Monday, October 31, 2011

No kneed for mom

Love this time of year when these beautiful sunrises are happening at 6 am - I get up, stumble into the kitchen, and see this sight through bleary eyes.  What a vision!
Aaron came hobbling along to my office after school today with big plasters over both knees.  I'm thankful that I wasn't called during lunch to deal with my own child - the teachers treat both boys the same as any other school kid, so the bleeding knees were dutifully cleaned and the story enticed about a scooter and another boy and some annoyances on both sides.  Other than that, we had a great day at school!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Thiiiiiiiirty-five (half of three-score and ten)

Nick has finally reached that dreadful milestone...middle-age!  We spent the day together as a family, going out for pizzas after the morning service which we took to Caroline Bay where the gulls and ducks happily received our pizza crusts.  It was not so much on the warm side but not so cold that it was ghastly being outdoors; we played a bit of touch rugby (TACKLE, TACKLE) - I put the camera down for a while and joined in. 
My Sunday School lesson this morning was an object lesson on guarding what we say - I started by showing a selection of things I had found in the garden including a half-eaten piece of cake with bits of bark clinging to the butter icing (no lies - it was actually in the postbox before I threw it in the garden, retrieving it shortly thereafter).  The point was to offer the cake to the boys, which obviously they would refuse...but one clever cookie (not a Clevely) took a big bite.  Er...okay, so hopefully we're a lot MORE careful about what comes out of our mouths than what goes in!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pre-birthday party

Nick and I hadn't really been planning anything particular for his birthday which is tomorrow, but I decided somewhat spontaneously to have a gathering this evening - just a casual 'bring a plate' (which means, bring a plate with food on it as we South Africans had to learn).  The party expanded to 14 adults and 11 kids...quite a houseful but what fun.  After tea we drifted into the lounge for some music and singing - we were missing a few instruments (ahem, flautist and trombonist - note to take instruments to Clevelys always) but made a joyful noise with three guitars, the violin, and a few percussion bits including The Spoons which Liz is mastering. 
It was good to have Kelsi and James with us - Kelsi is Aaron's teacher as of Term 4, and Kelsi brought two amazing chocolate birthday cakes.  Pity that the weather turned a little chilly after a sunny afternoon, but the kids didn't seem to mind and played touch rugby until it got dark.

Friday, October 28, 2011

House and home

Tuesday was back to school after the two-week break, and time to really start getting to know the new principal, Bethany Rentoul - meet my new boss, everyone!  We are pleased that she (a) is a chocolate lover and (b) understands the South African brand of humour :) 
First week back ran a lot more smoothly than I anticipated given that TCS has entered a new phase of its life with Bethany's appointment and arrival.  We think it's going to be a good phase!  On Friday afternoon I went to photograph a spectacular home which is going on the market, and the skies cleared just long enough to do justice to the exterior - the polarising filter and wide-angle lens did wonders. 
Rushed from there to meet up with a few TCS staff at Zest for a quick latte before heading home again to slip back into my mom and wife roles for the weekend.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Combined GBC and MRBC Family Camp

Following last year's bug epidemic at church camp, I was not hugely excited or anticipatory of this year's camp - silly, since the bug last year was not camp related, it just happened to hit us there.  But I'm pleased to say that camp was AWESOME!!!  Despite some coughing and itchy noses in the family, we were well, and didn't pass diseases on to anyone :)  The camp speaker, Steve Hofmaier, gave us much good food; with the Spirit's conviction there were many challenges to consider particularly in evangelism methods and urgency. 
Above - air rifle shooting; Aaron came second out of all participants on camp!  Below - Nick enjoying coffee and a chat with Steve.
Aside from the meetings, there was also much enjoyment to be found in the fellowship together with Grace Baptist Church - we spent a lot of time singing and jamming (in one of our sessions we rustled up a 7-member band...guitar, piano, mandolin, violin, trombone, flute and acoustic bass!), playing sport and indoor games, eating the great food masterminded by the Sinclair team, and not to forget the memorable RWC final - it was pretty special to be in the country of the winning team, surrounded by patriotic enthusiasts! 
 We were blessed to be able to be at camp the full three nights, returning home exhausted and in need of sleep and a shower on Monday afternoon.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Hurray for warmth!

So...after Monday's amazing weather, Tuesday brought mild flooding to Timaru with nearly horizontal sheets of rain and ridiculously strong wind.  It was NOT a day to be outdoors.  Timaru seldom gets anything more than drizzle or gentle rain - this was rare for us.  Nevertheless, the day's plans went ahead - Aaron went to holiday club (Caleb has gotten sick again and was coughing to much to be allowed out); I went to school in the morning and the studio in the afternoon.  Wednesday was as windy but the rain had pretty much dried up, and our schedules were the same as Tuesday - Caleb still at home and driving Nick nuts with his coughing.  He was much better today and so pleased to be allowed out the house to join Aaron at the holiday club.  So thankful that he's improving as we have church camp this coming weekend and certainly don't want anything like a repeat of last year's Bug Drama.  Today's forecast promised warmer weather but it was chilly all day despite some patches of sun...but when I went outside after tea at 6 pm there was a change!  We all got so excited that we decided to talk a walk to Dashing Rocks, one of our favourite spots and an ideal walking destination (looking forward to showing that one to you, Popsie and Mumsie!).  The sun was still high, the clouds had blown away, and there was a gentle nor'wester blowing.  It was beautiful and balmy.  The washing dried on the line between 6 and 7 pm! 

I love that this particular beach has so many treasures - there are heaps of shells and bits of interestingness to look at.

7 pm, and the sky started looking just a little bit amazing...still another hour before sunset.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Garden Day

Nick took our car to the garage first thing this morning for a long-overdue repair of the starter motor.  We were unsure of how long it would take, so I rearranged my studio hours and spent the day at home.  My plan was to clean the house (still hadn't managed to really do that properly during the holidays), but when I reached the back door I was thoroughly distracted by the warm breeze and excessive dirt and got stuck into sweeping the back entrance, which led to sweeping cobwebs off the windows, which led to weeding the courtyard gardens, at which point Nick arrived home so he got involved in some weeding and pruning too; the boys also got busy with the fork in the back garden...then there was some laying of weedmat in a bed, followed by more weeding in the front garden and the removal of some large and abominable about 5 pm I was exhausted.  The weather was gloriously co-operative - sunny and somewhat on the hot side, which was a change from the grey skies and cold winds we've been having of late.  
The boys mucked about on the keyboard for a while as well, and of course there was rugby to be played outdoors too.

And sadly, the house is still not clean!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Go MY team!

Felt convicted about my poor use of time over the holidays, so didn't pick up my violin until I'd done some domestic stuff...Nick was out chopping wood all day, so the boys and I were left to do our own thing.  I baked banana bread, biscotti and peanut butter biscuits; did some ironing, some cleaning, took the boys to the Warehouse (where they got a bargain and bought a drawing book); by 5.30 when Nick got back I was exhausted and we had pizza for tea! 
Sunday, and a mind-boggling afternoon service about Jesus' resurrection and its meaning and application for us.  We were at Olive for lunch where she served us a feast of roast chicken, taters and pumpkin, broccoli, gravy, and blackboy peach and apple tart with custard AND ice-cream for dessert.  After the pm service we came home for a while, then went to the Kempfs for the rugby and a bit of socializing.  Thoroughly enjoyed the game (fell asleep in the second half but there wasn't a whole of scoring going on then anyway, and in my defense the game only started at 9 pm!).  Thrilled that the All Blacks are through to the final! 
This second image, below, is really the proper one, but the first one was so funny when I examined it that I had to include it - everyone but one lad is absorbed in some way with food!  Caleb had just landed a plateful of nuts and chips on the floor in the second one...sigh...

Friday, October 14, 2011

Fly on over!

News, news!!  My parents are coming to visit!  Tickets are booked and arrival is 5th January 2012.  That's less than 3 months away!  My folks have not visited us in our own home since May 2006 when they came to St Helena...they have had to cross the Atlantic and now the Indian Ocean and Tasman Sea to see us.  Have pastor-in-law, will travel! 

At least we're giving you the opportunity to travel the world with free accommodation, hey Mumsie and Popsie :)

Had an entirely at-home day today, but the weather was grim so it was an indoors one in which I largely mucked about with the violin, made a half-hearted attempt at housework, and watched a DVD with Nick and the boys early evening before heading out for a music practice with Bron and then coffee with Andreas and Danielle. 

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Mow, mow, mow your lawn

Still enjoying the school holidays, and still working almost either at the school or the studio.  All good though - no work = no pay!  :)  It's not all fun and games for the boys either...we have got them doing a bit of gardening, room tidying, helping in the kitchen, etc...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

What it's for

Dear Genevieve,
How rightly you have said that the blog is like another form of time capsule...we have an in-depth archive of six years of our lives already, and still going.  Aaron particularly is already enjoying reading over old posts and will happily spend an entire morning in front of the computer, pointing out things that he finds interesting.  So, if for nothing more, I'll keep on as a blogger for the sake of family history!
Much love,

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dear Future Me

Two years ago the boys and I made a timebox, containing video interviews of the boys, letters to their future selves, and mementos of the island and things that were important to them at the time which they wanted to carry into the future.  We had sealed and marked the box for opening in October was the day!  The boys were very excited...somewhat disappointed when they actually unveiled the contents, but it was fun nevertheless.  Interesting to see a thank-you letter from Samuel W tucked in there!  Before the holidays are over we'll need to put together the next one for two years' time. 

I had to go to the office again during the morning; in the late afternoon Nick took the boys for a walk to Dashing Rocks.  I had a violin lesson so couldn't join them, but Nick came back with some awesome pics:

(The boys had been mucking about with facepaints during the day - Aaron looks a bit like a cyborg here with one dark eye!)

Monday, October 10, 2011


School holidays...although not so much for the boys, if you ask them - they were still at school today!  I spent four and a half hours in my office doing some sorting, admin, accounts, and finally got around to tidying the stationery cupboard which has been bothering me for weeks.  We were back at the school in the evening to watch this AMAZING 33-minute documentary on abortion.  It's hugely thought-provoking particularly for those who have never given the issue much consideration.  I'll say no it!!

Sunday, October 09, 2011

SA's final

Nick preached two outstanding sermons again - the morning's one was largely focused around Paul's work ethic - very encouraging and challenging!  In the afternoon family bible class we were on the topic of the resurrection, looking at all the wrong theories and then honing in on the biblical truths.  Very interesting indeed.  Had a quiet afternoon at home between services, then were off to rugby at 6 pm, just missing the kick-off (next time we phone ahead to the take-away place for chips!).  We gathered with a group of South African supporters and it was certainly entertaining to see how intense the support was, and not always from the people one would expect :)  Alas, the result was not to our liking but clearly the Bokke were the better team despite the score!  Off to Matt and Rachel for the All Blacks game at 8.30...a predictable result and time for some shut-eye...So now we support our home team for the remainder of the world cup.

Saturday, October 08, 2011

Toni-Lee and Mosese

Two big events occurred today - the largest housefire that we've ever seen, and a beautiful wedding. We didn't expect the events to be linked, but sadly the father of the groom and the groom's baby nephew were badly burned in the fire; it was a day of mixed emotions with tragedy and celebration trying to hold hands.  I was on my first shooting assignment with Callander Girl Photography, so these photos are all Nick's:
Guests waiting for the arrival of the Bride in the polar breezes...we were thrilled that the sun came out but it was still chilly.  Toni-Lee Carter, the boys' teacher at school, looked amazing.

Mr and Mrs Mosese Nareki!

Below - the lovely Rachel!
There were many expressions of concern and love throughout the day - the community has been very supportive of Mosese's family and keen to help in any way.