Monday, April 26, 2010

ANZAC thoughts.

As with every year, ANZAC day gets us thinking. Now that our children are getting older, they are thinking and asking questions too.

We don't attend a dawn service, but am seriously questioning why. Our babies aren't so baby anymore and we could certainly haul ourselves out of bed for such a worthy occasion. Maybe next year we should plan to complete this task and it may help answer the many questions from our kids.

We have a lot to be thankful for being New Zealander's and ANZAC day makes hubby and I even more respectful of our grand and great grandparents. Mark's grandad served as did many of his mates. It's very difficult subject to teach and help today's children understand. The hardship in particular.
Being young and travelling away from the home you have ever known. Leaving your loved ones, mum and dad, wife and children to fight for your country. Sounds heroic but I'm sure it didn't always feel that way. Many of the men were idle for much of their 'tour of duty', others injured and with a view of the war from an hospital window. Mark's grand-dad was a prisoner of war for some time, and when finally released and able to return home skeletal and half the man he was, in more ways than one I imagine. That's just it, it's extremely hard to imagine.
So, how does one manage to survive a war and return home to then survive a 'normal life' ?Especially, as I imagine you return from these world changing events as a very different person to the one you were before the war began.
Mark's grand-dad; George Lewis. An adorable man!

Being a mum and wife I do tend to focus on the women of war. I've always been a bit hopelessly in love with the romantic side of 'war-times'. The vintage fashions make we go a bit weak and the domestic kiwiana of the 30's - 50's is simply gorgeous and nostalgic.
I go on a bit myself about striving to be a domestic goddess. But these women knew the true meaning of it I think. Women of war would have had a mixed bag to deal with. Some may have felt liberated to be heading out to work, some guilty of working and raising children. Other's guilty that they were at home and not out working for the country and their 'boys'. Rationing and stretching out these supplies for their family.
The strain of not knowing if your loved one at war was going to return home and the loneliness of raising your family during this time. It seems there are some similarities across the generations here.
Grandma Lewis with two of her babies........and her cookbook!

The pressures of our current lifestyles raise a few of these same issues, just in a different context. Instead of domestic gods or goddesses however we are attempting to be superheroes. I'm not convinced it's doing us or our families much good. But our choices are sometimes limited, as for wartime, we need money for our families to survive so we do what we need to do. When I was donning my 'super-mum' outfit on a daily basis, working full time, running a classroom of busy kids and household of my own I thrived on it. So I thought. I loved the highs and 'good stress' that kept me going and succeeding. I must admit though, there were times when I just wanted off the treadmill. I wish it could just let up and I would be allowed to be one person instead of a million different personalities in a day.

But wartime brought about an important way of thinking for those left behind. A way of thinking that many writers and 'life coaches' are promoting. A life of more simpler means and a getting back to basics. It is remembering what is important to us as human beings and giving ourselves permission to slow down sometimes and enjoy life. When I'm trying to stretch our family budget or be more self sufficient I always think of our grandparents. I love reading mine and my husband's grandparent's cookbooks and tips from this time. The recipes are amazingly resourceful...............and they really work!!!
I think sometimes we have too many things to choose from. It often makes life more difficult, not easier as intended.

Anyway, the real point I wanted to highlight (and it's taken me this long to get to this paragraph lol ) is that our family has learnt a huge amount from our previous generation. ANZAC day and the entire weekend this year has simply reminded me to honour that learning and to make sure that I pass this knowledge on so that my children (and theirs) may learn from it too.

I may not make it dawn service, but I never miss a year with my ANZAC biscuits. We use the original recipe from Grandma's Edmonds cookbook (which is only just holding together at the spine). Delicious!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Keeping ourselves busy.

Wow, it's been a while since I posted on here. I had such a blast over the holidays, my kids are cool.
I could have written throughout the last two weeks but I was having fun with girls, cooking and my library books that I didn't feel the need, for me at least.
I did collect some pics to keep you all up to date with our comings and goings.
Autumn has been mild here, and it is still very dry. Once again very unusual for this part of the New Zealand. We have had to fill the water tank ourselves frequently.
I've missed the Autumn cues that Canterbury provides. There aren't the same type of tree colours and changes around us. Canterbury does Autumn well.

Because of the mild and dry conditions we even visited the beach several times for a play when we were getting sick of the house or local playground during the school holidays.

But that has finished now and this is an eleven week term. A long one for the kids and the first lot of bugs are already doing the rounds so the Vit C tabs are out again and extra fruit in the lunch-boxes.

So here you go, a few pics from our holiday break at home.........
Watching 3D movies!

Learning to clean off

Duvet fun on the lounge floor.....

Cupcake creating.......


Slime making..........

I miss them now they are back in class, but when Phoebe pops off for her morning nap, it is nice to have my coffee in a bit of autumnal peace!!!


Thursday, April 8, 2010

Phoebe has been entertaining us for 18months now. In recent months even more so. The third child is born into such a different household. I am amazed at the dynamics and differences in the development between my first and third child. I'm sure it's not simply their personalities but their environment must play a huge part.

For all of you who love Phoebe and are missing out on hearing her learn to talk. Mark suggested I publish her current words with translations, which I thought was a kind of cool idea. Here are her latest. No need to feel left out anymore!!!!!

Phoebe Dialect: Parent Translation

  • dada: dad
  • mama: mum
  • mummmmy!!: anyone who can hear me I want it now
  • baybeeee: baby
  • lucys: our cat Lucy and all cats in the world
  • dirdi: bird
  • puppa: puppy or dog
  • ooh ooh aah aah: monkeys ( and unfortunately tribal people on a recent documentary)
  • wuf wuf/woh woh: dog
  • mmmmm: cow
  • baaaa: sheep
  • tongue click: horse
  • wack wack: duck
  • aaaaaw: sorry or I don't want to go to bed
  • DEE!!!: BOO!! or GO!!!!
  • Hi ya: hello
  • DIE!!!!!!!!!: goodbye to everyone who can hear or see me, especially when leaving shops
  • bubba: bye bye
  • schoozies: shoes
  • weeeeee: swings
  • playeeeee: playground
  • buck: truck
  • BRRMMMM: car
  • up: jump
  • lala: Aunty Karla
  • nannananan: Nana
  • bah: bath, shower, ocean/beach, lake, small puddle
  • ssssssh: fish
  • bum: bum
  • that???: who's that???
  • doo doo dara: Dora!!!
  • shhaantaaa: Santa
  • eeeeeeeeeeeeew!!: anything that goes buzz, looks like a bug or insect, OR my nappy is yuk, OR my sisters are being gross and I'm simply copying them, cause I am a COOL 18mth old.
  • owwwwww: I have a sore or a teeny tiny mark on my finger
  • numa numa numb: I'm hungry
  • dough: NO!
  • naaaahna: banana
  • botta: bottle
  • tickeee tickeee: tickling toes or tummies
  • big raspberry noise: what you have put in front of me must be a vegetable and it is gross. I am about to throw it at your head, be warned!!!!

I'm thinking there are probably hundreds of others, we just don't understand them yet!!

Thursday, April 1, 2010


Well, Phoebe and Molly got their cakes on the blog so I thought I better pop Caitlin's on as well. This time around........(seeing as Caitlin is suddenly soooo mature now) the cake's focus has gone from taste and frosting being the most important and decoration being a kinda cool extra!
So I went for rich chocolate and discovered a recipe for really GOOD american style chocolate frosting. Oh yum! Not many frostings make you gasp like this one :-)

Some fun music trimming on top, as Caitlin has been learning the piano this year, and voila!!
A bit 'honky tonk' looking, but tasted great!

Caitlin has a friend over for two nights so we have made pizzas, eaten cake and followed all this with a dvd for the ten year olds and cups of tea for us oldies! A nice day for all.

Latest update on the house front. The rental we are currently in has had two offers on it this past fortnight. Looks like this one is going through. I started packing yesterday (cursing loudly under breath), but cross fingers we get a rental that is only four houses away. I'll keep you posted about that one.

Have a lovely Easter with your loved ones and friends. Do something new this weekend!!


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