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Archive for January, 2008

I’ve been busy

I’ve been busy enjoying the last week of the school holidays. The sunshine is so lovely. I remember in past years where the sun has started shining almost the day thekids go back to school. Not this year it has been fantastic ALL summer. We have had th epool up most afternoons and I have even got in a couple of times! We also went down to the school pool the other night, lovely but Isaac gets cold very quickly, even with a wetsuit on! Tobyn has had swimming lessons every day this week and his technique is coming along nicely.

I have also been busy creating! I started 2 of these layouts while we were at the Lake house last week and today I finally finished them.

This first layout is for the monthly challenge at http://scrapbookoutletnz.co.nz/ I am really happy with how it turned out. I wanted it to be feminine but not too feminine, hence the pink/blue/brown colour way. This photo is one of my most favoured memories from the past Christmas. Isaac and Nana’s awesome relationship blossomed while she was with us. Unfortunately when she moved on to the other cousins Isaac wasn’t happy. It appeared as if he was punishing her because he wouldn’t give her the wonderful snuggles and ‘chats’ he had been.

The next layout is mainly using the Jan SBO kit. I have also added a few other bits and bobs from my stash. I have been trying to use some older photos and some of my older stash. I have so much cool stuff but I tend to forget about it. So I have been having a rumage and a play. The photo on this layout is my 9 year when he was only 3 months old and I had propped him up in the corner of the cousch to get a photo.


This layout is using some bits from a couple of SBO kits buit mainly my old stash. Tobyn is 5 in this photo. I am so glad to have this scrapped now, a very cool story behind this one.


On a slightly different tack….I am worried about my Dad. He is only 64 and is being put into a home. I don’t have a particularly good relationship with my Dad. For those that have read my blog for a while you will have read a post last year about this. Briefly for the newbies…..my Dad left my Mum when Tobyn was only a few months old. I rushed down to Chch, concerned for my Mum. Dad went his own way and didn’t and doesn’t contact his 3 children or 5 grandchildren. He also has no contact with his sister and old friends. He has diabetes, high blood pressure and had a heart attack Jan 2006. Basically he is not a well man but he has been coping on his own until now. My brother lives in Chch as well and so he is the point of contact. Currently Dad is in hospital and has had a psychological examination. The psychologist says he is unable to care for himself. I wish I could help but I know that there isn’t much I can do. Dad has lost his identity, esteem and will to live, because of choices he has made. I will go down sometime this year and take the boys to see him but other than that I don’t know what else I can do. I have been thinking of making a mini album or calendar with pics of us. It could be something he could look at and see what he does have. I wish I could get him to realise that he is the master of his own destiny and when things go wrong it isn’t everyone elses fault! And I believe that he could help himself and live a few more good years yet. I love my Dad, he is my Dad after all. Like Tobyn said to me this morning how can you hate someone that is your family? You love them unconditionally.

To put Tobyn’s comment into perspective. A conversation Tobyn had at swimming with another boy I will call P.
Conversation had while Isaac was leaning against the pool calling to Tobyn.

P: “is your little brother annoying?”
Tobyn: “Not really, sometimes”
P: “Do you hate him?”
Tobyn: “No”

then to me after relaying the conversation

T: “How could you hate him he is my brother, he is my family. I love him, he is so cool and cute”

And Tobyn I love you!!! I love how you adore your little brother. I love how you love him unconditionally. I love how you play with him and help him to learn. I love how you are excited to see him everyday. You have a huge heart don’t ever let anyone change that!

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15 Years

15 years ago yesterday, on a lovely sunny summers day, Steve and I were married. Our 10 year anniversary seems like eons ago yet the weddings doesn’t seem that long ago, weird!

Steve had planned for us to go away overnight. Well actually he wanted to go for 2 nights but I couldn’t get my head around leaving Isaac for 2 nights the first ever. We went to the Lake house and had a great few days. We had friends visit and Steve’s parents arrived on Sunday. It was pretty wet a lot of the time but that doesn’t make it any less fun. On Tuesday we got ‘dolled’ up and off we went. We explained to Isaac what was happening and got him to bed before we left. I felt a lot happier because he had had 2 full nights sleeps prior to us going. The night waking was the thing that concerned me most because he is a Mummy’s boy at night. So I left not feeling too bad about it. BUT it felt weird going on a ‘date’ with Steve for the first time in at least a year. We have been to parities and do’s where there are other people but not on our own. We must change that this year!!! So from here on in it was a surprise. We turned to go towards Huka Falls and Steve says sorry we aren’t going to Huka Lodge. I had no idea what was out there. Then I saw the sign for Wairaki Resort, NICE! A lovely treat. We checked in and then went out to Huka Falls Restaurant and had a delicious meal. Next morning we enjoyed a wonderful cooked breakfast and then headed back to the Lake House. The boys had been fine, Isaac didn’t wake an they had had a lovely morning together. When I gave Isaac a cuddle he didn’t want to let go. We celebrated the actual day over a lovely lunch at the Jack Nicklaus golf club. A lovely day all around.

Now we are back home and back to normal. Shopped for the school books today and the kids got bored! But I did something special for Tobyn. Tobyn often asks how he can help protect animals and the environment and we talk about basic things he can do. Well today we took it a step further. WSPA were in the plaza so we signed up. So my PIF this week goes to all the animals around the world that are treated terribly. Tobyn is so excited to have done this. We also talked to the guy about how Tobyn can help in the future. When he is 16 he can volunteer at SPCA and then he would probably need to do some sort of Vet sci or environmental studies at Uni, but that is a wee ways off. At the moment he wants to be a Dairy Farmer, much to every ones surprise! Grandma said he would need to be a gentleman farmer due to his disdain at being dirty!

A few photos from the last few days.

The boys are having fun with their imaginations at the moment. Here they are pretending Tobyn is a dog.
Art at Kinloch. Water colouring and Game making was the order on this wet day. The little girl is Arna, she has been Tobyn’s friend ever since they were babies. When they were about 4 they were going to get married. But now Arna says Tobyn talks too much, LOL. They are more like cousins than friends. We have spent many holidays with them, a big reason for the closeness was because they were only children for so long together. Now Isaac is like Arna’s little cousin too and he ADORES her!!!


Isaac has style…..??? This morning, before he got out of his pj’s he decided this was what he would wear on his feet today. Daddy’s sports socks and shoes that are 2 sizes too big. Stunning!

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I LOVE……..

A few random things that I love this week….

  • Polite men. The man in front of me at the ATM today let me go before him, saying that is how he was brought up. So sweet.
  • Cheap avocados so I can make scrummy guacamole, mmm.
  • Catching up with long lost friends. Steve’s best man and his family came for dinner on Tuesday. We hadn’t met their youngest Jonathon and he is almost 4. But the best thing is that it is like we saw them yesterday. The kids got on so well and had a ball running up and down the hill. Playing in the grass and chatting. Tobyn and Stephanie sat down the hill in the long grass chatting for about half an hour.
  • Pumpkin Patch outlet. I got 4 items for $40! Gotta love that.
  • Isaac singing. He just starts singing just about anywhere, it is so cute. His favourites at the moment – Twinkle, Twinkle, he can sing the whole thing!; Row, row; Jingle Bells; Elmo’s Song – adding Mummy, Daddy, Tobyn, Cookie Monster and Big Bird into the song; and Mrs Bunny.
  • Tobyn enjoying playing card and board games. He is initiating a lot of the game playing at the moment and I love it. It is great quality time and he is semi happy if he doesn’t win. What I mean is that he doesn’t get mad and upset when he doesn’t win like some other children I know.
  • Fresh produce from our garden. These are the first tomatoes. And they taste so delicious.

  • The new SBO kit! It is so gorgeous. Trina and Donna did such a great job putting this one together. What I love the most is that it will do lots of boy pages. Quite a few of the earlier kits are quite feminine and I find them harder to use.
  • Summer. Though not the hot sticky nights.
  • Tobyn’s random thoughts. The other day he came to me and asked me how big was 6 cms. I showed him and he said “Wow that is how big the Mammoth wasp is.” Well I wouldn’t like to come across a wasp that big!
  • My Husband! Next Wednesday is our 15th wedding anniversary! I told him that because I organised something for our 10th it was his turn to do something for the 15th. For our 10th I got his parents to look after Tobyn, who was 4 at the time. I booked The James Cook Grand Chancellor Hotel in Wellington. I didn’t tell him where we were staying until I drove into the parking building. I had also booked tickets to The Rocky Horror Stage Show. So this year it was up to him. I didn’t think he would get up to much, maybe a dinner out. Mainly because Isaac is only 2 and we haven’t left him overnight with anyone else yet and he is not sleeping well. Steve has been very secretive and I am not good with not knowing!!! I knew that we were going to The Lake house for 5 days and I knew that his parents were coming for some of that time. But I was feeling very nervous that maybe he was thinking of an overnight without the boys. So I had to prise it out of him and I am glad I did. So yes we are staying overnight somewhere, just the 2 of us! I know I will find it hard but it has to happen sometime, right?

So there you have it, some of my favourite random things and thoughts this Thursday evening.

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Our backyard

The last few days we have been filled with visits from cousins, movie outings, gardening (in Steve’s case) and ‘photo shoots’

I thought I would try and photograph the ‘activities’ Tobyn picks out of the box, bit with much success! Tobyn really has to be in the mood for photos and when I tried to get this one he tried to hide in Isaac’s tunnel. But I took the photo anyway and photo shopped it to take away some of the blueness, it looks OK, I guess as good as I am going to get with Tobyn sometimes.

So as you can see he drew out ‘get an ice cream’ Tobyn is not an ice cream in the cone kind of kid, he prefers the sticks. His favourite ice cream on a stick is a choc bar.

Yesterday he got to go to town to spend his pocket money. He wanted a board game but it was $30 more than he had. Instead of waiting and saving up the $30 he still wanted to buy something. He decided he was going to get a plastic knight and the Hercules DVD. When he looked at the price of the DVD he said ‘That is ridiculous, I am not going to spend $40 on a DVD, I can get it cheaper somewhere else’ Yep that’s my boy the bargain hunter. He also decided with the knights that it was better to buy the Papo brand rather then the schleich brand because they were at least $5 cheaper, LOL. After lunch at subway he wanted to go to Kmart to see if they had Hercules cheaper. Unfortunately it wasn’t cheaper. He then spied a 2 DVD set that was $32, ‘That is really good, 2 DVDs for that price is really good aye Mum?’ So he ended up buying Prince of Egypt and Road to El Dorado. And he is very happy with his purchase.

Steve has been busy bush whacking the backyard. We have a large section, not lifestyle property size but bigger than your average section. Half of it is in wild grass. We are tying to get it to a point where we can start landscaping it. The idea is to have paths meandering down the hills and opening out to areas where we can sit and play. A large willow is a feature at the moment and we have swings and ladders in the tree. This weekend Steve attacked the long grass. What a HUGE job it is too. Before he got it all cut I wanted to try and take some photos of the boys in the long grass. Tobyn wasn’t very co-operative in the beginning but he came around towards the end. I don’t think I got any worthy of the wall but we had a lot of fun anyway. Here are a few of my favourites.

Here what Tobyn looked like in the beginning.

And here is a nicer photo but unfortunately it is blurry!

There are lots of nice photos of Isaac, but unfortunately I found it hard to get the light just right. I need to try these again early in the morning when the sun is going behind not coming down from the house.

I did not ask Isaac to pose like this he just did it, model in the making?

The next couple show Isaac personality really well. He is a happy, relaxed fun kid most of the time!

Isaac the cowboy, grass stalk and all.

This last photo from that shoot shows how the boys are together. They get on so well and are often laughing together. It is so nice that they have such an awesome relationship!

This last photo of Isaac wasn’t taken in the same session but it just goes to show that he is not always the perfect model. At this time he was like NO WAY I don’t want any more photos taken!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend, ’til next time, ciao

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Because Hannah asked!

First of all I am seriously thinking of changing my blog provider. I really would like to reply to comments and with Blogger I can’t. I wanted to thank Trina for your lovely comment about my header.

And Hannah always leaves such lovely comments! And I often want to say something!

So Hannah, this one is for you. My friend was on the editing team for the inaugural issue of Everywhere. He let us all know about it and asked us to submit our travel photos. If it weren’t for him asking I would probably not have submitted anything. I actually got Steve to choose a whole lot of photos from my trip with my American friend Sunny last year. Out of about 12 photos this was the one chosen.

This magazine is an offshoot of an already successful photography magazine called JPG. How it works is that people are asked to submit photos on certain themes, a bit like scrap book mags. You join the site and upload your photo with info about it. Then the community votes on the ones they think should be in the glossy magazine that is then printed and released. As well as the themes they also have the ‘postcard’ section. In this section there will be a variety of photos from around the world.

So in answer to your question about your photos…..ABSOLUTELY! Give it a go. We have such beautiful scenery here in NZ it is hard not to take a good photo here! And the bonus….you get paid.

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I am making the most of the time the boys are watching a video. I love wireless broadband, laptops and comfy couches right by the TV and DVD!

Just some random things I have been wanting to blog about.

First of all I have been creating, as you can see by my new blog header. I have also had a chance to scrap! I had this photo sitting on my desk and I figured I should get it scrapped while it was there. I am really happy with the layout. It is using the Dec kit from SBO and I will upload it into their gallery soon. If it wasn’t a Christmas layout I would have submitted it for consideration into a mag.

In scrap booking world and the Internet there is an idea around the place about having a word for the year. I haven’t done a lot of research into the idea, as I understand it all originated from a book someone read. Anyway I like the idea and my word for this year is RISK. In the past when I have taken risks it has helped me grow and like myself more. So I have many things I want to achieve this year and many of them require me to take myself out of my comfort zone. One of these is submitting some pages to magazines. I am sure that if I keep submitting one day I will get something accepted. So unless I am doing a challenge I won’t put layouts in here I will send them to mags for consideration instead. Of course if they are not successful then you will see them here.

Speaking of submitting, a while back I said I had a photo accepted into a new travel magazine. Follow this link http://everywheremag.com/issues/1 and flick through the pages to the postcards, there you will see a photo of a huge rock at cathedral cove, that is my photo. In the next few weeks the magazine will be going on sale in stores worldwide. Wahoo, very exciting for me!

Sometimes in the holidays it is hard to come up with idea of things to do. So these holidays I created an activity box. I wrote a whole of activities on strips of paper and then put them in a box. I get Tobyn to draw one out on the mornings we don’t have a full day out planned. There are things like going to the park, picnic in the backyard, movies, bike ride, swimming, science centre a many more. We started this morning and wouldn’t you know it he drew out go to the plant shop pick out some plants and plant them…..on a rainy day…? So he had to draw again and he got go to the library, he said “YAY, that is just what I wanted to do!” So off we went. He got a couple of novels which he started reading straight away, I got some fun books for Isaac and they each got a DVD for $1, gotta love that cheap price!!!

I also wanted to put down here how impressed I am with Tobyns change in behaviour recently. It is like he has turned a new leaf. He is helpful, thoughtful and polite. Not that he wasn’t before, but it wasn’t consistent. We went to a New Years day BBQ and he helped the hosts and asked adults if they would like their glasses refilled. We had so many positive comments from people, we were very proud parents! He is very excited about 2008. On Christmas Eve we talked to him about goals for 2008. We all set ourselves some goals. Tobyn was allowed to stay up until midnight and when midnight came he gave us big hugs and said he was very excited about starting his goals. I hope it lasts!

I am sure I am going to have more random thoughts pop into m,y head in the next little while so be prepared for some pretty random posts in January 2008!

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New Header

After figuring out how to make a header I had another go. Although I loved the photo in my first attempt I didn’t like how it looked as a header. I had this altered word and thought it would look good in my blog header and I am happy with it. Trouble is that now that I know how to make a header it will probably change regularly because I am a creature that needs change regularly!

So what do you think of my new look? I altered the word myself a few months back. The blue is the highlight colour I want in my craft room. Well truth be known I would like to paint the room that colour but I have to convince Steve first!

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