Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Anna-Maria ballerina!

Anna-Maria had her 1st dance concert this weekend. She was sooooooooooo excited all day long waiting for the evening to come. She tidied her bedroom, and the boys bedroom, sorted all the books on the bookshelf so that everything would be tidy and we could all go to the show. In the afternoon we went shopping and bought some hair mousse and detangling spray so we could make her hair all pretty.
She had her hair half-up/half-down and she wore and pink leotard sewn into a dress with her expensive ballet shoes. It was covered in sparkles which she loved. She got to wear 2 little flowers in her hair.
At the theatre we had to go down the lift into the dressing rooms in the basement. There were 22 little girls performing. They were all so cute.
They went up onto the stage and had a practice, then back downstairs to wait and do some stretches with the bigger girls.
Anna-Maria was at the front right in front of where Tane and the other kids were sitting (on the 2nd row).
They did a dance to the music from Aladdin "A whole new world'. They started off lying on the floor and then gracefully sitting up and moving their arms, then standing up and doing demi-plies and points and twirls.
She was a star, and everyone in the family were so proud of her.

The second day she performed again, this time she did even better - I think because she knew what would happen when the curtains came up. At the end of the performance her teacher and the principal of the dance school gave all the girls a trophy each. Anna-Maria loves it and couldn't wait to come home and show it to the boys and daddy.

Anna-Maria is such a cutie, the other day she declared "I am the boss of my bedroom" (which she shares with Ella-Rose) "... and she (meaning Ella-Rose) is just the kid"

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Ella-Rose took her first steps!!

On friday night we watched a 'Herbie' movie. Tane picked the DVD up cheap at a garage sale and the boys really enjoyed it. They love that crazy slapstick humour and were cracking up all the time.

We watch our DVDs on the laptop and Ella-Rose's favourite past-time is to crawl over to the laptop and bang on the keys while we are watching a movie. Then usually Anna-Maria grabs her and takes her to the back of the lounge. She then crawls back towards the laptop and continues to bash the keys.

When she was standing at the laptop, she turned around and tried to take a few steps forward... and then bump back down on her bottom. Of course we tried to get her to do it again but she just kept sitting down. I don't think she even realised what she had done. And she has not done it since of course.

Saturday morning we went to some garage sales. We got a christmas tree... Tane asked me why I wanted one... I just rolled my eyes... His family was not very big with traditions like birthdays and christmas or at least he can't remember... not like my childhood memories. . They were full of memories of our family traditions.

Joseph bought a light saber with his pocket money and Josh bought a wooden out-rigger canoe, complete with a sail. Joseph had bought a wooden ship last week so it looks like they are getting a collection. Anna-Maria got a Dora the Explorer game.

This evening Tane moved the lawn, while Anna-Maria and I mulched our plants in the garden. I think about 80% of the seedlings we planted are surviving.

Anna-Maria has been doing school visits... which is just spending half an hour in the afternoon at school to get familiar with the school. She has to do an assessment at the end of January so they can place her in a class and starts school early feb.

Today Ella-Rose has been especially grumpy... poor thing. I noticed tonight that she is cutting her first tooth.

Here is a vid of Ella-Rose taking a few steps.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Life in Australia

Beautiful weather, beautiful beaches... We are staying in a beautiful house... right across the road from the kids school.

Price-wise, things seem to cost the same as in NZ, except you get a nicer house for the same price, and if you are earning more, then comparatively things are cheaper... so are for us... and many other kiwis who come over.

One thing we have noticed over here is the standard of education is so much more advanced than NZ.
This has become startlingly obvious in just a few weeks at the difference in schoolwork that Josh was doing in NZ compared with here. Back in NZ he was doing 12 + 4 etc, but here the children in his class... which is a mixed class of children his age and a year younger are doing sums like 572+ 346. They also have done a lot more advanced work telling the time and using money... so Josh (and to a lesser extent Joseph), have a wee bit of catching up to do, but they'll get there soon.

Anna-Maria however will be off to a flying start... she has already got a lot of basic words and maths facts sorted out and she is so excited about starting school in the new year.

I am enjoying my job, but they keep changing my roster. Initially I was working 32 hours a week... but in december they have increased it to 44, and they seem to have rostered me to work every single weekend between October and December. I am going to try and talk them into rostering me sensibly. In the meantime, I have been looking into GP work for when my contract ends, and Tane has a few more weeks to wait for his practicing certificate... He is then going to apply for legal aid status and look for a job...

The kids are enjoying life here. Yesterday they found we have a large lizard living in our garden. I thought it was a snake, but Tane assured me it wasn't. Today straight after school we went to the beach. The kids loved it... Tane tried to teach Josh to surf... then Tane had a surf. Joseph and Anna-Maria played in the whitewash. All the kids dug a series of channels and holes in the sand, which Ella-Rose loved crawling into and sitting in. As we were sitting on the beach I said to Tane it feels like we are on holiday and yet we aren't. It's just the beach is so close we can be there in 5 mins after school is finished. We got home around 5.30pm and would have stayed longer except Ella-Rose's teeth were chattering and she was getting cold.

The girls and I went to Bunnings Warehouse today and bought a spade, compost, and plants (capsicums, red onions, hot chillis, cucumbers, coriander and tomatoes). So tommorrow we have to get out in the garden and finish preparing the vegie patch so we can plant them.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Holiday in Paradise

We had the most amazing time in Rarotonga... We were just getting into holiday mode and then it was time to come back home.

The kids were really excited to be going on the plane and enjoyed carting their own suitcases onto the plane. We touched down in Raro at about midnight.

Aunty Hoana & Kiana were there to greet us with a lei each.

We drove home in their truck... the kids sitting in the open on the back which they enjoyed. Then they had a drink out of a coconut... and off to bed.

At first Terani and Alia were shy of us... but it was so good to stay with them as they got very familiar with us. We went to the beach most days and went snorkelling, swimming and kayaking.

Ella enjoyed eating the sand

 Joshua found a hernit crab. The beaches were full of baby ones but this was the largest one we could finde

We went to a place called Fruits of Raro where we could feed the fish and they came right up around our feet.

 Anna-Maria with her cousins Terani and Alia

Snorkelling on the reef was lots of fun... There were so many fish and coral and starfish to see. Tane were right out to the edge of the reef and he even saw a turtle. Joshua really enjoyed snorkelling.

 Races on the beach
 Anna-Maria and Terani both 4

Terani had her 4th birthday while we were gone and we were able to celebrate her birthday with her.

On our last day our friends took us to a place called 'Black Rock'. It is on the movie 'The Other Side of Heaven' - the place where a baptism takes place. Tane and I wanted to go snorkelling together... which we did and really enjoyed as our friends looked after our kids. We saw lots of different fish and clams, kina... We got right up to the whitewash on the edge of the reef... it was high tide so the water were pretty rough so we turned around and headed back. Ella had woken up though while we were gone and was crying when we got back.

The kids had a really fun time jumping off Black Rock into the water. As it was high tide when a surge of water would come in it would push everyone through the channel between the rock and the shore... the kids had such a fun time. The only problem was... the holiday seemed too short as it was time to leave before we knew it.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

The last 3 weeks

The kids have been in Auckland for the past 3 weeks. I went to Christchurch for work for 5 days the first week, then  four the second. The third week tane went back to Blenheim for a last 5 days of work so we are finally finished with work for a short while.

During this time we have been getting the kids to do reading, writing and maths each day to ensure they don't slip behind by having so much time off school. They have also been on lots of outings and trips all around Auckland. I thought I would take a few pics of what they have been up to.

 For their maths, the kids have really enjoyed plaing junior monopoly.

 The kids had loads of fun on the train at Pt Chev... even baby.

 The weather has been beautiful the past 3 weeks. The kids even enjoyed paddling in the sea... was not as warm as Rarotonga will be but did not prevent them from having fun.

 Baby loves the taste of sand

Poppa Monty and Nana Noelene came to visit. That was a nice surprise. Baby was happy to have cuddles with Poppa.

Wow they are playing nicely and not fighting... yay!!

Tane showing the chickens to baby. She is so tight with her daddy. I think she will be a daddys girl.

Tane and Grandma took the kids to MOTAT. They loved it  so much they went twice.

Ella-Rose was fascinated by the 'other baby' in the mirror maze

She had lots of kisses for her

 The kids really loved the stocks... they like reading about all this kind of stuff in the 'horrible histories' series.

Ally's 3rd birthday party. The kids had a fun time eating yummy food and playing pass the parcel, although Anna-Maria was upset she did not get to open a layer of the parcel

The kids have had heaps of fun and are looking forward to our holiday and seeing their aunty and cousins!!!