Friday, November 27, 2009

New Meaning

Someone gave me a new definition of MUM today.....

Miracle Worker

I like it

Thursday, November 26, 2009

New Background

It has taken a little bit of hard thinking to decide on a new background for the blog for the holiday.

I wanted to go with a Christmas theme but couldn't decide on whether to go with a winter theme or summer theme with appropriate colours.
Because to all my northern hemisphere friends it is of course winter, it is getting cold and dark in the evenings.
Unfortunately for all of you I am in the southern hemisphere and we are getting the long sunny days with blue skies and endless sunshine! (not that I want to rub it in!)

So after a lot of deciding, I have chosen to go with a winter theme for now and I will change it to a more appropriate summer theme in January when summer does well and truely hit us here.

Too Far Away From Home

I am not American, but I am well aware of the holiday that my American friends are all about to celebrate.
I have yet to experience a true American Thanksgiving, but maybe one day.

My Chiropractor is American, all the way from New York and this is the conversation I had with him yesterday....

Me: So are you taking any holiday in the next 2 days?
Jeff: Why would I be?
Me: Because it is Thanksgiving at home for you?
Jeff: Oh man it is too

pause for a moment

Jeff: I better call my Mom then!

 Glad I can help be a social calendar.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Lost and Found

On Monday, Steve came in from the garden to show me a camera he had found there.
A little white digital camera that was at the back of our garden in the compost area.

It was laid on the top of the ground so had not been there too long, plus he was also throwing grass clippings down there just over 2 weeks ago and he never noticed it then.

It is a little dirty and wouldn't go, but this could be because the battery is flat. However he did have the brainwave to take out the memory card and put it into our camera.
Hey presto, up came over 500 pictures.
The camera obviously belongs to a young lady in her early 20's. We think we can even say which one in the pictures it belongs to.
Steve thought he recognised a street in one of the shots but we were not sure.
However in some of the pictures there is a company van parked at the house next door.

So being the little detective that I am, I printed off some of the pictures and went and paid the company a little visit.
My theory being that maybe someone from the company would recognise the house that the van is parked at and then they would in turn be able to tell me where the house is to get in touch with the people next door.

Turns out to be even better once I got to the company.
The guy who's house the van is at was at work, he said yes he knew the house I was looking for and even knew the people in the shots as he himself had attended the party in the pictures.
So I have left him the pictures and my contact details and asked him to please contact the people and let them know I have their camera and pictures.
The house in question turns out to be out the back of us on another street quite close by.
However we are yet to figure out how the camera has ended up at the end of our garden as no street backs on to us only other properties. In fact you have to go down another street to get to one of the houses behind us.
So whether someone stole the camera and has then come through the property behind us or they visited the house behind and threw it our way thinking it would get buried in our garden where we are obviously doing some work who knows?
The pictures are dated from March and April, however we were not sure if they were this year or last, but have since discovered they are from this year.

So I will keep you posted on whether we are able to succeed in our little mission of being model citizens and returning the camera and pictures to the rightful owner or not!

Advent Swap Update

Finally, 2 days after they said it would arrive, I have received my much awaited parcel from Italy that came via MAF Biosecurity!

From the outside it all looks ok, obviously it has been opened and there is MAF tape used to keep it closed.
Upon opening it, everything seems ok.

They have opened 1 or 2 of the little gifts, as you can see

The rest they have just ripped the paper to get a better look at what is inside.

So apart from 2 that I know exactly what they are (although one can be rescued) the others, I can see what they are made out of, but until I take all the paper off I am not 100% sure as to what it is.
So things not as bad as they could have been.

Roll on Dec 1 so I can start opening them to see what I got, thanks Simona, Merry Christmas to you.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Moon

I have read the Twilight books, all 4 of them. I read them at the beginning of the year, one after the other, a little while after the first movie had been released.
I wanted to know what all the hype was about and to see if they were as good as everyone was saying.
I found Twilight to be ok, nothing too special but good for a first book.
New Moon got better, a very morose book, but given the storyline, then I think the author did a wonderful job with the line she was following and making it relate to the age group of the choosen audience.
Eclipse was good, the bringing of the 2 sides together for the same cause and Breaking Dawn was great and clever way to cover everything and finish it off.

I actually read in a newspaper the other day that a journalist was asking the question "what is it about them, why are they so liked?"
My answer to this is the writing. I guess that is all the author can hope for, that their style of writing will be enough to draw you into the characters and want more, want to know more, want to live their lives.
Well guess what, Stephenie Meyer does just that.
It has nothing to do with whether you are 'Team Edward' or 'Team Jacob' it has to do with how well the author has managed to get you into the story and created it in your head and she has done it beautifully.

Yes they are addictive, yes you read them and want to keep on reading the whole series without stopping, yes it is easy to reread them and that just goes to show how wonderful a job at writing the author has done.

As for the movies, well like any movie based on a book, there is always that threat that it will not come across how the audience would imagine it.
We have all seen movies based on books that just haven't worked, where you have decided afterwards that the book was by far better than the movie and that the movie never did it justice.
Twilight unfortunately was like that, it covered the story but was very bitty and not the best I had seen. I sadly feel it did not do the books any favours.
However, someone must have been listening to all the comments that came out because New Moon was different. It covered more and really did give you that feel of 'OMG which team do you support?'
At about 2 hours long it is not a short movie, but even though you know the ending (because everyone who watches it will have read the books, and not just once either) it does not feel like it is dragging by.
Jacob is played by an amazing young actor and carries the movie very well with Bella, especially as this time round the Vampires are actually not the main characters in the movie, and I think this is what I like, the fact that the author was able to create these books about Vampires but hardly have them in the 2nd book, be able to expand on things and successfully bring them altogether and have it work, again back to her amazing writing.

As for 'Team Edward' or 'Team Jacob'? Well sadly I can't say that I have a particular side, well not at least for the reasons that others have them. I myself have to quietly say that I do not care much for Robert Pattinson, I didn't like him in Twilight and I really found him no better in New Moon. Taylor Lautner as Jacob was well done and for one so young I think he did and amazing job in his role. So I would have to say I am Team Jacob, although I think that the role of Alice Cullen is an amazing one as well and I think they did an awesome job at how they portrayed her character in the movies.

So if you are in 2 minds about the Twilight Series, then my advice would be this....yes, do read the books, and like always please read them before you see the movies. Are they worth reading? Yes, even if your 16yr old daughter is reading them they are worth reading.
As for the movies, give Twilight the benifit of the doubt and then enjoy New Moon. This will then put you in good stead for June of 2010 when Eclipse hits the Movie Theatres.

I do like the fact that this was one of those movies that they realised was going to already be a hit and managed to release it worldwide at the same time, like Harry Potter Books. There is nothing like being in another country and watching on the evening news how wonderful something is being accepted only to know that we still have 6-8 weeks until it arrives on our shores!

Happy reading and happy watching.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ice Cream

Who doesn't like ice cream and especially when I manage to buy things like Hershey Hot Fudge Topping to go with it!

You take a small spoonful and place in a bowl, zap in the microwave for less than 10secs and you have a dreamy choc sauce to go with your strawberries and ice cream.

Strawberry season + ice cream + Hot Fudge Topping = heaven in a bowl

Christmas Presents

Once again we are at that time of year when us mums have to rack our brains to come up with what we are getting our little darlings for Christmas.

What do they like, what are they into, will it last long or will they be over it by New Years Day!

Last year I was struggling with what to get Alex (youngest) because he was into everything that Ben was into and seeing as Ben was at the age to have those things it was difficult to find something to keep Alex happy without it being to babyish but at the same time remembering that he is in fact 2 years younger than Ben.

Well I can tell you now that this year I am having the opposite problem.
Everytime a mailer comes through the door I am having more and more problems finding something for Ben! Just about every mailer has something for Alex. At this present moment I could go out and buy Alex about 6 different things and they would all be a hit.

Now remember we are not going over board this year as we have already had our main present and that was the Wii Console, which was purchased earlier this year for our birthdays and Christmas, but I still want to get them something, but the choice is now endless for Alex and non exsistent for Ben.
Oh well keep looking, although Lego is looking better and better each day....!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Advent Parcel Update

I have received the invoice from the nice lady that called to tell me they had decided to open my parcel and for that I had to pay a release fee!
Just because they decide, then why do I have to pay the Bio Security Fee?

Anyway, have paid the fee and parcel should be here on Monday.
Will wait to see how it turns up?

Thursday, November 19, 2009


We do have a budget!
I may not stick to it as religiously as we should but I have an idea as to what goes where.
I was very anal one time and actually put it all together on an Excel Spreadsheet, complete with sums so it adds it all up for me when ever I change anything, you know, like allowing more money for gas and power or less for entertainment etc.
I also made sure that when calculating the budget I included everything, and I mean every little detail.
I have included on our budget for the subscription to the tv magazine we get throughout the year, for our family subscription to St Johns (ambulance service that allows us to get free ambulances whenever we need them, and with Steve having Diabetes and having the occassional hypo in the night you just never know when I will need medical assistance for him, and seeing as everytime I call them it could cost us $70 per call and it is only $60 for the year, then we have this service) and even down to allowing x amount each week for Ben to buy lunch at school if he wants it.

But whilst updating it this time I was amazed at just how much we do spend on things.
With life how it is for some people at present, then I can see how people decide not to have life insurance or even house and contents insurance!
I always cringe when I hear on the news that someone has lost their whole house and possessions due to a fire, that they firstly had no smoke alarm and secondly they are not insured! I don't know what we would do if we came home to find our whole house ablaze or even emptied due to being burgarled! We would have nothing and no extra money to get the stuff back. Now I know stuff is not important, yes it would be lovely to get back all the pictures and family moments you have saved, but I am talking plan and simple stuff like furniture and clothes, things you need to survive day to day with.

But having just redone the budget, it shows that we have life insurance for both of us, I have an extra one on Steve and we have total family medical cover. We also have house and contents plus car insurance, oh and I also have a superannuation account as well, but having all this costs us a little penny, which I know we are not seeing any of it now, but will benefit us later in life, but at just over $700 per month it is a tidy little sum of money that could be spent else where sometimes, but then when I think of being able to come home and know that if anything happened here we could have another roof over our head, we will be ok for transport if something happens to the car and god forbid one of us needs surgery we would be able to get it without having to wait months and months on the District Health then I can happily justify the money that we spend each month.

Do you have a budget? Does it include everything on it to give you a real look at where you spend you money?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Advent Swap

I am so looking forward to the Advent Swap that I am part of.
I love opening presents and so the joy of getting to open one daily is going to be fun.

However I live in New Zealand and they can be a little bio security safe, due to us being an island and them not wanting any unwanted anything in this country.
So I have just received a nice little call to say that my parcel, that is winging its way from Italy, has arrived safely in the country.
How nice of them to call and let me know, although sadly that is not why they called.......they called to let me know that they decided to open the parcel for security reasons and for doing this if I would like the parcel delivered then I have to pay the biosecurity fee!

So I am not actually sure now what state the parcel will be in when it arrives after I have paid the fee on my credit card to the Bio Security people in Auckalnd. They may have sadly opened each individual item or just opened the box and x-rayed each individual item.
I will keep you posted as to the state of the parcel when it arrives, hopefully on Friday or early next week!

Another Birthday

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday I have done my mum and dad, my brother, most of my friends, my cousins, even my boys! Steve's is not until Christmas so who then? Oh yea, now I remember.....

Happy Birthday dear ME
Happy Birthday to me

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

New Editor Update

I am amazed at all the comments I am getting from people about not knowing about this new Editor stuff.
It sounds like people really have been getting bothered and frustrated with blogging!

I am also amazed that Blogger never did anything huge to tell us about this? Although I am sure they did and we just ignored it thinking it was nothing to do with us.

So hopefully you are now switching over to the new editor, you are finding it helpful and easy to use and you are slowly falling back in love with blogging?
I look forward to seeing all these amazing posts sprouting over the wire soon as you all have loads to suddenly blog about now things are working fabulously again!

Happy Blogging

Monday, November 09, 2009

New Editor Mode

As I expected, several of you have commented as to how you can gain this fabulous new editor mode for writing your posts.
So here are the instructions
  1. Go to your dashboard
  2. Click on 'settings'
  3. This should bring you up in the basic tab
  4. Scroll down to the bottom
  5. Go to 'Select Post Editor'
  6. You will find that you have a Green dot next to 'Old Editor' change it to 'Updated Editor'
  7. Save Settings
Hey presto you should now have the new editor mode in place.
So go and create a new post and see all the wonderful new things you can do, or more like be able to write a post without having to continously get rid of extra spaces and being able to add pictures where you want and how you want.

Happy Blogging

Paper Craft

I like crafts. I happily, when given the time, will sew, crossstitch and quilt.
I have given paper crafts ago before but have never delved into the depths of that world.
And I am not going to now either.

Back in August I got invited by a friend to join her at a stamping party she was attending. Never been to one before and thought why not.
Now if I wanted a new craft then why not this one. There are loads of little gadgets etc and loads of wonderful bright coloured paper. But they are also very expensive.
Now I like to send cards to people all the time, but I could never justify spending all that money to make this personalised card for someone knowing that they probably wouldn't keep it anyway and then just throw it out!

So for now I am sticking to my current hobbies.

However one of the Committees I am part of had a get together afternoon and we had the lady from the Stamping party come and do a party with us. It had a Christmas theme and was lots of fun, and very easy.
We made a little Christmas Box and also a voucher holder.

You place a voucher in the little inside pocket

I had a lot of fun making them and it was good to catch up with people I know. Now I just have to decide what to do with these lovely items?

Sunday, November 08, 2009


For the past couple of weeks, if not months, I have been getting a little, if not, very frustrated with Blogger as I have been unable to move pictures around the post. I know I am not the only one with this problem.
I could upload them nicely but then not put them where I wanted in regard to the text I had written.

I searched all through Blogger Help etc and finally left a comment on one of the posts there.
And hey presto, I got a reply, and as expected it was as simple a problem to fix as I expected.
So now I am using a new Editor that is sneakily set in the Settings of my blog (that I didn't know about)

It has lots of fun features to assist me in writing my posts.
  • an undo button
  • a strick through button (no more having to go into the HTML code)
  • Background of word colour change if I want to highlight a word
  • a very smooth picture uploader
  • quote marks
I can see that blogging just got fun again.

P.S I have just created a post for tomorrow and it was so much fun. I added 2 pictures and it was beautiful. Youi get to add them one at a time where you want them and you also get to write under it without srewing up the rest of the text written. You also get to position the picture without messing all the other text up, means you don't have to go back and resort everything so it doesn't have loads of spaces between the text!

My Boys

We had so lovely family pictures taken last year. It took me a while to actually get them from the photographer and then even more eons till I got it framed, but here is a shot of one of the pictures.

They just make the picture look like it could have been taken years ago with the sepia effect, shame Alex has a logo on his shirt!


Last weekend, we had the pleasure of spending a glorious day beside the Waikato River watching the Water Skiing Races.

The boys loved the speed of the boats and watching the people fall into the water at the end.
They also loved sitting beside the river with dad.

checking to see if a boat is on it's way

Daddy and Ben discussing the merits of the boats

Wow, look at them go

The Bridge to Bridge is held every year and we have such fun when watching.

Saturday, November 07, 2009

Advent Swap

I joined another little swap this year as well.
An advent swap that was organised over here.

For this one you are paired with someone and then you swap abox of advent presents to be opened daily throughout December, with there being a large gift for the 25th.

My lady is called Simona and lives in Italy. She has 3 boys and loves crafts.

I meant to take a picture of the wonderful pile of presents I had all wrapped for her but forgot until I had packed them all into the box that I was sending them in, so took a picture of the box crammed full of presents for Simona to open each day in December.

So Simona, your box of goodies is now on a Jumbo Jet (only way for it to leave NZ!) and winging its way to you in Italy. I look forward to receiving your box in return and having fun in December posting about all my fun advent presents from Italy.

Friday, November 06, 2009

Good At....?

What is Alex good at?
Lots of things actually, but for this post it refers to the fact he is good at you can see from all the pictures below of him, it is what he does best in the car.

Wish I could have said the same last night about him.
He woke at 3.30am and came into me because his insect bites on his legs were bothering him. He has about 6 sandfly bites.

We do get mossies here in NZ but they do not seem to bother as much as the sandflies do!
The sandfly is native to New Zealand, it is black and is about 2-3mm in size. It lives around water and breeds in running water. Although you do get them in the grass in the back garden and this is where Alex got his from, playing in the yard at Daycare.

Unfortunately Alex reacts slightly to them and ends up with nice red plum size lumps where the bites are! Found this website who talk about reactions to sandflies,very interesting site.
So you can imagine, he was crawling around the bed this morning.

First I put some soothing bite cream on but this did not do much, then I fetched an ice pack to cool the bites down and hopefully stop the itching. This did work but from the size of them I decided to be a terrible mother at 4am and dose him with Phenergan. (Antihistamine drug)
So he then appeared downstairs with me and asked if he could watch tv?!

I tried so hard to explain it was the middle of the night, but realised that he was awake and he wasn't going back to sleep. So I fetched us both a drink, and snuggled with him on the couch with pillows and blankets and put on a soft soothing dvd hoping he would fall asleep whilst watching it. Hopefully with the effect of the drug!

But sadly NO, I started to fall a sleep several times and each time he jumped and screamed and woke me up again as he got excited watching the dvd.
Finally when the dvd finished at about 5.30am I told him we were going back to bed.

This we did and he then slept with me until 8am. He seemed a little dozy when he got up and even still a little dozy when I dropped him at Daycare but I explained that he had had Phenergan at 4am and if he seemed rather sleepy or they were worried about him then to give me a call as I am at home today.

So far I have had no call so I guess the drugs have worn off.
Who knows what he will be like at bedtime tonight, very tired I am hoping?

Going Home

Of course with any good weekend away, then you also have to go home.
Sadly several others decided to go home at the same time as us so took a little longer than usual, but the boys didn't complain.

They did what they always do at this expected junction of the travel....sleep!

2 sound a sleep little angels with sun red arms and faces, absolutely knackered after a fabulous weekend with friends and family.

Labour Weekend

Labour weekend in New Zealand is at a different time to you guys in the North. Ours is the last weekend, more or less, of October.
As usual we went to the caravan and had a ball for 3 days. The weather was on our side and it was beautiful to relax with family and friends and do nothing.

well in Alex's case, be as stupid as ever!

Lots of good company, food and alcohol makes for one enjoyable weekend.

We did leave the caravan once during the weeknd and that was to go to the local RSA (Returned Services Association) to an open day they had. It allowed the kids to run around for 10 minutes somewhere different and to also play on the bouncy castle and little mini ferris wheel. They loved it.

This is also my 800th post on my blog. Man those posts creep up on you when you are not looking, 900 next and then the wonderful 1000th