Friday, May 30, 2014

Visit to Lyndal's

I think I've mentioned on here before that Lyndal is one of Mum's friends from school. When she lived about half an hour away we used to visit her quite often, but around seven years ago she married and moved north (circa 1 hour drive) and since then we haven't seen as much of her. Second Monday of the school holidays we headed up for a few hours.

: : Lyndal's pony Marmalade : :
She loves her salt lick!

: : Laura loved sitting on Marmalade! : :

: : And so did Maria : :

: : Lyndal and her husband Dale recently built this jetty over a pond in one of their paddocks : :
Normally the water comes just below it, but there was almost no water!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Dad's Birthday

Since Dad's harder to buy for than some, most of us ended up leaving our gift shopping until his actual birthday (oops). Easter fell on his birthday this year though, so hooray Easter sales! {haha}

: : Smiles from Maria : :

: : And Bryce . . . : :
While shopping earlier in the day, I found the shirt Bryce is wearing for $8! And it had a bow tie with it. :) It's actually his new church shirt but he couldn't wait until Sunday to wear it!

: : Boxing gloves from Bryce! : :
We discovered later that these gloves are the same brand as the boxing pads Dad already has! #score

: : Smiles from Diana : :

: : New polo from Monique : :

: : Jarrod and I went shopping together so we ended up doing a joint present: this shirt and a belt : :

: : And a certain puppy we were looking after didn't want to miss out on the fun! : :
Isn't he cute?

: : Plants for his office to combat the fumes from all the office equipment : :

: : And I won't share his age! :P : :

Monday, May 26, 2014

Monique's Birthday || Photo Recap

: : Bryce smiles for the camera : :

: : And Mum and Dad's turn : :

: : Monique and her gift collection : :

: :Yum! : :
Sauce recipe courtesy of the Bates family

Friday, May 23, 2014

Maria + Laura's Birthday || Presents

: : Laura loves her dolls :) : :

: : Using her new hairbrush! : :

: : Sister smiles : :

: : Maria and all her gifts : :

: : Laura's gifts (minus a ride-on) : :

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Wellington || Other Things We Got Up To || Final Post

One day Nana spent a few hours with us at the lodge while Aunty Melissa took Monique, Danielle, and Diana out shopping. Maria and Laura weren't sure about Nana at first but here Laura requests Nana's help to puther sandals on.
After the girls' shopping trip, we all went down to Uncle Bill and Aunty Melissa's for a birthday afternoon tea. Maria ended up getting all the attention though, since Laura slept through the whole thing!
Birthday girl! (Well, one of them.)

Maria isn't so fond of the camera so it took a few attempts to get a decent photo of her with Aunty Melissa. Photo bomb from Diana!

Don't you just love Henry? I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone so excited about vaccuming!

On Wednesday we travelled over the Rimutaka Hills and visited Dad's cousin and her husband at their Salvation Army shop. Then she took us to see dad's uncle Tom (her father), who loves gardening and gave us piles of grapes. (As in we each got a bunch like this one!) After that we dropped in to see a family from church and stayed for dinner. Sadly we didn't take any photos but Auke and Ally's two-week-old little girl, Lana Katy, was very cute. :)

Relaxing one night after we had some of the rallies over for supper.
We have piles of photos {somewhere} of our little people with chippy bags!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Wellington Trip || Camping Fun!

As I mentioned previously, cyclone Lusi was forecast for the lower North Island during the time we were camping down there in March. Saturday night after the wedding was quite blustery but the tent held up all right.

On Sunday, the weather seemed normal and we went to church and continued life as usual. Dad went to the office to see what the options were if the weather got bad during the night and we couldn't stay in the tent. We were given the key for a lodge. 

 In the evening while Jarrod was cooking dinner (butter chicken!), the rain got heavier and the wind got stronger; the ends of the tent were blowing in with the wind gusts. We all went to the kitchen for dinner, planning to start the bedtime routine once we were done. At one point Jarrod went back to the tent to get something, and when he came back he told me there were about 10-12 leaks, maybe more. She thought, "Yeah, right. He's exaggerating." 

When she went back a bit later there were leaks nearly EVERYWHERE and all the bedding was starting to get wet. Then started the made scramble to pack everything up as fast as possible! A few of us older ones helped while Dad stayed with the little ones to keep them settled. (A French tourist couple made them popcorn, so they were happy!) Dad ended up loading most of the others in the van and taking them up to the lodge, then transporting everything out of the tent and taking it up as well. We were still disassembling the camping bunks and stretcher beds (while holding the torches . . . ) after we heard a pole snap and one end of the tent completely caved in. Finally though, only the fridge (borrowed from Nana) was still in the tent. It's amazing how light it (apparently) seemed that night when Mum and Dad carried it through pouring rain across a couple or so tent sites and into the kitchen. We all headed up to the lodge then to get beds made up and little people into bed. Dad and Jarrod went back to pull the tent down a bit later since we didn't want it completely destroyed during the night! 

Initially we were given one night free in the lodge, but our hosts were amazing and ended up allowing us to stay in it until the Thursday -- the full duration of our planned stay. 

The two windows on the lift look into the kitchen; the doors to their right and the large windows facing the dining room lead to the large dining/lounge type room. And on the other side of the block wall? A pretty fancy barbecue! ;)

Windows on the right are the kitchen, then the main entranceway is to the left. The three sets of windows all lead to bedrooms (there are seven bedrooms in total, three shown, three opposite, and one down the far end on the left.

Kitchen! Now that is more my size! haha :)
The stack of muesli boxes? Apparently the price was a deal you'd never see in Auckland so we stocked up. ;) And I guess someone was bored, hence the pyramid. lol

Okay, so I don't normally post photos of bathrooms! We had two like this though, three loos and two showers in each. And lovely BIG mirrors that the bathrooms we used while camping didn't have! 

Big hallway! Kitchen on the left, entranceway farther down on the left, bathroom on the right, and bedrooms through the doorway in the centre.

Lots of tables and seating!

Entranceway and coat hooks. (When we got back from the tent on Sunday night there were bags all over the floor here -- but all the children's jackets were hanging up! {smile}

Hallway and bedrooms

Not very many good photos of the rooms I'm afraid. This is (obviously) the boys one. Four rooms had two sets of bunks each, two had one bunk set and a single bed, and the end room was much larger and had four sets of bunks.