Matt texted early this morning to ask if Aaron could play soccer as their team was short a player. The game was at 10 but we had to be there at 9.30. Aaron had the honour of being goalie (and he doesn't even play soccer at all). He did excellently, not letting one single ball into his goal. To be true, the ball only came near him once but he did kick it very well. Clearly our team was the stronger! Consequently he spent almost the entire game standing around on his own and got very cold (poor thing). BUT...for volunteering and being such a brilliant goalie, he won player of the day, earning a few gift vouchers including a McDonalds cheeseburger. I, meanwhile, got to know Nadine - a very lovely lady who, along with her husband and four children (three are triplets, two of whom are boys and were playing on our team) have recently started coming to our church.
Friday, June 29, 2012
After squashing five days of work into three last week, I was ready to kick back and relax in the last week of term. Ha! Last-minute preparations for Nick going to Fiji, end-of-term stress for the teachers, and getting everything done in four days was the reality. On Sunday after the pm service we gathered at the Kempf home for pasta and soup so that Nick could meet with the Fiji Missions Trip 2012 Team - ie Erinmarie, Dannica, Jesse and Sam. This has been in the planning for a long time, and on Friday they will be off for nine days. Seems like there were still a lot of things needing doing! It was decided that I would accompany the five of them to the airport in the Phillips's bus - I volunteered as I was needing to get to a violin shop in Christchurch and this was a good time to do it. The whirlwind week of hecticness reached its climax and end on Friday morning at 9.15 am as we drove away - bags all packed, passports in place and everything done. Phew! Please pray for them as they are in Fiji from 29 June to 9 July, ministering in and to the church and community in Ba alongside Rev Vijay.
Friday, June 22, 2012
3.15 am...not a very happy time to get out of bed, but with a two-hour drive to Christchurch to be on a 6.45 Auckland-bound airplane, it had to be done! I had planned to just shower, dress and have breakfast before leaving, with plenty of time before departure to do make-up at the airport...but the walk from long-term parking to the terminal was longer than I had anticipated so when I walked into the departure area they were already calling my flight. Eeek! Had to get through a long queue at the security check-point; walked straight through boarding and onto the plane - not even five minutes to spare for the toilet! Felt naked. Couldn't wait to land and get myself sorted out :) On landing I realized I could rather catch a bus into town instead of driving a hire-car through unfamiliar traffic-laden streets; thank the Lord for that particular prompting as it saved much stress. The point of this whole exercise was to spend two days doing training on a new payroll system the education department will be rolling out country-wide. I was volunteered to be in a small group of 'specialists' - while everyone who administers payrolls and timesheets in schools will have to undergo on-line training, we were doing it a bit more intensely with the intention of feeding back to the developers about what works and what we think can be improved. I soon realized that I was out of my league with a lot of senior office admin ladies (and a few men) with many years of experience! Didn't struggle with the actual training or software; a definite advantage of falling into the the younger generation is less resistance to change. It was extremely interesting all in all and a great opportunity. By 6.30 pm, after browsing shops on Queen Street and having a solitary McDonalds wrap, I was in absolutely finished and ready for bed. To be honest, being in the throngs of people walking up and down the street was utterly depressing (Mom, I understand now). Everyone is on their own plane, with their own artsy thing happening, and most of them absolutely lost and wandering in darkness, spiritually. I thought how extremely difficult it must be to have any kind of ministry here, where peoples' hearts are hardened to the truth and beauty of the gospel, its simple message of Jesus' saving work on the cross sounding like foolishness. Back to my hotel room around 5; it was great to not be needed by anyone - no hockey matches to oversee, tea to make, homework to check or togs to hang up. I spent the evening quietly with boring shows on TV and a book.
Sunday, June 17, 2012
Had the privilege today of attending (albeit only for about half an hour) Rachael Moore's engagement party, and meeting her betrothed, Johnny. There was a good crowd gathered at the Moore's place and Nyree had worked hard to make this gorgeous spread of delicious edibles! Pity we couldn't stay longer but Nick (what a hunk) had to get home to do sermon prep. Yippee Johnny and Rachael, may the Lord bless your marriage and make you suitable partners for one another!
Saturday, June 16, 2012
After a busy week we were glad to have a regular Saturday at home and together as a family. We all chipped in to get the cleaning done, which freed us up in the early afternoon to do a few errands in town together. It was a gorgeous winter's day; the sun hung low in the sky all day as it made its tiny arc across the horizon.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Caleb has been sick this week with his regular chesty cough and cold - we had to excuse him from his hockey game. Aaron still had his game on; it was so cold outside that I couldn't brave it, even with a huge fluffy coat on. Caleb and I watched whatever bits of the game we could see from the car instead. Back home for our pizza and movie night.
Monday, June 11, 2012
Aaron and several of his classmates have been practicing for weeks and weeks to prepare for the 2012 World Vision Kids for Kids Concert. This concert happens every year all over NZ and involves thousands of kids, led by Suzanne Prentice who is a well-known kiwi performer. The TCS choir joined with about 12 other schools to form one mass choir who were on stage for the duration of the show. It was very well done and excellent in raising awareness of the work that World Vision does in feeding and helping poor communities and starving children and their families across the globe. Aaron's head was just occasionally visible in the throng, stage right about three rows in.
Sunday, June 10, 2012
The gospel featured strongly in Nick's Romans 2 message this morning (as it should do) - powerful stuff! Andreas will have it up on the church website real soon...it would have been sooner but we hijacked him for lunch and entertained him with iPhone apps and violin duets.
Saturday, June 09, 2012
Today was marked in the church calendar as a Work Party Day (the kids thought it something to look forward to - they haven't been exposed to many work parties), specifically to chop down the six silver birches on the side of the church, the roots of which were interfering with the underground pipes and plumbing. The decision to chop the trees was made months ago after lengthy debate at one of our church meetings - the tyranny of the majority won on this one but the tree-huggers were not violent in their opposition. So, 10 am saw a group of eager men (and a few ladies) with their chainsaws, earmuffs and overalls gathered outside the church, ready for action. It took about two hours for the trees to come down, get sawn into usable sizes and loaded onto trailers, ready for burning next year. Sad to see them go, but it had to be done. There was much action inside the church too with Tossing Out of Old Stuff on the go, and morning tea and lunch to be made and served. It was a great morning of fellowship and work.
Friday, June 08, 2012
While *most* other parts in NZ had snow on Wednesday night and Thursday, Timaru had No Snow. Good old Place of Shelter. Disappointing, but on Friday when the sky was clear and the temperature had risen strangely and we had no slush to wade through, we were happy :) Hockey was entirely bearable without the regular bite in the air and it was an interesting game with the two senior St Joseph's teams versing each other - Caleb and Aaron would have faced one another but Aaron subbed on Caleb's team. The game was good with a lot of action from one side to the other, but in the end the Clevelys were on the victor's side. Well done lads! The game was early enough for us to do our Friday Family thing with pizza and a movie - we hired The Muppets! I think collectively we all rolled our eyes a little at the prospect but it was the only new release worth watching that we hadn't seen...turns out it was really entertaining with no blasphemy and some surprise musical numbers that had Nick and I shaking our heads and laughing in disbelief at the 80s styling - utterly and unashamedly stereotyped. It was excellent and we'd actually recommend it!
Sunday, June 03, 2012
Between services and after our monthly fellowship lunch, we were back in Liz's shop for more table tennis - after Friday night's success and fun the invite was open! Gathered a good crowd including three people off the street who were passing by and thought the shop was some sort of community lounge. Instead of letting the men dominate the table with doubles, we played a few rounds of 'Donkey' - where you hit your shot then run around to the other side of the table. Easy when you have ten in, but when you're down to three and have to run fast it gets tricky. Liz and I expended much our energy giggling!
Saturday, June 02, 2012
Today was one of those great Saturdays for Getting Stuff Done - swapping bed bases around between the guest room and our room (tucking the duvet into the sleigh-bed was not making Nick's toes happy), tidying cupboards and getting rid of old things - when one's shoes are left in the corner of the cupboard and end up looking like this, one knows one is not wearing them often enough to warrant the space they take up!