19 February 2015

 

Due to hosting exchange students in our earlier family life, and home educating our children, we are always on the look out for how to discover our local community, events and activities.

Initially there was and still is the free local community newspaper (most areas have these) delivered to our letterbox; but now there is also a nationwide website Eventfinder to help find out what's on.  It seems that an increasing number of new individuals & organisations are using this medium making it more of a comprehensive go-to guide. 

The useful option with Eventfinder is that you can subscribe to their RSS feed and get alerts straight to your inbox, and this is what we do for any free events.  Occasionally you get the surreptitious marketing of a free-but-you-really-pay event and the gig-in-the-pub-which-actually-is-an-invitation-to-drink event but on the whole for our area there are at least a couple of family-friendly activities that we can choose from each week.

The trick, especially leading up to the coming Art Deco weekend is limiting the number of 'things' you do or see.

 

It's probably preaching to the converted if you do have young children but my advice is only one per day preferably in the morning when children are more rested.  Well at least that's what we find and particularly if not all of the family are on board with the chosen experience - you can't please everyone all of the time. 

 

Here are some of the things we do to get the seven of us on the road and try to stay sane:

  • Let the children know where we are going and what exactly we are doing.
  • Tell them how to dress for the outing; and if they should bring a back-up activity like a book.
  • Set a leaving time and if possible let them know when we are likely to return.
  • Take our going out basket with plenty of water and food; and sun-block if summer.
  • Plan for toilet / playground stops / breaks.
  • Catch the children being 'good' and reinforce good attitudes (we're still working on this)

 

In our house sometimes 'what's there to do?' actually involves consciously choosing 'nothing' and staying home to relax and just be -  usually at the parents insistence as younger children always appear to have the energy of the Everyready bunny (if it's for something they like!).  We might get a dvd out to watch, work together on a(n art) project, bake or cook together, or play board/table games - those that want to that is.  

There is always someone who would rather not participate which as the CO-parent (Chief Operating parent) I find frustrating.  I am learning that a child's 'do I have to?' is really just their way of saying 'I want to feel as if I have a choice too please' and am trying to work with this.  Sometimes this means giving them the choice of not participating if this is an option; of acknowledging their feelings and apologising that for this time they don't have a choice; or finding out what they would rather do and trading it off against what is planned.

 

Hawke's Bay

How do you manage balancing your family's needs and wants?

05 February 2015

The younger children were shouted to an outing at Whiti Farm Park as their Christmas present from grandparents.

[I love it when they get to experience something instead of stockpile stuff; and make a memory with people they love.]

The trip up the east side of the Coromandel Peninsula was not pleasant with kilometres of narrow, winding, undulating roads but once there the party of six spent 5.5 hours rambling over the park and having a picnic.

It's not the sort of manicured lawns, stick-to-the-path type of place at all though. It appears to have haphazardly grown out of randomly placed farm machinery and the acquisition of various animals to house.  There is no circuit or loop to follow, you just have to keep up with the younger members who will be darting here and there.

You begin at the bottom of the hill/valley and make your way up to the deer at the top, seeing (o)possum, cockatiel, sheep, pigs & a wild boar, ostriches, turkeys, llamas, a magpie, lorikeets, dogs, alpacas, cows, rabbits, emus, roosters, bantams & chickens, a wallaby, goats, turtles, an African grey parrot, pheasants, chinchillas, an Australian blue-tongued lizard, geese, donkeys, and ducks on the way.  They breed La Perm cats too.

 

Here are some of the faces of Whiti...

 

Cockatiel

 

Opposum

 

Deer

 

Sheep

 

Sheep

 

La Perm kitten

 

Castor got to bottle feed a piglet

 

Ostrich

 

Llama

 

A hay barn where you can picnic, bbq, and play in the hay

 

The turkey saying good-bye

THE END!

 

Remember to check out the corrugated toilet block while you are there too - you might just find yourself sitting on an animal too.

Waikato
29 January 2015

 

Atlas shot this footage while we were in the Coromandel and I couldn't help but try to overlay some music to it so I could share it with you.  I hope you enjoy it.

[He didn't come out intending to shoot a video and you can probably tell from the elementary graphics and effects that it is my first time editing, right?!]

 

We've only watched the sunrise as a family a very few times - all while we have been away from home.  

I can see how if you are in a mobile home without black-out curtains, you would be up earlier in the morning anyway, so perhaps we may see more sunrises (and sunsets) on the road.

 

Here are a few other still images:

 

 

 

 

 

Waikato

How can we learn to see and appreciate the sunrise, beyond the metaphorical, as an opportunity to start afresh each day?

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