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Archive for December, 2007

By the way

Thank you for all the kind comments about my tiredness due to Isaacs unsettled routines. He has done a lot better the last couple of days and last night I had a full nights sleep. I do however have some sort of illness, hot and cold, dizzy and headachy. Maybe just because I am so over tired, but hopefull with a few more good nights and help now Steve is on holiday for 2 weeks things will get back to normal.

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Wow long time no blog. Life has been hectic in the Gregory house the past couple of weeks. We have had birthdays to go to, prize givings, babies arriving, presents to make, christmas shopping to do, and the list goes on and on!

Some highlights in bullet point (hopefully to make it more succinct, if that is possible for me LOL)

  • Adam, Steves nephew turned 3. He had a wild animal party. He was adorable and so polite! I got some gorgeous photos but haven’t had a chance to edit them yet. The boys had a blast.
  • Tobyn had an issue at school…he is at times very unfocused and does things without thinking. While at speech and drama one of the other boys shoved a baseball bat through a concertina door on a bench and knocked a whole lot of present s the teacher and children were making. Tobyn wanted to be nosey and pushed the door to see what they were doing and knocked more on the floor. The big issue was that when asked he said he didn’t think he did anything. We hope that hehas learnt his lesson and realises that it is best to own up straight away. After lots of thinking down by the tree and in his bedroom he finally opened up. We told him he had to write an apology. And the next morning I asked him to apologise to the principal. He did this very well and when she was talking to him he listened well and I was proud of him for doing that. We also warned him that if this behaviour didn’t change then the play station he has been working hard towards all year wouldn’t be coming. Need less to say he has changed dramatically and we are seeing the old sweet, thoughtful kid again.
  • Tobyn had his prizegiving. He was in a speech and drama piece and a dance and singing piece. It was LONG. Since when did a primary school prize giving need to be 3 hours long? We had Isaac with us too, poor little guy. He did well though. I did take him up the back away from people when he had dirtied his nappy and they were announcing class prizes. Then I left. Tobyn did so well on stage. He is usually very self conscious and doesn’t like doing things in front of people ut that night he was confident and happy and obviously enjoying himself.
  • I made a calendar for Steves Mum. Ran out of time to take photos though. It turned out pretty well, I am sure she will like it. Steve did one of the months and I think he is pretty proud of himself.
  • I made a diary for Tobyns teacher. When I gave it to her she had tears in her eyes. I was thinking, don’t cry because then I will bawl. Fortunately she kept it in check. She LOVED it and said this is too good to have at school this is going to be my home diary.
  • Tobyn got a great school report. His academic report is excellent. Though I think I would like to see more effort next year. He does the bare minimum and does very well, imagine what he could do if he put a lot more effort in? Some of his essential skills, otherwise known as life skills needs a bit of work. This didn’t surprise us. For example he needs to improve his listening skills, using time effectively, and settling into his work well. But the teacher comment was great and I am proud, “Tobyn has made fantastic progress in the last two terms. His work ethic is where I would expect it to be for a student at _______ school. He has become more self-reliant and confident, focussing less on the negatives of his situation or others. He interacts with the class in a positive way. Tobyn is a ‘clever cookie’ and is beginning to believe that within himself. Hopefully Tobyn will continue to practise his basic facts in the holidays and work on his speed and retention. Keep the great attitude going Tobyn and you will go far. I hope he takes all this on board and improves even more next year. He would like ton win a prize next year so hopefully this will be the motivation he needs. Steve didn’t knuckle down at school until he was a similar age and ended up Dux both of his primary school and high school.
  • I have been asked to do a fundraiser for a local school. I was showing a friend some photos I had taken and she asked if I would do some with their school. This is an area I have wondering about for a while. I think I take some pretty good photos and I could fit into an affordable niche in town. So I have a lot to think about in the next little while about business, prices, and getting a portfolio together.
  • And lastly, I got a couple of awesome family photos on the weekend. I have never tried this before and I think they turned out pretty well for a first time. I set up the tripod and put a couple of toys on top of the camera which the boys thought was hilarious. For the one where we are lying down Isaac had fun!!! I ran to lie down for the first couple and then he joined me and we got the photo. I am thrilled and I think I look pretty OK, which I don’t normally like my photos!

So finally I don’t expect I will get in here again for a couple of weeks. I have my Mum arriving from Christchurch on Sunday and we will be busy enjoying her company. Have a wonderful Christmas everyone and thanks for visiting my blog this year. See you again soon.

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My favourite Christmas music. We first heard this in the States the first year we were there. The 2nd year I bought the CD and played it in my car every trip I made to the neo-natal unit. Now when I play it it brings back all the precious memories. I love the whole CD but this is one of my faves.

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Tired, tired, tired!

Another week gone and another week closer to the holidays, yay. I am in need of some rest, breakfast in bed and sleep ins. And Steve is as well.

This weekend was the coming together and presentation of the Children’s Christmas service. Steve has been wanting to get the Sunday School to put together the story “Christmas in Exeter Street” for few years now. This year we were asked to do the Christmas kids service because Kaila is due to have a baby any day now. So Steve jumped at the chance. The story is about a family in England getting ready for Christmas. The Grandparents arrive and bring a Christmas tree, cranberry jelly, cats etc. The Ministers roof blows off and they arrive on the doorstep and bring a carol. The children’s friends arrive with sleeping bags and stockings etc, etc. There are neighbours, fat men, wives and children, Uncles not seen for years, friends and a cat. The Sunday School has been low in numbers this year so he co opted a few adults for parts. As there are many parts. In the beginning we thought we weren’t going to have enough people, but as the time went on it was a bit like the house in Exeter Street, they kept on coming and in the end there were lots of car children and the minister ended up with 6 children instead of 3. Saturday was spent getting the set together. This included moving our house to the Church…well part of it anyway. Some photos to show you how it looked…





Saturday afternoon we had to have a rehearsal and I thought it was so chaotic and was worried that it wasn’t going to come together. I was the lead role and was so flustered. It also didn’t help that Isaac was difficult. Sunday morning and it all came together really well. The prayers helped, trust in the Lord. Everyone thought it was a great service and an awesome message. The kids enjoyed themselves and hopefully we will see them all back in the New Year!

Isaac is not coping with all the routines being changed with everything that comes with the Christmas lead up and end of school year. For 2 weekends he has missed day time sleeps and had late nights and now we are paying for the fun. Last night the time came where I had to be tough. He has been waking at 3am for a couple of weeks now. He doesn’t just wake, he is WIDE awake and doesn’t ant to go back to sleep. So last night I had to do the controlled crying. He really did not like me not talking to him and just taking him by the hand and putting him back to bed. It probably only took 30 mins, but it felt like hours. And today it feels like I didn’t get any sleep last night. Hopefully tonight he does well, especially because Steve is not here tonight!

Yesterday I finally got to make my house feel a little more like Christmas. Our tree is very eclectic this year! Every single decoration has meaning and I wanted them all on the tree. Tobyn put most of them on and it looks pretty crazy, but I loved it and this is what Christmas with kids is meant to look like in my mind.

And Steve thought he would get a photo of me by the tree, YEAH RIGHT!

I have been working on Christmas gifts. I have to finish the calender for the in-laws this week. I have 5 more months to do, well actually Steve has to do one of those, LOL. We are going down to Paraparaumu for Steve’s nephews b’day on Sunday and we want to take all the prezzies with us. We won’t be seeing them again until after Christmas.

A couple of cute things Isaac said over the past few days…

When seeing a security guard wearing a hat, outside a bank…”There’s a pirate” and he couldn’t stop looking at him. I told the security guard what he said and he laughed.

On listening to the beautiful chorus of birds, “birds singing” then we heard a chicken…book, book, book, boooookuk…..Isaac said “a monkey”

Have great week everyone, ciao for now

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Thankful

I am so thankful that I have a wonderful family and many wonderful friends. Though sometimes I take it all for granted.

Yesterday was a day to remember how thankful I am . We celebrated American Thanksgiving, a week late, but that was OK. I tried out some American recipes with NZ ingredients and this year they worked. Last year we had some very interesting American dishes. But thanks to some new ingredients in town some worked well.

Our menu:

Snacks:
Nacho chips and guacamole
Chips and kiwi dip.

Main:
Chicken (mainly because I couldn’t bring myself to pay $45 for a turkey!)
Dressing. AKA stuffing, but when done out of the bird it is dressing. Glen is vegetarian so we tried to do everything other than the meat so that he could eat it.
Sweet potato casserole. This very sweet dish has a crunchy sugar and pecan crust on top.
Bean casserole. This dish last year was very weird but this year I found dried fried onions and it worked!
Roast potatoes (for Tobyn)
Mashed potatoes.
Carrots.
Green salad.

I did the carrots and roast pots because I knew Tobyn wouldn’t eat any of the other veges.

Dessert:
Pecan Pie
Apple Pie
Cream
Ice cream

Notice no pumpkin pie? Amazingly there wasn’t anyone American or not that likes pumpkin pie, so why bother?

We had a lovely time with our friends. Of course I was so busy I didn’t get very many photos!
The girls are 5 and 3 and they get on so well with our boys. Sophia and Tobyn just disappeared off and quietly played together. It was so nice having a quiet placid little girl around. it makes a huge difference to the normal rowdy boys. Isaac and Vivi are partners in crime. They are very close but because they are both extremely mischievous they do get into trouble together. Nothing really bad but oh so cute!!!

A lead in to some of the happenings of the day. We don’t have a front fence. We have been waiting for the landscaper to bring the digger and make the paths down our hill. He said he would do it back in June!!! And he doesn’t want us to put fences up until he has done it. So we have had temporary plastic fences on the deck. Fortunately we have a pretty big deck but it does prevent Isaac from going down into the grass. So Steve decided he would put up temporary fences elsewhere to allow the kids to have access to the grass. All good in principle. But Isaac wasn’t used to the freedom Iguess. This leads me into a few ‘events’ of the afternoon.

1. Isaac got under the deck and couldn’t get out easily. I think he followed the cat, but then he said ‘it’s wet’ it took lots of coaxing and a chippie to get him out. Steve wasn’t going under, he did that last week when he lost some washers under there and he doesn’t fancy going under ever again.

2. I was in the kitchen and I heard a few yells from the adults in the lounge. Then I heard a splat and Isaac crying. I ran to see Isaac sprawled on the ground with his ride on on top of him. He had gone off the steps. One of my biggest fears when Steve removed the fencing from the deck. Thankfully Isaac is a tough cookie. He has grazes on his head and a bruise is coming out but he is OK!

3. While whipping the cream to go with the dessert my magic bullet came to pieces! Cream EVERYWHERE!!! And because I do it in the cupboard I had to take everything out from the shelf and ones under it, ARGH.

4. We found this site in the bathroom when we couldn’t find the little people. They were in the shower together and Vivi had made herself a little chair, or throne as Kaila said, out of handtowels.

Isaac was sitting down next to Vivi when we found them. It was so cute.

Unfortunately Kaila dna Glen and the family are moving to Auckland in February. We will miss them so much. But we wish them all the best for there big move. I said to Kaila, next year we will have to find another American family to celebrate Thanksgiving with and she said, we will have to meet in Taupo and celebrate there. What a brilliant idea. I had told her we could meet at Steve’s families lake house from time to time, but what a perfect plan!

OK off for a busy day now, Church kids service practice, Steve’s work kids party, and Steve is taking Tobyn and a friend to a magic show this evening.

ciao for now

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