Thursday, July 12, 2018

Work, walks, cake and crawling backwards

Saturday 7th: Some big news for us is that Brendon has had a change of position at work. Other than just over a year when he was in a different section as part of some studies, he has been managing the growers section since he started in Sep 2007. With the extra stress that we have with Asher's medical and developmental challenges, the stress of that management position has just become too much. He approached the owners of the farm and they were very understanding. They had been looking for someone to help with a maintenance position that would involve a lot of merlo driving, and as Brendon is the most experienced merlo driver on the farm, this was a perfect fit. He had his last day in the growers on Friday.
I think his body is very aware of the break that this change will give him, and he had a number of naps today. I was so glad to see him getting some extra rest.
This afternoon we headed up to the park for a walk. We had been given this stroller for Anastasia when I was still pregnant. It was the first time we have gotten to use it.
Ruth was at netball and we weren't sure what time she would be back. We timed the walk perfectly though and walked past the petrol station just as they stopped there to fill up. So she joined us for the walk.
Rachel left on Friday morning for a LDT camp with St John (Leadership Development Training) in Duneden. They only arrived late on Friday evening. The camp goes till Monday morning though, so at least they have the two full days and then Monday is spent getting home.
On the Easter LDT camp she went as a DI (Drill Instructor) and also completed the training for Cadet leader (the highest rank for a cadet). She learnt last week that out of the 9 areas, she got Excellence in 7 of them. Unfortunately she wasn't told anything about how close she was to getting and overall Excellence. So on this camp she has specifically asked the leaders to keep an eye on how the cadets are doing through the camp and give them feedback before the end.
Then they have the time to put the extra effort in to any areas that need it. How great that Rachel can take her experience to advocate for others.
There was a bit of a mix up with this LDT camp. She had applied to be a DI again, but there was a change of CO (Commanding Officer) for the camp, and even though she had been told she was locked in, she was somehow missed. Thankfully she checked with the new CO when she realized there had been a change and so they put her in as a Floating DI (to just help wherever needed) and she was also able to shadow the camp CO and learn as much as she could of what happens "behind the scenes".
Rachel was a bit unsure of how helpful she was able to be at the camp. So she was very encouraged when on Monday she learnt that one of the Section Officers had asked if a DI could get an Excellence. They were so impressed with Rachel that at least 4 leaders asked that Rachel be the Sargent Major at the Easter Camp next year (the highest position for an older cadet at camp). They also asked that there be a floating DI at future camps as it was so very helpful to them.
So rewarding for Rachel to get such wonderful feedback.
Anastasia getting a taste of pear in this clever baby fruit bag.
Sunday 8th: Anastasia is doing a good job of getting around the lounge. Mostly rolling or crawling backwards. She often makes her way over to the books. :-)
We had a laugh this evening when Asher was hanging her feed off the couch and Anastasia was grapping them and trying to put her socks in her mouth. When she finally got the sock off, Asher moved her other foot over for her to pull on that one. She had been bouncing her legs, and so Anastasia thought it was a fun game and was laughing at her bouncing foot. So special to see Asher playing with Anastasia.
Already getting into enjoying books.
Monday 9th: Anastasia often gets herself stuck against things like this. She has gotten really good at her backwards crawl. :-)
Ruth and I got hit with flu overnight and were both feeling terribly ill this morning. I was very thankful when Brendon offered to take the day off to help with the youngest two. With Rachel away and Ruth also out of action, it was just too much for me. I was so tired that Brendon even brought Anastasia to me in bed to feed her. He also made the lunch that Ruth and I had planned to make. We didn't have electricity today as they had scheduled maintenance. So I was glad he could get it done. With no power there were not many other options.
Tuesday 10th: Ruth and I really benefitted from all the extra sleep we got yesterday and were both feeling so much better today. The headache and body pain so much better today. Now just a bit of a cold that is much easier to cope with. We even managed to get out for a walk again.
This evening Hezekiah decided to entertain Anastasia with the Haka. Thankfully he did smile enough for her to enjoy it (and not be scared by him).
She was laughing so much, and talking to him. It was so cute.
Brendon got a call this evening to ask if he could help out with a squash club game at 7. It was a surprise to me that this was the first ever official game of squash he has played.
I played women's league many years ago and Brendon would often practice with us. So I just saw him as just as experienced (if not more) than me. He is a better player. He won his game 3-0 and the club won 4-2. So a great first club night. He was just filling in for them, but they are very keen to get him playing more regularly and I have been told that Brendon and I need to get our names up on the ladder.
At this stage Brendon has stopped karate, so it's nice to have the squash happening more often for him. Such good exercise.
Wednesday 11th: Rachel got beef stroganoff cooking last night. Ruth put a lot of effort into cutting up the beef, but as I left it to cook through a meeting in the morning, it was so well done that it was the texture of shredded beef. It still tasted great though.
Rachel was exhausted after her long weekend camp and ended up sleeping till after midday today. They only arrived back in Amberley after 11pm because of a number of delays, so she just stayed with local friends and drove home Tuesday morning. So last night was her first night back in her own bed. She had planned to sleep in, but didn't know that was even possible. :-)
The meeting this morning was with the organization that are handling Asher's newly approved "Individualised Funding". This will allow us to pay people a decent amount to help with her care. The plan is designed to specifically take some of the stress off Brendon and I. We are so very thankful.
Hezekiah joined us on his bike again and Ruth and I took the youngest two up to the library for our walk after lunch today. It was good to finally get to see Ruth's science project - up on display in the library (just the top 5 from each class).
Rachel baked the cake on Tuesday and did the crumb coat in white chocolate ganache. She then iced it this afternoon and practiced using different tips (she bought herself a nice big pack of tips). It was a good opportunity to get some practise in and see what she likes. She also did a few for her friend to choose from for her wedding cake. It does look nice around the bottom of the cake - and that is where I would suggest it on the wedding cake (the bottom of each layer). I just love how smooth Rachel gets her cakes. It looks so professional.
Thursday 12th: Rachel took the cake today. Although Brendon had his last day in the section last Friday, they had planned to have a cake with them today so that Rachel could join in. Unfortunately her and the team she works with at the foster sows were running late and by the time she got up all the cake had been finished (even the pieces Brendon had put aside for them). So she will have to try this sponge cake recipe with the white ganache another time so that she knows what it tastes like. :-)
Ruth has a couple of HYP events next week, but as Jess is away the whole week, they won't get to spend any of that time together. So we made a last minute plan yesterday for her to come and stay over last night (she got dropped off in the evening on their way home from town) and so they at least got today together.
They did some jewellery making as well as painting their nails. What stunning weather. I always love that dark blue sky.
I heard some lovely music coming from the bedroom, so went to have a look. So much fun sharing music together.
This is a bit of a deceptive photo actually. Anastasia does love chewing on things and is always willing to take a piece of food to chew on. She is however NOT very happy when any pieces break off in her mouth.

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