Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Raelene's Cooper arrives

How absolutely exciting. After counting down the days, finally it was down to no sleeps. Copper Jaxon Ellis was born this morning weighing in at 3k. We'll get a kindergarten enrolment form out for him.

Yum, Pikelets

Ok, we have made the pikelets ... now how long do they take to cool down?

More connections with Thailand

Can you believe it ... Alex has just arrived back from Thailand and she saw elephants too ... and guess who she saw in Thailand ... thatʻs right ... Mia and Chloe.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Hello from Mia in Thailand

Mia, we were so excited to get your photos from Thailand. You are so lucky to get to ride on an elephant. It looks as though you are up very high. We are thinking of you as you are swimming in the sunshine and we are enjoying the rain. Thanks for the photos.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Off to Botany Downs School for Jump Jam

It was Thursday morning ... and that is Jump jam day at Botany Downs School. On this occasion we took katie and Rocky with us. They could hardly miss out on Jump jam, could they? We had a few minutes to spare and the weather was good ... so we just had to have a quick play on the playground.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday is a Steve day

The projects with Steve continue with eager anticipation. The project today was to make another seat so that Katie and Rocky could meet with the children for a chat and a cup of tea. At morning meeting the children decided that they would like to make a horse. The plans started to emerge ... what great picture plans emerged.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Lemonade scones

This morning we decided to use up the half bottle of lemonade left over from Family night. And what better way than to make some yummy lemonade scones! We all washed our hands and collected the ingredients we needed. With so many willing helpers they were soon in the oven. They seemed to take quite a while to cook and the chef's were anxiously waiting for them to be ready.
They made a perfect morning tea for a chilly day.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Family night at kindergarten

We always enjoy having a family night at kindergarten. On this occasion the children came along for the evening in their pyjamas. There is nothing quite like a pyjama party with friends.

The new guinea pig pairing

Our new female guinea pig Cook appears to have settled in to Botany Downs Kindergarten really well. Cookie and Moustache can often be found tucked up in the house together. That is a good sign when you are hoping that they will mate. Earlier in the day we welcomed Cookie at group time and sang her a welcome song. we hoped that it would be a fertility song as well. Then there was a queue of children wanting to hold her in the guinea pig grotto. We look forward to the future.

Ongoing connections with Franklin

We are always blown away by the connections that the children make with our turtle Franklin. So often a child can be found at the tank chatting away to him or reading him a story. Frankie really loves this attention and comes to the front of the tank to enjoy the experience. In this photo Josh is sharing his story with Franklin.

The booties

This story is just SO cool that I had to share it. Our lovely chairperson Kelly decided to knit a pair of booties for Raeleneʻs baby. Kelly wasnʻt too happy with the result and decided to abandon the ideas. Not to be defeated she Googled a pattern for booties and made these tiny little shoes using the pattern from the internet and some leather scraps out of our storeroom. How cool is that!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Raelene lost for words on her last day, Surprising I know!

I really am lost for words after the wonderful last day I had before beginning my maternity leave and 'yes' that's surprising for 'me' lol. I was incredibly delighted by the amazing generosity of the families and children. As you can see from the picture my baby and I were very spoilt with gorgeous cards filled of warm wishes, (many made by the children) and some lovely presents. I really can't thank everyone enough! My baby is going to be smelling delicious; looking very smart; wrapped up warm; protected with bibs; safe in his styley sling (assuming I can work out the technical side of it's operation); entertained with exciting books and stimulated with the fun new toys! What more could I ask for!!! I will really miss the children of BDK but promise to visit with bubs as soon as we're both up to it :-)
Thank you so much
Lots of love Raelene and bump

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

The baby season begins

The baby season at Botany Downs kindergarten has well and truly begun. Yesterday we swapped our lovely black boy guinea pig, Coke with a girl guinea pig called Cookie from Mangere Bridge Kindergarten. There was an immediate attraction! Today they were tucked up in their house together. What a lovely sight. Hopefully we will be expecting babies in mid August. I would how many babies they will have?

Rocky and Katie's tea party seat

It was another Steve day today and the children worked on building a seat for Katie and Rocky to sit and have tea parties at. Steve discussed some ideas at the morning meeting and drew some sketches based on the children's ideas. A large group of children were then involved in the process of sawing a large tree log and creating legs for the stool. It took quite a lot of team work to hold the log still enough to cut and it took quite sometime. This was a big project for the morning and it will be another busy week next week making a table to go with the stool. Katie and Rocky will be so pleased to have somewhere for their cups of tea after a hard performance. Steve wondered if the stool might need a tail or perhaps some whiskers to make it look like a animal, so I wonder what type of animal it could be. We'd love to hear your thoughts!

Monday, June 15, 2009

You have four legs Raelene!

Joel I am always impressed with your in depth thinking and processing of the world around you and today was no exception! I was showing you a picture one of the children had drawn for me and commented on the amount of legs I had in it. You were very quick to point out that I looked like an octopus and I have to agree that I kind of did. When I asked you if I really had that many legs you said "No you only have four". Four I replied! don't you mean two and began counting them...one, tw.. I was half way through counting when you quickly interrupted me to say that I have two and my baby has two so that makes four. How gorgeous Joel, I really hadn't looked at it that way, but how impressive it was that you were able to process the concept on a completely different level and challenge my perspective. It's not long now til my baby will be here and I can't help but wonder if you will agree that I'll be back to two legs once the baby is out of my tummy. It would be interesting to have this same conversation again in a few weeks. I have shared this story with a number of my family and friends and they all think you're pretty clever too :-).

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Jayden reflects on his work with Steve

I was very amused by the story Jaydenʻs mum shared with me regarding a reflection he had after his morning working with Steve. She told me that when they were leaving a comment on the blog about the creation of Katie and Rocky, Jayden asked if Steve had also helped to make Raeleneʻs baby. Jaydenʻs mum was quick to point out that although heʻs very clever sheʻs pretty sure he didnʻt help make Raeleneʻs baby. This is such a gorgeous story Jayden and certainly fun for a laugh. You have taken quite an interest in my baby Jayden and have been drawing the most gorgeous pictures of the baby in my tummy, thank you so much for these I even have even put one in my portfolio! I wonder if Katie and Rocky would like a baby since babies are a hot topic at BDK at the moment. Maybe we could talk to Steve and see if he could help Katie and Rocky create one :-)

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

It was time for Mia to stay at kindergarten on her own for the first time today and although she was a little anxious to start with we managed to ease her nerves quite quickly when we found out she really likes to dance and knows all the actions to the new
Pussycat Dolls song 'Jai Ho'. I shared that I had just been to the concert and that everyone was doing the dance moves but that I hadn't quite learnt them. I suggested that we download the song from itunes and that maybe she could teach me the moves. Mia was quite excited about this and said goodbye to mum with ease knowing that we had an exciting plan ahead of us for the afternoon. As soon as I put the song on the stereo Mia began to sing all the words and confidently did the dance moves as well. I was very impressed with Mia's recollection of the dance moves and did my best to copy and keep up with her. A number of other children also joined in and watched closely learning the moves also. I used to go to Hip Hop classes before I was pregnant Mia so I fully appreciate your love of music and desire to dance. I'm really looking forward to having a few more boogies with you at kindergarten and you'll have to make sure that you can get to our kindergarten disco in the next few weeks, they're such fun!

Another awesome Steve day

The project today was to complete Katieʻs friend. At morning meeting the next steps were outlined by the children. Legs, arms, hair and many other bits. What a rush there was to go to help Steve. Jayden was adamant that Katieʻs friend needed a guitar. He chose a circle and drew on some spots to drill to string the string through. Ruby had the great idea for the hair and we had lots of helpers to style the hair. The children went on an arm and leg hunt to find pieces of wood that might be suitable. It was then that Archie suggested that perhaps we could use some of the driftwood that he had found on a beach in Wellington (and carried back on the plane. We LOVE driftwood at kindergarten). What cool arms. The next thing to do was decide on a name for Katieʻs friend. Over the past week we have taken name ideas from the children, so all that was left was to vote on a favourite. Guess what ... Katie the rock chick now has a friend called Rocky. There was nothing for it but to head to the dance studio for a bit af a dance happening.

Happy birthday Steve

What an auspicious occasion! The big 50. The children kindly thought that Steve might be 500!
Happy birthday, Steve. Thank you for celebrating with us.

Raeleneʻs baby news

Raelene has a date for her babyʻs arrival. It is Tuesday 30th June. Watch this space.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Steve in week 5

After gaining ideas from the children the next project was narrowed to two ideas: a friend for Katie or table and chairs for her to sit out with her friends. It was decided to proceed with a friend for Katie. The children took turns in drawing parts of Katieʻs friend. Then, it was time to action the plans ... choosing the wood and talking about which pieces need to be bigger and which pieces need to be shorter. Jack was engaged in the construction for most of the morning. Katieʻs friend was not quite complete. At group meeting time Steve revisited the concept with the children and invited their feedback on where to go from here ... legs, arms, hair, topped the suggestions. Next week Katie should have a friend.

Katie visits the hairdresser

In the blog where Katie met the Queen you will have seen that our lovely Katie had lost half her hair! It must have been all that stress of a busy week! Today was the day for Katie to visit the hairdressers. Did you know that Raelene was a hairdresser in a previous life? I donʻt know that Raelene had ever had a client quite like Katie. When Steve helps the children to make rustic creations no glue or nails ever get used. So, the flax needed to be made into plugs so that they would be a firm fit in the holes.
What do you think of Katieʻs new look.

The letter game continues

The interaction between Jessica in the morning session and Holly in the afternoon session. In a previous blogs you will have read about Jessica hiding the letters of Hollyʻs name around the kindergarten for Holly to find. This has become an exciting daily event. It only seemed natural that we should make letters for Jessica so that Holly could hide them for Jessica to find.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Jamming session with Justin, Bronwyn and James

Today Justin James and Bronwyn had a jamming session at kindergarten. It initially began with them singing some songs outside. Bronwyn then collected her guitar and joined the boys as they played their tennis rackets pretending they were guitars. Justin sang some beautiful songs about South Africa and America as Bronwyn strummed along. I noticed this happening from a far and decided it was just too special and couldn't miss the opportunity to film some and pop it up on the blog. I was very impressed with Justin's creativity as the songs seemed to be completely impromptu but remarkably in tune as well. I had no idea that you were so musical Justin and you seem to have quite a natural ability and passion for music. I'm really looking forward to supporting your interest any way I can and wonder if you might like to have a go at writing and recording your own song using some software called Garage band. Who knows you could have a number one hit in years to come! We have had a technical difficulty uploading this wonderful video to the blog. We will keep trying.