The Smith's Journey

Follow us on our journey through family life. No matter where we live you will be able to keep up on our happenings. Have fun and remember to leave comments.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Earthquakes & Thunder storms

Yep, we're still getting earthquakes and now we get thunderstorms as well! I can handle thunder and lightening much more than earthquakes though. Although in saying that we haven't had any shakes today...yet. Does that mean a big one is brewing or simply that the ground is going to settle for us finally. Which would mean people can get on with sorting out what to do with their land and houses. Who knows; only God does.

We are down to 8 weeks to go until we have baby. In a way it is so much easier to plan for when you know the exact date of baby's arrival. Although in saying that I haven't received a confirmation letter from the hospital whether it's the 17th or 20th of December. My next visit to the obstretician is on November 4th so will check with them then. Otherwise baby is going well as far as I can tell. It moves a heck of a lot though! And the braxton hicks are still coming on strong; especially with the last couple of big earthquakes!

Emily had her high school entrance test yesterday (wednesday), she thinks she did really well and thought most of it was quite easy. We've already had her acceptance letter to Kaiapoi High so have no worries there. I did price a brand new kilt for her for school uniform...$235 from the local shop. Think we'll have a look for second hand one on TradeMe or something! And that price is just for the skirt!!

The girls had their netball prizegiving on Tuesday night and each got a certificate but no trophies for us this season. Although Stephanie their cousin did get a trophy so that was cool. Next year Aimee wants to play netball as well so we'll have Emily in Grade, Sarah-Jane in Primary and Aimee in Kiwi's. Bit spread out but will be good for them. I think I'd like to play sometime too but maybe not next season.

We haven't heard anything from eqc or the insurance regarding our house, no one's even come to view it yet, which is kind of annoying as I'd like to be able to know whats happening. But Terry thinks it will be quite awhile yet as we are probably at the bottom of the list! And he reassures me the house won't fall down, although the piles have moved and the walls are cracking even more!

Our 14th wedding anniversary is coming up on the 9th November. Terry suggested we go away for a night up at Hanmer or somewhere. I'd love to as it would be the last chance for us to spend some time alone before baby comes and then it won't be happening for awhile. But I'm not going to hold out hope, I've finished my job as church cleaner now so we aren't getting that little bit of extra money and with Christmas so close we need to be prepared before I go in for the c-section. Can't see me being able to go christmas shopping after baby is born!!

Well the girls will be home soon so I better go and prepare for them. At least they'll enjoy the cinnamon & milo pinwheel scones I baked today! Just the thing for an after school snack!

Hope you are alll well and I'll catch up again soon.

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's a bit of a sad time at the moment in one area of my life. For the last few months (can't remember how long) I've been volunteering a couple of days at our Kaiapoi Paper Plus store. The owners Jeremy & Rosalind go to our church. And unfortunately it has come to the point where they have to close the shop. It's not economically viable for them to keep it open. So at the moment there is a huge sale on most everything. Well I have to say that I will really miss working there and have loved being part of the team there.
Not so sad but an end of an era is that I have given notice as the church cleaner. One more week of cleaning (this thurs) and it is done. It hasn't been the most glamorous job I've had :-) . But it is time to give my body some rest before bubs comes. And it's getting very hard to bend over the loo's to clean them with a baby bump that doesn't bend so easy!

My midwife comes tomorrow so we will get to hear the heartbeat again. Apart from Braxton Hix getting stronger and the uncomfortable feeling of stretching in places that I forgot could stretch, I and the baby are in reasonably good health. I'm still not sleeping well and I had the most bizarre dream last night that I became a sandwich! I know! Weird!!

Terry found our very own earthquake crack on our property! We had a rosemary bush at the side of the house along the fenceline; Terry noticed it wasn't sitting in the ground anymore so lifted it up and hey ho there is a crack with multiple cracks coming off it! But we can't say we are any more special for having it than others as we have seen many friends' property's with heaps of cracks. We have yet to hear from anybody to come and inspect both our house and Terry's mum's house. It will take time I know. There are a lot more people worse of than us and still some properties that don't even have flushing toilets and running water!
Anyway enough of the depressing stuff!

I'm looking forward to having lunch with my sister and niece tomorrow, Jessica (niece) is even going to give me a facial! Hows that for getting spoilt! Hopefully the baby will move while they are here (like it is now) and they will be able to feel it too!

Rach & Dale (friends) are going to organise a baby shower for me for late in October so I'm looking forward to that, especially since I don't have to do any organising!

Well I can't think of anything else to add so I shall leave it at that.
Until the next time.

God bless you all and don't forget to leave a message!!

Friday, September 17, 2010

A new start! A shaky quaky start!!

Well, I see from the date of my last entry it's basically been a year since I have journalled on this blog. In a way Facebook has taken over as it is easy to do and everyone is on facebook (or so it seems). But I have missed doing large entries detailing our life journey as a family. So I have decided (with Rayminda's encouragement) to start doing this blog again.
But instead of trying to catch up with all that has happened since my last entry I shall just start from now.

Most of you know that we are expecting our fourth child. A huge surprise! God really does have a sense of humour when it comes to our fertility! Aimee will be eight and a half when bubs is born so at least the girls are all old enough to get themselves ready for school and feed themselves etc. This pregnancy has been the hardest of all. There is a lot of risk for the baby due to medications etc. But yesterday we had another scan (I'm 26 weeks now) and the baby looks perfectly normal and healthy.

Yes I do know what we are having but Terry doesn't and doesn't want to know so I am not telling anyone. So you'll all just have to have patience. The girls beg me often to tell them what we are having and it is rather fun to know and tease them!

Most everyone will know that we have had a 7.1 earthquake on 4th September that put Canterbury into a state of emergency and put Kaiapoi on the world map of news! It's been a very devastating time for a lot of people, we have a lot of friends who have lost their homes because of the quake and aftershocks (which are still happening). Our home is fine, a lot more creakier than before but it is standing and in one piece. We almost feel guilty that we got away unscathed! Terry's Mum, Margaret, it staying with us as her house has a few cracks through the side and the doors won't open or close properly. So until a building inspector goes through it and deems it safe she shall keep us company. And it's great as my dishes are always done now!!

Emily just came back from a 20 day holiday in Brisbane, Australia, with my parents (lucky her). She actually missed the experience of the 7.1 quake and came home to just the aftershocks. She came back with blonde highlights and pierced ears! It could be worse I know! She had a wonderful time and her and I are going to put some photos on her facebook page within the next day or two.

Sarah-Jane & Aimee were fast asleep when the quake hit at about 4:30am. SJ sleeps on the top bunk and I couldn't reach her properly. The shaking was so bad it was hard to stay in one place. We (Terry & I) got them under a doorway; which we now know is NOT the safest place. I think it took a good hour and a half for them to stop shaking, and because the power was out everywhere it was so dark which freaked them out even more! The aftershocks were very strong and after each one it was diving out of bed (the girls were in our bed) and under the door. The dog was just as scared and tried to get himself between us under the door as well, if it hadn't have been so scary it would be a hilarious thing to see; this big golden retreiver puppy trying to wedge himself between a largeish pregnant woman and her child in a small gap! We made it through the night, sleep was not a happening thing! When it was daylight Terry drove over to his mum's to pick her up, telephones weren't working so it was cell phones which got overloaded anyway. I have to say it was a bizarre feeling knowing you were cut off from the rest of the country...not knowing whether anyone was hurt or killed or what the damage was.

The night of the 4th (Saturday) we were to be having Terry's mum's surprise 70th party. Didn't happen. We had to tell her in the afternoon as we had to try and get through to people to tell them it was not going ahead. Very disheartening but the right decision. As it was some people couldn't even get their cars out of the garage or their driveways! But we shall never forget the date of the quake as it is the day after mums birthday (3rd)! Maybe for her 75th we can do something :-).

Well I think that will do for now. I have washing I have to hang out and stuff to sort before the baby comes.
And don't forget to leave a comment!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Finally I got it!!

I apologise for how long it has been since I have done an update. No excuses really except that I get busy doing other stuff and then by the evening I'm too tired! Now this morning it's taken me the last half hour to get signed in to my blog as I'd forgotten my username & password! I even managed somehow to set up a new blog but I won't be using it now that I've remembered how to sign in.
Anyway, if I just update the recent couple of weeks that will work better for me otherwise I'll be here for the whole day catching up since my last entry!
Hmmm, let me think, what has been happening lately? Oh, I know, Emily finished her netball season and her team made the semi-finals. It was a tough game for them as they were playing the top team. The girls lost with a score of 4/1. Em played goal shoot for most of the season and got some really good goals. At the presentations Emily got a trophy for 'Most Improved Player'! We are very proud of her. Sarah-Jane (who didn't play this year) did a bit of a "Hey! thats not fair, her trophy is bigger that the one I got!" but it was all in good fun. Emily's cousin, Stephanie, got a trophy for 'Most Consistent Player', so we're keeping it in the family this year!
I'll put some netball photos up of the last game that Em played at the bottom. If I run out of time to upload the photos I'll do a new entry later. Rach and Abi are picking me up at 10:30am so I can look after Abi while Rach does the pregnant womens swim session at Burwood Hospital.
The girls are growing up with a great deal of speed! Emily's starting to change from a child to a teen. We talk about everything together and she feels comfortable asking me questions and talking about herself so I feel very privaleged and blessed about that. It's hard though, watching your first baby grow up. She's only got next year at primary school and then she is in high school!
Unfortunately my epilepsy has been playing up with me having a few tonic clonic seizures (grand mals) and I get the occasional absence and I get quite a few of the myoclonic seizures (muscle twitches). I have my neurologist appointment on the 18th September so hopefully we can get something sorted out.
I haven't got any proofreading work but that is my own fault as I haven't been trying very hard to find any. I guess I am still not feeling confident about my own abilities, but of course the answer to that is to get work so I can become more confident; catch 22 situation really. I am enjoying doing the church Missions Magazine which is a monthly newsletter about the different missionary things going on. I am also enjoying the role of barista at church on Sundays and the coffee group that is on Tuesdays at the church. I'd love to work in a cafe, but again there is the thoughts that begin with "What if...?" I would need to be able to get to the job easily too as I am not allowed to drive still.
I've just realised the time! I will have to upload photos later. I have physio for my back this afternoon as I have twisted it during a seizure and then I have work, I'm not sure if I've mentioned that I clean the church - 2 hours per week.
Well the phone just went and Paul (Pastor) has asked me to write a paragraph regarding Alpha for the general report and I have accepted the challenge; unfortunately I only have 20 minutes to do it in, so I better go!

Here I am a few days late but I'll put up some photo's of Em playing netball. I thought I'd taken some of her holding her trophy but I remember now that I took them on my cell phone. She's at Rach Robinson's helping look after Abi so Rach can get some stuff done. It's rather cute but every time Abi is with Emily she wants to 'keep her' and it's a bit hard to get my daughter back without upsetting Abi too much!

Emily is Goal Defence and then she changes to Goal Shoot. The girls played so well! Emily's cousin Stephanie is Wing Defence. Above is a photo of the whole team with their coach Nicole; Nicole is 16yrs old and she did really well with the girls and made practices fun and encouraged them even if they lost. It was her first year of coaching too.

Below is Aimee and Abi Robinson playing on the tramp. They had a great time. And yes
Aimee's toe is poking through her stocking!

I ended up having another seizure on Wednesday evening, just before 9pm. Again I missed the end of the t.v program I was watching! It took me a couple of days to get over this one and I had a bad head cold as well. My neurologist appointment was on Friday; She is increasing one of the medications I am on as well as adding another one in that I haven't tried yet. Terry was with me, which I was happy about, and mentioned how our own GP struggled to know what to do regarding medication as epilepsy is not her specialty, so my neurologist is going to see me in 3 months instead of a year. We also found out that JME (my type of epilepsy) sometimes gets worse the older the person gets, it can also go in waves where for no reason at all it can get worse and then settle down again. Not exactly what I wanted to hear but it does give us more understanding.
Well I better go and get some tea ready, Aimee and Sarah-Jane are watching 'Annie' and Terry is playing a couple of golf holes; Macaroni Cheese I think will do for tea.
I hope all is well with everyone.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Computer update

Hi all, just a quick note to all that our computer is not working properly so don't expect emails and blog updates in the near future, or skype or facebook.
If anyone does need to email us use my work email:
I can access this email account from any computer.

Have to go dish out tea
Love to all

Friday, April 10, 2009


Okay everyone, I know I've been really slack and not updated my blog. It's just pure laziness really; although I have been busy with the usual stuff and in the evenings I'm basically mush!

I entered a photo competition a few days ago, won't know the results till the end of April, and I found out some bad news for me. With printing out other photos with my competition ones I discovered the photos look really grainy and off focus (don't really know how to explain it), anyway after paying a bit of money for them I went to return them, found out that because I had changed the size of the photo on the computer - and saved it - I changed the way they will print out because of the change in megapixels (or some other tech word). So the hundreds of photos that I resized on the computer (because it uploads faster) and saved without saving the original as well, every time I print one out it's not going to look right. Most of them are okay from seeing from a distance so I'll still scrapbook them - if I ever find the time - and hope they will look okay. So for all you folks who do digital photos I suggest you save the original and then copy it and save it under a slightly different name and fiddle with the copy i.e. resizing, colour change e.t.c.

I had a lovely, albeit short, time in Aussie with Mum & Dad. I loved just spending the time with them, shopping with Mum and just relaxing.
I absolutely loved surprising Melanie! This is the way it went down:
Mum asked Mel if she would like to come stay Saturday night with them with no kids or hubby (no offence to them). She had no idea I was there! As soon as Dad saw her pull up the drive I raced up stairs to the bedroom Mel & I would share (how many years ago was it we last shared Mel?). As she was putting her bags down without actually looking in the room, I said "Gidday Mel"! The look on her face was priceless!! After we all calmed down (lots of oohhs and ahhs and hugs, talking at the same time etc) Mel admitted that Shane had a feeling that Mum & Dad were up to something.
Well, that night we had a great time, and we still would have had a great time without the wine but hey, the wine was really nice with our lovely bbq meal too.
On Sunday morning - with drooping eyes due to the late, or I should say, early morning bed time - we went to Mum & Dad's church. It wasn't the usual service but we got to meet some of their friends etc. In the afternoon we watched the movie Fireproof which their church put on at a local cinema. Great movie, I would recommend it to all couples (singles as well, but couples mainly). We have the dvd if anyone is interested in borrowing it.
The weekend came to an end too soon with me leaving on Monday afternoon. Mum & I did some last minute shopping at a mall close to the airport, and then it was off home. The plane was delayed on the way there and on the way home, I'm glad I bought a book at the mall!
I arrived in ChCh about 11:30pmish and was very glad to see Terry there. I do have to admit that I didn't actually miss the girls that much; I don't mean that in a bad way but I think it was just really nice to have a break.

The holidays have just started with the Easter weekend at the beginning of it, so for the next 2 weeks it will be pretty full on. I'm hoping to still get to the gym, I've lost about 11kg now except with the my and the girls' birthdays only 2 wks apart the cakes (which I had to have some of) helped me put back on some of that weight. :-( But I am determined to get back on track - after Easter!

The proofreading is almost non-existent. I am employed as the church cleaner which is 2 hrs a week, so that is a bit extra coming in. Those of you who pray...please pray for more proofreading work.

I am blessed to be a parent help on Emily's school camp in May; well actually I'm not sure whether 'blessed' is the right word - let me get back to you on that one! 144 children will be converging on Hanmer Forest Camp for 5 days! And we're doing the cooking as well! Okay, now that I think about it 'blessed' is not the right word! We'll be hiking, tree climbing (not me), orienteering, swimming (don't think I'm brave enough to get into my togs in front of all those kids), mountain biking (not me) and cooking, cooking and probably more cooking! I do admit I'm looking forward to it. First school camp as a parent help for me.

We're currently hosting an Alpha course at the church. We have 4 guests and Paul is co-host. For those who read this and aren't sure what it is, it's a course that introduces people to what christianity is and why we believe what we believe. We'll be going on a weekend away in May so May is going to be a busy month for me! I feel like the group has gelled together nicely so the weekend away will be great fun.

Emily is now 11 and Sarah-Jane is now 9 and Aimee is 7 at the start of June! How time has flown! another 12 years and they'll possibly be moved out going on their own way! I am at a crossroad as to looking forward to when they are older and more independent and on the other side I'm seeing how fast they're growing up and thinking "slow down - I'm not ready to let go yet!"

Well I'll upload some photos now. I'll do my Aussie weekend first - sorry Mel, a couple of these photos will be... how should I say it... unflattering. But they are expressing the fun we had!

These cockatoos are enjoying Dad's feed troughs, the two photos below I like because the way the cockatoo is walking. In the left photo it is walking toward the lorikeet to 'tell it off'.

These photos are of us feeding the wild magpies.

Now this gets interesting! Mel decides to give Mum a foot massage, I'm not sure whether Mum's laughing at the thought of Mel even wanting to touch her feet or that Mel is tickling Mum's feet more than massaging.

I have no explanations for the following photos except to say we had a lot of fun!!

Mum you are looking great!!

Mel - now I have the proof that I'm brainier than you!!

Some beautiful photos; by the way Mum, I still like that dress I'm wearing and any time you like you can send it over!
Dad what are you doing? It's great to see you love each other so much; but please it really is gross to see your own parents kiss!!

Hmm, it's a tough thing to clean eye glasses! And Mel, over here in NZ we call that a ceiling! :-)

Sarah-Jane went to an overnight birthday party and the next day she was in bed by 5pm and slept till the next morning! Isn't she beautiful. This is just before I woke her to take her to bed. Our party girl!

Well, I think that's about all at the moment. Terry's gone to soccer and the girls are playing schools and I'm eating my chocolate easter egg as I'm doing this. So on that note; see ya later! And I will try to update more often, I did say try!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Well we are back from our week away in Wanaka, it was so good to get away. The photos are in no particular order. I've realised that the easiest way to post the photos and to write about them is to upload the photos first otherwise the typing goes all over the place. So I will start with this one:

Here we are at the Outlet Camping Park. I would recommend it to anyone wanting to go and stay at Wanaka. It's about 5 min drive from Wanaka township and is a lovely camp surrounded by Manuka trees and makes each campsite private by the way they've cleared out the camp sites amongst the trees and brush. Terry and the girls are biking towards the shower/kitchen/laundry/toilet block through this pretty tunnel. Basically the girls biked every day nearly all day! Apart from Aimee who we are still trying to teach to ride. She would skip behind them. Terry is on Jo's bike hence the reason why she is walking! Such a gentleman eh!

The next two photos are obviously Terry hitting a golf ball; where he is hitting it is the funny part. The blue you can see is Lake Tekapo with Mt Cook behind it (in later photos). The lake was so still and the photo doesn't do justice to the colour of the water, it was the most beautiful aqua colour. This is on the way home and we just had to stop to take photos of Mt Cook, Terry stopped behind us (he drove the work van with Em and SJ and Jo drove our car with the two other girls). He couldn't resist the opportunity to hit a golf ball into the lake; it was a good shot too, went right out into the lake.

This is the photo of Mt Cook, on the way down it was overcast and showery so there was no view whatsoever so when we saw this on the way home (which was such a hot day it was really hard travelling) we had to take the photo.

The following photos were taken at Puzzling World at Wanaka; these are the toilets. Much to say it's very confusing when you walk in and this is what you see the mural on the wall.

I'm not sure quite what Terry is thinking about, perhaps realising how comfortable the seating was! On the wall in the shop of the complex there are photos taken of other people sitting on the 'loo', one lady was brave enough to actually pose with her pants down! Thank goodness you couldn't see all the details! I offered Jo that opportunity of that particular pose but strangely she turned down the offer! The girls just couldn't stop giggling about the mural.

Ray, I thought this quilt was amazing, not sure if the puzzle of it shows very well in the photo but when looking at it the squares can seem to come out at you or recede into the pattern.

How many animals can you see in the above photo?
How many legs does the elephant have?

One of those power balls with that follow your hand around it with the electricity.

This is outside of the complex where anyone can go and take photos. It's really hard holding up a building that big! We grow strong girls over here eh!

Cromwell witht the big fruit. We were able to catch up with my Auntie and Uncle who own a pub there called 'The Pub'. It was nice to catch up albeit briefly.

Back at camp with Terry on the mountain bike again, he really enjoyed a ride that Steve and he went on. He would get into it if he wasn't already busy with Soccer and Golf!

You might be able to tell by Emily's face that it was cold in the lake! We did manage to swim a few times - by we I mean me and the girls; the other adults were to sissy to get in. The water was, how shall I put it... refreshing. Okay it was jolly cold and my hands froze! But at least I got in!
I better add that Terry and Jo did get in at different times, very briefly but they did.

This is a view of the mountain on the other side of the lake, I'm standing at our campsite when I took it.

I would have taken more photos but my batteries kept going flat at the most annoying times! Jo has more which she'll be passing on to me. I might post some of those when I get them.

The weather wasn't the best when we were down there, quite often it was overcast and windy. At night we froze and the wind kept most of us awake most nights. One night saw Emily in with us and then later joined by Sarah-Jane, Terry ended up in the girls tent with Aimee that night and I ended up in the annex bit of our tent freezing because there was no floor in that area, Em and SJ had a good sleep though! Another night Aimee ended up in bed with me and once again Terry moved to the girls tent - that was the night the wind just about blew our tents down! But we had a great time with me winning most of the games of Rummikub that Steve, Jo, Terry & I played (had to put that one in!), Steve won Crib and Jo won Trivial Pursuit. Terry did win a game or two of Rummikub.
Terry managed to fit in a golf game and played well. Jo and I did a lunch and shopping day together.
We went on a day trip to Queenstown which we didn't think much of in the fact that it is so touristy that it was a bit of a let down, everything was so expensive. We stopped at Cadrona (spelling?) at a pub that is famous for something which I forget at the moment - but it's really old and it is a very pretty place.
All in all it was a lovely time and we'd be quite happy going back.

This is Emily throwing up rose petals and Sarah-Jane took the photo; nothing to do with Wanaka but this is a great photo.

Well I better get my butt into gear and get tea going. I'm not feeling that well so if I start now (4:30pm) it might be ready on time.