Saturday, May 22, 2010

New email address

We have a new email address and no contact list, so if you want our new address let us know!

Lionel & Amanda

Friday, May 21, 2010


Sorry if you have received an email from us asking for money... our email account has been hacked!

No we did not return to London urgently, we did not get our bags, passports and money stolen and we do not need money to pay for a ticket home!

It is scary to think how quickly this happened and spread to all our contacts...hopefully you have not been affected by any virus. Unfortunately all our email contact information has been lost and so if you don't hear from us then we no longer have your address - you can contact us via facebook, snail mail or phone and we will build out contact list back up!

All the best
Lionel & Amanda

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Already 9 days into March...

Rebecca is still cooking - steak wraps last night and chicken curry tonight!!!

I am really pleased everyone has cooking duties now as my life gets busier and busier. Today I had a day relief teaching and then had to rush down to the high school to pick Rebecca up and take her to the swimming pool (30minutes drive) where she had her first swim training session since arriving back in NZ. Rebecca swam really well, considering it is over 7 months since she last trained! Fortunately it was freestyle sets tonight and not butterfly!

I can tell it has been a busy couple of days by the pile of washing in the laundry, but at least I had time for a quick lux in the living room before going off to school this morning. Oh well, the course I was supposed to go on tomorrow isn't on so hopefully the sun will shine and the washing will dry outside on the line.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rebecca's Gourmet Delights

Rebecca is really enjoying being in the kitchen (cooking and baking....she doesn't like the dishes bit!)
We have had two batches of fudge recently - still trying to find the perfect recipe. Of course we are all very enthusiastic about sampling the goodies but it isn't so good for any intended weight loss. At the moment we have ginger crunch in the cupboard - one of my all time favourites!

Ginger Crunch
100g butter
1/2 Cup brown sugar
1 Cup wholemeal flour
1/2 Cup white flour
1 tsp Baking Powder
2 tsp ginger
50 g butter, 2 dessert spoons syrup melted
1 1/2 C icing sugar
1 tsp ginger
Sift flour and Baking powder, add sugar and ginger, rub in butter
Press into tin and bake 25-30 minutes at 180*C
Ice while hot

Last night Rebecca made these amazing chicken kebabs with pineapple, red pepper, yellow pepper and mushroom, cooked on the BBQ.

Her most memorable pudding has been Knickerbocker Glory when friends came for tea a couple of weeks ago.

Rebecca layered mixed berries, yoghurt, jelly, ice cream, chocolate mousse, cream and topped it all with chocolate chips - Yum!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New school year

Rebecca & Josh have been back at school for a couple of weeks now so here is their schol update for 2010.
Rebecca is in Year 9 at Lincoln High School and is well ready for the challenges of high school in New Zealand. For the first couple of days the Year 9's enjoyed having the school and teachers pretty much to themselves. Their Year 13 peer support students were there to help them learn their way around and get used to life at Lincoln. Lincoln High School has about 1500 students, with about 330 in Year 9, so it is quite a large school and most students travel to school by bus - after school there are 23 buses there to transport students home! Rebecca has excellent teachers who are going to challenge her (I don't know she is terribly excited about that) and she is enjoying picking up French again. Her one disappointment is that there are not enough people interested in playing waterpolo so there is no Lincoln High team - we are trying to work out other options to get her playing. School swimming sports were held last week and Rebecca is going to the Canterbury Secondary School swimming champs - prelims next week.

Josh is in Year 8 at Springston School and is enjoying being one of the big kids at the school - however he didn't enjoy the first couple of days where they had to do lots of activities with their 5 year old buddies...little kids do not excite Josh! He is really enjoying playing cricket and the school has the Milo Cricket competition next week. For the winter season Josh has just signed up to play rugby for Springston so he is looking forward to that. Since he was interested in playing rugby we took him to the optometrist to find out about contact lenses and so for the past week he has been getting used to wearing them. He is doing really well at getting them in and out, and looking after them and we have a follow up appointment this afternoon. It really does make him look different not having his glasses but he is enjoying not having to worry about his glasses.

I have some relieving days booked in for next month and have a couple of applications in for part-time positions.

Lionel is still job hunting but has an interview next week, so we are hoping that this might be the one!!!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Fun in Geraldine

A couple of weeks ago we took the opportunity of some free time to head down to Geraldine to catch up with one of Lionel's cousins and his family. Dave & Nikki have a cottage on their farm that they rent out and we had the privilege of staying there for two nights. Unfortunately the weather wasn't the best but we enjoyed getting out and about on the farm.

We had many games of pool and Rebecca enjoyed a soak in the spa. It was fun getting the kayaks out on the pond where we had races and tried to navigate around trees in the pond.

It was a very relaxing and refreshing two day holiday!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Unpacking the container...

For the past two years we have had a 20ft shipping container stored at Mum & Dad's with a variety of furniture, kitchen items, books, DVDs, toys, gardening equipment and many other bits and pieces. Monday 11 January was the day it moved from Dipton to Springston - how exciting!

Rebecca was looking forward to getting a bed, books and CDs.

Josh was looking forward to getting his lego and army men.

Lionel was looking forward to unpacking his books (no surprises there!)

Amanda was looking forward to having a full selection of kitchen equipment.

After two days we have the container unpacked and we now have MANY boxes in the garage that we won't unpack at our rental house, we will wait and see where we end up. It is amazing how different houses fit such different stuff and this house is way smaller than our house in Dipton!

Rebecca has her room set up really well and is pleased to have a bed and book case, she also has a world map on her wall (yes, many more travels to come!)

Josh now has his bunks set up and has spent many hours filling his book case and playing with his army men.

Lionel has managed to fill the remaining book cases in the house, and I was even banned from putting my recipe books on one shelf, so they remain on the bench in the kitchen.

I have discovered that I have too much kitchen stuff for the cupboard space in this kitchen - but actually how much of it do I need...

It is great to have our own stuff around us, but in the end it is just stuff and even though I was ruthless in what I got rid of before we left we still have far too much!

Christmas and New Year

It seems ages since Christmas now but I finally feel like sitting at the computer and writing something for the blog. The camera has hardly been out of its bag since we got home from England and I really got out of the habit of blogging regularly (as you will have noticed!)

On 17 Dec Lionel heard that he had come a 'close second' for a job (thanks, but that means he still doesn't have a job) so after that disappointment we packed our bags and headed south for a couple of weeks. We really wanted to see our good friends (Dean, Tania, Amelia & Sam) in Cromwell before they move across the ditch to Queensland, so we took the opportunity of spending five glorious days with them. It really was great just to spend time with good friends - talking, eating and helping them get sorted and packed.

We also took the opportunity of being in Cromwell to have a look at our house, meet the tenants and plan for some maintenance. We are delighted to have great tenants in our house and are a little sad at the thought we may have to sell this property to buy in least we have that option!

Christmas Day was spent at the farm with Mum & Dad, Sarah and the Comerfords (Gray, Julie & family came at tea time). It was a very relaxed day with lots of cold meat and salads, and of course pudding! Josh was very pleased that Granny made a pavlova as that is something he really missed last year! We loved being able to spend this day with family and friends - it just wasn't the same having Christmas Day by ourselves last year! We also enjoyed having Christmas in the summer (although the white Christmas in Basingstoke this year would have been pretty cool - it was just cold when we were there!)

We had a great few days at the farm and Rebecca spent lots of time with her cousins. They even spent a night in a hut that Dad has up in the middle of the farm - they organised their own food and entertainment and had a great night up there together.

It was a very social time while we were in Southland and it was great to be able to catch up with so many good friends. We had a couple of days at Mum & Dad's crib (holiday house) in Riverton and we loved being at the seaside again. Rebecca & Josh had a lot of fun in the water, climbing rocks, picking mussels off the rocks (not that they enjoyed eating them, but Debra & I did) and playing beach cricket.
Josh & Michael trying to decide if they will eat the mussels!

New Years Eve saw us driving up to Queenstown to stay with the Freeborn family for a couple of nights. On New Years Eve we went out for a Chinese meal with some friends (well the adults did, we left the kids at home...) and then went down to the waterfront to watch the fireworks before heading back to the house. I am not really a big New Years Eve person and would be just as happy celebrating the new year at 11pm while camping with friends in the middle of nowhere, but it is the 'with friends' bit which is important to me and we had fun in Queenstown!

We finally drove back to Christchurch on January 4th and felt like we were coming home! We know that this is where God wants us at the moment and although it is tough while we are out of work we are feeling positive. We have made the decision to make Hornby Presbyterian Community Church our church family and are looking forward to being a part of that in 2010.

I am beginning to feel excited about 2010 and all the challenges and joys it has in store, and we look forward to sharing the year with many friends!