Friday, April 24, 2015


It was the hardest of mornings. We still made it to our archery club open day and I am so glad we did. We learned so much and got to shoot for a few hours, up a mountain, with dear friends under a blue sky. And while there were not many smiles, the rough morning ebbed away and we felt a whole lot darn better for it. The boy and I walked adventured up to the top of the mountain after the archery session and came down from there connected and feeling stronger somehow. 
Both of us are keen for more archery. It was very cool to see everyone so strong in their bodies and focussed and striving to improve. Some of us clearly have natural aptitude, that Jed guy was the first to get a bulls eye. Plus, I learned the hard way where my arm guard is meant to go and got the most impressive bruise. I have been impressing intrepid small children with it all week. 

We've been reading and listening to the Rangers Apprentice series. The main character is a skilled archer. And watching Lars Andersen on youtube. Very cool. Prepare yourself for some seriously inspiring archery and historical research then click HERE.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Learning Together

One of the things I have been working on is the AHE (Auckland Home Educators) Conference coming up on the 9th of May. We've named it 'Learning Together'.

It promises to be quite the day, with main speakers Stephanie Walmsley, a long time homeschooler and homeschooling advocate and Larne Edmeades, who is the principal of ACG Parnell College. His four children are, or have been, homeschooled.  I know right?! Many people are very curious to hear his story. We have a wonderful array of workshops, a marketplace, info centre and beautiful food available for morning tea (which you get with your registration) and yummy lunch (which is super affordable).
I am facilitating the main panel and giving a workshop called, 'Nature as Teacher - using the natural world in our learning journeys'. I can't wait. I love this work.

The best thing? Working with some fabulous women who I hadn't met before they telephoned me out of the blue and bringing people together. It's been a such a pleasure. We have some fabulous people giving workshops and events like this are so important. We get a sense of being part of something much bigger than our own homeschooling households and groups, we get to meet new people, share ideas, gather new inspiration and return with renewed spirits to our daily lives as a result.

If you are homeschooling, or thinking about it pop on over to the AHE website HERE and take a look at the programme. It's all good, affordable too. Plus, if money is getting in the way of coming along, contact us about scholarships. Register now, spaces are limited and you don't want to miss out. I'll be there all day, come say hi!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

matchbox rockets

Matchbox rockets are big in our world at the moment. Who knew you could have so much fun with foil and matches?! Simple to make and super fun, we've had these rockets go for 15 metres!

The wonderful Adrian showed the kids how to make them at one of our homeschooling groups a few weeks ago. They all trooped off to the park next door to launch them and one or two went, but we didn't have a consistently good result. I realised that the foil we use here in NZ is a thinner one than in the USA. so we've added the step of wrapping a layer of foil tape around the whole rocket, being careful to fold over at the top and seal well. THEN add the fins. This will all make sense when you watch the video I promise.

NZ'ers...the foil tape is found in the paint aisles of hardware stores here. (That simple sentence could save you half an hour searching for it - You're welcome!)

HERE is the tutorial from the King of Random. We have bookmarked his site to see what other adventurous stuff he's up to on there. In the immortal words of the seven year old, 'danger and fun quite often seem to go together'. (Ange and G...I thought of your lot would love these! )

Saturday, April 11, 2015

the story behind the dress

So, this dress.
It's been the go to summer dress this season. The weather has been unreal this summer, super hot. Unusually so for New Zealand. Usually the days the sundresses can come out and play are limited, but not so this summer.
I have had so many comments on this dress. It goes out to lunch, to the beach over togs (that's 'swimsuits' to some of you), into town and potters around home. It is the next best thing to wearing nothing, it's so light. I will try and take the pattern off it, but the genius is really in the fabric pattern combination. Crazy, but it works and the colours are totally my thing.

What's the story behind it? Well. One day I got an email from a GrowMama reader. They said that this might sound weird (it did), but there's a dress on TradeMe that they thought I would love. There was a link. Signed anonymous. I hovered over the link before clicking. It WAS kinda weird! But the link was legit and curiousity got the better of me. I clicked. And they were right. I loved it. I bid, and the dress was mine for a small sum. The kind of sum that is possible for me to expend on such things. I kept hoping a friend was going to say...ha ha, that was me emailing you. But it hasn't happened. It remains a bit weird. But I do weird. And I LOVE the dress. So, thank you anonymous reader who has impeccable taste and intuited the perfect summer dress for me. Thank you!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Phoenix landing

I think it's fair to say assimilating a puppy into the whanau is an adjustment all round. Let's just say I feel for my cat, who I hardly see during the day anymore. Hoping that passes. Training and walks on the beach both on leash and off are good parts of every day. I love walking and Jed doesn't. Or didn't...until Phoenix came along. Hoorah! I love starting my day on the beach with those two. 

Phoenix got well and truly trounced by a friend's wild boxer on one of his first outings off our land. It seems that has made him anxious about other dogs which is a pain and something we are working on. I have to remind myself he is still only 12 weeks old. So new. So fun to have around, oh my. Loving all the laughter around here. This afternoon he had seven kids running around the back garden with him. 
Puppies and kids. Nothing like it.