kate5kiwis: September 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

Monday, September 25, 2006

hangy birthday..

Yep.. it's arrived!!!
all the way from the UK..

A full size, 2.7m hammock in comfortable nylon mesh. Steel rings and polypropylene hanging ropes included. Maximum weight 120kg. Suitable for indoor or outdoor use. Squashes down to backpack size for storage or travelling. Trees not included.

Unc Greg and Auntie Em: you guys sure know what tigers, er, monkeys like!!!!! S9 is gonna *sleep out there all night*.. (if he can get the brothers out of it!!)

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Daddy, please can you carry me for a while??

We walked around the Blue Lake with friends today: M4's little legs got a bit tired.
Daddy was so obliging with a shoulder-ride, and together they found a hole in the track where a *dinosaur egg* must've been hiding (wow!!!)
so Daddy launched into a lovely s-t-o-r-y about "Junior", the little lost dinosaur who looked high and low, and called out *woo woo* etc.. but couldn't find his family... so finally he wished upon a star, and guess what??
Yep. He once was lost, but now is found.

Babe, I love the way you inject FUN into our moments.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

a simple message to my girl

i just found a wee magnetic letters message on the fridge:
from M4 to his adored sister..
life here in this crowded house is ever so beautiful.

Friday, September 22, 2006

caption contest...

snapped: M4 and his *best girlfriend*, Tiahnee..
it does look a very intense moment...

beach birthday

with S9's homemade boysenberry cheesecake, baby...

français friday

soz rushing this week:
got S9's party at the beach (no surprises there) and R13 has come down with *another* nasty strep throat. poor baby.

saw a fab fridge magnet today at the pharmacy while picking up drugs for R13:
maybe i'm always late,
but i'm worth the wait!

*kate waves to herself and deb: lol*

so français friday today is two links to other blogs:
paris daily photo, for when ya need a shot in the arm
and the sartorialist. this guy is a fashion photographer around the world, and he also takes snaps of beautiful people on the street. fabulous dahling!

update: we had a real frenchman *swoon* turn up at our front door tonight, selling large photos of paris.
i woulda bought the *whole lot* had hubby not been home...

Thursday, September 21, 2006

nine is fine

love your funky moozic, white boy.
love your zest for life and living.
love your huggles and snuggles and funny voices
and bounciness and general hilarity.
you are a gorgeous boy.
our gorgeous boy.
happy birthday dear S9 !!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Hey True Blue... Say you've knocked off for a smoko...

Coming home from the beach today, the kids and I switched on the radio. We listened to a sound bite of a beautiful eight-year-old's voice, talking about her beloved Dad.

My daddy was my hero - he was always there for me when I needed him. He listened to me and taught me so many things but most of all he was fun. I know that Daddy had an important job. He was working to change the world so everyone would love wildlife like he did. I don't want Daddy's passion to ever end. I want to help endangered wildlife just like he did. I have the best Daddy in the whole world and I will miss him every day. When I see a crocodile I will always think of him and I know that Daddy made this zoo so everyone could come and learn to love all the animals. Daddy made this place his whole life and now it's our turn to help Daddy.

We all knew exactly who it was. I choked back tears the rest of the way home.

all that glitters...

What are Daddy and J10
aka The Kitchen Chemists up to???

They've grown some salami,
er.. crystals!!

Looks like a genuine ruby...
well maybe some rama quartz.

Monday, September 18, 2006

.. with a finger and a thumb in the shape of an *L* on his forehead...

(the four-year-old-monologue overheard this evening...)
M4: "Did you know that my mum is 'Queen Kate' AND 'Princess Kate'?"
*M4 makes an 'L' sign on his forehead*

M4: "Uh-h-h-h, WHAT-ever-r-r-r-r-R-R-R-!!!"

(I have NO IDEA *where* he gets the weird-and-crazee-gene from.......)

D17 waves at Bob, Chris, and James...

Hey guys
Now you're famous too..
no need to feel jealous any more!!

"Therein," as the bard would say, "lies the rub."
The Black Avenger...

Sunday, September 17, 2006


D17's friend Chris stayed over last night: here are all the kiddos poring over Chris' latest acqusition, another build-and-
the-world game..
"Raaaaaar-r-r-r-r... r-a-a-ar-r-r-r-r.. rrrrrrrr-r-aaaaaaa-r-r-r-r-r.."
(I'm not sure what all the roaring is about)

Saturday, September 16, 2006


Our annual Home Ed EXPO is so much fun for the kids (and a bit of last-minute stress for the mommas !!!)
This year, J1o and M4 won first prizes for their *stained glass biscuits* and *chocolate cake*
and R13 won first prize for her construction !!!!

Those stained glass bikkies are such a fabulous science experiment, the only sorta science experiment I like: food-related!! *grin*
J10 just cut a hole in his biscuit dough and popped in a few boiled lollies: and they all melted down miraculously and turn into "stained glass".. looks fabulous and tastes delicious....

yay!! we have yummy home baking to scoff all weekend!!

dancin' the night away

da kidz: R13, J10 and S8 danced on stage last night at our church's annual thang: there's S8 on the far right hip-hopping to a funky version of Jesus Loves Me
(he spent a lot of time *on stage* adjusting his cap and tshirt..)
we all loved those grins and glow sticks and groovy moves.. youse fullahs are oh, so cool !!!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

français friday

(big ups to my Mum for the ç ...you continue to keep me educated!! love you)

This was what Paris is all about.
Love, romance, connection of the soul, extreme beauty, exquisite architecture, and SEPHORA on LES CHAMPS-ELYSEES...

Strolling Paris' grand boulevard, the Champs-Elysees, you'll come to Sephora, an incredible perfume store. Glide down Sephora's ramp into a vast hall of cosmetics and perfumes (open daily until midnight). It's thoughtfully laid out: the entry hall is lined with the new products, all open with disposable white sniff strips inviting you to take a whiff. The staff here helps shoppers explore their needs. Interviewing you, they understand what you're after and dish up samples until you find the scent of your dreams. They then assemble a list of products to match. They also help you to find the perfect make-up. As if it's not enough, they do your makeup for free. No need for an appointment. A true pleasure for every woman.

As Hubby and I glided down the ramp of SEPHORA, we were met by one of the best salesmen we've ever encountered: whom Hubby has referred to ever after as "Pierre".
He glided up to us and breathed, "Bonjour Monsieur et Madame.. français ou anglais?"
To which I grinned and said, "Anglais".
He effortlessly switched to english as he held out a little white sniff-strip and asked, "Would you like to sneeeef ze latest frrrragrrrrance frrrrom Giorgio Armani? Eeet 'as notes of orrrange and 'oney.."
I did, and dizzily murmured my approval.
Pierre, gazing into my eyes, invited, "Oooh, would you like to trrrry some on??"
To which, captivated, I gushed, "Oh, yes puh-leeze!!"
Pierre grinned and exclaimed, "One moment, Madame, a geeeeft for you.." as he darted gracefully to one side, and sprayed the exquisite perfume into a white envelope.. and swept
out a blue ribbon with a black flower attached and tied it perfectly around my wrist...
Hubby watched, awed that within fifty seconds with this stranger, I had turned back into a giggly teenager.
and I smelled divine..
As we floated on air around SEPHORA, we picked up a couple of pink sparkly bits for our gorgeous daughter... and.... the new Giorgio Armani fragrance for me!!!!!

and every time I sprrrray some of Pierre's orange-and-'oney on, I think of the way a young french man makes every Madame and Mademoiselle walking through the doors of SEPHORA feel like the most beee-au-tee-ful girl in all of gay Paree.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

doctor evil

oh, the early morning joy of irritating your brother:
pushing his buttons firmly enough to get a loud response.. "SSSSS-8-8-8-8-8-8-8... STOP DO-ing TH-A-A-A-A-A-T!!!!!" *mwaaa-ha-haaaa*
i recognise that evil glint in your eye, my friend...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

skatey katie's DATEY SCONES

these are so fabulous. i have never succeeded in making good scones until my friend julie gave me this recipe last week: and for those of us who are watching what we eat (as it goes into our mouths...) these scones have NO BUTTER !!!!!
i'm posting the recipe here cos my recipe file is a big trashy heap and i fear it may get lost...

preheat oven to 200 celsius
place in mixing bowl:
3 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
put one egg into a cup, fill to brim with milk. add.
put second egg into cup, fill to brim with milk. add.
stir briefly to mix.
add grated cheese, about 1 cup.
add a packet of dates (2 cups) (or whatever)
stir gently, briefly.
sprinkle flour on bench, tip mixture out and ease it into a square shape.
sprinkle more flour on top, cut gently into squares. place on baking tray.
pop into the oven, bake for 15 - 20 mins until lightly golden brown.
perfect, as is...
or spread with butter, raspberry jam, cream....

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

new life

My cousin Nicky and her precious adorable daughter Zoë
There it is: the beautiful bond between mommy and baby

"I do not think he means what he think he means..."

M4's musings in the car, en route to ten pin bowling today...

M4: "People in real life are more realistic than people on the teevee."

Mummy (thinks to self): "People in masks cannot be trusted..”
Mummy (says out loud): "That's right, you can talk to people in real life."

M4: "Yes. The teevee is just crap."

and as soon as we arrive home...
M4: "Has anyone seen my *Brum* video?"

Monday, September 11, 2006

let's go girlz...

this weekend, R13 and I headed out to the beach,
for some chill out time with lotsa
yummy mummies
and their gorgeous girls...

early morning coffees beside the seaside:
sheesh, those princess tops get around...

a bit of surf-chick-posing:
R13 and the lovely Lucy

sitting in the snuggle-hole..

two gorgeous girls: Georgia and Holly

Miss Madz: you make such fabulous jewelry chick,
thanks so much for my new bracelet :o)

playing hair and make-up salons
with the daughters..

me and my microphone:
it doubles as a toothbrush !!!

here's to boogie-nights and days
and mommies and daughters
all over the sunny bay of plenty
releasing our inner dancing-queen...

Friday, September 08, 2006

francais friday

Oui oui, ce sont les escargots.. ooh la la!!!
Hubby and I really *did* eat snails when in Paris.. they arrived sizzling and completely drowned in garlic butter and the report is that they tasted like *rubber chicken*.
strange but true...
and I'm also ecstatic to report that my schoolgirl french allowed us to communicate tres bien in Paris...
though Hubby kept asking me: what does that say/mean?
and I would mostly think:
je ne sais pas, moi...
and mostly whenever I asked les Francais a question, they'd answer with a tirade of french, to which I'd shrug and then we'd work it out in *franglais*.... with lots of gestures...
but once, I tried my perfectly practised sentence and mademoiselle
immediately answered me in english... *blush*.. so much for my twenty-year-old schoolgirl french, je trouve!!
c'est la vie...

Thursday, September 07, 2006

"Mum, that garden has a whole lot of yellow LIONS in it!!!"

I think M4 has a slight confusion
between*lions*.. *daffodils*.. and *dandelions*...

springtime literature quiz

Guess who??

ok, here's your clue:

This has to be my all-time-favourite children's book. Partly because I remember reading it when I was a kid (Eric Carle wrote it the year I was born, which incidentally is the year man first walked on the moon..) and partly because I think it's been my most-read-book-to-children since I became an adult (yep, I really am a grownup).
The little caterpillar has miraculously retained his magic.. every time I read it, I wanna put my finger through the holes in the fruit and *see* where he has nibbled.
But wait, there's more...
(nope, sorry, *not* a free set of six steak knives)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

itty bitty caterpillar

Look what S8 has found on the bush outside our front door. A tiny wee caterpillar (on his thumb). Spring has definitely sprung...

Ratty-Tatty sniffed and sniffed...

Oh, how we l-o-v-e Joy Cowley.
We think she's one of NZ's best children's authors. She originally started writing childrens books in the 1960's when one of her sons had difficulty learning to read. Ah, kiwi-ingenuity at its best.
When I was teaching in the classroom, I l-o-v-e-d reading her book
Ratty-Tatty with the children.. and fifteen years later, she is still loved and adored in our home.

M4 and Daddy
looked at the trap.
They cried,
"That Ratty-Tatty is no good.
We would catch her if we could."

But they couldn't,
so they didn't.
Ratty-Tatty was too clever!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

crocodile hunter

I've been catching them
since I was nine.
No problem.

Steve Irwin died in a freak accident yesterday. We are sad. Steve was a super guy, so passionate about wildlife. His legacy will go on.

research project

This morning, D17 and I explored the very real dangers of dihydrogen monoxide ...

Sunday, September 03, 2006

another day for you'n'me in paradise...

Last night at The Swamp Foxes...

heat of the fire,
blackness of the night.

sparkling stars,
rocks around the campfire.

sweetness of marshmallows,
richness of conversation.

adventure of tent sleepovers,
warmth of friendship.

these are the moments we treasure
as family friends.
this is our slice of paradise shared.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Friday, September 01, 2006

francais friday

When I was in my teens, there was a Claude Monet exhibition at our museum.
I was so wowed by the colour mixing, the way the light still seemed to shine out from his paintings. The whole romantic feel of it all. I'm sure we saw all his famous stuff, I just cannot remember. But what I do remember, is that *he painted what he saw*.. so in his later years, with failing eyesight, his paintings look a bit smudgy. That whole idea governed and inspired me when I was teaching classrooms full of kids to *do art*. Whether drawing or painting, first draw what you see. Not what you think you see. Tricky.

A little while after first seeing Monet live, my dahling Mum knitted me a funky jumper out of different colours of sunshiney pastel shades all created in random tiny horizontal stripes and we affectionately named it *my monet jumper*

Six weeks ago, in Paris, hubby and I got to see it all again.

I have such an attachment to the impressionist painters. Perhaps it's because I also have a love affair with the sunshine.. and you can *see* the sunlight here... all those yellows and reds and oranges. They make my soul sing.

Perhaps it's the impossible that Monet wished, becoming possible:
I want the unobtainable. Other artists paint a bridge, a house, a boat, and that's the end. They are finished. I want to paint the air which surrounds the bridge, the house, the boat, the beauty of the air in which these objects are located, and that is nothing short of impossible.

Monsieur Monet, I'm breathing your air...