Little Miss, right around her 5th birthday
Little Miss loved getting presents for her birthday!
Little Miss, right around her 5th birthday
Little Miss loved getting presents for her birthday!
One Saturday afternoon in January, a friend invited us to go out to the sea with him while he put his longline out to see what fish he could catch. Gayle and Mr. Sweetie were already in town (Greymouth is along the coast), so our friend took the other boys with him. Esther and I and the little girls went later, when we learned that everyone else in our church was there, too! They caught 11 elephant fish, a kind of shark. Someone put one of them in the coals of the fire that was going, and we ate it while we were there. Someone else took several of the fish home with them, and we brought eight of them home. The boys and Gayle filleted them the next day (they were in a chilly bin on ice overnight). Yum! This is Mr. Intellectual with one of the fish right after taking off the longline.
Those are big fish. One of them is more than enough for a meal for our family.
One morning I finally remembered to take a camera along when I went to milk. Mr. Intellectual had to go out and bring the cows up to the shed. The cow, Poppy, is in the lead; the heifer, Pansy is following.
The neighbor’s rose hedge was amazing when it was in full bloom! By now, it’s done blooming, and last week, she pruned the whole thing back to not much. This kind of roses grow very fast, though; soon it’ll be beautiful again. I walk past it every morning and evening when I go to milk.
We had several visitors from other places in January. Practically every time someone comes to visit, we take them to Pancake Rocks. I ended up staying home from the last two trips there; I have a baby who does not like to go away from home, so I stay here and prepare meals.
The first visitors for the month were two young men and their sister. Gayle and the children took them to Pancake Rocks on New Year’s Day. They stopped at the Brunner Mine first; this is the Grey River from there.
Our other visitors arrived towards the end of the month. This was two young ladies Esther’s age from Germany. Esther took several trips with them. The first trip was to Pancake Rocks; I didn’t save any of her pictures. Later that week, she, Mr. Diligence and Mr. Sweetie went along to the glaciers with them. Here they are walking up to Franz Josef.
They also went to Fox Glacier, but couldn’t drive up as we did the last time. In fact, the road on both sides of the river that goes away from Fox Glacier has been washed out from the record-breaking rainfalls we’ve had this year. They walked up the road on the side away from the glacier; it’s closed to vehicles because of the slips. They walked a total of two hours there!
We have enjoyed having visitors!
Now that we’re home for a Saturday with no visitors, however, this happened:
The canoe has been sitting for the past year, waiting for the fibreglass. Mr. Intellectual got the sanding done awhile ago, and he patched up the holes. Now, the fibreglass is on, with the first coat of epoxy. Doesn’t it look good?
The Sunday after Christmas, we went to church in Reefton. We had a friend with us, a young woman whose family we spend a lot of time with. She had never been to Pancake Rocks, so we decided to take her there. Since we were in Reefton, we drove to the coast via the Buller Gorge, which she had also never been through. We hadn’t been through there in several years, either, so it was fun to see that beautiful place again.
There is some farmland along the Buller, where the valley widens out enough. The colors were so vivid that day!
This place is always fun to see, where a single lane has been carved out of the highway. It may be hard to believe, looking at this picture, but about a month or a month and a half ago, when we had a lot of rain, the level of the water was up to the road there at the cut-out! I saw a picture online of the floodwaters swirling around the guardrail.
We stopped at a roadside picnic table to eat lunch, and went down to the river. See how the grass is laid over, way above the level of the water? That’s where the water was, when the river was in flood!
When we reached Westport, we turned south and drove along the coast. This was the first time I’ve ever seen the mountains along this route; the other times we went through there, they were covered in clouds.
Simon bought himself an air rifle a few weeks ago. This fulfills a dream he has had for a long time, as the first step towards getting a gun license and learning to hunt, which is a dream he has also had for a long time. Now, at least, he can learn to aim! He has taken his brothers down to the riverbed several times for target practice, as well as some friends.
Mr. Diligence takes aim.
Mr. Diligence wanted to have a cookout down by the river for his birthday, and invite some friends. We decided to have it for Sunday dinner a few days before his birthday, and invite everyone from church plus a few other friends. I think we ended up with a total of 36 people! We spent all afternoon there, roasting sausages for lunch and eating them along with many other treats that people brought. The children played in the creek all afternoon, and we all went home sunburned and tired, but it was a great day!
I apologize for not posting last week. I sent my camera with Gayle when he went to the States for his mother’s funeral, so wasn’t taking pictures. I was also away for four days, so didn’t have time to write anything anyway. Now, I need to buy a new camera, as mine got lost along the way somewhere. I’m thankful that Esther will loan me her camera!
Here are the last of my photos from October! This year is almost over already—how can that be?
One more bubble picture, from when that was the fad. This is Mr. Imagination.
Gayle and all the children except Miss Joy went fishing one Saturday. They didn’t catch anything except a blackberry vine, and they lost some hooks and the handle of a reel—but they had fun!
Simon bought a new backpack, and Mr. Diligence wanted to try it out. He got Little Miss to climb in, and gave her a ride. She loved it!
We enjoy watching episodes of MasterChef together, and Mr. Imagination has been inspired to create pretty food. This was a “dessert” he made one morning. He has pieces of banana and orange, and he made a sauce with mashed bananas and cream.
Some friends gave us a praying mantis egg case. We were fascinated to watch the baby insects hatch! Esther took a video of it, then sped it up 8 times.
We have had a lot of rain lately. One day, someone told us the river was quite high, so Esther and the younger ones walked down to take a look at it. It was up at least a meter higher than usual at that point. (Last week when we went down to the riverbed for a picnic, there was evidence that it had been a couple of meters higher than normal at some point recently!) We live about a quarter of a mile from the river, and could hear it roaring loudly from here. Usually, you can see a wide stretch of rocks here, going about halfway across the river.
Two weeks ago, we went “over the hill” to visit friends in Canterbury. Soon after we got over Lewis Pass, we had people feeling carsick, so stopped along this river for several minutes to let tummies settle down. It was so beautiful! Such a clear, blue sky and clean air, and the snow in the distance.
Several months ago, I wrote a review about a science program we were using. I just got an email that they have a new resource available, free. It looks really good, and a lot of fun. There are heaps of video lessons in it, and if they are anything like the ones we watched from this company already, we’ll learn a lot from them and be fascinated at the same time. I look forward to enjoying these soon! Go to the landing page for the Mighty Feathers Science Goodie to see what you think. If you like the course and want to subscribe to other topics, use this link, and enter the code loh12 for $5.00 off your purchase. I’d like to know what you think of the Mighty Feathers course, if you try it out!
Because of the imminent arrival of our new baby, we were not all able to go to this year’s Dead Boring Concert (Dead Boring is the homeschool writing group we were part of in Canterbury before we moved here to the Coast). However, since Esther has her full license now, she was able to take four of her brothers over to it. They sang two songs and performed a skit.
The first song was, “I Am Thine, O Lord.”
Their second song was, “I Have Decided,” and Mr. Intellectual narrated the story behind the song.
They named their skit “A Gift for the King.” It is based on an old story. One morning a few weeks ago, Mr. Intellectual and Mr. Diligence came up with the idea. They told Simon about it when he got home from work that evening, and asked him if he could play the part of a guard. He immediately came up with an even better idea; he wanted to be the one bringing the gift, and when he acted out his idea, we were all in stitches at his goofy accent and what he called his gift! He did make one mistake when they performed the skit on the day; at the end, instead of saying he wanted a goose from the king, he intended to say he wanted a REAL goose. At the very end, they were throwing candy out over the audience for the children.
Two weeks ago, a friend brought her son over to spend the week with our boys. We love to go visit them and be at their church when we can, so the following weekend we took him home and spent the night there. Most of the week he was with us we were at home, although one day Esther took all the boys to Pancake Rocks (possibly some pictures to follow in another post, if/when I get around to looking at a couple of memory cards that aren’t home right now!). I only took two pictures here at home that week—have a look at what can happen in our living room, with lots of boys living here! Simon was trying to keep the other two boys in the living room, and he succeeded.
Here’s the other picture. I don’t know what Esther was showing them, but apparently they were interested! I’m also not sure who took the picture.
On our way to our friends’ house, we stopped at a small parking area just 1 km down from the top of Lewis Pass, on the Canterbury side, for a short stretch break. It was cold, but so beautiful there! Esther decided she wanted a picture of all the boys, so they lined up. First they tried putting their chins on each other’s shoulders; that would have worked except that Mr. Imagination was in the sunshine so his face is blurred out. Then, they tried the other pose. Their friend claims our boys as his brothers!
We got to their house in time for lunch, which gave the children a lot of time to play. The younger ones built this hut from a bunch of stuff they found laying around, and played in and around it for hours! See Mr. Imagination peeking out? The older boys went out on the hills, as they love to do there. They killed two geese and dressed them for eating. Simon was in his glory! He loves to hunt, but has rarely caught anything.
Once it got dark, the little ones had to come in. Little Miss played for a couple of hours with a kitchen set. In this first picture, she is listening to her brothers trying to tell her that she should cook worms. I didn’t quite get the most horrified expression, but trust me, she was NOT impressed!