Saturday, 17 June 2017

Week 7 - Term 2 2017

Nau mai, hoki mai and welcome back!

Sunday

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.

Monday

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 ...



Tuesday

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.



Wednesday

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?

At TKD:

  • 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.


Thursday

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 ....


Friday

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.)        :)


Saturday

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!

Monday

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.


Tuesday

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.



Wednesday

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.


Thursday


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. :)


Friday

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!
Tuesday

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


Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.


Friday

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, ?


Tuesday

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.


Wednesday

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.


Thursday

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:


Friday



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