Saturday, December 22, 2012

Monday, December 17, 2012

8 months

Honestly, this doesn't always happen when I babysit!!! haha :P

Friday, December 14, 2012

Glenbrook Vintage Railway

: : Uncle Paul, Aunty Yvonne, and granddaughter Madisyn : :
One Saturday last month we went to Glenbrook Vintage Railway's "Thomas the Tank Engine Day."

I drove the car, with Mum following us in the van; she stayed close for a while, then not long after getting on the motorway I lost sight of her, but noticed a vehicle had pulled to the left. Sure enough (just as we passed the Papakura off-ramp) Dad's phone rung. She had a flat tyre and we needed to turn around. Off at Drury, back on in the opposite direction, turn around again at Manurewa, then found Mum. Not so great for getting somewhere asap, but the extra driving time looks quite nice on my driving log. haha 
: : Danielle, Abby, Megan : :

In the words of Bryce (4 years):

"We had a ride on Thomas the Tank Engine. We went to Glenbrook Vintage Railway. We had afternoon tea with the de Bruins and lunch on our own. 

I wanted to go on the tiny [train] that couldn't go anywhere - almost like Thomas the Tank Engine. We were standing up outside in the carriage and the train went back and forwards, and make noise.

: : Rita and Monique : :
In the big train where w were sitting down, there was a girl crying because she wanted to go to sleep but she didn't want to, that's why she started crying. I was sitting with Bianca one way, and with Mum and Dad and Megan on the other way (and Maria and Laura) - I think Laura.

We went to the trains shed we saw trains, and Dad took me on the train and I have got a photo of that. You [Mum] took it. And one way, there was a step thing and I got up myself and choosed a seat with Bianca. And Aunty Yvonne helped me down, she was being very kind. I got a ticket, but the man didn't clip it - he skipped me.

: : Bryce : :
I saw the Fat Controller and we took photos, but I didnt sit with him. I played on the playground, but the de Bruins had to leave. I like that day, I would like to go back again."

: : Phone box : :

: : Laura : :

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Advice anyone??

So I'm looking at getting a basic (read cheap lol) acoustic guitar, and I'm wondering which brand would be best: Ashton, Cort, or Aria? Does anyone on here have any ideas?? Thanks!! :D

Tuesday, December 04, 2012


"When a resolute young fellow steps up to the great bully, the world, and takes him boldly by the beard, he is often surprised to find it comes off in his hand, and that it was only tied on to scare away the timid adventurers."
~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, November 30, 2012

Operation Christmas Child

A skirt I made to go in a box.
I almost wanted to keep it for one of my sisters!
Back in October (OCC's national collection month), my dad came with my friend Becks and me (and a few other home-schoolers) to volunteer at Operation Christmas Child for a few hours one Saturday.

Operation Christmas Child, a project of Samaritan's Purse, provides underprivelaged children aged 2-14yrs with a shoebox containing various gifts for Christmas. Some of the impact stories are very moving!

My boxes all packed up!
I figured since we were going to the warehouse anyway, we should take the boxes I was filling, rather than having to drop them somewhere else. So on the Friday we went from one shop to another, buying the rest of the fillers I needed; I ended up spending most of the day working on the boxes! 

Becks and me
We left home around 9am Saturday morning, so we could be at the (OCC) warehouse in Henderson by 10 o'clock. We spent the next few hours unpacking boxes, checking the contents for anything that wasn't supposed to be in them, making sure (as best we could) that there was something from each of the listed categories, removing unnecessary packaging, and filling (from stocks they have there) any that didn't have enough 'stuff' in them. 

2 o'clock came all too soon and we left since we didn't want to be home too late. We stopped in at The Coffee Club for afternoon tea before dropping Becks home. :)

Afternoon tea...
And I won't mention what the house looked like when we got back...suffice it to say my mum and siblings were in the midst of a massive cleanup/out, which involved taking everything out from under the beds in the girls room...!

Friday, November 23, 2012


To the Americans on here...
Happy thanksgiving for yesterday!

Some things I am thankful for:

  • blog readers ;)
  • family
  • friends (love you :))
  • computers/internet
  • pets
  • music

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Happy Birthday Mum!

Highlights from the past year:

  • Arrival of eighth child
  • Two teenaged children
  • 20th wedding anniversary

Friday, November 02, 2012

Ambury Farm Park Visit

The actual reason for our (August) trip to Ambury Farm Park was so the little ones could see the cows being milked (some of us older ones have helped milk by machine, but that was three of four years or so ago). And get this . . . right now, I can't find any photos of that! And . . . Mum's camera hasn't been downloaded yet so I can't use any of her pics either :(
So anyways, you'll just have to enjoy the photos I have got at the moment:

We spent ages by the lambs;
they were really friendly so the little ones could pat them through the fence

This goat is allowed to roam free on the walking tracks throughout the park

Laura (5 months)

Group photo
Left to right: Monique (11), Bryce (4), Diana (7), Me, Amelia (6), Mum & Laura, Owen (2), Mrs. Smith, Maria (2), Danielle (9)
Front: Jarrod (13)

Jago children

Ah yeah, we took a heap of random pics in the frame!
This one is actually photoshopped; someone was crouching underneath so he's gone, and I've taken the green piece out from the bottom right corner of the frame.

My new portrait :P

This is how we found Diana and Bryce when we got back...oops!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

My Sweet 16th :)

My 16th
I wanted a memorable celebration for my sixteenth this year, and initially I thought something 'big'. Time slipped away on me though (and I couldn't really think of anything...), so we didn't actually finish organising this until the day before it all took place! 
In the end, the Sonnevelds came to our place around 12:30, and we piled into our people-mover {which I cleaned the night before - go me! :P} to pick up Middy and Becks before heading out to the Hunua Falls/Ranges.

Because we didn't end up having enough time for a long walk, we just went to the falls and then up to the lookout. Afterwards we got the food out of the car and headed for one of the picnic tables. Despite being somewhat gloomy, the weather held up throughout the afternoon, allowing us to enjoy ourselves without getting drenched!
Middy had previously committed to something else later in the afternoon, so dropped her home, then went to Manna Christian Bookstore while we waited for Anne Roos to be ready (she flew back to Auckland that afternoon), at which point we met her at Tenpin Manukau.

Two games later a tired lot of us came back to my place for the rest of the evening. 

While we had been all over town, my mum and siblings had been busy getting the house ready for us to arrive. They made beef casserole for dinner, along with dessert and cake (which we didn't end up icing or eating...oops!). They also pulled out our second dining table and set it up in the lounge for us {since you can't exactly fit five extra people around one!}. 

After dinner and dessert we claimed the lounge suite to watch Saving Sarah Cain. The food leftover from afternoon tea was completely forgotten but near the end we remembered the drinks ;)

By then end of the movie it was 10-ish and time for home and bed.


This was actually from another day;
it's the mud cake I made and decorated myself.
Yep, tough stuff making my own birthday cake! lol
Gifts from my family
Gifts from friends
See, 16 really is sweet!!!! :P :P


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Peer into the Past 2012


Organised by Mrs. Rakete, Peer into the Past is the annual history fair for the Manukau Homeschool Group.Our family has enjoyed preparing projects to enter since Peer into the Past began (perhaps four years ago?), and although I didn't submit my own project this year, I did help my sister Diana (then 6 years) do one.

Her project was about Princess Diana (hmm wonder  how/why we picked her! haha). I've had (too) much previous experience with putting projects together in the last two weeks before the fair, so this year I decided we definitely would not do the same! Weeks before the fair we checked some books out from the library and started reading them and writing the rough draft of the biography, which would be the centre of the project, around which everything else would come together.

We were doing quite well until about two weeks before the fair, when the rough (and only) draft, along with the main book we had been using, went missing. . . . 

For a few days we just left it, in case it turned up like things often do with little ones around to put things in the last place anyone would ever think to look! It was somewhat painful, but in the end we did start over. Despite the setback, we still managed to be finished the project before Monique and Danielle finished their ones!! haha :P

On The Day

I had a bit of a mental list of things I wanted to do before went to the fair, but most of the things on it seemed to slip my head that morning (typical, huh?), the clock seemed to tick a bit fast (oh come on, there was a really long post on someone else's blog!!!), finally though Diana was up and had eaten breakfast. She changed into her costume and I curled her hair.

Once Jarrod had changed the tyre on the van we left for the fair. 

Displays were set up and 'hellos' said before judging began. Oops I didn't realise I needed to tell the 6-year-old not to say "I don't know much"! Otherwise I think they were all okay with being judged. lol
Spectators arrived to view the many projects not long after, and 'Spot the Solution' (a quiz with a question from each project. You have to find the answer by reading the displays) started. {Diana and I won together this year - yay!! lol the prize was chocolate...}

Later on Mr. Rakete spoke on Maori history (with some more lively participation from the children at times), and then cam prize giving. All entrants receive a certificate, judges marking sheet (so they know what areas they did well on or need to improve), and a chocolate bar. Don't think any of my siblings won a prize this year but that's all good, we've won some before.
I think there were significantly fewer spectators this year, which was a shame. The day itself was good though and a lot of work had been put into the entries, mostly likely an indication that the entrants learnt a lot through the whole experience! :)

Anyhow this concludes my review of Peer into the Past 2012. Thanks for reading!

: : Prize giving | ok maybe not the best photo, but I can't see any of my siblings an any of the other ones : :

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Becka's 18th Birthday

Becka did a double-celebration for her 18th birthday (also in June) this year - ice skating one Saturday afternoon for everyone, and a mothers & daughters dinner at Masala on a Tuesday roughly a two weeks later.

Ice skating; left to right: Esther, Marieke, me, Becka, Suzanne
Jarrod, Toby, Rueben S., Ruth
Jordan, Middy, Rueben R.
Mum, Bryce, Abigail
Maria, Danielle, Monique, Dad & Diana, Natalie & a friend
We actually had more people come ice skating but some had already left when we took this photo...
Except for the blisters afterwards, it was awesome!! haha :P

A photo I talk of myself before we went to
Masala, and yes, I've photoshopped it...
I don't have much to say about Masala (Indian restaurant in Papakura) either I'm afraid, except that the food was great and we really enjoyed talking and being together. Oh yeah and we got some cool pics ;)
Afterwards we went to McDonald's for dessert :)
: : Me with Becks : :

: : Suz and I : :

Friday, October 05, 2012

17th Birthday Celebration: Mini-Golf

: : Birthday Girls - Middy & Ruth : :
My friends Ruth and Middy both turned 17 in June this year. The following is a description of the celebration that took place on the 23rd (a Saturday).

Since only one of us (Suzanne) has a full driver’s license, we all went in one vehicle; Becka was picked up first, I was next; then we went to get Middy and her mum, before heading out to Treasure Island Mini-Golf (near the airport).

Sometimes it’s really handy being the height I am. For example, when you go somewhere that says ‘ID required’ to get in at student pricing, but I can get it without ID or questions! Haha :P

: : Me, Es, Middy : :

I hadn’t really played mini-golf before, so I guess you could say I was a bit disadvantaged in that regard, since everyone else knew how it all worked while I had to learn! We had heaps of fun though, and took loads of photos (mini-golf with friends = photo session, right? Lol).

: : Es and I : :

Some holes were ok, some were cool, and some were just plain annoying, because you could get the ball so close multiple times, but it just wouldn’t go in the hole! I think each of us got one (not the same) hole in a single shot. Mine came on one where we had all said “Oh no, this is gonna be a hard one!” because it was a longer distance than some of the others, and there were two steep rises, and near the hole was just on a slight slope; if you missed the hole, your ball would roll right back to where you’d started from! Also when I got it, the floodlights were off and it was quite dark.

: : Ruth and I : :

: : Me, Ruth, Becks, Es, Middy, & Suz : :

By the end we were freezing and glad to get back to the car. We went to Pak n Save, then to Middy’s. We quickly ate dinner, butter chicken, before going downstairs to watch a movie. After much debating we had chosen All A Girl Could Want, and we managed to squeeze five of us on one couch to watch {good times!}. Because we’re so great at planning (haha), we had piles of chips, lollies, chocolate, and soft drinks, as well as a delicious (well done, Es :) ) birthday cake – which boasted of more variety in icing than I could have dreamed of!

We had heaps of fun, and were a tired lot when it came to home-time! Again, happy birthday Ruth and Middy!