kate5kiwis: September 2007


“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

Sunday, September 30, 2007

freaky geeky

after *eighteen years* of getting tv snow:
hubby has bought the freeview.

and i cashed in my visa points and got an iPod too: cos The Sardine Tin has No Soundz.
and J11 got himself a Nintendo DS lite ice blue console.
and hubby's sorting the broadband for me tomorrow.
it's geekville around here:
and we're lovin' it.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

bella Bella

i'm sure that our friend Bella is an angel.
a good and beautiful angel.
she's also an artist, making fabulous *Love Boots* out of felt.
one day i'm gonna become the felting queen, but in the meantime, i'm sharing the love with this bracelet for Bella.
i've searched for miles and miles and wound up at your door. no. i've searched for days and days and finally found The Perfect Beads and The Perfect Dainty Clasp.
olive is one of your fave colours: here we have the golden-green olive freshwater pearls, linked with pearls refashioned from a pearl necklace that belonged to your granny, and some clear glass bicones for *sparkle*.
there are three strands: one for each of your girls.

you inspire me Bella, with your great love and your infectious laughter:
here's to boots and bracelets and much sharing of both X

Friday, September 28, 2007

i think i'm in love

freshwater pearls are definitely my new addiction.
i've just finished making these, commissioned by a friend of a friend of a friend...

brad and angelina's wedding, here i come.
just kidding dad X

Thursday, September 27, 2007

cooking up a storm

i've known leighleigh ever since she was sixteen and an already-famous-actress... and R14 was a teeny tiny toddler.
leighleigh started our Princess Bride obsession and also introduced me to the *sanguine*ness of life, and now she has two Princess Buttercups/Princesses Buttercup of her very own.
a month ago were were chatting about me being in danger of losing my kitchen muse and needing a foodie injection. thankfulLEIGH she's come to my emotional rescue with
*drum roll*
the inspirationalLEIGH, creativeLEIGH, excellentLEIGH, friendLEIGH, deliciousLEIGH foodie blog.
go on, hop on over: it looks like it's gonna be one impressiveLEIGH inspiring place.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

we're all groovy groovers!!!!!

three days'n'nights with the groovy groovers (rock!)
loads of lads
loads of pizza
loads of posing
loads of laughs
loads of funny bizzo

i remember the night we first met, at the hoggies' house:
D18 was about four months old and we chicks were all racing down the wooden hall to the pool... in our bikinis... and then
three and a half years later you, sarah, raced us to the hospital just in time to meet R14. for years and years we've chased each other all around The Big Smoke and The Sunny Bay, buying the same houses and living in the same places. eating the same decadent lasagne off the same XXL plates.
so much history, so much fun.
love you guys X

Saturday, September 22, 2007

c'est fini...

oui, i've sorta finished The Ten Year Old's Crazy Quilt. i ended up totally machine quilting it, so speedy. though i had a spot of hand sewing to neaten the binding on the back of the sleeping bag. S10 excitedly took it to bed with him last night, for his first sleep as a ten year old. yippee zippee!!!!! it's got fabric from my childhood, and mum's stash, some from J11's star quilt, D18's old star sheet, (yep, we're lovin' da stars here) and some new pieces, like the *flying pigs* and some very cool motorbike material.
and it even has a *secret pocket*.
i am thinking
(Vot Are You Sinking About??) we might all write our birthday speeches on the *sunshine* squares. for Sunshine S10. and i'm also gonna cut out large *felt letters* that spell his name (nope, he's not really called "S10" In Real Life lol) and applique them on all along the bottom. and maybe sew a blue/red/yellow button on in the middle of each square. or maybe at the corners: maybe S10 might like to do that?? so yes, it's a *finished WIP*...

S10 got up this morning with Daddy to watch France beat Ireland in the World Cup:
oui, oui,
allez les bleus!!!
allez the quilt that's full of mamma's love.
(yeah, yeah, i know it shouldn't say "allez" for only one thing, but it rhymes)

Friday, September 21, 2007

sunshine S10

my son, i've told you your birth story tons of times.
you were my first home birth, and the only one of my babies who was born in the middle of the night. everyone else was born after dawn.

i remember walking around our little house, lighting candles, and listening to inspiring music. maybe that's the beginnings of your muso-ness?? actually, i think you were born with the music already in you.

for all your skater boyishness and sporty genes and crazy loud music and general hilarity, there's a beautiful sweetness of soul, a serious intensity that i see every time i look in your eyes.

happy birthday, S10. we love you forever X

Thursday, September 20, 2007

huts and hats and holes

and what have The Lads been up to while mummykate's been so busy whizzy??
making a hut from a h-u-g-e cardboard box: M5 wrote various messages to himself on the outside, including M5's HAT (crossed out and re-written HUT)

putting up S9's tent (he and M5 are gonna sleep his Birthday Eve out in it!!) and creating various piles, which i've been continuing to dodge.
nah, we had The Big Clean Up for an hour just now, yep, sucked it all up the vacuum cleaner. or we would have, if our vaccy was as spiffy as sarahbean's.
Speed Quilt Update:
all the squares are sewn together, now i'm about to attach it to the padding...
i think it'll still be a WIP for a day or two. unless i find my fairy dust.
speaking of fairies, specifically, tooth fairies, M5 is *not* gonna have any teeth left the way he's going. all of our other children's fillings COMBINED TO DATE total two. yes, two kids have had ONE filling each.
but i got seriously grilled by the dental nurse today:
M5 needs seven fillings.
There's gonna be some Serious Sugar Policing and Tooth Brushing from hereon.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

mystery monday, tuesday, wednesday...

so.. what did we do for our mystery monday???

well, it wouldn't be a proper winter without a Quilt-Making Expedition. and i've been promising to make S9 and M5 a quilt ever since J11's and my star quilt adventure last year... and then during Hurricane Katie i found two sleeping bags with broken zips left over from my childhood (waste not, want not)... so they've been waiting ever so patiently in my room to be the Quilt Padding/Quilts' Padding/Quilts' Paddings? (quietly stacked next to the new piano for J11, and my sewing machine and some more canvases that really need some fairy dust).

finally, on monday, buoyed up by the eleventh hour revelation that S9 turns TEN on friday (two more sleeps, well, none if you count it by the leighleigh method), we went shopping for quilting fabrics. of course, we have a pile of nostalgic fabric to snip into too: a stars sheet of D18's, some pieces that mum pulled out of her stash, and various snippets from around our place.

so in the lounge, as far as the eye can see, there are six-and-a-half-inch fabric squares, in blue and red and yellow colour combos. i'm sewing up S9's quilt first, and M5's will be next: i've got five weeks until he turns six...

and seeing as i'm so buried in fabric this week, there've turned out to be *many mysteries*:

what's for dinner?
and who's gonna cook it?
have i washed any clothes?
who's gonna fold the clothes?
can we find any clean dishes?
who's gonna load the dishwasher?
vacuum the floor?
read all the stories?

*raises eyebrows and pats self on back that self is so ordinarily indispensible and races back to sewing machine, re-threads needle without saying any bad words and commences the miracle of Speed Quilt Number One*

Monday, September 17, 2007

boing boing boing BOING BOING.......

that's the definitive sound of Spring Sprunging.
i can tell it's definitely *spring* cos:

the early morning sun is evaporating clouds and clouds of steam off the back fence in the morning, which only happens with Hot Morning Sunshine, you know (see, there's a science lesson right there. i'm not sure exactly what the science lesson is, but i can sense one...) J11 and i have huge delight in determining what the steam clouds look like: a dragon, a vulture... a cloud of steam...

there are millions of daffodils and other sunshiney flowers popping up everywhere all over The Sunny Bay:

the baby lambies are growing and growing:

my fave sunflowers are on the calendar:

i've been getting up just in time to hear dawn cracking to Do Pilates (go The Powerhouse) and this morning i am off to buy a wax kit for my man-hair legs (sorry, no photo bwahahahaha) in anticipation of Many Sunny Beach Days.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

mother of the bride

Julie was the first home schooler that we met when we arrived in The Sunny Bay, nearly five years ago. Hers is the House on the Hill that we can see from our place. It turns out that Julie has five kiwi kids too, one daughter and four boys (just like me!!)... two of whom are the same age as our J11 and S9... with similar personalitites. Our lads spend many happy hours roller blading, flying foxing, motorbiking and fixing stuff with Phillip and Tim.
Julie is one of those inspiring people who generously gives of her time and talents without expectation of anything in return: for the last year, she has spent hours and hours teaching J11 various piano pieces, encouraging him and playing alongside...
I've been wondering for ages, what we can give Julie to keep the global love spinning around the universe... in three weeks her daughter gets married, and so I had an *idea*...
I grabbed tons and tons of freshwater pearls from my newest fave place and sprinkled them with my signature german crystal luminescent beads,
some hawaiian pearls (which match the bride's necklace!!!), textured glass ice pearls and clear glass bicones of varying sizes to make a three-stranded Mother of The Bride necklace for Julie.
The symbolism is that on two of the strands, there are five pearly seed beads linked between the larger pearls: for her five kids. Of course, no Mother of The Bride necklace would be complete without a matching bracelet...
here we have the freshwater pearls holding hands with five seed beads in between, echoing the necklace formation.

Julie, you probably won't read this, cos you don't have the internet at your place lol... but I'm wishing you a wonderful day as you kiss your girl and watch her ride off into the sunset with her husband. I'm wishing you joy as you welcome another son into your rich, beautiful lives. Thank you for sharing yours so generously with me and mine X

Friday, September 14, 2007

All Things Bright and Beautiful

did you know that we tend to wear 20% of our wardrobe 80% of the time??? yep, we all have our fave things that we wear until they're raggy, leaving the rest of it in near-pristine condition, clogging up the racks in the cupboard. and did you also know that 83% of statistics are made up on the spot??? bwa-haha-HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!
one day, i'd love to try the little brown dress project, but for now, i've actually whittled my clothes down quite a bit, i gave lots away and now pretty much have only my faves left... and a couple of special memory-bits for posterity.

on the topic of The Twenty Percent though, M5 has been wearing this ensemble for D-A-Y-S...
The New Shirt is a hand-me-down from a friend: it goes in the wash and straight back on the body!!!

(and man, it's b-r-i-g-h-t. at least there's no chance of losing him)

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

little high

the dynamics at our place always keep me on my toes.
the latest phrase at ours is *high five*.

so when someone does something funny
there's a chorus of *high five* and hands reaching to connect in midair
and when someone says something funny
*high five*

someone does something silly
*high five*
someone says something silly
*high five*

someone does something crazy
*high five*
someone says something crazy
*high five*

someone does something fabulous
*high five*
someone says something fabulous
*high five*

someone does or says something across the room
*air five*

two ever-so-lovely girlies came over yesterday and i helped them make their First Bracelets.

pearls and crystals and pink glass beads flew all over the breakfast bar and the floor as we drank coffee and lit candles and listened to brooke and chatted with fabulous kiddos...

and just look at what was created:
*high five* girls!!!!!

Monday, September 10, 2007

mystery monday

today's mystery monday paper revealed the instruction: *walk around the monmouth redoubt and walk down to mövenpick for ice creams* so we popped into town and had a wonderful windy walk around the redoubt,

stopping for a history lesson or two
and a wee surf on top of the cannon
and a very windy play up the tree.
i heard phrases like, "i'm gold leader"... "i'm silver leader" etc
and lots of gun noises and army man poses... until the littlest voice said, "i'm chilly chilly bang bang..." at which point we went off in search of ice creams... but the mövenpick shop was shut... so we settled for hot sundaes...
M5 still with his swimming goggles perched upon his brow.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

a walk in progress

i love it how a sunday afternoon walk
*there and back to see how far it is* quickly morphs into a
*Ministry of Silly Walks* skit...

stunt man

S9, you've been doing this ever since you were five, and getting more and more elaborate with your mooooves.
ooo, Q: what's the best way to count cows??
A: on a COW-culator!!

i've been wanting to video you *flipping out* for a-g-e-s. daddy finally did, this afternoon!!!!!

we got our gymnnastics-size-trampoline four years ago just before we moved to The Sunny Bay: we spent our whole year's homeschooling allowance on it: it's been the best piece of School Equipment we've ever got... except for books... and babies lol. it's totally worth its weight in gold: the latest thing you fullahs do is cram as many kids on the tramp as you can and play *dodgeball*... where one kid stands back and hurls a ball at everyone's feet, and you all have to jump it. yeah, all the kiddos love that game.

i often wonder what you'll do "when you grow up" (heck, i haven't even decided what i'll do)...
but at this stage, i'll bet yours has something to do with rushing wind...

Saturday, September 08, 2007

sharing the love

yeah, feeling the lurve this week. but not from blogger. far out, i have lost so many comments on other blogs that i've almost given up and gone to wordpress... almost.
but hey,
THANKS A MILLION for all the emails, messages and chats about the sparkly shop.
and i'm feeling extra loved today cos sarah the exquisite bag lady has given me this:

"...for those bloggers who are nice people and good blog friends - those who bring good feelings and inspiration. also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world."

ahhhh, hearts-and-flowers.
cos everywhere i go i just can't keep my mouth shut. yep, when i visit ya i just *have* to leave my five cent's worth. except the last week at blogger dot com blogs. nope, not linking to blogger.

i get slightly freaked out by memes and awards. they're a bit like a tupperware party where i feel obliged to get someone else to host my party, or at least buy something... i know i get *that* feeling from you mum X

but hey, if you wanna post this wee cutie on your sidebar, then...
here's my 5 *nice matters* kiwi votes:
sarah aka beanie bag who keeps my giggles giggling
leighleigh of the sparkly kitchen muse
rach of the million blogs - you keep bloglines on its toes lol
abby cos you have a definite kiwi onion layer
sharon of the gorgeous book pillow
(but shaz you could start a blog and then i'll link to you, promise!!)

oh and now i feel like i've left some other *really nice* kiwis out...
i'm such an *ALL PLAY* person, so here's the rest of the invites:
hay of the pancake princesses
jen over in the other sunny bay
karen of the mindful unrandomness
laura the swarovski queen
jess the angel mommy
and deb cos i think your gawjuss blog is feeling much neglect and you do take such perfect photos.....
and if i've forgotten anyone, please just come to the party too, k?

you all know who you are, and just to prove i'm *not* putting the tupperware pressure on, i'll leave the hyperlinks off... until/if you wanna post something X

Friday, September 07, 2007

going global

i've been thinking alot about this lately: fair prices, fair trade, fair deal... fair go... fair dinkum...
i really like to *make* pressies for people: it's a gift from the heart, you know. mum and dad have made their own presents for as long as i can remember: beautifully embroidered linen table mats and various wooden items; and traditionally The Gang have made all of our christmas presents for friends and family too: ranging from the story hubby wrote one year.. which was the written version of a bedtime tale he told to the big two kids over a series of weeks when J11 was a wee baby, to the maths game called *Maths Eisley Space Port* (lol yeah, we're Star Wars fans) that he fashioned when D18 was learning his times tables... about ten years ago, to family photos, to various delish edible items, to little hackisack balloon balls filled with rice for the kids and bracelets for the babies. last year we bought
goats and chickens and toilets to give to our family.
and yesterday i was touched again by globality. is that a word?? it is now.

fairness and sharing the love. parents given the choice to educate their children in literacy and numeracy rather than survival and oppression. so when we visited the trade aid shop with the home ed crowd and sat on the floor School Style and listened to the lovely volunteer ladies, i loved hearing the STORIES behind how things are made and the PEOPLE who make them. and then we bought some coffee and chocolate and peppercorns and celebrated the fact that the people who've worked to produce them have been given an honest day's wage and can survive in their communities. did you know that trade aid was set up in NZ when i was four??? it's a NZ initiative. that makes me happy. i have a tendency to go all out with stuff and then drop it after a month or two. but this is a baby steps idea and i'm contemplating trying to buy most of our pressies from global friendly places from now on.
S9 and J11 each got themselves a little bamboo whistle and have been practising Mister Tumnus' tune ever since.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

magic tricksy

M5: (grins and covers cup with hand) Mum, don't look but i can make three apples appear in my cup.
moi: (
closes both eyes) oooh, go on then! (sneaksy peeks through one semi-closed eyelid)
M5: (
turns around) abracabra, acka pear, make three apples... appear... (turns around to face me again and reveals... three rather oxidised slices of apple) ta daaaaahhhhh!!!!!

it's one of my daily joys to share little moments like this.
life through the eyes of a five year old. everything felt so keenly, moments viewed so wondrously and simply. this kid, this youngest lad, with all his rambunctiousness (gosh, we could get a few words from that one, fleur) is such a pleasure. it completely bowls me over how each of the five has arrived in our life wired for sound. wired for love. completely filled with joie de vivre.

i had a *wow* moment the other day (it's a bit skitey, but hey, dis my blog, these are my remembrances)
moi: ok, (doing the mental arithmetic out loud so hubby can add as i go) i'm adding 11 and 8
hubby: 19
moi: and 6 (waits a second)
M5's little voice from across the room: 25
yeah, before hubby answered me, M5 did the sum in his own head. pretty flash, huh.
maybe he can help with that code for blackjack that you and D18 are writing, Dad???

i know, every momma thinks her child/ren are the cleverest and most talented ever born. i think that's a fabulous strategy, cos everyone needs someone who believes in him, even fairies.
so for all my french speakers and origami folders and piano players and trampoline flippers and magic tricksters... this is the sound of one hand clapping. i'd be happy for this season to last forever.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

toilet humour

yeah, i know. i didn't write a *mystery monday* and now i'm blogging *spam*.
see, the camera is up to its old tricks and so i didn't take photos yesterday.
we ran outta time for a real mystery too,
instead we entertained fabulous visitors late afternoon with a large tub of icecream and lots of coffee.

Hubby always laughs at my Public Loos Phobia, i really do try to avoid visiting them. and now i've found a kindred spirit:

When you have to visit a public bathroom, you usually find a line of women, so you smile politely and take your place. Once it's your turn, you check for feet under the stall doors. Every stall is occupied.

Finally, a door opens and you dash in, nearly knocking down the woman leaving the stall.
You get in to find the door won't latch. It doesn't matter, the wait has been so long you are about to wet your pants! The dispenser for the modern "seat covers" (invented by someone's Mom, no doubt) is handy, but empty. You would hang your purse on the door hook, if there was one, but there isn't - so you carefully, but quickly drape it around your neck, (Mom would turn over in her grave if you put it on the FLOOR!), yank down your pants, and assume " The Stance."
In this position your aging, toneless thigh muscles begin to shake. You'd love to sit down, but you certainly hadn't taken time to wipe the seat or lay toilet paper on it, so you hold "The Stance."
To take your mind off your trembling thighs, you reach for what you discover to be the empty toilet paper dispenser. In your mind, you can hear your mother's voice saying, "Honey, if you had tried to clean the seat, you would have KNOWN there was no toilet paper!" Your thighs shake more.
You remember the tiny tissue that you blew your nose on yesterday - the one that's still in your purse. (Oh yeah, the purse around your neck, that now, you have to hold up trying not to strangle yourself at the same time). That would have to do. You crumple it in the puffiest way possible. It's still smaller than your thumbnail .
Someone pushes your door open because the latch doesn't work. The door hits your purse, which is hanging around your neck in front of your chest, and you and your purse topple backward against the tank of the toilet . "Occupied!" you scream, as you reach for the door, dropping your precious, tiny, crumpled tissue in a puddle on the floor, lose your footing altogether, and slide down directly onto the TOILET SEAT. It is wet of course. You bolt up, knowing all too well that it's too late. Your bare bottom has made contact with every imaginable germ and life form on the uncovered seat because YOU never laid down toilet paper - not that there was any, even if you had taken time to try. You know that your mother would be utterly appalled if she knew, because, you're certain her bare bottom never touched a public toilet seat because, frankly, dear, "You just don't KNOW what kind of diseases you could get."
By this time, the automatic sensor on the back of the toilet is so confused that it flushes, propelling a stream of water like a fire hose against the inside of the bowl that sprays a fine mist of water that covers your butt and runs down your legs and into your shoes. The flush somehow sucks everything down with such force that you grab onto the empty toilet paper dispenser for fear of being dragged in too.

At this point, you give up. You're soaked by the spewing water and the wet toilet seat. You're exhausted. You try to wipe with a gum wrapper you found in your pocket and then slink out inconspicuously to the sinks.
You can't figure out how to operate the faucets with the automatic sensors, so you wipe your hands with spit and a dry paper towel and walk past the line of women still waiting.
You are no longer able to smile politely to them. A kind soul at the very end of the line points out a piece of toilet paper trailing from your shoe. (Where was that when you NEEDED it??) You yank the paper from your shoe, plunk it in the woman's hand and tell her warmly, "Here, you just might need this."
As you exit, you spot your hubby, who has long since entered, used, and left the men's restroom. Annoyed, he asks, "What took you so long, and why is your purse hanging around your neck?"

Now men know why it really does take us so long. It also answers their other commonly asked questions about why women go to the restroom in pairs. It's so the other girl can hold the door, hang onto your purse and hand you tissues under the door!

*wink, grin, giggle, guffaw*

Sunday, September 02, 2007

itsy bitsy cutesy Etsy

i love this word. it just sounds so fun to say. and Etsy is such a friendly and fabulous place, you know. it's not a huge garage sale at all: it's warm and inviting. it's a place for the little boutique. it's "Etsy, your place to buy & sell all things handmade".
i even like the colour. orange. vitamin C.

over the past week i've been such a busy girl, designing and creating sparkly things and opening up my Etsy shop: i do promise that *katie's blonde blog* isn't going to turn into a huge advertisement for moi, but i thought i'd post a preview of My First Etsy. cos i'm so excited about it.
and of course i'd love the feedback from all you beautiful peeps X

Saturday, September 01, 2007

cool runnings

today, on the Official First Day of Spring - to celebrate D18 turning eighteen - we ventured to vegas (aka The Armpit of New Zealand) in The Sardine Tin (aka our little van) for a fabulous sunny day riding The Luge...

we had loads of laughs going up the gondolas and up, bounce, up the chair lifts...

and a ton of fun going down.

we tried out every trail: scenic, intermediate and advanced, and even though one or two of us canned off, it was totally
cool runnings mon: peace be the journey, and everyone kept their *lucky egg* intact!!!

i am feeling very Olympic today, how about you??
eins, zwei, drei.....