Just to warn you, there are a lot of "little things". Apparently I feel the need to document every waking moment of our lives. We've seen some pretty amazing sights since living here, but by far my favorite thing to see is these boys playing together.
These egg carton goggles provided hours of entertainment (and hours of laughs on my part). Ryder was so serious about them and wore them everywhere. Including Pak n' Save where I splurged on this little Ride. Because, ya know, when you look that goofy in egg carton goggles you deserve to experience a few splurges in life.
Since kids start school here on their 5th birthday there are constantly kids coming in throughout the year. Maddox's class had reached its maximum capacity so he got moved up a grade in the middle of the year. To tell you the truth, I'm still not sure what grade he is in. He went from a year 0-1 to a year 1-2 class is all I know. He has transitioned really well, the only thing I have to worry about is that he is begging me to let him grow a rat tail like the new friends in his class.
His old teacher, Mrs. Brook:
and his new one, Miss Harris:
It was Maddox's turn for cross country races. He came in 5th place and ran his little heart out. But most importantly, he was dressed for the part. I try to keep a straight face when he puts so much thought into his outfits for special occasions, and the way he lovingly lays them out on his floor the night before. The shirt he originally wanted to wear had dried boogers on it, but this works.
Nice clothesline there, kid, way to eliminate the competition from the beginning
And then all of the kids have had athletics day. Kylie's was first and she came in 3rd for the 60 m sprint, qualifying her for centrals (of course it's not cool to have your parents come and watch when you're in intermediate school). I was so proud of her, it's kinda not fair how many different talents that girl has. The boys were next and it amazes me at how athletic they all are. I can brag, I'm their mom. I can't remember Jayden's stats because there were so many different events, I know for sure he came in 2nd for high jump and 3rd for sprints. Maddox came home with 3 first place certificates for high jump, long jump and running. Man, I love the determination, hard work and competitive spirit these kids have, it makes it fun to watch.
Kylie was happy to pack away her winter kilt starting this term. They actually kind of grew on me, I mean, when you pay $180 for a used kilt then you better like it.
Just because sometimes I can't handle the cuteness. But don't be deceived, he's still rotten at church. Although he is starting to go to nursery again, only because they have gummy snakes.
I was feeling overwhelmed with the usual mom stuff one Saturday morning so I went for a run to clear my head. I came home to these boys who had camped out by the front door the entire time waiting, and could hardly contain their excitement when I got back. The day will come when I'm no longer the center of their universe, when they no longer scream in excitement after I come home from a 30 minute run. So instead of complaining about feeling smothered, I'm trying to appreciate that I am being smothered in love. Although I will admit that I felt a little violated when they wouldn't keep their hands off my butt, apparently spandex is the coolest thing ever.
Jayden was chosen as part of a group to perform some haka songs at Ryder's kindy. I really do love hearing them sing those songs, they're just so beautiful and I love that this culture will always be a part of them. Sometimes when Ryder is playing alone he'll start singing some of the Maori songs he's learned at kindy. It makes me smile.
And I love that Ryder absolutely loves kindy now, we've come a long way from those days of me sitting on the couch for the entire 3 hours. I just give him a push and a kiss on the swing as he waves good bye. He could go every day if I let him, but I'm not ready for that yet so we just added one more day for now. I love hearing him talk about the friends he has made. One boy in particular told me, on two separate occasions mind you, that Ryder's name should be Jermaine. Well, okay then. Several times Ryder's woken up in the morning and crawled into my bed to tell me about his dream of wearing a helmet to school or forgetting to eat his lunch while he was there. It's still so weird that he has a separate life outside of my protective bubble, but I'm so glad he loves it.
They have the mobile dentist vans that visit the schools. I didn't register the kids because we visited their dentist in the states this summer. Maddox was so distraught that everyone in his class got to get their teeth checked except for him. Since it's free I went ahead and registered him and it was all he could talk about for the weeks leading up to his big appointment. I love how excited he gets about the little things.
I love waking up to a foggy morning, and you know that living by a cemetery requires you to walk through it on foggy mornings. At least long enough for a picture.
Part of Jayden's class curriculum was to do a project to beautify the school. I love that they let the kids have free reign. They may have regretted it after their purple and white striped paint job in the cloak room, but doing all the cleaning, prep work, planning and then carrying it out was such a great experience for them. And this is Jayden's "mom, you are so embarrassing!" look.
The parks here are the best. The kids aren't going to know what to do when we move back and every park doesn't have a flying fox.
Somehow the school got a little confused. Kylie is so embarrassed every time they give her a letter to bring home. I probably should go in and correct it. Oh well.
Kylie took her ballet exams, which are like a huge deal here. They fly in an examiner from another country and they even get to miss school. She was a nervous wreck, but did incredible. She earned the highest distinction and scored 74/75. So proud of her hard work, it hasn't always been easy but it is definitely paying off. These kids keep giving me reasons to brag.
Quite naturally we went to McDonald's to celebrate. For a country that is behind the world in a lot of their innovations, their McDonald's cafes sure are forward thinking.
Her studio is hoping to expand to a bigger facility, which means lots of fundraisers. The car wash I didn't mind so much, but selling cookies door to door and buying $40 worth of unsold cookies wasn't too fun. Neither was taking inventory at a hardware store. I mean counting out screws by the hundreds was painstaking. But maybe, just maybe, they'll be in a new studio before we move.
They held a carnival for Guy Fawkes day as another fundraiser, Kylie went with her friends because we had visitors coming into town.
Jason has had to travel for work a few times, just looking at the picture of this tiny plane makes me feel claustrophobic. I would have to triple up on my valium and be in a comatose state before I could ever board this.
We had a gorgeous day at the park. It was warm enough that the boys actually got in the stream to play, after some coaxing from me. I just think wading in streams is a crucial part of childhood. And then childhood went and cut a big gash in Maddox's foot. Which of course turned this into the worst day of his life. But judging by the fact that the best day of his life was the day that Kylie gave him a cut off portion of a polka dot banner to hang in his room, then I'm not putting too much stake on this.
The kids hate going out on Saturdays, they beg to just stay home. Which of course we completely ignore. But they always end up having a good time. We walked around Halswell Quarry, it was a pleasant way to spend a day. Kylie showed us how to present a rock and make a wish at the statues in the Korean gardens. Ryder was pretty ticked off when he wished for toys and the statues didn't produce.
The view from our balcony one night. The full moon, ombre sky and trees for miles...
And we got hit with another pretty impressive hail storm, so loud that the kids darted out of bed to watch. I love falling asleep to the sound of rain. And that's that.