Friday, September 30, 2011


I'll do another quick whoooooosh through the week, because that's really how they go, slowing down at the weekends.  Friday night we had the Kempfs around for nachos - it was great to have Jesse, Sam and Hannah as well, a blessing to have the entire family!  The boys were thrilled to see their teenaged buddies again too.  After tea we left the kids in the diningroom with a game of Scotland Yard, and us oldies moved into the lounge for some MUSIC!!  Yay!  We love these casual sing-song evenings.  Bron had brought her flute which we'd not heard her play, and man, she's awesome.  She wouldn't call herself an accomplished flautist, but she certainly gets the notes.  I had a go on it too and it's a lot more complicated than it looks to get any kind of sound, let alone a pure flutey sound...keep it up Bron.  I played the violin and there are a lot less shrieks, whistles and whispers than there were six months ago though still too many to inflict on regular people...still a ways to go before being unleashed on a full congregation :)

Monday, September 26, 2011

Long weekend, much needed

Happy South Canterbury day to all South Cantabrians, us included!  Good to sleep in because the down side of daylight savings is the dark mornings again...sunrise currently around 7.15 am!  Used the morning to clean the house in preparation for an afternoon barbeque in which we had Liz and Graham, Andreas and Danielle, the Phillipsies, and 20 venison sausages for lunch.  Were we ever stuffed :)  Rene joined us for pudding and a sing-song a bit later on...Bron couldn't make it so we'll have to make up for it on another occasion, ey Possum #1?  We had a merry band of Grant on organ, Liz on trombone, Graham on accoustic bass (I think, but stand to be was certainly some sort of guitar), Nick on guitar, and me on violin, along with Andreas, Danielle, Petru and Rene on vocals.   A joyful noise if ever there was one!
Above: is this not a face that has 'naughty child' written all over it?  Lizzie messing with my knife and fork arrangement...was appropriately told-off :)
Thanks to Andreas and Graham for their new meaning to 'bring'n'braai' for you South Africans!
Another sunny day with just a hint of southern breeze. 

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Save the daylight: Long live the daylight!

Enjoyed a chilled Sunday...after a great morning church service we made our way home and had fruit salad and yoghurt for lunch - not the boys' favourite meal, but super-healthy nonetheless.  Afternoon church at 4.30, and because daylight savings kicked in today we still had heaps of daylight left when we got home.  It had rained during the afternoon but not for long; by evening it was fresh and warm and absolutely magical outdoors.  The boys scootered for ages; sunset was around 7.35 pm.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Vive la Aotearoa!

Moving day for Liz and Graham...many hands helped. Pretty convenient to use Tom's courier van which Nick said swallowed up couches with room to spare! Took hotdogs around for lunch and found plates and cups aplenty in the cupboards - the Gregorys have been working hard already!
7 pm, and off to watch the NZ/France game at Tom and Mariette's home.  Tom is an avid supporter and their home was festively decorated with flags and bunting and all sorts of world cup paraphernalia.  Mariette managed to sneak in the old SA flag! 
Riley, Sam and Richard standing for the NZ national anthem, the words and pronunciation of which we have yet to learn!  The game was pretty awesome - I thought our All Blacks played fabulously which is saying a lot considering my lack of appreciation for all things rugby!  I was proud to be an All Black supporter though and suddenly felt very patriotic (despite still being an SA passport holder :) ).
It was Sam's birthday today and Bron had organized a cake on the quiet, which Tom brought out during half time - we had been informed that there was to be no getting up for food or drinks during the play! 

Friday, September 23, 2011

Freaky Friday

Had a most interesting day at school, quite unlike any other - our new principal, Bethany Rentoul, visited the school for the day along with one of her daughters who will be starting in the new term.  First impressions were favourable, from our side anyway - let's hope it was mutual!  The special occasion necessitated a large gathering for morning tea along with some delicious eats, and then another large gathering an hour later at lunch time.  Great to have the BoT with us for lunch as well - we certainly made a festive gathering even if the laughter was more from nervousness than actual jollification :) I did individual photos of all the staff during the lunch break as well - some were keen to let their hair down!  Scary Chairman of the Board...or ??
Mr Willers, below, has the boys' class one morning every week, in which they mostly do fun stuff like play music and learn how to gamble. (This pic was taken before everyone came in and just in case there are worried parents reading this blog, it WAS posed, and he doesn't REALLY teach gambling!) 
 Tea was fish'n'chips at Patiti Point.  It was really cold though so we didn't hang around for long. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Upstaged by the bridesmaeds!

Back into the work week on Monday - felt really grotty at school so left at lunchtime and came home to sleep.  Some sort of mild flu or something I should think which developed into tiredness, a mild cough and a slightly runny nose, thankfully nothing more.  Thursday evening we had Graham and Liz around for a quick tea - they are in the process of shifting and a drop-in for the other half of a large cheese and macaroni was just the ticket.  I left them in Nick's capable company around 7 pm to get back to the school for Miss Carter's Hen's Party (Toni Carter is Caleb and Aaron's teacher - the boys think very highly of her - she's quite superb!).  Kere and Lisa, along with Janet, did an excellent job of the arranging of games and silliness, although they turned the spotlight on themselves so as not to embarrass Toni.  We laughed and laughed!  Amazing the drama talent that had been quietly hidden...
Fun to watch the ladies' reactions as they came through the door - Chrissy, Joy, Petru and Linda (all TCS staff) get their first glimpse of the maids-of-horror.

Toni - appropriately dolled up
Some ice-breakers and gettoknowyou stuff (apologies to Petru and Linda who trustingly took many squares of toilet paper and had to share many facts about themselves as a result :) )

Unlike St Helena, NZ has never seen a nation-wide toilet paper shortage, but if ever there were to be one it would have followed on after this evening's fun!
Ahem...intentionally awful!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

How many Hughes?

Had the privilege today of luncheoning at the Moore's place between morning and afternoon services.  They've had houseguests for a week or so... a family of 10 from Wales!  8 children in all (so far).  It was lovely to meet the Hughes brood and we thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of much laughter and excellent fellowship.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Them cauliflower ears

Nick was off early to Ashburton with Grant, to meet with the elders of the Grace Baptist Church in Christchurch - they try to have a regular meeting at a halfway point.  With our combined family camp coming up in October it was time to touch sides again!  Petru kindly drove Aaron to his ukulele lesson - normally he wouldn't mind missing a lesson but his teacher has given him the tablature version of Pink Panther to work on, which Nick has been helping him with - he couldn't wait to show her the progress, and he really is doing well with it.  I think the uke has finally clicked with him and now he's keen to improve.  Nick was home after lunch and we had a quiet afternoon together - a bit of grocery shopping, some reading, playing music etc.  And then off to Rugby Street for rugby!!  We gathered with a crowd of South Africans and the occasional kiwis to watch the SA vs Fiji game.  I was bored but found their shoes amusing and confusing - apparently rugby boots are not regulated by colour laws.  I did learn about cauliflower ears so it was an educational evening!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Josua Botha

It is with a heavy heart that I write this post - this week has been focused on our dear friends Andreas and Danielle whose baby boy was born prematurely on Tuesday, at only 18 weeks.  Josua struggled for life for a few hours before the Lord took him to be with Him - he is now safe in the hands of an infinitely loving and just God.  We grieve with Andreas and Danielle and have shed many tears together, along with the rest of our church body.  A graveside service was held on Friday afternoon in which Nick delivered a beautiful message of comfort and hope - "although we don't know the why, we know the Who".

Ec 3:1,2,4
"To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance."

A small crowd of friends gathered at the Bothas after the service and I think there was just a little bit of healing that happened - I took great comfort in seeing Andreas and Danielle able to laugh.  There will still be many times of mourning, but to everything its season.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Bone Fire

Nick was off early with Andreas to chop wood and spent the whole day out, so the boys and I had to amuse ourselves in some way.  We met up with Danielle for a chai latte at Mitre 10's coffee shop, but I realized that I had left my eftpos card at home so any further shopping was postponed...went home, cleaned the house a bit, then went out again after lunch to the Warehouse (where everyone gets a bargain) - found Danielle and several bargains there.  I bought a small bookshelf for the lounge which needed some assembling, so did that when we got home again, vacuumed up all the bits of polystyrene which escaped from the box, and rearranged the lounge a bit.  All good.  Played the violin in the afternoon; the boys were outside enjoying the sunshine and mild weather.  At 5.15 Nick still wasn't home and it was time to head over to the Camerons for their annual Spring Bonfire - Nick met up with us there later on when the fire was well underway.  We debated the origins of the word 'bonfire' - Matt had a theory, I had another - both made up and both somewhat believable if you're super gullible. Actually, according to Wikipedia, the name 'bonfire' is believed to be derived from the Celtic custom of burning the bones of the cattle which were slaughtered at this time of year - a 'bone fire'.  There you go. 
Huge pile of rubbish to burn...any old bones chucked in there?

Ah, my young terrorist - balaclava and all!
Some of the Snook ladies - Jemima, my violin teacher, far right.
Bit of saturation and contrast there for you Matt!

Of course no bonfire is complete without marshmallows!  Caleb Cameron above trying not to get too close while Hannah, below, happily got herself as muddy as possible - good thing it was dark so she couldn't see what was actually on her fingers :)