Thursday, September 30, 2010

Heaps of shopping

Not much time to breath in between all we did today. Tried to get an early start but with hanging out two loads of washing, that didn’t really happen; the first thing was to drop Caleb and Aaron off at HBC, after collecting Caleb and Josh en-route. Dropped them, came home to collect Nick who had finished his sermon super early and volunteered to accompany me to Pak’n’Save for the fortnightly shop. We first went to Harvey Norman to print photos for entering into the monthly competition (come on, friends with cameras – you know who I mean – start entering!), and then did the shopping. Nick can just be so funny and made me laugh. Thanks for a great date, my love! Quickly went home to unpack the groceries, then fetched the boys. Home again for lunch and a cup of coffee, then out again to the Warehouse for school shoes, lunch boxes and school bags. By that time it had started raining and turned pretty cold…glad to get home and put the heat pump on. The rain was short lived and the sun actually came out again; I had been anticipating a long spell of cloudy skies. Got tea going early so that Nick and the boys could have an early start in the baking business – they’ve all gone to the bakery to help Simon tonight, leaving me in utter peace and solitude from 6 pm. I can get so much done in a quiet house, especially when there is daylight! I started switching lights on at 7.30 pm. Tidied the kitchen and diningroom, tackled a few sewing projects, tidied my office, then made this super dandy paper-sorter. I hate having bits of paper scattered on my desk; this will help important things not to get lost! Ah, organization. Oh, and I didn’t get the 3-week temp assignment…it was filled internally (why did they bother going to an agency in the first place?), but I have another interview next week for a 6-month contract. I’m pretty stoked to see what will happen next – it’s always exciting to be on ‘this side’ of the unknown, wondering what God will do!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Not uniformly gifted

Got the boys fitted for uniforms early this morning – they were very excited and wanted to wear the stuff straight away; had to tell them that school uniforms are for school! Dropped them off at holiday club then stayed in town for the two hours – first to Warehouse to look for school shoes, then to my new favourite clothes shop, “SaveMart” – a cheesy name for a second hand shop. Found two cardies and a skirt very reasonably. In the afternoon I sorted cupboards; the boys started getting their ‘costumes’ ready for Friday night’s holiday club fancy-dress closing meeting. The theme for the week is Transformers: Power to Change, and so they are concocting robot outfits from cardboard boxes. The final result should be interesting. Bible Study at the Kempfs but we were quite small in number with a few of our members away on holiday. Nick whipped through the spiritual gifts – it is wonderful how God has equipped each member of the body to perform a different function.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pretty as a flower

The four boys were in high spirits this morning after not getting too late a night last night. They didn't have much time for play though as I had to get them to the Church Street Bible Chapel for a holiday club - their second one this year (our church is putting one on next week). Meanwhile, I had about four outfit crises trying to look professional but not boring for another interview. This was with another agency - the same one who offered me the temp assignment last week. Silly me though, I misunderstood the e-mail saying "we can offer you..." to think that they were definitely going to place me in this 3-week stint. What they meant was "we are going to suggest you to the client along with several other candidates for..." On the grounds of the non-definite offer we have rearranged our lives and got the ball rolling with school enrolments and so on. Doh! But we trust that this is the Lord's leading whether I get the assignment or not - I'll know by the end of the week, so watch this space. I picked the boys up at 12 and we came home for lunch - then it was time for Serious Housework. I had the boys clean their room while I did the rest of the house. Once things looked orderly again we baked...Aaron did Apricot Slice and Caleb his usual Carrot Cake. I'm pleased (very pleased) to report that Caleb has improved on his egg-cracking technique. The afternoon turned out to be hot (after a really chilly morning) such that I had to wonder if we've completely bypassed spring and launched straight into summer. It was awesome!! The boys rode their bikes to the church and I followed on foot. Nick was about ready to leave by the time we got there, so we just turned around and came home. We are noticing that there are a lot more flowers in Timaru than we've ever seen in any other town - even in our suburb, which is by no means a flash suburb, the gardens are well kept and very colourful (Dad, Nick specifically commented that you would love it!). All the spring bulbs are coming up now, bushes are flowering and there is colour everywhere. I thank God for His gift of beauty!


Monday, September 27, 2010


It's been a public holiday today, but only in South Canterbury, I'm told...sorry for the rest of you! Bron came to collect Jesse shortly after a late breakfast; the boys and I went out to do a mailbox drop of Holiday Bible Club advertising leaflets. It was a stunning spring day in which one really wanted to be outdoors! Popped in at the shops on the way home, and then the boys didn't have long to wait until Caleb and Josh arrived for their big sleep-over. They played stuff and rode bikes and scooters all afternoon. After tea we took sports stuff to Ashbury Park and the boys played cricket and frisbee until shortly after sundown. These 'late-afternoon-sun' pictures were at 7.15 pm!! I wandered off, of course - what else is a girl with camera going to do? I was using Nick's 85mm lens which is brilliant for portraits and useless for landscapes - what a frustration considering the wispy clouds. Don't be fooled by the colours here - I don't mind confessing to an in-depth iPhoto makeover on this one!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Daylight saved

After morning church Nick and I went to fetch the boys from the International Festival (didn't tarry; no photos) and then met up with the Phillipses at the beach (the wetland beach). There was a whole section we hadn't yet explored. Another windy day but WARM, so lovely to be outside. Daylight savings happened today - I don't know how to rightly phrase it...did we enter into savings mode or was it turned off? I was worried about setting the clock the wrong way around but my cellphone automatically makes the change and the alarm went off at the right time. The change from winter to spring almost seemed to be an overnight one, with the daylight ending around 7.45 pm now and the sudden rise in temperatures. Yay!! After the evening service we had the Kempfs over for a light tea and for Bronwyn to practice her make-up skills as part of her Polytech course. Hannah and Sam are away with their grandparents so it was just Rene, Bronwyn and Jesse. Bron and I got busy with the 'makeover' after tea (Bronwyn did a lovely job considering the raw material she had to work with :) ); Nick and Rene tucked into some music and singing, and Jesse got left with Caleb and Aaron. I would have thought that any 'average' teenager would have considered it a rare and serious form of torture to hang around with two younger boys all evening but Jesse even went so far as to accept a sleep-over invitation from the boys - so the three of them tented in the garage with unbrushed teeth in their regular clothes. Such a guy thing. Rene, Bron, Nick and I left them to it and played some Dutch Blitz...until 12.30 am...good thing Monday is a public holiday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Stay with the flock

The boys were invited to participate in an International Festival, being appropriately South African for the SA section. Had I known before committing to it that it was on a Sunday I would have said no; informed consent is vital! They had a dress rehearsal and photo shoot today with yours truly as the photographer. Had to make it snappy as it was cold and windy outside. Spent the rest of the day at home; Nick had an elders' meeting and Caleb had not had a good night last night with some sort of stomach bug so we were happy to be at home. Before sunset Nick announced that he was going to the wetlands again; it's a given that we accompanied him considering the amazing clouds! The meeting of hot and cold fronts with the strong winds made these candy-floss wraps. Caleb stayed in the car and read but Aaron came along to play on the beach. We came across a sheep, eyeball-less and sandy, which must have fallen into a river somewhere, been washed out to sea, then deposited back on this beach. Poor thing, but I feel there's a lesson in there about wandering away from the protection and care of the Good Shepherd...

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday afternoon

After our school morning, to mark the end of the term we went to McDonalds for ice-creams. It's sort of been a tradition to celebrate - it used to be lunch at Sally's! It's been 'windy as'...strong gusts have been blowing for a few days. On the way to McD's we were nearly blinded by a huge billboard which had broken free from its moornings and taken flight. Ironically, the advert was for "panoramic views". We were a little more aware of the dangers of wind-borne objects after that though which can easily behead a person (or so my paranoid mother-brain thinks). At home we found a sheet of perspex roofing on the garage floor - anyone lost theirs? Had tea with the Camerons in the evening and were introduced to Tiny Tony, a new little lamb who is absolutely the cutest thing in the entire world (the chap with the rusty-coloured hairdo, second photo), as well as regular Tony, a friend of Matt's.

Our journey ends

The train chugged slowly toward the station and gave a long, tired hiss as it applied brakes. Three passengers disembarked; they had traveled on the train from the end of 2005 through many valleys and over peaks, sometimes enjoying the scenery together and sometimes finding it difficult to sit still. Although the trio knew the station might be approaching, they had not realized just how close it was but as the train rounded the final bend, there it was in front of them. Now we wait around at the station for a week before an old familiar train comes to take away me away on a short trip; the boys will be boarding an entirely new train in the new term. And so our homeschool journey comes to an end. We are ambivalent; excited about the new direction, especially that the boys will be attending an excellent school and being stretched and grown in new areas; a little sad that my daily time with them in that way is finished. It's good though; the Lord has graciously provided new tickets and boarding passes and so we must go where He directs. I have been offered just a short 3-week temp assignment beginning at the start of October, and that will hopefully be the start of many more assignments or a permanent position for me. The boys will be pupils at the Timaru Christian School after the holiday.
I've picked out some 'homeschooling moments' from the last five years...feeling sentimental and somewhat teary!
Caleb starts learning his abc's in the manse kitchen (March 2006):
Early science experiments before we started the Sonlight curriculum:Looking at our Year 1 books - Sept 2006:Grow-your-own-beans!Quirkily dressed for the last chapter of Gooney Bird Greene (April 2008):Nick taking the boys through their art course:Ah sweet...the photo that was featured on the back of the following Sonlight catalogue (photo July 2008):Really REALLY enjoying Mrs Piggle Wiggle (now at Piccolo Estate):First day of school for 2009:The Principal congratulates the boys on a year of hard work and hands out reports (Nov 2009):First day of school 2010 - in the Sunday School classroom at our church in NZ:What was so funny? Working at the diningroom table of our first NZ home:Finally settled in my craft room with desks for the final stretch:It's been a good ride boys; I'm going to miss our mornings together. Keep up the good work and perseverance at TCS!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Rags to Riches

Yesterday was just a plain day doing plain stuff - school in the morning, job hunting and lesson prep in the afternoon. Today's fun was my bible-in-school class, the last for the term - the kids sang a Maori "farewell till we see you in the new term" song spontaneously at the end, so beautiful! My fourth camera club meet was on the topic of portraiture. I brought in some awful snapshots taken on my film point-and-shoot years and years ago. It was so funny to look back on these photos and see just how unphotographically minded I was! So I guess it hasn't been a lifelong interest then, or maybe the really bad photos made me want to improve? We were back at TCS in the evening for their year-end production, "Rags to Riches". Each class put on a separate section of the show which all tied together under the theme. I was the photographer again; it sort of went from "bring your camera along" to "oh yes, you're covering the event"! Always glad to help, but am realizing the limitations of my camera and lenses particularly at night. Hmm, starting to cast my eye about :) The kids did really well in the production; there were no 'deer in headlights' moments and only a few forgotten lines. The star of the show was a large pink Cinderella prancing about in a stylish pink open-backed pink party frock, whose identity I shall not reveal. Let me just say that I have some questions about the gravity of our church's eldership!!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In summary

Sunday came and went in its usual pleasant fashion; we had Lindsay and Nyree Moore over to lunch (have to be very careful to say "to" and not "for" as the boys are getting too sharp and find grammatical slip-ups very funny).
Yesterday and today have mostly been at-home days, catching up on scrapping and housework and doing school and all that stuff. Nick and I have been trying to catch some award-winning landscapes to enter into a competition so went to the Otipua Wetlands yesterday eve for a sunset and again this morning for the sunrise. The boys came with us last night but we left at 5.30 this morning so they were still sleeping (I probably shouldn't broadcast that we left them alone; it is suggested in NZ that children under the age of 14 should never be left without adult supervision). We were home again while they were getting breakfast though so weren't being negligent! I discovered that early morning + no coffee + no breakfast + jogging with camera gear = nauseous, weak and faint. I had stashed a banana in my pocket which gave me an energy burst, otherwise I would have stayed in a very sorry little heap overlooking the beautiful wetlands. Plus it was so cold that my gloved hands were stinging. Pure agony. Of course I'll try it again time I'll have breakfast first. We came away with some fairly pleasing, but not competition-winning, images. The first four are Nick's pics.Oh yes, and I had an interview today...with an agency, so nothing too exciting yet. Good to begin the process though of registering - a first step! I think in my nervousness I may have rambled or even sounded slightly empty-headed but what can one expect...this is my first job interview in years!