Saturday, September 28, 2013

Fiery trials

Saturday afternoon had *that* feeling in the know, the feeling of summertime, where you want to invite some buddies over for a BBQ, pull out a guitar, and sit outside and chill.  Quick, we thought, let's plan a plan and make it happen.  We got hold of Liz and Graham who also had Sascha with them, who is interning with Graham and staying with the Gregories for a few days.  Alas though, by the time it was BBQ time, not only was it nearly dark, but also cold and drizzling.  Ah well...summer's a'coming, for sure.  After tea Liz and I needed to pop out for a few bits and pieces for a forthcoming event, and by the time we returned Nick, Graham, Sascha, Caleb and Aaron were prancing around the kitchen, giggling like schoolgirls, trying to throw paper darts (planes) into the open potbelly fire.  It was a sight to behold!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

I was a teenager back then

For those who have asked, here is a pic of "the 80st 80's blouse ever in the history of 80's blouses..." (it looks worse/better on than on my mannequin).  I wore it to work and I guess it's one of those garments that is bound to draw comments - they ranged from 'toss it in the dress-up chest' to 'absolutely beautiful'; 'over the top' to 'really stylish'.  Well, you can't win 'em all.  I considered tucking in the puffy gathers at the top, following Viv's sage advice, but in the end have decided to leave it as a monumentous tribute to the late 80's...all I need is blue eyeshadow and a big teased fringe. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Go Hurricanes!

The TCS Hurricanes played their second game of the season this evening...the team tried hard but results were dismal!  Hopefully their coaching will pay off before the season ends - arms up, intercept, catch the rebound...they'll get there.  Great to see Aaron (easy to spot with bright yellow shoes) having a high percentage of possession of the ball.  He is a determined player and does us proud.  Caleb, as a Year 7/8 basketballer, looked like he was itching to get on the court.  He offered some good insights and big brotherly encouragement from the sidelines :)

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Read the Manual!

Nick's message this morning, from Romans 8:14, was about discovering God's Will - a very informative and illuminating study.  He borrowed liberally from the book "Just Do Something: A Liberating Approach to Finding God's Will OR How to make a decision without dreams, visions, fleeces, impressions, open doors, random bible verses, casting lots, liver shivers, writing in the sky, etc" by Kevin DeYoung (I kid you not - that is the entire title).  I'm listening to the book at the moment and can recommend it, along with recommending a listen to Nick's message.  Being voiceless I was more than happy to have no socialising to do between services. Lunch was ready when we got home from church (yay for self-timers on ovens). We played a quiet game of 20 Questions over lunch, which continued into a communal and pleasant dish-washing and drying event - I do enjoy having Nick and the boys involved in the clean-up instead of disappearing into rest-mode while one is left with the work. Aaron asked if he and Caleb could play with polymer clay and although it's tempting to reply with an automatic 'no', it was actually the perfect time for it - grey outside, and Kindle privileges revoked for Aaron for the day. 
While they were mucking about I went off to find seven matching buttons to finish off a blouse, but not finding anything suitable I figured I could probably make them just as easily.  I had to reread the instructions on how to bake the clay as I forgot last time and ended up burning everything.  Pretty dumb really.  This time they turned out properly, retaining their colours.  I've also been reading the manufacturer's instructions that came with my sewing machine, discovering all sorts of things I didn't know I could do, and ways of doing things better - eg buttonholes, and re-tensioning the machine for sheer fabrics.  A spiritual lesson springs to mind - God, as our Manufacturer, has given us the Bible as our instruction manual for life.  It's pretty bizarre that it is disregarded by so many, often with not very good results!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Week 8

A very busy week in our house but few photos resulting!  Monday night I was treated to "The Sound of Music" performed at the Theater Royal by locals, with Bronwyn, Rosanna and Liz - absolutely fabulous show, and what a hoot of an evening the four of us had, what with Jaffas rolling down the sloped wooden floor (naughty us, sneaking lollies in) and quietly singing along when we really shouldn't have been :)  Photo by Philip Pain on Liz's phone, borrowed from her FB post! After the (very long) show we still went out for Sundaes and hot chocolate, so bed time was around midnight.
Tuesday Aaron and I had our usual music lessons, and in the evening Aaron had his first basketball game of the season in his Year 5/6 League (the last game will be on 3rd December, so you'll be able to watch, Popsie and Mumsie!).  The TCS Hurricanes played well but didn't quite meet up to Bluestone's high accuracy in shooting the hoops.  Good job though, team, and thanks to Mrs Thompson who is coaching.  Nick dropped us off home and raced off to bible study at the Overcomers.
Wednesday - Caleb has an orchestra practice followed by a violin lesson, always with a reminder not to break anything in between :), and we have bible study in the evening.
Thursday was our seven-weekly social swing dance, following a set of six classes.  Liz and I had had great fun learning a "Flapper Rag" routine which we performed during the evening, and Caleb wowed everyone with a spontaneous shuffle and break-dance solo towards the end of the evening - the boys usually sit quietly in a corner while we dance, but during a jam circle Aaron dared Caleb to get on the floor.
Friday night after orchestra practice I joined up with some girl friends at Liz's shop for a crafting evening.  I've had a sore throat all week which mutated into laryngitis, so I didn't contribute much by way of conversation or laughter but did enjoy the evening.
Saturday Nick spent the day out in a ministerial role and I had Victoria around for some violining.  In the evening we had a Skype catch-up with my parents which consisted of some very scant conversation from me with a lot of nodding and hand gestures, and much interesting content from the South African side, before the boys came and caught up with them.  Such a blessing to have this means of staying in touch!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Gale, oh gale

This week Timaru experienced the strongest storm its had in 25 years, we're told.  It didn't rain particularly much but we had winds howling through every corner and straight, peaking at 109km/h during Wednesday afternoon.  Police were advising that people stay home, but Aaron had an oboe lesson so off we went.  It was kind of scary sitting in the car (which is a solidly built stationwagon) and feeling it rock as winds buffeted it.  On Tuesday night we had a power outage for a few hours; not so handy when you have a dinner guest but thankfully I was at the point of serving.  There was also a fairly spectacular lightning display but after reading by candle-light for an hour I was falling asleep, so pretty much missed all but one flash.  Surprisingly there hasn't been a lot of damage reported (although Liz and Graham sadly lost their brand-new greenhouse).  Nick had to remove a sheet or two of the perspex sheeting covering our deck; it was only today that we discovered a fallen tree in the back yard.  It has long-since been dead, so probably wouldn't have taken much to fall over anyway.  Nick and the boys worked together to cut it up for firewood.
 The boys spotted a nest in a now-visible spot in a neighbouring tree.
 Getting the first branch into position...

Monday, September 09, 2013

How to wear a curtain

I'm regularly popping in at my favourite op-shop in town, to see what new bits of fabric off-cuts have been tossed out of someone's cupboard. You find such treasures sometimes! For $4.50 I picked up two pieces of quaint floral curtaining which became a jacket. I love this pattern from a Burda magazine (they are great value for money, btw fellow seamstresses), with its asymmetry, double-collar and wide lapels, and pocket with double-flaps.

Sunday, September 08, 2013

First spring gathering

Sunday...another wonderful occasion to gather together to hear the Lord's Word preached and fellowship with family in Christ. We had pre-arranged with a few families to come around for a BBQ (carefully watching weather forecasts, we had reasonable confidence that it would be good weather again, which it was).  By the time we actually got going, with a few extra invitees, we were a group of nearly 20, with two more calling in during the afternoon.  It was certainly jolly and with everyone bringing something, we ate well!  Graham (kindly?) brought along two crayfish from the freezer, which needed preparation and pan-frying (you bring, you cook...I wasn't volunteering!!).  Not so pretty to look and I mostly avoided eye contact but they sure were tasty.  The nice thing about these fellas, as I've been reminded through listening to Paul Brand and Philip Yancey's "Fearfully and Wonderfully Made", is that because they wear their skeletons on the outside, the inside is all delicious boneless flesh. 
Speaking of things on the inside, Rosanna has about 9 weeks to go.  Looking pretty great for 31 weeks, ey!
We met Emma and Sam (below, next to Liz) this morning in church - they are a fabulous newly(ish)-wed couple who are touring the south island, but who normally live in Hamilton.  We figured that since we were already having a crowd, it wouldn't hurt to have two more :)  So pleased that we got to know them a bit better before they continued on their way, and we look forward to meeting up again some day in the Lord's providence.
Cute Seth with his serious brown eyes
The boys got a game of 'Bang!' going which took most of the afternoon.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Another weekend, another birthday

This afternoon, with gorgeous weather to match, we enjoyed a birthday barbeque with Zayn, one of our young adults from church, and his family and some church family.
Quite a hilarious afternoon, really, with so much gentle South African (and much Afrikaans) ribbing and teasing. 
Three generations right there...a blessing to have family all together in a foreign country.
Zayn, birthday boy, right there...
And then we got into a bit of silliness with charades, which was new to a few people.  Took off pretty well once we all got the hang of it, with so much laughing and a bit of confusion with bilingual topics.  We should have introduced a new category; once we'd drawn box-shaped TVs or curtain-gestures or indicated a book or movie, we could have perhaps waggled our fingers at our throats to indicated Afrikaans (as it tends to be spoken more gutturally) or swished our palms around the mouth and nose to indicate English, which is placed in the front of the face.  I've noticed the same about French and German respectively.  Russian, I suspect, comes from deep within the stomach region and is best pronounced while inducing a double-chin.

Friday, September 06, 2013

Not to be mistaken for a fire-hydrant

Joan, during the cleanout prior to shifting, donated this fabulous old chest to Nick. It was grey but Nick wanted it to be shiny and RED. He bought paint and over several days, transformed it into this marvellous piece. I wish I knew more about it as I suspect it's VERY old...perhaps Joan you may feel inclined to leave some info in a comment on this post?

Monday, September 02, 2013

Quite frankly

Birthday celebrations this year for our friend Justus included a bonfire with sausies and marshmallows, cakes, and a selection of friends from different places who gelled into a happy can anyone not be happy with a roaring fire in their midst!
While the gals engaged in selfies on phones, the men whittled sticks...
...they had to be long enough to cook sausages on because you definitely didn't want to get any closer than a metre or two away, or be found accidentally treading on embers.
A bit of Damper bread happening - the raw dough was spread over the sticks and cooked until done.  
Some people had more success with it than others!
A few fireworks to celebrate...
...and then yummy cakes, too many to name or eat in one sitting.
Happy birthday, old fella, and many more!