house.  I threw a hissy fit a few years ago and decided it had to go. I was fed up cleaning it, stoking it, cutting the wood, carting wood back in the rain &c. Now, after a few years have gone by, I feel ready to have it back in the house. I have kids who are older now and able to help.

My younger brother's birthday today .... Happy Birthday bro.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Week 8 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Let's start off with something funny.  I posted this on my FB page on Sunday afternoon:


Thankfully, it wasn't so cold today for horse riding.

Tama 3 rode bareback today. He wasn't very confident when it came to trotting. Indeed, he was rather frightened. Although we all gave encouragement, he shed a few tears. But, he kept going. 

I doubt he'll want to try that again anytime soon.

Tamāhine 2 and tama 4 showed improvement. You could feel tama 4's concentration just watching him. He is trying so hard to understand Nadia's instructions and for the most part he followed along fine. But we can all relate to when our brain feels fried from information overload. He persevered and I am so proud of him. He managed to make it to the end of his lesson without sulking or throwing the towel in. As the weeks pass, I know everything will become second nature. I know that Nadia is stepping it up because he's ready, and I think that's just neat. 

Because tama 2 rides the same horse as tama 3, he rode bareback. Tama 1 decided to take the saddle he shares with tamāhine 2 off, so that he could ride bareback also. Tamāhine 1 opted to ride with her saddle still on though. Tash said that was kei te pai; ,they were allowed to choose today, after all.

Seeing as we're on the horse-riding theme, I'll add the following because mi hermana Schere doesn't have Facebook and I wanted to know if she and the family have ever seen these wild horses:

Tonight I attended the Committee meeting for the Rotorua Highland Pipe Band. I restrained myself from raising my hand to become the Club Secretary. I've only been there five minutes. I still have loads to learn and digest, before I'm anywhere near feeling as though I'm familiar enough.

At least by attending tonight's meeting, I finally met my cousin. :)


We all managed to work on maths.  I sat with tamāhine 2 today working on adding three numbers. 

The little ones also had handwriting practice.  The boys definitely produce good work

I took all the kids with me to Band practice tonight. Tama 2 has decided he'd like to take a look {Yay!" mum says.} Wasn't the best night to take him. Both drum leaders were missing tonight and the chanter instructor just said to get tamāhine 1 to show him how to do the scales. Oh deary me.


Winter solstice.

One of my most favourite days of the year.

The big kids had TKD tonight.  

From next Wednesday they will be having Wednesday training at Ngongotaha, and, instead of starting at 6.00pm, it will be a 5.30pm kick-off instead.

The week after next they will finally have two trainings: Monday nights at Rotoma and Wednesday nights at Ngongotaha (as mentioned above).


The morning seemed to whizz by really quickly.  The kids busied themselves with their school work straight after breakfast.

I spent most of the day doing paperwork for the business.

When I finished, we watched a movie because I totally needed to unwind. Funnily enough, I didn't receive any complaints, ha ha ha.


Briefly caught up with a friend today.  

Tamāhine 2's writing is improving, and I'm taking each little step as progress in the right direction. Gone are the days I would make her repeat. That got us nowhere. Not for tamāhine 2.

The kids spent a good chunk of today on their own activities. The boys took care of some things that needed sorting in the shed. The little ones, once they finished their school work, had loads of play because I decided to get one last task completed for the business.


Although we accomplished the basics, I want to change things around from next week.

This week was all about organising my business day better around the school day.  As I look back over this week, I am not the least bit satisfied. We didn't accomplish as much as I had hoped with school. Far from it, in fact.

Mondays seem to be a bit of a mess once we return home from horse riding. We get in, have lunch and the kids want to play, which is fair enough. Before you know it, the time's 2 o'clock, or thereabouts. We squeeze in a subject of some sort before calling it quits. So, I think that during winter I will just have to accept Mondays won't be very academic.

Tuesdays are now like our Wednesdays whereby we are out both nights. I need to focus my attention on the business first thing in the morning and get the young ones started by no later than 10 o'clock. I can't count on starting them at 9 because quite often I'm prepping kai as well; depending on what it is we're having.

Thursdays and Fridays are the best days because we don't generally need to go out anywhere. This week just went a little bit crook because I pushed on doing some business without waiting for whaiāipo to do it on the weekend. I can at least say I have completed absolutely everything and will share the link with the accountant when she asks for it. Feels good to have done it. Considering the dreaded tax day is 7th of July, I'd like to think the accountant won't have many queries. With my system, we should be tickety-boo for next year. If all goes to plan, we can hand our books over the first week of April from now on. I just have to be vigilant and stay on top of the paperwork. Whaiāipo has to accept he can't do everything and let go of the reigns because when he is in control, it's chaos. No more of this running around like a headless chook at the last minute.

Seeing as I had a few challenges of my own this week, I will finish off this post with this clip, just in case you fancy a challenge of your own. :)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 17 June 2017

Week 7 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!


What absolutely beautiful conditions for Tama 1's flying lesson today. Today marked his sixth lesson. Just before his flight, Club members enjoyed a tour of the Rotorua Air Traffic Control Tour.

His flying concentrated on turns.  We had a perfect view of him climbing and turning from home.

My photography was absolutely atrocious today.  The plane is simply a speck against the blue sky. {sigh}, so no visuals.


Horse riding this morning.

Each week, when we get home, the routine is: kids get all their riding clothes to me so that I can get them in the wash machines straight away. While I get all the washing going, the kids set the table for lunch. I will check the letterbox and feed the animals.  If Marmite didn't come with us to horse riding, I take him out to his dog-run, and clean up any of his business.

Once lunch is finished, the big kids head off and do some book work. Because our lessons are running 9 to 12 noon during winter, our morning routine has changed. We would usually have completed maths before heading out to riding lessons, but not now. It's too rushed. To be honest, I'll be glad when it goes back to 10 to noon. At least that way, I don't feel rushed and if need-be, I can bake an extra batch of biscuits with ease. This week, I made sure I baked a chocolate cake yesterday and it was all prepped in the container this morning.

{I need to get tamāhine 2 into her riding boots soon after she's woken on Mondays.  The last two weeks have been too stressful.  Everyone's getting ready to climb into the van, meanwhile, I'm huffing and puffing trying to get these boots on her! Yes, I know she'll wear them in, but in the meantime, huff puff, huff puff. LOL}

I'll throw something horsey in ...


Having resigned myself to the fact that I had no choice whatsoever, but to involve myself more with the plumbing business, you will have noticed my posts about kura became less informative the last three, or four weeks. I simply haven't had a lot of time. Well, now that I've worked my little butt off developing a more efficient system, I am hoping that from next week I will be back to writing more about the kids daily mahi.

Something which helped is helping me stay abreast of things school/work/activities-related is Wunderlist. Although my To Do List has increased, I am managing to cope, thanks to Wunderlist. And now that I have a mobile phone again, I have found Wunderlist super handy because I can sync between computer and phone. For example, whilst at horse riding yesterday, I remembered some things to add to my To Do List, so I popped them on my phone when I thought of them. As expected, when I returned home I became carried away with lunch, laundry, feeding animals etc not thinking for a minute about my To Do List. But did it matter? Did it? No, it did not, for when I sat down at the computer to do some work, there it was synced across. I was able to act on the reminders right then and there. Very handy. You can't complain when Wunderlist is free either. Perhaps you're looking for something to help you stay ahead? Perhaps you already have something.  Kei te pai. I'm simply mentioning it as a "just-in-case-you-need-something-too."

We said farewell to the Toyota Hiace this afternoon. Yay! I am very glad to see the back end of that. So glad it sold so easily - with a profit I am pleased to add. Advertised it yesterday morning and it was sold while we were at horse riding. Luckily I had the kids clean out all the plumbing gear yesterday afternoon. We didn't realise it would sell within hours. There were LOTS of tools to clear out, but thankfully the kids had it all sorted. Just before the new owners arrived this afternoon, we gave it one last check, but we were all satisfied it was ready and didn't have a hidden one hundred dollar note stuck down a crevice anywhere, LOL.


Uncle Warrick and Julie called in this afternoon.We had just finished lunch and were preparing to continue with our school work when they arrived. So great to catch up. We scored a couple of small bookcases too.  BONUS.  What homeschooler can refuse bookcases?


  • A discussion was held regarding the second training night possibly being held in Ngongotaha. 
  • We had to give our apologies for this Sunday-coming. The black belt training will be held in Te Aroha. We just have too much going on to take an entire day away right now.
  • Training involves a variety of martial arts, now. This has been the focus of the Club since their instructor broke away from the previous Club. It's made it difficult to know whether to say they're doing TKD, or call it martial arts training, because, really, that's what it has been for the last 18 months or so.


Finally able to spend time with tama 3 to teach him dividing a double-digit into a triple-digit. It was such a relief not to be looking at the clock thinking I needed to hurry up and get back to the home business. I was able to focus my attention squarely on tama 3.  Then, I did the same with tamāhine 2 and tama 4. I touched base with the older kids to find out where they're at with things over lunch. We discussed what we'll try focussing on from next week and how I'll make every effort to carve out an exact time when I'll work on the business, and when I'll concentrate on kura.  Let's just hope it pans out ....


Made a super fast batch of biscuits to take with us this morning.  Note to self:  If it's a regular outing on Fridays, I'll have to make sure I've baked extra on Thursdays - similar to my Sundays, LOL.

Felt great watching tama 1 and tama 3 practicing their drums today. I haven't been able to watch them properly over the last few weeks, but again (without wishing to sound like a broken record), now that I'm caught up with the business, it was fantastic to watch them both and to see how much they have improved in just a matter of weeks. Tama 1 knows what he will be playing for the Learners Concert now.      :)

Tamāhine 1 also knows what piece she intends to play for the Concert. (It is nice to hear her play a piece of music as opposed to practicing a bunch of notes.)        :)


The big kids helped out with the car boot sale for Tash on Saturday.

Before they left, I mentioned they could look at prices of jodhpurs, if they had a chance.

Do you know the origin of jodhpurs?

Obviously, it's not an English word.  In fact, it's Indian.  This great article gives a history of jodhpurs which you may find interesting. I learned there is a city in India called Jodhpur where the homes are painted blue, but the reason for the blue colour is not known.

Something else I learned is that there's a difference between jodhpurs and breeches!

Go figure.

By the time the kids were finished, we were too late to head into the city for the haka world record bid.

Never to mind. We made it to the Rotorua Highland Pipe Band Playout which took place outside Hennessey's Irish Bar around 4 o'clock. Our family were there as supporters-only but it was a fantastic opportunity for them all to see what the Band looks like in uniform, and plays like. Hopefully, it was an incentive for them to persevere.

We were across the road when the Daily Post filmed this segment.  Our flash waka made it on the recording though, LOL.  

So there you go.  That's a super fast wrap up of the week.

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite anō

Saturday, 10 June 2017

Week 6 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!


Queen's Birthday observed in Aotearoa, therefore no school.

The kids spent a good chunk of the day playing outside. It wasn't until around 3pm(ish) that we struck the rain which had been forecast for earlier in the day, so it ended up as rather a bonus to enjoy the outdoors for as long as they did.


Today in History: D-Day 6 June 1944...

... When I drive past the airport I always acknowledge the photos of my uncles which are displayed proudly inside the terminal and greet them with a quick kia ora koutou. I will often block out everything going on around me and simply have their faces in my mind as I carry on driving. I love being able to glance across as we drive past and see my uncles from the road. I will often recall my mother telling me stories of her brothers writing from Egypt, the UK etc and how people loved watching them do the haka or impressing with waiata, how her mother played the piano at the Regent Theatre in town as the newsreel with details of the war played on screen, and what it was like to have many family members off fighting a war... and then the sad reality of losing two of them.

This week, I have had the following short film pop into my mind. I especially remember the scene where the men say a karakia towards the end with the waiata as it closes off. I don't know why I mention any of this on the school blog, but for some reason I just feel compelled to do so today. Perhaps it's because of all the events happening in London over the last few weeks? Or perhaps it's because of the events in history at this time of year such as the Battle of Messines.

So many lives lost - past and present.

I honour the memories of my tūpuna and all souls who sacrificed their lives.  Everyone who fights in a war is a hero to me. They all deserve medals.

We had visitors today which was lovely.  Once they left, the kids and I needed to get ready for Band practice.

Speaking of the Band, here's a "Did you know?" for you.

Did you know that the bagpipes - si dice la gaita en español - are a traditional instrument in Northern Spain? This link takes you to a great blog post if you're interested in learning more about the history of la gaita.  Or, take a couple of minutes to watch the following video I found.

For those who follow me on FB, you will recall I posted the following video on my homeschool page this week.

This young girl was the same age as my eldest daughter. She was very much into her pipe band on her tiny island of only 1000 inhabitants. I am just saddened so much by the senselessness of idiots in the world today; taking the lives of young and old alike. 

As I listen to my daughter putting in so much effort practicing her chanter in the hopes of moving onto the pipes next year, I pause and think of the hundreds of hours Eilidh put into her music to reach the level she did and now, because of some deadly act, she can no longer share her passion of the pipes, nor her other talents, and personality. Every single victim, including Eilidh had their lives stolen that night. 

I pray for the world around us and mourn for the families who have lost their loved ones.


We had lovely blue skies, but aue!!!! he tino makariri.  Due to Queen's Birthday weekend, our lesson was pushed out to today. Two other students arrived during our lesson. One of the girls has been riding since she was little and it shows. I enjoyed watching her ride.

The big kids had TKD tonight so we had a long lunch break while I got on with kai.  The kids snuggled up and read for the rest of the afternoon.  Tamāhine 1 finished Allegiant, so we watched the movie while I prepped kai.

Long training tonight.  Their instructor returned from Vietnam with a gift for each family. He spoke about his experience and what he would like to introduce. We also ordered another jacket for tama 1. Crickey, these kids are growing! We only ordered another jacket for tama 2 a few weeks ago.  LOL. All good though!  All good.


I spent a good chunk of my afternoon working on business matters. I am grateful my big kids follow their schedules without me prodding them to do so.  My younger ones on the other hand ... LOL.

Another thing I worked on was updating our calendars  Hopefully, I remembered to make what I want as 'private', private. Now that I have a mobile, I really like the fact that I can look at my Google calendar when we're out. In saying that, I still like to have my hard-covered diary with me. :)


You will recall I read Wonder a few weeks ago.  Well, Tamāhine 1 started it yesterday afternoon and finished the final pages instead of eating breakfast this morning.

It is apparently being made into a film, to be released later this year (I think).

Unfortunately, I haven't had much time to read, for enjoyment, lately. Things are a little chaotic right now.

My boys changed the blades on the mower before I mowed the lawns this afternoon

No sooner did I finish the lawns when someone was at our gate needing assistance with their vehicle. I am so glad I was able to help out. He was worried about getting home to Maketu with his moko. Thank goodness I could help him and have him on his way in no time at all.

I wish I had kept account of how many people have stopped outside our home requiring assistance over the years: from mechanical problems with their vehicle; needing directions to - gosh, you name it!; cyclists needing a place to pitch a tent overnight; hitchhikers in need of a drink of water; or marathon supporters who set themselves up with chairs at the top of the drive and then coming down to ask if they can use the loo. LOL. Being on the 'main drag' you really get used to people popping down the drive.

In Short
  • Tama 1's next Latin book arrived on Tuesday while our visitors were here. He's on his final lesson in his current book. I've enjoyed our conversations about the similarities between the Romance languages, especially Italian. He's easily able to decipher a few words/sentences I have shown him in Italian and we discuss how close the words are in Spanish as well. It is impressive how Tama 1 can tell me what the words are in each language.

    Making an educated guess.

    That's Tama 1.
  • This afternoon (Friday) I was upstairs and heard what I thought was a Dire Straits tune coming from tama 2's computer.  It turns it, it was tama 2 himself playing the tune. Wow! That was so cool. For a kid who's teaching himself and just picking it up by ear, he sounded very impressive.  (I still wish he'd join us at the Highland Pipe Band ... but .. well ... can't push huh?!)
  • Tamāhine 1 has helped her mother by sewing a few things.

    She also made a tunnel for Marmite to run through using a tarpaulin and some plastic pipes whaiāipo had lying around.  It was fun watching them create an agility training course for Marmite this week.

I realise I've written nothing about academics. 

Perhaps it's wishful thinking on my part, but I really think things will start to settle down now so that I can get back to concentrating on school lessons.  I'm just grateful the older ones have been helping the little ones with things like maths and stuff while I've had to step away longer than normal. With their help, we kept school going.

I'll do better next post. :)

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite ano

Saturday, 3 June 2017

Week 4 & 5 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Another post where I'm combining two weeks.  Lo siento.

Week 4

Monday 22 May

I didn't get to film the kids so much today; I was placed in charge of caring for Mercy's guinea pig.

We will have to get used to leaving earlier on our riding days during winter because we're at a different location (it has longer grass, y'see.). Not all the horses are allowed at this spot, which is a pity. In saying that, it works out fine for our whanāu because the three big kids get to work with the three younger ones. Then, when it's the big kids turn, they receive better one-on-one instruction. It certainly showed today what a difference that made.

Due to a heavy frost this morning in Rotorua, we all rugged up as best we could. I wish I didn't give our Swanndris away now!!! LOL.We managed, though. I like the frosty days that heat up into a late-teens-centigrade temperature. Today was one of those days.

Luckily, tama 2 said his feet were dry at the end of the lesson. It was only tama 1 and tamāhine 1 who had wet feet. Tama 3 didn't have wet feet, even though he didn't have riding boots because he wasn't walking around the paddoks like his older siblings had to. With luck, their boots will arrive before our next lesson and, hopefully, this was the only time they'll have wet feet. I did take their gumboots but they decided they'd put up with wet feet today. Luckily it warmed up quite nicely by the time the older three took their turn to ride - a slight blessing, huh?!

Checked the mail box when we got home and yay!

Grazie infinite, Chelle!

Thoughts and prayers to the victims of the bombing at Manchester.


Busy working on mahi for whaiāipo. Kids knuckled down to their mahi kura without needing any prompting from their mother. 

The little ones were assigned pet duties so I could concentrate all day.

My head was swirling by the time I stopped to make kai before TKD.

{I made a deal with whaiāipo - a bar of chocolate in return for my work. I tell you what! I was more than happy to chomp on chocolate after a week of paperwork, lol.}

Tama 1 still leading the training at TKD.  Their instructor is back in the country next week.


Making good headway with the paperwork for whaiāipo. I completed one large task and then decided I'd tackle the same thing from a different angle. It won't take me a week this time; more like three days I reckon.

The kids weren't idle either. They got stuck into tidying their exercise area in the shed. It had become slightly cluttered when my brother brought some furniture etc to store in the shed. It's back to being functional again.


Learned that my ex-boss, John Chadwick, died today.  Hard to believe he's gone at only 72 years of age. :(  Sad news.  

(Local people will know his wife, Steve, who is our Rotorua mayor.)  

I can guarantee it will be a huge tangi.  

Yeah.  I still feel in shock.


Week 5

Monday 29 May

Everybody had riding boots for today's lesson. They are now suitably attired which is a tremendous relief. Rather than purchase online, we chose a local supplierGrazie mille - especially for the great discount.  That helped immensely!!!

As my regular readers are aware, our riding lessons have moved for the winter months another 7kms towards the city from where we usually ride (2.5km to 3kms from home).

The kids feet all remained dry. Whilst the kids all wore their riding boots, tama 5 and I wore gumboots. (Thought I'd throw in an interesting read about gumboots for you.)

The winter horse-riding location is proving handy for people to notice us.

A friend saw us as she was heading home, so she stopped to have a kōrero. This is the first time anyone, other than whaiāipo, has seen them riding. Her timing was brilliant too because the three older kids were learning to jump today. The jumps may have been small, but boy! it felt truly magical to watch them.

This is the best screenshot I could manage because I had tama 4 do some of the filming after he completed his own riding in order to keep him busy and out of mischief. Tamāhine 1 and tama 2 managed a few tidy jumps, but tama 4 hadn't zoomed in so the quality's not so crash hot. Not to worry, the whānau can always view it on our YouTube channel, ?


Went to John's tangi today at Te Papaiouru, Ōhinemutu. As expected, it was a large occasion. Ngāti Whakaue did proud, their adopted son. I'm glad my dad managed to get a seat, too. :)

Lots of faces from my old working days. Caught up with as many as I could.  I didn't hang around for the hākari though.  Better the manuhiri had plenty.  I had to get to a mini-hui at a friend's anyway.

Moe mai ra e te rangitira, moe mai, moe mai.

Yakked far too long after this afternoon's hui.  Only just managed to drop three kids home before turning around to take the other four into band practice.

I received some feedback as soon as we arrived tonight at band.  Apparently, the 'gents' had been talking about tamāhine 1. They said that the 'new girl' is doing really, really well with the chanter. One of the men quizzed me a little bit about her and was pleasantly surprised when I said the kids don't have formal music training. Their ability (well, tamāhine 1 in particular as that is who he was talking to me about) to read music surprised him. They've taught themselves for the main part, so to have somebody say they're reading it competently (even if it is early days still) I feel like we must be doing okay at this homeschooling gig.

Also, tonight, Tama 1 came out of the drummers learners' room and joined the more advanced learners to practice what they are learning.This effectively means he has improved enough to move ahead.

A new lad arrived tonight so tama 1 provided some awhi and showed him what he began learning when we first rocked along to the band.

We no sooner arrived home after band practice when my eldest brother rang to ask about the tangi. It still amazes me how nowadays you can read about events from thousands of kilometres away over the internet.  I mean, it wasn't really that long ago when they lived in Japan and they would have to wait until we either wrote or spoke on the phone to learn about things.  Now, here they are, in the Middle East (granted, they move to Singapore within weeks), keeping up-to-date faster than I'm able to message them!!! LOL.


Teacher's Day today.  I had quite a puku ache.  The best I could manage was sorting through some accounts, and creating {yet} another Google calendar for the forthcoming band year. I love Google to share with others. I forwarded the link to my friend who doesn't have a Google account, but she's able to edit anything if she wishes. Brilliant for collaboration.

It was a struggle to achieve anything else today, really.

The older kids helped keep things running afloat, bless them!

I may have felt blah but I still watched Backbenches. Did you catch epsiode 3?

The anthem sounds better in Māori if you ask me. Dr Shane Reti has a good voice - even if he is National Party.


I just noticed that Tamāhine 1 has her French textbook out again. I'd hazard a guess she prefers that over Duolingo. Seeing this old textbook has reminded me I started researching for something newer. Once she finishes reviewing, From memory, I think she has only one four units to complete, so I'll get back to researching for something more modern, and then hopefully I have something newer we can transition into once she's finished.

Speaking of languages, tama 1 is refreshing his Spanish.  In the classroom, I noticed he has this on the table:


Tama 4's MUS Alpha finally arrived. There was a slight delay because LearnEx tried contacting me to advise postage to rural properties would be rising.  Argh!  Terrific. The postal system is becoming such an expensive affair in Aotearoa. It costs $1.00 to send a simple letter these days. Yes, my expat Kiwi whānau and friends! an entire dollar. Ridiculous huh?!

Also received in the mail:

Winter officially commenced on the 1st of June in the Southern Hemisphere, which makes it a great time to put one's feet up and with this good read before we get stuck into it in a few months.

Enjoy Queen's Birthday weekend everybody in Aotearoa!

Thanks for dropping by
ka kite anō