Saturday, June 30, 2012

Can you spot the difference?

Our table has shrunk! Well not really which is just as well as I'm quite attached to our very nice big table. Albert's brother Josh is babysitting it for us while we are gone. It is really so that Tabby feels at home as we've trained him to sit at the table and eat from it too! hahahaha. 

Here are the girls sitting at our coffee table in the dining room!

Having our last family dinner in our house, sniff, sniff
which was Mac'n'Cheese as per Michaela's request. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

A few photo's of 'lasts' :(

Here are just a few photo's taken this week of 'lasts'. Seeing some of the girls favourite teachers for the last time and our last mainly music session. 

Grace and Mrs Nixon. Grace has really taken to her and has really enjoyed spending time with her. 
Kate and Mrs McLeay
This is Kate's first year with her but this is the fourth year that Mrs McLay has taught our girls. I truely believe that teaching is a gift and she certainly has it! (so do all of the teachers at the school). I really admire teachers! It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with the school to educate our girls. The girls are thriving. 

Mainly Music - last session for us. I have thoroughly enjoyed helping out, what a great team with awesome church support! 

Zara at Boxday. (all songs were done in the box, very cute)

Zara even ate morning tea in her box!

Thursday, June 28, 2012


It's arrived. The Container that is! I was slightly worried about fitting all our stuff (which currently is in the garage, well most of it) in the container but now having seen the container in real life, I think with a bit of a 3D vision, it should all fit. Will keep you updated :).
Truck arriving at home

Lifted off the truck onto the footpath

Manoeuvring in very strong winds

Phew made it all in one piece.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Just Quickly...

We're pretty busy organising the house and the last of our stuff, so here is a quick update in bullet form :). (In no particular order)

  • Greek - Hans V made Albert a mock exam which Albert did last week. He scored 86% on everything he has learned so far! Well done! He is sitting an exam to see what level he can test out off tomorrow afternoon from the Seminary. So prayers for Albert would be appreciated. 
  • Container - This will be delivered hopefully tomorrow morning! Albert has the day off tomorrow and will make sure everything is where it should be. Hopefully we can show some pictures in the future. 
  • House Packing - I'm on track, Lounge, Girls rooms, all cupboards/wardrobes, Garage are all done. The Garage is full of our stuff, I'm not sure how it will all fit in the container. Brydie is helping me tomorrow to help clean some of my appliances as I can't have any grease on them for three years. (imagine that!)
  • Plane Packing - This is on track also, I've managed so far to fit all the girls clothes in two suitcases, my clothes in about 3/4 of a suitcase and Albert's in a suitcase. That leaves about 1 suitcase for our sleeping bags and one suitcase for misc stuff, some toys, cookbooks (Can't live without Sophie Gray) and some of our 'fitness' gear. Not sure at this stage whether will need a 7th suitcase we will play that by ear!
  • Rice - You are all are very keen to know, no doubt, what the state of the rice is? Ok I've got about 500grams left, that's pretty impressive I think!
  • Done all the health checks, dentists, eye checks etc. 
  • School - Girls got their reports today, they are thriving! We also had the parent/teacher interviews today which gave us some good pointers to think about in terms of homeschooling. We will miss the school!
  • Lasts - there are plenty of 'lasts' this week, some good but mostly sad :(. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Kate's School Trip

I went with Kate on a school trip a couple of weeks ago to the Art Gallery to view orginial works of Lynley Dodd. For those of you outside NZ you are missing out on one of NZ's best children's author! She has written lots of books but one of her most famous one is Hairy Maclary from Donaldson's Dairy. What a fun morning it was, it was a privilege to come as parent helper! At the end of the viewing the kids got to make their own animal. Some very interesting animals were created! 

Hairy Maclary

Listening to instructions
Making our own animal
Kate busy drawing hers
Kate's Hairy Maclary

Thursday, June 21, 2012

How I feel about this...

April 2012 
(photocredit Monique!)

I've had quite a few people ask me how I feel about all of this and how I'm coping with our life change. These questions are fair and I thought I would answer some of these in a bit more details on this blog, where I've got the advantage of thinking before I 'speak' but also to give you a bit of an insight into me :). 

How do I feel about this?
First of all let me start by saying that I don't like 'pat' answers and so you will not get any on this blog. My answers or opinions are exactly that honest and to the point! Secondly I'm not a very emotional person and so can come across sometimes as not being very 'excited'. Now to the real answer ;). I'm a 100% behind Albert and although I don't feel qualified (does anyone?) and the future is a bit daunting, I'm trying to be as the Prov 31:v25b woman who says "she smiles at the future". I'm convinced that God will look after me and give me everything I need. God has already shown me in the last couple of months that NOTHING is impossible with HIM. I rest in that hope. 

How I'm coping?
Well, very well! I try to be organised. (I would like to say that I'm very organised but self discipline is an issue!). I make lots and lots and lots of list (thanks to my Mama who taught me that!). It would really stress me out if everything had to be done at the last minute and so I've tried as much as possible to get everything done with plenty of time to spare. I've been blessed with the girls being at school most of this time (this is NOT a good reason to send kids to school!). This has enabled me to do a lot of errands and organising while still being a mum. 

Am I excited about this new adventure?
YES but one day at a time for me, can't look to next week (or tomorrow) yet without 'worrying' about today! So it's not that I'm not looking forward to our new adventure, just like to have everything organised :). 

Life has gone on with the added challenge of moving so, so far the whole experience has been relatively stress free. The next couple of weeks will be busy but not bad busy, just getting things done busy! 

PS: There is snow, Nutella and cheap banana's in the States, what more could I ask for?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A quick update...

Beautiful Wanganui!

Here is a quick update in bullet point format: (in no particular order)
  • Sonlight Curriculum - Thanks to Jenny W, I've been in contact with a lady who is using the curriculum. Jane was very patient with me in answering all my questions. So my homework re curriculum is so far so good! Another point Jane raised when I questioned her regarding the cost of the curriculum was that for her own private school, the fees are very cheap but the quality is far superior! WOW hadn't thought about that!
  • Tabby - is gone, he deserves a post all on his own as he's the king
  • Container - We've done some research with regard to how to store our stuff! We didn't want to sell it all but to store it somehow if possible. After looking at different options, we've decided to buy a container which works out much cheaper than hiring one. Hopefully it will arrive in the next week. We are aiming to pack it all on the 30th of June. 
  • People Mover - is sold!
  • Albert's Greek - He managed to 'talk' to his professor via Skype which was very helpful and he is at looking at doing his Greek Exam soon. His studies with Hans are continuing to go well, although it is not easy to memorise all those words! Both Michaela and Grace have been very helpful in 'testing' Albert using his flash cards. 
  • Packing - This is going well. I'm restraining myself, if it was up to me the whole house would've been packed by now. I'm struggling sometimes to see the 'tree' in front of the forest but as a very famous lady once said "The beginning is a very good place to start". Albert is good at starting at the beginning and I was very thankful for his help in tidying up the garage. It's all looking nice and organised now. 
  • Rice - Had to mention the status of the rice! It's going well, there will be probably some leftover but the 'end' is in sight! (It was a 25kg bag of rice!)
  • Luggage - Worth a mention! Buying one is a minefield, which one oh which one. I didn't want to buy 'dirt' cheap ones just in case it empties itself in SanF nor did I need a 'gold' plated one! We ended up buying 4 brand new ones from a local luggage place in Wanganui. They gave me a bit of a discount and they were very reasonable priced plus they are light. The colours are worth mentioning as we're a mostly girl household. One pink one, two purple ones and one red one. :)
  • Facebook - I am on FB if you like to follow me: Hanneke Couperus

PS I've now added an e-mail subscription so that you can get our new post directly to your inbox! (if you wish ofcourse ;) ) 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Summary Post

If you are new to this blog and like to read what we've been up to with regard to the new adventure in our life, here are the blog posts. (click on the posts to take you to that page)

A Change
Pesto (one about the dog if you are interested)
Some more questions answered
Passport and Visa Part 1
An Update from Albert
Visa Part 2

Visa's Part Two!

Well our journey through the paper war continues...

The pre-paper work with regard to the American Visa's was VERY time consuming. I won't go into all the boring details but I don't think there is anything that the American's don't know about us ;). Ok I suppose they don't know the colour of our toothbrush!! Albert did most of the pre-visa paperwork online thankfully. It took him a whole Saturday as he had to answer questions for all of us. I'm sure that he knew the questions back to front by the time he had finished with Zara's. 

After all the paperwork was completed (almost all done online) and we parted with a LOT of money, we booked an appointment with the American Consulate in Auckland. I arranged the Babysit (thanks heaps Papa and Mama!), Albert took time off work, researched a cheap place to stay in central Auckland (which was donated, you know who you are, thank you!) and borrowed a car (thanks Peter!). Our trip was set. 

Our appointment was at 8am on a Friday morning and so we decided to travel through the night on Thursday in order to get to Auckland in time for our appointment. Albert and I took turns driving (thanks to his navigator phone app.) and we were thankful to arrive in Auckland safely (about a 6 hour straight drive) and in plenty of time!

I foolishly had assumed (wrong assumption!!) that an 8am appointment meant exactly that, us and a staff member of the consulate. I was sooo wrong. We arrived early about 7.35am at building and there was a notice saying that the Consulate lift doesn't open until 7.45am. I then realised that all those people waiting in the foyer (about 20-30 people) were there for the same reason we were, the American Consulate! Once the lift opened, the people packed into the lift like sardines. We resisted the temptation to set a world record and waited for the next lift ;). 

Once out of the lift, it was like stepping into customs at an airport, bags x-rayed, metal detectors and some waiting in line. We had expected quite an interview as we had been warned about some potential questions etc. The whole process was very painless and very pleasant. We were well prepared, had all the correct paperwork and followed their instructions to the letter. 

Our interview consisted of about 4 questions with about three of those questions being a 'general' chat, one of the questions was "Are any of your girls sporty?" We were almost speechless at the ease of the whole process. 

We left the building at 8.30am with the Visa's approved. A bit unreal really! What to do now? We did some shopping (as we couldn't get to our hotel until the afternoon) bought about 5 pair of Levi's (at the outlet shop) for about $70. (I needed a new pair of jeans and while I was trying on the very cheap jeans, the shop assistant showed Albert the $10 rack of jeans in his size!). 

We took advantage of this day/night away to go out for lunch! We had enough Flybuys points for a lunch up the Sky Tower. WOW what a lunch, we were sooo spoiled and even better it didn't cost us a cent! (see photo's below). 

Our trip back was pretty uneventful and after doing some visiting (on Saturday) including the Stoltes we arrived safely back home!

On a lunch date with my best friend!

 Look at those views!

 Albert at the viewing platform


The glass bottom of the lift, very scary going up, not too bad going down!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Kate's Red Birthday Party!

This is a photo post of Kate's 6th Birthday Party. This was her first real party with her school friends and so we pulled out all the stops for her. Kate's favourite colour is Red, in case you didn't know and so we themed her party to her favourite dog "Clifford" and the colour RED! (in case anyone needs an explanation re the colour red, what colour is Clifford?) Even the guests came dressed in RED!

Kate's 'birthday cake'. Cupcakes with 'K' and 'C' on them for.... (hint, not our last name)

 Kate and I had lots of fun grocery shopping for her party. Of course everything had to be red, grapes, lollies, drink, plates, red apple, red straws etc!

 Michaela and Grace even made red 'slingers' for Kate!

You can't have a party without some girls to party with!

Kate didn't like the popcorn and told me that Clifford could eat it ;) (PS notice Clifford's new collar!)

Having Lunch, what else but frankfurters?

Clifford 'guarding' all the cards and presents! Kate was so spoiled, she will have fun shopping for some Clifford stuff in America!

Colouring in, who but Clifford of course. One thing I hadn't thought of is that you need red pencils/crayons/felts to colour in Clifford. Thankfully the girls were pretty good at sharing, one girl even coloured Clifford purple!