Friday, December 31, 2010

We are back

We hope you had a fabulous Christmas!

We've been in Taupo for our Christmas.

Give me a few days to sort through photos and i'll show you what we got up to!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

So this is Christmas! a few photos...

It is quite scary how the year has moved so quickly! - or is it just me and realising time is very precious indeed?!
What have we done to prepare?:

Esmee loves crafts - she has made at least ten decorations for the tree!
Xander has had his little concert at school:
santa Xander

We've put up the tree and decorated it with our wonderful creations:

decorating the tree
both kids decorating decorations for the tree

And we've had a wonderful early christmas with Granny, Grampa and Aunty Angelina!

the tree is full - look at all the pressies!!
first present
presents for Granny and Grampa

Xander rips into it :)
wow, a big bike!
massive box of barbie stuff!
early xmas dinner
Merry Christmas!

my baked alaska

And then some Christmas lights:

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Playgroup Christmas Party

At the Zoo!

One of the dads dressed up!

having fun negotiating the paths with Harry

Up close and personal: Is that my cousin??

So cute! Harry and Esmee are looking at the pictures from the
Tiger enclosure. Talking to each other about it.

wow, we are so small!


It was hot and sticky, but a very pleasant meander around the Hamilton Zoo. It is the only time we go to the zoo. Next time i hope we (the family, not playgroup!) go to the Auckland or Wellington Zoos.

Esmee's turn

Esmee's kindy had a concert today. Sooo cute! But man was it manic - getting about 20 two and three year olds to perform and stay focused for 15 minutes...
Esmee did! She's the one in the beautiful red christmas dress with the tree on it!
So proud; take look:

Friday, December 10, 2010

A bit of a Christmas Carol

On Tuesday Xander's school had a Sharing Day. This is where they show us what they have done this term, and because it's nearly Christmas, we had a bit of a show.

Apparently, Xander taught the class, He Wears a Red Red Coat, so he is all dressed up in his red cape (we don't have a red coat!) with a santa sack.
It's adorable!
When he waves and beams, Alan has just walked in, having missed most of the songs, but Xander doesn't care - Dad's here!

And yes i know, a big upload dump, but i've been busy - it's nearly Christmas and we are all busy. Enjoy :)

Sports Day

We were invited to watch the kids on their race off/sports day. It was so cute watching the varying abilities.

I didn't get a video of Xander running, i couldn't see him at the end so missed him! Esmee got to race though...
Here is the video i took - that Alan has tweaked!
If you can't view it here, here is the link

School Days

Every morning Xander has at school what they call The 8:30 program. I view this as a chance to work with Xander on learning his words, writing and sometimes a bit of maths if he doesn't want to write - which isn't often!
He is doing so well and in just 4 short weeks he has already learnt all the words in the pink box, how to read them, write them and even spell them. We've moved onto the red words, even though his teacher hasn't tested him on the pink ones yet (she's been a bit busy with report cards and the sharing day!).

Of course, Esmee wants to do writing too (younger siblings are allowed to come along for the program), so we bring along her writing book and this week we have focussed on numbers.

It's lovely to see them working so hard, and seeing the pride they have in their results!


I love it! The christmas jingles, putting up the tree, the shopping (but not the parting with the money!), and the kids enthusiasm only fuels mine. It's such a wonderfully joyful time.

The kids were so excited when we set up the tree, even more so when they had free reign on decorating. And Esmee has been going craft mad at playgroup making at least a dozen beautiful decorations, and we have some more special ones given us by a friend to decorate and add to the collection too!

And the shopping...Xander hates shopping, but last night when we took advantage of Farmers' and The Warehouse's specials, he enjoyed himself looking for and choosing a gift for Esmee. Quickly he figured out how to read the prices and choose one within budget.

feeling so important and grown up

talking with the lady about school!
He even got it gift-wrapped at the volunteer station at the mall. He had such fun choosing the wrapping paper and the colour ribbon. He really is growing up so fast.

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

New Arrival

Our friend Justine had her baby two weeks ago and Esmee was in awe of the little baby girl, Lucy.
When we went to visit she was sleeping but Esmee just peered in at her with her big blue eyes in wonder. It was lovely.

Then Justine came to playgroup last week and Esmee got to have a hold! (So did I!)

Getting settled

Xander is slowly settling in, it's a shame school is going to be finished on Tuesday for 6 weeks!
He's made some lovely friends and we've been lucky enough to go to Caleb's house for a swim.

Xander has cried a couple of times when it's mat time, but as long as i walk him to the mat he seems to be fine. He's still enthusiastic about writing and learning, he made his own story book on the weekend!

Monday, December 06, 2010

Birthday Party

This time it was for our good friend Michaela. As we near Christmas this is the second to last party, Jackson's is next!
The kids had heaps of fun, pinata, pin the tail on the mermaid (Esmee won!), pass the parcel!

Parties are such fun!!

Some new friends

My friends Nicole and Sian came up on a road trip and stayed with us on the sunday 14 November.
The kids took a real shine to them, or maybe it was because of the bribe of colouring pens and a book each??!
We took them for a ride on the miniature trains in Forest Lake. This was a reward for eating their dinner, but also a treat for our friends.
It was heaps of fun!

Thanks Nicole and Sian for coming for a visit, looking forward to the next one :)

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A message from Santa

I've entered some of the kids details on a website called Portable North Pole. This is Esmee's message.
So cool!

and here is Xander's

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


well, after having 16 kids around on monday, (i know, sucker for punishment right?!), a mix of kindy friends and new school friends, Xander has settled back into the school routine, albeit a bit clingy at mat time.
But no tears since Monday morning, which i'm relieved with! And he is onto his second writing goal - now using his word card all by himself to find the words to write his sentence/story! He is so proud we have stuck the little notice on his wall above his desk.

Last night we read his readers, then practiced writing a few words without looking at them - he has to know all his 'pink' words inside out before he can move onto the 'red' ones.
You know, those little words we take for granted but are so difficult for beginner readers - said, and here, are the two he is struggling with. But i thought it odd that the word 'a' is not anywhere on the word card. Whenever i ask him when i point it out in a book what it is he says the letter a, not the word 'a'. Tricky!

But he is getting there and very proud of what he is achieving.

And yes Amy, we will come for a visit as Xander has been asking to, so perhaps expect us one morning next week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

An upset...

Well, Xander is in his second week of school and believe it or not, it has finally set in that it is all work and not very much play!

Yesterday he cried when the bell rang begging me to not leave. To say i was shocked is an understatement! He still gets into his uniform first thing in the morning (except today!) and is so into his writing at home as well as when we get to school and start the 8:30 program.

So i collected him at lunch time - informing him that was a once only deal - and he had a big sleep. Then we set to discovering why he cried.

"It's boring."!!!

Oh dear. He then said: "I want to go back to kindy."

Which told me clearly that he is missing the free play, being able to do whatever whenever he wants!
After informing him that he HAS to go to school, he cried himself to sleep. I felt so mean!

So this morning while walking to school we talked about all the wonderful things he'll learn once he gets the hang of reading, writing and counting. And the things he gets to do at school that Esmee and I don't.
He was a little bit convinced, especially when i said we can sign him up for t-ball next year.

We shall see how he goes. He was really proud showing me his story writing book and excited by the fact if he gets one more tick, he'll have a new writing goal.

It doesn't quite add up: He'd proud of his achievement in only a week, but doesn't want to be there.
I'm sure it boils down to the play thing so i've organised a group of old kindy friends and some new school friends to come for a play on Monday afternoon.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Trip to the gardens

On Tuesday we went to the gardens to see the scarecrows that were entered in the Gathering of the Scarecrows.

St Andrew's Kindergarten entered with 'Michael Recycle'. Made from recycled material he was really cool!
Public vote brought him in 3rd place!

Many other scarecrows were very cool too, submitted from childcare centres, primary schools, Residental care for the elderly, and families.
There was even one that the kids could pretend they were scarecrows!

Of course no trip to the gardens is complete without kids being totally fascinated with all the water features. So much so that one younger sibling of a kindy friend fell into one of the ponds! Luckily there were some quick thinking and reaction parents around...i just watched!

And then, of course, who can resist a steep hill perfect for rolling down?!