Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Josh's Birthday

We now have an 11 year old in the house!!
Josh is enjoying all the lego and star wars things that he got for his birthday. He has spent many hours working away at building the AT-TE Walker (Star Wars lego) which we bought him and having Star Wars battles with the game that Rebecca bought him. We had birthday tea last night with his requested banoffee pie - so that kept him happy! On Sunday he is going swimming and then to Pizza Hut with 3 of his friends - and that is our final birthday celebration for 2008.
Next our thoughts turn towards Christmas...

Monday, November 24, 2008

Weekend in Cardiff

Millenium Stadium - pre-match entertainment

All Blacks supporter!

Awesome weekend!!! Great rugby result - All Blacks 29 Wales 9!
Gelynis Farm B&B where we stayed
Quad biking at Taff Valley Activity Centre
Josh: Our weekend in Wales was all good fun!
Rebecca: Quad biking was brilliant and blowing my hooter at the rugby was fun.
Amanda: We stayed at a great B&B just out of Cardiff - it was peaceful and had great views. Quad biking was brilliant fun and it was great to get out on a farm and blow some fresh air through the body. Millenium Stadium had a great atmosphere and I enjoyed being at an All Blacks game - especially since we won.
Lionel: Loved Wales with the quieter noise level and places where you can see for miles. It was great to be back on a farm and the right result in the rugby! Also had the hard case bonus of appearing in the crowd shot after Jerome Kaino's try - even if I had finished cheering and was looking towards the big screen to watch the replay.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Rebecca's Weekend Away

Hey Guys! Hows things? I've been away in the Forest Of Dean or somewhere near there for the weekend with the edge, my youth group. We had a lot of fun and it was really good 'cos my mate Poppy was there too. On the Friday we were driving up there in mini-buses which was quite an adventure - me and Poppy were navigating and managed to get our van lost! On the Friday night after we arrived we had tea and played a couple of fun outdoor games like Capture The Flag. We then watched a movie which didn't finish until 12.00am or thereabouts! We didn't get to sleep until bout 3.30 that night! The next day we got up for breakfast at 8.00. After breakfast we had a talk on the Lord's Prayer from one of the leaders, Michael. After that we had 1/2 an hours free time. After our free time we had lunch and then after lunch we had a choice of activity. Me and some other friends of mine chose to do the photo challenge. It was really fun you had a series of things you had to do/find and capture on camera. After the activity we had some time to start getting ready for the formal dinner that night. After about an hour we had another talk about a different part of the Lord's Prayer this time from Rob another leader. After the talk had finished it was time to go get ready for the dinner properly. Dan, the main leader told us who we'd been paired with to go to the dinner and then we all went and got changed. The boys then escorted us to the dinner room in the other building. When we got there it had been all done up nicely, before dinner we had to have our photos taken. When the photos were done we went through to the dining room and sat down. The boys all had to go and get our meals and then we ate. After our main course there was a yummy dessert which the boys also had to fetch. After dessert we went back to the main building and changed out of our good clothes. The older kids (yr10 and up) went on a night hike but anyone younger than that had to stay behind and watch a movie. After the movie finished at 10 we were all sent to bed. We didn't go to sleep until around midnight though. The night hike people arrived back at 2 but didn't come to bed until around 3. On Sunday we didn't get up until 8.30 and breakfast was very unorganized. After breakfast we started cleaning the rooms out, then at 10 we went to the lounge in the other building for Hannah's talk. Hannah's talk lasted approximately an hour. After Hannah's talk the youth band, all of whom were on the camp did a few songs which was good. Very loud though! When the band had finished we had to continue packing and cleaning. In the end we left at about 3pm. Poppy and I were navigating again and somehow managed to take us on a detour to Wales! The journey back wasn't too bad, everyone was quite tired so it wasn't as loud as the trip up. We got home at around 6pm, which was on schedule.
That was basically the edge weekend away! So see ya later!
Rebecca x

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Bovington Tank Museum

One of the World War I tanks
Challenger I tank

On Saturday Dad & I went to the Tank Museum in Bovington. There were lots of tanks from all over the world including one from New Zealand. There were tanks from lots of different eras. Tanks from World War 1 until tanks they use today. I enjoyed seeing all the tanks and there were lots of different sized barrels for all the tanks.

Remembrance Sunday

Cenotaph in Whitehall, London

Some of the wreaths (including the Royal ones)

Rebecca was away at youth group camp (she will tell you about that soon), Lionel & Josh were away for their boys weekend (Josh will tell you about that soon) and so I had the weekend to myself!

On Sunday I decided to head into London to go to the Remembrance Sunday service at the Cenotaph. As you can imagine there were crowds and crowds of people but it was quite amazing to be there to celebrate 90 years since the ending of WWI and to remember those killed in conflicts past and present. Being part of two minutes silence in the middle of London and then hearing the Last Post played was very moving.

I then went along to Westminster Abbey where there was a Field of Remembrance set up, with white crosses and poppies, where families could record names of those killed in conflict. It was really quite moving, especially as we hear every day about British soldiers in the Iraq and Afganistan conflicts.
NZ area in the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey

Monday, November 3, 2008

Bath, England

Bridge over River Avon at Bath

While Rebecca & Josh were away all day Saturday at the Puppet Festival we took the opportunity to go out and do something the kids would not be so interested in, so we went to Bath for the day. Lionel & I really enjoyed our day out together and it certainly was good being able to do what we wanted to for the day - drinking coffee and strolling around looking at things in our own time!
Bath is an impressive looking city set around the hills and I can imagine how busy it would get in the summer months - there were enough people around on a very cold, Saturday morning in November! We weren't sure where we were going when we arrived in Bath and so we just pulled into a car park close to what looked like the city centre - we did well because it was only a 5 minute walk to the Abbey and the Roman Baths.
Bath Abbey with Roman Baths to the right

Our first stop was Bath Abbey - this is an amazing example of medieval architecture (built between 1499 and 1616) with a huge fan vaulted roof and very impressive stained glass windows. We also quite liked the western exterior where angels are carved climbing up and down stone ladders.

Right beside the Abbey are the Roman Baths. We looked around the site listening to an audio guide to get any information that we wanted. The springs come up out of the ground here at a temperature of 46 deg C and the Romans created an extravagant series of bath houses to take advantage of the springs. A great day out...
Our weekend was topped off with a trip to the movies to see the latest James Bond movie 'Quantum of Solace'. In Amanda's humble opinion it wasn't the best Bond - there was definately lots of action but none of the usual Bond gadgets.

European Puppet Festival

Rebecca & Josh had a great weekend at the European Puppet Festival which was held about 40 minutes from where we live. They did a variety of workshops to do with using their puppets and also creating props and back drops - Rebecca & one of the other girls also went in a lyp-synch challenge (harder than it looks!)

There were also showcase performances and competitions over the weekend and so it was really good for our young puppet team to see some more professional performances.

This is the puppet which Josh uses as part of the 'Hands Up For Jesus Puppet Team'.