Sunday, July 31, 2011

Meet and greets

It was quite a change to have Vijay filling the pulpit today - so good to have like-minded teaching all the way from Fiji! Nick wanted to give as many of our church people as possible the opportunity of meeting him while he's here, so organized a bring and share lunch at the Bothas - Andreas and Danielle graciously opened their home and it quickly filled up with quite an array of families.
Jesse and Sam looking cool as always
Loving that afternoon sun - such mellow light
Sisters Olive and Cynthia doing the rounds
Ha ha ha...typical Grant and Petru. You can almost hear Petru's eyes rolling and the tolerant sigh is just about visible :)
Had to sneak this one in before all hands came in front of faces and hoodies went shy teens and tweens!
"Die Manne" in the kitchen - Nick, Andreas and Matt aka Thys, who speaks perfect Afrikaans, and English with an impeccable kiwi accent. Cynthia and Vijay looking very deep in discussion, but actually Cynthia was warning him that I'm quite naughty with the camera.
I feel the zzzzzs coming on
Hannah Through the Drinking Glass
"Fair in Faucet" - me and Petru!
My hottie husband...poor Nick has come down with a nasty man-cold. No really though, he is quite sick...coughing, watery eyes, runny nose, groans, sighs...
And finally, time for another family pic a-la Tripod and Remote. Thatldo.

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Joyful wedding

I mentioned last week that I photographed a wedding...Joy Herd, one of the teachers' aides at TCS, has now become Mrs Elliott. It was a lovely wedding, a lot bigger than we (the groom included, by the bride's confession) were expecting, with ever so many well wishers and friends and family to share the day. Joy was just fantastic and made a beautiful bride...we delivered the photos this morning to them, and here now are a few of my favs.

Monopolizing Vijay!

We have spent a large part of the week, apart from me working, getting the house back into pre-Garnett condition...the boys are back in their rooms with all their clothes back in their wardrobes (freshly sorted and all the drawers labelled); toys resorted and organized and stowed...a lot of them NOT in their room now to avoid unnecessary clutter and disorganization. We have been blessed with incredible weather this week - temperatures in the mid to late teens...our first winter in Timaru was definitely nothing like this one! Consequently I got through about six loads of washing in two or three days :) Vijay has been with us since Wednesday morning and we are enjoying his company, although it has been good for him to have teas and things with others in our congregation so we can all get to know him and better understand and support the ministry in Ba, Fiji.
While on a shopping errand at the Warehouse (where everyone gets a bargain), we found a monopoly set for a hugely discounted $15...a must have! Nick and I both played monopoly when we were kids; this game just keeps doing the rounds. The boys were thrilled when we brought it home and wanted to play straight away but they were off to spend the afternoon with Josh so had to wait. The played it the next day, and on Friday night we did a family game while Vijay was out at Les and Marg. We thought we'd play maybe an hour and a half and see who had the most money, but we were all so into it that we played until all but Nick were bankrupt at 9.20 pm!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Bye bye Garnetts :(

Woke up to clear skies and the ground NOT covered in snow...vaguely disappointed even though there hadn't been any snowfalls forecast for the night, but it was a relief to know that airports and roads would be operational! We had borrowed Andreas' 4x4 van as a precaution, and at 9.15 am we were all on our way - an exceptional effort from the Garnetts...Maddy was not happy at the early rising!! Around Ashburton we started seeing small patches of snow on the ground, and snow-covered cars heading out of Christchurch became a common sight the closer we got. It was truly amazing to see how much snow had fallen and how widely!! This is quite a novelty for us all. We were enormously grateful for the 4x4 when it came to parking, as roads had been scraped but there was a lot of ice on walkways and in car parks - one had to be really careful walking through it in regular shoes. We took a final shopping tour through DressSmart in Hornby (Pam had about 1/2 cm spare in her carry-on bag) then had lunch at the KFC across the road. We had found some excellent books for the boys, which kept them and Maddy busy for quite some time. And then, finally, the airport. We had arrived quite early so wandered around for a while, but when we couldn't find a place to sit we decided to say our goodbyes...and so, farewell dear friends!! It was wonderful to have you here, and we look forward to your proposed 2014 visit :)Above - while waiting for Vijay's flight (delayed by an hour), we watched a fire truck spray water on the ice to break it up - these guys have had to work really hard to clear away the ice, and the melted snow before it freezes over. Snow is fun, but really inconvenient it seems!So, onto the next hour's wait before Vijay Chandra's flight arrived from Auckland. He's out from Fiji for five weeks, spending a week or two on the South Island. He'll be staying with us for most of the time, but in order to get a room ready again, we needed a night off! Dropped him off with Shirley and Kurt for the night and left them discussing world politics and sauerkraut :)

Monday, July 25, 2011

A fish called Marilyn

The Garnett's last day in NZ before flying out tomorrow...I left for work in the studio before Pam and Geoff were back from their Oamaru expeditions. I have to tell you what Rachel and I did today because it was so completely out of the ordinary...we bought a fish!! I don't mean a paisley paper fish to stick up on the wall, or a cute fluffy felt fish with bling eyes...I mean a real, swimming, bulgy-eyed little darling with creamy skin and floaty fins. We've named her Marilyn. When I came home and said to Nick "guess what we did today", choosing a studio pet was not at the top of his list!

Back home, there was a flurry of packing and tension as suitcases were found to be too small and hire car dates were incorrect, and airports and roads were closed due to snow and icy conditions. But it all came together and by tea time everything was packed and sorted. We had pizzas and chips for our final meal together - it was all so exciting that I forgot to make a salad which Pam and I had been looking forward to!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Youth Camp 2011 coinciding with Snow 2011

Pam and Geoff left at midday (after church for Pam) to see penguins in Oamaru and the chocolate festival in Dunedin; Nick and Maddy were still away at camp, so I invited Danielle (Andreas was at camp) and half the Phillips family to lunch. We did one of those casual arrangements and I threw together a pasta dish. Grant left straight after lunch to do sermon prep, which left the three of us ladies to discuss life, parenting, womanhood and everything in between. I concluded that although I have many theories about parenting, it's very hard to put them into practice because I'm a sinner dealing with sinners :) No formula is going to be perfect...just ongoing prayer and refreshed attempts.The campers returned mid-afternoon, happy after an excellent weekend of ministry, games, activity, food and laughter. All went well by all accounts - praise the Lord! They had beautiful weather on Saturday and could play their volleyball and do the hike, and on Sunday morning the snow and cold came.At 4.20, just as we were about to leave for church, the anticipated snow came in lasted for two minutes, then stopped, then started again for another five. And that was that for us! Meanwhile, Pam and Geoff got stuck in Oamaru because the road to Dunedin was closed with the snow, and Christchurch had a whole foot of snow!! Timaru means 'place of shelter' there you go. No snow.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Dashing rocks and loaded shops

With Nick and Maddy away, it was left to Pam and Geoff, Caleb and Aaron and me to amuse ourselves. Pam and I took ourselves shopping again, just to be sure that Pam had bought absolutely everything appropriate that was on sale - got home in time for lunch, then headed off on a dashing rocks expedition. We took the usual route there through the paddocks,
and to the beach itself. It was a gorgeous day with clear blue skies and just enough of a nip to make you want your gloves and a hat.
Pam and Geoff found the gap in cliffs where the sea whooshes through and makes tide pools...some of it whooshed up over the edge and we got a bit of a sprinkling.
Caleb found his own miniature Moeraki Boulder
And then since we were already half way there, we took a walk to PaknSave so Pam and Geoff could buy goodies (treats, sweets, lollies, it what you will). See the yellow PaknSave building in the distance, just off centre? That was our destination, along a few roads, over a useless fence and the railway lines, across a field where a rugby practice was in session, via Briscoes, and over State Highway 1.
"Don't look here Mom"...
Ooph, so many choices. Hmm, what to buy?
Finally, back home up a very short though steep incline; the rest of the way was easy after conquering this bit!
Geoff with the shopping in Pam's new $1 orange bag from Briscoes...I half expected to see ice-cream dripping out a corner :)