Saturday, July 24, 2010

Can you believe this?????

OMG..........oodness yes!

Look what I spied today sprouting from a sleeping bowl of bulbs on our deck.

It's July here in NZ, the middle of winter.

A sign? A lucky omen? A gift from Mother nature?

What ever it is, it is beautiful and a welcome sight.


Monday, July 19, 2010

They all marched up to the top of the hill...........

How to finish the school holidays??

Find a fabulous piece of paradise at our backdoor........

and walk it.
4.6 kms up, around and over a beautiful piece of bushy hill that is Whenderholm. A beautiful part of the Hibiscus Coast, New Zealand.

The route up was gradual, and in places steep. Especially for little legs that were with us.

But also well structured and built up in places. We could stop, observe and listen.

At the top...............

......was this.........

.........and this!!

Around the side of the hill we clambered and slid down over tree roots and mud. We worked up a sweat in the mid winter sun and mild temp.

After the first hour of walking we found this little clearing for lunch. With a view across to Waiwera. A thermal spot between Orewa and Puhoi, North Auckland.

The most comfortable way to hike I'm sure!!

All along the way we spotted things in the undergrowth.

The sun filtered through beautiful trees.

These palms being the kids favourite. Miss ten year old thought they looked like those tube, wafer biscuits that come out at Christmas time. Yummy trees!
They look a bit 'Dr Seuss' don't you think??!!

So much to look up at.

I'd like a scarf with all these greens in it :-)

Back down on lower ground we come full circle to meet some AWESOME trees in their winter garb.

Tricky to capture the height and density of such a beautiful hill from this angle. But we were extremely satisfied to have done it as a family team!!!

What will next weekend bring?

I think I saw a dormant volcano to conquer......

.......until then,



Sunday, July 18, 2010

Quote of the day

Sunday morning is for leisurely coffees and a cooked brekkie.

A nice opportunity to chat as a family.

"What do you want to be when you grow up Molly?" asks Dad.

"Mmmmm, a Nurse and...................... a home keeper" replies Molly.

"What does a home keeper do?" queries Dad.

"Oh, just stay at home and relax!" exclaims Molly.

Looks of disbelief from all around the table and then a chorus of laughter.

We made it!

Yep holidays are over! tonight the uniforms get pulled out from their drawers and laid on the bed for a new term. Yip - dee- dee!!!!!!
I like the holidays. Not having to organise lunch-boxes or ferrying the kids all over the show to get to after-school classes. But two weeks is just enough.
We have kept busy with visitors and some good weather that snuck in during the second week (thank goodness). There have been very few injuries, but I can proudly announce that I have not inflicted any of them ;-)
My kids know that in our house of four split levels ( yes......I vacuum four levels aaarrrrrrrgh!!) and that we have three sets of short, carpeted stairs. However over the course of two weeks I think the bag of frozen peas has been fetched and applied several times. Each child has a different tactic it seems. The eldest, with her amazingly long, hollow legs leaps great bounds missing several steps at a time. Then stares at me in disbelief when she finds herself injured or aching. She is a thoughtful intelligent girl. Until the holidays, when she becomes this gangly, yelling monster who chases and torments her younger sister.
The middle girl has a completely different strategy to descending stairs. She will often go down faster than her legs will allow. Her feet and brain are still waiting to be introduced so she does a kind of slide down the last few stairs and lands with an audible BUMP!
The youngest, at 22 months, just adores these big girls she has to live with. She will use and adapt any strategy for getting up or down the stairs simply to keep up with them and follow them to their next activity.
Her initially attempt was a orangutan crawl upwards and the bum shuffle/slide down. Over the holidays she has taken to walking down the steps upright, very slowly, not even holding onto the wall. As she reaches the final steps she will leap off and land on the floor in a giggling smiling heap. Accident waiting to happen???

Anyway, despite some days being a bit crazy and very noisy I have survived the school holidays and I will be very happy to deliver my children into the hands of their teachers tomorrow.

I hope you have all had some great moments!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Just in time

A few nights back I was cooking dinner and noticed the sun going down behind the hills from my kitchen window. I dropped my cooking preparations and sprinted upstairs with the camera hoping to catch the effect before it disappeared for good.

It only lasted a few minutes, but I got this pic for you all.
A quick reminder really that things sometimes don't last long but are worth the effort. Don't put it it NOW!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Some like it old

Some like to buy new and will only buy new. Some like buying new that looks old.

Then there's us, who love to buy old and make it look new again.

We've always liked the challenge of renovation. Our first house was a sixties number that we successfully dragged into the present and sold for a good profit. Our second house was a hundred year old villa which we didn't make modern but buffed and polished her until she was near new again.

In our current living situation we are tackling smaller projects. Our latest were two small sets of drawers. We sanded, danish oiled and finished with beautiful Fleur de Lis handles. These two are for the master bedroom, they don't match but it doesn't matter one bit to us. They represent a piece of our Grandparents history. Our own little bit of Vintage with all their lumps, bumps and imperfections

The week prior I oiled my Grannie's fold-out oak table. No pic sorry. But it looks and feels so lovely. If you haven't resurfaced a wooden piece of furniture before, you really should. Extremely satisfying.

The next little project sits waiting to be completed. A shell waiting for it's makeover.

But I do like new things.

So I taught myself how to make a meat pie from scratch. Everyones got to learn that at some stage don't they??? Well, I made a beef, mushroom and vegetable pie. It was a hit with the family. My eldest went back for seconds so I think I can tick that one off my "Domestic Goddess in Training" list.



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