Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Onward (and upward), Christian Soldiers!

Caleb has joined the Year 5/6 TCS basketball team this term - aptly named TCS Soldiers (I was left to make the executive decision on choice of name when I registered the team...the joys and privileges of working in the school office, ha). They had their first game this Tuesday and although they were creamed by a much bigger and taller team, they played pretty well. Will be interesting to see how the team shapes up over the course of the season.
Above - Caleb waiting to be inserted (the team has 9 players, so four always have to sit out but rotations are pretty quick). Below - Aaron watching the game with much interest.
There's Caleb - #4. He looks so tall!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Sympathising with Peter Pan

Nick set to the boys to work in the garden this morning with some tidying up needing doing before he could mow the lawns.  I tidied the house as per the usual Saturday story; in the afternoon we took the boys to Caroline Bay for a bit of a treat; the sun was out which was a treat in itself, but what a great day to be outside for a while enjoying the fresh air.  You know when you've been sun-deprived when seeing your own shadow is a novelty!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Fun(ky) Day at TCS

The staff were starting to feel a little 'mid-termish' - run down, tired and in need of cheer. Two of the *younger* staffers decided that a Fun Day was in order, and so, with Principal's Approval, they organized a day of dress-up and house group challenges. The kids had to wear their house colours (red, blue, green or yellow) and dress back-to-front and inside-out; all the staff were neutral and wore all the colours - we looked marvellous! 
Technology challenge - building spaghetti and marshmallows towers (below); making a raincoat (above).
There were also chalk-drawing-story-telling activities happening outdoors; Room 4 housed a Quiz and in the hall there were some serious team-building challenges on the go.
After a lunch of hot chips and sausages we gathered in the library where the REAL FUN began - a "Fairly Fearsome Factor" for the teachers.  Mrs Rentoul had them eating delicious truffels (actually raw brussel sprouts covered in chocolate); melting ice-cubes with one foot dipped in ice water, eating dry weet-bix then whistling the National Anthem, applying make-up without a mirror, and fishing coins out of a soup of baked beans, mud, worms, water, cooked cold noodles, dishwashing liquid and some puffed rice.  Eeeeeeeeuww!
Poor Mrs Rentoul had no idea that we had a little something planned for her too - knowing her aversion to vegetables and most things healthy, we had her eat a tiny carrot, broccoli floret and brussel sprout.  We were laughing so hard at her expressions of disgust and genuine gagging we nearly fell over.  Well done to all the staff though for being such good sports!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Your house, 5 minutes

We know some pretty awesome people, but there aren't many with such awesomeness who graciously accept an invitation to host 12 people at their house for lunch with absolutely no warning...the Clevelys and Phillipses descended upon the Bothas for pancakes - some quick joint planning on who was bringing eggs and flour and mince and stewed apples was all that was needed, and then about an hour for Andreas to stand over his two pannekoek panne to produce a stack of deliciousness.  Dannica played YouTube DJ while Caleb introduced Jayden to chess.  Thanks, Bothas - a pleasure as always ;)
And it started raining again...

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Getting the Point

During winter when activities are mostly indoors, it's easy to forget that we actually live right at the coast.  I found myself being pleasantly surprised at the rolling waves and colour of the ocean when I delivered Aaron and his bicycle to Patiti Point to meet up with Nick and Caleb and two others who had already cycled the 6 kms from home.  Aaron had been subbed onto a soccer team early morning and arrived home just as Nick was leaving here.  He was gutted to miss the outing, so it was great that he could still join in from the other side.  It was a gorgeous day, finally, after all the rain - well, for at least an hour or two anyway before the clouds rolled in again!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Twelfth to Seventeenth

So really, it's been raining almost non-stop this week...occasionally the clouds would stop seeping and weeping and things would dry off, and once or twice we caught a glimpse of sun, but it's been pretty miserable in Timaru.  Had a super-busy week with hockey practice Monday, dinner at friends on Tuesday which ended at midnight (the poor boys were up reading or playing Nick's iPod for most of that time, feeling a little trashed for school on Wednesday); music lessons and bible study on Wednesday, the boys' final hockey game (their teams v'd each other but the game was stopped a few times as the entire field disappeared in fog and they switched to an orange ball) and swing dancing on Thursday, and then finally a Chariots of Fire evening on Friday at Liz and Graham's - a good way to finish off the Olympics and a weekful of events!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Ross v Dobbs v Clevely

Eesh, we have some scary neighbours...Matt and Ellie live a few doors down from us, and Ellie also happens to be Aaron's teacher.  Finally plucked up the courage to have them around for a meal and game of Balderdash.  Tried to get a group together but most couldn't make it - good to have Victoria join us for tea as well though directly following a music practice (I put her to good use in the kitchen!)
The boys have no problems fitting in with the game; Caleb came third and Aaron came fourth with some cracker definitions!  Regular playing pieces were replaced with more interesting characters...
This is more what they're really like - rather on the fun side! 

Thursday, August 09, 2012

Our own tropical paradise?

And the rain continues...Timaru actually had flooded areas during the 47 mm of rainfall yesterday, with road closures and impassable fiords.  We had our own mini-flood right outside my office window at school; kids were delighted at the new area to paddle in and so we witnessed stockinged feet and school shoes wading ankle deep through the freezing water.  Needless to say the owners of the feet were severely told off!  Today the sun came out for a few hours and we were thrilled at the respite.  Not quite enough to dry up all the water, but oh the blue skies were so wonderful!  The clouds were back in the afternoon and evening.
No matter about the weather though...time to get on the ol' dancing shoes and head out for our second swing dance class.  We are loving it!  Last week we learned the basic back-step-step move; this week we advanced to a Charleston step.  Hopefully over the next four weeks we'll add heaps of moves to our limited repertoire!  Great form of exercise and plenty of laughs with Liz and Graham (perhaps I should clarify, not laughing AT anyone!!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Held hostage by the weather

The weather has been less than delicious at the moment; lots of rain and grey which has kept the boys inside after school. Lego has come to the fore again - mostly intentionally but I think on this particular occasion Caleb bumped over an open container full of bits and pieces; they designed a crane to help with the clean-up!
Caleb sporting a new felt-tip stab below his eye-brow courtesy of his brother; Aaron sporting a brand new facial expression.
The international posture for Lego playing: one knee up for the chin to rest on while the other leg is tucked on the floor and used as a hinge to reach over the pile of blocks.

Sunday, August 05, 2012

The Men

A bit of socialising and silliness after church on Sunday evening...we do enjoy our friends!

Saturday, August 04, 2012

On the subject of birthdays and Olympics

The end of July and beginning of August have been a wasteland of birthdays - among others it was Liz's birthday yesterday and Grant's today; a piano full of pebbles was waiting for Grant at music practice, but all Liz got was our presence at a special come-and-watch-Olympics-on-the-new-TV evening. 

Friday, August 03, 2012

The skiing, snowboarding, kiwi Clevelys

SNOW, snow snow, snow, SNOW!!! I've never seen so much of it all at once - this was my and the boys' first real experience of the white stuff as we joined with half of TCS on a school ski-trip. Nick was able to join us for the day in Roundhill (Tekapo) too although he conquered the slopes on a snowboard - brave, but he managed superbly as his balancing skills were honed on a skateboard.  I joined an adult beginner class in flopping around clumsily on skis for the first time; Aaron found his place with the beginner kids but Caleb, who didn't realise that classes were mandatory and available, just took himself off and started skiing with absolutely no instruction, surprising us by being a whiz at it!   
Up the hill on a t-bar....
...and down again.  And thus the day was spent for the boys, being towed up and whooshing down the beginner slope.
Aaron needed a little encouraging and competition from his brother to gain confidence but soon he was managing superbly too. 
Such spectacular scenery to enjoy on the way down too - Lake Tekapo looking lovely as usual! 
Aaron also found this orange thing to slide on but I think the skiing was more fun for them.
Mr Phillips and Mrs Thompson showed off their skills on the snow too...
...while Mr Frank and Mrs Ross and Mrs Manson took to the intermediate slopes with some serious ability!
Nick nearly broke his collarbone and acquired much bruising with some first-rate tumbles and by 1.30 we had both had enough, trading in our equipment for our regular gear.  I found the skiing exhilarating but after three hours I was in agony with a wounded toe :(  
And finally, two hours back home...it was just too much for some of us!