Weekend Round Up: Happy Matariki

Who doesn’t love the WEEKEND!  I mean come on, we try not to live for them, but they are just the best re-set button.  We try to make our weekends really count by getting out and doing fun things as a family.  It can be easy to get stuck at home, doing home-stuff, cleaning, budgeting, blah, blah, blah, so we try to just get OUT!  Trying to keep the Livin’ Livin’ Livin! theme alive by getting out and enjoying this wonderful world we live in and all that our awesome Auckland has to offer.

One awesome resource for Auckland parents in the website, Auckland For Kids.  Every week they put out a page with links to everything that is going on around the City.  We used to fish around for things ourselves, but to have it collated for us and ready to go is FANTASTIC.

For the past month or so we’ve started an amazing tradition I shall call, “Operation Mom’s Sanity,” otherwise known as, “Daddy takes the Kids out for adventures!”  Seriously, I have the best husband ever, or more like it, my kids have the best Daddy ever.  It is truly a win-win situation.  Clarke gets some serious one-on-one Dad-time without me trying to tell him how to parent all the time (kidding-not-kidding), and I get time to do things that I seriously can’t get done during the week (like learning how to blog and writing posts) because I have a Baby that doesn’t like to be put down and that takes 30-minute naps.  I think our Saturday system is pretty much the definition of #killinIt.

First on the docket is always Taw Kwon Do.  Oliver watched a Tae Kwon Do demonstration 2-years ago and was captivated, he pretty much marched me over to the computer to find a local class for him, and the rest as they say, is history.


This Saturday Clarke and the Kids did The Vic Park Skatepark and the Auckland Zoo (good old Entertainment Book purchase at the office from Clarke…).  Sounds like they had a great time, Oli finally figured out how to Tic-Tac successfully, Mia got to meet a Kea Bird, Oliver bragged to random children as the sea lions that he has been to Sea World, the Hippopotamus was very STINKY, and they finished the night with a little Bubble Tea from Cha-time.  And Me?  Oh I finally posted about Our Favourite Audio Books, just a post that has been sitting as a draft since November…..

Mia meets The Kea Bird
Auckland Zoo Dragon
Skateboarder Silhouette

Sunday we were out and about again.  First stop, Little and Friday.  Man that place is DANGEROUS.  Everything is good, and we have terrible will power.  The main problem is their savories are good, their desserts are good, and their coffee is good.  Solution = order it all.  Problem after that = we must be getting FAT!  But at least it tasted good……

Little and Friday Donut

And let’s just document that Mia has cooler Kicks than I do…… These Pretty and Brave gold hi-tops are just too cute.

Pretty Brave Goldi Hi-tops

Pretty and Brave Goldi Hi-tops

Pretty Brave Goldi Hi-tops

As you can see, Mia was pretty happy with our donut purchase, oh, and the lemon loaf, oh, and just was just happy FOR us, since obviously poor Girl is too young.  Oliver has honestly expressed sadness for her at this, such a kind Big Brother.

After stuffing our faces it was off to the First Pick & Mix of the Winter Season!  Auckland Live puts on a fantastic series for kids every weekend in Winter, Saturdays in the City and Sundays on The Shore.  There are 27 performances over 12 weeks in 3 locations.  Each week features a different group, could be dance, music, acrobatics, you name it, they are featured. And best part, it is all FREE.  Yep, just another reason that I LOVE LIVING IN AUCKLAND!  (Seriously, it’s like I have a crush on the place, just ask Clarke.)

The season started with the New Zealand Opera with a performance of The Elixir of Love, done modern style, in English, and very Kiwi themed.  It was wonderful.  Oliver loved it even more because NZ Opera had come to his school earlier in the year, and he was familiar with the plot (he leaned over with a sneaky smile and whispered to me that the elixir was actually L&P soda!).  Clarke was thrilled because he got picked to have a small role in the show as the Minister who marries the lovers at the end of the show.  After the 45-minute show there is a 45-minute workshop, so we pulled out our “Mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi-mi’s.

Pick & Mix Auckland NZ Opera
NZ Opera workshop
Sibling Love

Then we were off in search of a new skatepark to check out, so we headed over to Birkenhead.  There is an old skatepark behind the pool, and a brand-new, just-opened last week, Pump Track.  I guess it is intended for BMX bikers, but I didn’t see one BMX bike there, but there were lots of happy skaters and kids on scooters.

Solly Daddy
Birkenhead Skatepark
Birkenhead Skate Park
Birkenhead Pump Track

Oliver was funny at the skatepark.  He was the only Little Person, among a lot of older, teenage boys.  He is usually pretty positive when practicing, but he was quite down at times, saying that he couldn’t do very much, and he wasn’t that good.  I finally went over to one of the really good teenage boys and asked him to give Oliver a little pep-talk.  I had been watching this boy and he was attempting a series of really complicated tricks and having his friend film him.  As it often goes with skateboarding, he had a lot of things that didn’t go how he planned, but he just kept trying.  He told Oli to just be confident, and keep practicing.  That kind of boosted his spirits.

Birkenhead Pump Park

After that we decided to go and look for the Pump Track.  What a great new resource for the community.  Oliver was a bit nervous about some of the elements, but in true Oliver form, he timidly tried the ones that scared him.  Proud Mummy moment.

We came home and Skyped with Nana (bragging about Oliver’s amazing mid-year school report!), ate dinner, and then the Boys went out to The Stardome for a Matariki night.  Matariki is the Maori New Year, and signaled by the Pleiades Star Cluster rising in the sky. “Traditionally it was a time of reflection, to remember those who have passed away, to give thanks for the bounty of the land and look ahead to a new harvest.”

So I’ll end this post with a little reflection on those themes.

  • Missing Clarke’s lovely “Grandpa Great.”  He passed away in February at the age of 94 years young.  We always went to see him when we went home to Utah and it will be sad this time as we head home (gah! In two days!) and not see him.  One thing I loved about Grandpa is that he was always so sweet with Grandma Great.
  • Wow, Miss Mia coming in to our lives has definitely put the magnifying glass to our lives and how blessed we are in all aspects.  Seeing how little Mia’s family has by way of material goods, and how fragile The Marshall Islands is, so beautiful, but beaches covered in rubbish, has made me more thankful for what I have, and more thoughtful about what and how I will acquire in the future.
  • And looking ahead, man this Little Family of mine has lots of adventures to look forward to in the coming year.  Stay tuned to watch them unfold…….

So tell me, what can you reflect on now?  Who do you remember, and how do you find and express gratitude in your life?



Matariki Dawn 2016


  1. Kathie
    June 21, 2016 / 3:27 am

    Gratitude is certainly a practice. Thanks for inviting me to join your reflections of gratitude Marn. I am grateful for blessings unnumbered everyday. Freedom to make choices, opportunities for challenge and success, life lessons in not succeeding, joy of family, grace from a loving Creator, laughter, friendship, companionship, the beauties of the natural world, holding and kissing grandbabies, watching grandchildren grow and develop into their very own selves, sisters, learning throughout life, serving others, a good soak in the hot tub under the canopy of summer stars… to call out but a few. Love to all of you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *