Monday, July 20, 2009

"3 weeks in silver car"

...sung in my best Crowded House 'Six months' voice!

I started doing a huge write up about our trip, and got sick of matching photos with words, etc, so here is a brief rundown of our 3 weeks travelling down to the bottom of Invercargill, and back again!

Monday—Matamata—Palmerston. Bitterly cold and very windy.

Tuesday—PN to Wellington. Movies

Wednesday—Wellington Zoo, and Te Papa.

Thursday—Shopping, and to the ferry for 1pm check in. The trip this time was very smooth, and the kids being a bit older were able to look after themselves. One night in Blenheim.

Friday— A long trip. One stop for car sick. Lots of stops for fresh air, a walk down into the riverbank. Another stop, and Braden and Dad down to the river again. Punakaki. Greymouth has been wet the 2 times we have been here...... I think we will skip it next time and stay elsewhere!!!!

Saturday—Greymouth to Franz Josef. Were going to go to pools, but very expensive, like $80, and we only wanted a quick dip!

Sunday—Away while the roads were cleared, after stopping to see the glacier it was a long trip.

Long day through Haast Pass, until we got to Puzzling World. Then onto Queenstown.

Monday—Gondola and Luge

Tuesday - Segways & onto Invercargill

Wednesday - Shopping

Thursday - bluff

Friday - Conference function

Saturday - Off to Dunedin

Sunday - Portobello/Aquarium/Baldwin St

Monday - Museum/Butterfly house/Cadbury

Tuesday - Christchurch


Thursday - up to Hamner

Friday - ferry crossing


Sunday, June 14, 2009

What have we been up to this weekend......... - Jon took the boys to soccer, an hour away, so I knew I was going to get at least 3 hours to myself. They finally turned up 6 1/2 later........ yay to having the house to myself for the day, I think I owe him!

and this........Cookie time choc chip cookies, savoury muffins and jaffa muffins..... for lunch boxes and afternoon teas.

and this......
We've never owned a Scrabble Game, despite having every other game, so I told myself I would go have a look to see how much they were, I got there and it was the
only game on special, AND, it had a free dictionary! Cameron attends the One Day School in Hamilton on Thursdays. It is Gifted Awareness Week this week, and part of that is a Scrabble-athon. There is some information here, although it is an old article, there is supposed to be a recent one coming this week. There are 2 website for our local association, found here and here.

" The budget cuts and current review means there is uncertainty regarding the future of gifted and talented education. There is no shortage of challenges in this area, many requiring urgent and thoughtful attention.

Since 2005 schools have been required to identify and provide for gifted and talented students, and this has been a huge step forward in raising the awareness and interest for appropriate gifted education provisions for all schools. However, recent reports demonstrate that many schools are struggling to meet this requirement due mainly to limited funding and insufficient professional development and support"

and this - The Curious Case of Benjamin Button. I'd considered going to see it when it was on at the movies, and now am pleased I didn't. I don't really know what I was expecting, but it didn't meet my expectations, if that makes sense. I found the sound very off-putting, and actually fell asleep, not once, but twice!

.........and this - Scrapbooking. While Jon and the boys were away I had some time to myself, so locked myself into my little room with the heater, and the radio and enjoyed the peace. I got 3 and 1/2 pages done, but forgot to photograph them individually so will do that when there is light tomorrow.and this - ever since we cleaned the flue a few weeks ago, we've been having problems with the fire, so after asking around, and finding what needed to be done, we finally fixed it, and have noticed a huge difference, not only does it not smoke the whole room, but it is so much more effecient.
....and new clocks for the boys. Well, not new clocks, but I bought them their own alarm clocks, partly to give them some responsibility for getting ready in the morning, but also because I came out this morning at 5 and found Braden up watching TV, and after asking, realised he had been up since 4.25!!! Don't worry, he was rather quickly shunted back to bed.

So, it has felt like a very productive weekend, so will go finish folding the washing, and then an early night to ward off a sore throat I feel coming along.........

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Because I haven't updated for so long,........... I'll do an update in bullet form...........
  • Braden successfully took part in his first Weetbix Tryathlon challenge. It was a long day for everyone involved, but I was so proud to see him do it, all by himself too, not in a team.
  • Soccer has started again, we haven't had any games yet, first weekend in May, but practice has, Tuesday afternoons and Saturday mornings for the next...... oh, 3 months!
  • Well, the holidays are upon us, and I've already had enough. Mr 10 just cannot entertain himself, and Mr 8 wants to have his fingers in all the pies, wants all the friends over, wants to do Soccer Camp, but is upset when it clashes with something else he wants to do..... I just want to sit quietly for 5 mins, LOL. I have 3 new Creating Keepsakes Mags to read. I haven't been buying them, but at the moment they have 2 free ones, so if they are 2 I don't have, then I will buy it, works out to just over $3 a mag, can't go wrong there.
  • Anyway, I just have to rave about my Scrappin Patch order! I ordered about 7 in the morning, by 8 I had an email to say that my order was packed and ready to go, and the courier picked it up at 9.30. Soooo, in anticipation of my ordering arriving today, and being able to sit down and create, (because I have been waiting to do a particular layout) I got out in the garden yesterday and did a couple hours hard work, and then again this morning. The people before us never had anything growing in the back garden, so there was a lot of work, just need to wait for my Buzzy Lizzies to 'root', and then I'll fill the garden with lots of colour! We also inherited some shelves for the garage, so now everything is nicely placed, and in a 'logical' place, wonder how long before a male in the house comes in saying 'where is..............?'
  • We also had one our chrysalises 'hatch' and have sent our first beautiful butterfly on it's way.
  • We have also had our cat at the vets. At first we thought he had broken his foot or leg, but didn't rush to the vets, as a friend had been in the same situation last weekend, and the vets wouldn't do anything till the Monday when they could do the x-rays. Then, on Monday, he had a sore on his leg, which at first we thought was where he had been 'gnawing' at the 'pain' in his leg, but after talking to my friend the vet, she said it was probably an abcess which had burst. He would have had the abcess all along, and that would be what was causing him to walk funny. Anyway, antibiotics is the way to go, he is already better after 2 doses. Poor baby, he is 16 years now, 17 in a couple of months, and we were having terrible thoughts about having to make the decision about his leg, fortunately that was made for us!
  • The cold weather has set in, we cleaned the fire, and have had some small fires going the last couple of days. One good thing about the cold nights is nice crisp clear days, which is great for washing. I was lucky enough to grab a couple of nice woollen blankets when we were clearing out a relatives house. We have lots of duvets, but nothing beats a woollen blanket, so they have been given a good airing today. I also got some yummy warm jamas. I don't normally wear jamas to bed, I have my own personal heater in bed, LOL, but sometimes when you've had a shower early in the evening, or going somewhere like Scrapcamp, etc, and you need something.
  • We went to the Easter show on Saturday. We didn't go last year,as it was just getting so expensive,but decided that as it fell in the holidays we would make a day of it. The kids had to earn some money to spend, we bought most of the stuff, but they had to choose to spend there money on side shows/games/ etc. Here they are earning some money, the hard way. We got there about 11, had a late breakfast, you just have to have hotdogs at the show, and had a quick wander around. We then went to the circus, which was just fantastic, and then to the Cadbury Magic show. We then grabbed some lunch, which was a bit disappointing. We ate in the 'cafe' area, but while sitting there, saw some more options outside, which looked yummier!
  • After watching Chelsea and her dogs, and looking around the trade stands, and the cats, animals, etc, and a few turns on the side shows, it was 5.15 and we needed to get going. We were supposed to meet someone for something, but that fell through (a whole 'nuther story, LOL). Do you know what, we did not even go into the ride area. Cameron did not want to go on anything, and Braden was a bit hesitant too, although we would have all gone on the slide, we just didn't go near it. We had some dinner and got home about 10.30...... I was very very tired, I'd been awake early, and it was a loooong day.
Anyways....... off to create!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

I've been away........

So where have I been I hear you ask? Well first I stopped in Canberra, Australia, and did a page using product (Basic Grey) from Aussie Scrap Source .... then I jumped on a plane and headed to Papua New Guinea, and this layout has the colours represented on the PNG flag.
I then had a few hiccups with flights, and didn't make the next few destinations, let call it a detour (aka WORK) LOL.

Getting things sorted out I then headed to the US, where I picked up a bonus ticket, aswell as using the offered sketch created this page.
Finally we were offered several options for a pitstop, so here is my wildlife page........
and finally 4 extra pages, giving me 2 extra tickets.

So, my tally, for this little jaunt around the world;
my original blog post 1,
pages, 6,
tickets from Monday and Thursday, 2,
and a bonus for gallery comments, 1,

gives me 10 tickets by my reckoning.

It's been a whirlwind trip, would have loved to do more, but, I've scrapped more in a couple of days, than I do in a month!

I had a great time, and seeing the fabulous work in the gallery has been inspiring..... thanks Andrea for all your hard work for this little trip!

ETA Andrea has just given bonus tickets out for those that completed 4 challenges, which I managed to do, so that's now 11.

ETAA (Edited to add again) That makes 12 now, because if you blogged after the race started you also get a ticket. Funnily enough, I finished my blog post, and thought yay, all done, and then realised I hadn't loaded ANYTHING into any galleries, so nearly missed out completely, LOL.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Goodness me.......

...... these posts are getting few and far between. I'm not even making posts for my own use, to help me remember dates and events, which is shocking.

I really should post more, but am very tired, a late meeting and not getting to bed till after 12 (I've been on an early to bed binge for the last 2 weeks, so 12 was very late), plus lots of travelling, and more tomorrow means I need to get to bed tonight.

Travelling to Auckland tomorrow afternoon, may mean I miss out on the excitement over at Scrapbook Outlet, Andrea has whipped the entire scrapbooking community in a frenzy over her plans, hopefully I won't miss the excitement tomorrow.

Until then........

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Well, 1 January was my last post, and I just haven't felt inclined to come back...... I am still here, still browsing your blogs, but always feel what I have to say isn't worth a blog post. I post regularly on Facebook, maybe because making a 'status update' can be done in a sentence, and I don't feel like I have to write more. I did look at Twitter, but decided I didn't need yet another avenue online, as it is I spend far too much time.

We didn't do much for the rest of the holidays, in fact, I don't think I have any photos or anything to share. The boys went to camp towards the end, a new camp to them, and although they say they didn't enjoy it, I think they did really.

Something I have been engrossed in over the last couple, no make that few months, really, it has gone on for the last year (and I know that 'cause I had a pediatrician appointment on the day before Christmas last last year) has been to find some 'help' for Cameron. For the last couple of years I have thought things weren't right, and it was put down to anxiety and OCD, however that still did not satisfy me, and I persued the matter. (and, looking at the date of that post shows me it is nearly 2 years that I have been fighting the system).

I happened to be speaking to a professional visiting our school, and queried her opinion. After explaining various behaviours she asked if we had considered the One Day School for him. I pushed through the paperwork and managed to wangle an assessment for the week before school started, as I knew I wanted answers before the term started. As it turns out Cameron has various levels of giftedness, ranging from extemely high in his thinking through to reasonably high in other areas. The testing also highlighted other areas where we will need to do some extra work in anticipation of intermediate next year, and college coming up. It has given me a professionals opinion, to give to the school, rather than just saying 'oh, my son is quirky'. Following this I have been vigourously reading books and online forums, hungry for information to help my son.

Last Thursday he started at the One Day school in Hamilton, and will go every Thursday for this term at least, and if we are happy with progress and results, he will go for the year. I am relieved that there are now answers, and wonder what could have happened had I not pushed for more.

We're all back settled into school. Braden is doing so well, involved with everything, his teacher is so impressed, I'm sure she must be talking about another child. Cameron is reasonably settled, has a second year teacher, so she is open to ideas, lots of enthusiasm, and he seems quite happy so far. I'm quite pleased how things are going with my job, a few changes from last year, but change is good.

We don't normally do anything exciting for Valentines, but I found out the Sky City had a 'Do not disturb' package for the weekend, so we nipped off to Auckland for Saturday, to be met with these lovely goodies, as well as valet parking, breakfast in the morning, and late check out of 1pm. We caught a movie, finally, at 10.45pm, after trying 2 times to get in and being sold out...... not a movie for everyone, but it was quite good. We then stopped in for a bit at the casino, and I think it was 4am by the time we got to sleep........ lucky we had that 1pm checkout!

I've done a bit of scrapping, not much, but will have to take those pictures when there is some light, hopefully over the weekend I will do some more. The weekends have been 'chocker' the last few weeks, so we have nothing planned this weekend, I am really looking forward to just relaxing and catching up.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Warning, a verrrrry long post, more for my records than anything else!

On Sunday after Christmas we packed up and headed to Napier/Hastings for a couple of days. We've wanted to go to Splash Planet for a few years now, and after we cancelled our beach house this summer we thought these holidays would be a good time to go to Splash Planet.

Hindering our plans was our cat Rocky, who, on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning was looking a bit down. He had been to the vet about a week before Christmas with a cut, it was then the vet commented on a couple of things that made him think Rocky had hyperthyroidism, aswell as a tooth that needed to come out. He wanted to wait till his leg healed and then do tests, so we knew he wasn't 100%. After much deliberating and conferring with my sister, bless her soul, we headed off, with the plans to ring the vet first thing Monday, for her to drop him off and for him to do whatever needed doing.

We drove straight to Napier, had a look around, lunch, wandered along Marine Parade, a little play at the beach and 10 Pin bowling ..... before heading over to Hastings. We tried to go out for dinner to a 'stone grill' place but they appeared closed over the break so had fish and chips back in our room, before going down to the motel pool.

First thing Monday I rung the vet, told him to do what needed, probably take that tooth out, before we headed across the road (yay, no parking problems) to Splash Planet. The kids love water in any form, so they were in their element, we enjoyed ourselves aswell. About lunchtime it started clouding over, but we carried on, after all it was just more water, LOL. About 4pm it really started raining, which was unfortunate as that was when we had hopped to dry off and do a couple of dry activities, mini golf, go-karts, etc, but the kids went on the cars in the rain, (while I sheltered) and we flagged the golf.

This lady was a great sport, she got right in there, and was having lots of fun with our boys, who were giving her all they had!

We tried the stone grill place again, only to be told it had closed down, so had Breakers for dinner

We heard from my sister, saying Rocky was all OK, he had 4 teeth out in the end, so had anti-biotics, and the vet was waiting for the results regarding blood tests.

On Tuesday it was Camerons birthday, so we had a little cake and sang for him, and gave him a couple of presents we had taken with us, including a camera from us.

We headed over to Napier for the day. First stop, Marineland. While it is a shame they are no longer doing shows now there are no dolphins, it bought back memories (must get Mum to dig out photos from when I went there when I was about 12) and we enjoyed the animals there.These penguin cut outs were pretty much life sized, amazing!
When we had been wandering along the beach front on Sunday, the kids spotted a skate park, and begged to go, so we took them down there. Neither of them really enjoyed it, which was a shame, one just refused to do anything, and the other reluctantly had a turn on a few jumps but we were quite annoyed at them. We told them that because they had had a turn at doing something for them, we were going to the old Napier Prison for a tour. It was quite interesting, especially that it was still in use up to15 years ago. Cameron was in a real bad mood, he really looks the part, in fact, we could have quite happily left him there! We then parked back down at Marine Parade, got some photos of icons and various places, and a game of mini golf, before making a booking at Hogs Breathe Cafe (they said they were going to be packed, so best be booked in) and heading to the movies. We saw Bedtime Stories, a good family feel good movie, before heading back for a late dinner.

Wednesday we weren't in any rush to get home, so called into Rock Climbing in Napier, before heading toward home (thinking the roads might be busy, which they weren't) for late late lunch in Taupo. Taupo was absolutley packed, everywhere, and we ended up at this nice little place called Dixie Browns, which looked very inviting. Unfortunately looks are deceiving, while it was a nice atmosphere, the service was good, the food was terrible, and very very expensive. I knew what the prices were when we went in, and was quite happy to pay that, had it been good food, however it was not, and the presentation was shocking. I had something which was 'touted' as roasted chicken sandwich and fries, which sounded similar to something I often have at the local cafe, an open sandwich, chicken, salad, dressing etc. However what I received was, a good old fashioned toasted sandwich, (overcooked too) with some fries, no salad, no effort at presentation, $12 thank you. The kids hot dogs and fries were $8.50 (you can do hotdogs for $1)When we finally got to the bill, they charged us for someone elses food, AND the mid sized glasses of lemonade were $4. It wasn't appropriate to discuss it with them then and there, but I have sent a letter outlining my displeasure at our food, will see if anything comes of it. It would have had to have been the worst dining out experience I've had in a long time.

We left there, and stopped in at AC baths for a late afternoon swim, which was very pleasurable. It has changed a bit since we've been, for the better, great improvements. I didn't take my camera in with me, thinking to myself 'we are just going swimming, I've got lots of photos of us swimming', however they had this great tarzan swing thing which the kids loved and would have made great photos, oh, well, a good reason to go back.

We had thought our late lunch would have seen us through until we got home, but due to the lack of food we ended up stopping in Tokoroa for another bite, before winding our way home, with next to no traffic, which made it a nice drive.