Thursday, May 31, 2012

Somewhere between 27 and 39

Happy birthday me!  Thank you to everyone for soooooo many FB messages, texts and phonecalls - all made the day so wonderful.  Had a fabulous, earth-shattering day with a 4.5 quake just before morning tea and a full evacuation of the school.  The quake was in the Geraldine area - much closer to us than the Christchurch quakes but very deep and non-destructive.  The kids had a slightly longer morning play and we got to enjoy Chrissy's scrumptious chocolate cake, baked especially for me.  Chrissy also found a protea bush or tree and asked the lady if she could have a few flowers - incredibly special as proteas are South Africa's national flower, and my birthday always fell on Republic Day which was a public holiday in SA for about the first 21 years of my life.  I was thrilled to have such a strong reminder of birthdays past!  
Nick took me out for lunch and then graciously gave me two hours of guilt-free shopping while he walked around with me trying hard not to look bored.  Fortunately there was a definite cut-off time as we had to collect the boys from the pool at 3 pm.  In the afternoon I played with my birthday present, which is a stunning K. Otto Zimmer violin - I have had it for at least six weeks already but officially it's mine now :) 
Our original plan was to have Chinese for tea, but Matt and Adele invited us around for tea as they are shortly leaving on a long overseas holiday, and we were wanting to catch up before they left.  We were more than happy to change our plans for them :)  Adele cooked up a lasagne and some incredible breads; Madre and Leone gave us an brief violin/flute concert, and we even had Andreas sharing in the evening when he suddenly appeared in the diningroom. 
Gene (don't photograph me) set the table beautifully with an array of candles and flowers.  I mentioned to her earlier at school that we would be seeing them later - she said, "uh oh"!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Introducing Dad

Days are still shortening, weather is getting colder as autumn is nearly at its end. With Nick's lectures out the way now he has more time to engage with the family - the Scrabble and Rummikub are getting more used now as we all gather in the warm lounge after tea.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Little tiny indoor picnic

Nick was off duty on Sunday morning with John taking the pulpit.  The day started off unseasonably warm with clear skies and warm breezes, so much so that we issued an invitation to the entire church to join us for an outdoor picnic and left-over pies.  By the time church was over it was gusty and cold, so we canned that idea and moved it to our house - only Liz, Graham and Royce came along but that was company a'plenty. 
(Ha ha, Royce...didn't want to give me a decent smile so this is how you have turned out...)

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Roving Classroom

Today has been a long time coming (does that make sense, grammatically?)  I mean, we've been preparing for today for a loooong time - Nick mostly of course, being the main body involved in the event, but as a family we've been praying about, discussing, sacrificing time for, and wrapping head space around the Roving Classroom 2012 - these lectures happen four times a year at various locations in NZ, and today was Nick's turn to lecture.  He was lecturing Exegetical Theology and did a short examination of the Exegetical Basis for the Gospel in the First Five Chapters of Romans (I had to get him to dictate that bit for me to type here as I couldn't remember the huge title).  The day was a great success with a good turnout and plenty of food provided by our church folk - Nick was annoyed that he had too much content and couldn't finish, but he was satisfied overall. 
The boys and I spent the large part of the day to-and-froing between home and the church to serve teas and lunches and wash dishes, but I also managed to sneak off to the Warehouse (where everyone...) and procured fluffy pyjamas for the boys and a gown for Caleb (Aaron got the hand-me-down).  Caleb said I may hug him - I told Aaron to grab the camera for the Kodak Moment :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

How long is a piece of string?

Threw a baby shower for Mrs Nareki today - we cooked up the idea last week and what with the baby growing at such a rapid rate, thought we'd better do it sooner rather than later!  It was a surprise for Toni (I worried that Aaron might say something during the morning in class) when she walked into the staffroom at lunch time to see the table decked out in all manner of delicious foods and treats, and a small pile of presents.  We played a few games but being a sensible staff we didn't eat chocolate sauce out of nappies - instead we tamely drew pictures of Baby Bean without looking, with interesting results - especially the pictures which were particularly masculine - and also guessed at the size of Toni's waistline using pieces of string.  All good fun. 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Church, guests, church, music, guests

Another powerful message from Nick on Romans in the morning service; a good amount of fellowship and chatting afterward.  We arrived home from church around 12.45, then I still had to faff about with folding dry washing so I could hang up a new load before making lunch...consequently when the Camerons popped by for a quick hello I still hadn't started cooking, which turned out to be a fortuitous turn of timing - a quick doubling of the recipe meant they could join us for lunch of peanut-butter pasta and chips.  We keep meaning to catch up with the Camerons and it gets embarrassing when the weeks go by and you're still meaning to make a plan without actually doing it!  Glad we could finally do it.
Nick ran through his 10 Commandments memory aids in the evening study - anyone from CPBC reading this who still remembers the commandments in order?  They have been a great aid over the years.  The musicians stayed behind after the evening service for a play through some new songs.  We've been trying to do this on a monthly basis but this was the first time that most of the musicians could make it - our band of piano, guitar, violin, trombone and bass guitar, along with two bonus vocalists, made a joyful noise indeed!!  We can still add to our number a flute, a few more violins and a couple of guitars - as soon as we pry some hidden talent out of the woodwork :)
Liz and Graham were good and ready for their Sunday night fish-and-chips after practice, which they ate around our diningroom table.  Once again we were amused by the bonus bits incorporated into the fish - scales this time? 

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Mom was the battleship

Nick spent the day with Frank, who is fairly new in our church, and his son in Oamaru and Waimate, leaving around 9 and getting home after 5.  The boys and I had use of the car but didn't really need it other than returning DVDs...I cleaned the house and the boys did an outstanding job of cleaning their room.  We had a game of monopoly early afternoon but I limited it to an hour...Caleb had just finished bankrupting Aaron when the timer went off. 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Avoiding the Great Outdoors

Another week just whooshed practice Monday, music lessons Wednesday.  I met up with Aaron's recorder teacher for lunch on Thursday - so interesting getting to know Lesley better.  She taught Aaron ukulele last year and we've only really figured out now that we both love music - I took my violin so we pulled out some pieces which Lesley played on her flute firstly, and then on her gorgeous low Irish whistle.

Following a Board meeting at school last night, the new teacher for Room 4 (that's Aaron's class) filling in for Mrs Nareki while she's on maternity leave, is Ellie Ross - Ellie lives about nine houses down from us on the same street, so we know she's okay :)  She's no stranger to the school, having been a regular reliever for several months already.  We asked Aaron which teacher he likes better, and he honestly couldn't decide - credit to both ladies!
Hockey games on Friday, but I was rejoicing that the boys' games were both earlyish - Aaron's was at 3.45 and Caleb's was at 5, which meant we could still do our Friday pizza and movie.  Aaron's team lost this game with quite a beating, but it was so great to watch Aaron play and really focus on the game.  Despite the sunshine, it was soooooo cold, and got worse when the sun set during Caleb's game.  It's the exposed bits that worry me - I was concerned that the juices in my eyes, which were flowing freely with the biting wind, would freeze over.  I gave up trying to be the turf-side supportive mother and watched from the relative warmth of the car.  Caleb was goalie in his game which was super exciting for him - the gear is cumbersome and difficult to walk in for a first-timer - more experienced goalies can run in their bulky outfits.  St Joseph's lost 4-2 but to a very good team - my heart beat fast any time the ball came near our goal and Caleb had to do his thing.  I had suggested to a new friend, Royce, who has started coming to services, that a good time to chat would be during the hockey as it's a lull in Nick's work and a bit of a dead time if one isn't fully engaged in watching the sport - so Royce and Nick stood chatting in the cold.  We invited him back with us for pizza and our family movie which was Hugo this week - highly recommended!!  It's a beautifully crafted, clean film. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Sunday Sundae

The boys were up before the sun, filling a bowl with muesli for me (and microwaving it for 30 seconds according to my night-before instructions) - they couldn't wait to bring me breakfast in bed and give me their cards and presents for Mother's Day! Turned out to be another stunner of a day (a high of 18 degrees!) so after lunch we popped out for BK Sundaes and a play in the park for the boys.
Church services either side were excellent, and after the pm service we had the Kempfs (minus Jesse) and the Bothas (minus Danielle) and the Gregories (all present) for chips and coffee (and donuts and pizza, thanks to Liz and Bron). Great to catch up over an informal meal with these wonderful people!

Saturday, May 12, 2012


(To borrow a lyric from Robin Hood)...we've had a pretty run-o'-the-mill sort of week - school, work, hockey, music and so on, with a lot of rain and gloomy weather in between.  Once or twice lately I've been told, "that was a very Lynn sunrise" - say what??  I'm up way before the sun but at the moment it's rising round about when I'm in the shower.  Had a good look outside one morning though and it was spectacular.  More of a God-sunrise I'd think, but I knew what they meant :)  Nick came out to look and volunteered to be my model.

Both boys had night-time hockey again this week, and although I'm certain the weather was colder, with a bit of light drizzle even, we didn't feel it as much - long johns, woolly tights, several clothing layers, gloves, a blanket, and travel coffees made it feel more like an adventure than a punishment.  The boys' teams both won their games, upwards and onwards!  We thought Caleb had played particularly well, having been placed in a position where he had a lot of access to the ball; when they came off his coach said he had played a "blinder of a game" - apparently that confirmed our thoughts.  He really is doing well!  Aaron is also improving and definitely had his stick down a lot more and certainly engaged in the game.

On Saturday the sun came out again, what bliss.  Aaron got invited to fill in a missing position on a soccer team with Matt and Josh Cameron, so off he went leaving Caleb to amuse himself with Lego.  Aaron came back full of smiles, apparently preferring soccer to hockey now.  We took ourselves out for Simon's pies (these are excellent - I can highly recommend his bakery in Washdyke!) and petrol, then were home again for the afternoon.  Because of the hockey last night we did our pizza and movie tonight.  I do love settling in for the evening with the family in the warmth and comfort of the lounge!
Oo-de-lally, Oo-de-lally, golly, what a day.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Friday Family Fun interrrupted

Caleb and Aaron, along with the entire school except the office administrator and the cleaner, joined their counterparts at Ashburton Christian School today for a day of fun and fellowship. They left on a double decker bus shortly after 9 am and were back just before 3. Sounds like it was a great outing for them and no doubt Mrs Rentoul will pop some photos on Facebook soon enough! I enjoyed the solitary morning at the school with few interruptions and a lot of work to do.

Tonight, following a mad dash to town for the correct hockey hosiery (at $16 per pair they will NOT be wearing these socks anywhere other than hockey!) the boys played their second game of the season. I'm still pretty clueless about the whole sport but I'm told that these were grading games, so the teams were not necessarily well matched. Caleb's game was at 6 pm (it's fully dark by then) and he played the first half as a back again. His team seemed to be a lot stronger, so consequently Caleb spent most of the first half twiddling his stick around an empty play area, along with a super-bored goalie. They won their game 8-1. Aaron's game followed at 6.45 (it's fully cold by then too, and only got colder as the hour dragged on). The younger kids are a lot less aggressive although have a lot of heart and enthusiasm, so a lot of time is spent running around avoiding the ball. Aaron's team drew 1-1. We were happy to be home with a fire going by 8 pm...and it's not even technically winter yet! Hopefully not too many of their games will be at night, but I'm told that hockey is an all-weather sport - they play in the rain if need be. I think I might be busy on those days ;)

Thursday, May 03, 2012


Danielle leaves us on Saturday for three months in SA to spend time with her family, particularly her sister who was in hospital recently and is recovering slowly. It's going to be a sad few months without D around, who we love and treasure! But, her imminent departure was a good excuse for a farewell which took shape rapidly under the guidance and suggestions of some eager teenagers...we had a pancake gathering...
Andreas in the kitchen - we calculated that he produced somewhere between 80 and 100 pancakes.
Altyd tyd vir 'n drukkie...
...while some serious discussion was happening in the kitchen surrounding the making of sushi-style pancakes.
Mmmm...savoury mince filled, topped with cheese sauce and cheese - I could only manage one of these babies!
We ended the evening with music and singing - with an enthusiastic small choir, a piano, violin and guitar and enough songbooks to go around, it was rousing.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

I can see clearly now...

Isn't he cute?! We collected Aaron's new glasses on Friday last week - I love his new look!

Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Friends, new and old

Have been enjoying some very people-filled days of late...on Saturday night we had the de Beers around to tea (well part of them anyway; the older two girl were at youth group but we had the pleasure of Matt, Adele and Gene) along with a new friend Kerry who works with Matt.
Kerry is an ex-South African as well, so out came Trevor Noah to entertain us once again. We had our first introduction to "Ken Lee" - well - that is something to behold!
On Sunday we had a ton of food left over from Saturday night so had two extra guests around the lunch table - Peter is another new friend who has been coming to church after Nick picked him up hitchhiking to Christchurch! And John W had no other plans so was happy to join.
Monday night Nick raised his eyebrows at my food selection for tea - I thought ham and corn on the cob would work together but it seemed not. Caleb was off school on Monday with some sort of bug so didn't have much to eat either way.
Tonight (Tuesday) we had Kerry around again - so good to get to know this lively gal better!  I laboured over cannelloni - the hour of preparation is well worth it.  Most of the time is taken in stuffing the tubes.  Perhaps there is an easier way to get the spinach and ricotta mix into them?  I started timing the process and a minimum of 45 seconds per tube multiplied by 20-25 does become an exercise in patience.