Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Wow he's a big kindy boy!

Well I cannot believe the time has finally arrived. All too soon for Mummy and not soon enough for Master Harry. Today was his first day at Kindy and he was soooo excited. I think his words were "No Mum don't pick me up I will ring you on the telephone when I am finished!" and after that apparently I am not needed to take him either. "Mum you turn left, then left, then right, you stay here and I will go to Kindy". Mr Independent - I wonder where that comes from.
Anyway, he loved his first day and is looking forward to going again tomorrow. So I guess I'm a lucky Mum - no major drama at all.

Then you have to celebrate the fine weather. So we got out the Slip and Slide for the first time this afternoon. Seems the boys don't quite understand how to work it (and I was not giving any demonstrations) but they sure had fun.

Then there is only one good thing about our drain not working (grrr need a plumber). On hot days it gathers slip and slide water which quickly heats and its "just like a bath Mum!"

In other news I got my job. I start in Emergency four days a fortnight on 22nd Feb. I have 3 weeks orientation (wow - wouldn't have got that in Gero) full time which will be juggling act with the kids but a good solid base. Looking forward to the challenge and learning again.

Well its another glorious night in Invers so I think I might enjoy a cuppa on my deck. Love to you all

Mel xo

Sunday, January 24, 2010

And I have all this just next door....

I truely am blessed. A great family, a Sunday with no work and a random attitude. So what should we do - take a day trip where the weather is fine. A two hour drive and we have this......

The "Lady of the Lake" TSS Earnslaw on Lake Wakatipu, Queenstown. Do you think the boys were excited to go on the boat! This is a steam boat and the engine still works like old times. (and is hot and coal stinky - but still fantastic). Harry was besotted with the engine room. What a performance when he thought he'd miss the "engine stopping" as we pulled into dock. We took the Walter Peak Farm tour option. So we disembarked to learn a bit about high country farming.

This is the breathtaking view from the courtyard where we enjoyed, pikelets (jam and cream), scones and some other cake things. Life just doesn't get better. Sun, family and magnificent scenery.

This is the Colonels Manor and it too is magestic. I think I need to arrange a dinner party here - want to come? They hold lots of functions and its easy to see why it is popular.

As for the boys - what can I say. Hills gotta go for a roll. Fits of laughter to follow. I mean who really should be listening to the guide tell us about the buildings.

Master Jake never changes -" Raaaaagh I'm a tiger!"

The boys just loved the animals we got to feed - Red deer (huge antlers) and sheep. See these shaggy beasts (Scottish High Country Cattle)(below) and see the dog working the sheep. Also got to see a shearing display and play with the fleece.

So we had a great family day. Loving the closeness we have to truely magical places.

Now it is getting late and I must make it to bed but I also just wanted to show you one of my all time favourite things. See this snuggle below it is just the coolest. He tucks in his arms, nestles in his head and beams an amazing smile. Mate I love this little man (and the big one too!)

Hope all is well in your world.

Love Mel xo

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Finally I managed to create...

Well after many months of no creating I just got the urge and hit my (still to be organised) scrap space! So I cheerfully sung as I played with paper and it felt great!! Plenty of pics to choose from here.

But I have a dilemma - photo printing is criminally expensive. Apparently I did go to THE most expensive shop but for those of you used to Gero prices I paid $4.50 a 5x7 and 99c per 6x4!!!! Aaaagh so I am back to questioning - home printer vs Photo shop. Any preferences for a good printer? Or should I try another photo shop first????

Anyway In the States I come across a brand of paper I wasn't familiar with Graphic 45 and ooooh did I swoon. (those non scrappers I know you are thinking I've gone mad I assure you I have not). So I had to have a play. What do you think?

Another shock horror. We here in little old Southland have been enjoying blissful days of sunshine (yes SUNSHINE). Not too hot, not too cold - comfy. When I think of those poorbuggers back in Gero sweltering through 48 degrees I am thankful for being here.

Anyway, the boys are just loving all the spare time with the most wonderful Dad in the whole wide world. What a treat to "help" in his van.

You see Nan Anne is enjoying having three of her four girls home in Invers. For two reasons - one she loves us (and the kids), two - she can sort through her house and get rid of all the "stuff" we girls at different periods have left there for "good storage". Boy are we excited!!! That old anvil - what the hell am I going to do with one of those? My school leaving day shirt signed by all the year. Hmmm. Anyway, she was sorting and came across Grandad Ken's Garage clock. So she thought the boys might like it for their cubby. Harry in particular was/is so taken. He has carried it around under his arm all day waiting for Daddy to get a new battery and hang it up! I mean we literally had no show of forgetting he reminded us constantly! So glad he loves it.

So PJ's, already bathed and even after tea away they went down to hang the clock in its home. They were so proud, not to mention helpful with the tools.

And just so you realise I am quite smitten with my wee nephew (who seems to love my camera) here is todays shot. Mwah little man. xo

In other news, I have a job interview at Southland Hospital on Firday for a position in Emergency. So fingers crossed, I will get the job and start work soon, just 4 days a fortnight but enough to keep my head in the game and sane.

Hope all is well in your home and those of you in Gero have not melted away.

Love Mel xo

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Renewed Spirits

The sun come out!!!!! Yee haa I feel alive and all is well. So I packed up the kids, rang my sister and we had a picnic at the park. Do you think the kids were excited. You should have heard the squeals (yes I mean squeals) of delight when I told them. So we went to a local park. It was gorgeous. Took the blanket (kinda silly it was way too soggy) thankfully there was plenty of picnic tables. But the kids had a blast and I got some much needed vitamin D.

Then we went and found the ducks. Obviuosly a learned skill I had yet to teach my boys. They threw whole pieces of bread! But once they had the hang of it, they got a real kick out of the ducks. Never really thought about that part of my childhood and that in Gero there just was none!

Mr Jakey - well what can I say, I have LOTS of photos of him and many have this smile!!!! Cute but surely we must grow out of this phase soon.

And just to do the very proud Aunty (this is why we are back here). This is my little nephew and I reckon he's pretty darn cool. xoxoxo

SO with renewed spirits I bid you farewell. Off to enjoy the evening with my man.

Love Mel xo

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Cup of Tea Holes?

You like me may wander what these two are up to. So I ask them, the conversation goes like this:

Mum -"What are you doing?"
Harry - "Making holes"
Mum - "Well, what type of holes?"
Jake - "cup of tea holes"

Hmmm. Interesting considering two minutes before they were blowing them and saying they were elephants. Love the lighter moments that make motherhood worth it.

This is THE plane of all planes. You never would have guessed right? Well Harry got to use Dad's drill, hammer and nails (Dad did the saw!). And yep he is oh so proud - his first tool lesson.

Now this is a almost every meal occurrence. "Look Mum I'm a pirate". Funny boy

I know I've mentioned our latest garden efforts a bit lately. Its all very new to us and the boys really are loving it. YUMMO new potatoes ready to be cooked with mint, add butter and they really are awesome. Do you think the boys are excited?
Today, I braved planting, and we now have leeks, celery and cabbages growing. The boys were enthralled and loved the rakes and shovels.

And this, well it makes me very happy. The coal man came today and now I can light a fire. Nothing like the warmth of a fire on a cold SUMMERS day! (actually today was overcast but no rain and it was warm - what a blessing spirits are renewed).

Hope all is well in your part of the world.

Love Mel xo

Friday, January 8, 2010

MUUUM, Its got a red bum!!!

Funny story - Had a girlfriend and her kids over yesterday (in the sunny part) and amongst the chaos with 5 kids I hear a child screaming at the top of his lungs.

As the good Mum I am, I ignore it for a bit, but it doesn't cease so I go to investigate. As I get closer all I hear is

"MUUUUUUUM, Its got a red bum!" (over and over)

What do I find - Master Jake in amongst the compost/weeds knelt down at our strawberry plants (all two of them in a really dumb place) and he was right we had one, lone, little, strawberry and I guess you could say it had a red bum! I still crack up when I think about it!

Hope someone in your life is providing you with some lighter moments in your life too.

Love Mel xo

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Looking out for Shrek!!!

Well I promise not to always talk about the weather but today truely was extraordinary. My backyard has turned into a swamp! This literally took a few minutes. Shrek - where are you?

You could be forgiven for thinking we had snow but no hail.

Now I know you are thinking its Invercargill what do you expect but let me tell you about my day.

The weather forecast said Heavy Rain. Now we haven't found the forecasts too helpful but who would want to predict this weather!!! But we got up this morning and Phil was excited the sun was out. So he grabbed his book and sunnies and read outside on the deck in his dressing gown - bliss! Then through the morning we met the friendly neighbours in the street (lots of kids - Harry and Jake are excited). WE enjoyed having a girlfriend from school and her three kids over. We all played outside, wore our sunnies, removed our layers as it got too warm and I considered sunscreen. Then we went to say goodbye. Ooops the clouds came over and by the time I could get to my backyard, we were running to put away the toys and get my dry washing in before the rain and hail hit. So fast! Then again out came the sun - should I have left my washing on the line???? Deck dried, no rain or puddles to be seen. Yay.

Well, I needed to do a quick spot of shopping at the Warehouse. AS I left home it started to spit just a little. Anyway, I thought I'd get a park close to the door just in case. (6 parks away to be precise). I got to the gardening section and down it came. Torrential Rain and Hail. Leaks everywhere and deafening loud in there. SO I paid for my stuff and went to the carpark.

MY CAR WAS SITTING BASICALLY IN A LAKE WITH THE WAVES LAPPING UNDER IT!!!!!! Everytime another car went by the waves grew. SO I waited and waited. There really was no improvement. So I rolled up my jeans (styley I know!) and I had no option but to go. The water was freezing (very lake like!) and it went over my boots. Then to make matters worse my trolley rolled away - deeper! Just at that point when I had no option but to laugh I noticed the guy next to me in GUMBOOTS. We joked together wasn't aware the they were the required dress code! So with freezing, wet feet I returned home to a hot cup of tea.

The rain has stopped and things are drying again!!! I know we had to expect 4 seasons in a day but really this is remarkable and might take a bit of getting used to. One day the sun will have to come out and play just for a day!

Love Mel xo

Monday, January 4, 2010

Is this really summer?

I guess to question really needs to be asked. Is this really summer? Believe me I wish I could tell you this was winter but no this was yesterday. The boys needless to say, loved 4wd in their "cars" through the Ford! Two deliriously happy boys and not a dry item of clothing at the end but boy did they have fun. Then in true Invercargill fashion, I dried my washing on the line later in the day!!! Go figure. I think this 4 seasons in a day will take a bit of getting used to. I am hoping to make a shelf and rack for by the back door to house - Gumboots and jandals (thongs), sunhats and warm hats, raincoats and jumpers along with the sunscreen - all this for just one day in Invers!I've had (just a few) requests for some more photos of our house. It still not totally ordered but here's a bit of a tour. Our front door - love the leadlight.

Then you enter into a main hub area from which all the rooms are off. Photos and pictures yet to be put up!

The second door on the right is our lounge. Yay for the fire. Ask me how I know it works? Go on! Yep it may be summer but we have it going most days!!! It makes it quite cosy. It also has a heat transfer system through to the foyer and Dining/kitchen. Loving the storage in the window seat and looking forward to getting some scrummy cushions. Might be a lovely sunny spot to read a book on a winters (or Summers) day. Again love the leadlight character window. Yep still have Thomas trains taking over my floors!

The first door off the foyer is our main bedroom. Not hip on the white or blue but will live with it for a bit. The other door you can see leads through to a small room. Not really sure its intended purpose but it will house my sewing machine, excess scrap/painting stuff and my Cricket. As we have taken a substantial size reduction in office space. The room is far to messy to photograph as yet!
This is my kitchen/dining area. Door you can see leads through to laundry and toilet. Awful lights but perfectly functional kitchen. On the left hand side is the door out onto the deck and outside.
Dining room looking back towards the foyer. Note my tiles from Solvang on the wall - I really am in love with them.

Boys bedroom. Purple - not really going to do. Flooring is pretty crap too. One of the first on our list of things to do. But for now it will do. Boys are sharing which is going well in fact I think they actually like it.

Bathroom - what can I say ? Functional and tidy enough.

So anyway, you are still missing a few shots - office not yet photo ready to say the least! Hoping to sort it our soon though as I am ready to do some creating!!!

Missing those of you in Gero. (and Mrs Sunshine and warm days). But enjoying the things cold weather brings - yummy home grown veges, family time, baking, warm fires and train sets.

Love to you all

Mel xo

Friday, January 1, 2010

Welcome to 2010. Life begins in a new country.

Well 2010 has arrived and I must update you on the goings on the Duper household. Needless to say life has proved very busy of late. Christmas kind of snuck up on us, New Years just flew by and here we are in 2010! SO in no particular order here is a bit of life lately.

As you all are aware we have moved to Invercargill New Zealand (yes the weather is taking a little getting used to - but we didn't move for the sunshine!). We arrived in Invercargill Dec 3rd and hit the ground running. We saw 24 houses in 3 days and had bought a home4 nights later. Its at 51 Banks St for those of you familiar with the area. Its a weatherboard home built in the 1930s (character - yep thats me, not quite so Phil but its a stepping stone). This way were also able to purchase 5 acres of land about 15 minutes out of town with the view to build in a couple of years.

Anyway, the previous owners were very generous and left us a vege garden ready to eat (over run - we found surprise veges when we weeded!). The boys are totally into this garden and eating all their homegrown goodness. They love to harvest.....

Yummo new potatoes!!!! Anyway, the new house has a remote door on the garage. Harry is totally obcessed with puting it up or down and is frequently found with the remote in his pocket just in case we should ask!!!!! Today I found it on the lunch table with him!

As you can imagine the boys love this...

Here is the garage, note Phil's van has arrived (Happy Husband :) ). To the right you will notice a door. This is to a sleepout which is big enough for you all to come on over and visit (not at once but a family at a time!). We will make it comfy......

This is our back deck. Loving eating outside most the time (between rain showers it dries pretty quick). We will make it a little bigger but for now this is it.

This poor little vegemite just couldn't hold out till we put up his bed on moving day.

Onto Queens Park. Pics of my kids just the same as me at the same age. Nothing too much changes there. I remember clambering over these way back when....

Note the green grass and beautiful trees (there is an upside to over 1000mls of rain fall a year!)

Christmas as I said really did sneak up on us. We moved in on the 18th and all our decorations were thrown out in Gero before we left (thanks to the mice!). So we never even managed a tree! Next year will be much better. We did enjoy the day though with extended family and a yummy lunch.

Nana as always thought well with her pressie and amongst other things all the grandsons got new Jerseys. I know it is summer but they are wearing them and loving it. Aren't they cute.

When we arrived Harry got some belated birthday gifts. This was a fav - Mr Builder Harry - real tools (aaagh yep metal in Nan's house!).

Back to Christmas. This is what we came home for Family and this is my adorable nephew. Such a cutie full of conversation and laughter. Can't wait till we can understand his exciting stories. He got a toy golf set from Santa - it was the best played toy all day. Here he stopped to ponder...

Harry seems a bit of a natural but not quite sure if it was hockey or golf he was playing.

Jake as always just laughing.
Yum - lunch and how better than sitting with Aunty Smidge.

So thats us in a nutshell. I know the house pics are not plentiful but we are almost in some resemblance of order and I will take some more pics soon. Missing you all in Gero, life is slowing down so should get to catch up with those of you around here soon. Looking forward to it.

Many blessing to you all and may your year ahead be one of growth, adventure (to my place hehehe) love and laughter.

Love Always

Mel xo