kate5kiwis: August 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

Thursday, August 31, 2006

create a plate

clever. creative. cheeky. complicated. colour. courageous. concentration. cute. conversation. careful. clown. crazy. cool. crockery.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

"D17, can you please tell me the Rocket Boy story??"

Daddy has always been talented at making up stories which are avidly listened to in the evening, as a before-bedtime-tradition.

“The Adventures of Rocket Boy” is a contin-n-n-n-u-ing st-o-o-o-o-ry about a boy with super powers. Daddy and D17 love making-it-up-as-they-go and telling the next episode
to M4:

in which Rocket Boy gets into and out of scrapes.. and saves the world again…

It originally began about a year ago, and it kinda started like this (of course, it’s very interactive and way funnier in real life, and the storyteller and listener/s recite in tandem the parts about rocket boy’s abilities and resolutions.. with much hilarity and snuggling):

Once upon a time, there was a boy who built rockets. One day he decided to build the biggest, fastest rocket that could fly the highest of all. Unfortunately normal rocket fuel wasn’t powerful enough, so he invented liquid-highly-compacted-quick-bond-cellulose, but some spy kids broke into his factory to steal it. He escaped, then drank his fuel, thinking it was water!

He turned into rocket boy, and could:

Run... as fast as a train, a truck and a rocket!!

Swim... as fast as a speed boat!!!

Jump... as high as an angel in an airplane!!!!!

He now had great power, and he realised that with great power comes great responsibility.

So, he swore to use his powers to fight:

for.. truth!!

for.. justice!!!

and.. the last slice of pizza!!!!!

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

happy birthday D17-boy

sweet seventeen

you are so gorgeous!!!

and you are pushing six feet tall..

of course, all my baby-memories are floating back:

Me labouring in the huge claw-footed bath, my waters breaking and then us rushing to the hospital, me screaming at everyone to grab the suitcase and get in the car.

You arriving to stunned parents, the most beautiful baby in the world.

Me elated, gasping, "It's a baby! It's a baby!"
Uncle Eric calling Granny and GD from the hospital stairwell using the Banyanda walkie talkie call phones.

GD telling me that he's happy that I'm gonna breastfeed.

Taking you home to our beautiful sunny flat with the 1910 matai floorboards, that Daddy had moved all our furniture into while you and I were getting to know each other.
Those colicky evenings when Daddy and I would feed you gripe water and then count to ten until you'd chunder all over the big nappy we'd hold out under your chin... and then I'd feed you to sleep.
Thousands of white nappies floating on the line.

A few months later, Daddy and you taking the bus to university together so he could continue his studies while I became qualified as a teacher. I was heartbroken to be away from you. But Daddy and you really bonded over that autumn.
Then you went to the teacher's college creche. Learned to "I do it self!"... "OOOh, windy out 'ere!"... lion-bike days and birthday parties and the birthday song that we still sing: "Happy Birthday to you... how old are you now?? count the candles on the cake.."

Those were beautiful days. All of us new to the art of being together. All three in our little bubble.
Loving you has always been so easy.

Monday, August 28, 2006

doctor doctor give me the news

i've wanted my very own
doc martens

for simply *ever*,
and now they're MINE.

Dr Marten Air Wair boots.
Only worn twice..
Made in England,
bought from Shelleys in London.
Burgundy and black leather,
eight eyelets air cushion soles.
In excellent condition.

got 'em on trade me, my first ever bid,
for a third of their retail price
let's hope they fit.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

my crazee brother

Not many people can do a *rabbit face* as good as this..
I was sorting our London photos just now, and came across it:

one morning back at the flat,
were we all getting camera-snappy..
except for the boys..
and Greg pulled
he used to pull when we were kids..
it was so funny.
I guess ya had to be there.

(oh, and the camera fixed itself yesterday... dunno how/why)

Friday, August 25, 2006

francais friday

Go, commando!!

Last month in Paris, hubby and I went to the Musee du Louvre
. The glass pyramids are amazing. It was a hot summer's day and there were people languishing all around the fountains, dipping their toes in the bright green water!!
Align Center

We'd got the wrong information re. opening hours, though, and missed seeing La Joconde (Mona Lisa) by two minutes... gutted!!

The history of the Mona Lisa is shrouded in mystery. Among the aspects which remain unclear are the exact identity of the sitter, who commissioned the portrait, how long Leonardo worked on the painting, how long he kept it, and how it came to be in the French royal collection. The portrait may have been painted to mark one of two events - either when Francesco del Giocondo and his wife bought their own house in 1503, or when their second son, Andrea, was born in December 1502 after the death of a daughter in 1499. The delicate dark veil that covers Mona Lisa's hair is sometimes considered a mourning veil. In fact, such veils were commonly worn as a mark of virtue. Her clothing is unremarkable. Neither the yellow sleeves of her gown, nor her pleated gown, nor the scarf delicately draped round her shoulders are signs of aristocratic status.

So we decided instead to buy a fabulous book there, called PARIS 360.

It's a collection of photos, taken on a wide angle lens, and shows places and people around Paris. It's been reclining on our coffee table since our return.. and is already becoming much-loved. D16 (who had just spent half an hour on the phone to Granny, practising for his upcoming French assessment), hubby and I stayed up late last night, poring over the photos and our memories.. reliving our authentic croque monsieur experiences and generally reminiscing..

Thursday, August 24, 2006

our resident THE EDGE

S8 is so unbelieveably excited cos he is having his first guitar lesson today, from a lad at hubby's school.. and we've ordered a three-quarter-guitar for him: and it's B-L-U-E !!!!!

soon, we'll be hearing a little more than the first few bars of smoke on the water

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

spring is (nearly) sprung

on the way home in the car today, J10 grinned and said, "It's such a wonderful nearly-spring day! The sun is shining all warm on my face!!"
Yes, it really is!! fresh and clear, and s-u-n-n-y..

we made spring-branch-blossom bracelets out of fishing line and teeny tiny beads..
they look just like branches pushing their spring buds out..

i have something rather weird going on with my camera though, it only takes clear photos at very-close-range: if i try to take a photo of something further than 2 centimetres away, it looks like we're looking through water...

i hope hubby can figure it out before i have the urge to fix it with my hammer.

Saturday, August 19, 2006

DIY room rescue

land sakes.. how *do* ya keep a bedroom with three boyz in it tidy?? we've been procrastinating for weeks and weeks, and THAT'S IT: today was clean-out day..

and it took only three hours to do it: and we found eleven odd socks (which beats last december's stash of twenty-six socks..) and a big box of stuff for the sallies and only two kleensaks of throw-outs.

yay... we can see the carpet again!!!

well it feels so good..

preggy mama

our adorable friend Raych walked the 3 - 4 km around our mountain with our gang today. she and Dunc are gonna meet their baby in about three weeks. and they're planning a home birth. i loved birthing my babies in my own home. oh what a gorgeous preggy belly. it's been seventeen years since i was pregs with my first bubba. i do remember those blissful daze..

Friday, August 18, 2006

francais friday

When Hubby and I went to the Musee d'Orsay in Paris, we were absolutely captivated by Auguste Rodin's Le Baiser (The Kiss). Rodin is also the sculptor of Le Penseur (The Thinker).

Auguste Rodin (November 12, 1840November 17, 1917) was a French sculptor.
Born François-Auguste-René Rodin, to a working class family in Paris, he is often given a pivotal role in the history of modern
sculpture, as both excelling at and rebelling from the Beaux-arts tradition. His unique, virtuoso ability to organize a complex, turbulent, deeply pocketed surface set him apart from the figure sculpture traditions before and since his time.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

won't you take me to TAMAGOTCHI TOWN??

When J10, S8 and M4 went to stay at Aunt Mim's while F and I were gallivanting around Europe last month, they twisted auntie's arm up behind her back to get some Tamagotchis. These little electronic critters can be fed, played with, buy stuff from the shop, and have their poop cleaned up.

You can *visit* each other, and you can even go to... Tamagotchi Town !!!

(and if it "dies" you just programme in another one. M4 was in deep distress yesterday when he accidentally called his new one "Rax" instead of "Rex". We had to go looking for a screwdriver.)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

the un-birthday party

“Can’t a feller have a present when it’s *not* his birthday?”
(my Dad's famous question, as a young’un)

Yep, any excuse to hit the beach... it's been half a year since we didn't do anything speshal for Louise's birthday, so today, Deb, Clare and I (and thirteen of our kiddos) hit the surf and sand to celebrate with coconut-and-pineapple-upside-down-cake.. it was so yummy!!

It's ok, I made the kids to do their maths in the car on the way *evil grin* .. and R13 had updated her blog last night, and S8 had been busy writing little messages in lemon juice and baking them in the sun.. so that ticked the written language box.. and on monday the kids had spotted the library books bus and begged me to let them snarff armloads of books from it... so reading is A-OK as well.

It's weird how even after all these years of home schooling, and seeing each of my children become *educated* as if by osmosis, I still feel as though I have to *tick the boxes* ??

... especially when I look at what M4 and his mate Tiahnee created at the beach today: it's called a *star castle*. There we have it: maths, language, science, art...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Sunday, August 13, 2006

mind your head

oh yes, i love my new tshirt!!!

chick chat

for chick chat this week, Louise, April, R13 and I went to see the movie "Take the Lead".. and we loved it. of course, i agree with this critic who says, "Antonio Banderas is reason enough to see the movie."

the teen-girls had a friday night sleepover, and then we made the trip over to the beach to join them for dinner last night. they performed the hip hop dance they'd been choreographing all afternoon.

and *then* Louise got all inspired and gave hubby and me our first ballroom dancing lessons
ONE, two, three, ONE, two three... s-l-o-w, s-l-o-w, quick, quick, s-l-o-w etc... hubby loved spinning me around the dance floor, though i think we need a lot more practice...

we love our chick chats.
just the girlz..

lots of pink, sparkles, bubbles and giggles.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

"great minds think alike"

the kids were *really* excited to get *two* snail mails today...
one from Granny, and one from Aunt Mim..
S-N-A-P !!!!!
they both contained the same thing -
the kidz page from the NZ Herald !!
woo hoo !!!
now all the intellectuals are doing the random questions quiz..

Friday, August 11, 2006

francais friday

Hubby and I saw these
babushka dolls in a little shop window in Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris.
Aren't they adorable??

I have never seen so many in real life.. I started collecting russian nesting dolls for R13 a couple of years ago when we visited Sydney (she still has only one set!)

(and how many are here? Put down your sudoku and count....)

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

felting fairyland..

J10's felted country dolls:
koru-wave and fire-flower
(back view, cute braids!)

R13's felted angels

Sunday, August 06, 2006

the spy who loved me

The last time I went to a school ball was twenty years ago, and my friend FLEUR went with *my* man (!) I don't know why, but I got referred to as "Moneypenny" *three times* on Saturday night. I am so *not* Moneypenny.. she *never* gets her man... and I've definitely got mine... (and Fleur's got her own now too) !!!

This time: black dress and velvet heels, suit and bow tie, pink purse with beaded strap, sparkling jewels, shined shoes, disco ball, plastic hand gun, techno music, girls in satin dresses, bond-silhouettes, "sir" having his photo taken with the maths-geek-gals, floating silver balloons, lots of laughs, dancing until midnight...

Friday, August 04, 2006

francais friday

katie and the sunflowers

I've had a love-affair with van Gogh ever since I was a little girl and my Dad used to sing Starry Starry Night with me. Two years ago, I made a skirt with five of van Gogh's sunflowers (one for each of my babies) sewn into it.

So when we arrived at the Musee D'Orsay last month, I was ecstatic to find this

and this

and this

and I was standing just a few inches away...
breathing the same air...

Thursday, August 03, 2006

kid doo... cadoo...

we love this game (especially the funky glasses)..

it's a kids' version of charades/pictionary/trivial pursuits.
of course, we mostly play with four-year-old rules..

like, charades always has a verbal commentary:
MUM: "OK, I'm in my house, and the walls are shaking, and I'm shaking, and everything is shaking.."
M4: "Fire?"
MUM: "Everything's shaking, and I'm hiding in my safe place under the table.."
M4: *quizzical look*
MUM: "Earthquake!"
M4: "Earthquake... Y-A-Y!! Ok, we both win!!"
*places his counter on the board*
MUM: *counts up and realises that M4 has ten counters on the board and I only have four (??)*

and fast find:
(something that starts with a vowel: A, E, I, O or U)
M4: "Ohhh, an APPLE.. that means I can EAT the apple if I find it?"
I love that four-year-old logic.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

the 3 Rs

While S8 listened to James Blunt and practised tying *magic knots*..
R13 and J10 sat completely absorbed in their books..
M4 and I chose a book to read together: Shopping, by Avelyn Davidson.

.. and then we decided to make our own book together..

M4 Goes Shopping With Mum.
.. he really is the reading boy.

now R13 and M4 have gone off with our five-cents-jar and are setting up their own *shop* (which includes white chocolate buttons)...

yep, that's how reading/'riting/'rithmetic looks around here today..

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

quiz addiction..

You Should Spend
Your Summer in Europe

You're in to almost all forms of culture -
art, music, architecture, food...
And spending a summer at the beach
sounds pretty darn boring to you.
So head off to Europe,
where you can have your tiramisu
(and even eat it on the beach!)

i do have doubts about some quiz results, but this is funny, cos we just went to europe.. in their summer...
(and we're still going to the beach back home, in the middle of winter)

happy birthday leighleigh !!!

wishing you a hippy happy birthday!!!
thinking of you and the wonderful times we share in aux :o)
go late night coffees-and-camembert (and your marvellous biscotti)!!!!!