Friday, February 1, 2019

10 pin, swim, school and cool

Sunday 27th: I needed to get to town to return something (within the 14 days of purchasing it on-line) and so we decided to make a day of it. We managed to get a carer for Asher and Anastasia again, so could enjoy a fun day out with these 4. Ten pin bowling was the venue. I went when I was a guide leader around 8 years ago, but we can't remember when last Brendon has been bowling. The decades of not playing didn't bother him though and he got loads of strikes and spares.
It was lovely to do something totally different and make some wonderful memories with the children.
10 Pin Bowling Quik story. Everyone got at least 1 spare (I just didn't get them all on video). Got some great ones though.
Nice to have a print out of the score card. The younger three had the sides up to help them and even the playing field. Which meant that I ended up coming last on both games. :-)
I post the score cards here as I'm sure Ruth will enjoy looking back to them if / when we get to play again.

Arcade video. With the holiday special we got (with 2 games) we also got free arcade coins. So had some fun with those after the games.
Monday 28th: Asher "reading" to Anastasia this morning. Anastasia had the book and Asher took it from her. So I just put Anastasia next to her so that she cook look while Asher paged through. It was very sweet.
Cuddles with Ruth this morning.
She still enjoys climbing in boxes. We have to keep her from climbing in the ball box (which is smaller than this).
Swim 28 Jan. We headed down to the pool this afternoon at 5pm. Here is a video of some of the fun.
Posing for a photo.
Unfortunately it was too late in the afternoon and Asher ended up having a seizure while in the pool. We can only guess that the light's angle is too much later in the day. All the other successful swims have been closer to midday. It was only about a minute and a half. That's only the 2nd seizure in January though.

Tuesday 29th: Asher wanted to give Anastasia her milk today.
It was very sweet.

Once I got her position right they both carried on playing while she drank. :-)
Wednesday 30th: First day of school 2019. And all in new uniforms too. Looking so good.
Ruth is year 9, Hannah is year 7, Hezekiah is year 3 and Asher is year 2.
After her time on the trampoline she had a swing but then clearly told me she wanted to have a swing on this one too. She saw Asher in it the other day - so that's enough to make her want to do the same. :-)
Swim 30 Jan. Rachel stayed home with Asher and Anastasia (who was sleeping) and so we had a great time at the pool testing out the GoPro a bit more. Here is fun video (including slow motion which was fun).
I've learnt how to take photo snap shots off the videos too. Hezekiah had never jumped off the bench before and was so brave today. At first he started on the lower step and everyone was cheering him on. He wanted Dad to grab him as he landed. He did that just once and then went to the top. He didn't even hesitate too long and went for it - with loads of applause from the kids around. It was really cool to have them all supporting him like that.
And once he had jumped with Dad there for a couple of times, he even had the courage to do it on his own - realizing that he would automatically come up.
He had been doing some "jumping" from Dad's arms before, and then Hannah came over. She is too big, so had to go on his shoulders. She did a great diver that I only just got on video. The video didn't work, but this snap shot of the video was cool. Hezekiah then had a go on Dad's shoulders too and did a great job.
It was lovely to be able to get the time with them at the pool having fun like this.
Thankfully Asher got to swim at school today and it went fine. With them going more to the middle of the day it seems to not be such a trigger for seizures. She has her dark goggles, and I am just thrilled that she has gotten to go. So she didn't miss out completely today.
Talking about little children enjoying boxes, Asher decided she would use this one as a little hut. It was so cute seeing her back up to it.
Thursday 31st: Full school assembly this morning to welcome the new students and teachers. I was so surprised to hear that Ruth had been selected as a deputy house captain. She is the youngest one. Well done Ruth.
Asher had a challenging start to school yesterday. I asked the carer who gets her ready to rather stay with Anastasia while I took her up. That was a good call because I had to forcefully keep her in the new classroom. She wanted to just run when things were all so different, but I knew that if we allowed her to get into the habit of going to the previous class or hiding in the store room - she would want to do that every time she was unsettled. Thankfully with me holding her tight, she was able to get her iPad with familiar games and then eventually notice that there were other familiar games there too.
Today the carer took her to school and although she did need to direct her to the new classroom, once she was inside she found her desk and familiar things. What a relief.
She was also fine both Wed and Thursday at the end of the day. First playing in the sandpit and then today making bubbles. It was good that she was happily busy, and not at the gate rattling it to go home. So on the whole a very good start to the new year for her.
Friday 1st Feb: Uniforms all into the wash when they got home and I love the colours they changed into. What a cool summer photo.
Asher had a more difficult day today. She was not herself in the morning and eventually I had to pick her up just after midday (she fought to even take her medicine which is never normally an issue at school). Thankfully she was ok through the afternoon and as you can see in the photo above - she didn't look sick at all. She didn't' want to eat much today and so something must be up. Hopefully its nothing serious.
This evening I got the step for Anastasia to climb onto. She had so much fun and was so proud of herself.
Ruth had a busy evening packing for her first kiwi-watch trip for the year tomorrow. With her best friend not going (and her mother) Ruth had to organize and carry all her food this time. Thankfully Rachel got two free tramping packs and let Ruth borrow one. It will be good to have the weight off her shoulders.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Tramp, glasses, art and reading

Sunday 20th: Asher got onto the new trap this afternoon (5:30pm) and ended up having a short seizure. It only lasted for about 10 seconds and she didn't sleep afterwards. It's been 6 weeks since her last seizure though, so we are thrilled. The last one was on the day of the pool party - and amazingly she didn't have a seizure while at the pools. I wondered about her not having any protein at lunch that day, so have made a real effort with that since then. She is also on a higher dose of her newer medication and also has a higher concentration of Hemp Oil (the proper Charlotte's web oil from the Stanley brothers in America). So one or all of these things may be helping. We will just keep up with them all.
Monday 21st: Back onto the trap this afternoon - a bit earlier though (just after 3pm). Wonderfully no seizure and just a wonderful time of safe fun.
On the other tramp I just never felt safe with her as she is very unstable. I kept worrying she would fall over and fall off. Anastasia would also run so quickly and I didn't like the idea of her falling off either. So with the new tramp and it's net and hidden springs, I feel much more comfortable having these two out.
Anastasia loves the tramp just as much as Asher. She often stands at the window and watches the older children jumping. She will often bounce on the spot as she watches them. So I'm thrilled to be able to take her out for her own safe jumping sessions too now.
Asher did really well in following my instructions to jump on the circle (so handy having that mark). Later she started trotting around it.
Ruth headed off to an art course today for the next 3 days. As her best friend, Jess, is also doing the course, she was invited to just spend the two nights with them. So what a nice treat for her. Especially with Jess heading off to boarding school this year.
Brooke has been coming over often in the holidays. I was glad she came today as I would not have been able to take these two out on my own. After the time on the tramp they both enjoyed a swing. Interestingly, after Anastasia watched Asher this day, she now wants to go on that swing too. :-)
9:45pm moon rising was just beautiful.
Wednesday 23rd: Asher's new glasses arrived today. Everyone agrees they make her look older. Her previous glasses look like baby's glasses (and were baby pink). I think the lady gave great advice in helping me with choosing these.
Thankfully Asher qualifies for a "higher spectacle subsidy" and so we were able to get transition lenses again (so that they are automatically sun glasses when outside) at no cost to us. I had thought we would have to pay for this extra (as we did with her first pair), so were very pleased when we didn't have to.
You can also clearly see that the 2nd bottom tooth is out. It came out on Friday afternoon when she was at the carer.
Ok - so this is so super cute - but also SO dangerous. So after saying "clever girl for climbing on" I had to insist that she not do it again. We need to find a nice safe step for her to practice her climbing.
Just look how proud she is of her accomplishment. She is really enjoying climbing onto things at the moment, so we need to keep an eye on her.
Ruth brought this creation home as one of her pieces from the last 3 days. It's leaning over a bit - it's on wood. Both Anastasia and Asher both love this girl and keep going over to look at her. It was so funny to watch Asher look at her face and then look behind her - to try and work it out.
The other project shown below.

Thursday 24th: Anastasia enjoying a train ride by Hezekiah.
Saturday 26th: Hannah and Hezekiah had their Summer Reading party this afternoon. Ruth left early to help HYP with the set up. They ran the afternoon with loads of games for the children and then a lovely afternoon tea followed the prize giving.
Hezekiah doing a egg and spoon race. It was a bit tricky as they had lollies that they were balancing, and some were bigger than others which made it almost impossible for some of them. Loads of fun though.
Hezekiah sorted his outfit himself. He did a great job of creating an excellent Zoro.
Ruth helped Hannah dress as Mary Poppins. It was handy having the hat and skirt from her ballet concert.

Hannah ended up winning a prize for one of the 4 best dressed. Well done to both of you.
They allowed all the children who had not received a prize, to choose a book. Hezekiah didn't want to get one, but I suggested he look for one for Anastasia. He found a perfect one for her - a board book with dinosaurs. She has a really big one that she loves (but is a bit difficult with it being extra large). She was thrilled to have him read the book to her this evening.
Such a great brother. He let Asher sit and dance on him this evening too. :-) She does love this Christmas Wiggles DVD and knows all the dances off by heart. She often starts with the moves before they even start.

Ruth loves getting Asher and Anastasia doing things together. She is just so good with little children. This evening she decided to get both of them on her lap. Such fun. :-)

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Weekend in the Lewis Pass

We decided to celebrate Brendon's birthday with his cake this morning before Rachel headed off to work, and before Asher headed off to her carer for the weekend.
The Toblerone cake was a hit for my birthday, so it was decided as the best option this time too (it will serve as a great morning and afternoon tea through the weekend too).
BELOW: Beautiful scenery on our trip up.

We were blessed with the use of a holiday house up in the Lewis Pass this weekend. We had a nice relaxing Friday. We didn't leave too early as we had planned to have lunch in Culverden on the way up. Rachel was working till mid afternoon, so when she arrived she was quite tired. So she stayed home while we went out for a short walk down to the river on the other side of the main road.
I forgot my phone charger, but thankfully had my new GoPro to try out (mainly bought for an up-coming swimming weekend). It was nice to make a Quick Story video with the good photos. I had over 130 photos from the weekend, so had to just pick the best ones to add.
The sky was just so beautiful.
The video quality is not that great - designed for watching on a phone really. It was quick and easy to get made though, so it will have to do as a record of the fun.
And a photo taken from one of the video clips that I really like. :-)
On Saturday morning, before 8:30, we were already out on our first walk. We did the Loop 1 today as they say each loop can be an hour. So this was the test to see how we would do. It only took us just over half an hour. It was really beautiful. This was my favorite photo.

Loop 1 video

As the walk was so much shorter than we had planned, and Anastasia wasn't due for her nap yet, we decided to try find the spot in the river that is good for swimming. We made a wrong turn after finding the old chimney, but soon found the right path and the children had so much fun. It was so beautiful.
The water was freezing, but Anastasia even wanted to spend time with her feet in it. Eventually the sand flies forced us to head back to the house.
So picturesque.

Loads of fun.
Swim video.

While Anastasia napped we played a few games
And then after lunch we decided to get another walk in before the rain arrived. We took a short drive to the start of the Nina Valley walk that Ruth often goes on with the Kiwi Watch group at school.They hike all the way to the hut and empty traps and re-bait them. It was so nice to see some of what she does. She was able to show us a trap with a ferrit in. The highlight was the swing bridge. :-) We walked for about an hour and the rain started just as we got back to the car.
Nice to be able to get family selfies.

Nina Valley video
It stormed Saturday night. Hannah did especially well as the house moved a lot in the wind (especially for those of us sleeping upstairs).
The rain had cleared in the morning but it looked like more might come, so we decided to head off asap to attempt the Loop 2. It was drizzling when we left, but it was mostly dry through the walk.

The Loop 2 is obviously used far less and was a lot more tricky for Brendon with the big backpack with Anastasia.
When we got to the grassland (that we remembered from the map) we didn't feel confident as to where the path went from there, so we ended up having to just forge our way through the last bit of forestry. We were all very relieved when we finally got to the road.
Loop 2 video.
It was such a lovely weekend. It was Brendon's birthday today, so it was a nicely timed weekend away to celebrate with him. His gift from us all (that the children contributed to) was a fitbit. We decided to give it to him on Friday though so that he could enjoy using it through the weekend.