We eight kids like to potter around productively...Mama wants to remember these delightful days when we have all grown up and left home, so we are creating a record for her.

Saturday, March 31, 2007

an impromptu lesson

How To Change A Tire On Your Bike

thanks for taking the time to teach us Dadda

we know it is quicker for you to do things on your own

but we love learning from you

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

camping out

today was the First Day of Rain

and so we celebrated by doing one of our favourite winter activites: making huts

Mama sewed and sewed and sewed T2's quilt for her birthday and we made huts all over the house. We even had lunch in one under the dining room table. If we are all quiet for Grandpa tonight we will be allowed to sleep in one tomorrow! K9 knows this is bribery!!

Monday, March 26, 2007

sweetie-pie surprise

This morning you came to me and said, "Mama could you take a photo of this for tomorrow's blog? This is the best apron I've ever made and I really like it".
Sweetie, I loved how you were so proud of your effort, your smile stretched across your face as you pointed out the special features, the double pocket, the small handsewn stitches. And so I thought I'd surprise you and sneak in a post for you....today!
Love ya lots darling....and I'm sure ER will love this first birthday present from you. She'll be able to wear it when you teach her how to make salads or spaghetti!


We have an annual pass to get in to the
Museum of Transport and Technology this year
(what a wonderful Christmas present that was -
thanks Uncle John and Aunty Sandra!).
And we've been three times in the past two weeks!
The most exciting time was on Saturday
when they had a military open day.

L6: We had fun in the truck and using the remote-controlled tanks. I shot J11 and K9.
M4: We went on da steam train dere. Dat was fun. We saw a horse break da fence. And da steam train went very fast.
T2: In Motack. I had a face paint. We went on a swain. I sat wif Daddy and looked out da window for da swain to come and it was at da fwont and it was dwiving fast off now fast.
K8: There was a truck that you could have a ride on and there were very steep hills you went over and it felt like you were going to tip off your seat (T2 interjects :actually no you just hold on! And Daddy just hold me). There was a motorbike with a sidecar on it and we got a ride in the sidecar. There was a battle with guns and at the end we were given empty cartridges.
K9: My favourite part was having the ride on the truck. It was exciting going over all the bumps and down the steep steep hills. I liked watching the battle because the noise was loud and there were explosions with lots of smoke. ER(10mo) fell asleep in the middle of it and didn't even get woken up!
J11: I liked doing the remote controlled tanks even though the batteries died and I had to wait a few seconds for it to charge up. The mock battle was also very interesting, espeically the noise and the big tank which came over the hill and fired some blank shots. The Nazis arrived on a train.
J12: My favourite part was the steam train ride. If you put your head out the window, the steam and smoke blew in your face. We waved at each other from the ends of the train. In the first class carriage the back of the seat could be moved so you could face whichever way you wanted.
There was a helicopter there and we all wanted a ride, but at $95 for one person for ten minutes we didn't get one! Levi said "You could pay with your credit card Dadda and it wouldn't cost you anything!"
We recognised the soldiers who were at the Howick Historic Village when we had a pass to go there a couple of years ago.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

happy birthday to......

This is old news, but we need to put up a photo of it before the next birthday comes creeping up. (You see Mama is going to print all our posts out and make a book for us and we'll want all the birthdays in it!)

K8 wanted a gingerbread house....with the three bears taking a stroll in the forest.

Friday, March 23, 2007

snip snip buzz buzz

the boys had haircuts.....and Mama's gone for the SHORT bob

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Pumpkin Paradise

We love soup.....any sort of soup....but our absolute favourite is pumpkin.....yes we all share the same favourite (well we don't know about ER, but she sure liked this one).

Yesterday we picked our first pumpkin and Mama made Dadda's favourite chewy crusty bread and we had a scrummy dinner.

Here's the soup recipe:
2 onions, carefully chopped
as much garlic as you can manage, chopped as well as a 6 year old can
a good shake of cumin (2 teaspoons perhaps)
a little bit less coriander
about the same of turmeric
a pinch of ginger
a pinch of nutmeg
a few cracks of black pepper
as many mustard seeds as you feel like
fry together in a little olive oil and butter until nice-n-smelly

6 parsnips, chopped up
3/4 large pumpkin just picked from the garden(that's all that would fit in the pot)
this one actually

a few cups of chicken stock left over from the other night
add and bring to the boil, boil for five minutes or so transfer the pot to the cooking bag and leave a few hours

a can of coconut cream
just before serving stir in and sprinkle fresh coriander on top - oh yeah, you need to whizz it up so it's nice and smooth like this:

serve with Jim Lahey's New York Times No Knead Bread

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

bounce BABY bounce

The other day Dadda put me in my cot for my morning nap.
I went to sleep.
I woke up pretty early and would usually go back to sleep again.
But my world was different this time.
The bars of my cot were not up.
So I sat up. I pulled myself up to standing.
I put my leg over......
.....I do love to climb, you know....
and before you could say
"bounce baby bounce",
I was on the floor.


Monday, March 19, 2007

Avocado Sunday

Yesterday we drove out to an avocado orchard near the airport. You're only supposed to pick five per person......so we weren't supposed to bring home more than fifty!!!!! Unfortunately there were only two ripe ones. But we had a lot of fun running amongst the trees and climbing them - avocado trees are so big. Well, not big like a kauri, but certainly bigger than our mandarins or plum trees! And it was interesting to see just how many avocados grow on one tree - they hang there like decorations on a Christmas tree!
ER(9mo) particularly liked the wind - she was snuggled up with Mama in her wrap and she kept opening her mouth and trying to catch the wind on her tongue!!!!
A light drizzle moistened our picnic lunch.....but we didn't mind a bit. It was just great to be out with Dadda, coz he's been working really hard and having lots of meetings.
We stopped at the vege shop on the way home.....we think it was funny that Mama bought 5 avocados for $1.50.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Hold on tightly!

We've been reading Charlotte's Web.

"Mothers for miles around worried about Zuckerman's swing. They feared some child would fall off. But no child ever did. Children almost always hang on tighter than their parents think they will."

Friday, March 16, 2007

it almost looks like school

we do
some things
a bit schooly!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

SAD enough to make you CRY!

ow! ow!
What's happening to me?
I'm bleeding.
Someone has poked a long, skinny, shiny, sharp spear into me.
Oh dear.
Have you ever had this kind of hurt?
Well, I guess you're not a pincushion then!

I'm a pincushion made by K8. She gave me a sad face, because I don't like getting pricks.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


Mama discovered late in the day yesterday
that she needed to take supper out last night,
so J12 made a couple of batches of muffins for her
(with blueberries from her own bushes).

We all enjoyed the leftovers for breakfast this morning
(and yes that's chocolate on top!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007


L6 broke his arm.
K9 broke his leg.
M4 broke his finger.
K8 had a baby.
T2 didn't break anything - she just lay in bed.

All in all, we needed a hospital!
J12 and J11 were the nurses and doctors and turned the boys' room into a hospital. There were beds enough for everybody. Even ER(9mo) crawled up to the beds, pulled herself up and "said" HELLO to everyone. She was a kind visitor.

And yesterday K9 made a wheelchair. Here he is using it with his broken leg:

PS from Mama....while the kids go to race round on the wheelchair outside!
On Thursday M4 gets to have another real hospital visit. He's having an ultrasound to see why some lymph nodes in his neck are enlarged. Actually, he's been really well this year - he's just had one fever bout and a couple of times when he looked like he was about to ail....but he came right before going downhill. So we are hopeful that whatever *it* is that's been knocking him down for the past couple of years, is working its way out of his system. But we'll still keep the appointment and hopefully rule out a few more nasties.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Team Racer

Bikes play an interal part in many of our outdoor adventures...actually it's an adventure just to find your own bike in the assortment!
Apart from the fun of biking, we like to be like our Grandpa too. He's in his late seventies and he still gets out on his bike a few times a week. This summer he did a cycle tour with some other mates round the East Cape - 450km in three days. And he always does the 160km Lake Taupo cycle challenge. He's a legend.

L6 felt the need to identify his bike with a number plate - Mama thought it said COPS TEA, but in fact it's 78PST34....and that's just the first line! Numbers are routinely written backwards - seems to be a feature unique to our left-handers.

When Mama is particularly dreamy, she would like to get a bike and one of these for the littlest kiddos. Then we could all bike to the local shops instead of walking (which takes a couple of hours there and back) or instead of taking the car (which pollutes the atmosphere)

Friday, March 9, 2007

a kiwi party

Summer parties in New Zealand revolve around the BBQ.....so we are finishing our party week with a "barbie" tonight (and not the doll sort!).

We've got lamb chops as well as lamb, mint and rosemary sausages to eat with lashings of mint jelly. We'll stirfry some veges from the garden on the hot plate to go with the sweetcorn. YUMMO. We love summer evenings.

Look who ended up coming for dinner.....Grandpa (well that's usual enough)....and he brought his brother and his wife and daughter too......when T2 saw Grandpa's brother she said "There are two Grandpas". They sure look alike!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Pool Party

After weeks and weeks of clear blue sky, we got the first rain in a long time for our pool party! But a few raindrops have never kept us out of the water. In fact, we swam during the last thunderstorm!!!

Our favourite pool games are
CASTLES (working in teams on each other's shoulders to knock opponents into the water)
MARCO POLO (a water variation on hide-n-seek!)
TRAINING (swimming up and down and up and down and up and down)
BOMBING (when we're allowed)

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Tea Party

Special biscuits and muffins we made that were not ready in time for lunch called out to be eaten at an AFTERNOON TEA PARTY. Mama even set the table with a tea set from her childhood and the remainders of a painted-by-K8 porcelain one. L6's flowers-for-Mama decorated the table.

K9 had made T2 a very special skirt to wear. He sewed it by hand.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Chinese Dinner Party

Having a Malaysian grandmother (Poh-poh) is a great heritage, especially for the foodies of the family. Yesterday we beavered away in the kitchen cooking a very tasty sour chicken laksa and chopping lots of veges from the garden to make spring rolls. Mama accommodated our request for steamed BBQ pork buns from the local Chinese vege shop - she thought that was a pretty easy contribution to the meal. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm.

Monday, March 5, 2007

no party poopers here

yesterday it was PJ party...today it's blog party...we've never been to one of them before!

we love to party and play and potter and ponder and play-dough and pick (veges from our garden) and paint and picnic...come join us....we're going to party all week.....we'll have our party and while we're sleeping you can come and see what we did "tomorrow" (coz we're ahead of most of you, you know!)

Sunday, March 4, 2007

pyjama party

Yesterday Mama went out for the day and Dadda looked after us. We got lollipops for lunch;-)

We were still buzzing this morning....here we are getting ready for church!

(ok so we're all still in our jammies and haven't really started getting ready at all)

Friday, March 2, 2007

Kids Can Cook

T2 enjoys helping make the pasta.....this batch is full of basil from our garden.....mmmmmmm

Look at this whopper - it greeted us when we got back from our camping holiday.

And we can't wait for Pumpkin Soup. We've got quite a few pumpkins growing this year. J11 wanted to feed a milk pumpkin just like in "Farmer Boy", but there were already too many on the plant by the time we noticed them this year.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Tidy Today

We have done a big tidy-up. And Mama re-organised everything. Now she says there is no excuse for our stuff to get messy!