Wednesday, 28 November 2012

The block Christmas Party

Every year all the residents on the street where Grandma and Granddad live get together for a bit of a Christmas party. We have never been before, the closest was one year we left the day before the party. Something that was really disappointing because I really wanted to see the lawn mover race!

This year we managed to time it right, sort of, not really a kid friendly kind of party... and it was also the Turners last night.
So we compromised and went down to the tennis court for the afternoon fun, but then went back home to have dinner by ourselves.

There was a serious (...) tennis competition going on, and even Will and Nathan got in on the action, Will in grey and Nathan in yellow:

I was happy, I had Swedish Kopparberg Cider!

And look - this year's winners of the tennis trophy, Will and Bruce Davies!

The story of the tree

While on the beach yesterday Lucas found this tree that was just begging to be climbed!

So up he went, and Granddad thought he better get up there too. Apparently this was the first time ever Grandma had ever seen Granddad up a tree! Granddad is not very good with heights!

It turned out to be a good idea though, when Lucas managed to "get stuck", and couldn't get down. So Granddad to the rescue!

Then they thought he should probably try to jump off it, from a lower branch...

Granddad came back down, since he realized he wouldn't be able to climb onto the same little branch.

According to Lucas, he then got distracted by Granddad slipping off the tree on the way down - so then Lucas too fell off the tree!
Granddad tried to catch him, but as Lucas said: "He only caught half of me!". So a few bumps and bruises later, the tree climbing adventure was over.

Grandma said to Lucas:
- "Lucky that Granddad caught you, huh?"
And Lucas said:
- "Well, he didn't do a very good job now, did he?"

Fishing and boating

While we were in Rotoroua the kids had a great afternoon too. They were the only ones this time who made it out in the boat for a spot of fishing!

And, guess what, they caught a big fish!!! Well done!!!

An evening with Nigel Latta

Nathan and I went on a road trip yesterday, just the two of us, to Rotorua.
We spent the afternoon browsing the shops, and then went for a really nice steak dinner at this 'Beef & Lamb Award Hallmark of Exellence' restaurant, yum.

We also had my favourite drink of the season, at Starbucks - their Gingerbread Latte! They don't do these anymore in Singapore Starbucks, so I got super excited when I saw them here! I managed to have two in the short space of time we were there, mmm!

The event of the evening was the whole reason we came: we went to a show with Nigel Latta.Nigel Latta is a clinical psychologist, best-selling author and father of two; who specializes in working with children with behavioural problems.

He has been hosting a couple of popular TV shows here in NZ called "The politically incorrect parenting show" and "The politically incorrect parenting show about teenagers". We have them both at home, and we are big fans, so when there was a chance to watch him live, we jumped on that chance!

We got a couple of his books as well before the talk, while we had a bit of a chat he kindly signed the books for us too.

Most of what he says is common sense, but the way he puts it through to you is very funny! It sure was a very entertaining evening.

While driving home again, we saw a falling star!! What a beautiful way to end a great day!

Monday, 26 November 2012

The biggest surprise

A couple of weeks ago my Mum and Dad told me, with only a few days notice, that they were off on a quick trip to Rome! Ok..?! Well, yes they said, they were going to Italy to celebrate that they had been together for 40 years!
Naw, how nice!
I would say it's rather unlike them to be all adventurous, so quite surprising but really lovely that they picked a destination where they had never been.

Well, if that wasn't surprising enough - imagine my reaction when I got a message about 11.20pm (there's a 12h time difference between us at the moment) the same day they were off to Rome, that they had just been to the City Hall to get MARRIED!!!
My parents!! After 40 years together!
How lovely is that?! What an amazingly beautiful way of celebrating their life together!

I'm so, so happy for them and get all warm and happy every time I look at this photo! Love you! Congratulations!!!


Lucas and Ben were helping Granddad taking out the trash this morning before the rubbish truck came. After the big weekend there was quite a bit so they attached the trailer to the lawn mover to get it all down to the road.

Lucas was driving really well, but unfortunately he couldn't drive it himself but still had to sit on Granddad's lap since the seat needs a certain weight on it, otherwise the tractor turns itself off. Ha ha, he was too light!

Anyway, always a hoot helping Granddad driving the mover!


One of my absolute favourite places to go for lunch while we are here is a place called L'Arté, a café and gallery actually not far from we are here in Acacia Bay.

It's recently been selected by the 'Lonely Planet' as one of their Top 10 eating experiences in NZ. I can understand that, it's a really unique experience.
It's set in a mature garden filled with colourful art everywhere, and even an outside mosaic living room!

We've often taken the kids there, they love walking around spotting the different art installations - and food is super yummy too! All local and organic, freshly made on site.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

This years bike park

Had to have

Saw these bottles of nail polish in the shop the other day. Loved, loved, loved their names! Ha ha, I just had to have them!!

We've still got it!

Yes it felt very weird, but what do you know - we still remembered how to do it!! ;)

Chess champ

The other day at the playground some bigger kids took Linnea and Lucas under their wing and they had a great time playing together for quite a while. They played hide and seek with them for ages, and then they moved on to the big sized chess game and taught Lucas how to play.
He got all keen, so when we got home we had to download some chess apps for the iPads so he could keep practising and playing. He's done nothing else since!

So now every time we've been back to the playground he's been looking for challengers! The other day he played with this girl, he lost, but happily shook her hand and said 'Thank you for the game'. Good man.

Then he took on Mummy. He's got a long way to go with the thinking ahead, but it's all about keeping practicing I guess. Since he seems pretty keen on that, he might turn into a great chess player one day!

Late night shopping

Will went up to Auckland on Thursday to pick up the rest of the Turner family. They landed about 5.30pm and after a quick bite to eat outside the airport they drove straight down here.
As I mentioned in this post, Farmers had a club card day on Thursday, and they were open until midnight. Will came back with Tash and the kids at about 10.20pm and I kid you not,10.50pm we walked in through the doors at Farmers!

Ha ha, the same girls that had served me (many times...) earlier in the day were still there, bless them, and we had a good laugh together about how dedicated shoppers we were!
I guess I will have to bring them in a Christmas card or something before I go, I feel like I know them so well by now! :D
(And yes, Tash managed to fill a whole, pull-able, shopping basket in just that hour..! Good girl!)

Getting race ready

Friday we all went to town and to the Event Center to pick up the race bibs and the race packs. All super organized, it only took us about 30 seconds.

The kids actually got the exact same race packs as Will and Nathan, even for their short ride. It was a back pack with a few different little bike/race/energy associated samples, a water bottle, a newspaper and a banana.

And, the kids even won some spot prices, both of them, with a little "help" from the nice volunteer..! (Unfortunately for them, it was a bike magazine and a bottle of wine. Score for the big people though!)

We also went to the big Race Expo and had a look, but all Will and Nathan came home with in their shopping bags was a new pair of socks each! Bad shopping mojo.

A kids Taupo must

The posts are coming up no matter the chronology at the moment, ah well...

A Taupo must for the kids is having lunch inside the old, redesigned DC3 that belongs to McDonalds. We take our kids there a least once every visit, and this time the kids were really excited about bringing their little friends Ben and Hannah there too!