You know...I'm beginning to realise more and more that it doesn't take much to be a blessing.
This week it was a box of surplus toys our boys won't miss, which instead can be a blessing for the children at Heathcote Playcentre in Christchurch who are having to start all over again. I had really wanted to donate some toys but didn't have enough time to get these organised for the initial round of goods donations that went down south straight after the quake. But after searching on the special Trade Me Earthquake Help site, I came across a listing asking for toys. An email or two back and forwards to the lovely girl organising from her end to see what toys they might like, and this box is now safely at her mum's place in Christchurch.
And on Friday, I also attended our work volunteer day called MAD (Make A Difference). Last year it was clearing bush tracks at Zealandia (which was pretty hard physical work in the middle of winter in the rain). This time round I opted for a day whitewashing walls at the Wellington City Mission for Youth Education Centre.
They cater for up to a dozen 14-16 year olds who have been kicked out of the mainstream education system. The centre is, for most of them, their last hope of getting an education and, hopefully for some, reintegrating back into the main school system. After hearing some of the stories of the teenagers backgrounds, I came away so incredibly thankful both for the family I was born in and the one I have since married into. I hugged my boys just a little bit harder and longer than normal when I got home on Friday night.
We so enjoyed our meal at St Johns Bar all those weeks ago when Grandma & Grandad first arrived that we couldn't help but return to the scene of the crime for our last hurrah. And it didn't disappointment this time round either!
Trotted off to the annual Kelburn fair Saturday morning. We go along every year, most of the time coming away either empty handed or with a sausage in bread if we're lucky. I particularly hate the bun fight inside the church hall where you can't move for people and you either get stepped on, someone grabs the very thing you've got your eye on, or you get up close and personal with someone else's B.O. Not my idea of fun.
But it turns out this year was our year. Within two minutes, Mark had picked up two Scalextric slot car sets for $10. He's been talking about wanting one for ages "for the boys" - yeah right. They need a bit of a clean up, at the moment the tracks are a little rusty in places and the cars don't go quite as well as they should, but we'll make the best of putting the two sets together and have some great old fun zooming the cars round the electric tracks.
He had to promptly carry the sets home as we'd walked to the fair which was nearly the undoing of him so I'm just glad they work! Thankfully, he then thought better of it and returned with the car...just as well after I then found a wooden rocking horse for $5. Yep, you heard right. Five dollars! A little lick of my favourite Coffee Bean brown Resene paint and he'll be all gallant again (instead of a bit girly like he is now!).
There's not so much I can do to de-girlify the plastic pink moonhopper I also bought for $1, but Noah was happily bouncing around the lounge on it all weekend so I don't think he minds that it is bright pink. Mylo clearly wasn't bothered either?
And yes I did consider how much like a cows udder the moon hopper looked like when in said child's mouth before I posted these pictures! He being completely oblivious, just loved the sensation of having some teething relief for those eye teeth still coming through.
My little Troll Doll
Spot the difference?!
As ever, an hour at the best 'little zoo' in the world was enjoyed by all last weekend, especially Grandma who hadn't been for a year, and Grandad for two. It was really noticeable to them all the fantastic new development that has happened in that time. That's what I love about it. Always improving the experience both for us and, more importantly, for the animals too.
And absolutely no zooming needed on that giraffe shot, I actually could have kissed him, his mouth was that close!
Sharp Sharp Sharp
My husband that is. Y'all know he's a bit of a wheeler dealer when it comes to buying and selling on Trade Me and Ebay. Him and his dad (who he gets the k..nack from) have had all manner of fun this holiday on the look out for something to wheel and deal on.
Enter this small old-school pocket computer they found in a Salvation Army shop in Wellington last weekend. Purchased for $10.
And a week later sold on eBay for $160. He's got the eye that boy. Pretty sharp.
You know what...I think I'll keep him round for a bit longer ;-)
Joining up (somewhat belatedly!) to the Things I'm loving linky over at Paisley Jade's place.