Monday, February 27, 2012

Environmentally friendly...

...or just plain green?  Had another mad Monday dress-up day, with green clothing and shaved heads (that part was optional - no one went for it).  Gathered the staff in Room 1 for a pic, thanks to Caleb for getting behind the camera on this one.  Had a pretty normal work day otherwise, with some serious stuff happening when we weren't too busy being ridiculous! 
Had Jemima here for a violin lesson this evening which was more fun than anything, trying out a few fast-paced duets in the Scottish ceilidh style.  Andreas and Danielle popped by while we were busy - perfect timing as they wanted to show us his brand new violin!!  Yay!!  Got the bow properly rosined and the strings tuned, and Andreas got a few pointers from Jemima who had stayed for a cup of coffee.  So excited that Andreas will be learning and look forward to hearing the progress!

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Men behaving?

Nick's excitement and enthusiasm over his Romans series is hard to ignore - we are LOVING the preaching of the Word!!  So blessed to sit under his ministry from week to week.  After some man-cold symptoms during the week we were glad that he was well enough to preach and throw his voice around.  Had a crazy bring-what's-in-your-fridge lunch affair, with Grant and Petru taking over the kitchen with the making of a mince/bacon/sausage/broccoli/marrow bolognaise while Andreas and Danielle, Liz and Graham and a new friend Amy cackled in the diningroom over bread and hot chips.  It was super fun, and when Graham brought out his little magnetic balls the laughometer hit a peak.  You have to see it to believe it - and this time it was the men behaving strangely while the women observed!  After the pm service we had Rachy, Caleb and Josh over (Matt was in Dunedin - we were sorry to miss him) for a quick cup of tea and chat. 

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Hey manga

Had heaps of admin stuff to do during the day so we pretty much spent most of the day at home.  My contract at the school is nearing its end and the position has been formally advertised now - time to get the ol' CV dusted off and updated again, with another makeover.  The boys had a few neighbourhood friends around at different points in the day which was great for them.  Also had a music practice later in the afternoon, and that was about it!  Caleb sat Aaron down at the coffee table for some drawing instruction - manga is the latest fad.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sunny tidy place, happy mom

Caleb and Aaron: no reading, no friends, no fun and NO TEA until your room is tidy!! Enough is enough; with Granny no longer sneaking around the house doing acts of cleaning and kindness, the boys' room had become abominable again. Funny thing is it doesn't really take a lot to mess it up, but then it doesn't take a lot to clean it either. Constant efforts will keep it in check - if only the boys would just get into their heads that five minutes of proper tidying at the end of every day would keep it manageable!  Glad to say though they had got themselves going and at the end of the day they had cleaned and vacuumed, and they had tea at the proper time!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Gearing up and down

The school's boys' cricket team, of which Caleb is a member, had their first matches today.  They walked five minutes down the road to the park (handy location) where they met their opponents who were scary and intimidating in their all-white gear.  Our team held up pretty well though with a near-lose.  The second match was not quite so close but our team tried hard.  We really need those votes for the National Bank Cricket Grant so we can at least have our own BALL!!  Spare a moment and vote here for us :)
After the boys were in bed, Nick and I snuck out for a walk up the street - the sun was setting and it was warm and still.  We figure these beautiful evenings will be rapidly tapering off as the end of summer is nearly upon us, and all too soon we'll be out of daylight savings and into quickly-shortening days.  We only walked as far as the end of our street before turning around again, but it was so great to be outside.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Purple Monday

In our staffroom-lunchtime-madness on Friday we decided to all come to school today wearing purple.  There was no particular reason - we just thought it would be fun and wondered how long it would take the kids to figure out that some abnormal was happening.  It didn't take long for some observant girls in Room 2 to spot the purplyness and soon the word spread!  So here we are - most of the staff of Timaru Christian School:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Birthday and bye-bye

Another STRONG sermon on Romans this morning from Nick, aided by the Holy Spirit - one congregant commented that she's hearing this teaching for the first time at age nearly 80 and hopes young people are really listening so they get the benefit at an early age.  I loved her comment of "keep up the God work".  Andreas will have it up on the church's blog in a couple of days.  After service we sent the boys home with the Phillipsies and joined a merry band at Robbie's in Washdyke for a birthday gathering for Nyree.  Sadly Lindsay couldn't join us due to lack of good health but we had a super gathering with Nyree and Rachael, Rene and Bronwyn, Andreas and Danielle and us.  Robbies makes impressive food!  Nick and I both had a plate of fish and chips - scrummy.
The evening service was also fabulous; Nick and I were a two-man worship team on guitar and violin although I was horribly nervous and wobbled and whispered more than usual.  After service we were at the Botha's for another farewell (please can no one else leave Timaru any time soon - this Sunday night last-night-here is going to be too sad!) - Violining Victoria has finished her nursing studies here and will be heading back home until a position becomes available.  We hope that Timaru Hospital can accommodate her!! 

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Three's company

Nick played woodsman again today with collecting two trailer-loads of the wood he'd chainsawed several months ago.  It's been sitting there waiting for an opportune time for collection.  I was home with the boys and after some time I realized that I had three boys instead of my usual two - a neighbourhood chap had quietly come in to play Lego with Caleb and Aaron.  He stuck around for most of the day, helped with offloading some wood and earned himself a Caroline Bay swim and ice-cream.  The morning had been fine and bright but a southerly came up in the afternoon - but boys being boys, they were all in.  The three of them watched a movie when we got back as well.  I got a whole bunch of housework done (I'm back to doing it by myself again, boo hoo).

Friday, February 17, 2012

A little bit of Fridayness

It's been raining a lot this week - it started on Monday (to match the drizzle falling from my eyes when my parents left) - rained continuously on Tuesday, stayed cloudy on Wednesday and Thursday.  This morning it was hugely exciting to see a sunrise, and not just a quick sliver before it ascended into the clouds - we had clear skies!!  Must have affected the staff I reckon because we were all a little dilly in the staffroom at lunchtime (in a good way of course).  I played a happy song from my computer over the school-wide intercom just before the afternoon break...some of the teachers tried teaching through the interruption while others tried ripping the speaker off the wall.  In my defense, I did have the principal's approval!  Oh, good times.  It's Friday, Friday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Rushing through the week

Have to get used to being on our own again - the days are a lot busier now with all regular activities being back to normal, and minus two extra domestic workers in the house :)  I had a violin lesson at 7.30 on Tuesday eve but with cooking, cleaning and doing homework with the boys I barely had time to squeeze in a practice.  At 8.30 Liz and Graham called in after their two and a half weeks in the States.  We were thrilled to catch up with them and get a run-down of the trip - and who doesn't love an exciting box of pressies including a lot of interesting tracts for distribution!
 Wednesday was another whole day at work (since I didn't work Monday I'm doing four full days this week); at 4.30 the boys had their first violin and recorder lessons for the year.  We've switched Aaron to recorder this year so he can learn to read music, while Caleb is continuing with the violin.  Had to whip around the house doing a quick clean before and after their lessons as we had bible study in our home this evening.
Meanwhile, my parents arrived back in Joburg safely after their 40+ hour journey across continents.  We praise the Lord for their safe-keeping and that they were well enough to fly here and back and be with us.  It hurts to be separated again but we do have some wonderful memories to savour. 

Thursday the boys had swimming at 9 am so needed dropping off at the pool early.  I was in a quiet school for the first hour or so!  Popped in at the Camerons during lunchtime to return some holiday items; good to have a quick catch up and hello.  Got home around 4 after running a few errands after school; gave Nick a haircut, made tea, and at 7.30 pm did the grocery shopping.  Phew!

Monday, February 13, 2012

This is where we part ways

We thought we'd get an early start on the day and spend some time in Christchurch today before my parents flew home - their flight was departing at 16.55 so we had a few hours together.  One of the things to see in Christchurch, as awful as it sounds, is earthquake damage.  We didn't really know quite where to go to see things firsthand, but I had in mind that it would be interesting to see Lyttleton Harbour.  It was getting to lunchtime though, so I navigated us to a Dominoes near the area using my iPhone app.  Turns out the Dominoes was the only business open in a small shopping complex after some major quakes had ripped open tarmac and shaken foundations.  A huge pile of silt was still lying nearby (a product of the liquefaction) and there were fissures big enough to stand in where the carpark had pulled away from the concrete foundations of the walkways.  It was depressing!  Mom expected to see tumbleweed blowing across what felt like a ghost town.  We guessed that the only reason that the pizza shop was still open and functioning was to service the many workmen milling about in bright orange vests, working on pipes - either to repair things or get things ready for flattening, we weren't sure. 
 Took our pizzas and drove about 1 km to the beach overlooking the New Brighton Pier where Nick found a parking directly in front of the boardwalk and ocean - quite a pleasant spot to enjoy the rain and wind from the safety of a car!  We left Mom in the car and took a walk along the pier but it was thoroughly unpleasant and altogether Not Nice.  We hurried back and had a brief look around the library before driving the half hour back to the airport. 
 It took less than five minutes for Mom and Dad to check in - there were no queues and hardly anyone about at 2 in the afternoon!  Bizarre.  Then there followed an hour or two of waiting at the airport - we couldn't bear to simply leave the folks sitting there on their own while we went back to an empty house, so put off the inevitable goodbyes as long as possible.   
At some point in the day I started panicking about whether I'd said all the important things needing saying, like how much I love my parents and appreciate their Godly example and influence - sometimes these things get left until funerals to voice, but how sad that the recipients of such lovely tributes don't get to hear it themselves!  But no, I think we covered all the ground with plenty of snippets of serious conversation between all the teasing and laughter which was more characteristic of our times around the dinner table.  It's been a pleasure having you here, Mom and Dad - we love you and will miss you terribly!

Took the boys to Hallensteins at Hornby for some retail therapy - they were needing a few wardrobe fillers and the Dress Smart in Christchurch is one of the best places to go if you're looking for bargains and clearance items!  It provided a short-term distraction anyway to the sadness of the afternoon.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Starting on the goodbyes

Nick started his brand new series on Romans this morning with a BANG!  His enthusiasm for the book was evident and we are looking forward to getting into this very meaty and well-seasoned epistle.  You can listen to the sermon on the MRBC website (click on the link on the right hand side of the page to get there).  Dad surprised us all by waving his arm madly in the air while Nick was leading the service, to ask if he could just say a few words.  His heartfelt thanks to the congregation for their love and hospitality were nearly dry-eyed but just not quite! 
I had a slow-cooker roast and veggies going during the morning so lunch was ready in a jiffy when we arrived home at 12.30.  Nick and I popped out to {omit name of shop} for black doris plums, custard and ice-cream (a-la Danielle); I wanted to do a video clip of our self-checkout thingie but got told off by a shop assistant who came marching over and in her nicest confrontational manner asked if I had permission to be using a camera in the shop - I was mortified!  Anyway, enjoyed the rest of the afternoon at home; I ran a slideshow of the 1,160 holiday photos I'll be sending to SA on DVD. 
After the pm service we joined the Phillipses at the Botha's home for a last supper of pancakes.  Watched a bit of an Afrikaans gospel DVD which was pretty amazing.  Mom said she couldn't have thought of a better way to spend their last night in NZ!  I concur.  I think we may have been a bit mopey if we'd been hanging around our house.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A most pleasant point

Dad was keen to revisit Pleasant Point particularly with a view to showing the boys the Model T Ford Railcar.  It was thus our first stop for Saturday morning, after mucking about at home for a while, playing some violin and guitar duets and taking a family photo.  Had a good look around the little railcar; the stationmaster was quite happy for us to get inside it.  Took ourselves to Legends for our tenzees - the most amazing little restaurant with vintage decor and mismatched chairs and the most interesting knick-knacks.  Walked past the taxidermist across the road as well but that was pretty awful really unless you happen to like the idea of stuffed preserved animals.  I asked Nick if we could take a drive through Pleasant Point (gesturing appropriately with head bobbings); our drive brought us out at a regular garage sale which we've been to before.  Picked up a few books.  Home for a late lunch and afternoon at home.  At 6 pm we had a tea arrangement with the Kempfs - church folk have been so accommodating and hospitable!  Had a lovely evening with delicious cooking, some dutch blitz and live music thrown in.  We were all much amused at their new dishwasher ("it's the best cold water can do"). 
At 6 pm we had a tea arrangement with the Kempfs - church folk have been so accommodating and hospitable!  Had a lovely evening with delicious cooking, some dutch blitz and live music thrown in.  We were all much amused at their new dishwasher ("it's the best cold water can do").
I was having some difficulty with my iPhone 3Gs video camera not working - just when I really needed it, it froze!  Apparently this is a known issue with many complaints; did some googling and found this handy article which solved the problem, so if you're reading the blog and have an issue, try this:

Friday, February 10, 2012

Steak and cheese to chicken and rice

Had a fabulous morning at work - got so excited about finishing a section of financial stuff that I nearly posted it to the accountant without stamps!  Mom spotted my near faux-pas on our way to town.  Dad's strong hints at his enjoyment of Subway had turned into more direct remarks at the neeeeeeeed to have another sub before it was too late, so when I got home from school I reckoned I was about ready for a delicious take-away.  I think the craving is now satisfied!  Wandered up the main street in town because Dad had been wanting some photos, seeing how Timaru is so pretty with its hanging flowers and rose gardens and all. 
Collected the boys from school (I applied stamps to the envelope), went to the Warehouse quickly for some spray varnish to finish off the Paua shells and bring out their colour.  At 6.30 we were at Andreas and Danielle's house for tea - a delicious meal of chicken drummies roasted in mayo and apricot jam sauce, with broccoli and cauliflower in cheese sauce and rice and cute carrots with their little stems still attached - Danielle, I love your cooking flair and style!  Pudding was apparently a-la a tin of fruit and serve it with ice-cream and custard :)  Can't go wrong there.  Had a really great evening together over the Bible and the iPod and some tunes, around the table and Danielle's boudoir.  It started raining and had turned pretty cold during the evening - we anticipate the next few days will be similar.