Thursday, November 8, 2018

Park, Tram, Sausages and nose

Wednesday 7th: The much anticipated Discovery Trip to town today (the year 1-3 classes). Brendon was one of the parent helps today, so that he could be there for Asher. The teacher aides aren't supposed to have any physical contact with her, so it would be very difficult for them to help her and keep her safe through all the activities today. So this was the easiest solution. It was nice that he was there as he could get some photos for me (of Asher and Hezekiah). All the children traveled into town with different parents, so he was just an extra one in the group.
Hezekiah was very excited about telling me how he went down this VERY high slide. So I was really pleased Brendon managed to get a photo of he coming out.
Well done for being so brave Hezekiah.
It's a huge playground in town and was their parking spot for the trip. Thankfully they had time to play here before they took the tram. They enjoyed the ride on the tram, but also used it to get to and from the museum - the other main part of their trip.
Even though she had already had over an hour in the car, Asher was not very happy at the park and kept asking to go in the car. This was a surprise as the last time we were here she really enjoyed it.
The hope was that she would be happy on the tram, and she was once it started moving (then she realized it was like a car). Brendon had to hold onto her though as they waited to leave as she was very unhappy. Glad it was him and not me, as she is really strong. Once they were moving though, she enjoyed the tram.

Nice to have photos of Hezekiah and Rachiel too.
Asher loved the fish at the museum.
As Asher and Hezekiah weren't in the same groups at the museum, Brendon wasn't able to get any photos of him. He came home with lots of fun stories though. What a great time they all had.
Asher thought the sheep would be good to ride. :-)
And then back to the fish.
Asher enjoying pretending she was riding on the horse. It was only from the photos today that the rest of my family realized that there is a photo of the Christchurch catedral behind the horse. Hezekiah had spoken about going past what's left of the Cathedral after the quake, and so I mentioned this picture to see what it looked like before. I had a good laugh when I had so many in the family only notice now. :-) It's obviously from me taking and cropping the photos - I generally try to get the whole cathedral in the photo. :-)

Below: A photo of Hezekiah with his group as they waited for Asher's group to finish off inside (Asher was over it by now and just enjoyed being outside in her buggy - watching everyone).
What a lovely day out.

And while they were out today I took this video of Anastasia walking. She is doing so well.
On the way home Brendon stopped in to buy more Frankfurters for Anastasia. There was a bit of a discussion about which ones to buy, as the most expensive are gluten free and then ones a bit cheaper had loads of wheat (meat, water and wheat the main ingredients). We decided to rather go with the most expensive, but then they were totally out of stock.
So I told Brendon he may as well buy the even cheaper ones. I was SO surprised when he got home and I checked the ingredients. Of the 3 types, this one had the highest meat percentage AND they are also gluten free (they use rice flour rather than wheat). So I was so thankful. This is the only thing she is eating at this stage, so it's a real blessing.
RIGHT: Ruth making a new slime with tissue paper.
Fun and games this evening. So sweet to watch Anastasia playing with Hezekiah.
Thursday 8th: The sweet peas are looking nice.
Anastasia had a bad night again and has started with a runny nose. So I decided to just get her throat and ears checked before the weekend. Thankfully there was nothing more serious going on, just a basic cold.
I had Hannah at the doctor too, to get her nose cauterised as she has had a bleeding nose so many times over the last couple of weeks (3 times in one day earlier this week). It ended up only being one vein that was causing all the trouble, so hopefully this will help. And ice lolly treat on the way home for being so brave.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Guide Camp and walking

Saturday 3rd: A beautiful rainbow to enjoy today. It did make us wonder how Ruth's camp was going though.
I was able to get a few photos from different people from their camp. There were times it was very windy and wet. Here the girls are all out enjoying the wind.
Thankfully they did have enough space inside to get some activities done. Here they were doing a dance they had choreographed.

Wonderfully the weather didn't stop them from getting out to do some shooting practice. Such a beautiful area. This photo also gives you an idea of how far away the targets were (those small rectangles on that brown board). It was apparently around 25 yards away.
This was how well Ruth did!! I think it's amazing. I think just hitting the paper was a great achievement.
Sunday 4th: They had their final hose shoe with all the parents there before they left.
Ruth got a couple more badges.
The leader told me that Ruth did really well. She had a really difficult group with two of the girls just not wanting to do anything. Ruth was running her own camp for the first 24 hours, and they were a real challenge. The leader said she did really well though. They had a debrief afterwards and spoke about all the issues that came up. So at least Ruth comes away knowing she handled a hard situation very well. She didn't get as many activities done as she would have liked, but she learnt a lot.
I undid a large section of Ruth's hair this evening. She wanted me to take a photo of the contrast of the two sides.
Monday 5th: This little sausage loving eating her sausage.
She is finally getting some food down her throat. I think what makes these so nice for her is that they are firm enough for her to pick up pieces (holding the whole sausage was just for the photo). But once she has chewed it a couple of times, it's soft enough to swallow.

Tuesday 6th: A video below of Anastasia walking - before her 1st birthday. Clever little poppet. And a chatterbox already. :-)

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.
I got these photos later from Ruth. Hezekiah was obviously NOT worried about the dirty water. It looks like that was what made it fun. He was pleased about having walked along the deep end of the pool. :-)
Great work kids.
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.