Tuesday, October 19, 2010

School Camp

Had a good few days at camp. I must admit, it was a day too long, I was a bit over it by Thursday afternoon but probably due to the weather rather than the kids.

It was organised differently this time, each adult was given a specific activity which was rotated so we had one in the morning & one in the afternoon, the groups of kids then came to our activity. The plus side was that if you got a group with some of the more um - "challenging" kids, you only had to put up with them for an hour or so at a time.

Generally the kids were fantastic, there were a couple of little shits but what do you expect with 160 odd 12 & 13 year olds?

- a bit rushed & disorganised especially on day 1
- no camp staff on some activities which I think should have had them as the parents had to teach the kids & if we didn't know then they were not getting the best out of the experience.
- the weather was a bit crap (raining on & off Wednesday & Thursday)
- MatthewM breaking him arm on the BMX bikes whilst I was the parent in charge (believe me there were a couple of other kids who I would quite happily have injured)

- meeting the kids & getting to know them
- seeing  how some of them had changed & matured since year 7 camp or in some cases primary school was the last time I saw them
- Being pleasantly surprised by some of the kids I was expecting to be a pain turning out to actually be some of my favourites.
- the overall good manners from all the kids when doing the activities and also when dishing up their meals to them (still a few who need to learn to say Thank You but generally only ever needed one reminder)
- the parents accommodation was great (Carolann & I shared a room), we had our own showers & loos so did not have to share with the kids, plus we actually had a full kitchen (wish we knew that before we went)
- the camp food was actually pretty tasty and plenty of it, the kitchen staff were lovely (usually the people who run these kitchens make the dinner lady on Jamie Olivers school food show seem sweet & kind)
- Carol Ann & my detour to Tirau for some shopping & a stop in Cambridge for Gelato (Thanks to Mike for agreeing to pick the kids up from school so we could do that).

The biggest & best part of it all was when I got home & Siobhan came flying down the drive and flung herself at me and gave me the biggest hug ever and told me all night how much she had missed me AWWWW :-)

Oh - and wine!!!!! Not allowed alcohol at school camps these days so was glad to come home to a nice bottle.

On the Thursday night one of the teachers managed to get hold of a TV set so we got to watch the final of the netball - what a nail biter!!! It was a good way to finish the night but I think most of us were so would up after such a nailbiting final we took a bit of time to get to sleep.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Back to School

The second week of the holidays was all good, Monday Gary had the day off work so he took them out for lunch & to MOTAT.

Tuesday to Saturday was the NYTC All Stars so that took up heaps of time. It is a week of singing, dancing & acting culminating in a show on the Friday night, Saturday afternoon & Saturday night. It never ceases to amaze me how much these kids can learn in 4 days.

Gary & I went to the Friday night show & Sue & I went to Saturday nights. Both shows were great. Samyson just blew us away, he had one solo song (Hey there Delilah) plus a duet with Gabe (What you Own) and he was just awesome. Even his dancing in the group numbers was the best I have seen him do.

Siobhan did a duet with another girl Jade and she did really well, Friday night she was clearly really nervous but by Saturdays show show she performed much better, we could hear her voice when she sang & she did not look at Jade for direction the whole time.

All excited to get back to the normal school week routine - until I remembered that Samyson has school camp from tomorrow and I am going as a parent helper. I hope the weather is good and it is not as cold as it was this morning.


Monday, October 4, 2010

School Holidays - week 1

Well it is into week 2 so I had better record what happened in the first week so I can recall.

Monday & Tuesday the kids were at Carolanns camp. They came home Tuesday night with cookies they had made & iced and stone sculptures. Both tired & cranky as they had little sleep.

I had Wednesday off work as I had a Dr appointment so figured I could spend the rest of the day with the kids. We went shopping at Save Mart, I got a jacket, Siobhan got a really pretty dress, a Hannah Montana T shirt & a pr of pink trousers, she has pretty much lived in the t-shirt & trousers since. Samysons friend Gabe came over for a couple of hours & he & Samyson practiced the duet they are going to do for All Stars this week, it sounded really good, I love listening to the kids practice, especially when they don't go all shy & silly.

Thursday they came to work with me in the morning, I dropped them off at Sylvia park & they went to the movies after which they had lunch at the food hall. I was most disturbed to find out the next day that an hour before I left them at the mall there had been an armed robbery!!

Friday, both at work with me for the day, chilled out & watched DVD's, one of Ian & Geraldines neighbours kids, Andrew was here also so he & Samyson played chess & watched a DVD.

Weekend pretty quiet, Saturday I told Siobhan she needed to practice her audition piece for All Stars and she packed a monumental wobbly. Later Gary & I went out & did some shopping, the kids were at home, supposed to be practicing. I had 2 texts from Samyson asking where were we & when would we be home, when I rang he said Siobhan was in a shitty mood and could I bring him something deep fried & covered in chocolate to compensate.

I arrived home to find peace had been restored but in the middle of the lounge was a dining room chair & on the chair was a desk lamp, Siobhans balloon poodle wrapped in electrical wires, a steak knife, a shot glass & a note, the note read;
" Next time you leave me with her - the poodle gets it.
PS The vodka bottle is now empty"

Obviously Siobhan was particularly difficult, still she had her audition piece and was learning it, somewhat fittingly the song is "pieces of me".