Saturday, November 3, 2018

Grand Prior and Formal

We were so pleased to be able to join Rachel today as she was officially awarded her Grand Prior Award.

Only 30 St John Cadets achieved this award this year in the whole of New Zealand. Rachel was also pleased to see that the date on her certificate was when she finished all the criteria, in March this year, while she was still 16. She had it as her goal to get it all finished while still 16 and she did it. Many Cadets only finish it by the time they are 18, and it can still be worked on till 25 years old.
We got great seats just behind all the Cadets, and noticed that out of all the under 18s Rachel was the only one with Cadet Leader (the 3rd and highest rank).
We were pleased that the ceremony was in Christchurch this year, so that we could be there with her.
It was a very special ceremony as it was the first time they combined this with the Investiture of new Members to the Order of St John. Rachel was so pleased to be able to watch the Investiture.
It was also really special to see how Christian the whole St John Order is. So many other organizations loose the Christian influence from their founders over the years (like Scouts ad Girl Guides) but Brendon pointed out that because the Queen is the head of the Order, she has been able to keep that Christian influence there.

The service was at the "Cardboard Cathedral" in Christchurch. I specifically took photos of the building so that I could show Ruth. I knew she would be fascinated with the whole design of it. The roof is like giant cardboard rolls (like when you finish your roll of foil).
Beautiful stained glass at the back.
Even the lecterns and other furniture had the "cardboard roll" theme. Very clever and effective.
They provided a lovely lunch after the service. Brendon and I even had specially packed Gluten Free plates (the rest was a help yourself service). So we didn't have to wait in line and we so impressed with the great food. What an added bonus and treat.

Rachel had a couple of hours at home, and then headed out again to the Home School Formal. I quickly got this photo before she left. Thankfully they have a photo booth at the formal, so I got a lot of other fun photos from the event. Such special memories.
So special to have a night with such special friends.
So much fun.
They can do formal too. :-)
Special memories.

I love how all these beautiful ladies show how stunning long dresses can be. All very modest but all so beautiful.

Friday, November 2, 2018

Pool, doc, lights, camp and fireworks

Thursday 25th: It was the last day for someone on the farm that Rachel works with, so she decided to do another trial of the 2nd biggest cake for the wedding cake she is doing in Feb. It looks beautiful. I love the piping work on the top. Rachel had thought the last trial was a bit dry. Today she realized that we are always comparing to our lovely moist chocolate cakes - so it's not a fair comparison. This one is more light and airy - and its what the bride has requested. So at least Rachel feel more confident about it now.
BELOW: On our way home from town on Thursday. I had to take this photo of Anastasia. She is so funny and often holds her car seat (often with both hands). Her latest trick is getting her leg up above the seat belt. So I thought this was a good photo record of her antics. :-)
Friday 26th: Athletics during the day (separate post) and then we were split for the evening. Hannah, Hezekiah and Anastasia headed to the church movie night with Brendon and I, while Rachel stayed home with Asher, and Ruth went to Youth Group. It was a Marvel movie this month and Ruth doesn't like Marvel movies. Rachel's reason for not wanting to watch was that there are other movies she needs to watch first to watch this next one in order. I love how unique we all are.
BELOW: Saturday 27th: Ruth, Hannah and Hezekiah headed up to help clean the pool today. Hannah wasn't keen on getting her feet in the dirty water when they started, so she headed home early. Well done team.

The only time Anastasia is actually in the Excer saucer anymore is when Dad's doing the BBQ. It keeps her in one spot and she enjoys being outside. They had some fun hitting sticks together today (she sees that often with Asher and her music sticks).
Anastasia decided she wanted them both though. Such a cutie.

Monday 29th: Hezekiah has had stomach ache for over a week now (with no other symptoms), so we headed down to the doctor this afternoon. In the past he has gotten cramps from eating wheat, but over the last months it's been much better and so he has had a few extra wheat items every now and again (like biscuits at church or a piece of bread at a sausage sizzle).
I did some research though and in order to know if he is coeliac, he would need to be eating a good amount of wheat every day for 4 weeks. The doctor agreed that this was a good step in the process of finding out what is going on.
She did acknowledge that it could just be a wheat intolerance - giving all the same symptoms as coeliac disease. But if he is indeed coeliac, it would be good to know so that we can handle it correctly.
So we have a blood form to do blood tests in 4 weeks time, once he has had enough wheat in his system for long enough. My hope is that the pain does not become too much for him. It's going to be a very hard month.
I love the blue potato man he made while we waited for the appointment.
Wednesday 31st: There were two light parties on today run by different churches. A lovely "non-scary" alternative to a Halloween party. So much fun for the children.
The first one was in Waikari and so I took Ruth, Hannah and Hezekiah down at 4:30. I didn't get a photo of Hannah unfortunately as she was very quickly off with friends. She was dressed as a very bright pink and black coloured fairy (her Jazz concert outfit). Hezekiah had a batman mask, but decided not to wear it. They had a great time with all the friends and activities that were on.
Rachel had offered to take them down to the Amberley light party too. Only Hannah and Hezekiah wanted to go to that one, so they headed off to that (as it only ended at 8:30). And I collected Ruth from Waikari when that one finished at 6:30.
Rachel forgot to get a photo of Hannah's outfit, but did get one of them in the floating bumper cars. :-)
So nice having a bit sister with a full licence to be able to take you to special events. :-)
Thursday 1st November: Asher having a little chat to Anakin. So sweet.

I couldn't get a children's photo this afternoon because by the time Anastasia was up from her nap, Ruth had headed out to a meeting at the Hurunui Council. She is applying to be a representative from her school with the Hurunui Youth Council. Again handy for us that Rachel could take her down.
Brendon and I had such a laugh this evening as Anastasia decided to examine how the toys on the Excer-saucer worked. She spend ages looking underneath the rim.
And she had a go at seeing if she could undo them too. Such concentration with that little tongue out.

Friday 2nd: I made sure I got the children photo this afternoon before Ruth headed off on a Guide Camp. The first 24 hours of the camp is a camp run by her for 3 other girls. She had done all the planning, paperwork and budgeting ect. 2 other girls had their "mini camps" at the same time and then they joined up on Saturday afternoon.
If you click on the photo to see it larger, you will notice the snow capped mountains in the background. Typical NZ spring weather. Thankfully it stayed dry for them.
I heard on Sunday that they just didn't manage to get this tent up as it was too windy. So they put it up inside the wool shed. It was a good call, as the one tent that did get up, ended up almost blowing over in the night and they had to move into the woolshed in the middle of the night.
When I got back from dropping Ruth off I had to smile at these two playing next to each other. They had the same app open. And they both kept looking at what the other one was doing. :-)

Anastasia has been enjoying taking a few steps this week. Falling down is a part of the process. Normally it's straight onto her bottom, but at least she was on the soft carpet when she chose to face plant. Tough girl though, so she can just get up and go again.
As Rachel is at a formal tomorrow night when the Waiau fireworks are on, she suggested taking Hannah and Hezekiah to the Waipara ones tonight. There is always a big bonfire at this one - so that was fun.
Rachel forgot to take some photos before it got dark, but I think this is still a special one.
The display is not as big as the Waiau one, but it was still a great evening out.
Hannah got a clip with fibre optic strands.

And Hezekiah got some flashing glasses.

Thanks for taking them Rachel. Special memories made.

Friday, October 26, 2018

Athletics 2018

It was great to be able to watch the children with their athletics today.
Hezekiah did really well on his high jump and came 2nd. He was struggling with his stomach being sore a lot today, so he did really well to get everything done despite his pain.
Asher did well in her ball throw, but as I was standing with her and her teacher aide was standing in the place where she needed to throw too, we didn't manage to get a photo. The first throw wasn't great, but then she understood and gave two nice big throws. Thankfully they let the younger children just throw all 3 balls at once - rather than taking turns as they do with discus and javelin with the older children. So that worked well for her, and then she was back in her buggy (her comfort spot).
Hezekiah giving it his all in his first race.
Ruth pushing herself too. She has some fast girls in her class, and they are all quite a bit older. So she does really well with those skinny legs.

Hannah putting loads of effort in at the end.

BELOW: Ruth in a longer race.
To explain her blue tutu - she is in the blue house and they are allowed to wear house colours. There are always a couple of banana outfits for the yellow house. Ruth has actually said that she wants to go to the cheap shop and get a few more fun blue things to wear for future events. Her tutu is getting a bit boring now. :-)

We got to watch Hannah's class with their high jump. Ruth's class had already done their high jump and long jump earlier in the week - so we only got to see her running events today.
Hannah did really well. It always frustrated us that they have to do scissor jumps and not proper high jump style. If they land on their back too many times, they even get disqualified. So I'm always impressed with how well they do.
A better timed photo (and better focus). Great job Hannah.

We didn't go over to the school to watch Asher with long jump as we were not even sure if she would do anything but step off the marker into the sand. A friend was there though and she said she did really well. Her teacher aide supporting her so well - and Asher enjoying the sand on her feet as she left the pit.

BELOW: Another race for Hezekiah after lunch.

With Asher's first race this morning I ran with her and Brendon was at the finish line, calling her. She did end up walking most of it.
This photo is from her 2nd race. She did so much better. She skipped all the way down to us, with Rachiel just following behind (she had to hold her at the start until it was time to go).
It was great to see her understanding a bit more of what was going on. They have practiced over the last few weeks, but it's totally different on the day with all the other classes there and all the spectators. I had wished I had taken a video as it was so sweet. I didn't even know she could skip.

BELOW: Ruth's sprint.

And then it was time for the inter-house relay.
A nice one of Hezekiah and then the video below of Asher. She was happy to have one of the older girls help show her which way to run. She actually ran this time too. Dad was at the finish line, trying to keep her understanding where to go. She did really well with how loud it was with this race and that there were just so many people around.
It was a lovely day and we were so pleased we could be there to support them all.

I just found some more photos on Brendon's phone. So here are a couple more from the day.

Great effort Hezekiah.
Easier without the hat this time.
Great sprint Hannah.
Hannah did well with her discus.
A lovely one of these older girls.