Some recent loves!

The past week and a half we’ve seen spring drift into autumn, with the weather pendulum swinging more erratically.

A 'waka' sailing into Wellington on a serenely calm day.

A ‘waka’ sailing into Wellington on a serenely calm day.

Hot days, reminiscent of the record summer that we’ve had still linger, as the nights draw in, interspersed with sudden plunges in temperature and days of rain and wind.

Friday night, early autumn, and so warm and calm - summer still lingering in the air over Wellington.

Friday night, early autumn, so warm and calm – summer still lingering in the air over Wellington.

Our learning days are changing along with the season, as indoor activities start to regain our attention, though we are still getting out and about – making the most of every last fine day we have to splash in the sea and play at ease without battling the elements.

Loving making the most of the weather!

Hubby and I are teaming up with Alice, 8, and Sophie, 12, to do our first ‘XRace‘ this Sunday – in Petone – so we’ve been training hard for the 3-4km run (which will be interspersed with around 10 surprise activities!).

An evening on foot and scooters on the south coast of Wellington

An evening on foot and scooters on the south coast of Wellington

I’ve been really impressed with our Sophie’s drive to train and to motivate others. She amazed us by taking herself out for a run in the rain last night – by her self! She did one lap of our hilly block (1.7km) and then texted to say she was going to do another! Amazing! This evening she persuaded me to join her – in the rain and gusting southerly wind. I’m going to rename her ‘Miss Motivator’! I actually enjoyed the experience! She was so positive the whole way round – if I’d gone on my own (which would have taken an incredible amount of self talk to even get out the front door) I would have probably been grumbling for the first 100 metres and possibly turned around in retreat, with my imaginary tail between my legs.

On top of the running we’ve sought our the seven ‘Hidden Gardens’ of Wellington, created by the apprentice Wellington City Council gardeners (separate blog post here about that).

One of the hidden gardens of Wellington

One of the hidden gardens of Wellington

Sophie’s also been enjoying a weekly ‘tumbling’ class and motivating her younger sister to workout at home! The other day the pair of them, and a friend, spent over an hour in the garden working out and creating routines.

Today, a wet day, was filled with drama class in the morning, a tech class in the afternoon – for Sophie – and then an afternoon at home with the couches moved back in the living room to turn it into a dance studio!

I’ve been happy to have got out for a few fine weather runs in the past week too. I was also thrilled to receive my new tank top from Greatest Virtual Run NZ – for ‘Running on the Spectrum’ charity.

Loving reading

Alice – We’ve started reading book one of the Dragon Brothers books and are so impressed with the learning resources to compliment ‘The Dragon Defenders’ Book One. Definitely worth checking out!

Alice has also been inspired by the ‘A Poem for Every Night of the Year‘ by Allie Esiri poetry book. We were reading a poem related to the start of spring and were thinking of our Northern Hemisphere family and friends in all the snow this past week. Alice then wrote a poem about ‘Summer’, as our summer is slowly giving way to Autumn (shh!).

Alice's 'Summer' poem

Alice’s ‘Summer’ poem

Sophie continues to enjoy Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, reading one before bed each night and then doing further research on some of the woman that have really inspired her.

Chemistry love!

After our science lab the other week at Vic Uni Sophie’s been researching different chemicals and chose to write about ‘Helium’ this week. She’s also finding the science education, along with other subjects, great on Education Perfect, which is aligned with the New Zealand curriculum and offered at a great rate to home educators (see here for more details).

Alice has been enjoying the molecule making kit I invested in and we are looking into making some of our own soap, sourcing ingredients from NZ Soap and Candle, having read about soap and how it is made in the ‘Molecules’ book by Nick Mann.

Loving our environment

Sophie is really keen to reduce her eco-footprint and to encourage everyone in the family to follow suit. She’s carrying a reusable cup, stainless steel straw, set of cutlery and a plate in her backpack – to avoid one use of plastic when out and about. She makes sure we always have reusable bags with us and to decline plastic bags and straws.

Living on the south coast of Wellington makes us especially aware of the impact waste has on  life in the oceans – and all creatures on earth. We’ve had so many dolphins visiting these past few weeks.

Watching – films and theatre

Sophie and I went to see Shakespeare’s ‘Comedy of Errors’ performed by the Wellington Summer Shakespeare group. It was brilliant and hilarious!


Sophie’s brilliant drama teacher had a leading role in the play and gave a great performance.

We finally watched film ‘Wonder’ this week. I’d read the book ages ago, as had my oldest daughter, and the film was brilliant.

Art and creative makings

Sophie and Alice have been enjoying colouring in various print outs using only 3 colours (which they pick at random with their eyes closed). I’ve been loving the blissfully quiet concentration as they colour (!) and the resulting pictures.

They’ve also been adding to the ‘House that Granddad built’ – whilst he was visiting earlier in the year with Grandma. They made a see-saw using wooden tickets and a hot glue gun and a slide.

Alice did a lovely drawing which she then transferred on to a T-Shirt. Ta da!

Alice is progressing with her violin and we are still managing to keep to our ‘at least 10 minutes a day practice’ – at least, most days! Cocoa likes to ‘sing’ (howl!) along with her too – it’s quite performance!

Alice practicing her violin

Alice practicing her violin

And finally we enjoyed a lovely weekend in Martinborough, visiting a friend for her daughter’s Birthday and then spending Sunday morning enjoying the delightful ‘Farmer’s Market’ at Te Kairanga Vineyard, which is on the first Sunday of every month – from October to April. Dan, Sophie and Alice enjoyed a great game of giant Jenga. They did really well to build such a high tower before it collapsed!

Giant Jenga at Te Kairanga's Farmers Market, Martinborough

Giant Jenga at Te Kairanga’s Farmers Market, Martinborough