kate5kiwis: April 2006


“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

mamma's big day out

woo hoo, i had such a decadent day today.. kid-free !!!! i took off into town and sipped espresso and read a magazine in the sun.. then tootled around the shops looking at beads, clothes, fancy schmancy shoes, and grabbed some sushi.

i popped by the second hand shop where i found seven odd white dinner plates for 35cents each (cos we keep throwing ours on the floor..) and a funky pink "hot tuna" top for $3.00 YAY!!! i also found two more espresso cups to add to my growing collection, only $1 on a sale table. they're chunky and were actually sold as "cotton bud holders".. how bizarre is that? but, hey, no one knows :o)

i took a massive bunch of grapes and my fave simply you magazine and lay on the beach in heaven, reading about the french woman's approach to fashion:
French women thoroughly deserve their stylish reputation. They look sensational! Whether their personal style is traditional, trendy or somewhere in between, they achieve elegance and originality. There is a certain mystique attached to French chic, because it is so indefinable, so inventive and so sought after... A Frenchwoman usually shops selectively. Her criterion is a coup de coeur – in other words, she only buys what she loves and what she feels beautiful in.

so i popped to another recycled clothing store where 4 women were chatting behind the counter IN FRENCH !!! and of course i eavesdropped but only picked up little snatches cos they were talking so *quickly*!! and so i chickened out of saying, "bonjour.." but i did find my *coup de coeur*, a little brown and pink top.. oh and i tried on perfume (estee lauder's pleasures) and later found a delightful frangipani handcream. (mmmmm.. i know why you like the fragrance of frangipani flowers, Dad)

and now i have been banished from the kitchen and hubby has gone out to hunt and gather some dinner... he took the kiddos to rearrange his office today, and then to the library, then home to mow the lawns.. so everyone's very happy.
R12 and Daddy (aka Jamie Oliver) made the dinner.. gorgeous butter chicken and rice and perfect veggies.. with a glass of red !!!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Lest we forget

D16 got up this morning and made anzac bikkies.. and we read the solemn poem on ANZAC day that both hubby and I listened to twenty five years ago at school. I still find it so moving..

IN FLANDERS FIELDS the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved,
And now we lie In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Jaimee and Jamin came over for pumpkin soup and glo-heart lollies... mmmmm..
you guys are so cool and we love hanging out with yas !!

This afternoon, hubby and the kids found Billy-the-frog at the roadside of the pond and had a blast taking him back to the water, and watching him swim.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Captivated by Narnia

We've had such a lovely holiday-day.. we splashed and dived and swam and soaked in the saltwater hot pools, and then took hot chippies to the park for a late lunch.. then home for make-your-own caramel sundaes. Now the cherubs are all snuggled up watching the very fabulous The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. All seven chronicles are such a part of our family's life, from hubby's and my childhood, and our kiddos childhoods, re-reading the books all snuggled together in the lounge on wintry nights, and now we've fallen in love with the world of Narnia all over again.. Andrew Adamson has done a fabulous job of the movie, I think C.S. Lewis would've loved it.
S8 and M4 with their beloved "teddy" and "beddy" - the necessary items for movie-watching.

Go on, take the Narnia Test..
I'm Susan:
"As Susan, you are mature and respectable, yet with your 'motherly' role you can be quite bossy. Still, you can always be trusted to be loyal and faithful."

Hubby is Prince Caspian:
"As Prince Caspian you are a noble, goodhearted but mischievous scallywag! Fun loving, you are admired for your easy going nature."

Ah, a definite ring of truth (though I’m not sure about the “mature and respectable”) !!!!!

Saturday, April 22, 2006


My Gran died last night. She was ninety-three. As Dad says, “She has had a good innings.” Gran came to live with our family when I was eight, and my dad built her a special granny-flat downstairs. It was so cool to be always welcome to “pop down to Gran’s”.

Gran, you were such a gentle matriarch, a beacon of feminism. You’re so independent, but very involved behind the scenes, and such a support to my working mum and dad- getting all the washing in, and weeding and watering the veggies.. and you were always home when we came in from school. I remember lots of cups of tea upstairs, cryptic crosswords with Mum, and you going to university during your ‘retirement’ !!
I loved the times when you’d ooh and ahh over my teen sewing creations; you were always available to listen, occasionally passing on a piece of sage advice, but never pressing your views. I remember being at home, sick with a cold when I was little, and you made me mushroom soup for lunch! I still have a love affair with soup.
And as my own babies arrived, they grew up on “popping down to Gran’s” for a chat and a little watch of the telly. Thanks for being so available.

You had a dry, yet hilarious sense of humour, often coming up with a witty rhyme or remark.. you kept us smiling.

It was during Mum and Dad’s stay with us this week, as Mum and I were sewing together, that we got a phone call from your wonderful nurse, explaining that you were ready to go. Mum talked to you on the phone and gave you all of our love. You passed during the night.
I am happy for you and the memories we have. Thank you for being such a huge part of our lives and imparting a strong sense of Girl Power to me. You were a “keeper of the faith”. I pray that I will pass on the baton too.

GO BRO'S !!!

J10 and S8 have been up at Wairua Mountain for two days this week, making a go-kart !!!! What a fabulous time.. lots of testosterone and fun with mates.
It's been licenced *GO BROS* cos the brothers made it ;o)
J10 riding like the wind...

S8 on Keenan and Neethan's go-kart.. you guys are all so cool !!!

Granny and GD

Granny and GD have spent a marvellous few days here this week. What is it about grandparents that is so special?

Lots of moments: snuggling up in bed and reading M4’s new book in the mornings, solving all of life’s problems over a glass of wine, Dad cooking up a storm every night.. we had lamb roast, moussaka, falafels, coq au vin… and Mum's fabulous apple and berry pie.. eating around the world.. I think we get our foodie genes from you :o)

cappuccino chick

This little picture hangs in my kitchen.. an ode to a fabulous weekend in "vegas" last year with my friend Mel at your sister’s wedding.. we had so much fun, drinking coffees and doing your girls’ hair for the wedding.. lovely to see ya today..

an espresso for me, a cappuccino for you...

Thursday, April 20, 2006

luvverly Lilly

R12's lovely friend Steph has a four month old cavoodle called Lilly!!!
She is adorable, and the girls had lots of fun with a tennis ball in the lounge tonight encouraging her to *sit* and then fetch the ball. I can feel my arm getting twisted up behind my back to get a dog...

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

she's wearing the maillot jaune !!!

Hubby and S8 offered to take me on their bike circuit this afternoon…
So I rolled up my jeans legs and took off……..
I even managed to struggle up the Killer Hill, cycling all the way (ah, pride) and have returned home with pounding head, racing heart, and jelly legs.. the boys graciously let me cycle home in first place :o)
I took half an hour crashed out on the couch to recover… could someone please pass me a glass of wine??
THAT’S IT: this girl’s getting fit !!!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

katie's luscious lemon cake

As much as I hate to admit it, autumn is here… but one consolation is that our lemon tree is laden with green-turning-golden-fruit.

I have searched for YEARS to find a lemon cake recipe that is easy peasy and doesn’t taste egg-y.
This is the one I’ve made today, in honour of mum and dad’s arrival:
I’ve modified an Alison Holst recipe:

Pre-heat oven.
100g butter
in a saucepan until liquid. Remove from heat.
½ c sugar
Rind of two lemons
(the easy peasy way is to peel the lemon rind and buzz with the sugar in food processor)
2 eggs
stand the saucepan in cold water and beat with a rotary beater for 30 seconds.
1 1/2 c self raising flour
¼ c lemon juice

stir gently until just combined- do not beat until smooth.

Pour into lined cake tin, bake 180 degrees Celsius for 20 – 30 mins until a skewer in the centre comes out clean and the sides start to shrink away from the pan and top starts to get golden.

While the cake is in the oven, heat ½ c lemon juice and ½ c sugar in a saucepan, stirring until it bubbles all over and becomes syrupy.
As soon as the cake comes out of the oven, poke the surface all over with a skewer, and pour the lemon syrup all over it. Leave for about ten minutes and then remove cake from the pan.
Serve warm or cold with a spoonful of yoghurt or whipped cream… or both !!
… you’ll love it..

Monday, April 17, 2006


It's been a bit of a BOYZ WEEKEND, cos R12 has been at easter camp.. we are missing you honey !!! We met some mates this morning at the BMX track (during a short sunshine patch!!) and had a blast...

Robin Hood

S8 got up this morning and cut a few holes in an old beanie, enthusing, "Now I'm a ROBBER!!!"..
yes, you are..
and so M4 followed suit, wanting his own robber-outfit.. but we couldn't find any other old beanies, so J10 offered, "How about I KNIT you one?"..
so off he's gone, casting on stitches to fit M4's head...
(and luckily granny is coming down for a holiday, so it'll have a good chance of being finished!)

Salut, chérie!!

I just phoned D16 at his friend's house (where he's been "living" this easter weekend lol) to explain our whereabouts today in case he wants to re-connect with the family :o)
and was greeted by his voice, "Salut, chérie!!" and then we proceeded to have a (very stilted, rather pigeon) convo in french about our day...
D16 has been speaking french at every opportunity with us, since we started our family french course.. and M4 is loving the hide-and-seek games.. "Tu compte à vingt-et-un... Je cherche! ... Je t'ai trouvé!!" etc...

Sunday, April 16, 2006

sydney reminiscing

a fabulous anniversary weekend two years ago in sydney with da ockers.. miss you millions.. thanks for the poem hogman, i don't think we'll ever *move on* from you guys.

Heart Space
there is a grand loneliness
some aching in my spirit
little pieces of pain

alerting me to my humanity
whilst I smile
whilst I enjoy the moment
when moments expire
pains in hearts hurt quite deeply
you learn to cope
you smile at it all
you wish farewell to your friends
you see them leave your shores
alone with your god
...so never alone really!
but realising that someone has moved on
in this life of continual goodbyes
See you next time
we hope..

Saturday, April 15, 2006

happy anniversary baby

woo hoo.. seventeen years of wedded bliss !!!!!
who would've thought??
you are still my favourite person, my soulmate and I LOVE YOU !!!
i love sharing this journey with you.

i ordered this promise figurine for us, but decided at the last minute to save our euros for a glass of beaujolais in paris in july..

Thursday, April 13, 2006

acorn heaven

R12 and I went to ICE AGE 2 at the cinema with girlfriends tonight…
I’d give it, oh, maybe 3 out of 5, but it does have a few memorable movie-lines:

“Alright, you heard the scary vulture, let’s move out!”

“Do we have to bring the crap? I’m sure there’s crap where we’re going.”

“I don’t think her tree goes all the way to the top branch…”

Scrat was cute as ever, I love his acorn-love-affair. That’s passion.

caffeine boost

too bad about petrol costing a bomb.. i just HAD to make the fusion dash-into-town this arvo, cos had a headache caused by low-caffeine-levels. you just gotta get yourself some of these freshly roasted fusion beans... and the compulsory chocolate-covered-coffee-bean !!!
katie's retro espresso. YEAH, BABY...

Monday, April 10, 2006

extreme makeover: kids DIY edition

Things got very quiet after lunch today.. well it *seemed* quiet, but when I went to find the kiddos, I realised that they were very very busy, giving their rooms an EXTREME MAKEOVER... moving M4 in with J10 and S8, leaving princess R12 with her own boudoir...

Yup, at fever-pitch-excitement-level, M4 announced "I'm sleeping with my brothers FOREVER!". His new "bed" is perched on top of the boys armoury.. (aka the cupboard where they keep all their toy helmets/swords/guns)

R12, feeling so happy to have her own space !!

the three musketeers !!! lovin' it.

celebrating the passover with the swampfoxes

On Friday night, we travelled a little way up north to hang out with some of our favourite people, and did our yearly tradition of celebrating the passover.

This year, it was R12's turn to ask her daddy, "Why is this night different to all other nights?"

.. sipping the grape juice, remembering the ten plagues.

..dipping the parsley in the salted water. The kiddos really remember the tastes of parsley, horseradish and charoseth and matzo from previous years' ceremonies !!!

"Hey, EVERYBODEE, I'm making a chocolate CAKE !!!!!"

M4 sifted, poured, stirred, licked and baked this delicious chocolate cake this morning, with only a little help from mummy. We are trying to wait until after dinner to sample it...

J10's private plane

J10 has spent about two hours just now, creating his first Lego digital design
What a cool thing to do, you design whatever you wish, and post it to the website, you can even order it in your own customised box.. wowza, wish I was ten...

Sunday, April 09, 2006

it's a beautiful day...

we've woken up to another blue-skied day...
(gotta get to the beach)
and the boys have put on our friends' DVD of
U2 GO HOME: Live From Slane Castle

Beautiful Day
The heart is a bloom
Shoots up through the stony ground
There's no room
No space to rent in this town
You're out of luck
And the reason that you had to care
The traffic is stuck
And you're not moving anywhere
You thought you'd found a friend
To take you out of this place
Someone you could lend a hand
In return for grace
It's a beautiful day
Sky falls, you feel like
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
You're on the road
But you've got no destination
You're in the mud
In the maze of her imagination
You love this town
Even if that doesn't ring true
You've been all over
And it's been all over you
It's a beautiful day
Don't let it get away
It's a beautiful day

whenever I hear this U2 song, it flashes my memory to
our friends in phnom penh and the sound track to their life and work,
the fabulous weekends with our kiwimates in sydney,
my brother and my nearly-sister-in-law in london,
our family and friends all over new zealand,
and i know it's a beautiful day.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

muso morning at the house-on-the-hill

S8 loves jammin' on guitar, he's totally The Edge

"Alas, my love, you do me wrong.." J10's concentration. Babe, you spend a-g-e-s on the piano every day, practising piece after piece, and making up tunes, and generally having a wonderfully creative time. Oh how I love home ed'ing. There's just all this TIME for you to "do your thang".

R12 and J10 making music together.

kinda reminds me of the von Trapp family ???

Happy Birthday, Lu-lu-cat !!!

R12 took this photo of our cute-and-fluffy (one-legged???) Lucy-cat who's turning three today !!!

SMILE... say, "Copper sulphate!"

mommy brag:
D16 (posing with the "completely unopened" chemistry textbook, lol) has just topped the class in his latest chemistry assessment..

Bien fait, mon cheri!!
(oops: photo: i gotta check that sunshine factor..)

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Did the Tooth Fairy come last night?

Today, S8 has lost his FOURTH tooth in the last 2 weeks.. and he’s looking a bit gappy!! Of course, at the first sign of a tooth getting loose, it gets wiggled, jiggled and twisted until it falls out, and we get at least twice-daily updates of wiggliness. It's now gently ensconced in darling R12's special TOOTH KEEPER, awaiting overnight discovery. Unfortunately for S8, the Tooth Fairy is sometimes too preoccupied to call, and so I've had the instruction on more than one occasion to send a reminder email to her !!!

When I was pregnant with M4, our lovely midwife told us the story of the Tooth Fairies who use the teeth as bricks for their castles, which is why it’s so important to brush them every day to keep them gleaming white !!

So, what do the Tooth Fairies do with all those teeth??

play dat funky music white boy...

This week we've been listening to quite a variety of funky soundz... J10 and S8 have been blasting their new CDs Nickelback: all the right reasons and ELEMENO P: Trouble in Paradise at every opportunity !!!
But at sunset and beyond, our house mellows with the more chilled Fat Freddy's Drop.
Fabulous autumn music...

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

crazee chicks @ the park

We all had a blast at the park with friends this arvo, after drama classes.
.. and ya thought the KIDS were having a crazy day???

faster than a speeding bullet...

Here he is, Dashall Robert Parr aka M4..
"Watch me run, I'm SO F-A-S-T!!! I'm DASH!!!!!"

..and here's the quiz that might get ya giggling
Which Incredibles character are you?

of course, it makes sense that Dash's mummy is DASH too !!! I sure felt like Dash today, it was a wild, windy, sunny, rainy day.. and the kiddos were just like the weather !!!!!!!!
Our kids have a cool thing they do whenever friends are leaving our house in a car..
they race the vehicle up the road.....

Timon and Pumbaa

No, not these characters, the two gorgeous chinchillas, aka Pumbaa and Timon, on holiday at our place from our fabulous friends on the hill... R12 and J10 are just LOVIN' the snuggles... today is cage-clean-out, haven't mentioned that to the kiddos yet *grin*


Boom. This little line always hits me in the solar plexis. Yeah.
"You know, the Greeks didn't write obituaries.
They only asked one question after a man died:
from Serendipity

Monday, April 03, 2006

Bonjour, tout le monde !!!!!!!!!!!

I've finally entered bloglandia.
Today I'm inspired by Jamie Oliver of The Naked Chef fame. Have just been watching Jamie's Great Italian Escape on the telly and getting wooed by Giovanni, an italian chef who owns a restaurant on Marettimo, a small Sicilian island, two hours travel by boat.

Quotes of the day:
"Now I'm cooking. I hope God will help me!"
(handwritten note, pasted to Giovanni's kitchen door)
"When I'm tasting Giovanni's food, I'm getting a sense of humour, fantasy..
it's all there on the plate."
(Jamie Oliver)