Day 150 30 May – open day

 

And so the search for a High School begins. As a parent you know the day is looming especially once they enter intermediate schooling, but I don’t think anything can prepare you for the ultimate decision making.

In New Zealand most schools are zoned. Now usually you will fall within a schools’ zoning, but it just so happens that we do not fall within ANY zone! All the nearest High Schools literally by-pass us with less than 1 km and the only other public High School which does not have a zone unfortunately has a bad reputation and is not a school we would want her to attend.

We are in the midst of filling out application upon application for an out of zone student. Once all the in zone students have applied, the school then looks at if they can accommodate more students. If they can then they open the out of zone applications but this occurs within a ballot, which basically means they randomly pick a name. Some schools might have less than 20 places available from approximately 100 applicants.

Open Day visits are on the agenda for the next 2 months.

 

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Day 95 5 April – school’s out

I don’t know if any of you heard of cyclone Debbie that struck Australia towards the end of March. She left destruction and lost lives as she crossed over and unfortunately New Zealand lied in her path. The central and lower north island was hit the hardest. The ground is already very saturated after the floods we had recently so it honestly doesn’t take much for roads to flood again. Houses were evacuated in certain towns and road damage due to slips and floods occurred.

We received notice from the school this morning that due to the worsening weather condition there will be no school which means the kids came to work with me. We were able to access our road from the top as the bottom was completely closed off. It rained heavily during the day and there wasn’t much for the kids to do. My daughter played shop assistant and my son was glued to the computer screen. They each had a turn to lick out the bowls after I baked, which is the best part of baking.

 

 

I found my daughter’s digital art pieces on my Instagram story that she posted out of utter boredom 🙂

Priceless!

 

Day 83 24 March – gratitude

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Today I received a card from my friend who left New Zealand a short while ago to finish her travels before she heads home. It was such a lovely surprise and it made me feel such gratitude towards our friendship.

I was reminded again, through this small gesture, of how important it is to be surrounded by people who add value to your life, who will walk an extra mile with you and who still thinks of you even though you are apart. I am truly grateful to have met some amazing people throughout my 36 years on earth. But I have also learned that unfortunately not everyone has good intentions. We need to cut ties with those who munipulates, distracts, adds negativity and do not have our best interests at heart. It certainly isn’t an easy thing to do and I had often kept ‘friends’ around out of guilt and not wanting to hurt their feelings or be portrayed as the bad one.

I remember how I had a huge friendship group while in primary school. Honestly, we could have formed our own gang. I was never bullied, never exchanged bad words to anyone or felt that I didn’t get along with any of the children in my year group. After primary school the majority of us moved to the same highschool while others went to a technology focused highschool. It was interesting seeing how these friendships from primary school soon withered as we formed new friendships. All of my newly formed friends were students from other primary schools. I still had contact with the boys who attended the technology school and we got together on a regular basis, whether it was to go to the movies, each others birthday parties or to the drive-in.

I went to university a year after highschool and attended one of its local campuses. All of my friends had since moved on from highschool, most going to universities in the larger cities and others started working. A small handful travelled overseas and had since settled in places such as the UK, Italy, Brazil. My university friends had become my family. We have been through so much together: engagements, weddings, stork teas, our children’s births, birthdays. And today it’s them who I treasure.

I think with age comes a sense a responsibility towards yourself.

 

Day 53 22 February – monarch

The kids’ school has a few Swamp Milkweed plants to encourage monarch butterflies to lay their eggs there so that the monarch caterpillars has something to eat and a place to live before creating their chrysalis. The children not only get an opportunity to see each stage of a butterfly’s life cycle, but they learn to respect and take care of creatures much smaller and fragile than themselves.

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Today there was a great buzz around the swamp plants as 2 monarch butterflies were dancing around from leave to stem, finding a place to lay eggs. I decided to take photos of the butterflies but was in for a real treat when after following one particular butterfly around, we literally saw her lay an egg, 1 single egg, a tiny white speck on the bright green leave. I was more excited about this than the children around me. I felt a bit awkward for the butterfly as her privacy was rudely interrupted by gawking humans. But she flew off, leaving her egg to soon develop into a small, stripy caterpillar.

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It was then when one of my daughter’s class friends pointed out to something moving underneath one of the leaves. At first I couldn’t clearly make out what she was pointing too, until I saw the wriggly body of a caterpillar. It was so small yet strikingly characteristic of a monarch caterpillar. It was happily munching away on the food source the swamp plant is providing.

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I was in awe of this. From speck, to caterpillar to beautiful butterfly. Creation is amazing. Life is exciting.

What if there is someone

  
way out there,

  
looking down on our world right now.

  
And to them, we are the speck.

Day 40 9 February – frozen grapes

I saw one of my daughter’s friends post an Instagram photo at the beginning of the summer season where she was eating frozen grapes. It looked so cool and refreshing but I couldn’t imagine what the texture must be like. Two weeks ago I was scrolling through some back to school recipes and lunchbox ideas when I came across a handy tip for keeping lunchboxes cool during a very warm February: put a small zip lock bag with washed and frozen grapes in the lunchbox. Not only will it keep the lunchbox cool but it will also provide a chill morning tea snack. So today I did just that. I placed a bag of grapes in the freezer and added it to the one of the smaller container of the lunchbox. the kids didn’t know they were frozen so it was an interesting surprise.

I now have a nasty cough accompanying my head cold and my health deteriorates by late afternoon. I had some spare frozen grapes in the freezer and after the evening gymnastics pick-up, I had a small bowl of the grapes. It was so good and definitely needed to sooth my sore and scratchy throat.

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Day 39 8 February – school leader

*I will uploading a photo soon*

Today my daughter was appointed as Head Girl for 2017! We are incredibly proud of her efforts and dedicated hard work within the school. She is always very excited over new challenges and looks forward to learn from her leadership duties. She is a good role model and always strives for the best results.

I honestly can’t believe my daughter is in her final year before her High School career starts. When I was younger (and her age) school was a means of socialising with my friends, not studying. I can’t remember that I ever completed my homework nor listened is class. I was send to the principals office several times (when corporal punishment was still applied) and the teachers knew me as “the talker”. I wasn’t a trouble maker, but my thoughts were always somewhere else instead of at my work. I had a very large group of friends and I loved my sports: athletics, gymnastics and cross country. I was never particularly good at the last mentioned but I would rather run 3km across rural terrain than sit for an hour and do homework. Oh and I should mention that my mother didn’t know I participated in cross country until half way through the competition season. I use to be in after school care as my mother worked full time, and it was during the afternoons that I would run for the school at competitions. I was always very nervous as there were times the bus would arrive back at school with just a few minutes to spare before my mother pitched up. She discovered my teeny tiny secret when the school rang her and told her I forgot my sports uniform, and the bus leaves shortly before school is dismissed. It was too late for her to pull me out from the competitions and I was able to complete the season.

I was also not selected for leadership…no surprises there! I desperately wanted to be as I thought my school performance on both the sports and cultural fields was sufficient. Apart from being a good sports person, I sang in the choir and always volunteered for the Landdiens group (which is basically similar to scouts). We went on outdoor excursions, learned about natural resources and competed against other school on 3 day camps. Apparently our teachers didn’t agree with my reasoning. They needed school leaders who perform with excellence on all fields and also interact with the younger students, whereas I only surrounded myself with my peers. At least several of my friends were leaders and my best friend became head girl, so I was always in their company and didn’t feel as if I am missing out on any new developments within the school.

I am grateful that my daughter follows her own way through life, and she seems to be doing just fine.