Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Year

So would you propose on Feb 29?

I often wonder where this folklore/legend/mith came from? Here are a few answers I found on the web, all pretty much the same answer, but interesting just the same.

As you will see in this post, I won't be proposing today, but good luck to all who do.

Answer #1
In 1288, Queen Margaret of Scotland decreed that in a leap year, a woman could pop the question to any man, so long as he was single.

Should he refuse such an offer, he should be fined pounds 1.
Alternatively, the lady could claim a silk gown as compensation.

According to Nancy Fenton, the head of marketing at, this was the origin of the phrase "scarlet woman". "In order to propose on a leap year, the woman had to wear a red petticoat sticking out under her skirt," Ms Fenton explains.

"This meant that it was bad luck for the man to refuse."

Answer #2
Rules of courtship are quite different these days (and much less strict), but long ago women who were hoping to marry had to wait for their beaus to propose.
They were not "allowed" to pop the question themselves, except on one day: on a leap year (February 29th) -- also known as Sadie Hawkins Day -- which occurs every four years.
The tradition dates back hundreds of years, to when the leap year was not recognized by English law; the day was simply "leapt over" and ignored.
Since it had no legal status, formal traditions did not apply on this day.
Consequently, women who were not content to wait for a proposal took advantage of this anomaly and popped the question themselves.
It was also thought that since leap year corrected the discrepancy between the calendar year (365 days) and the time it takes for the earth to complete one orbit of the sun (365 days and 6 hours), it was an opportunity for women to correct a tradition that was one-sided and unfair.
Go ladies of yore!

Why Parents Drink

The boss wondered why one of his most valued employees had not phoned in sick one day. Having an urgent problem with one of the main computers, he dialed the employee's home phone number and was greeted with a child's whisper.

" Hello " "Is your daddy home?" he asked.
" Yes ," whispered the small voice.

May I talk with him?"
The child whispered, " No ."

Surprised and wanting to talk with an adult, the boss asked,
"Is your Mommy there?"
" Yes ."

"May I talk with her?"
Again the small voice whispered, " No"

“Hoping there was somebody with whom he could leave a message, the boss asked,
"Is anybody else there?"
" Yes ," whispered the child, "a policeman ".

Wondering what a cop would be doing at his employee's home, the boss asked,
"May I speak with the policeman?"
" No, he's busy ", whispered the child.

"Busy doing what?"
" Talking to Daddy and Mommy and the Fireman ," came the whispered answer.

Growing more worried as he heard a loud noise in the background through the earpiece on the phone, the boss asked,
"What is that noise?"
" A helicopter " answered the whispering voice.

"What ! is going on there?" demanded the boss, now truly apprehensive.
Again, whispering, the child answered, " The search team just landed a helicopter ."

Alarmed, concerned and a little frustrated the boss asked,
"What are they searching for?"

Still whispering, the young voice replied with a muffled giggle...

"ME ."

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

New Toy for Me

Finally after 6 months of saying I needed this I went out and brought myself one.
A new phone that is. My old one finally died a sad death on me.

This new one has all the bells and whistles, not that I needed all that, but that is what they all come with nowadays!
So, blue tooth, MP3 player, radio, camera and calendar later I have a pretty cute phone.
It is a Nokia 6234, easy to use and so nice to look at.

Funny Feelings

Alex has taken to crouching up on his chair when he is eating.
This is fine apart from of course he cuts of the circulation to his feet!
Of course nothing major because he just ends up with Pins and Needles in his feet, or at least that feeling anyway.

A couple of weeks ago I told him what the feeling was when he was complaining his feet felt funny and yester day after breakfast he came running to find me to inform me he had 'pins needle mummy'

It was so cute that he remembered.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Ben Never Forgets

For dinner the other evening I made Corn Beef Pie (I will add the recipe as it is yum)
Now this was a slight experiment as the boys have never really taken to this and I decided it was time they tried it again.

Alex ploughed into it along with red sauce and plum sauce.
Me I usually have HP Sauce or Plum Sauce, same as Steve.
Ben took one look at what was on his plate and immediately informed us that this is what we had for lunch when Uncle Peter came to visit in Auckland.

Well blow me down with a feather, how does the boy remember this stuff, because Peter came to lunch when we were fixing the house up to sell, so we are talking June or July last YEAR.
Even I couldn't tell you if that was the last time we had the pie, I could tell you what we had to eat when Peter was there but how did a 4 1/2 yr old remember that.

Man he amazes us sometimes with the things he remembers.
Makes me realise I will have to be very careful what I do when Steve is at work because I think I have a little spy amongst us who will report all back to Steve!

Recipe as promised:

Potato & Corn Beef Wedge

4-5 medium potatos, peeled and cooked
340g can Corn Beef
1-2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup finely chopped spring onions
2 cups grated cheese
4 eggs
1 tbsp hot mustard or wholegrain mustard
ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 180c
Grease and paper line a 23cm loose bottom cake tin
Mix all ingredients together apart from 1/2 cup of cheese
Pile into the greased tin, sprinkle remaining cheese on top
Bake for 45mins. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 mins before turning out.
Slice and serve with salad and sauces/chutney

Recipe came from
Hope you enjoy

Monday, February 25, 2008

New Thing

Apart from stripping out the kitchen we have managed to do one more improvement on the house.
Steve has fixed the door stop on the back door.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Hot Air

One morning last week as Steve got up for work, he told me about the balloons in the sky. As Alex was snoozing with us he woke too and so him and I went outside in our Pj's and watched the balloons going over.
It was so quiet and peaceful you could hear them turn on the gas!


When we were at the Hamilton Gardens one time there was a model boat display on the lake. The boys thought this was great fun and had a lovely time studying the boats and watching them in action

So if we move this piece here and put that over there do you think anyone will notice?

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Dahlia Pictures

Finally blogger has let me add the pictures to my Dahlia blog
So go check them out here
It has only taken 3 attempts!

The Tree

When we drove home from shopping today we found this
Now the weather is not as happy sunny as it was last week, but it is only persitent wet, not storms or showers.
So maybe someone said boo to the tree and it fell over in fright?

Good thing about it was that we didn't like the tree anyway and it was going to get taken out, but just not as soon as this. Maybe it didn't want to stick around and see what we had planned for it.

So house with the tree
And house now without the tree

Friday, February 22, 2008

Songs on the Radio

I have the radio on at every possible moment, sometimes I do like the quiet, but I enjoy hearing the songs etc and also singing along!
As with anything a new song will come on that I am taken with and so I get into it and am always singing it when ever it is on.
Now of course Ben has grown up with Classic Hits on the radio, although Alex has as well, and I remember the day early last year when Ben sang along to the theme ad for the radio station, it had Steve and I in fits of laughter. He had been hearing it since before he was born!

Well Ben now knows that mummy sings along to certain songs (well all songs really) and therefore when they come on the radio there are suddenly big shouts of "it's your song mummy"
The first song for them to do this too was Mika - Grace Kelly, don't ask why I liked this song, but I fell for it from the first moment I heard it, it was catchy and fun and I now even have the album.
This last few months my song has been Fergie - Big Girls Don't Cry.
I was even lucky enough to see her sing this live at the Police Concert in January, as she was one of the opening acts.
Of course I know the words to these 2 songs rather well so singing along in the car is easy, but what makes it even more fun is when you have a 4 year old in the back seat attempting to sing along with you.
Ben has only done this twice so far, once when he was with just me and then yesterday on the way to work. Steve of course had never heard this and was wetting himself with laughter at Ben squeaking along to Fergie.
He doesn't know all the words, just some of the chorus and the last words on some of the lines. So you hear him mumbling something and then saying the last word.

It is so cute. Definitely one of those feel good things that your kids do.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

100 Things about me

  1. I was born in Southampton, England in the same hospital as most of my relatives, and where I went to visit my cousin after she was born when I was 15.
  2. We left there when I was 5.
  3. I have one baby brother
  4. When I was 7 we moved to Kuwait, yes the place of the Gulf War.
  5. When I was 11 we moved to Jordan.
  6. That was when I went to Boarding School in England.
  7. I stayed there for 6 years and loved every minute of it.
  8. In that time my parents lived in England, France and America.
  9. I learnt to play the clarinet at school
  10. I still have my clarinet
  11. I can still play if I try really hard!
  12. When I finished school in England my parents were still in the US so I joined them.
  13. I went to High School Band Camp in 87
  14. Although I never got to play in the High School Band as I never started High School
  15. I was going to be a Junior at Wapakoneta, Ohio High School
  16. My father got asked to leave the US due to being an Illegal Alien with no current visa!
  17. I could have stayed as my visa was current for 5 more month
  18. But I was only 16
  19. So my parents said no!
  20. I got my first job in McDonalds
  21. I worked part time whilst doing a pre nursing course
  22. But then decided against training to be a nurse
  23. And worked in McDonalds full time
  24. In 1991 decided I was now ready to be a nurse
  25. So in March of 92 started my nurse training in Wolverhampton
  26. Finished my training in 95
  27. Started working in Theatres and have not looked back
  28. All my patient's are a sleep!
  29. During my time in Wolverhampton I hung out with the Mormons
  30. I was the most active non member of Wednesfield Ward
  31. I went to Firesides, had home evenings and learnt a lot
  32. Decided to move to New Zealand in Sept 97
  33. 6 months later I arrived in Auckland on Valentines Day 1998
  34. I have been in NZ for 10 years, WOW
  35. Look what I have achieved in my time here
  36. I worked at Auckland Hospital
  37. I stayed with them on and off for just over 9 1/2 year
  38. I met Steve at work
  39. It took me 2 years to agree to date him
  40. I have now been with him for 8 years
  41. He never wanted children
  42. He is 9 years older than me
  43. Almost a different generation
  44. But that is what makes it work
  45. I managed to convince him to have kids
  46. Both our boys were planned
  47. I wanted girls
  48. So knew we would end up with boys
  49. When I went into labour with Ben, Steve was sure it was Braxton Hicks
  50. And was sure it was a false alarm
  51. I convinced him otherwise
  52. When I was pregnant with Alex I still wanted a girl
  53. Steve wanted to know what we were having
  54. So we checked at the 18 week scan, it was pretty obvious
  55. I sat up and cried
  56. I didn't want 2 boys
  57. I wouldn't change them now for all the tea in China
  58. Well maybe on some days
  59. But the feeling passes quite quickly
  60. I love my boys but am not a suitable SAHM, I love having 5 minutes to myself at work.
  61. We are only having 2, no more, although I would have liked more, but that has now all been sorted.
  62. I am a stubborn independant scorpion
  63. And I sometimes wonder how Steve puts up with me being so controlling of everything
  64. I love coke but not diet coke
  65. I love Pepsi Max but not Pepsi? Go figure!
  66. I don't drink alcohol
  67. Only because I haven't found anything I like
  68. But I am addicted to sugar
  69. But not chocolate
  70. If it was a choice between a big bar of chocolate or a box of chocolates
  71. The box of chocolates would win
  72. I like the variety in the box
  73. I am not a vegetable person
  74. Although my parents will tell you it is because I don't like anything green!
  75. I am a fussy eater
  76. Our new house is my 38 address in 37 years
  77. I am talkative
  78. Which helps because with moving around a lot I don't know many locals
  79. But have some great old friends all over the world
  80. I hate txt language
  81. And the fact kids don't know punctuation or grammer anymore
  82. I love writing on the computer
  83. But feel it is a shame people don't hand write things much anymore
  84. Long live the postman
  85. I quilt
  86. I cross stitch
  87. Or at least I use to before kids
  88. I can't draw or paint
  89. I love craft
  90. My new hobby is blogging
  91. I can't stand reality tv
  92. But love CSI, Brother's and Sister's, Dancing with The Stars
  93. I love going to the movies
  94. But due to kids haven't been for months
  95. I hate movies with high body counts
  96. Give me a great feel good movie anytime
  97. Or romance
  98. My favorite author is Danielle Steel
  99. I have volunteered with Parents Centre for the past 5 years
  100. I am currently President of Hamilton Parents Centre

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Kitchen

We took over the keys for the house yesterday and already Steve has been hard at work!
This evening he had a mate come round and help him out, so when the boys were in bed I went up and had a look.

The house by the way is all of 100 metres from where we are currently living, so can see each house from each drive way, so boys were quite safe.

This is how the kitchen was on Tuesday when we took over

This is the kitchen now

Can I change my mind and say I liked the old one? Think I would get shot if I did!

Although I am having such fun designing our new kitchen.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Our House

Today the new house, or Happy House as the boys keep calling it is officially ours.
We got the keys at 8.30am today and the kitchen people were in there measuring at 8.40am!

Yea for us.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Teddy Bears Picnic

Hamilton Parents Centre organises inconjunction with Barnardos a Teddy Bears Picnic in the park each year.
It is part of the Hamilton Gardens Summer Festival, but this year was the 13th year it had been running.

To us it is our major fundraiser, we organise it all and we get to keep the funds made at the end.

So this was my first involvement and it was a blast. We were lucky with the weather but only just, there were a few trickles of rain, but nothing that didn't just cool everyone down.

The kids loved all the entertainment and it looked like there was some fun had by all the teddy bears too.
It was a long day for everyone. I got there at 7.30am and the boys got there at 9. We left at about 4.30pm after cleaning up.

Ben had a great time, he got to see The Funky Monkeys, a local kids entertainment group who have been on the tv.

So all in all a great cheap day out. Looking forward to being part of it again next year.

Friday, February 15, 2008


Couple of weeks ago we went walked to the gardens to see the flowers.
It was not the greatest family outing we have had, but I wanted to see the flowers.
And they were quite impressive as well.

Now I know my dad likes Dahlias so I took some pictures so he could see the size and colour of the ones in the show, even though the camera does not do them any honour.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Important Day

Happy Valentines Day

This is not really a day I celebrate, not that I don't believe in it, but I still can't understand paying double the amount for flowers that I could buy in 2 days time for half the price!

But, I do celebrate this day because it is the day I arrived in New Zealand on my huge mission to live in another country.

And would you believe that today I have been in New Zealand for 10 years! It felt so nice at 11am to realise I had been here exactly 10 years.
And when I look at what I have achieved in those last 10 years.....I have a wonderful man by my side, 2 gorgeous little boys and a lovely new house. Who could want more.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Alex can count from 1 to 10. He is so clever.

There he was helping me make cookies and he told me I had to stop mixing when he got to 10 and with that he just started counting from 1 right through to 10.

I had never heard him do that before, so we rang Grandma in Dubai and he counted the same for her on the phone.

What a clever little man we have.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Mummy goes Red

I got bored and so I went red, hair colour that is!

This is not the first time I have gone a red shade, and would you believe I got the biggest compliment the next day....

The lady in the kitchen shop noticed I had had my hair coloured and told me it made me look younger.

Now who could ask for anything better than that to make the day go well.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

New Job

Today was my first day.
I nervously went to the hospital this morning and had a ball.
It all came rushing back and didn't take me long to feel like I was helping even though I didn't know where anything was!

Being a private place then morning and afternon tea was provided, they even stopped the list at one stage so we could have tea. All very civilised!

It was nice and gentle, not like public work. I think I have made the right choice and look forward to getting into the swing of things as the weeks go by.

Caravan Update

The nice man from the caravan company came and spent 2 hours with me yesterday going over the plan of our new caravan.
We looked at every fine detail, chose the colours for the window frames, the roof, the curtains, the walls, the ceilings, the kitchen cupboards and the carpet.
It was a mamouth task but I loved it.
I have gone for green, with a mixed colour curtain and a pretty plain beige carpet, one that will be forgiving of a little bit of dirt. And considering where it will be I didn't want to worry about a little bit of dirt all the time.

he then came back in the evening and said that if we signed here now we could hopefully have it ready before Easter! So I signed on the line and then transfered the deposit to them last night.
Lets just say 25% was rather a lot of money, but we have waited 4 years for this so we are not too worried as we haven't rushed into this.

Will keep you posted with updates as Les said we will be able to go and see it one Saturday as it is being built, so will take the camera. We will also then take pictures as it is being put on the site in March.

Bugs and Things

Yesterday morning I took Ben to the Hearing Clinic. We are a very small amount concerned about his speech. There are quite a few times that Alex is better at talking than he is, more in the way it is said.
So the first step is to get his hearing checked, he has managed so far to miss out on all the checks done at his Daycares.

Anyway, all was fine and he apparently has perfect hearing for a 4 1/2 year old. So no worries there.

The thing that did worry me though was the office we were in.

As we stood in the reception area waiting to check in I happen to notice about 6 rather big crickets scuttling across the floor of the centre!

Now I am not a bug person, nor an insect person come to think about it, I just plain don't like anything that crawls!
Now Kent and Leisy I am sorry, I know you love them, but I don't. I have no problem cohabiting with them on the planet as long as they stay in their garden and I am in the house, and if I am in the garden well they just have to stay well clear of me!

So to go into this office where they are everywhere and no one seems to be taking any notice just threw me.

So I mentioned when we checked in if they realised that they had black things crawling all over their office....Yes they did, apparently there was an infestation of them outside and because of the weather they were all heading inside.
So there we are sitting in the office, Ben is doing so well having his test done and I am freaking out as another cricket runs past my shoe!

Was I ever glad to get out of there!

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Alex and His Babies

When we went to Auckland for the Police Concert, Alex and Ben stayed with a friend of ours for the night.
Of course this meant that all the crew had to go with Alex, but he looked so cute with them all.

Saturday, February 02, 2008


My family are campers. I have been camping since I was about 8 months old, my brother since he was about 8 hours old!
We have taken the boys camping ever since Ben was about 17 months old, I was actually 24 weeks pregnant with Alex when we went.
In all that time we have noticed these fixed caravans, not one you pull behind your car when ever you fancy a weekend away, but one that looks more like a mobile home but pretty basic.
So every year that we have gone camping we have checked out the ones on the campsite we are staying at.
How it works here is that you obtain one of these caravans and then you pay an annual rate for a campsite where ever you want to place said caravan.
You then have the ability to leave the caravan set up on this campsite and visit it as often as you like during the year. You get between 70 - 100 nights free for your annual fee, depend on the campsite and then you pay the going rate per night after that.
It is more or less like having your own beach house just in a little more roughing it area.

Now we have decided to get one of these after 4 years and so today we went to a campsite we liked to see if they had any spaces. So there we were measuring out sites to ensure our caravan would fit. It does and we have secured our site.

So now it is back to the drawing board at the company to get our caravan built.

We are having what is called the Traveller Series and it will be an empty shell with 2 rooms and a living area. There will be no running water or facilities, but seeing as the amenities block is all of 5m away from our site I don't think this will cause any hassles, but this is what we wanted, the pleasure of camping but with a little more warmth so we can use it all year round.

The campsite we have chosen is about 1 1/2 hours (110kms) drive away, just far enough to be away but close enough to suddenly say at dinnertime 'lets go to the caravan tonight for the weekend' and be able to do that.

We have chosen Athenree on the East coast, it is quiet but has its own hotsprings, so very comfortable in the winter. We are on site 23 which as you can see from the map is ideally sited for all amenities, which are all pretty new in the last 3-5 years.
We have stayed there twice before so know exactly what it is like.

This is going to be great because with Ben starting school in September we will have to start taking our holidays when everyone else does! So to have a fixed place to go will be great, there will be none of this fighting to get a space or having to remember to book a place a year in advance!

I will keep you posted on how things progress and as soon as we have pictures I will put some on. So here is to many happy family holidays in our new holiday adventure.

Friday, February 01, 2008


One of Steve's work colleagues has a farm just outside of Cambridge.

They have a few animals on the farm and they said anytime we wanted to take the boys out to see the animals then we were most welcome.
So this past long weekend we went out for the afternoon.

The boys had a ball. They got to see horses, cows, sheep, lambs, goats and go for a walk in the bush and even ride on a quad bike and a horse.

I even got a quick ride on a horse and that is great for me seeing as the last time I was on a horse was 8 1/2 years ago and I spent 6 weeks on crutches after it! Yes I managed to fall off quite spectacularly.

Ben thought riding on the horse was good, he had a huge grin on his face the whole time round, even kept wanting the horse to walk over a jump bar that was laid on the floor.

Alex liked it but was just as happy to get down agin afterwards.
Anyway we had a wonderful afternoon at the farm and the boys thought it was great.

How Many People??

Last weekend we had some friends over for morning tea on the Sunday. They came to go for a walk up to our new house to have a look.
Before we went they all got playing with this marble game.

Not sure how many it takes to sort this game out, as we had 3 grown adults, a 4yr old and 2 2yr olds and they still had some trouble!