How we see each other

November 25th, 2015

Here are some cute drawings the kids made of us.

Evan’s view of me:

My drawing of Lauren:



Restore worked!

April 8th, 2014

Restore of the blog worked! I had to do quite a bit of data massaging – glad to see my awk and vi skills are still good enough to do this.

Archived blog entries

April 8th, 2014

Since upgrading, I need to upload the previous blog entries. It will be interesting to see how that goes!

Updated blog

April 7th, 2014

Looks like my previous blog was hacked by someone, so had to re-install with new password etc. At least I now have the latest of the latest blog software!

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May 19th, 2013

Nicole’s birthday was last week and we celebrated with dinner and a cake which I baked. Nicole got a new mobile phone and some smaller bits too.
Birthday cake
Birthday girl

Auckland kids’ marathon 2012

October 28th, 2012

Evan and Lauren took part in today’s kids’ marathon. It was a 2.2 km fun run. Nicole was able to run with Lauren. They both did well – not sure their standings, but they were pretty chuffed to have done it. They both got medals and ice blocks from it!

Nicole’s birthday and mother’s day

May 14th, 2012

Yesterday was Nicole’s birthday and mother’s day so we celebrated by having a barbeque with some friends. Makimi came over too and brought lots of nice things.

Common mis-spellings of my name

April 29th, 2012

I’ve had a number of mis-spellings of my name over the years, but this one is truly unique…

From Zaldhi

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March 19th, 2012

I was invited to go to the school camp for the kids this year with Evan which was good fun. It was at Peter Snell Youth Village in Whangarparaoa this year and the camp was really well laid out. I was in a tent with Evan and Connah and a few other kids. They were all very good kids and it was very interesting to see how the kids interacted socially. I would say Evan is quite different than he is when he’s with us at home. And that’s a good thing!

Luckily I was partnered with Amanda, so at least knew someone at the event. In our team (9) I only knew Connah and Evan, but learned the names of the kids pretty quickly. There were 5 girls and 5 guys in our team, so a nice balance. The teams would stay together and go to the different events. The events were:

– Bivouac building
– First aid
– Archery
– Outdoor cooking
– Abseiling
– Top Town games
– Orienteering
– Badge making
– Beach exploration
– Kayaking
– Frisbee gold
– Technology challenge

The parents were cycled through the different events, so I went to around 4 different events.

We all got into a bus on the first day (Sunday) and made our way to the camp. I drove with Mike in his car. When we arrived the first activity I went on was the kayaking. I was able to go into the kayaks and help the kids if they got into trouble. Luckily I never got dunked, so stayed mostly dry. I did this for 4 groups, each an hour long. Only a few of the kids needed a bit of help to get going. What a great time it was being out on the water like that.

When we got back from the event, had had to pitch the tents, so the parents and I all worked on pitching the tents. By the time dinner was ready, all the tents were pitched. Connah and Evan were quite excited about being able to sleep in the tent. The teachers were all very tough on going to bed by 8:30. After the kids went to bed, the parents would play spoons (a bit like musical chairs, only with spoons and if you were the one without the spoon, you’d get smacked on the hand with the remaining spoons) and cards. On the second night the principal and the guys went out to play cricket in one of the halls. So funny!

The next day we went to Goat Island for snorkelling. What a lot of fun. Unfortunately the bus took off on me and so I took the next one – unfortunately it stopped short of the beach, so I had to run the few kilometers to the beach. My calves were shot after that one, since I really didn’t want to miss the snorkelling.

The goat island trip was really very cool. A few of the kids were really reluctant to go into the water, but once in, most felt pretty confident. There weren’t too many stragglers in the group and we had a guide take us out into the water and then back in. Nothing too major to be seen and no sting-rays. The jelly-fish were all blooming around that time, so at times the water was a bit like potato soup with small jelly-fish things around. Yuck. Nevertheless it was a pretty amazing trip!

We went to seafriends aquarium after that for a bit of a lecture from the guy who ran it (a dutchman called “Dr. Floor”!) and the kids had so many questions for him. Really amazing to see the kids interacting at such a deep level!

Then back to the camp and in the evening we did a “burma trail” which is a blind-folded trek through the woods and the parents could tickle and scare the kids as much as they wanted. I was thinking it would be a pretty mean event, but actually had a great time scaring the kids and watching the wacky parents do their best to make the trip unpleasant for the kids! I came away laughing pretty hard! :)

The next day was more events and I helped out with Bivouac making with Warren, which was a hoot. He’s a really funny guy and interacts with the kids really well – taking the micky out of them all the time. Couldn’t take him too seriously! In the afternoon I did the first aid course with Amanda, which was really great since she really knew what she was doing! I hadn’t done first-aid in years, but it was really interesting with the kids, since quite a few of them had done some sort of first-aid in the past. I’m certain the kids knew more about first aid than I did at that age!

That night was sports activities with the kids and the parents got to partake, which was good fun.

We also had to create skits for the kids, which was good fun. The kids came up with a skit around “snot” which was good because the theme of the camp was alliteration and so the kids came up with an alliteration around snot. Background behind this is that Ms Villis said that our handkerchiefs looked like “snot” since they were olive green. The kids did awesome with Ella doing a stellar job as the opening snot-dressed character. :) “That’s snot funny!” Amanda and I shouted at the end! So funny. Amanda did a great job getting the kids going for that one!

On the last day I held the technology event and I was able to see Evan and his team in action on this one. Evan and his teammates worked very well together – Evan did most of the thinking and working on it, so it’s nice to see him contributing – I never know how much he does contribute in the class. Fortunately his task of building a stretcher out of some wood planks and newspaper worked out, and he was able to support the weight of his teammate. Connah’s team wasn’t so adept and Ella crashed through his stretcher without hurting herself.

All the kids in the team were really awesome. The girls were super-nice and the boys were mostly well-behaved. Logan made a badge for me, which was so nice! I also got a wonderful thank-you note from the kids! So excellent!

It really was a terrific trip! It was great seeing the kids in their element and helping out. Joking with the parents was so fun and I met some really nice people. I can only hope that in the future I am able to go to another camp like this!

Blog updates from my Android phone

November 21st, 2011

Just installed WordPress for my Android, so will see how easy it is to update the blog…