Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Day 4 ~ Thursday ~ Hot Water Beach

On Thursday we left the campground later than planned, because Mum put a load of washing through the machine and hung it out to dry. {Good time to do school work I reckon!} When we did manage to leave, we headed for Hot Water Beach. From here in Whitianga, it’s quite a drive to get anywhere, so I’m getting lots of practice on open roads! Lol I should be able to pass the restricted test with no trouble when I get back!!

At the beach, we had to walk for ages to get to the ‘hot’ part, by a rock. Finally there, Mum and Dad started asking other people if they had hot or cold water in their holes. They finally dug a hole; then sat building sand walls in an attempt to protect themselves from the flow of HOT water!

After an hour or two there we made the trek to the cars again, got afternoon tea, and came back to the campground to make dinner. Mum made fried paprika chicken, with fried potatoes, and Dad cooked the fish Monique caught the night before. Over dinner, Mum told Monique she had to eat the rest of the chicken on here drumstick; she said she couldn’t get it off, so several of us pitched in with helpful advice on how to eat it. When told to pick it up, she commented that she wasn’t an animal. Bryce replied, “Monique, you said we’re not animals, but we’re kiwis!!” Hehe, gotta love five-year-old logic!

Day 3 ~ Wednesday ~ Fishing

Wednesday started out a beautiful sunny day. Dad decided we should go down to the i-site before lunch; we took the car down and I parked up ‘round the corner with my laptop to make use of Telecom’s free wi-fi. Lol.

Back at the camp we searched the fridge (no kidding, we actually have one in our tent! :P), chilly bin, and several boxes to find food for lunch. (Yep, organisation around here is lacking a bit.) Afterwards I took a chemistry test (from Dr. Wile’s textbook :)), dictation from some of the little ones for their diaries, and photos {for my blog}. And I read a bit from my book – Generation Change by Zach Hunter.

Since we hadn’t managed any ‘activity’ that afternoon (it got a bit late after the others had been in the camp pool), Dad said we should all go fishing. Well, that was his plan. I went ‘fishing’ with my laptop (excellent internet connectivity – woohoo!! Lol) sitting at one of the picnic tables on the waterfront. Hehe :P We got back around 11pm and Maria and Laura weren’t so happy. Maybe that’s why the people in the tent across from us only stayed one night . . . haha

: : Bryce and Maria : :

We don't have any great photos of this,  but you can see a few lights and things in this one.

: : Monique with here catch : :

Monday, February 18, 2013

Day 2 ~ Tuesday

On Tuesday morning, children began to wake up all too early considering the time we went to bed the night before. With us all in such close proximity, there isn’t much chance of sleeping for long once people start getting up!

We spent most of the day at the campground, setting and tidying things up. I did some school work (yeah, I brought some down with me), tried to play our ¾ size nylon-string guitar – which is seriously out of tune and I didn’t bring my tuner :/, watched Dr. Wile’s Where are they now? session from the 2011 Science by Design Conference in Auckland – it was the one session I didn’t go to when I attended the conference; but maybe I should have gone, because it was really interesting. Then again, there ended up being HEAPS of different talks at that conference, and no doubt all of them would have been good! This session was about homeschool graduates, and what they were doing in life as young adults; how homeschooling affected their lives later on; and, as Dr. Wile loves to do, refuting common misconceptions about homeschooling. Oh yes, and I better not forget the statistics he said the scientist in him wouldn’t allow him to leave out of the talk!

After dinner we went for a walk, bought trumpets {and I bought a study help to go with my school work . . . caramello chocolate :D}, and went to the beach. Of special interest to me was that all the telephone boxes down here provide free wifi!!

PS: More photos to come as I've just found I don't have as many as I thought I did :(

Preparations for holiday

Well I have several posts about our holiday ready to go up, but I was just looking through photos and noticed one of the baking I did in preparation for the holiday and thought I'd post it quickly. Mum decided we needed HEAPS of baking for our trip, so she got some of the others to bake on Friday, and I had a go on Saturday. Below is what I ended up with.

: : Chocolate fudge, two banana bread loaves, two banana cakes, chocolate maple biscuits, chocolate vanilla biscuits, and my fav - 5 star choc chip cookies : :

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Coromandel Holiday ~ Day 1 ~ Monday

On Monday February 11th, our scheduled day of departure, we still had shopping and a lot of packing to do; Dad worked a half-day. After last-minute trips to the library and gas station, we eventually left around 5:10 with Dad taking the van and towing the trailer, and Mum as my driving supervisor in the car. Driving the motorway was slow, but uneventful. We had been on the open road for a while when we noticed Dad’s hazard lights and indicator on; the fridge balanced on a small platform at the front of the trailer had tilted to one side. It was secured with more ropes and we were off again. This time we continued until we came to a picnic site by the water, where everyone got out to stretch his legs.

After another hour of driving – this time on narrow, windy roads through the bush – we arrived at our campsite, just before dark. Trying to make dinner in the dark, when no one seems to know where anything is packed, and several others are trying to erect a tent can be interesting. We had planned on having an electric frying pan and the gas stove to cook on, but apparently nothing else could be plugged in with the light that was being used by those setting up the tent, so we managed with just the gas stove. It took a while though; we ate around 11pm!

Monique had a seizure before Mum and Dad went to bed, but otherwise we all slept like logs.

Monday, February 11, 2013


Well sometime(!) today {right now I'm at work and I haven't started packing yet...oops!} we're off to camp in the Coromandel for 11 days. The campground does have internet access (yay!!!) so I'll try to update sometimes. :)

Saturday, February 02, 2013

Others to Wellington

My dad flew to Wellington with three of my siblings (Jarrod, Monique, and Danielle) for a week over the holidays; from December 24th to 31st. They went to see my dad's side of the family, who live down there. For some reason we thought their flight down was late at night, so we were out shopping late that afternoon; since it was also Bryce's birthday, we had planned to have a dinner and dessert for him, and give his presents. When we got home though Dad said they needed leave for the airport in about half an hour...oops! We gave Bryce his presents and got him to open them at break-neck speed (ok, maybe not quite!) before Mum took the others off to the airport. Diana and I stayed home, and with Bryce's permission we constructed his new wooden garage. (And I only had to take things apart and redo them in the right place about three times!! hehe :P)

We thought the rest of us might have a bit of a 'holiday' while the others were away; Mum had wanted to go to the zoo as well. One week gets booked out pretty quickly though! Although one would think that with four family members away there would be less to do around the house, we soon realised that since the ones away were the most capable ones, it felt like there was a lot more work! Throughout the week, we spent a fair bit of time at the business - checking emails, picking, packing, and dispatching orders. Oh yeah, and waiting for the courier (to pick up the orders). We also spent time tidying the house, relaxing, doing the clothes boxes (which I already mentioned in a previous post, along with the cards I made). 

I read a few books (I almost never make time for that during school terms, so better get a year's worth of reading into the summer holiday, right?) and we decided to hit the Boxing Day sales for the first time. There were some really good specials, and others were pretty average I'm afraid. By the end of the day we were exhausted and I just wanted to go to bed. Mum, however, had thought of something else she wanted to buy and we had planned to drop by work to check for orders. Since we were already home (it was really late when we left the shops so I said we needed to come home and have dinner! :P) I convinced Mum to look online to see how long the sale she was interested was on for (three days...) so we left that for another time, and decided work would be ok...lol. Mrs. Smith looked after four of the littlies one day (thanks!) so Mum could have a break. She ended up deciding it was the perfect time to wrap some of her New Year's presents. 

On Saturday, Auckland had really nice weather, so we went for a walk at the Botanical Gardens with Becks. Well at least, Becks and I walked; Mum took a picnic blanket and sat down with the little ones' since Maria wasn't feeling well. Just for the record, I remembered sunscreen! :P Afterwards Becks came here for dinner: sausages and salads. We made a pecan cake or something (a Tupperware recipe we got around eight years ago . . .) for dessert. YUM!! Punch seems to make the dishes easier to do as well. {smile}

We never made it to the zoo; before we knew it New Year's Eve was upon us...and the others arrived back from their trip.