Saturday, August 28, 2021

Hello from Auckland

Hello hello. We're at home in lockdown since Tues 17th August at 23:59. Back to homeschooling. Back to me working in the kitchen to free up the new study for Kien. Back to trying hard to keep our sanity.

Back to rolling out of bed and being straight into work. Kitchen table and room can't stay tidy for long.

I see myself in photos these days and I look so much like my dad. I've always been under the impression I look like my late mother, but not anymore. Once I surpassed 30 times years of being on this earth my features morphed into my father's, hahaha.

I went for a walk. I finally got out of the house! One week since we went into lockdown. It was lovely.

Again this year, just like last year, we were in lockdown for my birthday. So didn't do anything special. Went to bed early, and that's about it.

Have a good evening wherever you are.

Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Wow, I can't believe we are already in Term 2 already! It's been hectic. Going to intermediate school is very different than being at primary school. The expectation is so much higher for students to take responsibility for themselves. I tell you, it's not been easy. A lot of adjustments going on here!

These are pictures from the first day at school back in Feb. Seems like so long ago now hahaha.

Kien is very fortunate that a majority of his friends from primary school are also at middle school with him. I won't say all his besties, because he's got one that was in the Maori unit at Freemans Bay and he is now at another Maori unit at a different school. But otherwise, all his other BFFs are at Intermediate with him. A number of them are in his class as well - which is so cool when we go out on school trips. In term 2 there were school trips every second week. I was able to be a helper for a couple of them which was really nice.

We went to Circability at Vic Park where we did plate spinning and juggling. Great fun for a lovely summer morning.

We caught a bus to Jump. We love trampoline parks. I couldn't resist and paid for myself to jump with the kids while the other adult helpers watched from the sidelines - except the mother in the picture who also jumped with me. She's the one that organised our tramping trips away so of course she will jump too!

Something different this year is Market Day at school where the kids get to be entrepreneurial. They come up with what they want to sell at their stall. They paid for a stall, and they got to keep all the proceeds. Kien teamed up with his mates, and between all 4 of them they managed to make some good pocket money. We're talking about setting up a stall on Ponsonby Rd so all the kids can do it again.

We've got a walking bus going on this year for a few of us who live close and/or are coming in the general direction. On the way home from school we sometimes stop for sushi or ice-cream (ice-creams are restricted to Fridays only!).

It's been fun walking the kids to school. Most of the time a couple of parents are walking as well - good opportunity for exercise! It only takes about 15-20 mins from home depending on how quickly we walk and how long we wait at designated pickup spots. I think Kien enjoys walking and talking. He tells me he has loads of things to say about a whole lot of stuff. But of course he ends up talking to me while going up the hill, and when his friends join us they will walk and talk together.

We found this baby bird on the footpath one day. I tried to help it but couldn't do much for it. An hour after I got it home it died. I cried. Then I put it in a box and waited for Kien and Jef to get home that evening. They burried it out the back of our place.

Friday, April 16, 2021

Home Economics

This term at his Intermediate school Kien has been doing Home Ec. I loved that option when I was at Intermediate school as well. Back in March when we went to Level 3 lockdown Kien was tasked with preparing some meals or doing some cooking / baking for his home studies. I decided to teach him how to make pizza, from scratch. Kneading dough was a bit tough though with his tiny hands. After a while I had to get in there, but other than that he did it all by himself.

Kien likes garlic pizza so that's what he made for himself.

Home schooling while we were working wasn't easy. I've been working in the kitchen so I had to have him next to me to keep him on task. We also use our windows as whiteboards.

Another session of baking on another day, and this time he made banana muffins.

Sometimes when he has a friend over we'll also do some baking. It's great! It saves me time having to do it, and it gets them doing something useful and off their devices!

Tuesday, April 13, 2021

What is this?

Hello, what is this blog thing? In my mind I had thought I was keeping this thing updated. But clearly, no. The other day my aunty in the States (Hi, Aunty!) tried to call me to catch up. She couldn't get through as reception was not great on my side, and she ended up texting me. We had not spoken in a while...usually we would be bumping into her and catch up on our travels or she would be down here. I admit I'm terrible with keeping in touch...sorry. I'm not great with actually talking on phones. I'm alright with texts so long as I don't forget to text back. Social media is just horrible these days - go on there to try and keep up with those I'm interested in knowing about what is happening with their lives and I'm bombarded with weird stuff and people pushing some agenda. After a minute of scrolling I'm out of there and need to punch something. Then it occured to me, duh, I used to keep those who were interested in what we were doing updated via this blog. Plus it was a really good way for us to look back and have the photos and what we were up to in one centralised spot. So I'm going to try again to reserect this thing.

Over the Easter break we went up to Mangawhai. We weren't sure how long we were going to go for - just played it by ear and hoped the weather was going to be awesome...and it was!

We were intended to relax and take it easy enjoying whatever was left of the summer. However Jef got motivated and ended up doing heaps of work.

He cleared a whole lot of trees and woody weeds that was in the Totara ngahere. He fixed the big mower and did a whole lot of mowing. Kien also helped out with digging out the dirt where the old stumps where. Between them both the ngahere is looking great.

There's still a fire ban at the moment so we cooked with gas for the weekend. Nice and easy.

Fabulous long weekend away. Every time we pack up and leave I'm always dreaming of the little place we will build up in the clearing and having amenities to enable us be there for however long we want. We've got very flexible working arrangements now, so it would be nice to be able live and work in Mangawhai for an extended period of time.

Pauanui in March

In the last weekend of March we spent the weekend in Pauanui at our friend's bach. We were there last year right before the first lockdown, so it was only fitting we go down again, one year on.

Each morning I'd wake up for the sunrise and walk down to the beach. The difference here I've found, as opposed to being up in Mangawhai, is that there are a few people who go walking on the beach in the mornings as well. Up at the beach close our our place in Mangawhai you'd be surprised to find 1 person at sunrise, unless they are a keen for catching fish.

We were lucky enough to have her brother down there at the same time as us, and he brought his toys. I've definitely fallen in love with jet skiing, and Kien too, I think.


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