Meeting the All Blacks

September 5th, 2011

The All Blacks were going to be in Pakuranga for a media event, so Evan wanted to go. We took his rugby ball along and he got to practice some fun events, like tackling, kicking the ball etc. He really had fun.

At around 5pm the All Blacks came out and Richie McCaw walked out right in front of us and set up shop at a barbeque, barbequing for the event. Evan and I managed to move forward to get some autographs and Evan was really chuffed at getting Richie McCaw’s autograph. He also got Cory Jane’s and Andrew Hore’s so he was really happy about it!

I also managed to get into a photo in the newspaper! Check it out:

New house

December 10th, 2010

Well the purchase of the house is all settled – a bit scary – a lot more than we wanted to spend, but we feel it is a nice house. It’s large enough for us to grow and has plenty of space for the family to grow. It’s 5 bedrooms and has a spot for the trampoline, has a veggie patch and clothes line, plus borders on the reserve, so very easy to get to a green space!

Soccer awards

September 13th, 2010

This weekend we had soccer awards and I gave away some awards to the team.

Dominic won the sportsperson of the year (most improved player) for the team and Jacob (H) won the player of the year.

All the kids got a medal for the season and a photo of the team. Evan looks a bit funny in his picture – he’s craning his neck for some reason.

I was also very chuffed to find out that Jacob (H) also won the Chris Boyd award, which is a single trophy for all year 8 kids. I could tell he was really happy with it and I was really pleased that my recommendation for him was considered by the Fencibles league. Very cool! It does mean however that Jacob got 3 trophies, so maybe that could have been distributed a bit better. I did ask the fencibles people to let me know if they were planning to give it to Jacob, since I had him eyed for the player of the year, but they never got back to me. When Stu was reading out the reasons why the person who was going to get the Chris Boyd award, I was remarking to Nicole how I thought it sounded a lot like what I wrote to Stu about – and sure enough, it was pretty well verbatim! Nevertheless, I’m really happy for him.


August 28th, 2010

I spotted this in a Korean store the other day and was compelled to buy it:

From Kancho

Looks like wikipedia has a page dedicated to kancho:


And some more random strangeness:


July 8th, 2010

I’ve unfortunately been spending a bit of time in Australia for work things. The flight schedule is not so great – leaving 9pm at night and getting in at midnight in Melbourne (2am NZ time!) and then flying back at 6am (at airport at 4am – Ugh). The other weekend I was flying into Auckland and I could easily see the runway below – not very far away. I reckoned we were about 10-20 seconds from landing, when suddenly, we accelerated and ascended! All sorts of crazy thoughts went through my mind, like there’s a problem with the runway, to something wrong with our landing gear etc. It turns out we were redirected to Wellington due to fog on the runway etc. Considering how close we were to landing, I thought it was a bit crazy, but anyways, that’s what happened.

We got to Wellington, refueled and then took off again. Probably about 1hr delay in Wellington, then the return trip of 2 hours, meant I got home 4pm instead of 1pm – it really knocked out a bunch of my weekend. Fortunately for me (not for Evan), soccer was canceled that day, so at least I didn’t miss seeing my favourite team in the world play soccer – Evan’s team!

Soccer team win

May 15th, 2010

We finally had a win in soccer today! The team has been progressively getting better (we lost the first game 7-2) and the kids seem to be syncing very well together. I am really impressed with the kids’ development – I haven’t been able to hold an extra training sessions, but with that I think they’ll really do well.

Dominic scored the first goal, taking the ball from deep in our zone, right through a number of defenders and scored the goal! It was an amazing solo effort. Actually, all the kids excelled in the game, Matthew did a great job on attack, Daniel moved the ball really well around the defenders, Jake and Jacob doing a great job in getting the ball into the other end, Evan keeping the ball moving and passing to his teammates. I’m really proud of them all.

Jacob scored our second goal and it was a good team effort getting the ball into their end and scoring. Jacob has already won the MVP, so Dominic won it, based on his terrific effort in the first goal.

At the end of the game, we were shaking hands with the other team and I heard one of their team players telling each of players “You suck!” and so I pulled him aside and gave him a bit of an earful. I don’t think the other team was ready for my reaction and I probably over-reacted, but it put a damper on the end of the game actually. The kid ended up crying and probably I made a spectacle of myself, but I think it was for the right reasons. I’ll have to give a bit of a talk to the team next week – hopefully no-one from our team started the “You suck!” name calling – I’d be really disappointed if that was the case.

Overall, I’m really pleased with the team and I am increasing my expectations for the next games!

Nicole’s surgery

May 11th, 2010

Nicole had her surgery today to remove the 2 lumps in each forearm. The surgery looks to have gone well – she’s ok to use her hands and all and the cuts seem to be nicely bandaged and should heal well – hopefully. I dropped her off at the hospital in Greenlane and was really surprised at how new and nice it was. The people there were also really helpful and kind, so she was in good hands. I picked the kids up at 3pm and came back into the city to pick her up from the hospital. She was pretty groggy, but otherwise she was feeling fine. The kids gave her lots of love actually, which was really sweet of them.

Hopefully she’ll be more mobile tomorrow. We’ll have to wait and see what the results of the diagnostics are.

Wellington trip – Easter 2010

April 12th, 2010

We decided to make a trip down to Wellington to see some friends and made a bit of a longer trip of over Easter. We had awesome weather the whole time, so we were really lucky.

We took the kids out of school a day early and beat the rush down to Taupo. It was a brilliant day with great weather – we stopped off in Hamilton for lunch and also for a driver reviver. It’s funny because in the morning we were talking about the driver reviver service we used in Australia and lamented that there wasn’t anything like it in NZ, and lo and behold, there it was in NZ! We got free bikkies (yah – CookieTime!), water, tea, apples etc. We were also there when a photographer from the Waikato times was there and he took our photo – we searched online for it, but couldn’t find it.

From Easter 2010 trip

We made it in plenty of time to Taupo to see some things such as Huka falls. The place we stayed in (Ascot) in Taupo was quite nice and they had a lovely big bath:

From Easter 2010 trip

Lauren and Evan were given (free) the chance to score the hole-in-one at the Taupo golf challenge. Needless to say, they didn’t even come close. :)

From Easter 2010 trip

We had brilliant weather in Wellington for the majority of the time. Sure, we had a bit of rain and colder weather, but in general we were quite lucky – normally Easter in Wellington is cold and wet.

We saw lots of people during our trip. We saw:
EJ, Liane, Matt and Ben (thanks for the hot-cross buns!)

From Easter 2010 trip

Terry, Alison, Lidia, Hamish and Alexander (thanks for the awesome barbeque and great time!)

From Easter 2010 trip

Ron and Angela

From Easter 2010 trip

Pan, San-Ying, Ethan and Ella

From Easter 2010 trip

Sione, Mei and Sione

From Easter 2010 trip

Catherine, Tim and Felix (the kids got on so well!)

From Easter 2010 trip

Yuri and Lidiya (thanks so much for the kindness!)

From Easter 2010 trip

There’s too much to write about each of these families, but we had such a great time with them. We still missed some people who were away for Easter or other things for the weekend, but we’ll catch them next time!

We took the cable car up to the top of the botanic garden in Wellington – the same place where Nicole and I had our wedding photos taken. It was brilliant as usual up there and we had great weather. We also went to the photography shop where we had our engagement photos done in Days Bay, but Simon wasn’t around on that day.

On the trip home we drove via Napier and then stopped off in Rotorua. In Rotorua, we took the gondola up to the luge and did the luge for a few trips (Evan in particular loved the luge!).

From Easter 2010 trip

We also went to the Agrodome to see the farm service, which was awesome. We had brilliant weather and the kids got to do lots of interactive things, like play and feed the animals, milk a cow, rustle sheep etc.

From Easter 2010 trip
From Easter 2010 trip

Overall, an excellent trip, with some great memories.

Car is back

March 17th, 2010

Well we finally got the car back – almost exactly 4 weeks from when it was stolen. The ignition had been totally ripped out and the door looks to have been forced (a bit of scuffing around it) but apart from that it’s pretty well the same car as before. The panel-beaters did an all-over check of the car and it’s looking fine again – $500 later. Time to change my insurance companies. :(


February 27th, 2010

Last night we went to Totara park with Chichi and Mele and we got to see some glow-worms! The kids were quite excited, since they’d never seen glow-worms before. It was quite dark of course when we came back, but the moon was so bright, it lit our way very well. The path was a bit treacherous, since it was hard to tell where the path stopped (it was sometimes quite a steep drop from the edge of the path) but nobody got hurt. We’ll have to go there again!