Every kid loves holidays =D

on September 28, 2010

Friday was the last day of school in Term 3. Lukas didn't have to go to kindy and instead joined us all at the local Marae (the traditional meeting house of the Maori) where we attend Eliza's and of term assembly. It was very interesting being at the Marae and watching a proper Powhiri (meeting). I could even understand a few words the local Maori people used in their Mihi (Speech) to welcome us.

The weekend was rather quiet. On Saturday I got to feed Gritje's little lamb which she called Shaun-David. Shaun is a famous TV character («Shaun the Sheep») and David her host mom's brother. Unfortunately little Shaun-David will only have a very short life as he'll be Christmas dinner in a few months :-(

We also checked out the new club in town – Malbas, formerly known as danger danger. Wasn't really enjoying myself which is mostly due to the DJ. He really sucked, played one bad song after the other and wouldn't even play songs the audience requested. What a loser! If it wasn't for the pool tables I wouldn't go there again but Gritje and I had a good time playing some balls – I won ALL games *heehee* Only lost when Vicky's boyfriend played against me and Gritje – I guess she just was bad luck that night *lol*

Vicky's boyfriend was here for the weekend. We picked him up from Auckland airport Thursday night. That was a drive... Four girls in a little tiny car driving at night after a long day of work... We got to Auckland around midnight but Hussam's plane was delayed. By the time we had picked him up and were ready to leave it was 1am!!! Tried to get some sleep on the way back but qith five of us squeezed in one little car there was not much space to sit comfortable. Was back at my room by 4am so I got a little more than host hours sleep that night *uff*

Now the kids and I are enjoying two weeks of school vacation. Yesterday we went with Denise and her five kids to the beach (Whananaki South) and enjoyed the sun. The weather is getting better and better and you can tell that summer is coming closer. We had maybe 24 degrees, lots of sunshine and blue sky. The water still was too cold for the kids to go in but they had heaps of fun building sand castles and messing around in the sand.

I also finally wore the dress that Jenny has sent me from the UK a few weeks ago. I absolutely LOVE it!!! What do you think?

Today we went to see the Kiwi House and Museum where they were hosting a Butterfly exhibition. Unfortunately the Kiwis tend to exaggerate because when I hear the word butterfly I think of live ones flying around that you can see and observe. But no – no live butterflies here... just a little tiny section in the back of the museum with two or three dead ones pinned to the wall and lots of stuff to read. Very interesting for children... Waste of time and money...

At least we really did see a Kiwi bird so that was worth it :-) Little fellow was right behind the glass window enjoying his food. But still I don't know why I would have to pay 10 dollars (5 Euros) as an adult and 5 dollars (2.50 Euros) as a child just for that.

There are lots of walks there and old houses but overall I would say if you have little children save your money and -

... go to the Town Basin instead =D That's where we spend the rest of the day. Kids had some fish and chips and afterwards just ran around the big playground having the time of their lives.

Tomorrow we're going to the pools but I don't know yet whether that's a normal swimming pool or hot pools like the one in Ngawha. But I'll find out :-)

You'll find more pictures of our holiday adventures on Facebook...

Lots of animals and seafood

on September 19, 2010

Last week Lukas's kindy had a trip to the Serendipity Farm Park in Whangarei. It's a nice little animal park about 10mins from the city center where you can spend a nice morning or afternoon with the whole family. It's $6 for adults and $5 for kids so not too bad and in the entrance included is a bag of food to hand out to the animals.

They have lots of goats and horses, some alpacas, a lama, an ostrich, donkeys, lots of ducks, a wild pig and sometimes baby animals (like the cute little black lambs when we were there). You go along the park on a little path and can handfeed most of the animals. Before you go a staff member of the park explains the kids how to feed the animals and how to behave. There's also a rabbit house and when we were there they had a little baby bunny and a rat the kids could hold and cuddle.

Lukas and the other kids really enjoyed their stay at the park. I'd say it's definitely worth a visit. There's a little café also and some picnic tables so just bring along whatever you need and have yourself a picnic next to the animals :-) There's a few more pictures of the farm park on Facebook.

This weekend I was quite busy at least on Saturday. First I joined a friend I met on Couchsurfing and went to the Northland Seafood Festival. The name is a little exaggerated as Festival doesn't quite fit. It was a little area with a stage where three girls sang and made a little show - a really good one by the way doing songs à la Coyote Ugly and similar.

Other than that there were lots of wine and food stalls with - of course - overprized food. But the oysters were really yummy!!! Didn't feel any aphrodisiacal effects though *lol* Was just about to hop on a helicopter, too, as they were offering flights around the Marina for just $40 (little more than 20 Euros). But when I finally decided I was gonna do it they had already removed the sign. I guess the wind was getting too strong. What a pity! I'm sure I'd have enjoyed that too!!!

Saturday night I was catering at the Hikurangi Fire Brigade as they were having an honor's night for their comrades. Met a few really nice girls there and the food - OMG... more oysters, prawns, meatballs, mussels, sandwiches, samosas, spring rolls, carrot cake, cheese cake, brownies... HEAVEN ON EARTH - only not for us as we were just working :-(

Convertibles, high heels and a Māori Mihi

on September 15, 2010

After slowly recovering from - hum, now what? a nasty tummy bug? food allergies? - whatever I can start posting stuff again that's worthwile mentioning. First of all something for all the guys out there *lol* Guess what... I actually had to come all the way down to New Zealand to drive my first BMW!!! Thanks to Craig's dad I was able to drive one of these (a BMW Z4 convertible) down the road *woohoo* Really enjoyed it!

Would love to have one of these, but first of all I have to spend some money on a new dress and high heels *arg* Why? The Tikipunga soccer club that I have been playing for twice has an end of the season prize-giving and though I've only helped out at two games I may/can/have to attend that rather formal gathering. Met one of the girls in town and she basically told me: "Sure you're coming. You played goalie and everybody loves you for that!"

So now I'm stuck and have no idea where to get a dress from that I like, that fits AND that I can afford... not to think about the shoes. Have I mentioned that A I don't like shopping and B I neither care for wearing dresses too often nor high heels? What a dilemma...

Also my classes at the CEW are slowly coming to an end. There's two more Māori lessons and for the next one we have to prepare a mihi - an introductory speech we could give at a Marae (the assembly house of the Māori).

Here's what I will be saying...

Tēnā koutou katoa. Ko Mara tōku ingoa. Nō Tiamana ahau. Ko Wolfgang tōku matua. Nō Elgersburg ia. Ko Monika tōku whaea. Nō Mockrehna ia. Ko Georg rāua ko Johanna tōna mātua. Nō Mockrehna a Georg. Engari, I mate ia. Nō Tschernosek a Johanna. Ko Marc tōku tūngane. Nō Eilenburg ia. Ko ahau te mātāmua. Horekau ōku tamariki. Nō reira, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou katoa.

Wormie in love

on September 13, 2010

A friend of mine showed me this cute video today that I just have to share with you. What happens, when two worms fall in love, but then get separated because one of the apples they live in gets harvested? Tragic story - but with a happy end =D

The video is part of the Minuscule-series, little 5min long videos that show you the worlds of insects. It's meant to be family entertainment - and it really is. Just watch this poor little spider that has caught a cold and is now constantly sneezing - which prevents it from getting any food at all ;-(

Early morning surprise

on September 06, 2010

Kids can be full of surprises. And these surprises are not always exactly what you had wished for. However, in the last few days, Lukas and Eliza have been amazing. I've had one of the best Monday mornings in a while. Why? Because by the time I had woken up (6.30am as usual) both of them were already fully dressed and ready for breakfast. OMG! That was unbelievable :-)

It might not sound like something big. But there are days when by the time both of them ARE fully dressed and ready for breakfast I am really exhausted and ready to go back to bed. Some mornings every little thing becomes a big struggle, there are tears and screams and lots of unhappy people involved. So a morning like today's is something you really need to treasure!

Also last week especially Eliza really surprised me. I had told the kids in the morning that we (or they) needed to tidy up their room once they came back from school and kindy. Of course they weren't very happy to hear that and mentally I was preparing myself for a rough afternoon.

But no... As soon as we got back Eliza vanished into her room and when I followed her to see what she was up to - she had already started cleaning up! "Because you said so in the morning", was her reaction to my obviously baffled face. I was even more suprised she did it because Lukas had fallen asleep in the car so he couldn't help at all. What a lovely girl =D

What else has happened around here lately? Oh yeah, I almost forgot - I blew up a friend's computer trying to fix it ;-/ Killed the whole power in the entire new house too. Luckily the second could be fixed later because one of the fuses was just missing.

Saturday and Sunday was full of birthday parties. First Jordan, youngest son of one of Pia's closest friends Denise, celebrated his fourth birthday. I was invited too (even though it's been Denise who's computer I crashed) and it was quite an experience having yet another party with 15 kids aged six months to eight years. What a blast!

On Sunday it was Pia's birthday and she actually got to sleep in - until 7.30am!!! That's three hours more than during her usual daily routine. She got our gift just before Sunday dinners. Annika, Duncan and I had given her a gift voucher for a massage, a thermal mud face mask and some honey sizzling bubble bath salt.

I also played soccer again on Sunday but this weekend it was really really bad. We played against the FC Whangarei - the secondbest team in the league. This time we had two subsitutes so you'd think we'd make a good job considering last time we were one player short. Well - WRONG!

We started quite good, but after a confusing scene in which the ref hadn't quite made clear what he wanted the other team scored. And the goal counted. The shock was deep - and only two minutes later it was even 0:2. They scored again I think early second half which didn't really matter anymore because we had already lost then.

Since it was the last game of the season there was nothing more to lose and our goalie wanted to get rid of some energy and play on the field. Guess who had to fill in? Yep, me... But, unlike last time, I felt really uncomfortable. Our defense SUCKED! I'm sorry to put it like this but it's true. Frank, my German coach, would have gone nuts watching this. Mainly there was one girl on the other team who made the game - and instead of just stepping on her feet and not letting her go she was free to do as she please ALL THE TIME! I found myself in one-on-one or even one-on-two-situations over and over again.

I was just about to throw the gloves away and leave when the ref finally blew the whistle and ended this desaster. The final score was "only" 0:6. What a shame...

Since there's no more soccer over here until April except for twilight soccer which is more fun I guess I had to start something else. And I actually started running!!! Went last week for the first time and managed to run 1.67 kilometers (that's exactly from our house to the end of the road). Can't believe I did it. The first 200 meters were awful and I was close to giving up. But after that it became easier with every step. On the way back home I walked listening to music and singing in the rain *lol* I felt like the happiest person on earth... I ran again today and it was already a lot more pleasant. Was a bit faster too =D

There's some more good news... I got a bus ticket to go to Auckland in October to see Leonard Cohen. And it only cost me 1 DOLLAR!!! I booked it with NakedBus so just check out their website for supercool offers! By the way - I ended up paying two dollars because of the one dollar booking fee *lol*

The money I saved I instantly put to good use... I got another concert ticket: BON JOVI!!! He'll be in Auckland in December and with tickets just being 100 dollars (50 EUROS!!!) I really couldn't resist. Pia and Louise are thinking about joining me which would be awesome! We can have a girls' night out in the big city *woohoo*

One more thing - for all of you who have heard about the major earthquake in New Zealand... that was in Christchurch way down south on the south island so luckily up here we didn't even notice anything at all. All good :-)