Since late 2015, I have had three of my grand children living here at home. Our third son, their Dad is living here too. The empty nest didn’t stay empty for long! So I am back to having a pre-school child back in the house, and two primary aged kiddies, and I love it. Just when we were slowing down, and getting a little selfish with our time, we now have these wonderful children to help us to think young again, and give us plenty to do 😉
And I have had the opportunity to once again create some children’s birthday cakes. The first grandchild’s cake I made was actually for G7, who lives in London. Her daddy and her came for a months holiday and she was turning one just after she arrived back in London. I wanted to give her a New Zealand birthday as well. I found a very cute birthday party set of cups, plates, napkins and table cloth of a pink ladybug. I copied the picture of the bug and made that the design for the cake.
The first of the three who live here was the oldest of the three, G2. He turned 10 late January, 2016. He is really into minecraft! He watches you tube videos of people playing the game, plays it on the PS3 and talks about minecraft all the time!
Here is his cake.
This was such an easy cake to make. Just a simple round cake, green fondant with little fondant squares cut out in various shades of green, fondant letters cut with playdoh cutters, and minecraft ‘lego like’ blocks. Jayden also liked creeper and wanted a minecraft creeper cake, so I made him an extra cake as well. This was a pretty simple cake to make as well.
Next birthday was just one week later and that was G5. I had decided on making her a Barbie cake with the doll in the cake and the cake as a dress. Daughter C5 brought the Barbie doll while I made the cake. Once putting them together I realized that to get to doll to fit the cake, I would need to cut her legs off, or make an extra cake to make the dress part bigger. It was getting late into the night and I had a bright idea to use doilys instead. G5 was turning two, and I didn’t think that she would be too fussy, she just wanted a cake. He is how it turned out 😉
And with the added cupcakes for the party.
G5 was a very happy little girl and I was quite happy with the finished product.
The next birthday was in the May, when G4 was turning 7. Look at his cake! It was a big one!
I had so much fun making this cake. I had brought the party supplies from Spotlight so decided to make the cake to go with the table decorations. G4 loved it. He is a very active little boy and it suited his personality totally. We even went to a indoor trampoline park for his party. He and his friends jumped around like superheros the whole party!
Skip the rest of the year, and we are now back to G2’s Birthday. This time his 11th. The theme for this party was Pokémon. This kid collects Pokémon cards, and has about 4 albums full of them! He also likes, and knows the names of heaps of the Pokémon characters. So it HAD to be a Pokémon cake and themed party.
So, I am now getting lots of practice making Birthday cakes again. The week after G2’s birthday is G5’s birthday. This time (after searching Pinterest) I decided in making her a princess themed birthday, making her cake out of lots of cupcakes. It was lots of fun, and I had to stop myself from putting too many decorations on the cake!
For G5’s birthday celebration, we went to the movie Ballerina with some friends. G5 had party bags to give her friends at the movie.
After G5’s birthday in the February, I travelled to Sydney for G6’s 3rd birthday. Now, I didn’t make this cake, but his Mummy did, and she did a great job. G6 loved his cake and he had a wonderful birthday party.
In May 2017, came G4’s 8th birthday. By now I’m loving Pinterest! And as I was looking for easy boys cakes, I found this one! It became the theme for his birthday, and presents!
2018 came along pretty quickly, and I have now made another two birthday cakes. First is G2 again late January. He turned 12 this year, and decided that he was quite happy with having a plain cake rather than a themed and decorated cake. Phew! He still had to have a cake though. And this is what I came up with. He was happy 🙂
His cake had two layers. A Vanilla cake for one layer and a chocolate cake for the other. I put the layers together, and iced all over, with vanilla buttercream icing. Broken flake chocolate for the top, number 12 candles, Jaffas (chocolate/orange lollies) around the bottom edge and it was finished! It lasted all of two days!
While shopping in Spotlight one day, I came across a pink Minnie Mouse party pack and decided that as G5 has a Minnie Mouse that she cuddles and plays with a lot. Pink Minnie Mouse should be her birthday theme! I also brought some Pink Minnie Mouse Curtains and decided that I could definitely make something out of them to fit the theme of the party.
After her party and an all afternoon play at Rumpus Room indoor playground in New Plymouth, G5 thanked her little friends with her own little gift. In their gift bags were lots of Minnie mouse games and girly things, like bangles and ear rings and hair ribbons. Then they each got their skirts. We had 5 little pink Minnie mouse girls running around the playground, and 3 boys. They had a great time. I did too. All the preparation of food, serving the food, party games and clean up was provided by Rumpus room! So good 🙂
This Christmas has been wonderful! I have had all of my 6 adult/children home, along with their partners and children. The only one missing was our beautiful eldest grand daughter. She lives in Sydney, is starting a full time job as a nurse this March, and because of work commitments over the holidays, she had to stay home. She was certainly missed!
To get most of our family in one place and at the same time is a miracle!
We have one son, with his wife and two children, living in London; We have another living in Sydney, with his wife and three children; We have another son, and his wife, based in Sydney, but travelling all over the world; We have another son, and his three children, living here at home with us; We have a daughter living in Auckland, New Zealand; And we have another daughter living in our home town who is in the process of building a new home. Can you see how amazing it has been to actually get them all home?
We have had 17 of us living together over the holidays, and actually 18 for a couple of nights. My home has been full, and I have been so happy. A happiness that fills me to overflowing. It’s so hard to describe, but I feel like I am in love with each of my family members all over again! They are all great people, and I am so proud of each and every one of them. I am so happy with how they all embraced the time together, and how they all loved each other in spite of all the differences between us.
In honour of having us all together, I wanted to have a few family photos taken. I love photos, and the memory moments they give us all, forever! My eldest daughter is a very talented photographer (and the second to eldest as well), so we arranged a time, and a place, and C5 took some photos. The last time we managed to get group photos taken was in December 2009. We have had four more grand children born since then, so I felt we really needed an updated photo.
Oh my, we have all aged in the last 8 or so years! But those years have been great, and we have all matured in personality, character and experiences. I can imagine the many stories each can tell from those past 8 years.
The three eldest in the back row are the three with our eldest grand daughter in the photo above this one! Four more grand children added and three of them were born in 2014 in February, March and April! Three grand children born within three months 🙂 The youngest grandson turned one last November.
If you have visited my blog before, you will see that I now have a new blog header (that is the photo you see when you get to my site) and that header is our new family portrait! That is my whole family, minus 2! Our eldest grand daughter and one daughter in law are missing, but all of my adult children are in there, and their families.
For the last 15 months we have been opening our home to airbnb guests. It’s been really interesting. We have met so many lovely people, and we now have new friends from all over the world! For reasons which I will explain later on in my post, I have filled in the availability calendar for our home, so it is unavailable for a time, but we did have two guest rooms which have been well used. Here are the links to those rooms if you would like to have a look.
The summer months seem to have been the most popular for tourists visiting New Zealand. The most common places of interest that our visitors have been to see before they got to our home in little Waitara (Taranaki), has been the Waitomo Caves and the Tongariro Alpine Crossing. Most of our visitors travelled south from Auckland and were making their way down to the South Island, where they planned on driving down to visit Queenstown. The popular cities that I heard mentioned visited in the North Island were Auckland, Rotorua and Taupo. And, of course, I would promote a visit to our local city of New Plymouth, of which I have already written a blog post about!
When our guests spoke of the wonderful experiences they had seeing the Waitomo Caves, and walking / tramping the Tongariro Crossing, I would feel slightly guilty. Here I am a New Zealander, and I haven’t even been to either of those places myself, well I hadn’t! But I have now. In April I took my grandson to the Caves 🙂 We only went through the Glow worm cave but it was fantastic. I have visited the Jenolan Caves near the Blue Mountains in Australia, and I have to say that the Waitomo Caves are equally as good. Definitely worth the visit.
In March I joined a group of local people to travel North to The National Park to walk the Tongariro Alpine Crossing and I have to say it was the highlight of my year so far! It was amazing, and what a sense of achievement to have completed it! Yes, I can definitely say it was on my bucket list (after hearing about it so much from our visiting tourists) and it has now been ticked off!
After four long years of just having my husband and myself at home, this year has completely changed for us. We now have two of our adult children living back home, and we also have three of our grand children living here with us as well. We are so spoilt to have company all the time, and activity filling our lives. Children are great at keeping you young. So, this is the reason that our airbnb is now closed for a time, but I am very thankful for the time we had our guests staying here. If it wasn’t for their wonderful recollections, telling me about doing the Tongariro Crossing, or seeing The Waitomo Caves, I probably wouldn’t have put the effort in to see them for myself!
Now I can be the ‘expert’ when we eventually open our airbnb again.
If you have 20 minutes to spare I have also made a movie file of the crossing 🙂
Our family has just had a huge celebration! My Dad had his birthday and it certainly was one to celebrate. He turned 90 years old! That’s right 90! Not only was the age worth celebrating, but my Dad as a person needed celebrating as well. He is an amazing person! Always has been! I have been very blessed having him as my Dad. He is the best Dad a person could have (I’m not biased at all)
Of course I had to make him a cake for the occasion 🙂
We had the party at my eldest sisters place, and us four girls and my sister in law made all the food for afternoon tea. People arrived from 1pm and stayed until approximately 6pm. At one point there were 80 people wandering around the gardens or sitting and chatting! Dad had a great time catching up to old friends and family.
Mum felt just as special as Dad did, after all they are ‘one’ really, after 67 years of marriage 🙂
Only two of my adult children and their family were able to come to the party. My eldest sisters daughter came, along with her family as well. And, my brothers son came too.
It was so good to be able to have all our immediately family together again. A great opportunity to get a group photo!
So I titled this post ‘The seasons of life’, because of the fact that my Dad and Mum are in the ‘Winter’ season of their lives. Thankfully they are well and still having a great time of ‘living’, although Mum is a little slower nowadays. I really can’t imagine life without my precious Mum and Dad to chat to, have our weekly family dinner time together, and have their continued input into my life. I have been blessed to have them both as my parents, and I am so very thankful.
Both Robin and myself (and all my siblings) are now in the ‘Autumn’ season. The times of our lives have gone so fast. When I was younger and surrounded with lots of children, each demanding my time and energy in some way or another, and I was frequently tired; people used to say to me that these years would pass before you knew it, and your children would be all grown up and left home. In fact, sadly, because of the busyness of life, I often wished that those years of freedom would come sooner. Now, I would love to go back in time and live through those years again. It was a wonderful life and I loved being a Mum to my young children. I loved the feeling of being vitally important in their lives. Now they are individuals, adults that are making their own way in life. Each unique personality doing it their own way, and I am so proud of them all. I am still important to them, but in a completely different way. And that is healthy. That is the way it should be!
Celebrate the seasons of life people. They move along so fast, they really do! Memorise as many moments as you can along the way. Take heaps of photos, and journal your life. It will all be great to look back on, especially as you enter the less energetic seasons of life.
Yet in this Autumn season, there is still so much to look forward to. Robin and I now have the ability to make decisions about our lives, that no longer impact our ‘children’ like they used to. We can make plans for holidays together, have evenings out regularly, and generally do as we please. Does this sound selfish? I see it as a reward for selflessly parenting our children first and foremost during their formative years, and into adulthood. We can now become a ‘couple’ again, and enjoy the wonders of discovering life together as a couple.
Yes! This season of life is great!
PS…. As part of my celebrating ‘who I am’ in my Autumn years, I have decided to let my grey show! It has been a great topic of discussion, I can tell you. But I am happy with who I am. I don’t feel the need to impress anyone, or feel I need to try to keep young looking. I am actually loving my hair, and wish it was actually white all over. And you know what…. it is very freeing 🙂
The first half of our year is full of celebrations starting with Robin’s birthday on the 2nd of January. This year was his 60th and we celebrated his day with a lovely wine tour in the north of Sydney!
C5’s birthday was on the 15th of January and G2 turned 9 on the 29th. Within that week we had G5 turn 1 on the 4th and then on the very next day G3 turned 9! Phew! But that doesn’t end the February birthdays. G1 and C6 both had milestone birthdays, with G1 turning 18 and C6 21 on the 24th! Yes they share the same birthday. G1 is now at University, and we are very proud of the beautiful young woman she has become 🙂
C6’s 21st was a biggie! And I decided to do most of the decorating myself! And did I have fun!
Let’s start with the cake…
We hired out a local club and had a wonderful evening together. C6 is my baby and to think she is now 21 is unbelievable. Where have those years gone? C6 is very talented, and a beautiful young lady. I am very proud of her 🙂
The birthdays haven’t finished yet! On the 18th of March we celebrated G6’s 1st birthday with an amazing Star Wars themed party, which I have written about approximately three blogs down! Go have a look. It was the best themed birthday EVER!
In early April C2 came to New Zealand with daughter G7, and while they were staying here, I decided to put on an early 1st birthday for her. Her actual birthday is the 21st of April, but she would be back home in London by then. It was fantastic having them both to stay so it really was a double celebration! I purchased ladybug table napkins and decided to make her cake to match them. Here’s what it turned out like…
C3’s birthday was next on the 17th of April, and coming up next week is mine!
I have been back home now for nearly a month, and I’m loving it!
It’s funny how you never really appreciate something until you have to do without it for awhile. The saying goes ‘Absence makes the heart grow fonder’, and although this saying is describing relationships, I also believe it covers things like homes, or familiar places, or towns. If you have been reading my blog over the past six months, you will remember that I left New Zealand on the 15th of August last year and didn’t return again until the 12th of January this year. That is nearly five months away from my country and home town of New Plymouth. Actually we live just out of New Plymouth at a small town called Waitara, but New Plymouth is just a short 15-20 minute drive away and is our nearest city, and yes, I love it!
Walking back into my home, I fell in love with it all over again. Yes it is old, and still has a lot of work needing to be done on it, but it is very comfortable, welcoming, peaceful, and spacious. It is our 16 year old renovation project that will probably never get finished, but it has served us well! It has been a family home to 5 of our 6 children and all the extras that they have brought here over the years. We have had many friends and visitors pop in to see us and maybe stay a day or more and I trust that they have felt the welcome, not only from us, but by the atmosphere that this house helps to create.
I have been thinking about why I am so happy to be home. Yes I do love my house and it’s in a great location in the country and yet handy enough to get to town within 20 minutes, so that is part of the reason. But I think it’s the fact that New Plymouth is such a fabulous city. We have everything here from a Mountain to the sea, and plenty of parks inbetween, as well as the fact that it is a great shopping city.
Let’s start with the view I see from my own front yard!
If I drive south for 20 minutes I would come to the small town of Inglewood. About 15 minutes away from my house heading towards Inglewood, I get this amazing view!
And every winter I try to get up the mountain to the snow at least once. It’s such fun to have our Mountain so close and to have the ability to drive up right to the snow.
And after a play in the snow and you are feeling a little hungry, a stop at Volcano View Café is great for food and play. With flying foxes available for use, and BIG carts to ride. The kids (and big kids) love it 🙂
Leaving Volcano View and heading towards New Plymouth and the next place to stop would be at Lake Mangamahoe. This lake supplies New Plymouth with it’s water. It is very picturesque and also a great lake for hiking around. When you get there, you will find that you can get a great photo with the mountain in the background.
Next place towards New Plymouth is the ‘Meeting of the waters’. Here you can go for a walk to the river, swim, or take some rafts and get out on the river. It’s also a great place for a picnic, a walk or just for relaxation.
We have the most amazing park right in the centre of New Plymouth that is very popular and well worth a visit. There are many magnificent trees and gardens all over the park, along with a Fernery house to wander through. There is also a playground for the children that has recently been updated with new playground equipment, and the children love it.
There are two big lakes. One with a fountain and the other you can hire row boats and take the family or friends for a row. If you would rather have coffee or lunch than get out on a boat, then you can go to the Tea Rooms. There you can sit and relax and also have a lovely view of the lake.
The waterfall at the park looks great during the ‘Festival of Lights’ Christmas Season. The whole park is lit up over that time and is known about New Zealand wide. It is spectacular! There are also stages set up over the season and for a super evening, you can take a blanket, invite friends along and spend the evening relaxing and listening to the various performers on stage.
Walking through the park, you will end up at the “Bowl of Brooklands’. It is an amazing outdoor sound shell where we often have performers to entertain. There is nothing more special to sit on the hills with wonderful company, and listen to a well known band or watch a production/show. The Christmas at the bowl held each year is very popular and finishes off with a huge fireworks show.
And just up the hill from the Bowl of Brooklands is our very own zoo. Sorry but the most exotic animal are the monkeys, but it’s still a great zoo. It has a fantastic playground and is very good for young children. With gates and both ends, young Mums can relax while the children have fun in a safe environment. There are some elephants there but only the type seen in the next photo 😉
We have a famous garden just west of New Plymouth in the mountain range called The Pukeiti Rhododendron Gardens. Every year we have the Rhododendron Festival and it happens during the flowering season of the trees. Hundreds of tourists come into New Plymouth to visit the gardens and Pukeiti is extremely popular.
After visiting Pukeiti, it’s just a ‘short’ drive downhill towards the sea and you arrive at Oakura. The best place to go for the New Years day beach carnival. Nearby is the river that is a favourite for swimming, games and BBQ teas.
You can carry on driving towards New Plymouth and visit Back Beach. Its a bit of a climb down and more of a climb back up but the beach is great, and at low tide you can walk over to one of the sugar loaf islands. But make sure you get back to the mainland before the tide turns. You can get caught out very quickly and end up stuck on the island!
Right next to Back Beach is Paritutu Rock. And it’s a huge rock! I have climbed it about three times (I don’t like heights!). Robin was very game and took the grandsons to the top!
Once you get to Paritutu, you are nearly at Port Taranaki. It’s just down the road and good for a look, and then play on the black sand, or swim at Ngamotu Beach. Follow the coastal road and you come to three of our lovely well visited cafes! All with seaside views!
After a lovely stroll along the breakwater, you can find the start of our fabulous New Plymouth walkway! It is 12.7 Kms long and every step is worth the walk. There are magnificent views along the whole pathway. For all the information on the walkway please copy and paste the NPDC link below.
Now don’t you think that the next challenge you should give yourself is to either walk the length of the Coastal Walkway or ride your bike the distance. If you don’t have a bike you can always hire one from the people that hire them out near the café between East End and Fitzroy Beaches.
One day the Coastal Walkway will eventually reach to Waitara. From our place we can already ride our bikes along Brown Road and cross the walkway bridge at the Waiongana Stream, keep riding and end up at the back of the airport.
I haven’t finished showing off about our wonderful Coastline and beaches and favourite places to go yet! If you keep travelling north and head off to Waitara, there is another river mouth with another great Beach. The Waitara one!
If you still want to see more beaches you can venture further North to Onaero River mouth and Beach, or even further and go to the Urenui River and Beach. We’ve had many a BBQ tea and swim in the Urenui River. The mud flats on the town side of the river are a great attraction for the children, not so much for the Mums trying to get the clothes/swimwear back to their normal colour, I’m afraid!
So there you are! There’s still heaps more to see in our wonderful city and actually the whole province of Taranaki. So next time you go on holiday, don’t forget about New Plymouth, and you can visit the places I have shown and also discover some more places for yourself.
Robin and I have just joined www.airbnb.com as a host family. We’ve already met some super people from other countries. We love being able to share our big home and have some company, but what we love the most is having the opportunity of sharing our wonderful city of New Plymouth with them.
Now can you see why I said I am really enjoying being back home 🙂
Last school holidays I had the boys here to stay for a week. I met C3 and Stacie in Wanganui on a Tuesday and then a week later did the same thing again, picking the boys up the first week and dropping them off the second. We had a fabulous time at the park in Wanganui including a picnic lunch. The boys loved the playground! Each play area is based on a nursery rhyme or cartoon character and painted in bright colours. Best of all was the train ride!
The second week in Wanganui we had a big family get together celebrating Keelas 16th Birthday. Keela is my brothers grand daughter, daughter of Melissa. I haven’t seen Keela for years so it was a great opportunity to catch up with her….and what a beautiful young lady she is 🙂 It was also a chance to meet up with the newest addition to the family, baby Nash, Melissa’s baby…and Keela and Alex’s half brother.
I love trying to spend as much quality time with the boys while they are staying. This time we went to the beach, down to the river and walked along the walkway. Robin did something even more adventureous with them while I was at work. They climbed Paritutu! I don’t think I would have been game enough to do that with G4. His listening skills are not the best….and it is a very high and dangerous place to be if you don’t follow the rules! But….what an experience for them 🙂
While the boys were staying I found some cool T Shirts for them to wear to church on the Sunday. I am amazed at the neat clothing out there for boys nowdays. There was nothing like them when my boys were young! I love them! What do you reckon? Do you think they are pretty cool?
We brought our home on Tate Road in Brixton approx 14 and a half years ago. Back then it was a house that needed major repair, but I saw heaps of potential in it, and it was a huge home. And we needed huge! With six children we needed the space. Space away from close neighbours and space to make noice! The boys were getting older, bigger and louder. They all loved living life loud! Daniel played various musical instruments, and he also loved to get into the garage and do some welding and grinding on his old car at any time of the day or night. Matthew, the eldest, had left home but he added to the family with his beautiful partner Rebecca and our lovely first grandchild Leeara. And they were here often as well, so we definitely needed this house. I saw rooms, plenty of them, and with the attached flat we would have two bathrooms! So very necessary. Robin saw work and tons of it!
The whole front lawn had been planted out with conifers. They were the first to go. The very weekend we moved in we had a big bon fire, and a chainsaw cutting down the conifers and any other trees we didn’t want. That fire was relit many times over the next few years.
We also had lots to demolish inside! Robin would go to work each day and come home to another pile of rubbish, and bare walls! The poor man never had any down time….but I was loving the challenge! We were lucky enough to have two kitchens, laundries and bathrooms. One could be used while the other was being renovated. And the kitchen in the house was ugly…and needed a complete rebuild. It also needed new french doors and a lovely big deck outside. All fabulous additions which we have been well used for many family gatherings over the years.
I started to paint the house in colours that were commonly used on old villas. The first big job was to clean down the windows so they would open. The whole house had been sprayed with a protective coating which glued the windows closed! Once cleaned off I could then paint the window frames. By the time I had spent hours on a couple of the windows and exposed the rotten timber underneath, we made the decision to replace all the wooden windows with aluminum ones! And by that stage I had gone off the colonial colours and decided to paint in more neutral colours! Thank goodness I hadn’t gone too far! And…we are still trying to remove the spray coating off the walls. Only part of the front wall left to do….thank goodness! Robin’s and my wrists and elbows are getting too old and painful to keep on doing all the scraping that is necessary. What we have done looks great and eventually the flat will be painted the same colour and it WILL look fabulous!
The place also had two big fish ponds. One was by the back door which was really unsuitable for little children so that was emptied straight away. Not a fish in sight! It had a dead hedgehog in the pool and it had poisoned all the water. What a smell! And….what a lot of rubbish from it. Emptied….smashed up…and then refilled with dirt…yes, a BIG job! The other fish pond was on the front lawn. I kept this pool for about 10 years as it was loaded with fish. The annual pool clean up was another big job but the reward of seeing the gold fish and lovely water lily flowers was worth the effort. Eventually I decided that the effort put into maintaining it was more than the joys I got from those flowers, so out it came as well. Much easier to mow a flat grass area than go around a pool as well!
I shifted plants and created new gardens, demolishing others. I made footpaths, pulled out hedges and we made garden edgings. My weekends were filled up with weeding and maintaining the beautiful garden areas around the section…and I loved it.
Robin was rebuilding the walls inside the house and doing a great job, but we eventually got a builder in to help out, especially in the bathroom and laundry area….of both the house and the flat. I started doing the plastering, but that also got to become too big for me, so a plasterer finished off the walls as well. But, Robin and I did all the painting and wallpapering. We picked all the earthy colours of bright yellow, terracotta, dark blue and green! Yuck….what was I thinking? I did actually love it all at the time though! Hence the reason that ten years later, I have now almost completely redecorated the whole house. I only have the passageway and the office left to go! Phew!
Looking from the back door out to the garden
We lived in the flat as well as the house until there were only five of us left at home. The girls had their own rooms in the flat and Robin and I had always used the lounge in the flat as our master bedroom. It wasn’t until the middle of one night when Ben, our youngest son, had had a bad dream. He came wandering through the house into the flat in tears and said that it was quite scary to have the whole house to himself at night. I hadn’t even thought about him being the only boy left in the house. It was the push we needed to shift into the house which left the flat available for rental. Bonus! We painted over the wallpaper in the flat to give it a quick tidy up and then finally renovated it entirely between tenants only two years ago. The walls were painted in a neutral colour throughout, and now the house is nearly finished being painted in the same colour.
In 2011 we included the outside games room and the house back door area into the renovations. We had put a French door in our bedroom approximately five years earlier with the intention of putting a new deck off it. The project in 2011 incorporated a new deck extending from the back door right to the driveway. The games room was always the room that needed the most fixing, but that didn’t stop Daniel using it as his own little flat….followed by Simon and then Ben. Robin and absolutely love the room now. He has a great computer set up and I have it as a scrapbooking/craft room. The room is also fabulous for a sleepout for visitors. We put a roof and doors on the deck and also now have a conservatory that warms up beautifully all year round.
We have had so much enjoyment both living in our home, and renovating it. It is set on a half acre section and we have no immediate neighbours. I can look out the windows and admire the lovely view I get from each window. The gardens are now well developed and there are lovely mature trees. We can eat from our vegetable gardens and have enough fruit trees to both eat and preserve the fruit.
Yes…I love my house. It is, and probably always will be, a work in progress. It has never been perfect. It is old and there is a lot of maintenance needed, but to me it’s better than perfect…it’s home!
This year has been a huge year for our eldest daughter C5. On January the 15th she turned 21. We celebrated with a big family dinner on her actual birthday and then on the following Saturday night we had a combined dinner with her special friends at a local nightclub ‘Crowded House’. We had a lovely meal together and talked into the late evening and left C5 and her friends to continue celebrating into the early hours of Sunday morning. She is a very friendly and well loved young lady and her many friends helped to make her evening special and celebrate her and her very special birthday. C6 and I had fun purchasing 21 gifts and wrapping them up. It was a delight to watch C5 see all the presents and then watch her open each present up. She is so beautiful and photogenic. Her face is a delight to watch 🙂
Then on the 24th of May…C5 had her graduation ceremony. What a fantastic celebration of her three years of study and the end with her capping! She is now a qualified nurse and is working at ‘Carefirst’ in New Plymouth. Even better she loves her job!
We are very proud parents. C5 is a delightful person. She is so loving and caring and giving. She has brought us so much joy and happiness. We can’t wait to see where her nursing takes her in life, and we also look forward to everything she does in the future. She is also an amazing photographer and has suprised many people with her most fabulous talent at just managing to ‘snap’ that photo at just the right time. An ability many of us would love to have. God certainly has gifted her with many wonderful qualities. We love her as she is…she is just perfect!
Came home a week ago to beautiful weather although definitely colder than when I left for Sydney. It’s lovely to be back home but I do miss my Sydney family. Just as well they need me to look after the grand daughters again…I am going back over on the 30th of May until the 17th of June…another 18 days!
I’ve been such a busy girl though since I got back home. I have pruned trees, mowed lawns, made jam, baked, helped to clean out Mum and Dads house(they have moved to Airport Drive and their house is now for sale!), celebrated Mother’s Day, been to church and home group, and entertained!! Phew!!!
Today I invited a few friends over for a cuppa and catch up. Decided it was an opportunity to do some spoiling by making it High Tea. I am lucky enough to be looking after Mums beautiful bone china tea sets, and I just HAD to use them. I try to be so gentle with them as I would hate to break one. They really are so special. It certainly makes the morning tea extra nice. I also made cup cakes, shortbread and scones with jam and cream! I have also added photos of my crab apples and the jam I made with them. If you haven’t tried crab apple jelly, you should! it’s a lovely jam that is sweet but yet tart!