So we finally made the last jump.  The journey which started in Germany when we thought, “How about NZ ?” is finally over.  All the paperwork, medicals screenings interviews travel, job searches houses pets and kids have all culminated in tonight.  Were finally New Zealand CItizens as a whole family.  We arrived at Te Papa as the invitation stated by 5:15.  We checked our names at the door and were given name stickers then guided to our seats.  Right at the front of the stage with aisle seats.  The proceedings were supposed to start at five to six with a briefing, and the Major arriving at 6pm. Of course it was delayed, and we eventually got the briefing at 6:15 with the Major straight after.  The dignitaries arrived,  we were welcomed Peter Jackson ( no, not that one) who is a descendant of the Iwi who welcomed the Europeans when they arrived in the harbour two hundred years ago.  We then stood and said the oath, then went up one by one and in groups of families to get our certificates of citizenship, shake the Mayors hand ( she became a citizen in 87 !)  and pose for  a photo.   We should get a link to download the shots sometime soon :-)     Oh and there was a camera crew running around filming everything.  They said it was the BBC, so who knows we might end up on the Telly.

To top it all, when we were waiting I checked Facebook and I’d won two months free internet.  Well, they pay for two month sand I donate the money to a charity :-)  good cause though,  one of the lads at work has a five-year old niece who was diagnosed with a brain tumour,    check out the link here and donate if you would.     Now to get the passports.  :-)


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So my Dad being with us has meant we’ve been able to use him to update, paint, sand, build little projects around the place.  Ambers room was decorated, and she had a new bunk bed installed – Dropbox link here to pics,  (lets see if that works)   So the pair of them have been very spoilt this summer.  New fort int he garden , so they can climb and talk to Micheal and India next door,  a HUGE sand box in the yard, which admittedly is great fun, Twenty barrow loads of sand went into it on a hot day, Thanks Dad.  and Finally a swing set.  More Pics.  Its going to take me an hour to move everything before moving now :-)




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First Day

Another huge event, Ambers first day at school.  The whole family was in attendance as she excitedly wandered across the school yard to her new class.  For those of you in the UK,  the Kiwi School year starts in Feb and ends in Dec for the summer holidays.  Kids join on their fifth birthday, no matter what time in the year that is,  so Amber could have class mates she’ll go through school with joining in Sept  etc.  I’ve been told you can also hold your child back to start when they are six,  logic behind that, especially for boys is that they will be a little more mature.  Strange system to me but it seems to work.  Another thing to get my head around is these school year names,  Something that was adapted from the yanks ?  What was wrong with Infant, Juniors and Seniors eh :-)   So a coupe of weeks later and Amber is over the thrill of the newness of it all,  dragging her out of bed and waking her at 0730 is fun and revenge for all the times she woke me up in the last 5 years,  :-)

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OK the BIG event of the month was Ambers fifth birthday party,  something she has been going on about since the day after her fourth birthday party.  normally we head to the local park (Willow Bank) and have a picnic. This year Tina joined the arms race and booked a venue. Lotsa Follies up at 333 Takapu Road.  A nice little place with a petting zoo, some swings and a stream for the kids to play in.  A great time for totally spoiling kids. Marie out did herself with the cake once again( thanks)  and big smiles all around.  We even had their cousins James attend for the day which was cool, Thanks Jan for bringing him over.  Amber was thoroughly spoilt as all five year olds are, and we returned home and collapsed.   Thanks to all those who helped us get through, and to James for dispatch riding a star fish from Pukura Bay.   And talking of bikers I think we have another one copying Uncle Al , James and Kenny.

Easy Rider

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OK Xmas came and went,  I worked though most of it so that I could get a week off in the new year when my Dad flew in on Jan 1st.  This was his third trip out.  Amber recognised him but was a bit shy for the first 5 minutes, Rio hadn’t a clue but grabbed onto anybody who smiled at him.  We sprang a camping trip onto him the  first couple of days he was here.  Tina had the itch to try the Kiwi holiday, so we discussed it and decided to try it out close to home.  We booked into the Paekakariki Holiday Park just 30 minutes up the coast for three days.    We’d borrowed a couple of tents from friends and gear from a neighbour, and we were off. Because we only had a four seater car,  I took the kids up on the train whilst Tina and Dad drove up with all the gear.  The first night the kids could not sleep and were up at 6am.

6am on the play park

6am on the play park

Tip toeing around a holiday camp trying to find the swings at 6am without waking anyone else is an experience.  We had a plot next to friends who were trying the experience with their little boy, Ambers friend Brydon, and their twin girls.   Dad headed back to Tawa after the first night having experienced the out doors. We re arranged the sleeping and carried on.  Relaxing and bliss watching Amber racing around making friends. Routine of cooking washing sleeping reading, entertaining the kids. Great stuff.   We had booked for three nights and perhaps we should have left after two.  The second day our friends departed, and we had a big rain storm that night.  Tina and Rio on one tent stayed dry, but the fly sheet on the other tent was like a bikini on a page 3 model and barely covered it. Climign in to sleep n a wet sleeping bag is not fun.   Anyhow, we recovered, the next morning it was bright again, we dried out and packed up for home.

The next big event in January was Tina’s birthday, Happy birthday again my love.  The weekend after we joined friends in lake Ferry to celebrate and BBQ.  By then Dad had bought a car so we managed to fit the five of us in there without having to do two runs or beg a lift. Three couples with kids crammed into one house with my dad staying in Fawlty Towers nearby.  (Honestly, don’t use lake Ferry Hotel, what a shambles.)   Good times though.  Again a big to laid back and slow pace for Dad so we took him to the station on the Sunday so he could go to the dancing in Wellington.  

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Hi everybody, Summer is here although christmas day it rained ;o( We have had some pretty hot and sticky days, lets hope the nice weather continues. So its been all party party party. Christmas “Eve”at the Donalds house with a BBQ and pressies, and then another Christmas Eve here with 10 adults and 4 Children, went surprisingly well considering we were all stuck indoors. We had Ham & Chicken, Veggies and salads, trifles & Mince pies, Cake and cake pops and way too much chocolate!!!

Boxing day was another wet one, popped up to see my nephew as it was his birthday, and pretty much chilled, another party yesterday at Al & Kims place, and yet still more New Years partying to come…

Kids got spoilt for christmas, Amber got a talking doll and Rio got a train table, from us and cars, Trucks, Elmo’s, Clothes, books, lego, jewellry and heaps of other stuff. I brought Scott a Bonsai tree I think I managed to suprise and delight him.

I would love to write more but gave kids climbing on me, so catch you later.

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So a lot and also not a lot has happened since dad left, life has carried on with BAU, party’s at the Donald’s, catch up with the Smiths (minus the Denton Smith ;o( Miss you Mindy) Wednesday nights with the Hollis’s  and the Willis’s. I suppose our news covers me now having red hair, which is a huge change for me, we got some beautiful pictures of the kids put on to Canvas for a very reasonable price and they look fab. Booked the whole family on the paekakariki stream train in December ( don’t know whose more excited me or the kids), ordered a train table set for Rio for Christmas, and starting to think about sending stuff overseas for the festive season.

The weather is very spring like with wild wind and rain, followed by scorching temperatures and beach weather. today is the first, feels strange to be sunburnt and looking at all that rain.

Rio has now starting walking FINALLY taking a few steps at a time still having trouble pushing himself up of the floor, but is getting more confident. Amber is all enrolled for school starting Feb next year after the summer break, and she starts her visits from next week. not sure if  I am happy for sad, five days a week without her, but then full on when the holidays come. hhmmm.

We have the annual lamb and calf day this Saturday and we have an extra child Lily for the whole weekend, both Lily & Amber are very excited.

Then Miranda is back next week so big catch up’s planned. Work is going well, and keeping me busy, some days I don’t know how I can look after the kids, the house, cook the dinner and find time to work on top of volunteering, and on those days both the house, the kids and I look like

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Ok, a bit late with this one, but things have been busy.   Back in January Terry ( Tina’s Dad) who lives in California asked if it would be OK to come out and visit.  He wanted it to be a surprise though !   Great,  so for 9 months I had to hide this this from Tina :-)  Eventually the day arrived, and Terry’s flight landed in NZ. He managed to bump himself onto an earlier flight down to Wellington, which was a good job as the storms that day cancelled the flight he was due to be on and a few others.   I got a call from him at 0930 that he was there so drove down to the airport and drove him home. We were both pretty nervous at what Tina’s reaction would be.

She was in Amber’s room, after just getting off Skype with her mum,  and Terry was in the kitchen.  I walked in, which raised her eyebrows as I should have been at work.  ”I’ve picked up a Hitcher” I said, asking her to go in the kitchen.  Tina thought it would be her nephew James, but was shocked to find her dad standing there.   Lots of hugs and tears and much relief for both Terry and I.

Anyhow Terry stayed with us for a week, getting to know the kids and meeting Rio for the first time.  Both of them were spoiled rotten with Grandad fussing over them, but thats what Grandpas are for eh ?

Terry had a great time, the weather luckily stayed fine for the trip and only rained a couple of times. We did the tourist thing and spent most of the Sunday at Te papa with James and Amber running around like mad.  The trip was to short, Tina and the kids  loved it and we were sad to see Terry leave, but happy to have the house and routine  back in order :-)

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We set off on our second year to the snow  for the Dads and kids run last Thursday morning, 5th September, with Amber counting down the days on her wall calender.  The kids at kindy were glad to see the back of her and Connor after they telling them for weeks they were going to the snow :-0    Thanks to james for giving us a lift.  We arrived quickly enough, Its marvelous how fast a journey goes when you’re listening to a good book.  Unpacked explored and set up the BBQ.

Snow Angel

Next day we were all up early, drive to the mountain and kitted the kids out then up for a sledging and snowball fight. A quick (and expensive) ski lift up the mountain followed by lunch then bum surfing down a hill. Afternoon was spent in a contrasting hot thermal pool.   As soon as it got dark we had fireworks and sparklers. oh to be a kid again.


The lads wound the evenings off with poker and a great time was had by all.  Saturday we visited the National Trout Centre ( oh yes, its better than it sounds) and mini golf, and Sunday we were up packed cleaned the house to rush back to Tawa to attend a birthday party.  I nice relaxing time was had, looking forward to next year.

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Just a little update about our wonderful kids.

Rio is now 13 1/2 months old, he plays happily by himself loves exploring, has just popped teeth 7 and 8 one on bottom and one on the top. is crawling everywhere, and walking around furniture. and a big breakthrough this week has gone through the night only waking up once, last two nights it was 530am from bed time 7pm and last night was 11pm (which Scott settled him) then 7am. I am seriously hoping this is a change into right direction. Its only taken a year for me to get a 6 hour stretch of sleep… and this week have been trying to get him down to one day time nap, which i think will help, and today he went down for his sleep without being swaddled… RESULT.

Amber is being so cute, loving playing with her brother and is so proud of him whenever he achieves something, like walking around holding her hands. Just trying to decided where we are going to send her to school, She is growing up so quickly, I am always surpirsed how she copes with stuff, like she insists going down the fireman pole, at the park, and i’m terrified that she’s not big enough, but she can do it. She loves daycare and is a very loving sweet girl, whispering i love you with kissing on cheeks afterwards.

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