Thursday, December 23, 2010

Merry Christmas from me to you

Work is over for the year, can you hear the yahooing from there?

It's so hot and humid I can hardly think, but I think it's hotter in Sydney and Brissie.

Christmas shopping is all done, the presents are all wrapped and labelled under the tree. Major is in for a lot of surprises this year and there's a lovely box full of goodies waiting for Jade, but I don't know when I'll get to see her. She is in NZ with her maternal grandparents but I don't think her plans include a visit to me this year. I'm trying not to be tragic about it.

Tomorrow morning I intend to be waiting at the supermarket when the doors open for business to pick up all those perishables that couldn't be purchased earlier. Then it will be off to the local butcher who, just like Kel from Kath & Kim, advertises himself as a 'purveyor of fine meat' (and the sign always makes me giggle when I remember that episode when Kath & Kel got a bit carried away out the back of the shop while the line of customers grew longer out front). Anyway I digress, it'll be off to pick up the rolled pork roast, chicken something or others wrapped in bacon and a few other fine meats.

Christmas day won't be a big affair in our house, our guests are arriving on Boxing day so we are planning a fairly laid back day on Saturday.

We'll start with a special breakfast - fresh fruit salad and yogurt sprinkled with Gran Denny's delicious toasted muesli (crunchy granola) then bacon and eggs en croissant. For the first time ever we are embracing the new Kiwi tradition of firing up the BBQ for Christmas dinner! But it's okay we'll do the traditional Roast Pork blah blah on Boxing day (although I am giving some serious thought to rotisserie cooking the pork on the barbie.

I've wrapped a few novelty gifts to put at each place setting for your Boxing day lunch, and got lots of Christmas bits and pieces too. I love Christmas and I love fussing about over it all too. It's a special time celebrating the birth of our Saviour and gathering our loved ones about us. Still trying not to be tragic about Jade.

Anyway somewhere among all this food (that's steeped with family history - the pavlova's just come out of the oven, I'm still using Aunty Nella's recipe and she died nearly 30 years ago and the boysenberry Philly cheesecake that I first tried when I was 15 is about ready to throw together) well somewhere in the midst of all this there'll be games, trips to the beach at the end of our street, a few good movies, lots and lots of laughter and relaxation.

I can hardly wait!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to one and all.


Sunday, October 3, 2010


Our stake is having an art exhibition and all the different wards were asked to have their own exhibitions and choose some pieces to show in the stake exhibition.

The scrapbook page above is what I made for our ward art exhibition and much to my surprise it has been chosen for forwarding to the stake exhibition.

This is the little speel I wrote to accompany 'Toku Whanau':

To Save the One starts with our own families.

In this scrap booked page I have tried to depict how each individual in our blended family is a unique, crucial part of the essence of 'Toku Whanau' (my family).

From Welcome Bay Ward, I'm married to Judah and my iwi is Rongomaiwahine.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's Been A While

Yes, I'm still alive and kicking, though not kicking quite as vigorously as I've been known to in earlier times.

Been having a bit of a struggle for a while, battling to stay cheerful while undergoing a myriad of tests. I've seen this specialist and that specialist and nothing I have is entirely serious on it's own, but combined they're enough to slow me down quite a bit. Most worrying and the biggest nuisance not necessarily in any particular order: arthritis, ovarian cyst, hypertension, impaired lung function, chronic anaemia and the good old IBS.

Some exciting news though, I'm back at tech, completing a Diploma I started a few years back. I'm doing business computing this semester. Gosh it's strange to be studying again. It took me a while to settle into. I must say the old brain isn't quite as sharp at retaining facts as it was when I started studying, but I'm enjoying what I'm learning.

Just got the first test results back this week, wow, I can't believe it - got an A for an advanced word processing practical. and dare I complain, I was so flustered in the test as time was running out so quickly, I submitted one incorrect file and that cost me 8 marks and a + on the A. But I'll take an A and give myself a severe scolding for a totally preventable mistake. Anyway, a pass is a pass is a pass. Go me.

The first day of Spring is just around the corner, next Wednesday actually. Hope I catch Spring Fever soon. I've normally got it bad by this time, dreaming and planning what I'm going to plant, rumaging through all the plant shop catalogues, wondering if this is the year we'll do the great landscaping project that will transform out back yard into one of those wonderous gardens they make on shows like Mucking In or Better Homes and Gardens. But every time I think about weeding the raised vege gardens, a large sigh escapes. Guess I'm not quite up to it yet.

Oh yeah, other good news, I've had a step up at work. When I moved from Hams to Tauranga, I moved into a totally different section of my company and they started me off as a 'Fundamental' specialist. Now I'm an 'Applied' specialist. They tell me you normally have to be 'Fundamental' for at least one year and I've been over here for only 5 months, so I guess that's good. Hope it means a pay rise!

Now I will try and post a little more frequently, but for now enjoy the daffodils, and the wonder of all God's creations.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Angels and Demons

has been to stay, some parts of his visit were just plain angelic and some parts were tense to say the least. He's walking now, or should I say lurching, staggering, stumbling, teetering and falling down A LOT.
I was pretty happy to see him, even when he slept in until 6ish on Saturday morning!

We went shopping at Bayfair. He's shaping up to be a petrol head just like his uncle....

Look at the absolute delight in these shots!

We let him have a good 10 mins drive time before we inserted the $2 coin and he got a taste of the real action

But it was all over far TOO SOON, this was a full 5 mins later after he'd stopped throwing himself rigid and screaming very loudly. We're down to gentle sobs here.

Then we went shopping at Farmers, now that was an EXPERIENCE

First it was hide and seek in among the jeans

Then it was time to startle some poor lady in the changing rooms

Just checking to see if any other unsuspecting shoppers need to have their privacy invaded

Oops both Mummy and Gran were after him by this time

So we went for icecream, then we had to go home, cos the mess was just too sticky and it was everywhere, even in my handbag

But dear hubby and I did survive and we can still manage a smile. (Although I cried when my angelic demon went home, as I always do).
And somewhere in between all this he took all the pots out of the kitchen cupboard at least 20 times, emptied the bottom cutlery draw a lot, broke the inside shoe shelf, threw DVDs around the lounge like they were frisbies, posted my mothers day Michael Jackson DVD in the sink while Judah was washing the dishes, threw his plate of dinner upside down onto the floor, walked up to the DVD and switched it off right at the climactic part of the movie, gave the best cuddles, danced so cutely to any and every piece of music, made his cute animal noise (all animals make the same noise at the moment), came to Stake Conference with us this morning where he played angellicly through opening exercises then right on cue went to sleep when the speakers started and we had to wake him up when it was all over.
I would just like to share that GRANDCHILREN are the most wonderful blessing of senior years that one could ever hope to enjoy.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Netball Season

How exciting is this? I don't know what the cup is for, but Netball has started for this season, and here is the first photo of the season. Jade plays for her school at Bondi Junction.
Go Jade go! You are looking so tall and grown up. How blessed I am to have such a beautiful family.

Friday, April 23, 2010


The party was loads of fun, with lots of pretty decorations and lots of presents to open, ably assisted, of course, by my little friends
We practised blowing for a couple of months prior to the big event

But I still got gun shy when the real thing came along (much to Disa's amusement) and Chloe was most concerned in case I burned my hands on the candle, so she held them tightly. Chloe is Nana Pania's moko and Disa is my girlfriend, and there's little Anihera on the left, she's Chloe's sister

But Mummy came to the rescue and she blew the candle out for me

Then it was no holds barred and I was in

Thank you Mummy for such a great 1st birthday cake, it tastes every bit as good as it looks

In fact I think I'll have some more

When you're the birthday boy, surrounded by admirers, every thing you do is fascinating even blowing your nose

The highlight of the day (after play, presents, food & cake) was cruising on my bike with Disa on the back. Disa's mum is laughing cause I can only ride backwards, so I push and push until I hit something behind me and then I scream until someone comes along and turns me around. It's the coolest fun!

Well I had a great birthday and I think Gran Denny enjoyed it too


Now how do kids learn so quickly that when the red light starts flashing on the camera, they're going to be seeing stars very soon. Unless of course, they are clever enough to put on their 'CAMERA EYES' and shield some of the glare..........

Trying out his birthday bike

Choice pressie, Gran
(That's Justine, her friend Karen, and Pappa Dave partially obscured)
Hmn now that looks very much like a MacyD's hash brown on the tray there

Tissues are just as much fun as that white roll paper in the bathroom

I can still manage a squinty smile for Gran, even though she keeps following me around trying to make me blind with that flash

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Helping in Gran's Garden

I had a little helper

His name was Spotty Chops

And every time I turned around, he'd got a little spottier

So we took him straight from the garden to the bath tub!

Lucky I'm sooo cute

Boy, the bathroom is such a fun place

And all this paper for me to play with

Yea, we finally have decent internet access and I can start posting again, yea, yea

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Guess What We Did Last Night

I feel like the luckiest gran in the world.

The excitement was at fever pitch at our house yesterday. You see we drove over to Hamilton straight after work. And I was beside myself with anticipation, we were taking little Major to the rugby. Dear hubby was beside himself with anticipation too, we were actually going to the rugby and he didn't have to pay. You could so feel all the anticipation, the air was electric!

I didn't get to see too much of the rugby in the end, I couldn't take my eyes off the little darling. He was so cute when he clapped his hands as the Chiefs ran on. You'd never know it was his first rugby game either, he handled it like an old pro. We taught him how to wave the Chiefs flag that the lovely Functions Manager gave him. Dear hubby complained about the price of the food, but we had a great night. The only down side was every time I did get to look at the rugby, Dan Carter was taking another kick, and man is he deadly!

End result, the Crusaders whipped the Chiefs on the Chiefs home ground, but a gran, a koro and a wee moko had an absolutely fabulous time.

Thursday, March 11, 2010


A couple of Sundays ago we woke to a frenzied call from a friend blasting his message down the phone "Tsunami warning, head for the hills!"

Before I was even ready to be awake, there we were, in the car, in a full to overflowing car park somewhere up in the Papamoa Hills, surrounded by mums, dads, bickering kids, pets galore, worried looking nanas and grandads and a few straggly others who looked like they'd come straight from a night on the town. And still the cars kept rolling in.

I wasn't prepared for it, it was night-mareish. Would the sea really engulf my new raised vegie gardens? And what about all the not-quite-precious-enough-to-make-it-inside-immediately stuff that's stored in the outside shed awaiting the next round of sorting to get a final resting place inside the house? There was time enough sitting in the car to envisage all my semi-treasured possessions floating around the house on the force of the wave.

We were kept up to date with the latest developments thanks to Kerre's Cafe on the clearest radio station we could receive. Thankfully she (Kerre Woodham) had put her regular show on the backburner and devoted every minute of today's show to TSUNAMI updates.

Its not the height of the wave that matters its the force behind it, some Civil defence expert droned on to us. A wave with a force of 100km behind it can travel a hefty distance inland with frightening ferocity!

A sense of impending disaster washed over me; the sea is at the end of our street. We're definitely goners if it hits - well we aren't because we are safely in the car miles from home, but the house wouldn't stand a chance. And now dear hubby is nagging me to get out of the car and walk to the top of the hill, which he estimates will take anywhere between 20 and 45 minutes.


Thankfully I buy some time by insisting someone has to stay in the car park to keep an eye out for the nanas and grandads. "They look ever so concerned". Phew, he buys it and we go back to listening intently to the next update.

Estimated time to hit Papamoa beach deferred for a further 40 minutes, more opinion and advice for surviving Tsunami from yet another expert. Two and a half hours later and the experts finally agree: They don't really know what's going to happen, when!

Cars are starting to leave the car park now. The kids next to us have come back from up the hill and taken their totally freaked out cat, in his cage, for a stroll through the bush, to put him at ease, I wonder. The dog in the car next door is barking at full volume again - the cars have disturbed him.

"Can we go home now, pleeaase?" Ten minutes later the car park is now only half full and dear hubby finally decides its probably safe to go. Besides that we'll get better pictorial coverage from the TV. We're not mentioning that this was yet another false alarm. Remember the boy who cried wolf? Experts don't cry wolf, it just didn't turn out to be as serious as they first thought.

Now what did we learn from our little excursion?

We went straight home with firm resolve to check and update our 72 hour survival kits. Dear hubby had thoughtfully thrown ONE kit into the boot of the car prior to our hasty departure. But have we checked them? My what fickle folks we are, as soon as we discovered the RED ALERT was over, we made a promise to check them real soon.

And one day we will, in typical Kiwi style, but there's no rush eh.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


Well hi there friends and family, no need for a search party, I'm alive and kicking but without decent internet access I haven't been able to post for a while.

Quick update, I've transferred from Hamilton to Tauranga and now I'm working for a different part of the Tax Dept, in a lovely office overlooking Tauranga's inner harbour, it really is lovely here, can't tell you how good it feels to be home.

There's just one thing that's missing, and I mean really missing, that's to say I'm reallllly missing and that is my beautiful moko Major, who incidentally is now ONE and he's the size of a two year old. Yes sadly, Major is still at Hamilton keeping his mummy on her toes as he crawls at an amazing pace around the house, wreaking havoc and leaving little trails of destruction behind him wherever he goes.

When I get some decent internet access I've got loads of great photos to post and a few tales to tell. But for now, I'm okay and still busy settling in. Stay tuned.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

We've Been Busy

Thirteen things I'm greatful for in mostly reverse chronological order:

My darling mokos

Eldest moko aka seasoned international traveller

Major loved the sea from the minute he was introduced, he squealed with glee as every new wave came crashing in

Oops slightly out of order, the back view of Jade's Church Bag, stiched with love by Gran and this applique kindly completed by Aunty Justine

A fun picnic at Papamoa Beach on New Years Day

Major's new skill for New Years Day was mastering clapping his hands

Big Cousin reading to Little Cousin

Enjoying real fruit icecreams at a Berry Farm where we got strawberries, blueberries and raspberries, yum

Opening Christmas presents on arrival at Grans

Hmm who had most fun Gran filling this Christmas box with goodies or Jade opening it?

Quality time with Uncle Cookie on Christmas afternoon

Our small family sitting down to Christmas dinner

Cheers Ears!