Monday, July 23, 2007

Isla got up without having had much of a sleep today. I brought her into the office and she has been repeatedly asking to see 'photos'. So we've been looking at the blog together.

Isla has got really interested in the train set recently. Especially connecting the carriages by their magnets, and starting to connect the track. She has also been connecting other things - length of chain, peg puzzle. Evidence of a connecting schema. (Must teach her how to tie knots next!)

Harry Potter book

Well, the latest Harry Potter book came out on Saturday. I wasn't intending to buy it straight away, but we passed a bookshop... and they had copies... and I had a book voucher... (so long the rest of my weekend!).

In short, and without giving anything away, I really enjoyed it. And what happened? In summary, most of the predictions that anyone had made about what would happen in the book, actually happened. Even the ones that completely contradict each other.

Monday, July 16, 2007


It's the first day of term now, but we have had some lovely times playing with the big kids over the holidays. (Apart from the shocking weather last week, of course!)

In a gap in the weather last week we got out to the school playground, and took some balls to kick around. Eva and Elanor spent ages on soccer. Lot of running and retrieving, and a good sleep in the afternoon too!

Turn taking has been a bit of a theme just lately, and I can see this going on for the rest of the year, with the little girls all just turning 2. The doll's buggy is a case in point.

This bike provides a great opportunity for turn taking. We only have the one bike and Isla LOVES it (and is very skillful).

Pictured was the first day that Cara had tried the bike at our place. The general scheme is that the child in possession rides to the end of the concrete strip, turns round and comes back, and then it's the other child's turn. Meanwhile, I do lots of verbal scaffolding to reassure the waiting child that they will get another go very soon.

Elanor's Confirmation

Elanor's confirmation was held yesterday at St Joseph's church, a culmination of weeks of preperation. It was a really lovely service, with both a joyful and family/chatty feel. I didn't do very well on the photos though - too far back I suppose and the lighting too general. This is a group shot as they waited for the bishop to come (from the R) and bless the children.

Annie, Jonnie and Rae came, as well as El's godmother (who was the sponsor). The confirmation was for the combined parishes of St Mary's, St Joe's and St Bernard's. St Joe's is a modern church with a really big community room for the after match function, so a good pick for the venue.

First Communion is the 3rd sacrement, and that's coming up at the end of August.

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Jumping in puddles

We've had a bit of rain lately. Actually, everywhere has had a lot of rain lately!

We've also had quite a lot of talk among the Little Kids about gumboots. This started as Isla had new gumboots (which she liked to carry around, but not wear), and I got the Red Thomas gumboots that Elanor used to have back from the farm. We have had lots of mix'n'match gumbot days, with hopefully everyone getting to wear some of them some of the time.

The other day, all the girls had come with gumboots. As it had been raining, but there were gaps in the rain, it seemed appropriate to go looking for puddles - one of the more satisfying aspects to winter water play. As it happened, the puddles out the back had dried up a bit, so we had to add to them with the hose.

Splashing ranged from gentle tip-toeing to two-footed jumping. (Grace did the best jumping, but stopped every time the camera came out! Can't win 'em all.)

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Afternoon tea

This afternoon I had an afternoon tea for the children I care for and their parents (and one sibling). Janet and Sarah from the office also came. It was lovely to catch up with you all - especially the dads who I don't often see. Nice for everyone to get to know each other a bit more too.

Sophie and her friend Imogen (who was staying the night) made raspberry muffins. Thanks Poppa for the frozen raspberrys! S also helped making sandwiches.

(The photo is from google, not the actual article - which got eaten!!)

Monday, July 2, 2007

Lucia di Lammermore

Bern and I went to the opera on Saturday. Lucia di Lammermoor. This is something we regularly do - approximately once every 17 years so far!! Might have to be a bit more regular in future as it was great.

It was in the Westpac St James theatre, rather than the Opera House (where you have to dodge pillars in the cheap seats). My Italian is limited to foodstuffs and music terms (fettucini adagio!) so fortunately the surtitles were in easy view, and I fairly quickly worked out how long a line of Italian would take to sing. Longer than you might think!

Wikipedia has this to say about the opera.

What really impressed me was the emotion - the way that, instead of rushing through a book, say, with lots of plot, the amount of plot was kept to a minimum, but the emotion content of it was so much to the fore. (This could also be because the story is a tragedy in the Romantic style - where it's no good unless the lovers (and several other people) all die.)

There was some theatre in another sense on the night too. Just as the curtains went down for interval, there was an almightly crash from behind them. It transpires that part of the set fell down, slightly injuring 2 tech people. As we came back after the break the sound of hammering and power tools was noticeable! All looked fine when the curtain went up though. Word was that the injured staff went to hospital to be checked up, but don't know how serious that was.

(Wednesday) this last drama was mentioned in the paper on Monday, and on Tuesday there was a note to say the staff were fine and had gone back to Auckland.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Sewing dress ups

I'm miles behind in blogging - I keep thinking of things to blog about, but 'thinking' is not the same as 'doing'. And you can't cheat and backdate (or at least, I haven't figured out how to fiddle with the dates).

One notable event last weekend was the "Trucks and Cars Ball" for the youth group at church. Katie and her friend decided to go as road cones (see picture). (You'd think you get past sewing dress ups.)

So, on the Thursday before, we had about 1 1/2 hours to turn 4m of bright orange parka nylon (which the girls had bought) into some approximation. This was after work, and while also making Bern's birthday cake.

The hoop dresses are held out with hula hoops tacked into the bottom. Kate looks pretty solemn in the photo, but it's the best one for showing the dress.

And the final result? They won the prize for best costume!