Friday, August 29, 2008

It's been such a long time since I wrote anything here and so much has happened since my last post that I hardly know where to begin. Surgery went well, family issues continue to be interesting and we are currently taking a 3 month sabbatical from work which gives us some much needed space to process being back in NZ and stressors that arise because of that move. It is a rare gift to be given time off to rest, relax and refresh which should mean we are on fire to work again in November. There is a lot to work through and we are ever thankful for our Board who recognised a need and wasn't afraid to do something about it.

I still plan on giving my blog a make over and am working on little bits for it (actually I'm making my dear hubby work on it for me :-)) Hopefully we will get onto it this week although visiting family, farewelling family, painting scenery for a school production and a day out to explore Auckland might eat into our time. We'll see. Be sure to watch this space.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

I've been having a wee play on a fun site I found by accident. Enjoy answering my question :-)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Things seem to go from worse to worser (is that even a word) at the moment. Life is never dull in the Webb household. Last week it was my turn for drama. On Thursday evening I had sudden and violent pain in my abdomen. I had absolutely no idea what it was. Within minutes I was curled up on the bathroom floor, writhing in pain and unable to speak. Nigel called the ambulance and prayed. When they finally arrived they doped me up on yucky gas and then whisked me off to the emergency department at the local hospital (after getting lost on the way!!!!!) All in all it was a long night. Since then I have had scans, tests and visits to specialists and the outcome is that I have lots of gall stones and need to have my gall bladder removed. Having never had surgery before this does freak me out a little but I'll do it as I don't ever want that pain again. It was worse than childbirth!!!!!!

Surgery has been set for the 10th July. That's just a week away. Panic!!!! In fact surgery is set for the day after my birthday. I'm hoping I can celebrate with the family and not feel a sense of dread hanging over the day. I know it will all go well. My dad had the same surgery last year. It's just the unknown of the anethestic, pain, cuts in my body, scars etc. I am thankful for medical insurance which means I don't have to wait years for it to be done free of charge in the public health system.

I'm also hoping that during recovery I might be able to give my blog a whole new look. It's been 2 years since I started and I think it's time for a change. At least that will be something fun to look forward to.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

"Children are not colouring books.
You can not colour them your favourite colours"
The Kite Runner)

This past weekend we have purposefully had a very quiet one. As part of it we watched the above movie which was very touching. If you get a chance to see it then do so. You'll love it. I might even go and find myself the book upon which it is based, to read (most unlike me :-)

Since having a teenager in the house life has been turned on it's head. We have experienced things we never dreamed of and at times they have broken our hearts. They have pushed us to our emotional and physical limits. There have been many sleepless nights and many tears shed as we cry out to God to help us.

The above phrase from the movie really struck me. As a frustrated artist I love colour and see it everywhere. There are some colours that I am attracted to and others I steer away from. During my night school art classes I learnt that a painting is made up of many layers of different colours. Some dark, others light.

I have to admit to wanting my kids to be certain "colours". There are ideals, morals and values that I would like them to hold and take with them into their adult lives yet upon reflecting on this phrase I realised that the colours I like may not be the ones that they like. It is hard to see the murky, dull colours forming layers in their lives. I know, though, that some of these colours will form the foundations of the bright, lively colours that will be evident as they grow older. It's hard to sit back and watch them experiment with new colours; mixing colours to create ones that fit them. I don't always like or appreciate the hues and shades they work with. Another thing I learnt in art class is that nothing is undoable. With careful brush strokes and a thick layer of paint those dark colours can be "erased". That's my job as a guide the young artist as they colour themselves through their choices and actions to produce a beautiful piece of art that changes just as the days change.

In the movie I loved seeing the many different coloured kites as they soared through the Afghan sky. I longed to see the kites of my boys lives soaring freely through the skies of life, reflecting the Light in the colours with which they are decorated. It will come, but for now I need to hold strongly onto the string and slowly release them into the next stages of their young lives. Some days I want to hold tightly onto the string and never let it go. Some days I realise I have let it out too quickly and need to pull back. It's hard to balance the right string length with the wind. But when you get it right the graceful sight is something to behold.

Monday, June 23, 2008

A Birthday Trip to the Zoo.

There are only two things that have remained consistent in the life of my youngest son, Isaac. They are monkeys and the colour orange. Ever since he was very little these have both been his great obsessions in life. As a birthday gift this year we decided to give him the chance to get up close and personal with the primate section of the Auckland zoo. They run such things as the Zoom Tour which means you are taken backstage in the zoo to hand feed animals. The natural choice for him was to go to the monkeys. Part of the thrill for him though was probably the fact that he actually got a day off school as well :-) What more could an 11 year old want?

The day dawned bright and sunny, the perfect day for a stroll around the zoo. The plan was that he would take the tour and I would meet him afterwards as we couldn't afford for both of us to go but when we got there the tour guide said that I was to go with him, free of charge. What a great day off work for me also :-) We had a blast!!!!

Isaac feeding banana to a ring tailed lemur from Madagascar. So cute!

The lemurs were awesome. They have the most amazing tails that they wrap around themselves like a natural scarf. Their hands are human like as they grab onto your hand to get to the food. They are just like the lemur from the movie "Madagascar". You could almost hear them sing "we like to move it, move it....."

Me measuring my hand against the hand cast of an orangutan in the zoo. They are huge animals!

Hand feeding wiggly, live worms to hungry, lively, cotton topped tamarinds.

The lemurs are so gentle with such amazingly, orange eyes.

Iwani is a siamang gibbon. He loved it when we held his hand and tickled his feet and made sure that he was the centre of attention at all times. He thought my Isy was cool.

Those little worms were quite gross really but obviuosly a treat for these little fellas. The funny thing is that when they had had enough they went off to balance their diet with fruit and vegetables. If only my boys thought like that!

Our 1 1/2 hour tour was extended by an hour due to all the fun we were having. As a special treat we got to see where the rhinos slept at night. While there the keeper said she was going to feed the rhinos and did we want to help. "Of course", was the quick reply. What an awesome experience that was!

Standing that close and touching an animal that could kill you in a second was quite an experience. Their skin felt like cracked mud, was leathery, yet had little hairs all over it so it tickled as well. Amazing!

It was a fabulous day that neither Isaac nor I will ever forget. One of the most special parts was hearing the zoo keepers discover the birth of tiger cubs that they had been eagerly awaiting. Such a special event and we will be amongst the first to line up to view these wee cubs when they finally go on display in another month or so. If you ever come to NZ we will be sure to take you to the zoo and we will be encouraging you to get up close and personal with your favourite animals.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Busy, busy, busy!

Can life get any busier? I think not but then in saying that I fear it just might. I haven't blogged much of late as there really hasn't been any time but I figured I'd snatch a few minutes before the boys fight me for the computer and in between the ironing and handwashing (all of which are way overdue!)

It's been birthday month in our household. It's always a lot of fun even though it does stretch the May salary that we receive. Three boys all celebrating in 3 weeks can get a little overwhelming.

First up was the most important boy in my household.....dear hubby, Nigel. This year was a big one for him. The big 40!!!! He has spent many hours over the past years planning how he would celebrate his big day. As it came closer and closer he decided a quiet, fun, family outing would be good so we, along with some of his mates, all spent an afternoon at the Auckland luge, speeding down hills and racing each other. It was a hoot. We shared cake and relaxed together which was nice. On his actual birth date he was away leading a retreat for a christian organisation. The boys and I drove to where he was and surprised him with a fancy cake and a huge bunch of helium balloons. It was nice to be able to spend the day with him. There were several other, smaller celebraions which he enjoyed as well. His birthday seemed to go on for weeks!!!!!

Next up was youngest son, Isaac who turned 11. He spent his brithday at school however that meant i could organise his party for a few friends. We went and played laser tag and ate loads of pizza which made for a super easy cleanup for me. I decided the best thing for a bunch of rowdy boys is plenty of activity and junky food. He had asked for a cat cake that looked like our cat, Santiago. I had fun making it and eating the left over white chocolate which adorned it :-)

Finally the eldest son, Caleb, reached the teenage milestone of turning 13. I wasn't sure how I felt about having a teenager in the house. I did know for sure that I certainly didn't feel old enough to have one! He also spent the day at school and then we repeated Isaac's birthday activities with Caleb and his mates although his request was for KFC instead of pizza. I was happy to oblige. All seemed just as easy to me. Surprisingly he also asked for a decorated cake. I thought he might have grown out of that but obviously not. His request was for a basketball boot that resembled a much coveted pair of nikes. I did my best and I think it came out pretty cool. I'm not sure how parents felt when their kids came home with black teeth and lips but it was fun.

Mine is next. According to my computer at work it is just 16 days away so that will be fun. I will have to go to work though I think but that might give the family the chance to organise something in my absence. We'll see what happens.

I love celebrating!

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Cute Cupcakes!

I've discovered cupcakes! It's not that I had never had them before but this weekend I found a really good, cheap and easy cupcake recipe that has no butter in it at all so that makes it super cheap (and I like a good bargain). I have had fun mixing bright coloured icing and popping yummy lollies on top. The ones above have just been finished. We are having dinner with a family that has a 2 year old so thought he might like some. If my 40 and nearly 13 year olds love them then I'm sure he will.

Now, I know you all know I am on a weight loss journey. One of the things I like about Weight Watchers is that there are no forbidden foods. Everything can be eaten as long as you count their "point" value. These cupcakes work out at just 2 points a piece including the wee lolly on top so they are good value as far as I'm concerned. I tried to convince my nearly 13 year old that he might like decorated cupcakes for his birthday but they're not that cool (apparently). He has opted for a cake in the shape of a basketball boot so I will be busy working that one out. Who knows what the nearly 11 year old will choose. Could be anything so I will mentally prepare myself for cake baking, decorating and any accidental licking of the icing bowl that may happen. Guess I'll be counting lots of points in the next couple of weeks :-)