Monday, October 31, 2011

Worst Parent Award

Unfortunately it is now official, we are the worst parents in the world and we have just been awarded the trophy for it!

In April, at Easter (yes all that long time ago) Ben had 2 teeth fall out, this made number 3 & 4.
However he was not sure about giving them away and so they have sat on his bedside table in the little pot Grandma gave him.
They have happily sat there for the last 6 months and not a word has been said.

However last night Steve came and asked if I had any coins and then told me that Ben had decided to surrender his teeth.

(Yes I know you can see exactly where this is now leading!)

At 7 O'Clock this morning we were officially awarded the award of worst parent in the universe award.
This was awarded as Ben came into our room with tears running down his face proclaiming "the tooth fairy didn't come!"

Yes folks, that is just about it.....we forgot!

We didn't have to make up any excuses as Ben is very good at justifying things for himself and proceeded to say that the reason she didn't arrive was:
  1. He was too late in putting his teeth out
  2. He is a jiggler when he sleeps and therefore she couldn't get to them
  3. His head is too heavy and she was unable to lift the pillow to get to his teeth
We just looked at each other, went 'Oh woops' and told him that yes the tooth fairy would probably try again tonight and lets maybe put the teeth somewhere where she can get to them!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Art Work

At the caravan they have started to decorate the surrounding campsite area with some wonderful artwork.
From what I can gather as well it is by a local artist, which I think is a great way to showcase the talent in the area.

The owners of the campsite have just placed all the following artwork up in the hotpool area to spruce the place up.

I liked them and thought you might too.


One of my new blog friends, Rocking Chair Reflections, has been doing a memory month during October. It has been fun to read some of her happenings from times before long ago.
I decided that maybe I would try to cover some memories, as they come to mind, during November. I am not aiming for one a day, just more like as they happen.

The other day Ben enquired as to how people use to travel to places long ago?
Now to start with we had to establish exactly what he meant by 'long ago'? As his justification could mean anything!
We weren't sure if he was referring to 30 years ago, 50 years ago or 100 years ago and seeing as the motor car is just entering into 100 years ago, who knows?
It was soon sorted that he meant between 50 and 100 years ago.
First he asked how people got from A to B at sea? Which we informed him was still by boat, just probably a little slower than nowadays.
Then he asked how people got to other towns when visiting someone?
This is where it got tricky, probably because I made it that way, but we told him people use to travel by horse and carriage, although, and this is where I should have just shut up and kept quiet, I told him that people didn't tend to live far apart from family like they do now, or more over, some people did but it was not the norm to have family members all over the country.

This threw him a little, as to him the norm is that people can live anywhere and it is not a problem, so to be told that people never use to leave the town they were born in and tended to stay there all their life was an odd concept, especialy as he now lives in Hamilton but was born 2 hours away in Auckland, and the fact he is still trying to understand that Mummy is from England and has not lived in New Zealand for ever.

This then got me thinking, I have had 39 address's in 41 years, the norm for me is to travel.
The norm for me is to have family all over the world and you see them occassionally (like every 5-10 yrs), you write letters, you send Christmas cards & letters, you remember their birthdays with a card. You move with the times and now catch up on Facebook or emails, you even host a blog so they can catch up with your life on their terms not when you feel like sending them an email.
You definitely don't catch up every Sunday for lunch at Grandma's house and run round the garden with the cousins.

There has been the odd time when this has bothered me, I think more on the level of 'did I miss out on something?', occassionally I do think about what life would have been like if we were a family to stay in one place but then I also remember all the stuff I have done in my life and realise that part of what makes me 'ME' is all the travel I have done.

Do I regret that my parents travelled us around the world? 95% No and about 5% Yes.

I mean come on, how many 15 year olds could get themselves from London, UK to Detroit, Ohio, USA on their own via 2 planes, delays in 3 airports and many other means of transport? And not be registered under "unaccompanied minors"!
To me that was like taking a bus downtown, in fact I probably would have struggled with getting downtown more that getting across countries.
I have lived in Kuwait, Jordan, France, America and England,
I have had visits to Cyprus, Crete, Rome, Canada, USA and many others.

I am an independant, stubborn person who isn't afraid to try things, if I want to do something then I will make it happen, it isn't my fault that other people sometimes don't get to do things for me because they just run at a slower speed than I do.
I often wonder how Steve puts up with my independant, controlling and leading ways, maybe he likes a dominating woman.
I do remember travelling with him over to Europe, I am not one to dawdle in airports, I get off the plane ready and there is no stopping me, can't do with waiting in lines for people to find passports etc when they knew dam well they needed them once leaving the plane. Poor Steve had no chance, he either got off the plane ready to go or he got left behind. Eventually it got to the point where he just gave me his passport and said "here you keep it, I will just keep up with you" we travelled really well with each other.

So out of all of this it will be really important to ensure my kids realise that everyone lives how they want to live and that years ago things were very different to how it is now.

Friday, October 28, 2011


My sons school is coming up for its 150th anniversary.
Quite an achievement really.
They are looking at creating a committee to organise a celebration for this joyous occassion.
I don't think they are trying to find someone from when the school first started, quite an achievement in my eyes! but they will be looking to find old pupils.

My new boss has admitted that that was his Primary school all those many years ago, which is nice to think he know only works down the road from it and still lives in the region.
However I am aware of one parent who attended the school herself and now both her boys are just coming to the end of going through the whole school.
In this day and age where people are known to move a lot, it is lovely to find someone who has that history with a school.
Lets hope we can find more like that.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

100 Challenges Update

Seeing as I only have 23 days until this challenge should be finishing then I better do an update as to where I am up to on succeeding on completing these 100 challenges.
I currently have writen down that I have completed 7/100 on my blog, but I have gone through the lsit and I think this may have crept up by 1 or 2.

So here is an update:

#6 Baby sitting for no reason - I 'baby sat' or more like 'babies sat' for a friend one Saturday afternoon with her twin 6 month old boys. She was attempting to watch 3 soccer games throughout the day and had been out of the house since 9am with the twins. It was cold and so I offered to take them home and look after them until she has finished all the games she needed to watch for her other 2 sons.
It was a challenge to feed to both babies at once but I got myself nicely set up in the armchair, 1 baby each side and a bottle in each hand, not sure what I would have done if one of them wanted to move! Completed

#19 Go to a Sunday Market - everytime I see the sign advertising the Farmers Market not far from us then I think of this challenge but as yet I have not remembered to go and visit it with the family. What I need to do is actually mark it on the calendar and then I will remember to get the family organised to go to it.
Note to self - place on calendar when get home from work tonight!

#22 Teach someone a new craft - my cousin has asked me to teach her to quilt. I have accepted this challenge and will be assisting her one Wednesday. We were waiting until I had finished study for the year and for her to finish the job she is currently completing. So this challenge is not completed but is planned ready to go.

#23 Dessert only dinner with friends - this was achieved with a group of mum's from school, 4 of us went out one evening for coffee and dessert and believe me a full chocolate dessert plate is beyond dreams, especially as the restaurant had half price desserts on the night we went, it made obtaining a dessert plate each so much more easier. Completed

#39 Watch the clouds with your kids - never managed to achieve this on a blanket but on the drive to the caravan the other day the kids and I happily looked for shapes in the sky. We say dolphins, rabbits, ships and many other shapes that kept them amuzed on the drive over. Completed

#49 Spend an hour in silence - this was easily achieved when the family took themselves off to the caravan for the weekend so mummy could get her latest essay completed. They left Friday and returned Sunday, so I had hours of silence to myself. Completed

#65 Get old magazines, find pictures you like and stick them in a book - I have some great magazines and have found some lovely stuff I like, I just haven't sat and cut it all out yet, or glued it in or commented on why I like it. So half way there, maybe now I have finished my study for the year I can use 1 of my Wednesdays to complete this.

#68 Learn something new - this one can be quite liberal, I have learnt the art of mail art, although not sure if that was too easy a subject as not difficult to do, however I have just changed jobs and I am learning all about the business side of running a hospital, so am in learning overload at present, but I have also just completed my essay on law and ethics within nursing and that was also a steep learning curve. So I am saying I have completed this one and learnt lots recently. Completed

#89 Take baking to an appointment - I haven't done this yet but I ahve a Doctor's appointment next week and a hairdressers appointment 2 weeks later, so just need to plan it.

#91 Surprise your kids with a day off school - now I have done this with one of them although I am trying to remember if I did it with the other as well, sadly we did not have fun days planned just a day at home with mum. Although thye are both going to have 2 days off school in a few weeks doing lots of fun stuff when we fly to Nelson. We don't normally plan activites where they take days of school for it, so this trip to Nelson is going to be such fun.

#92 Organise a night away with you husband - this was achieved a few weeks ago when we went to Rotorua for a Family Anniversary party, the boys stayed with Grandma and we snuck off to a hotel for the night. It was well deserved. Completed

#96 Buy a song off the internet and sing it loud - I brought the Bruno Mars album from Digirama and it is on my phone, this last weekend at the caravan it was the only music we had and the boys sang it with me loud and clear all weekend. Completed

So there you have it, another 7 completed. My total is now up to 14/100. Still not a fabulous amount but I will try and work on it

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

All About Me

Over here at Fee's Place she had a little meme going which was titled "All About Me"
So I have answered all about me and look forward to finding all about you too.

A. age : 40 (well for another 4 weeks anyway!)

B. bed size : King

C. chore that you hate : Cleaning - unless I am in the mood, which lets face never!

D. dogs : No dogs, but have 2 cats

F. favorite colour : I use to say pink, but this has changed as I have gotton older and now I am not so sure I can stick it down to just 1 colour!

G. gold or silver : Gold

H. height : 5 Foot 4 Inches (or 163cm if you want to get pc)

I. instruments you play : I play the clarinet, although I haven't played it since I left school in 1988

J. job title : Just changed jobs, so went from Nurse to Analyst during 8-5, othertimes then Mum

K. kids : 2 - Ben 8 & Alex 6

L. live : Hamilton in the mighty Waikato, New Zealand

M. mother’s name : Laurie

N. nicknames : Don't have one, although when I was little it was Katy Lou, but that stopped when I was about 10, my dad calls me Floss sometimes but actually don't have one unless you class "MUM" as a nickname!

O. overnight hospital stays : Wisdom Teeth @ 18, 2 births nothing else

P. pet peeves : alcohol, the fact that people abuse it so easily

Q. quote from a movie : there are so many.......

R. right or left handed : Right

S. siblings : 1 brother - I am the oldest

T. time you wake up : Don't like getting up am not a morning person!

U. underwear : Yes I wear underwear and no it does not match

V. vegetable you hate : Carrots and mushrooms

W. what makes you run late : My family......

X. x-rays you’ve had : pelvis, ankle, neck, teeth

Y. yummy food that you make : Anything sweet

Z. zoo animal : the red pandas, although we haven't been to the zoo for a long time and really should start going again now that they do a decent family pass.

Leave a comment and I will swing on by and find out more about you too.

Ranting Over Now

Thanks for all your kind words yesterday whilst I ranted and raved.
I know they were only trying to get a gift to me in a timely manner before it was too far past when I left (I left 3 weeks ago)
I do know they are not that p****ed off with me but however they do have 3 means of contact for me and I am after all only 400m walk through the hospital away from them.
Would it have taken very much at all to contact me and ask me to pop by sometime?

I think not!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Email Address

A couple of months ago I thought I would get clever, well a little more than I currently am.
However it looked like it backfired on me slightly big time.
You see I decided to set up an email account for my blog so people could contact me via it if they wanted, what with privacy and everything I decided I wanted a seperate one just for here and then keep my personal one just for me.
So I ventured where all others have gone before and created a gmail email.
Having had success I changed everything on here at blogger so all comments went to that as well as my personal account, all good so far.

However I then had trouble with the password and after a few weeks of this I gave up and left it alone for a little while, although I was still silly enough to leave all my blogger correspondences going to it! (duh). However that little while unbeknown to me turned into months and today I finally remembered what I had done and went and ventured forth into the world of my gmail email account. The password was sorted and it wasn't too painful obtaining access.

Well low and behold I had mail, lots of mail (102 actually) and no it wasn't spam either.
I had all the comments people had left me, which luckily I have read as they go to my personal email as well but I also had lots of comments back from people where I had commented on their blog, so sorry I missed them guys.
I also had 1or 2 companies wanting to do giveaways on my blog. Now I am not often sure about companies getting in touch but having seen several other blogs post about how they had "morning tea shouts" on so and so company and "how about winning this free thing" so and so was offering. I did often wonder how they managed to score these lovely giveaways?
Well now I know, you need to check your email connected with your blog more often and then you might never know what could come your way.

So I am back up and running with this blog only email and look forward to being more in touch with you guys.
Maybe, you never know, I may have a giveaway or 2 at some stage before the end of the year and yes I would include all my lovely friends from overseas in this.

5 Minute Rant and Rave Because I Can and I Need Too!!

Sorry, if you don't want to read a very big rant and rave then please skip this post and wait for a happier one tomorrow!

I have just changed jobs at work. I have gone from a clinical setting to a desk job. I am very excited about it and see this as a growth within my career. It is all still within the hospital and I am going to be learning a lot about the business running of the hospital over the actual hands on nursing, although my nursing knowledge will be used and stretched no doubt over the next year.

Sadly the department I have come from is small, very busy and very short of staff. They have had people changing hours over the last year, people have left and in a nut shell they don't seem to have replaced any of them, well no that is not true, they employed 2 nurses and 1 left after 6 weeks! Nothing to do with the job more to do with family and the fact they lived in Ireland and she was here in NZ.
So for me to get seconded to a position went down like a ton of bricks, although if they had all had their eyes open just a little more they would have realised that I applied for this position just like applying for a new job, which I was successful at obtaining.

So in the last 2 weeks of being in my old department they discussed about going out to dinner, the place was so busy and people away here there and everywhere that we planned it for the first week after I had left.
Unfortunately they ran the department on 3 nurses that week and had to cancel the dinner due to no one being available, which I had no problem with.

This is where the rant comes in folks - when I went up to the department the following week it became apparent that a new date was not going to be organised, there was no sign up or anything. The person planning it all had found out that I had applied for the job and not just been seconded, for some reason this annoyed her very much (not going to swear on here today otherwise I just won't stop!) although what difference it makes I just don't know.
So I am not bothered, well just a little, how can they be so petty and stupid, grow up will you! People change jobs all the time, 1/3 of the hospital runs on secondments don't they know this! Man they really are living in the dark ages there and think their department is the most special little place in the world and the hospital should revolve around them.

However the real bullet moment happened today when I arrived at work, the real reason I am ranting and raving, the moment that hit me in the gut, the moment when just for 2 minutes I was p****ed of with my old department and actually let it get to me.......

I arrived to find an internal envelope sitting on my desk, oh I thought, who is sending me anything? On opening it I now do not want what was sent to me, in fact I opened it and 2 seconds later walked out my office to find my husband (who works in the next building) so I could scream at someone and sadly cry too!

So what was in the envelope I hear you ask?

They had kindly thoughtfully sent through the Good Luck Card and gift that they had put together and were obviously going to give me at the dinner! But because they are so p****ed at me for leaving (well they haven't actually said but I think they are) they can't be bothered! There was no phone call to say 'please pop up to the department when you have a moment' no 'hey lets catch up for drink instead of dinner' or anything, just a card and a small gift in an INTERNAL post envelope sent through the hospital internal post!

I was speechless, I just sat there and stared at the stuff, not sure exactly what to do or even say. It felt like I was handling stolen goods, you want to touch it but you know you really don't want to but you are curious.
My empty stomach (no breakfast yet!) hit the empty bottom very quickly and hurt.
As you can imagine I felt about that tall and a little less more, they really managed to hit me and make it hurt.
As mentioned before, all I could do was go and see Steve, I meant to just show him what they had sent but as I stood in his door and told him "I knew the answer to how to make someone feel like crap" I just cried.

I worked there for 20 months, ok I clashed with the acting manager in the last 6 months but only because we were so a like and she liked to be controlling!
I hate giving them the satisfaction of tears, I am sure that is not what they had intended, they obviously just thought it would be nice to get the gift to me that they had kindly got for me, but come on there are much better ways of doing that.

My secondment finishes Oct 1 next year, in the January after I am planning on doing my teacher training, so I will have 3 months where offically (if my secondment is not extended) I will be going back to my old department, as of today I will scrimp, scrap and save so I don't have to go back there, I will become a SAHM instead. On Sept 1 they will be receiving my resignation if my secondment is not extended, if it is then I may extend and do my training the following year but you can guarentee I will not be working back there, why would I want to?

Monday, October 24, 2011

It is Over

The boys are in bed, the washing mountain has been reduced to nothing, the cats are happy to see us and I am so looking forward to sleeping in my own bed tonight.
The long weekend everyone has been desperately waiting for has now come to a close.
And WOW what a weekend it has been.

It has been fun lounging around the caravan for 5 nights with family and friends. The weather has not been totally on our side, man we got hit with some strong winds at one stage for 24 hours. Although as usual on the day we are leaving the sun comes out in force!
We got to have fun on Friday night watching the Australian defeat the Welsh (not that that was the result I wanted), but the Welsh fought like mad and oh what an ending to a tough game. The Welsh deserved every point they earnt and I am just so sad for them, but they sure went home huge heros in the eyes of the fans at home. Such a little team to have come 4th in the Rugby World Cup (RWC). Well done to them all.

And to end the weekend we had the awesome time of watching the RWC final on the big screen. It was a tense and exciting game and we are so glad we let the boys stay up to watch it, although they both just about fell a sleep about 10 minutes from the end, but oh how they both fought it, eyelids drooping and snuggled nicely on Grandma and mummy's lap and then wow, game finished both boys wide awake and excited.
Just in case you didn't know New Zealand beat the French 8-7 in the RWC Final in Auckland, New Zealand last night, and as we live in New Zealand then you can guarentee this is all anyone is talking about. The 6 O'Clock news was rugby, rugby oh and just to finish it off with a little more rugby tonight, maybe something else will happen in the world tonight and they will report this tomorrow!

If the weekend has finished then it also means that the school holidays have come to a close as well. School is back tomorrow but for all of 8 weeks and then we are into Christmas school holidays.
The boys has lounged around, watched dvd's, lots of tv and run till they have no puff left with their friends at the caravan.
Tomorrow we have the joy of facing homework again, late nights with judo and just general life.

We are slowly creeping to the end of October too, Blogtoberfest is coming to a close as well. I have just checked my posts and with being away for the weekend then I did miss 2 days of posts, but with having posted twice on some days then I will still manage to end the month with 31 posts and that I am happy with.
I have made some wonderful new blog friends throughout the month and I am having such fun catching up with what they are doing. I have learnt a new craft, Mail art and gained some new things to think about making when I have the time! Yea right, maybe in 20 years time.

So the last load of washing is calling my name to go and hang it up, my bed is calling too, telling me how soft and snuggly it will be and my new suduko book arrived in the mail this weekend, so some puzzling before lights out is on the menu too.

Have a great week all, catch you soon

Friday, October 21, 2011

Long Weekend

It is Labour weekend here in New Zealand. It is also Rugby World Cup final time.

This is the first long weekend we have had since June, so everyone is in desperate need of a little time out. Luckily at this time of year we can get some lovely weather, so it makes it even better having an extra day to the weekend.

We are, as usually at this time of year, at our caravan. The wind is up but the sun is shinning and the boys have been running and cycling around the camp with their friends all day and loving it. I am getting nothing done, but that is how it should be, although I have managed to get 1 jigsaw completed (with help from the family) and I still have several others to complete.

The 3rd & 4th place rugby game is on tonight, and it sounds like there will be quite a party. The campsite has put up a projector in the BBQ area so all can see if they wish. I will be cheering for Wales, as I am just so proud of how far they have come in this tournament. I really do wish they were playing New Zealand on Sunday instead of France but hey can’t have everything.

On Sunday, then I think it will be big here, New Zealand are in the final and I can imagine there will be a huge crowd at the BBQ area for that one. We are going to let the boys stay up for that, it will be an interesting evening.

So here is to a great long weekend.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dr Seuss

The boys school studyed a little about Dr Seuss this year.
The local museum also had a fantastic display on for several months.
The school managed to get to it over several weeks, with different classes going each week.
I managed to be a parent helper with Alex's class and Steve managed to be one with Ben's, so in fact the whole family managed to see the display.
I took my camera and managed to get some pictures of the display before the lady looking after us told us the rules of the day....which happened to include "No Photography!"

I have been tidying the computer recently and finally found them on there, I had misplaced them temporarily!

So here are they are:

The whole display was amazing and I am so glad we were able (free of charge as well) to all get to see it.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I have finished my 2nd paper for this term.
That means, unless I have to resubmit (which god help me if I do!), I have finished all my study for this year.

And it was that easy folks, 2 papers completed throughout the year and only 2 more left to do next year and then hey presto (if only a magic wand would help!) I will have completed everything to obtain my Bachelor Degree in Nursing.

It has had its good moments, like passing a paper with 85% through to tearing my hair out when I can't find any references to back up what I want to say not what they would like me to say!
I have had stressful moments when I wonder why I am putting myself through all this, and only at Degree level when everyone tells me it should really be at Masters level! But there have also been times when I know why I am doing this and know this is my only way forward, this then spurs me to keep going, because then I know I only have myself to answer to when things don't go how I would like them too.

So the year of study has ended, I am not happy with this paper but also am not going to stress over it anymore. You can gain 40% of the mark just on presentation, correct referencing and correct academic standards alone, so to gain about 60% which I will be perfectly happy with I really only have to get 25% to match the 35% I normally manage to collect for the presentation side.
This 60% along with my 85% (pure fluke I am sure) from paper 1 will give me an overal mark of about 70% and that is still a B, so a B on both papers of this year is excellent in my eyes and that is all that matters.

Let the holidays begin

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Online or Offline

I got introduced to blogging via a magazine would you believe?
There it was in a parenting magazine back in 2005. It was an article about keeping your family in touch when living many miles away and the nature the internet was now playing in keeping families in touch.
It listed and wrote about many different forms of communication and I quite liked blogging.
So 6 years later I have my blog, that has moments of input and other moments of being ignored, but everyone can relate to that!
I am a self taught blogger, everything that has been done to this blog has been done by trial and error, another thing we can all relate to. Sometimes I will see something done on someone else's blog and then I will try and work out how they did that, or even get my compter savvy husband to look at it and see if he can't help me out.
I have managed to change the template and layout myself using the Cutest Blog on The Block page and even managed to make a heading picture to match the theme.

I am sure there are a few other things I could do to make blogging easier and exciting things I could add to the blog but for now I am happy.
However the other day I did come across Windows Live Writer.
Now has anyone else used this, is anyone else using this as their way of writing their posts?

I have always just logged into blogger and written it there and then, sometimes saving it to draft to publish later when I have time to add pictures etc.
I am aware that you can email your posts in but haven't set this up or even contemplated it yet.

So does anyone have anything they can tell me about Windows Live Writer, I have worked out that it is about writing a post for your blog offline and then you can save it or upload it to blogger.
It states that it is easier to use and friendlier, although having just written a post in it I didn't like the line spacings. It is like writing in Word and on that part I found it easy to use, I added a picture and yes that was easy to do from the computer although Ican't say I played too much with the positioning of the picture.
I do like that you can preview how it will look once published without going online as well (because it has downloaded the blog template you use when setting up your system)

However I am still trying to understand the advantage of using it, apart from you are offline?
Really useful for me when at the caravan because we have to pay for internet over there and it is $8 per hour and of course writing on blogger online soon eats up your money, so usually I write in Word and then copy and paste to blogger and then quickly format prior to publishing, means I am not using too much time online.

Would just be interested to know if anyone else uses it and how they have found it and whether they have any user tips for newbies like me?

Monday, October 17, 2011

Up Coming Wedding

We have the lucky chance of going to a family wedding next month.
Now going to a wedding is nothing new for this family. There was one held last year, my cousin Lucy.
Steve and I got married ourselves 3 yrs ago and my other cousin (Lucy’s sister Kerry) got married 4 yrs ago. So there have been a few to attend over the years, which is quite surprising when you realise just how few people there are from the family in New Zealand. Really we should all be in Southampton, UK but that would be boring, so we are all here instead!

This was us at last wedding

Anyhow, the wedding we are going to in November is on Steve’s side of the family, and although he has many nieces and nephews, there has only been 1 wedding so far (6yrs ago) many babies but not many bells ringing! His niece, or should I now be saying our niece, is having a Civil Union to her girlfriend Toni. But for all simple purposes, there is a wedding and we are going.

We have told the boys about the wedding, they are so excited to be going to Nelson for a long weekend, in fact I really ought to start thinking about what they are going to wear. However we have not yet told them more detail about the wedding. They know their cousin Sarah is getting married and I think they may have heard the name Toni float around in the same sentence but they of course, because they have said it, think that Toni is a guy. Alex even asked if it was Tony from the Barber's that Sarah was marrying? Why would they think differently? They have never been to a wedding that isn’t like mummy and daddy’s.

Now it never crossed my mind to mention anything until some girlfriends casually mentioned it at a girls night a few weeks ago. Then I realised that yes we need to mention it and no it does not have to be a big deal. I discussed it with Steve who sort of agreed that we need to say something but he didn’t think it a big deal either. However, knowing little people and big voices, I would rather we mention it before hand.

Ben however is very good at dissecting conversations and will dissect it down to the smallest detail and recite it several times between when we tell him and actually going away, and seeing as my head can not take him dissecting it down over several weeks then the conversation with them will be had as close to the time as possible, mainly for my sanity more than anything else!

PS - any suggestions on how to broach the subject but keep it simple and to the point??


This is the start of the 2nd week of school holidays.
Steve is off all of this week, I have Thursday and Friday off.

Will be interesting to see the following when I get home:
  1. The state of the house
  2. whether the washing has all been put away
  3. is the dinner cooked or cooking
  4. have they completed the list of jobs I left?
Steve did mumble something about "but I am on holiday!" but I think I just mumbled back something about "it would be expected if I was home for the week so where is the difference?"

Happy Monday all

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stealing Posts

My mother's favourite line in her blogs is always "here is something my daughter had over on her blog, so I have stolen it....!"

So now I am doing it back to her.
She posted about Alex staying with her and seeing as she had the pictures then I have just stolen borrowed them for here as well.


This is Alex's master piece ... I traced a picture from a colouring book of Lightening McQueen from Cars movie ... (now come on, own up, I bet you have all seen it at some time?)

He actually stitched it using a frame hows that for good training from the word go he also had good tension and stitch length.

Well he has finished it and here it is all framed ready to take home


He was very proud of himself when he got home here, already to show daddy what he had been doing at Grandma's.
Thank you Grandma he had a great time with you and can't wait until he can come and play again.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Picture Day

Are we there yet?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New Zealand

New Zealand has always promoted itself as being a clean, tranquil and green place to live.
Like most countries there are pictures available of some gorgeous places to see, wide open spaces, lots of countryside and quant little towns in the middle of nowhere.
They have strict border controls over the intake of food and plants to stop any harmful pests arriving and destroying the flora and fauna that we have.
We currently have a population of 4.4 million people divided over the 2 islands that make up New Zealand.

if after seeing all these wonderful pictures you feel like shifting south, immigration assure me they will be able to cope with the sudden influx of calls!
 They have always been lead to believe that we are indestructable and very safe from anything down under in our little spot 1500 kilometres east of Australia.

Sadly, this year, this has not been so true. Whilst we may not get people bombing major cities or any other terrorist attacks we have been unlucky this year in our natural disasters.

At the end of last year and again in February of this year, Christchurch, in the South Island, has been hammered by earthquakes. They may have only had 2 major ones but the aftershocks that have been rumbling since February are enough to turn everyone into the mental ward.
People wonder why those living there don't just get up and move? But when everything you own is in your house, it is very difficult to just walk away knowing that you may never be able to sell your one major asset that can help you move forward in your life, you almost feel like you are having to start all over again but at the sametime questioning as to why you had house insurance in the first place?

The 2nd major disaster to hit our shores is just that, a major disaster that is damaging our shores at present on the beautiful east coast.
The disaster is the delightful strickened cargo ship "MV Rena".

On Oct 5 at 02.20am and with a speed of 17 knots (20 mph), the MV Rena ran aground on the Astrolabe Reef, near Tauranga. The ship was carrying 1,368 containers, eight of which contained hazardous materials, as well as 1,700 tonnes of heavy fuel oil and 200 tonnes of marine diesel. Initially the ship listed 11 degrees to port, with the front stuck on the reef.

By Oct 9, a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) oil slick threatened wild life and the area's rich fishing waters. Oil from the Rena began washing ashore at Mt Maunganui beach on Oct 10. Unfortunately bad weather that night caused the ship to shift on the reef, and the crew were evacuated. The shifting of the ship caused a further damage, resulting in a further 130 - 350 tonnes of oil leaking.

On Oct 11, the spill was declared New Zealand's "worst ever environmental disaster".
Strong winds and bad weather on the night of Oct 11 caused the ship to list over to starboard, to 19 degrees, and resulted in between 30 and 70 containers being washed overboard.

All we can do is sit and watch as a cargo ship of this proportion crumbles in front of us. We are being hit with some typical spring weather at present. Not cold but not hot either but with what you guys would understand as 'April Showers'. This in turn is causing rough seas off the east coast and so is hampering any rescue missions they set out on. They are trying very hard to empty the fuel and oil tanks on the ship but getting it pumped off into other boats is difficult in rough seas.

The beaches being affected by this disaster are among some of the east coasts finest. They are the summer playground for a fair few people during the upcoming summer holidays due to start in 10-11 weeks.
Remember, Christmas falls in our summer here, so everyone migrates to the beach for this time of year.

The sand is soft and golden, the water cool and inviting and this is all being affected by an oil spill that will take a while to clear up.

The other people I feel sorry for, are the people who's belongings are in those containers. People who are shifting their entire house to a new start, about to loose everything into the sea off the east coast of New Zealand.
I read about a family, who use to live in Christchurch, but due to all the goings on there have upp'd and moved to Brisbane, Aus. They packed up their house, placed everything in a container and flew to Aussie knowing it would take a couple of weeks for their belongings (furniture, pictures, memories, past family momentos etc) to join them out there.
They didn't even know their stuff was in trouble as they didn't know it was on the MV Rena nor did they hear about it on the news as it is a disaster within NZ not AUS.
It was only when the company emailed them to inform them that they may have lost everything did they start to discover just where their belongs currently are.

For some people 2011 is just not going to be their year at all and I am sure they are welcoming the upcoming new year in 11 weeks

Mail Art

While surfing some new blogs recently, I came across a few that have been talking about Mail Art.
This is meaning decorating the envelope in any manner you see fit to make it an enjoyable piece of art to receive.
This can be as simple as adding a sticker or 2 on the envelope or more elaborate as doing a painting or even making the envelope from fancy paper etc.

like my little extra bit on ths envelope (1 sticker and a transfer)
 Now I have always liked the idea of doing some scrapbooking, but seeing as all my other crafts have been on hold for the last 6-8 years whilst I have been growing my boys, and they are growing beautifully thanks to it, there was no way I was going to attempt to start something new. However this has not stopped me buying stickers and transfers when I see something I have liked.

So when planning the piece of snail mail I was going to send I decided I needed to decorate it.
So I went through the collection of stuff I already had, and oh man, was it ever a collection!
I have had to be organised and quickly find a folder to keep it all in so it is easy to find when needed for future mail art.

I even, whilst driving to Rotorua yesterday, thought about different things you could do for mail art. I saw so many things I would like to take pictures of to place on mail, different themes for mail. It was almost obsessive!
Although Ginger, did do a tutorial on her blog about this and mentioned about using maps etc to make envelopes. So whilst out today I raided the local tourist information place and walked away with all these free maps of places around New Zealand. Leaflets with interesting pictures of local places and lots of cool information.

No one said mail art had to be expensive, you just have to be creative and maybe think outside the square as to where you get your material from! So now I am on the alert to all things free and what else I could do with them, are they suitable for art, can I cut something out, will it fold leaving a nice design in a certain place?
Who knows, but I will have fun seeking.

Happy hunting all.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mail and Children

Today I managed to get my first piece of snail mail sent off.

I even went so far as to use mail art on it, ok nothing too fancy, just a little decoration, stickers and transfers.
It was an acceptance card to our niece's upcoming wedding in the middle of November.

On the subject of children, well I am now 1 child down.
Yea that's right, I sold him to the gypsy's!
No he has gone to Grandma's, on his own and he was so excited.
He wanted to pack his bag before we had even left the house this morning at 8am to take Steve to work!
As it was, we needed to go and buy new bags for everyone so we all have our own space when going away for days to the caravan and for long weekends.
The boys are growing and even though we don't have to take half the stuff we use to, they do still have alot of stuff, so they now need their own bags.

So he is now all settled at Grandma's.