Saturday, 30 April 2011

What a day!!!

If this whole week have been fairly quiet, yesterday sure turned in to a day to remember!

I went to the Friday Assembly in the morning at school, not for any of the kids actually, but for my friend Nicole!
She's went back to working full-time this year, as a Year 1 teacher at JIS, and yesterday it was her class' turn to do their Assembly. She has been working really hard with her students to prepare for this, and she was a bit nervous and asked me to come along for support. Well, of course - what are friends for!
It was a beautiful Assembly, and even though none of the kids were mine, I got rather emotional..! They are so cute!

In the afternoon I met up with Nicole again to watch the Royal Wedding! It was so lovely, a couple of us girls, and all the kids (Katie was even wearing Nicole's wedding dress!):

We all enjoyed a bit of Royal glam (even if it wasn't as good as Victoria & Daniel's wedding day, but maybe I'm bias?), with tasty cocktails and snacks. So nice!

Then, the second part of the evening was yet another celebration, but with a different main person, Jeremy. He had his last training flight yesterday, which he passed - and he is now promoted to Captain. Well done!
Proud family just after Jeremy's return:

So we made sure we celebrated him properly! It was a very, very good night!

Nicole and I in the kitchen, both in new dresses. (I bought mine in my "shop" for $20, bargain!)

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Easter fun at the Yacht Club

This afternoon we went out to the Yacht Club to participate in their Easter Fun Day, like many others. The place was really busy, with bouncy castles, games and lots of different Easter themed activities.
Also - the pool had finally (3 1/2 months later) re-opened!!! Hip hourray!

While Lucas was busy swimming, Linnea chose to do some egg painting:

It was quite a popular activity!

Linnea and her beautiful egg (which unfortunately didn't win any prize to her big disappointment...):

... and some of the other eggs:

Of course, she also had some face painting done. This time she ended up as a Easter Bunny! (It was so nicely done too!)

What a cute, cute Easter Bunny!

Lucas took part in the egg-and-spoon-race, in the 7-year-olds heat. Here he is all lined up and rearing to go:

Off he went in great speed, but it proved very tricky to control the "egg" (=ping-pong ball):

As "some" were cheating and actually holding their "egg" with their hands... there had to be a re-run. Unfortunately that didn't go too well either, as you can see by the anguished facial expression:

To finish off, there was a hat parade for those who had made and brought Easter bonnets from home. We hadn't, but we still enjoyed the many very whimsical and resourceful creations:

Gemma was looking spiffy!

Easter Bunny delivered

Easter Bunny came through this year too, with two GIANT Easter eggs, filled with milk chocolate eggs, toys and a greenstone necklace each. Very happy kids!
There was also some yellow feathers left around, with clues that led the kids on a crazy scavenger hunt all over the house, up and down the stairs and in and out of every room - until they finally found two huge chocolate eggs at the end of it all!
Bring on the sugar high!

Friday, 22 April 2011

Reception Assembly

This morning it was time for the Assembly, hosted by Linnea's class. Of course Nathan and I were both there to support and be proud of our little one.

They did a little bit of everything today. They sang us a song, and danced a 'Pirate Dance' for us...

They showed us a slide show of some things they've been up to lately...

They also told us, in the spirit of Earth Day, what needs to be done to look after our earth, in their own words. Linnea said "The rhinos are in danger":

It was a very nice Assembly, as always. It's amazing how brave the kids are - they are only 4 and 5 years old, and perform in front of a big room full of older students (the whole of Junior School) and parents. Well done!

Badminton fun!

We bought this badminton net a while back, but have been putting it off and off to put it up. (We're masters of procrastination...) We thought we'd had to mount a hook into the side wall of the house to attach it to but yesterday I discovered an old screw already in the wall, at about the right height. Yay, so up it went - in about 2 minutes!

The kids were ectatic - and of course set out to try it out straight away!

They had so much fun with Katie and Gemma, although we might now also have to mark up a proper court, to avoid further discussions about "in" or "out"... :)

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Reuse. Reduce. Recycle.

What day better than Earth Day (well, it's actually tomorrow, but at JIS they celebrated it today) to start a project like the one I started today:
Our own recycling station!

My friend Anna was here the other day and while throwing something out in our rubbish bin, she was shocked to see an empty milk bottle in it - "Don't you do recycling!?!"
She continued to tell me how easy it is (there is a recycling station at school), and how we have to do it for the environment, and I had to think about getting the kids into the right habits etc etc...
Well, I know all this of course, have just been lazy... But, no more excuses really.

So today I went out and organized three different baskets for paper, aluminium and plastic (unfortunately there is no instance who accepts glass yet here in Brunei, as far as we know) - and then went on by creating space for them in the laundry and print out a sheet about what we should recycle and what not etc.
The kids were really excited, and everybody are now in the loop - it's all go!


Wednesday, 20 April 2011

BEQ Excursion

Today I went with Linnea and the rest of Reception to the Berakas Equestrian Center, on a school excursion. It was a really lovely morning with the horses, and all the kids were just so excited.

The children got to go around and pat the horses:

They also got to say hello to Leon, the little pony. He seemed pretty happy with all the attention, and the hay..!

Then we got to see some of the riders do some show jumping for us.
Linnea and Keira:

After the quick show, it was the children's turn to go for a little ride around the BEQ. They were all very patient, waiting for their turn on the horses.

Linnea & Emily, waiting in line.

Helmet on, very important.

Time to sit up.

All ready. Giddy-up horsie!

And off she goes!

The kids got to choose themselves whether they wanted to go on the big horse or the little pony.

Very proud little girl on the big, big horse.

Afterwards the children got to feed some of the horses with carrots. Happy day for these two horses, who got lots of yummy food today!

Finally we also got to see how they picked the horse's hooves:

Guess who now wants to start pony riding..?

Monday, 18 April 2011

The usual humdrum

One week gone since we got back and it feels like... three, at least! Straight back into our usual tracks, with school excursions, Sunday karate, birthday parties, Tap&Jazz, playdates etc.

Kids are doing some new ASAs at school: Linnea started hip-hop today (which was a hit!) and scrapbooking tomorrow and Lucas has returned to football plus will be participating in the next Junior School Theatre production.

I did a few dog walks last week but have really kicked the exercise routine up a notch this week with both Zumba, Boot Camp, kickboxing and hash on the agenda!

Nathan is in Perth for a few days and I'm a bit worried, since he really didn't have a shopping list this time (we are all shopped out from NZ) he might get bored and do something silly - like stray into the Apple shop... ;)

Friday, 15 April 2011

Making it last

Even though our vacation is over for this time and we were thrown straight back into the daily grind this week, with work and school etc - we are still reveling in the many memories of this holiday.
We did so many nice things and experienced so much, it was really an exciting trip for all of us this time, where we created lovely memories for everyone.
Both the kids and I keep looking at all the photos, and keep talking about the different things we saw and did, over and over again.

I always try to make that holiday feeling last for a while, even after I get home. It's such a nice one, worth keeping hold of!
I do love looking at my photos, but sometimes it also helps wearing some of the new clothes, or other new things and accessorizes that has been brought home - makes you feel all refreshed and updated! :)

This time I also got hold of something I've been hunting for quite a while, a 'Koru' decoration piece, in white. A bit difficult to find, I've been spending quite a few trips trying to find one, but have only come across black, grey and particularly the traditional green ones before.
This time, I found these:

In the little souvenir/art display place in Punakaiki, there they were! These are made in ceramics, and absolutely exquisite. I knew straight away I had to have them!
Now they are lighting up our book case, and they make me smile and think of our great holiday every time I lay my eyes on them.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011


Even though it's always the same, I can't help taking photos of the view from the house every time I'm in Taupo. It's just so beautiful with the lake and the mountains...

So here's the one from this time, the obligatory "View from the house"-shot:

Tuesday, 12 April 2011


It's wet. It's raining. Lots.
It's nice.
At least when we don't have to go outside!

It's good to be back home. We've had a great holiday, but it's good to be home.

Monday, 11 April 2011


It's always sad to say goodbye, especially when you don't know when you are going to see each other again.
We all drove up to Auckland last night and spent the night in an airport hotel, to split the trip and because Granddad was leaving on his flight very early this morning.

I'm not sure who it was harder for, to say goodbye. I think we were actually pretty much ready to go home, at least the kids. We have had such an amazing time and have created lots of beautiful memories to cherish for a long time. I feel very happy and content.

Granddad was a bit emotional, going back to Korea for the very last time - and Grandma too, having to drive all that way back to Taupo, on her own; back to a big empty house. She has got lots of cleaning up to do, but I'm pretty sure she's not wiping off all the little finger prints on the sliding glass doors just yet...

Saturday, 9 April 2011


Our little girl have incredible determination. She wants to do everything herself; and if she can't do it yet, she will practice and learn.

The other day Linnea and Grandma were going to do up the ties on a basket Grandma has, and Linnea told Grandma that she couldn't do bows yet - and then said:
-You show me Grandma! You show me, but s-l-o-w-l-y.

She then made me buy her new shoes, with laces, and bugger me if she can't already tie them! It takes concentration, but she does beautiful bows!
Determined I said.

The simple joys

Something that has to be done every time we visit Grandma and Granddad, is helping Granddad moving the lawns with the ride-on!
It's always one way of entertaining the kids, they just love it!
Here's Lucas by the wheel:

And then it was Linnea's turn: