Monday, January 31, 2011

Uh Now What?

Found this in the paper......

Two women have been caught trying to bring drugs and drug paraphernalia into Auckland Central Remand Prison.

When their car was searched at a prison checkpoint, staff found three methamphetamine pipes, 13 small bags with traces of methamphetamine, a cannabis-hash cookie, and two cans of vodka, Auckland Central Remand Prison manager Grace Smit said.

The two women were at the prison recently to pick up the property of a friend on home detention.

"Whilst talking to prison staff one of the occupants of the car admitted she had active charges and was a co-offender of her friend whose property she had come to pick up," Ms Smit said.

Police were notified and one woman was arrested and banned from entering the prison grounds for 12 months.

I have only one question about this report?
Now she has been arrested, where does she serve her time?


Here is my blogging question.....?
How do I reply to people's comments?

I have noticed that when I leave comments on others blogs (they are usually blogspot like me too, not just wordpress) they email me a reply to comment or say thanks.
I would love to do this to some that comment here, but I don't know how?

Anyone know any little secret they are willing to share with me anytime soon?

Sunflower Competition Final

Back in October we planted sunflower seeds and had an inter family competition to see who's grew the tallest and biggest flower.
When we returned from our holiday away over Christmas we were greeted with lovely big flowers and tall plants.

We duely marked on the sheet who had the tallest, who had the biggest flower etc.
At the time I had the tallest flower and Alex had the largest flower head.

Sadly we gained a small sprinkling large amount of rain one weekend and we lost all the sunflowers!

So we didn't have to decide when to end the competition as mother nature kindly did it for us!
The results of the competition are as follows:
  1. I won the tallest flower at 161cm
  2. Alex won the largest flower head at 21cm
  3. And we changed this part from shortest flower to smallest flower head, just the seed area. Ben won this with about 8cm.
This all equates to the following:
  1. I get to choose between playing mini golf or 10 pin bowling
  2. Alex gets to choose where we go to have dinner one evening
  3. Ben gets a choclate bar
Everyone had lots of fun, especially as for a long time Steve's plants were doing the best and were always the tallest. In fact at one stage we thought maybe he was creeping out in the middle of the night and feeding his plants because they were doing that well compared to everyone elses.
But hey, just goes to show, you have to have patience and you never know, you might just come up from behind and win the whole thing.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


I have found the public library again, I go through phases where I don't go very often and don't even come away with books, other times I am on the website reserving books in the next series I want from a particular author.

My latest author is a very easy read, nothing too hard to pick up or even put down. Everything is light hearted and as always with me, family romance is the main theme.
Debbie Macomber is the latest and she even has a website which I have looked through, finding out about all her books and what order certain ones come in so I read them correctly.
There is nothing I hate more than finding you have read a book in the wrong order, so I am always very careful when taking books from the library to ensure that it is not book #4 of 8 or anything stupid like that.

So I did sign up to updates from her website, just the usual sort of thing, what book is next out in paperback, what her latest book is and how other books have faired in the publics eye. Sometimes that influences whether I read the book or not but more often I read it anyway.

So imagine my surprise when I received a letter from them the other day.
Now don't get all excited, it was nothing but a flyer and 2 bookmarks, but it was fun to receive, especially as they are all based in the US and I am down here in New Zealand.

Interesting to read what is happening with the latest book coming out etc.
Wondering how long it will take for the local library to have them in and then also wondering how many copies they will get.

So I have to go now as I need to check out the library website and see what si available, catch you later.

Posts and Pictures

Sometimes I find that I get so far behind in the posts I want to add to the blog.
I find that I end up writing a list of all the subjects I want to cover. This usually equates to pictures to add as well.
So I can keep track whilst writing the posts, I make a list of the posts I am writing and which pictures go with them. Then I list the pictures so I don't have to keep searching for them. Makes posting a little quicker as well.

Thought I might just show you a quick peek at the latest sheet I am working off of:

As you can see, just 1 or 2 wee pics to add!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Weird Bridge

Came across this weird bridge when last up in Auckalnd, looked so different in the open landscape.
Sometimes makes me wonder what anyone was thinking when they designed it?
Sure it will look good once the area around has all been developed and grown up.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Interest Free Wonder

Steve and I have been discussing, for several weeks months, the benefit of buying a flat screen tv for the living room.
It is something that I know will one day happen and I am not against it, we just don't really need it at present.
However, as all the extra machines (DVD player, Blue Ray, Sky, TIVO sort of thing) in the living room slowly die and get up dated, then it becomes more obvious that our old large square box tv is just not compatible with these other machines. Well it is compatible in that they play but we have picture and sound quality issues.

So when Steve told me of a staff discount day at one of the local homeware stores, then I rushed on over and sussed out the best deals. Needless to say I stood my ground and we decided we didn't need to buy the tv that day as we would have to come up with the money up front there and then!
The reason being that this particular store is very good at having interest free deals all the time.

In 2005, just as Alex was born, we realised we needed a bed for Ben to sleep in, so we got bunk beds from said store and got them on interest free credit. 36 months actually with 12 months deferred payment. We had the boys sleeping in the beds for nearly 3 years before we finally paid for them.

Now let me just inform you, we pay the amount off before the interest free period ends, so in fact this company really doesn't like us at all! We never pay any interest because as soon as we make the purchase I divide the amount by the months and pay that monthly amount. It is always much more than their recommended minimum payment of 3%. So in the last 5 odd years of being with them they have gained no extra money from us at all. They must hate us!

So from then on whenever we have wanted anything for the house, we choose it in the store and then wait until they have a good interest free promotion on. And oh boy have they had some good ones.
In 2006 we brought a new digital camera on 24 months interest free, I think the camera had died before we had finished paying for it.
In 2008 we brought all the new appliances for the kitchen on 40 months interest free, we are just coming to end of paying something stupid like $67 a month.
Last year it was decided that a Laptop computer was really needed for me to do my studies, seeing as I have to travel an hour to see the tutor, so we brought it when they had 48 months interest free. Think it would have been fairer to them to just give me the computer because they are making absolutely no money out of us at all, not at $50 for the next 4 yrs and no interest!

So after Christmas we saw that the company had had a special on over Christmas of 50 months interest free. 2 weekends ago it was down to 30 months and last weekend they only had a discounted price on, no interest free period. Their specials usually only last for a weekend, so if you want to get that special then you have to go there and then.
Steve said lets go, 30 months is good, but I know this store and told him to wait.........and sure enough, for this holiday weekend they have 50 months interest free till Monday.

So I have succummed and told Steve to go and get his TV this weekend, it may not get put on the wall just yet but at 50 months, it is just stupid a time not to buy it.
Think my husband will be way happy this weekend.

Sign of the Times

This big old world has definitely moved forward 20 paces!
Steve and I were talking about getting a new television and Ben's solution to the old one was to put it in their room! I don't think so.

I told Ben that I had to earn the money for my first tv set in my bedroom when I was 18.
Later Steve and I were talking and I mentioned about how many computers we would one day have in the house when the boys required one for school etc in their rooms, he laughed, and reminded me that I had said no to a tv set but was saying yes to a computer!

However, the sign of the times is showing, when as a family in the car we were discussing mini golf. The conversation went like this:

Ben: Mummy when are we going to play mini golf?
Me: Not sure baby, why?
Ben: Well there use to be a golf course on this road didn't there?
Me: Yes, but they removed it. But don't worry mummy will find out where there is another in Hamilton.
Ben: Well just go to and look it up!
Me: Speechless!!!

Shame the address is all wrong, but he obviously has the gist of this internet thing down fine, but then every ad on tv does usually promote the company website, so only a matter of time before they use that more than telephones and yellow pages!

Ok world you can slow down a little now please, my babies are still only babies and I want to keep it that way for a couple of years more thanks.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When It Rains It Pours!

With damage that is.
Yes we have suddenly started to get some much needed and waited for rain.
No problem there, mind you, we desperately needed it here.
However, what we didn't need was all the damage that we have had in our house over the last 3 weeks. Some from the rain and some not...!

Damage #1 - The Paddling Pool

When we returned from our holiday away over Christmas, it was stinking hot. I took one look at the garden and decided we could afford to purchase a cheap paddling pool for the boys to play in when it is so hot. So I rushed out to the shop and got a lovely little thing. We blew it up and filled it with water. The boys had a ball in it.

We made toys from sponges, just like I had read about in my Family Fun magazine. This went down well too. They got thrown about and splashed with for hours.
Unfortunately, 2 days after getting the pool,  the below picture is what we woke to one morning.

My thought, which turned out to be correct, was that a cat had got in the pool and put a claw through one of the sides whilst getting themselves out.
I tried desperately to fix it, I managed to get it to go up after finding the hole and repairing it, but sadly the next morning it was back down again. Mum and Steve even helped me 2 days later, although then we found another hole to fix. By this time I was getting frustrated with the pool and decided that it obviously was not going to survive. Hey, 2 days was pretty good, although very annoying.

Although Alex was not too worried about not having a pool, he found alternative arrangements!

Damage #2 - The Gazebo

We have a lovely paved area out the back of the house and this gets used in the summer all the time. For nearly 2-3 months we always have dinner out there in the evening. It is always so warm and cosy there. However on occasion, I have realised that it would be lovely to have a gazebo there, make the area more user friendly during the day when the sun is blazing down on us.
We found one just under 2 weeks ago and decided that in fact this was perfect. We managed to get it at half price, but even then it was expensive.
So we spent the afternoon erecting the said gazebo and glorifying in the wonderful shade we now had. We were good sensible people and tied it down with pegs and guide ropes as supplied etc.

However, several nights later we gained a lot of rain and sadly this did not go well with the gazebo.
No where on the instructions did it say it could not be up in rain, ok not a torential storm, but a little rain. If we had known some rain was going to fall during the night, then we may have considered taking it down, but a shower or two, then no. However on day 6 of having this lovely thing it sadly collapsed on us at 4am.

Now as you can see from the above pictures, the main frame of the gazebo remained standing but the above bracket in the middle of the roof had totally buckled.
So we rang the store and explained that it had colapsed and we felt this was not exceptable.
The manager agreed and put another aside for us to replace this one.
However by the time we got to the shop we had decided that in fact we did not want another. The manager had informed us that it was in fact just a light, thin, cheap alluminium gazebo that was to be taken down at the first hint of wind or rain.
We however never read anything like that on the instructions and seeing as it retailed at $400, we felt that it would have to be a little ok (remember we got it for 1/2 price).

The funny thing is, I had a feeling that it would not last and that it would be damaged before the end of the summer. I didn't however feel this would happen within a week of having it!

Damage #3 - The Boys Bedroom Ceiling

This weekend just gone, New Zealand got hit with a torential storm, ok now, nothing like our friends gained over the ditch. I wouldn't wish that on my worst enemy, but enough to cause damage and really ruin the weekend.
I ended up sleeping in the boys room at some stage on Saturday (nothing unusual there either) and it is a blessing that I did, because this made me aware of the dripping sound that was going on in there and so therefore I was aware of how long this sound had been going on for.
Turns out we had water coming through their ceiling.

So a quick call to the Insurance company on Sunday morning and we are now awaiting the assessor to come and view the property to ensure no damage has been left unsorted.

Damage #4 - Bathroom Tap

So the paddling pool had died a sudden death the weekend before, the Gazebo had fallen down early hours of Saturday morning. The ceiling was leaking in the boys room 24 hours later on the Sunday morning and at 10am on the Sunday morning I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and found that the mixer tap in the bathroom would not turn properly and therefore was only allowing hot water to flow from the tap.
Now if you have ever tried to brush your teeth in hot water you will know how yucky this is. Although my other worry was that it got hot very quickly.
I am not sure how, after everything else that had happened over the 1 week period, I managed to keep a straight face as I stood there and informed Steve that now the tap was broken too!

I think he was ready to call the Estate Agent and list the house to the lowest bidder just to get away from it all. Ok, so apart from worrying about the roof, nothing else was extremely serious at all, just really annoying that everything we had dealt with was crumbling before our eyes. Seemed like everything we wanted to do was coming together really nicely but then failing at the last moment.

So we are back to using the umbrella out on the patio with the table. I have brought the boys a new pool, one with ridged sides, however the weather has been crap since then so have not actually got it out yet. A builder friend came and assessed the damage on Sunday morning and he thankfully sussed out the tap for us and also commented on what he thought should be done with the roof and ceiling.

However, as I write this post now (it has taken me 2 days to write this post!) the assessor has been to the house. He is not concerned with the ceiling in the boys room, nor the carpet, he feels things will dry out nicely, although if it rains again and more water comes through then we will have to consider taking the ceiling off in their room to see exactly what is going on, that is if a builder finds no problem with the roof.

So the sun is now shinning, there is no worry anymore and slowly everything is righting itself. The school summer holidays are almost over, 1 more week and then life goes back to normal again. Hoepfully by then our damage streak will cease to exsist!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Rain and more Rain

We have been having the most glorious summer so far, but sadly, we have also been in desperate need of some rain.
We gained some last week, it was nice, although it didn't cool things down much.
However, this last day or 2 we have gained more.

Now however nice it is to receive it for the garden etc it has also been a pain to us.
It has caused damage, which I will post about later when I have uploaded pictures.
But it has also allowed me to achieve one of my challenges, #83 actually. To go outside in the rain and get really wet.

Well I didn't just go outside in the rain and stand around and get really wet, oh no too easy, I had actually just started cutting the hedge along the drive way when it decided to rain, so seeing as I was halfway through, then I decided to continue. So I got rather wet doing the gardening and acieving a challenge along the way.

Steve was busy pulling up sunflowers, which have been another pain to us with the rain, unfortunately they didn't like a lot of rain all in one go and sadly all fell over. Again another post on its way about the competition we ran, as with no sunflowers standing, then the competition is now over. I will tell all soon and let you know how we all faired in the competition.

But with the rain comes a day inside and nothing beats a day inside than racing to the DVD store and hiring several movies to snuggle on the couch and watch. And seeing how the temperature has dropped as well, snuggling on the couch under a fluffy blanket is awesome at present.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Unexpected Challenges

I am currently working my way through 100 Challenges as shown here. Those I know about, I can read the list and sort of plan how and when they will get completed, at my pace in my time.
What I am not prepared for is the unexpected challenges that cross your Thread Worms.

Yes you read correctly, like Thread worms.
Alex had been, on very sporadic occassions, complaining of a tummy ache at meal times. Nothing bad and maybe once every 2 weeks, no pattern to it or anything. I always told him it was because he was hungry. Once dinner was finished he never complained of tummy ache again.

He has also, on a very sporadic occassion, been complaining of an itchy bottom. Now that was the one that made me originally think about worms, but he showed no other signs and the complaints were at odd times of the day, never at night, when I know they are active. Again it never had a pattern to the complaints and sometimes you forgot he had mentioned it because it was so long since he last mentioned it!

However last night he came into me at about 11pm, crawling over the bed, wriggling saying bum hurt. Now I do remember being told somewhere that to discover worms you need to do it in the dark. You need to get the child all prepared and have a flashlight ready and when all is ready shine said light on the area.
Well low and behold it worked......not that I am proud of the fact or anything, but there was the worm.
Alex is our little helper man, he loves being in the garden and helping out. So it is no surprise, although I have a feeling this has come from school!

Alex has been at school for 6 months now. Within 3 weeks he had head lice, which we treated, and then within 6 more weeks he had it again. Now Thread worms! I just love the challenges of school.

Luckily I knew we had medication, so we proceeded to administer, although unfortunately we only had enough for 2 people, so seeing as Alex has them then he got some, well what he would swallow, we are going to complete his dose today. Because I have had such painful insides for last 3 days then I had a dose as well. Today I will go to the Pharmacy and get more to dose the rest of the family.

Even though I am off sick from work, my job today, in between resting, is cleaning sheets, vacuuming bedrooms and wiping down areas of importance, anything to ensure we break the cycle of the beast! Alex, still wears a nighttime nappy, so I have a feeling that it may have stayed contained at night, but am not taking any risks.

These are the joys of parenting, these are the things they forgot to tell you about when you signed on for this gig. These are the things that only parents get the joy of experiencing. These are the things that even if they do tell you about them, you forget them all when gazing into the ever so cute and gorgeous eyes of your new born baby thinking that nothing like that will ever effect your family!

Ha, don't believe them, it can happen, it will happen, enjoy parenting!

Judo End of Year

As you all know by now, Judo is playing a large part in this family currently.
So it was with great pleasure that we were able to swing a few things to be able to attend the end of year party. It was held the day after the Wedding in Rotorua, so we drove back for it the next morning!

It was a day of fun and laughter.
The kids played loads of fun games like egg and spoon race, throwing and catching eggs (un cooked of course) and multiple others, that involved water, balls and chocolate!
A BBQ lunch of sausage sizzle was provided and everyone was in a relaxed mood.

The end of year party was also the time when all the trophies were given out for the year.
So everyone sat around and cheered as people got awarded trophies for all their hard work throughout the year.

Ben and Alex were no exception and both managed to walk away with a trophy.
Ben got awarded with 'PeeWee Judoka of the Year'
Alex got awarded with 'Most Promising PeeWee'

They both deserved them and have worked very hard over the last 9 months so we were very proud of them.

All those trophies to be awarded

Way to go Alex

Way to go Ben

Jared is slightly taller, but the boys love him, shame he is moving to the next class up this year! He will be missed by the boys

One tradition that apparently happens at the end of year party is slime. Yep, good old fashion slime that you run through, roll in and slip and slide around with.
So several large buckets were made up, one very large tarp was put down and several kids had a right old time slipping and sliding all around the place.

hose needed as slime was made with soap and stung when got in an eye!

What an awesome way to end the year of very hard work by everyone.