September 2011

Jon in his St John uniform
Its been awhile since we last sent an update & photos!  It has also been a year since we left Ukraine.  It seems longer than that & we often think about Ukraine & miss our friends & house there.  Things have been plodding away here with not a lot happening except for the normal weekly routines. 
Our weeks are pretty much the same consisting of…

Teaching – Jon has 4 days as a Music teacher, I have 2 permanent days at a couple of schools, but tend to pick up at least another day each week.  
Youth groups – We have one for 11-12yrs on Wednesday afternoons & one for 13yrs onwards on Friday nights. 
Church – Jon leads the singing & I teach Sunday school every 2nd month.
Lessons – I am still learning drums – slowly but getting there.  Jon is continuing with his part-time Bible College & enjoying that. 
Tutoring – I have a few students who I help after-school in their homework or other subjects they are struggling in.  Jon teaches music lessons to a few people. 
A really old Kauri tree & our nephews
Volunteer work – Jon has completed all the courses to become a St John ambulance officer & I am a Girl Guides leader which is every Tuesday afternoon. 
Sport -- during the winter this has consisted of us watching our nephews play soccer most Saturdays.  Now the weather has started to warm we are playing touch every Sunday afternoon & hope to put a youth team into the local tournament next term.

Camps – we had a great camp in April (see for the report) and are in the middle of planning one for these coming holidays in October.  These are definitely what we enjoy doing although a lot of hard work!

Jon's mate Joey
School Holidays -- Last holidays we enjoyed a NZ bush walk with our nephews & saw some mighty Kauri trees.  We also flew to Australia for a week or so.  It was good to catch up with Jono in Sydney & Gaven in Tasmania & see where they live etc.

Family -- Jon’s parents live just across the road & his sister 10 mins down the road on a diary farm, so we see each other often.  It is really nice to be a tangible part of our nephews growing up & developing a good relationship with them.  Our oldest nephew has just left home & joined the army so we miss him.  Every Sunday afternoon I help milk the cows on the farm which I really enjoy. 

Nickolas with our lamb
Recreation -- We have watched a few good movies lately (& some dumb ones!) enjoying some good books, (esp. the cookbooks!) keeping the vege garden going, watching the rugby, fishing (&surfing) has been on the back burner since the water went cold, but we should be looking to get the kayak back into the water very soon & some more snapper in our freezer!

Pets – Talking about the freezer…we have bought a pet lamb which we are feeding on the bottle.  The idea is to fatten her up J 
The chickens, cat & dog are yet to come…

We are in the process of purchasing a house in Kaitaia (we are currently living 30 mins north of Kaitaia) which we intend to shift into in about 3 weeks time.  It does require quite a lot of work, but will be a great project for us.  It is a huge house with potentially 4 bedrooms, so lots of room for you to come & stay & paint a section while you are here! You can see more house pics here.

Future plans?
Driving Gaven's tractor in Tasmania 
Jon has been offered a permanent job starting next year at the school he has been working in which we have accepted.  IVF starts next March, so we wait & see…