Thursday, November 25, 2010

A non-craft-related rant... feel free to skip if you prefer.

What is wrong with the world at the moment?  Seriously. 

I really feel for the families of the Pike River Coal Miners.  Who wouldn’t?  Those poor bastards didn’t know what hit them (well at least that’s what we hope).  And their families certainly weren’t expecting anything untoward.  But you wouldn’t, would you?  Just another day at the office, you know? 

And this doesn’t just effect the immediate families of those 29 men, but also those supporting them too.  The parents, grandparents, children, siblings, cousins, aunties and uncles, friends, co-workers etc.  Not to mention the Pike River staff, their advisers, and the rescue crews that never got a chance to help.  An endless list of broken people.  Just devastating.  I admit to shedding a tear or two last night for all of them.

It’s been a bad few months for those I work with… Last week a co-worker suddenly lost his wife in a tragic car accident.  Only 59, she was simply too young to die.  She was a loving and attentive wife, mother and grandmother.  She had already made her Christmas Cake, and was part way through sewing Christmas Stockings for her grandsons.  And now, she’s not here anymore.  Just like that.  How do you cope with the sudden loss of a soul mate?  I guess you just do.  You’d have to.  Because unfortunately life goes on, doesn’t it? 

And only a few months before that, another co-worker had to cut an overseas trip short because his niece was also killed in a car accident.  She was only 11.  She never got the chance to grow up.  All those things she and her family have missed out on together.  So, I want to know, what IS wrong with the world?  Really?

Sometimes, when things like this happen, people find strength in their faith.  I’m not one of those people.  Yes, I was christened as a child, and our family attended church on Sundays when I was younger.  And yes, I own a bible, although it’s packed away in a box in my wardrobe.  You see, when things like this happen, I struggle to believe in that higher being.  If there is a God, how could He intend this to happen?  What possible lesson can be learned from breaking the hearts of so many?  How is this ‘right’?  I don’t begrudge those who can find solace in prayer.  I guess in a way I am envious that they have that never-ending belief and trust in Him.  Their prayers can bring them comfort.  If I’m being totally honest, I just don’t understand.

So, for now, my thoughts are with those whose hearts are aching.  I hope they get their boys back.

Buzz - our fur baby

When I go outside to hang the washing, I invariably get greeted by a little 'prrrrr'.  I swear, he hears those pegs rattle, and within seconds Buzz shows up to keep me company.  When I'm done, he climbs onto the bench seat, looking cute, waiting for me to sit with him and shower him with attention.  Which works, most of the time!  Yep, I'm a soft touch.  But look at him... who wouldn't be?

This is the 'I'm cute, look at me' pose....

Then there's the 'I'm trying to be coy' pose...

Closely followed by the 'Stop taking photos and pay me some attention please' pose...

After a few cuddles, there's the 'Ahhh, I love you' pose...

And this is the 'So where do you think YOU'RE going?  Come back and cuddle me' pose....

And finally, I have to show you this shot of his 'bling'. Yup, our BOY cat is wearing a black leather collar with four cute rhinestones on each side! C'mon, even the boys are allowed a bit of bling, right girls?

I reckon!  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Weigh-in, Weather, and the Wee Manny!

Wednesday's weekly weigh-in went MUCH better this week (although after last week's gain, so it should)....  I lost 1.2kg this week!  Fantastic!  Although this week rather than just doing Zumba, I went and did drills on the Soundshell steps AND had a walk across the Bay, on Tuesday and Wednesday respectively.  The weather has been ace (as our friend Mary would say), with lots of lovely sunshine and blue skies.  Yesterday when J and I got home it was 24 degrees.  Beautiful!

Last but not least, here are a couple of new pics of Tyler... he looks SO tiny!  I am definitely jealous that Ma and Pa have been up there since Tuesday, hanging out and helping out with him.  Dad comes home today, although I bet he'd rather stay there than come home and go back to work!

Seriously, my Ma and Pa ROCK.  Just look at the way they are looking at him.... cute!  They are both SO great with babies.  Reminds me of how they were with J when he was born, nearly 7 years ago.  Cripes, where did THAT time go? (mind wandering at this point)

Righto, time to head off to work myself.  Have a good day peeps!


Monday, November 8, 2010

Here he is!

Hot off the press (via text!)...our wee nephew.  Look at that cute little scrunched up face!  Ma and Pa go to Aucks tomorrow to meet him.  I am SO jealous :(

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Waimate Road Trip and Weekly Wednesday Weigh-In...

Phew!  I think we are now (finally) up to the present week!

On Wednesday Nic, Kath and I headed down to see Tania, as we all had things that had arrived in for us.  So it was a flying road trip to Waimate and back, after I had picked up J from school.

'Flying' cos I needed to get back for my weekly Wednesday weigh-in.  Not sure I mentioned last week's result.  Incredibly (actually unbelievably), I still managed to lose 100gms over the fortnight when we travelled to Auckland, and attended the wedding.  Having said that, those two weeks  probably (well, definitely) explain the 700gm gain I had this week.  My past is catching up with me.  Had to happen some time.

Unfortunately I haven't felt very well this week... I've had that sore throat that's going round, and splitting headaches to go with it.  Lovely.  Ah well, life goes on, doesn't it.  D had the second day of his welding course at the Polytech today, so this morning J and I went to the library.  I showed him how to use the OPAC computers to look up a subject or title, then how to use the result to locate the book on the shelf.  He chose some books on domestic cats so that he can complete the work required for his Caring Kea Badge, then looked up Cheetahs and Tigers, after our recent visit to the Auckland Zoo.  So we have lots of new reading material now :)  We met up with D during his lunch break, then this afternoon J and I headed out to Get to the Point for a look.  I had free passes for the train, so after a browse around the stalls, we had a ride on the steam train (where I got the text from Ma about my new nephew!), then headed back home.

Bron came over for tea tonight, and that was our lot for today.  Done and dusted.  You are now officially all caught up.  Hooray!

Right, I'm going to watch the rest of the movie on telly (Ransom, with Mel Gibson in it, quite an old one).  Toodles!

Kaiser Desktop Organiser, finally completed!

I bought the Kaiser Desktop Organiser at the last Raincliff Camp back in August, but just hadn't gotten around to completing it yet.  Over the past month I managed to get it done, SLOWLY but surely.  First of all the painting, then the papering, and finally on October 30, the assembling/decorating!  

I also got a couple of baby boy cards made that day too, but I won't show you those until I know that they have made it to Auckland.  Fairs fair, Sarah should get to see them first :)

The Rocket!

Our nephew Alex (one of Bron's kids) turned 5 on the 1st of November.  He's a school boy now!  Anyway, we went out for a family tea the same day that J started teeball - October 29 - before Brent, Chris and Connor headed back to Perth.  Seeing as Bron had not been well, I offered to make the birthday cake.  When I asked what he would like, Bron reckoned a rocket was in order, so that's what I did :)  Alex is so cute.  When he saw the cake for the first time, he literally jumped up and down on the spot and said 'Wow, a wocket cake?  Fanks Aunty Beck!'  

Alex with his Rocket Cake
Cutting the Cake!
And I just HAD to show you this.... here's Alex's little brother Cameron (who will be 3 years old in February) devouring his first ever Traffic Light!  

Ah, butter wouldn't melt in his mouth huh?  As if!  Just look at that mischievous twinkle in his eyes!!!

More soon...

First day of Friday afternoon Teeball...

Another catch-up post....  J signed up to play teeball this season, so as a good scrapbooking mother I had to go and capture the action, first hand, at his first game EVER on Friday October 29th (and yes, the other children have been blurred out on purpose)...

Sitting with his team, before the game begins
Waiting on First Base, after his first hit.  Unfortunately didn't get a shot of him batting,
as I had to duck to avoid getting clobbered by the bat he dropped as he ran!
Waiting at Second Base...
Hoofing it from Second to Third!
Holding Third...
Heading for Home Base...
Crossing Home Plate!

So he was pretty nervous his first time up.  In fact, he had two huge swings that didn't connect with anything at all before he hit the ball, poor wee dude.  After that first innings though, he was on fire (if I do say so myself!).  Second Innings he made it to Second Base off his hit, and Third Innings he made it to Third Base.  Ah, I was SO proud!  His whole team was pretty damn good actually.  They won 25-18.  Way to go Bluestone Lions!


I'm an Auntie again!!!

Yup, as of 1.40pm this afternoon, I'm an Auntie again...  Sarah has had a wee boy - 6lb 3oz Tyler James Scott Norrie.  So we are sending HUGE virtual hugs up to Aucks to Sarah, Kelvin and wee Tyler.  Can't wait to see photos!!!!


Friday, November 5, 2010

J gets his first Badge!

Yup, our wee man has been working towards some of the award badges that he can earn at Keas.  Although I tend to think that the 'Helpful Kea' badge was designed by mothers of little Keas... he had to make his bed and keep his room tidy for a week, show an adult that he knows how to set the table, and take out the rubbish or recycling for two weeks, among other things.  What a GREAT idea!!!

Anyhoo, he did all that he needed to, to complete the award (and cheerfully I might add, shock horror!).  Here he is getting his new badge from the Leaders at closing horseshoe on October 28th:

(The other people are shown in soft focus on purpose, just being 'PC')


The Week of the Wedding...

 Yes, I said there was more, didn't I?

We flew back from Auckland on October 18th, landing in Christchurch at 6pm.  By the time we collected our car from storage and drove home, we hit Timmers about 8.30pm.  And as soon as I was in the door, I was getting changed and flying straight back out it again to go to the Girls Dinner at Monteiths.  All the gals going to the wedding were invited to a girls-only dinner, pre-wedding, which I helped co-ordinate from the Caithness side of the family.  Kind of in lieu of a kitchen evening or hens night, you know?

So.... the plan was for me to arrive in time to join the ladies for dessert.... After rushing to get there, I arrived at Monteiths at 8.45pm to find the ladies sitting around an empty table.  'Oh no'  I thought, 'They're waiting on me to arrive to order their desserts...'  but no, they hadn't had their main course yet!  Phew!  So I sat and talked to them while they ate their mains, then joined them in ordering dessert.  Mmm, cheeeesecake!

I had a little surprise for new SIL Chris, which I had prepared before we left for Aucks.  I handmade cardstock cake slices, complete with cardstock roses and containing Cadbury chocolates, for each of the ladies at the dinner.  I sat them all together on a cake stand, complete with doily, and they looked SO cute!  However, in my rush to get there, I never even had time to photograph it, but luckily Chris did when I arrived (thanks Chris!):

So a lovely evening was had by all (or so it seemed, anyway).  Nice food at Monteiths, that's for sure!  Tuesday morning meant back to work/school for us all (bummer), then Wednesday was Wedding Day.  Now I never got any shots during the wedding, but I have pinched a couple off Chris's facebook page to show you (taken by their photographer Stu Jackson).  The immaculate garden setting is due to hours of hard work from my in-laws.  It looked just gorgeous.

Photo:  Stu Jackson

Photo: Stu Jackson

And as for how flash WE looked?.... well, super flash of course!  Not the best photo, but it was a quickie taken for us by D's Dad before we left for the reception at Stonebridge.

The reception was lovely.  Stonebridge do a good job... The kids had a BALL once the music started and the lights dimmed, of course.  Most outstanding memory?  J doing his version of 'The Robot' on the dancefloor until we left at about 11-ish!  So SO funny!!!!  We took Bron and the boys home to her place, not heading home to ours until the boys were in bed and she was about to do the same.  Her Dad came in to stay at her place once the reception finished, so that he could help sort the boys in the morning, and get everybody back out to Kerrytown the next day.

Thursday meant back to work/school again (bummer, AGAIN), and Friday couldn't come soon enough, tbh. Talk about a busy few weeks.  We were stuffed.

More soon peeps.....

Thursday, November 4, 2010

It's been a while....

..anyone else humming the song of the same name by Staind? No? Oh well, carrying on....

We've had a bit going on, of late.  And it's probably time that I filled you in on it, to be honest.  It all started about four weeks ago, when my sister in law suffered a couple of turns that saw her ambulanced off to the hospital late one Wednesday night.  Her 10 year old daughter (our niece) found her on the garage floor at 10pm after hearing noises, and phoned us for help.  D rushed there straight away, and called for an ambulance.  She had fallen heavily, her head taking a lot of the impact, and suffered a broken nose and multiple lacerations/abrasions to her head and shoulders.  To be honest, she was a bit of a mess.  She stayed in hospital overnight, but was discharged the following day, with instructions to rest up.  Kind of a hard ask for a single mum with three kids aged 10, 4 and 2....  The other issue, of course, was that she couldn't be left on her own, in case of a repeat occurrence.  Not to mention that after a turn, her brain gets 'muddled' and usually takes a couple of days to sort itself out.  Long story short, seeing as MIL was preparing for a full house for BIL's wedding, we helped look after SIL for a few days, and her kids were shipped off to see their Dad for a bit.  The thing is, the usual couple of days of feeling muddled kept continuing, and SIL wasn't able to do much except sleep.  Even eating was an issue, as she was dealing with bouts of nausea from the concussion.  Several visits to the GP and Hospital ensued, incorporating blood tests and CAT scans.  Final disgnosis? Traumatic Brain Injury, which can only be healed by resting her brain, and may take several months to come right.  As if the poor girl hadn't been through enough already.  So in the interim, the two younger kids stayed with their Dad, and we had our niece move in with us for a bit, so that SIL could rest at her mother's place.

Unfortunately, in the midst of this, we had a trip planned to go to Auckland to see my sister Sarah and her partner.  Niece B went out to her grandparents while we were away.  When we got back from that trip, it was time for BIL's wedding, then B came back to stay with us again.  See?  There's been a bit happening!

So.... here's our Auckland trip, in photos:
Day 1 (Thursday) - leave Timmers at lunchtime, and drive to Christchurch to catch our 3pm flight.

At Christchurch Airport, waiting to board the plane


J handing over his boarding pass

Walking across the tarmac to our plane

Day 2 (Friday) - Hanging out at Sarah's flat, playing with the dogs, then off to The Lone Star for tea, yummo!
Duke - Sarah's partner Kelvin's dog

He wasn't keen on posing for photos, he just wanted to show me that his possum had a squeaker in it!

Brutus - Sarah's baby (he really does think that he's a BIG dog, I am sure!)

Dinner at The Lone Star... trying to get a decent photo of Sarah and Kelv together

NOT an easy task!

J colouring-in while waiting for tea to arrive

Family photo time!

Ahhh, got one of them!  Check out that baby bump, teehee

Day 3 (Saturday) - Auckland Zoo

Here we go.....

Mother and baby giraffe

Male Lion

Ahh the life of a Lioness!


J posing....

...and again!

The one and only Serval, hiding (as cats do best)

Fudge the Hippo (yup that's about all we saw of her)

Look at those cute little ears!

Osirus and Anubis, the Zoo's two cheetahs, now about 5 years old.  Not sure which one is which.

Not a bad life they lead, huh?

The Lemurs were cool - they did lots of tree-hopping

D and I in the Japanese Garden (taken by J)

Two of the Galapagos Tortoises - there are three in total.  Smiley, Snapper and Chippy.  We listened to keeper Lana talk about them, it was very interesting.  They are attracted to orange and red foods, they have a brilliant sense of smell, and they like to have their shells massaged!


About to get said massage from Lana.  Lana was also kind enough to take J's Zoo 3 DVD and get it signed by some of the keepers.
Spider Monkey

Cute little Otters... they talked back to you when you talked to them.

Very observant and inquisitive, they don't miss a thing.

Baby Spider Monkey resting on Mummy Spider Monkey as the other monkeys groom her (ick!)

OUR monkey!

Malek - happily sleeping in the shade (it was a nice warm day)

Oz - pacing around his enclosure and 'talking' to us...

Oz 'talking'

J on the giant Chinese Dragon in the playground

'Can I be an egg, Mum?' 'Yup, you can!'  followed by 'Come on you eggs, smile!'  Ha ha ha!

J in the Meerkat enclosure - there are tunnels underneath with these pop up domes you can peek through... way cool!

Mummy and Daddy Meerkat huddling under the heat lamp together

After finishing at the Zoo, we drove down to the Viaduct to check out some of the boats.  This one is on special, Grandad Ian! (marked down from $2.5 million - bargain!)

Driving over the Harbour Bridge, on the way to Wairau Park where NZ Scrapbook is!

A shot of the Sky Tower on our way back through the City

Action Shot!

Day 4 (Sunday) - went for a cruise over to North Head.  North Head was one of a number of defence forts that were rapidly set up in the late 1800s to defend Auckland from a feared Russian attack. The fort was later expanded as part of Auckland's coastal defence system during World Wars I and II.  There are all these cool tunnels and huge gun fortresses that you can wander through.  Unfortunately it was both windy AND rainy, so no photos of any of that, sorry.  Check out the link above for more info.

Day 5 (Monday) - Went to check out the Sky Tower, grabbed a bakery lunch, walked the dogs in the Botanical Gardens (literally only a couple of blocks from Sarah's flat), then back to the airport for the trip home.
The mighty Sky Tower (I like this shot!)

Auntie Sarah with J.  Won't be long before he's as tall as she is!

View from the top, looking at the Harbour Bridge

Looking over toward North Head (the 'dome' shaped edge of coast near the RHS of the photo)

In the Botanical Gardens with Duke and Brutus

J was chuffed to walk Duke himself (although he was only allowed to after Duke had run around a bit and puffed himself out!)

Hmmm, who's the boss here?!!!

'Um, Muuuum.....HELP!'  Ha ha ha ha!

The incredibly nice captain and co-captain on our Jetstar flight.  Will have to photoshop J's eyes open before I print this one for scrapbooking!
 And that, my friends, was our Auckland trip.  Oh, and I missed my Wednesday Weigh-In on Oct 13th as I was sitting with foils in my hair waiting for the colour to take hold.  Had to get rid of the regrowth before the wedding!  Anyhoo, more blog posts to follow...