sending love

Our whanau grieves for the children, their teachers, parents and whanau  in America.  If  only the love and compassion the world feels could come close to easing the grief.


A snapshot from Golden bay

 A couple of weeks ago I finished the first year of my three year teaching degree. Whew it has been hard work!
 My class mates and I all agreed out kids were a little bit neglected this year while we spent most of our evenings reading or watching lectures online and weekends writing essays, practicing our ukuleles and te reo and getting our heads around lesson planning and assessment. So to celebrate the end of year and spend a bit of  quality time with the children we booked ourselves a stay at Farewell Gardens holiday park in Golden bay.  Which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from farewell spit and a short drive to the windswept Wharariki beach.

 My kids were fascinated with the relics of the old wharf which was used for loading coal onto ships early in the 20th century according to a book we later found in an apartment at the campground.  As we walked out at low tide Phoeb and Gabe speculated about the old rotten posts in the ground and the machine we were heading for. It is just magic, how given the opportunity, kids curiosity and imagination will motivate their own learning. When we got to the amazing old contraption they discussed their theory.

We walked across some hilly farmland to find Wharariki, I wish we could have explored for longer but we had an appointment with a fishing net at low tide and had to get back to Pakawau to help pull it in.  Gabe just loved watching one of my student teacher colleagues gutting and filleting the sharks. In the big one below he found shark eggs to his great excitement as he had just been reading  a book from the library all about sharks and was fascinated by the close up pictures of the eggs.

Needless to say we had shark for dinner that evening.


Almost the end of the first year.

I can't believe I am almost through my first year of primary teacher training! It has just been an amazing whirlwind. I haven't spent the kind of quality time I would have like d to with my kids but they have come through still feeling loved and supported by myself and my extended family. My time has been thoroughly involved with study, even when I take the kids to dancing and sport, I take my books or lectures on my ipod. Exams are over and all the assignments are handed in for this year, I just have three wonderful weeks of placement at a country school left to go, lots of effort has to go into planning for the students learning, but I am looking forward to getting back in the classroom so much! Then I have the summer to make up time with the kids and catch up on all the research. The photos are from my art teaching folio, I loved creating and researching it!


Asparagus how I miss thee.

I popped over to Sandra's blog and read how she was cutting her first asparagus. I immediately missed my walks around my spring garden discovering what had bust forth after the rain. It's not quite the same checking up on my pots of herbs, though the kids and I bought a passion fruit  plant at the Nelson market a few weeks back which we're pretty excited about planting when the weather settles.

My semester is full on! I'm loving working on my art folio. Just between you and I, I wish I could put my entire effort into it, but planning for maths, literacy and music are very important too.  I'm learning the ukulele (did I mention that already?) and discovering lots about traditional and contemporary New Zealand art. I have fallen for the art work and social observations of Robin Kahukiwa who also wrote and illustrated one of my favorite kids books.  I can't believe how quickly the year is going. I've just turned another year older and the teen only has one more year to go before I have to stop referring to him here as the teen. Miss PJ is growing up fast too, nearly 11 already!


Well hello again

It's weird to come back to my comfortable old blog and realise how much of a different direction my life has taken since my days of being a stay at home, busy Mum, dedicated to my children, garden, being healthy, thrifty and considering in every day the impact I am having on my environment and others. These days my core values remain the same but my priorities differ so much. I have little time to appreciate the garden and the phases of the moon, in fact I guess it would be about a year since I accepted my direction was changing. I'm appreciating those values in little moments that are fleeting, like getting out of bed on Saturday morning and seeing the stars of Matariki shining so brightly that I could not help but think it's going to be a good season in the garden. Visiting a new friend in Tapawera and spotting a New Zealand falcon in the sky which scared up the ducks we were hoping to shoot for the freezer. I give my feedback on pruning and planting but spend little time with my hands in the soil. Instead I am thoroughly absorbed in my learning at teachers college. I watch lectures online and have written the first academic essays of my life. I've had brilliant grades so far and done very well with reflective practice and observations which my Playcentre training and few years blogging set me up well for. I have persevered with the technology and completed my first semester after a wonderful placement at a rural school. My favorite part of the course has been learning te reo, I've loved the culture and the language since I was a very little girl exploring the native rivers and bush in Masterton and doing waiata at Fernridge School.
 There have been only a few low lights, my blood pressure skyrocketed with the stress of study and exams and I do miss the authentic feeling of living in touch with my environment, however it is thrilling to be learning and teaching. Next semester starts in a week, I'll be doing music, drama, art, math and literacy. Can't wait. I just have time to sneak in a little bit of sewing and hopefully some adventure this week. Best wishes to all my friends and community.

My children are doing well. I am proud of them all. The teen is finding his path, Skatey is racing mountin bikes and loving it, PJ has made some wonderful friends and is still doing  tap, playing sport and trying very hard with her school work,  the Red head is excelling in maths and playing hockey. They are all benefiting from living so close to their extended whanau (family), multiple generations of relatives are sharing their knowledge and love with us.


The last month for us, has revolved around settling the children into their new schools and routines. It has been a huge change for them to go from a small country school to an urban school with over 600 children! After school pick up is crazy and I find it hard to even find my children amongst the sea of uniforms. They have had their ups and downs settling in, but I'm so happy that they embrace change as an exciting thing and are all pretty sociable and enjoy making new friends. The red head started cricket on the weekend, Miss PJ has been on a school camp and started at a new tap school and Skatey boy is exploring the region on his mountain bike. A few weeks ago we biked 9km around Rabbit Island with Granny and the kid's uncle on a beautiful not too hot summers day. PJ ended up in A and E though with a great big gash in her leg that required 3 stitches, but hey that's adventuring for you.
Last but not least, I have finally started Uni and what a shock to the system that was/is! I'm absorbed in a world of reading, online lectures and tutorials. With a little bit of face book for light relief. I'm really enjoying being a student and have a wonderful group of classmates.
I gave myself a brain break this weekend and made pickled onions and pesto, which reminded me of my former self sufficient bliss.


Happy New Year

We are settling into our change of circumstances and starting to explore what it means to live in an urban environment. We are renting my Dad's house in Richmond, which I am very grateful for. It's close to Nelson where my study will be starting in 6 weeks. The garden is handkerchief size, so I hope to get into more foraging, as well as ferreting out all the best roadside stalls in the area. I haven't been able to find anyone selling free range eggs yet but luckily I am still involved with Potters Patch in Motueka so I can get my eggs from there for now. I'd love to hear from any Nelson locals about all the best kept secrets in Nelson.

I thought I'd share some photos from my Christmas getaway, I drove through Molesworth station with a friend. Molesworth is New Zealand's biggest farm, I had heard the scenery was beautiful and it certainly didn't disappoint.