Saturday 31 August 2013

New Zealand Part Three

This is the 3rd and FINAL part of our trip. At 930pm on Friday night the kids and I headed off to the airport to catch our flight to Auckland to meet Aarahi who was flying in from Melbourne that night. Oh how I missed my husband! The flight was of course delayed, the check in lady offered to put me on the first flight in the morning instead but there was no way I was going to prolong seeing my husband longer than I had to. Little did she know that my kids are pro flyers by now. We finally left, it was bitter sweet. Auron occupied himself the entire flight playing with a wet wipe and a plastic cup.
I had booked a taxi, so when we arrived the taxi driver was waiting at the gate ready to help with bags etc, which was a blessing! 
We arrived at the hotel around 12.30am and the kids went straight to bed whilst I waited for Aarahi. I checked his flight and it was delayed...why was I not surprised? I knew he would be a while as he had to pick up the rental car and find his way into the city, he hasn't spent much time in Auckland so I was hoping he wouldn't get lost. He arrived at 2am. YEY
The next day we planned to have a family day in Auckland and just spend a bit of time together. Instead we just went to my other family home and just had a rest before we drove to Tauranga which is where Aarahi's family are from and his parents live. 
Sunday we went to church, a nice quiet day. On Monday we walked up Mount Maunganui you can read about that HERE. It was on my bucket list. I may do it again....ok I probably well. My legs hurt for 5 days following. Auron and his cousin Cumorah walked up pretty much the whole way by themselves only being carried every now and then. I wish someone could have carried me up though!
While we were in Tauranga we were able to go on a date BY OURSELVES. Ok this was a big deal for us. I can count on one hand the times we have been out without our children. Proabably because we don't live near our immediate family and I feel awkward asking other people to baby sit for us although I am sure they wouldn't mind haha. We went and played minigolf and then drove around a bit. We returned the favour to my brother and sister in law and they went out on a date later on. 
The reason why we were in Tauranga was becauase Aarahi's little brother was getting married. More family started arriving and we moved into a hotel. The hotel we stayed in was AMAZING. It was an actual apartment with a kitchen and laundry. We really needed some family time with our own little family and this was the perfect place. The next day we helped set up the hall for the wedding reception then headed over to Hamilton to see one of Aarahi's friend's. They played cards (special geek cards) for a few hours while his wife and I watched trashy tv. It was perfect because I was tired and she was tired because we both had sick babies. We tried to do dinner at Lone Star, it was a dismal failure. Lili was not impressed with the food. 
Friday we had the wedding. You can read more about a Mormon wedding HERE. The weather was pathetic. The groom had neglected to tell his groomsmen (his brothers) they needed black ties so we made a mad rush into town to get some of those 30min before the wedding. The happy couple seemed to have a wonderful day, as you would expect. 
Saturday we packed up and headed back to Auckland. Lili was grumpy and sick and cried and complained pretty much the entire way there. We left the kids with Nanny and Koro while we went to the night markets again. 
Sunday we were grumpy, tired, sick, exhausted and we had to fly back to Melbourne. The kids were good, but Aarahi was really sick and during the last 10mins of the flight Lili threw up on me. The toilets were closed in the airport so we just got through customs swearing we were never going on holiday ever ever again! 
But we will do it all again in January.....haha we have recovered now, and everyone is back to good health. 

My camera went flat and I couldn't find the cord so I am relying on iphone picture and facebook for these photos...

This is from our last day in Palmy. Liliana, Auron, Izayah, Ensign and Grayson

This is a photo of Aarahi's whole family. He is number 8

Lili, looking cute as ever!

Thursday 29 August 2013

New Zealand Part Two

On the Sunday we headed down to Palmy. We went to pick up my sister and her two kids who were coming down for a holiday too. The car was sooo over loaded. Let me tell you a Honda Odessey is not the most idea car for 4 carseats, prams and a LOT of luggage. The trip was about 8ish hours all up including stops. We just drove while the kids slept, which was the majority of the trip YEY FOR US!
Palmy is our home town so it was good to get back "home". It's not really a place you go to for a holiday unless you are from there. Not that it's bad or anything, just not anything spectacular. It has a major university and one of the best vet schools in the world but that's about it. But it's home and that's what we love.
We spent two weeks here. Let me tell you know it was utter CHAOS. We have a big family home but we also have a big family. (seven in total). The youngest three kids are still at home, aged 12, 12 and 10 then there was my sister and I and our 4 kids (two 2 year olds and 2 almost 1 year olds) and our parents. Those were only the people who were sleeping at the house! Our house has always been somewhat of a halfway house for the neighbourhood kids so we can add about another 4-5 kids at any one time.
On the first night there Auron got croup so he had his first visit EVER to a doctor at the hospital A & E. It was 3am so I left Lili with my sister who luckily was still breastfeeding her baby so fed Lili when she woke up. I have an awesome sister. Auron returned and carried on with his day like nothing was wrong. Unfortunately that was only the start of our illnesses. We all ended up sick and I endured with the worst cold I have had in years.
Most of our time we spent just hanging out together, and catching up with family and friends. Our cousin Sarah has just moved home from Perth so it was good to see her. We grew up together and are all really close.
My Nana bought me some driving lessons, so that I could hopefully get over my unrealistic fear of driving. It was a wonderful gift and I actually did better than I thought I would. the instructor said that I wasn't even bad. I just need to stop speeding. I put that down to the speed limit being different in NZ than it is in Australia.
We had three birthdays, one pirate themed, one Despicable Me themed, and well the other birthday was my mums, she didn't want a theme. My aunty fed Lili her first junk food, and soon became Lili's favourite person.
It was an awesome 2 weeks i could write so much more but I wont bore you with that instead you can look at the photos.

The monumental photo of a bath with your cousins

Wednesday 28 August 2013

New Zealand Part One

To be honest I was not all that enthusiastic about this holiday. I had planned on a quick weekend away in Auckland with my Mum and Sisters but it ended up being a month long holiday. That would have been ok, if I didn't have to leave my husband behind for the majority of it.
So with that said, the day we left I just carried on with our usual Thursday routine of Gymbaroo then out to lunch. When we finally got to the airport we found out our flight was delayed by 30 mins. Annoying but manageable. The final delay time was 3 hours! so we arrived into Auckland at 2.30am. I was incredible lucky Auron was in a good mood, he had to carry his own bags. He's such a trooper that boy. We got into the arrivals hall and he just fell into Aunty Teuila's arms. We lost his dummy along the way, and I didn't want to have to deal with that at 3am so we stopped at the supermarket on the way home. The only dummies were pink. He didn't want it. In the end I had to bite of the end and chew it up a bit so it looked like his old one.
The next day was the kids last day of school holidays and my brother had taken the day off work so we could all do something fun. We sat around for hours trying to decide what to do, until we decided on our original idea of mini golf. That's always the way right, spend ages thinking of what to do but then just doing the original idea.
Mini golf was AWESOME. It was the best way we could have spent time together. I have the best family. Honestly I do. It's probably the most complicated family in the world but I wouldn't have it any other way.
After mini golf we headed home and my mum had arrived from Palmerston North and my sister in law from Tauranga. YEY!
It was off to the night markets for dinner with everyone! We found it's not the best place to go with 4 grumpy kids.... The food was good. My sister in law Kristen found her love for dumplings and mango much so that after we left we had to turn around and go get her another one.

The next day my mum, sister Eleanor and sister in law Kristen headed off to Time Out for Women, yo can read about that HERE

Auron LOVED mini golf

Lili and her cousin Asher

Aunty Teuila and her "drink" I don't know what flavour you would call it haha

Perhaps one of my favourite photos. My two Princesses. Liliana-mei was named after Ahlia-mei

Uncle Khyber putting Lili to sleep

Sunday 25 August 2013

Making Ricotta Cheese

I am loving being back home, and cooking for my family. We (I) have decided we are going to eat more of a vegetarian diet and much less meat. Aarahi doesn't seem to mind, he's been telling me for awhile now that we should eat more meatless dinners. He doesn't care a great deal for vegetables though.
Our first vege dinner was a pasta bake type thing. It was going to be lasagne but I couldn't be bothered making the pasta sheets. The recipe called for Ricotta cheese. I didn't have any but had read somewhere that you could make some. It just so happened that I had all the ingredients.

Here's how it all went down.

900ml milk
1 C cream
Pinch of Salt
3 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice

In a LARGE saucepan slowly bring the milk,cream and salt to a rolling boil over a medium heat

Add the lemon juice and stir until it curdles

Lay a cheese cloth/muslin cloth/tea towel in a large sieve/strainer over a large bowl

Pour the curds into the cloth to drain for about an hour. The longer you leave it the drier the cheese will be.

Note: I didn't have a sieve large enough so you tied the cloth to the tap, with a bowl underneath to drain. It worked really well.

This recipe made me about 2 1/2 cups or 750g of ricotta it cost about $2.30 to make. At the supermarket the cost was $4.60 for 250g

The left over liquid is called whey and can be used in smoothies, or baking when milk or water is called for. I used mine to make some bread.

I used one of the kids muslin swaddling wraps to strain the cheese. 

Monday 19 August 2013

A Mormon Wedding

The main reason we were back in NZ was for my brother in law Haroma's wedding. He is the youngest of 9 (my husband is number 8) so it was a bit special seeing as he was the baby.
Our family belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, more commonly known as Mormons. Generally when you get married you get married in a temple, as opposed to a church or beach or garden or any other kind of place. We believe that marriage is not only 'til death do you part but lasts beyond death into the eternities. The only place this type of marriage ceremony can occur is in a temple by a person with the right authority. The ceremony is called a sealing ceremony, because it is the sealing together of two people.
The ceremony itself is sacred and the exact words and promises are not spoken about outside of the temple. It is not that they are secret, it's just that they are sacred. Suffice to say the bride and groom make promises to each other and with God. The bride and groom wear white and always look beautiful. What bride doesn't look beautiful on her wedding day?
The ceremony can only be attended by those worthy members of the LDS church, and the ceremony usually only includes family and close friends. The helps to maintain the reverence and sacredness of the experience. If you are not a member of the LDS church and unable to go into the temple you can walk the temple grounds or visit the visitors centre. The ceremony is usually pretty short.
The rest of a Mormon wedding day usually proceeds in much the same way as any other wedding. The bride and groom emerge from the temple doors hand in hand, the bride in her beautiful wedding dress. Family and friends are waiting congratulate them. The brides dress is modest, no plunging neck lines, and always with sleeves, long or short as long as they cover her shoulders.
The bride and groom will usually have bridesmaids and groomsmen if they so choose. After the ceremony and photos the wedding reception is like any other wedding reception, speeches, songs, toasts etc but you probably wont find any alcohol!

Haroma and Tamara looked awesome on their special day, and I am sure they had an amazing time. We were so blessed to be apart of their day and look forward to seeing them grow together.

Here's a few photos of the day...

Tuesday 13 August 2013

The Day We Walked Up Mount Maunganui

Blogging while on holiday is hard! but I thought I would share what we did yesterday, as it was pretty fun if I do say so myself.
At the moment we are in Tauranga New Zealand which is where my husband is from. It is a beautiful part on NZ. One of the iconic features of the area is Mount Maunganui...which is English is translated to mean "Big Mountain"
Yesterday morning we set off to walk up the mountain. It was something on my bucket list of things to do. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am not the fittest person around, or the strongest and couldn't care one bit about exercise so this was going to be an effort. Our walking party included 4 adults and 6 kids aged 8, 7, 2, 2, 9 months and 2 months.
The walk began ok, but then the stairs came oh my gosh the stairs! My niece counted 2030...but she may have exatergated a little. The height of the mountain however is 230m and the walk is ALL up hill. I left my inhaler in the car, stupid idea. I had to stop a few times and complained to my husband about what a dumb idea it was to to this walk. He was lovely and kind as always and pushed me onwards and upwards.
The view from the top is breathtaking. I was out done by two 2 year old's but that doesn't matter, it's just embarrassing! Kids seem to have endless amounts of energy. There were so many people on the walk up REALLY old and our munchkins.
We the walk down was a million times easier although I had to carry Auron the majority of the way. He was understandably exhausted and tired.
We finished our hard morning of exercise off with a huge lunch of fish n chips down at the wharf. Nothing like some greasy hot chips to wash down a good long work out!

Aarahi with Auron and our Niece and Nephew

The the view half way up

Daddy and Auron


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