Monday, 31 October 2005

All Hallow's Eve

Halloween is here. I sent the boys down to the shop earlier to get some choccies just in case any of the neighbourhood kids decide to come knocking. It's starting to rain, so hopefully that will deter them, and we'll get to eat the chocolate :-)

It's been quite interesting reading about the origins of Halloween. It is the day before All Saints Day - which used to be called All Hallows. In Britain and Ireland in particular, pagan Celts celebrated the Day of the Dead on All Hallows Day (1st November). The spirits supposedly rose from the dead and, in order to attract them, food was left on the doors. To scare off the evil spirits, the Celts wore masks. Then when the Romans invaded Britain, they embellished the tradition with their own, which is the celebration of the harvest and honoring the dead. These traditions were then passed on to the United States and Canada.

If you go back even further with the Ancient Celts, the new year began around the 1st of November, a day referred to in modern Gaelic as Samhain ("Sow-in", meaning: November). Just as sundown meant the start of a new day, shorter days signified the start of the new year; so the harvest festival began every year on the night of October 31.

As November 1 is the first day of the new year, the day also meant the beginning of winter, which the Celts often associated human death with. The Celts also believed that on October 31 (the night before the new year), the boundary separating the dead from the living became blurred.

Of course, America has taken the tradition of Halloween to heart, going totally over the top as they do with everything!

Sunday, 30 October 2005

The new 'screen time' rules

The poo hit the fan and a major discussion has been had regarding just how much time the boys spend in front of screens!

Dallas has finally taken charge of something that really annoys him. He has decreed that they will all get a total of 2 hours screen 'play' time during the school week.That is NOT two hours per day - but two hours total between Monday and Friday! Weekends will be a bit more lenient, but certainly not all day as has been known to happen. Time MUST be spent outside - hey, summers nearly here!

We will see how long it lasts!

Josh overnighted at a friends last night - Hamish had a Halloween party. It is the first time Josh has actually dressed up for Halloween. Not something that I am particularly interested in, so haven't encouraged it. Blenheims big fireworks display was on last night too, so they went to that, dressed up and watched a couple of scary movies.

I had work today, clearing the street receivers, but because I've been having problems for the last couple of weeks with my neck, Dal came and helped me. We got through it faster than I would have normally on my own, so that was good.

Tomorrow is Marlborough Anniversary - another long weekend. Think we might go through to Picton for a ride. Maybe do a bit of Christmas shopping through there, too.

I've been trying to get hold of Karl to get his tickets booked to come home next weekend. He's not wanting to answer his phone, though. He's had no money on it for the past couple of months, so I think he forgets about it and leaves it behind all the time. Oh well, he'll phone me when he realises that he has got no more nights left at the Halls and he needs to come home . . . won't he???

Friday, 28 October 2005

My to do list!

Friday - my only day off and the to do list is rather large.

* Housework - argh!! (Bathroom, toilet done and kids beds changed);
* Bank appointment - done that but now need to get more info to them;
* Meeting with Endeavour about house this afternoon;
* Take Joshs enrolment forms to College - yes, he starts College next year! - DONE;
* Pay AA bills - DONE;
* Return overdue library books - DONE;
* Phone Karl and book his ferry tickets to come home - yippee;
* Finish housework :-(
* Dinner - umm, any suggestions???
* Argue with kids again regarding how much screen time they can have today!

Won't feel like doing anything else after that last one!

Wednesday, 26 October 2005

We went shopping ~

but didn't spend any money - YET! On Monday we did the rounds looking at kitchen appliances. Think we came out more confused than when we went in. There is so much to choose from - and we have only limited funds to spend so you'd think that would make it easier - but NO. Just makes me want to spend that little bit more than I have. :-(

Summer sport has started up again. Ricki and Josh are playing summer soccer and Josh is also playing volleyball. Had parent help for both this past week, so hopefully that's me for the rest of the year.

Karl is in the midst of exams. Should be home around about the 6th of November. Then he has to go job hunting. Might have to do a makeover on him first . . . get the uni student look out of him LOL.

Ricki came off his bike coming home from school today. Huge chunk out of his chin, bruised under his eye, badly grazed hands, arms and knees. Won't let me take a photo, though. Got a bit stroppy when I tried :-/ He has also handed in his notice at McDonalds. He needs to talk to his cooking teacher about getting an afterschool and weekend job in a restaurant, but I think he wants some time off first. School finishes in a few weeks for him - study time and then exams - so I'm hoping he doesn't leave it too long.

Wednesday, 19 October 2005

Normality returns ~

for some of us, at least. While the majority of us carry on with our normal, daily lives, sister Anne is back in Australia packing up her house to move back to New Zealand. Although she really wants to come home, this will not be an easy job for her as she is doing it without the help of Rex. Sending lots of cyber hugs your way, Anne. (((Anne)))

And back in the Smith household . . . it took most of the weekend to get things straight after having an extra 10 people in the house LOL. Couches and caravans returned . . . borrowed blankets, pillows returned . . .laundry finished! And I wouldn't have had it any other way! I met with some family that I hadn't seen for 10 years! The girls have all grown into young women. Chris and Janices' two children are great kids. I just feel as though I got to know everyone all over again. Terrible circumstances in which that should happen, but as someone said to me . . . there's a silver lining on every cloud. Here's hoping it won't be so long before we all meet again :-)

I went to the dentist yesterday cos I had toothache. What I thought would be a simple filling ending up with him taking out a wisdom tooth! So this blonde has even less wisdom and more blondeness now LOL. That won't go down too well at work! Seems to have fixed the toothache though!

Hoping to get off work today and go looking at bathroom stuff. The title for the section is due to come through hopefully next week, and we need to be ready to GO! If we are ready, maybe work can start before Christmas!

Friday, 7 October 2005

Holidays are nearly over ~

Dallas has sent a text to say they are back in the country. Overnighting in Christchurch and coming home tomorrow. Then Ricki has one day home and on Monday is off on Biology Camp for week!

Rex's funeral has been arranged for Thursday. Everyone arrives here on Monday. I've been trying to hire, borrow, steal (ok - maybe not steal) fold out couches so I have somewhere for people to sleep.

Josh, Paul & Hayden went to the movies this morning. Lava girl - or something like that. Sounded pretty rubbishy. They've all spent the afternoon playing tennis, ball tag, etc, outside before the rain started.

Tomorrow we have Michelle and Scottys wedding. It's down the sounds but the weather will need to improve - it's currently raining. I had to go and buy a nice black jacket because I think it's going to be cold, and I don't have one. We have to head to Picton to meet the boat at 10am. I'm looking forward to sitting back and relaxing for a few hours.

Tuesday, 4 October 2005

Sometimes life just bites!

Had planned to write about the fun time the boys had in Christchurch, and also about the exploits of Dal and Ricki who are still in Australia. But real life got in the way . . . and it sucks.

We have had a death in the family. My brother in law Rex - my sister Anne's husband. He went into hospital in Sydney last Friday to have a hip replacement. About an hour after coming out of that he had a heart attack. He was put on life support, and passed away on Monday with most of his family by his side. Now he gets to come home . . . but not to share retirement here with Anne as they had both planned.

To Anne and Rex's family - Veronica, Peter, Luke and Jodee; Chris, Janice, Mikayla & Jordan; Donna, Shane, Courtney, Taylah & Jake; Natasha & Dion; Pamela & Eddie and Nicola - thinking of you heaps and love you all.