Friday, 30 December 2011

Christmas Day at our place - in pictures

Christmas Day dawned beautiful and sunny and the clan came to our place for a traditional roast Christmas dinner. After sitting out under the gazebo and umbrella for youngest grandchild to give out presents (a family tradition) we went inside to eat and then outside again to enjoy the company and play with the new toys.

the dinner table finally set

some of the clan socialising

what can I find in here?

where did that go?


more socialising...

while the boys play cricket

preparing the desserts...

...only cold ones this year

deserted table ...

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Merry Christmas to one and all

Only a week to go and it will be Christmas Eve. I can't wait.
The Christmas Eve service this year is at 9pm and the Christmas Day one is at 9am,
so  that is easy to remember.
Then it's all on at our place.
The family will all gather here for Christmas Dinner,
a traditional roast meal this year as that is what my GKB has requested
 and what my little mother prefers.

Our Christmas tree is finally up and decorated - I thought
 for while we wouldn't get it up,
life has been so busy.
We had the youth group breakup
and barbecue last night,
cold weather but the kids got out
 and played mini golf while they waited for the
  food and they were happy.
Above is a picture of the tree in the church that
was officially decorated  by the youth but in
reality was done by the leaders with
 one or 2 of the kids helping.
 We think it turned out pretty good.

These two pictures are of the
Christmas tree the Sunday School
kiddies decorated, and the crib
underneath that one of the older ladies
 in the church made for them.
They had a lot of fun doing this,
 did I tell you we have mainly boys in
our Sunday School.
Only 2 (brave) girls.
Tomorrow they put on their tableau during 
 the morning service
and have their breakup and prize giving.
It's going to be a lot of fun, 
we haven't had a real practice yet. 
Both the trees were decorated with love
 and to share with the community.

The Christmas tree in the foyer at my work place.
A lovely way to be greeted as you come in the door
 and the residents like to sit out there and see it too.
I thought it was very pretty.

A final word -  a reminder of the reason for the season.

"For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it." John 3: 16 &17

I wish you all a merry and blessed
Christmas and a very prosperous 2012

Monday, 5 December 2011

Christmas doings

What a busy time of year, I'm finding it hard to fit
 in everything I need to do. I haven't even got my
Christmas tree or any decorations out yet, let alone put anything up. But...

I have got the parcels for Japan all wrapped and in the post and so number one son and his lovely wife  should get them some time this week.
My youngest grandson came with me to post them, he was having time off from school because he hadn't been well and there was a BIG bus trip coming up and he wanted to be well enough for that - of course. He's five.

After we had been to the post office we went for a drink at a 'grown ups' cafe, as opposed to McDonald's or similar. After he picked what he wanted to eat and drink I let him find us a table while I paid up.
He sat very nicely and half way through he said to me very earnestly
"you know Granma, I haven't done this before".
I thought it was a precious moment.

Yesterday we went in to the city to watch the Santa parade, youngest grandson and his sister were on a couple of floats. Their brother was too shy to take part.
The Lego float has Daniel in it, he is the Lego man in the red.
The one below that is a back view of his older sister - trust us to be on the wrong side of the street to see either of them properly, but it was a fun time.
We took my little mother in with us as well and afterwards she told us that was the first Santa Parade she had ever been in to see. Oh dear, I hadn't realised that.

Tonight I shall try to get some Christmas cards done.

Sunday, 27 November 2011

Jonah and the Whale

I went out for a walk today, the first time for a few weeks.
I won't get too fit this way.
I also have 'the bike' back in the house
but so far it has been relegated
to the spare bedroom.
Definitely not the best use of it.

This morning I was also one of the escorts when
 we took the Sunday School out to do a photo shoot
of the story of Jonah and the Whale.
 It was mainly boys aged between 4 and 12,
with one brave girl.
Very energetic.

We went to several different parts of the city,
 including the beach,
where I managed to end up with sand filled sneakers.
But I guess that is what happens when
the sand keeps disappearing from under your feet
while you're trying to get up the bank.
We had a lot of fun and ended up at a playground 
 where we rounded off the morning with a picnic -
of (chocolate) fish, crisps (chips) and popcorn.

After all that, you would think I would just want to
 sit and relax but it was so good to get a nice
enough day to get out I walked about twice
the distance I normally do.

 I had some photo's to put up too
 but for some reason tonight  they won't load.
Never mind, another time maybe.

Goodnight all, have a lovely week : D)

Friday, 11 November 2011

Peguins and Oamaru stone

Last weekend I went to Oamaru for the South Island conference for New Zealand Aglow.
It was held in the newly refurbished Opera House, which is in the picture below. It is a beautiful old Victorian building built from the lovely white Oamaru stone.
A lovely venue where we were really well looked after.

As it was not a live in conference my GKB decided to come with us - us being my mother and me. We stayed in motels and he did his thing while we were 'conferencing'.
On our first night we had been promised an 'Adventure' so after the formalities were over we were all asked to put our hats and coats and scarves on and given instructions on how to get to the Little Blue Penguin colony. And those who had cars were asked to give a lift to some one who needed one - preferably some one they didn't know.
A great way of meeting people :)

No photo's allowed unfortunately so the closest thing we have is the one above,
the penguin is carved in Oamaru stone,
me with my little mother in the background, taken the day we departed.

Sunday was quite a nice day so my GKB spent the morning wandering around the town,
went to the market and had a look at the historic precinct.

           There were several sculptures in the middle of town as well, which are hard to describe really,
but are weirdly, or should I say darkly, attractive!! 
                    Steampunk - I don't know what it is supposed to represent but I have put up a couple of   photo's for you. Man stuff I guess.

And one more photo taken that morning of lovely St Luke's Church, just because I like it.

 Have a good weekend folks.

Saturday, 29 October 2011

All Blacks win Webb Ellis trophy

All the games and the hype is over and our little country is getting back to normal.
The Rugby World Cup is now part of our history and we are the
2011 World Champions.
Go the
All Blacks

I have to admit though that my GKB and I spent a great part of the start of the tournament in sunny Queensland where we relaxed and soaked up some sun with not much else to do but indulge ourselves.
We took advantage of the cheap air fares and had some great times with some of the Aussie branches of the family. Great catching up with them all.
BUT...We did watch the matches that were shown in Australia - I even watched some of them right through which is certainly saying something, I'm not really a footy fan.

When we got home it was quarter final time, so of course I couldn't help but get caught up in all the hype - the whole country was -  including the thousands of overseas visitors! It's amazing how parochial and patriotic you can become over sport when it looks like your team has a chance of getting to the top. 
It was all very good natured though and hardly a cross word said :D)
And unfortunately it is the nature of the beast for someone to go home disappointed :(
So, CONGRATULATIONS the AB's, well done, good games and a well fought, nail biting final.
France 7
New Zealand  8

We are the champions, we are the champions, of the world ...

Saturday, 15 October 2011

Christmas is a-comin'

I hate to say it but Christmas is fast approaching. It is just around the corner now, I can't believe we are half way through October already.
My GKB and I were in town today, we decided we would go into the Warehouse for a coffee and something to eat and the Christmas decorations and Christmas goodies were all being put out on display.
So pretty. The tinsel and the lights and everything else always make me feel very nostalgic, like a big kid and I couldn't help but stop and admire and handle a lot of the pretty baubles.

Christmas cards, wrapping paper, nativity sets, silly Santa's, tree lights, tinsel trees, glass balls, reindeer, tinsel, curling ribbon, advent calendars.
Chocolate santa's, candy canes, and hampers along with silly seasonal mugs and that was just the beginning of it all.
I can't wait to go back in a week or two and have another poke around, there must be something I need want.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.

After a while I  thought perhaps I should go and find my GKB who, for some strange reason, had wandered down to the outdoor living section of the store.

Oh, and I was very good, I didn't buy a thing.

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Sensational sunset

My GKB and I have just spent most of September in Mackay, North Queensland. On our second night there we were lucky enough to look out on God's book just as the sun was setting. WOW!! It was glorious. The first four shots below are some of the pics my GKB took, it looked as if molten lava was rolling across the sky. We had some nice sunsets later during our stay and I have also included some shots of them  but although they were rather nice and there were some nice colours none compared with that first one. Enjoy.

Friday, 2 September 2011

a good GRAND weekend

Well spring is sprung and the spring flowers are beginning to put on a display, but only beginning to. The temperatures are still down there in winter mode - it is almost midday and only 7.5 at the moment. The jonquils have been out for several weeks and continue to put on a show, the trees are bursting into blossom and look lovely, I have a feeling I will miss the best of them while I am on holiday - we have a lot of blossom trees on the grass verges around town and they are beautiful when they come into flower together. I need to get out for a walk and have a look at peoples gardens in the next few days. If only the wind would drop, it's coming off the snow...

Last weekend was a weekend for catching up with all of my gorgeous grandchildren - all those who live in the vicinity anyway. A bit hard to catch up with the two based in Wellington and Japan but it was still a good GRAND weekend. Friday afternoon brought a text, C. wants to go to youth group tonight, can you pick her up please and can she stay the night. So of course I said yes and went in to town to pick her up about 4 in the afternoon. In the car we had a good old chat about what she is doing  and how she is enjoying her first year at secondary school.

  The next morning youngest grandgirl was playing netball and had her prize giving a couple of hours after her game so she arrived with her mother to have lunch with us before they went back up to the hall. I have to confess I haven't been to the games so much this year, what with everything else I've had going on. Sometimes Saturday is the only time to have a lie in.

On Sunday morning it was time to go up the hill and pick up the two youngest grandboys and bring them over to Sunday School. Then to Granma and Grandads for lunch where we are always joined by Great Granma as well. Grandad (the GKB) always makes hot scones for Sunday lunch in the winter and always checks on who is likely to arrive at lunchtime before I leave for church, so that he makes enough There could be up to 10 or 11 if everyone decides to come. Hot scones and 'red' jam, yuuummy. The grandboys get very disappointed if by chance Grandad decides to do something different. Then after lunch we settle down for some family news (?gossip or sharing?), watch some telly and play some games with the two wee boys. Since Granma and Grandad do NOT have any electronic games they have to amuse themselves, either by watching telly, or playing outside when it is warmer, or not so warmer as the case may be. Lately though they have discovered the joys of board games and are really quite enjoying things like snakes and ladders, pick up sticks', old maid and draughts just to name a few. It has been fun teaching them, although old maid is not much fun when you have just turned 5 and somehow you keep ending up with THE card at the end of the game. 

On Sunday afternoon another text, can I give C. a lift home because blah, blah. I have to say I didn't receive this text with a lot of grace but as it turned out it gave me an opportunity to catch up with beautiful eldest grandgirl and her boyfriend. Of course I had to then be introduced to the newest additions to her menagerie - she now has a couple of rats and several mice, having sold her rabbits and guinea pigs. Oh, there are also a couple of cats in the household and previously there has been a young dog who bounced around all over the place and who now lives on a farm!  All of the grandkids have had a variety of pets over the years and eldest grandgirl has also helped with riding for the disabled. So a really good grand weekend it turned out to be.

I see a daffodil from my kitchen window!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

hunkering down again and a trip to the vet

 Well here we are hunkering down again for another snow dump. For some reason I'm a bit apprehensive about it this time, the forecast is for snow through to Tuesday or Wednesday. It will be bad enough here, but at least we are on the flat, so will be able to get to places if we need or want to - and of course the GKB will probably be snowed in and I will probably be called in to work again. Oh well, more cash in the holiday fund.

  Now the people in Christchurch I do feel sorry for, some of them are still living in cold, damaged houses after the earthquakes. In fact they are being told that if they think they may not be able to cope with the weather, especially as there are  likely to be power cuts, then they need to move in with friends or family now if they can.

  Hot soup and cheese rolls would have been nice for lunch tomorrow but seeing as we seem to have finished the cheese rolls, soup and hot toast will have to be the order of the day.

  Claude has been sitting looking through the back door for much of the evening. If he had any sense he would come in and make himself at home for the night, but no he is a real outside cat. The only time he tends to come in is in the middle of summer when both the doors are wide open and he can lie spreadeagled in the breeze created in the passage. But, a fortnight ago that changed. He had an altercation with either one of the other cats about the place or with the new powder puff style dog which has moved in next door, resulting in him not being able to weight bear on one of his front feet and a trip to the vet.

 After a slightly fraught trip in the car he tolerated having his ears cleaned, his eyes inspected, his mouth and teeth examined and his coat and skin checked for any unwanted passengers. He really objected to where the thermometer went but short of flattening himself and trying to become invisible he couldn't do much about it. Oh yes, his leg and paw were all inspected too, with a nice shoulder massage thrown in for good measure. Eventually we took him home but not before we were given meds for him and told to keep him inside for the weekend. "Okay" we said. "Oh, and this medication could give him diarrhoea." We climbed into the car, looked at each other and said "outside cat inside for two days with diarrhoea, I don't think so." And when said cat, on arriving home, took refuge under our bed that sealed it. Cars moved out of the garage, old armchair and a dirt box moved in and Claude was a happy camper. He came indoors with us for about an hour every evening and then the caterwauling would start and he was deposited back in his temporary holiday home. All is now back to normal, he is doing his own thing, which includes sitting on the back doorstep, looking plaintively in through the glass until the door is opened for him and then he takes off once more for places unknown.