Monday, April 28, 2014

Behind a parka's scenes

These holidays, apart from practicing violin (a lot); (I'm working towards an exam later in the year), I've also done a bit of sewing. Sometimes projects are small and quick, other times they take up a large amount of time and space.  I bought the teal corduroy at the Red Cross Shop in town a few months ago, back when my parents were here and my Mom was amazed at the wonders to be found in op shops; the black sherpa for the lining and cuffs was an on-line purchase from Backstreet Bargains, whose fabric and prices are good. This hooded coat fell into the latter category - a complicated array of sections took some serious thought during the cutting phase!
I love getting enough bits sewn to be able to hang it on my sewing manequin, to get an idea of how it's going to look. 
And slowly the bed space clears, as more pieces get sewn together and the pattern pieces can be folded and stored.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Pretty random

This morning we stumbled across "The King of Random" on YouTube. Wow! This guy has some remarkable stuff and presents tutorials on making them. The boys loved the idea of a Mini Matchstick gun, so spent a good part of the afternoon whittling and glueing. It took several failed attempts but in the end Caleb produced a working model.
Brothers, oboe-in-hand, make good targets!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Driven inside

We've not had the best weather these holidays - the boys have had to spend a good amount of time indoors. Good thing they still love reading! We've played a game of Scrabble (although that ended badly when the boys wanted to pack up the tiles by throwing them around the lounge), and they've taken the time to play Monopoly.  Aaron gathered a large stack of money but few properties, where Caleb bought up as much as he could.  Interesting how the use of money is reversed in real life!  
While parts of the South Island have had extreme flooding and even some parts of Timaru were without power because of the heavy rain, strong wind and high volume of water everywhere, we just had a bit of mild surface flooding on our street.  Apparently this weather system has brought the most rain in something like 20 years!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Food, glorious food...

The great thing about having a child who loves food is that they will be the ones who are willing to spend time in the kitchen making it. "What's for lunch, Mom" usually ends with the answer, "whatever you're making".  Not the best Mom skills, really.  But Aaron made hotdogs for himself, Caleb and me.  So I guess my mothering finds its niche in encouraging creativity and independence :)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Fair to mild

It's been four years since we last visited the Fairlie A&P show. Every year we briefly consider the idea then toss it aside; today I wanted to go simply for the sake of going and doing something interesting. Nick was able to join us (he doesn't usually take public holidays off, but made an exception today). It was fabulous to be outdoors enjoying the sunshine; good thing we had appropriate footwear though because there was LOTS of mud!  One of the fun things about going to the fair is meeting up with friends...we knew there were a lot of people from church going, so it was pretty disappointing not to find the majority of them! 
So, what does one see at a rural community fair of this sort?  Plenty of livestock...
  ...lots of competitions involving wood chopping and sawing and axes and chainsaws...
...beautiful handcrafts...
...highland dancing...
...bagpipe competitions...
...more wood severing things, and even a chair produced from a tree stump.
We were pleased to find Mordecai and Justina, who watched some of the competitions with us.
The boys bought giant inflatables - who wouldn't want a giant purple alien and a big bat?
Eventually we got tired of wandering around looking for people, so set off home mid-afternoon.  The drive to and from Fairlie is so pretty, especially with Autumn colours slowly starting to show themselves.


I'm a bargain hunter. I admit it unashamedly. I'll buy several of an item when it's on special and store it away until needed - which is how I sometimes end up with 11 boxes of the same cereal in the cupboard. I keep my eyes open for good prices on clothing too, especially for the boys as they will eventually grow into a thing.  I spotted jackets in a little shop in St Helena several years ago (August 2008, to be precise)...Aaron and I thought it would be a giggle at the time to photograph him wearing the hugely oversized jacket.  Five and a half years later, the boys now have new jackets.  (Problem is, their tastes change over the years...what we thought would be great back then now ranks amongst their least favourite stuff!)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Great (Good) Friday

Caleb turned 13 today - our first teenager living in the house! Hopefully this doesn't mean he employs grunts and monosyllables as his primary mode of communication :) He hadn't settled on what he wanted for his birthday, so we showed him the green...always appreciated! His birthday this year coincided with Good Friday, so after the present opening Nick went off to do prep for church.
We had a wonderful and blessed church service, considering the seven sayings of Christ as He hung on the cross.  We've been doing a lot of personal preparation in the week leading up to Easter, reading the chronological accounts of the week from the Gospels.  What struck me most was that Jesus continued his teaching ministry even in this final week - there was no 'the end is in sight, take a break' attitude or mentality. 
After church we collected a pot of soup and more music and instruments from home, then went to the Bothas home where we spent the rest of the day (quite literally - we left just before midnight!)
Andreas, Danielle and Betta extended an open home invitation for soup and bread, and it was a wonderful houseful of brothers and sisters in the Lord.  We acknowledge again the Lord's goodness in blessing us with this extended family. 
After lunch we pulled out instruments and sang Psalms, hymns and spiritual songs until our fingers and voices hurt :)  And then sang some more.  We have a pretty good choir!
Then followed Dutch Blitz, more tea and coffee, Wii, chatting...and then we stayed on for pizza and a movie, calling in Liz and Graham as reinforcements as they hadn't joined us for lunch.  Since it was still Caleb's birthday we thought a sci-fi movie would be fun but the Green Lantern proved most unsatisfying (except that it was fun to offer our own critique and dialogue).  Around 9 pm someone suggested watching "just the opening sequence" of Fiddler on the Roof, but somehow we got into it and watched all three hours of it.  Needed a good bit of chocolate to stay awake but even that wasn't enough!  Zzzzz...

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

March winds and April showers...

...seems to sum up our weather adequately. We haven't been such much sun lately - sometimes there is a hint of it in the early morning when one can imagine that there is sun behind the clouds. This particular morning featured a beautiful pink sky which faded to grey and remained that way until the grey went dark and it was night.
Occasionally there is little enough cloud for the sunrise colours to appear - we're also at a time of year when the sun is at the right angle to produce these beautiful skyscapes.  I'm sure the Lord could have made every day bland - but He must surely enjoy this display of His creative genius even more than we do!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Add to the mix

Time for a hoolie at the Clevelys again - it's been too long since we've had a "let's invite heaps of people for lunch" afternoon.  It started small enough with Grant and Erinmarie (Petru and the rest are away in South Africa, and Grant joins them at the end of the term).  We wondered if the Upfolds would be making the journey from Ashburton again so planned enough food to invite them should that be the case.  That meant catering for 13 people.  After that it was a hop, skip and a jump to entice Graham and Liz, and Justus, and Victoria, and Alex and Lydia and their gorgeous wee Francesca (another new family who we are thoroughly enjoying) to join us for stew and bread.  That took us to a whopping 20 - good fun though as everyone found a suitable place in the house to scatter to.  
Below - Luke on the right, and the other unbearded fellow is none other than Nick.  We were surprised to remember how small his head actually is, having lost the bulk of it to an electric shaver this week!  (Apparently I broke his beard during a haircut when I didn't properly distinguish between the head and face hair, and made a dent in what I thought was a sideburn - that sparked a necessary trimming of said beard which Nick later confessed didn't go too well, so it got trimmed until there was nothing left).  Lydia, above, had not met this new Nick and wondered who the different preacher was.  I do miss the beard - yes, I DID like it!  (A lot!)
Seth and Callum, above, entertained Erinmarie, and Timothy, Zani and Tuia joined Caleb and Aaron for ever-popular Lego.