Monday, December 31, 2007

Annual Auckland Zoo Trip

Every year we go to the Auckland Zoo, between Christmas and New Year. It was a tradition we started way back when, and it's been good, but we thought we might vary it each year. The only problem is I have a set of photo frames, and each year we take a photo of the boys on the concrete elephant, and I still need a couple of slots filled, so until next year at least, we will go again.

Camerons Birthday fell on the Sunday we were away, so we took a 'mini party' with us. He got up and got excited when he saw the cake and balloons, but hadn't realised that under the paper was a present. He had been eyeing up the Mars Mission Set in the lead up to Christmas, so he was pretty pleased to get it.

I happened to be surfing the Trade Me message boards one night last week, and came upon a thread titled "Free tickets to Alvin and the Chipmunks". I clicked it expecting it to be filled with replies, but no, no one had replied, so I jumped in, and then thought it through. We had been talking about staying in Auckland for a night to do a couple of things, so we decided to do it that weekend. We thought we'd do the zoo, and pick up the tickets from the lady (who had won them on the radio station, and didn't have kids) on the Saturday, as we had to be at the theatre at 11am, so there was no way we could have driven from home, over to the North Shore and be at the theatre by then.

We didn't tell the kids what we were doing, just that it was a surprise that we had organised for Camerons birthday. On the way over we saw a billboard and the kids said 'we want to see that", and we replied, 'well, it doesn't come out until Jan 1st, so we'll have to see'. Right up until we were seated, and even when the film started they hadn't realised what they were going to see. Because the freebies were supplied by More FM they were in the theatre, with giveaways. The chick said, 'my birthday is on Christmas Day, and it stinks I have to share presents, does anyone else have a birthday around Christmas Day,' so I jumped up and pointed to Cameron. He got a little pack of goodies, t-shirt, watch, keychain, stickers, so he was pleased, but wouldn't get a photo with the characters.

While looking for something different to do we came across the Amazing Maize Maze, so decided we would do that on our way home on Sunday. It was great fun, although we were probably a bit analytical about it, and came out quite quick. We didn't need help to get out, nor did we need to open our map. We also didn't get to go over the bridge, so Braden and I went back in to go to the bridge, but it was pretty hot by then so we were just happy to get into the shade after that.

Christmas Day (before the year ends)

Christmas Day was quite casual for us, we spent the day with MIL, and 2 x SIL's, at MIL place. We did presents, we kept this one (PS2) till last, as we knew everything else would be forgotten. MIL had done everything for lunch, which was turkey, ham, hot vege, etc, then trifle, cheesecake and fruit salad. Just enough. Then we did the traditional crackers, Braden got a $20 win, so he's excited. Unfortunately the weather turned ick, and we couldn't go try out the cricket set at the school, so we just settled in for the afternoon, had a snooze, played with the toys, and wandered home around 8pm.

Boxing Day, my family came to our place. It was nice that all the siblings could be here, not all the partners, as they were working, but it was a nice casual, just sitting around, BBQ lunch, chilling out.

After lunch, I introduced a new toy. Wow, we had so much fun with this, not only the kids, hubby did too, and all only $2. It was a mega slingshot, really needing 3 people to operate it, (although Jon decided if you were tall enough you could do it yourself) We originally started using it horizontally, but not wanting to break any windows, we decided it was more fun to watch the balloons go up and come down.

As you will see in the photos, this is what the kids were up to in my previous post.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

A bit of fun

Before I share more photos and fun from Christmas Day and Boxing I have a small RAK to someone who can guess what has just happened in this photo.

Questions? Ask away?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Well, here we are......... 2 sleeps till Christmas Day. I'm not feeling terribly inspired this year, not sure what it is...... I haven't even done any baking to speak of, Braden asked if we could make cookies tomorrow, so might have to do that to bring out some Christmas cheer. We are off to spend Christmas Day with Jon's family, just us, his mother and 2 sisters so a reasonably quiet day, with no preparations needed from my as she likes to do it all her way!

Ooops, I tell a lie, we, being the kids and I, made 100 or so little Christmas puds, out of the Mallowpuffs (we've all seen them by now), and gave them out to their class, (and I gave them to the class I have worked with mostly this year), so that was a marathon effort, but the kids did a good job.

Being Jon's first day of holiday, we had a sleep in, and after brunch we spent the afternoon in Hamilton, just a family day out, and doing a few bits and pieces. We caught up with GMIL (Grandmother in law) who we will not see on Christmas Day, and got a couple of things that couldn't be found in town here.

We then went to the movies, saw Fred Claus, it was OK, not hilarious, but the kids loved it. We then had some dinner and wandered out to The Base, had a wander around the Warehouse, Briscoes, and unfortunately just missed Mitre 10 Mega.

When we got home it was the night for us to drive around and look at the lights in town, mostly the same ones as last year....... a couple of new ones..... one cul-de-sac had a Santa giving out lollipops, and even his dog had lights on him. We've done our house up this year, so got a few ideas of what else/different we could do next year. Then tomorrow night we will walk the streets nearby, before heading off to bed in anticipation!

Jon is test driving the kids Playstation, "just to make sure it works", LOL, and I'm about to wrap the last couple of presents. Tomorrow will be a little bit of housework, and mow the lawns, (as my family will come to us on Boxing Day) and then we will do child swapping with a friend so she can get a few last minute groceries, and then just relax.

Hope this finds you all happy and healthy, and we'll see you in the New Year.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Things moving along.....

... the days are going quickly but I'm not worried. We are spending Christmas Day with MIL, and 2x SIL's, a very traditional Christmas as MIL is from America, but that is all organised. Boxing Day I have invited all my family here, and that will be very casual, come and go as you pleased type thing, so am not worried about that.

We decided last year to really get into doing the house up with lights, but said we would start earlier this year, to be ready. Well, about 2 weeks ago we put several strands up, but didn't get any further, so yesterday I spent the day up and down the ladder, hammering, tieing, to finish off. Unfortunately we don't have much of the section/house facing forward so can't do too much more. I put the tree up, and the kids decorated, mmmmmmm, oh well, that's what it's all about!

One week, one day, left of school. We are really going to enjoy the weekend and Monday, as Jon has usually worked right up until Christmas Eve, so it will be nice to go visit a couple of family members we won't see on Christmas/Boxing Day, and might go see the new movie Fred Clause.

Braden learned to ride a 2 wheeler about 3 years ago, when Cameron got a new bike, and Braden got the smaller bike. However, sometime after that he must have had a fall, or a scare, and refused to get back on it, so I relented and put the trainer wheels back on. He rode it like that for a while, until I said I was taking the training wheels off again, and he has not got back on it since....... until last week. I was watching him across the road at a neighbours place, trying his bike, and actually succeeding. Now, we can't keep the little blighter home, he's off down the road all the time, but is pretty good, as he has end points where he can ride to and from.

Right, been on a school walk today, absolutley knackered, (and the child I was looking after had jandals on which gave him blisters, so it was a long tedious walk), so I'm going to put my feet up, relax, watch a half hour comedy, before getting dinner.

Saturday, December 01, 2007



After doing a couple of hours in the garden, and basically having nothing to show for, because our garden has got so over grown, I decided we would go for a family afternoon, so we cleaned up and headed over Waihi way. A year ago we went to do the Karangahake Gorge Tunnel walk, but parked in the wrong carpark, and started at the wrong place. Anyway, on our way home that day, we found the right place, and said we'd be back.

It was a great day, but forgot hats for the kids, eek, so lathered them up in sunblock and headed off.

The best part for me, was stopping by the river, and Jon teaching the boys how to skim stones, that was neat to see.

After getting back to the car (man that tunnel is deceiving, it really doesn't look that long, you can see the end, yet it is 1100m long, and takes ages to walk, and COLD) we let the kids change and have a play in the river.

We then came back through Tauranga, and grabbed pizza's and took them down to the playground for a while, before heading home, everyone quite tired.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Well....... the dinner the other night didn't quite go as it should have, although it did go as I expected. Cameron took one look at it, and said 'I'm not eating that', which he didn't, Braden chowed it down, declaring 'this is the yummiest, mum'.

Anyway, more new food experiences. Sushi. Because I am organising a Sushi Day at school, for lunch, I thought it best I try it myself. I bought some home for the kids and I. I expected Cameron to screw up his nose, and Braden to like it, however it was the other way round, Braden took one bite and spat it out, and Cameron devoured it, and wanted more. We have only tried Teriyaki Chicken (rolls), and also tried chicken teriyaki and sweet and sour chicken nigiri-zushi's, but they just ate the topping and didn't eat the rice. Now Cameron asks everyday if we can have it, and when is it Sushi Day at school.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Check it out

New things......

....... food related.

After seeing Carl Barron when we went to Wellington earlier this year, we said we would make an effort to see other comedy shows, so when this chick rocked into town last week, we jumped at the chance to go see her.

When we turned up, and saw a cooking show set up, we weren't sure what to expect. Aaah, we were pleasantly surprised. She cooked a meal from her past, from her Dide,(grandad) and spoke as she was cooking, lots of memories, jokes, cooking tips, all thrown in together. While dinner was simmering she wandered into the crowd, still doing her show, and joking. Dinner was served, and she came and sat at our table, and had a great chat with us.

Now, if you haven't seen her, you must have an open mind, she is quite crass, which was fine by me, I wasn't sure how others would find her (my boss, the principal of the school was there, and after chatting to her the next morning about the show, I was quite surprised how open minded she is)

Anyhoooo......... when I saw what was being served for dinner, I thought, 'there is no way Jon is going to eat that'. Well.... wasn't I surprised, he did, he enjoyed it, and....... we are having it for dinner tonight.

Now it is nothing special, just a stew really, but since being together, we have never had stews of any sort, I love them, Jon's not so keen.

I shall update tomorrow how it all goes, I'm not sure how the kids will react, as they too have not had stews, but I am hoping this time, with Dad there modelling, it should go smoothly!

Monday, November 19, 2007


Ok, so, now, not only do I have to deal with sleeping issues, we have creepy crawlies here, ........ and impetigo (school sores)(and I suppose it's not helping that Cameron is not sleeping well). As if I don't have enough to deal with at the moment.

A quick call into the chemist, who confirmed we'd need to see the doc, turned into a few minutes longer, but I was so pleasantly surprised to go in to make an appointment, to be told I could get in right away, so from the time we left school, till getting home, it was only about 10 -15 minutes, not too much longer than usual.

A busy afternoon, swimming (Cameron was a bit disappointed at not swimming for a couple of days), an unexpected trip home to change pants (Cameron 'cause he'd been paddling and got wet, and Braden 'cause they'd ripped while getting changed, and wouldn't stay up) and then back to cricket.

Tomorrow, athletics, and then nothing for the rest of the week, yay!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

More sleeping issues....

........ this time with Cameron.

OK, Cameron has always gone to sleep late, woken late!

So what is it with the last 3 mornings, awake at the sparrows fart! About half 6 (which is not early for some people I know, but for us it is) on Friday, then Saturday, according to the TV guide, 'cause that's the only way I could tell what time he got up, it was about 5.45.

This morning I hear noises, notice that it's still dark out, and go in search of the early morning riser. He has got his lazyboy ready, with blanket, remotes etc, until I send him back to bed, and look at the clock, and see that it is 5am. WHAT! I say to myself, 5am, what on earth is this kid thinking.

The good thing is, tonight, after coming home from Hamilton (took my Dad out to dinner for his birthday on Tuesday) he dozed on the way home, something he hasn't done since he was 2 years old, and has gone off to bed quite easily.

We'll see what tomorrow brings?!?!?!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Absolutely knackered!

Not me, him

Braden was already pretty worn out from last week.

Jon and I had a work function on Saturday night, so the boys stayed with my sister, always full on, then we rushed home on Sunday to get Braden to a birthday party at Baywave in Tauranga. Then today, a busy day at school, and a bit of a swim after swimming lessons registration. I came into the lounge at 4.30 to find this. Actually I couldn't find him, and it was too quiet, so I went looking, I even walked past him.

Hopefully he has a good sleep tonight, as it was like pulling teeth to get them moving this morning. Athletics tomorrow night, and then nothing for the rest of the week so hopefully we can have a few quiet days.

Thursday, November 08, 2007


OK, so the mail turns up, and there is one addressed to hubby. I look at it, put it to the side, and open the others, then notice word that catches my eye. I text Jon, asking him to ring me when he can, so I can ask him if it's OK to open it.

I'm pottering around, the phone rings........ my friend organising things for this afternoon.

I start pottering again, a knock at the door........ Jehovah's Witnesses (and sorry if I offend anyone, but that is just the lowest for me, at least they didn't have any kids with them today!)

I carry on, the phone rings again.......... Ma'am, it's so and so from Barnadoes, we are doing our annual blah, blah, blah, I politely tell me him we have already chosen which charities we are going to support.

I'm still waiting!

EDITED to add:

I really thought it might have been a speed camera ticket (which = scrapbook shopping money, LOL), but no..... it was just a reminder about the ticket he got in October (and before you ask, yes, I've already been shopping with that, bought me some new perfume)

Sunday, November 04, 2007


When Jon worked at his old work we always had a Social Club Guy Fawkes get together, however now that he no longer works there we were at a loss what to do. We didn't want to just let off a few in our backyard, and there was nothing happening in Matamata, so after talking with a friend she told us about the event in Morrinsville, so we headed over there for the night.

It was a good one, probably a little more expensive than I would have liked, however because I had been to our Monthly Scrapbooking crop I wasn't organised with things to take.

We let the kids have a turn on the jeep rides, and then settled down with friends for some late dinner, nibbles, and fun, listening to the entertainment (including an interesting Freddie Mercury!)

At 9, they let the fireworks start, some really neat ones. They had also lit the bonfire about half an hour before hand, but it wasn't until we were leaving at 10 that it really got going.

When we got out to the carpark we went off to the side and let the kids finish off our sparklers from last year, and we finally got home at 11pm