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!