Thursday, September 14, 2017

A dust filled week

Monday 11th: We had my tripod with, so decided to get a new family photo or two. :-)
Just a pity we could not capture the beautiful snow capped mountains behind us.
Packing up this morning. I was very tempted to start packing yesterday, but realized the packing to go home would be much easier than the packing to come. We don't need to think about what needs to be packed - but just pack everything that is ours. :-)
I asked Rachel to take a photo of me at my computer before I packed it up. This was how I managed to keep my blog up to date while we were away. The biggest reason for having it with though was to keep up with e-mail correspondence around the repair as well as paying bills ect. It's so handy having an all in one computer - as well as cordless mouse and keyboard. We didn't have wifi at the house, but I worked out how to create a hotspot on my phone and could finally get to use some of the data I have been collecting over the last year. It came in very handy this week.
On our way home we stopped at the Red Post geocache spot for Ruth. We had planned to try and get more done on the way home, but forgot to keep her surface out for looking them up (and my phone doesn't work on the site). At least we got the one though.
When we were almost finished our fish and chips lunch I went to pay and realized I had lost my card when I went to the shops this morning. I had received a call just as I was paying, so although I didn't even give the cashier my card, I didn't put it directly back into my "wallet" (which is my phone cover). I hunted through the car so many times I lost count. I called the shop but it hadn't been spotted. So thankfully I could cancel that before any other transactions went out on it. It's just such a pain though as I have to wait 2 to 3 week for the replacement.
Just one more job added to the list of things to do. I have a few automatic payments set up on the card - so I will have to make those payments another way over the next month.
The carpet company said they would be done by 2, but when we got back at 1 they had already left. I had hoped to send some pieces with them to get edged (into nice mats) but I will have to organize that another time now. Ruth wanted to get to school for the last two periods, so she got sorted and I dropped her off.

Hezekiah enjoyed helping Dad and Rachel putting Asher's bed together. Our goal for this afternoon is to get Asher's bed and our bed set up. Hannah helped watch Asher so that I could also get some cleaning done. We had quite a shock when we arrived back and realized the carpet company had not even vacuumed once they were done. The kitchen counters were also full of dust, so I at least got the kitchen clean and also got some basic things unpacked.
It was good to not have the pressure to have the whole house set up today. Hannah and Hezekiah headed off just after 3 to go home with the Spencer's for the next 2 nights. Ruth will be going home with her friend on the bus this afternoon and staying there for 2 nights as well. Hannah was especially excited about going on the bus to school tomorrow.
The 4 of us that were left at the house headed out for some pies for dinner and then Asher and I headed off to fetch Anakin. He was thrilled to be home and with his family again.
Rachel went out to the garage to see if she could find a way through all the furniture to some of the lounge furniture. It was the first to go out so that everything else could easily go out the lounge. So it was not easy to get to now. She managed to find a way though and wonderfully she was able to help Brendon get it to the house (the big 3 seated one). So at least the 3 of us could sit comfortably this evening and even enjoy a movie together and relax a bit after the afternoon's work.
Tuesday 12th: Asher and I headed off early this morning for Champion Center as usual. I was especially glad to be able to just get away from all the boxes (and dust) for a while. I had felt quite overwhelmed by the end of Monday with all the work that still needs to be done.
Asher was quite pleased with working out how to pick up the bees with these tiny tweezers (you have to pick them up by their wings). She has used very small tweezers in the past, but not lately - so it was a bit "new" to her (at least with this Champion Centre teacher).
After the session we had Asher's IP. I had brought her church bag with along with our laptop and some of her music DVDs. She played happily for most of the time next to me and then enjoyed a bit of time in the playroom.
It was again a good time with the therapists, discussion very specifically Asher's transition to school. She will be 5 in February, so her school start is not far away at all. Thankfully our focus is on getting her settled, comfortable and safe in the new environment, and this is the school's first goal too. We are not too worried about her "education" as such. As the headmaster said - that will come. We first have to work out all the practical things of her just being there.
It was wonderful to come home to a home that looked more like home. Brendon and Rachel worked really hard today, bringing in all the furniture and some of the more important boxes.
We have decided to put the dining room side board into the lounge and I'm pleased with how it looks. The lounge actually looks bigger now (the chairs moved just a bit further away from the TV wall). And the dinning room has that little bit of extra space which we needed (especially me with this expanding tummy - it was often rather difficult getting around the table).
It was another very busy day, so we were thankful to only have to prepare dinner for the 4 of us. We had another nice quiet evening, resting after the busy day.
Wednesday 13th: The children were excited about coming home after school today. They loved staying with their friends (and traveling on the bus) but where also excited about being home and seeing Anakin again.
(Right: Anakin even giving Asher some love - he is very pleased to be home with his family again.)
The builder was back today to finish up the shower. Hannah and Hezekiah liked watching what was happening. At one point I heard Hezekiah talking a LOT, so reminded him to not be a pain. The builder said he was fine, just being curious. "And that's how you learn." Hezekiah had fun looking through some of his tools and asking him questions about them. I was thankful he was happy to chat away to Hezekiah.
Thursday 14th: Asher's EIE does cleaning around the area for people, so I asked her if she would come and help me to get the windows clean. She came today and suggested we just take the dusty curtains down and wash them. So she helped take down curtain and hang them up again once washed. Thankfully we had the new curtains from the curtain bank for the bedrooms, so it was only the lace curtains and then the dinning and lounge that needed to be washed. It was wonderful to get so much done but also disappointing when we realized the lining of the washed curtains (specifically the lounge) just disintegrated in the wash. So it was like the curtains were just full of powder.
So although we had a great start with clean windows and curtains, it was very disappointing to still have all the dust being created in the lounge from the curtains (even after I had removed the crumbling linings). Thankfully I contacted the curtain bank again and told them what had happened. They have said they will look out for curtains for us for the lounge.
While the girls were at dancing, Hezekiah got to use Rachel's computer for his Math Seeds (the iPad was flat). It was fun using the touch screen. He is starting to learn about dividing - although in a very basic way. I think he calls it "sharing".
Back from dancing and Hannah got some reading done before bed. Ruth decided to use Anakin as a neck warmer. He was actually so relaxed up there (until I brought the camera out).

The girls got their exam reports today. We were very proud of them both for getting Very Highly Commended (80% - 84%). A great result for all their wonderful effort.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Walks, games and a dusting of snow

Saturday 9th: There was a bit of talk of the possibility of snow over the weekend, so Brendon asked the children to go and collect all their toys in the garden. Once they had finished they got going on their own game.
I saw them with plants and creating things but found out later that it was a " Mini Masterchef" competition. :-)
Not knowing how wet the afternoon would be, Brendon took the 4 younger children for another walk.
This time they had success with finding the geocache they were after.

Asher enjoyed getting out with them.
While they were out, I was treated to a facial and a back massage. I had organized for Brendon to have a back massage on Monday afternoon, and it was so good that he then suggested I get a session too. We got a discount for being "locals" (living in the Hurunui District) and were treated to longer sessions that planed. It was a real treat for us both.
Just after 1pm Asher had another seizure, so I was glad she got to go out this morning.
This afternoon there was finally a game of "Bang" played. Hezekiah wanted to play Chinese Checkers with Dad, so Dad played both games at once (which I watched Asher). There was so much laughing and fun. Special times.
This evening Jenga got brought out. With the cold and wet weather we have had this week I am especially glad we had a big box of games with us.
Sunday 10th: Ruth and Hannah played with the blocks a bit more this morning.
Although we only got a bit of rain yesterday, there is talk about a cold front bring rain (and possibly snow) this afternoon, so Brendon headed out for a walk again this morning while it was sunny. This time he only had the youngest 3.
Brendon again took them to a different section of the dog walks.
They especially liked going under the bridge.
So nice that the paths are buggy friendly.

Asher had another seizure at 1 today. She had over 2 hours sleep but when she woke up she didn't look great at all. She hardly spoke the rest of the day too.
Hezekiah was on the search for someone to play Chinese Checkers this afternoon and Rachel offered.
Ruth was very busy today with her hair. She managed to get 7 undone. That makes the total 25 this week. She has done so well. I had 15 to braid after her shower this afternoon. There are hardly any left to be done now (we only found 2 when we had a look).

The thunderstorm finally arrived this afternoon and there was a bit of snow amongst all the rain. It was beautiful to see the mountain behind the house with it's dusting once the storm had passed.

This evening Ruth asked Hannah if she would do her dishes for her, and then Ruth would give her a "facial". :-)

We have had a special time in Hanmer Springs these last 10 days. Tomorrow morning will be time to pack up and head back home. The carpets are going in tomorrow and so we plan to only get back after lunch. The school children will go home with friends in the afternoon so that Brendon and Rachel have Tuesday to move things back into the house.

Friday, September 8, 2017


It's lovely to see Hannah enjoying reading. Thanks Ruth for introducing her to these books.

We had headed out so many times in the hopes of getting to the maze, that today Brendon headed out first (so we didn't go to all the effort of getting everyone ready first). And we were thrilled to get the call that they are open. So we all got ready and headed down.
BELOW: This was the view of the mountains just before we went in. So pretty.

With Asher having a Kiwiable card (explaining that she needs a support person), the owner was happy for Asher and I to go in without charge. We were especially grateful for this as unfortunately, just minutes after taking this photo, Asher had a seizure.
Brendon dropped us off at home and went back to finish the maze with the others. The owner was so kind, he said Asher and I could come back later. As Asher slept for quite a while we didn't bother taking her, but Hezekiah went back with me as they were so excited about how much fun it was. Thankfully they did also take a number of photos. This photo taken with a flash to see everyone's faces nicely.
And then without the flash to see how affective the lighting was. When I came back later with Hezekiah I got a fright in here as there were strips of rubber hanging in the walkway and Hezekiah had expected them. So he grabbed them and moved them out of his way as he walked. As I came behind him, he had let go and it fell into my face. I told him something had fallen on me, and so he showed me the next lot of rubber so that I could avoid them. :-)
Very effective skeletons in the dark area.
In the next normal maze area there are a lot of little air puffs as you walk past. It was fun talking as a family about what scared each of us. Even when we were expecting things. The girls had told me about the wall that starts falling down as you are next to it with the "look out" shouted.
And even though I was looking out for it, I still got a bit of a fright.
There is this challenge at the end. Hezekiah was too scared of doing it with them, so that was why he was the one that came back with me later. To overcome his fear and face the challenge. There is a walkway to the side, so it's easy to avoid. I was pleased that he had the courage to go with me though. By the time we got there the water pressure must have been different as the water was splashing onto the first blocks. So we had to wait off the side and make two big steps between the splashes. Thankfully the one was a bit slower than the other - so I pointed that out to Hezekiah and after a bit of hesitation he gave it a go (and we didn't get wet).
Everyone also got a card to collect clues through the maze. When you get to the end you present your card and receive your "reward" (a chocolate coin). Then we realized why the fence outside was covered in silver and gold. :-)
The maze was really a lot of fun and we are glad we finally got to enjoy it. The weather hasn't been great this week, so we were pleased we didn't miss out on this activity. Even if we couldn't get to do it together as a family.
We had a bit of a shake after lunch.  It's been a while since we've felt one. Hannah got a bit stressed again, but thankfully quickly relaxed. I'm glad it was during the day and not just as she was going to bed. With the rain and wind that we have had through the week I often wondered at night if it was wind or an earthquake that was making the house squeak. So this shake confirmed how different it is.
Brendon said he would stay at home with Asher and allow her to just rest while I took the children back to play the round of mini golf (we paid for a combo with the maze and golf).
A nice shot of Hezekiah. That building behind him is a part of one of the holes.
And Hannah with some of the mountains behind.
I asked Rachel to get a photo of me (just to prove I was there) and I got a hole in one. :-)
Rachel ended up not being in any of the photos from the previous day of mini golf, so it was good to get a shot of her today.
Coming to the last few hole (with the maze just behind).
I wanted to get a photo with some of the water feature in. It is a really creative course.
The last person on the last hole, I asked Rachel to take another photo - and I got a hole in one again. I should have asked her to take more photos of me though the game. :-)

We had a fun time and were really grateful for the dry afternoon.

At first I had suggested we only score at a max of 5. At the 9th hole the girls decided to rather make it a max of 6.
Hezekiah was happy with every score he got. Ruth did well today and beat both Hannah and Rachel. I was glad I managed to do well. It's been so many years since I have played. It would have been nice to have a competition between Brendon and I, but it wasn't meant to be. :-)
Ruth took a photo of my "bump". I don't think I've had one yet, and I'm already 31 weeks. Just over 2 months to go now.
Hezekiah was in a funny mood this afternoon and had fun just playing around on Dad's shoulders.