October 2017 Pictures

Here are the rest of the pictures from October!

It’s hard to see in this picture, but one thing they’ve done to stabilize this cliff face is to put black netting over the loose rocks. You can see it on the left side of the top.

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These are five-ton blocks of concrete—and a slip pushed them over!

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Mr. Intellectual is doing a course called “Thinking Like an Engineer.” He’s loving it, especially the experiments. In this one, he had to pile books an inch above the floor, using one sheet of printer paper. You’ll have to wait till I write the review of the course to see how tall a stack he achieved!

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Mr. Sweetie built this stack of animals, and then took 16 pictures of it!

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This was the latest dump find. Mr. Intellectual is loving his “new” roll-top desk!

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We got out the microscope one day to look at some algae. It was still out several days later when I was cutting up meat, so we looked at that, too.

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The first picture is skeletal muscle; the second is cardiac muscle. Mr. Intellectual had just been studying about these muscles a few days before, so this was a timely opportunity.

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Mr. Imagination and Little Miss spend most of the morning playing together while the bigger boys do school. They got out the rocking horse one day and had great fun on it for a long time.

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Little Miss can spend hours playing with these tiny animals. She loves sorting them.

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One day, Little Miss wanted to paint, so I gave her a brush and a bucket of water and told her to paint the house.

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Mr. Imagination was delivering quite a fiery sermon to his brother and sister! I enjoyed listening, while I picked lettuce nearby and pretended not to pay attention.

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Visit to Simon

Since Monday the 23rd of October was a holiday, we decided to go visit Simon. We were pleased to discover that, even with our somewhat weak van, it only took four hours to get there, since we weren’t towing anything this time. We got there at lunchtime Saturday, and left right after lunch on Monday.  We enjoyed getting to spend time with our boy and the family he lives with, and see where he lives and works. This room is his sleepout, on the deck attached to the house.

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All five boys slept in the sleepout for the weekend.

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This is Simon’s car, which he bought a few weeks ago. Apparently, it was completely covered with moss, which took a few hours to waterblast off.

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The workshop where he spends his days.

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This is the house, when you approach it from the workshop.

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Simon’s sleepout is at the far right.

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The front of the house. This was the Ngahere Hotel until the family Simon lives with bought it about a year and a half ago. It was in quite bad shape inside, having been very neglected even though it was still in use. They have done a lot of work and turned it into a large, nice house.

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New Babies

It’s spring! That means there are lots of new babies around.

We were given a lamb the last week of September. See the cat eyeing it? The other cat took one look and hid for the rest of the day!

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The cows and ducks were pretty curious, too. This lamb is named Daisy. By now, she’s free in the paddock, but she spends a lot of the day crying at the gate for more food, or attention.

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We were given two more lambs when Daisy was a few weeks old. They are named Dusty and Debbie. We have the beginning of a flock of sheep—three little ewe lambs!

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We came home from a trip to the West Coast to find eight new goslings! I didn’t want to get close to them to take a picture, so this is really zoomed in and not the best. These particular geese have never attacked anyone, but I don’t trust geese too far.

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The little boys are loving taking care of the lambs!

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September 2017 photos

Here are the last few photos from September, that didn’t fit into any other posts.

When everyone else works on cleaning the house on Saturdays, Little Miss wants to do her cleaning, too. She has decided that spraying the walls and scrubbing them is her job. She sure loves to spray water!

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Licking the beaters is the best part of making pavlova!

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The boys brought in four goose eggs one day. They decided to blow out the insides and paint the shells.14-IMG_3327

Mr. Imagination did this one.

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Esther made herself a new dress, and used the leftover fabric to sew an apron for her little sister.

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Princess doing what she does best.

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On our way to the Dead Boring concert a few weeks ago, we got to see the Weka Pass train—it’s just a short excursion train from Waipara to Waikari. Fun to see a steam engine!

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Gore Bay

Simon came home for a few days a couple of weeks ago. We loved seeing him again, and spending time with the family he lives with, as well. We took them out to Gore Bay, since the weather was so lovely. I don’t think I had been out there since January! Everything was so clear and gorgeous.

One of the must-sees in Cheviot is Cathedral Lookout, above the south end of Gore Bay. I never tire of seeing this place. I couldn’t decide which perspective I liked better, so decided to use both pictures.

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Gore Bay was so beautiful that day, too! This is the south end, looking toward Port Robinson. It was high tide, so we didn’t go down to the rocks at the point.

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Mr. Intellectual kept busy a long time building this tower.

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Does it look like Simon is happy to be with his family again?

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We went to the playground, too. I felt dizzy just watching the merry-go-round!

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The Road to Kaikoura

Every time we go to Kaikoura for church, we see changes that have been made in the road since the last time. The road crews are working hard to make things safe! They are hoping to have the job finished by the end of the year. We’ll see—it looks like a lot still to be done.

This spot is where a hillside slipped into the sea in 2010. It took a week to reopen the road and railroad that time, and we called it the Big Slip. Little did we know…. See the bent and twisted posts along that wall? They used to hold up a net to catch rocks. During the earthquake in November 2016, a lot more came down and bent the posts. Those aren’t small posts, either. I took the picture, and the next few, though, because we were marveling at what was happening with the railroad. Large sections of rails and ties, fastened securely together, had been lifted aside, and diggers were smoothing the rocks in the roadbed. In the afternoon when we returned home, they were putting the sections of rails back in place.

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The annual old car show in Kaikoura ended that morning, so we were enjoying watching vintage cars going south to Christchurch.

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Stopping to wait our turn at the one-way stretches means we have more time to admire the beautiful scenery along the coast. This is the Kaikoura Peninsula from the south.

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I don’t think I had ever seen Barney’s Rock so white as this time!

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Spring 2017

The pictures in this post were taken over the course of a month. One Sunday afternoon in September, we drove through the local domain on our way home from church. The daffodils were in full bloom, and so beautiful! Esther wanted me to take a picture of her with Little Miss, so I did. While I was doing that, Mr. Diligence took a picture of me taking the picture!

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The annual Dead Boring bike hike was the second Tuesday of September. Mr. Imagination rode in it, for the first time. I drove him the first 10 km or so, and then he rode his little bike for about 7 km.

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We had left after the older children who rode their bikes the entire 21 km of the route, but soon passed all of them. However, Mr. Imagination went slowly enough that a lot of them passed him up. Here is Mr. Intellectual.

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I always enjoy seeing the farm signs at the gates!

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These curious cows went racing to the corner of their paddock to see the children riding by.

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Mr. Diligence took Little Miss in a seat on the back of his bike. You can just see her helmet sticking up. She was thrilled to get to ride in the bike hike! Just in front of Mr. Diligence, who is wearing a blue-and-black striped shirt, is Mr. Sweetie, in a white shirt with vertical stripes.  They are about to pass Mr. Imagination, in his brown striped sweater. Mr. Diligence and Mr. Sweetie stayed together the whole way.

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One day, Mr. Diligence found these wild ducklings huddled together by the duck pond. No mother was in sight, so he brought them in. Soon, though, she showed up, so he put them back with her.

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This is as close as Princess wants to come to water. She, like a normal cat, minces delicately around puddles. Bandit, on the other hand, races right through them without seeming to notice he’s getting wet! One day, I watched him walk deliberately into the middle of a small puddle, about an inch deep, and start batting at the ripples he created! No wonder he’s usually wet and muddy.

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This has been a common sight this year. Such a contrast to the last few years!

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The cat wants us to shut off the rain—but the waterfowl are loving it!

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The little children are loving it, too. Because of all the rain (four inches in five days a few weeks ago, and four and a half inches in the past five days), the creek in front of our house has been running. When it’s full enough, they boat down it in a half barrel. Yesterday we had a sunny morning, so these three spent time splashing and playing. The boys were having a toe-stomping fight.

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Videos for Grandma

Just for my mom, here are two videos of the little ones.
This first one is of Little Miss counting to 22 when she was playing hide and seek with Mr. Imagination.

This is Mr. Imagination reading me his list of words. He has only learned six sounds so far, but he’s doing quite well at sounding out words. In the background you can hear Little Miss and her incessant questions and comments!

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Dead Boring Concert 2017

Today was our homeschool group’s annual concert. As always, we enjoyed the musical pieces, recitations, songs, and skits performed by the other families, and also sang a couple of songs ourselves. Here are videos of us singing both of them.

Our first song was one we learned in our house church in Michigan, a very beautiful prayer.

Oh, Heavenly Father and merciful Lord,
We come to you now in one mind and accord.
We are so undeserving to make this request,
But with your sweet spirit Lord let us be blessed.

Chorus:
Open the windows and pour out a blessing,
Shower your power upon us O Lord;
Send such a blessing we cannot contain it,
Lord open the windows of heaven today.

So often we’ve witnessed your power so strong,
But yesterday’s blessings are all past and gone.
Once again we come needy as humbly we pray,
And that’s why we lift up our voices and say:

The second was Sing Hallelujah to the Lord, which has so much repetition that I’m not going to include the lyrics.

And, for those who don’t understand the title of this post, it is not a boring group at all. Dead Boring is the name of the group, and has been for some 20-25 years. The mother who started the group told her son that she was starting a writing group, and he responded, “Oh, that’ll be dead boring.” She said, “Yes, it will!” and the name was born.

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August 2017 Pictures

The kitchen table broke one day, so Simon and Mr. Diligence fixed it for us. I’m sure glad Mr. Diligence has learned to fix things, too, since Simon is no longer here!

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Princess likes to try out all sorts of new places to sleep in.

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She also wants in the house all the time. She can walk along the ledge outside the living room window, and she begs to come in that way.

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Her favorite place to spend the day is on top of our refrigerator in the laundry room. One day, she was rolling around trying to get attention from the boys and fell off!

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Mr. Imagination making toast for his breakfast on top the stove.

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Little Miss showing off her ponytails.

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A dear friend sent these flowers to me! I was bringing the cow home one evening when a truck turned onto our road. I kept the cow off the road, and wasn’t paying much attention to the truck, but it went slower and slower so I finally looked. The driver, a man who had been a neighbor at one house we lived in, was holding out these flowers to me! So beautiful. Thank you, dear friend!

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One Sunday at church, a girl who loves Little Miss decorated her with these pansies, so I asked the girl if she would take some pictures for me.

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These are place we frequently find the cats. Bandit wants a soft, warm spot. Princess wants to be on something, and the computer, when it’s open, is a favorite. If I close it she’ll find some other place. She loves to curl up on a sheet of paper!

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Our beef cattle. The two black ones will soon be going to the works. The white one was our calf last year.

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