I never knew being a Granny could be such fun, watching the kids enjoying themselves with cousins and other relatives and friends. Their delight in new experiences and friendships just makes the holiday season so joyful. I will mainly show you what happens through pictures - they are better than words!!
A couple of days after Christmas, the weather turned warmer, and everyone flocked to the beach. This time the raft was so crowded, it was nearly submerged!
Miriam suggested they should head out to Crystal Pool. This was definitely a first for the girls. The pool is located on the west side of the island, and it is quite a climb down to reach it. But it is well worth the effort.
Crystal Pool is about 5 metres deep, and as the name suggests is clear right to the bottom. The girls found a high ledge to dive from - what an adventure. The pool can sometimes become treacherous, as a wave rolls in from the sea, turning the pool into a frothy cauldron.
The girls wave to a passing boat!
Never tiring of the water, the girls headed for Fletcher Christian pool, where they had fun with Teddy and Sienna.
Roany the dog always gets distressed when he sees them in the pool, especially if they splash around,and runs around trying to rescue them.
After plenty of splashing and diving, they are ready for a feed!
After our family breakfast on Saturday, there was a short and sharp cloudburst, with enough rain to create big puddles at the end of the path. Teddy and Sienna were quick to take advantage of the mud. I don't know what was most fun - painting one's body with mud, or getting it hosed off afterwards!
One night. the girls thought it would be a good idea to camp in the woodland. Joanne thought she had a tent but could not find it. Not to be deterred, they found some ropes and tarpaulins, old sheets and pegs from the clothesline, and with the help of an obliging uncle Puk, they soon had quite an impressive little campsite. They even rigged up an electric light.
Unfortunately the camping experience only lasted about half an hour. The combination of mosquitoes, uncles playing pranks, and too-vivid imaginations soon drove them inside the house. But the "tent" has remained in place, and provides a great daytime cubby.
Yesterday was something of a "chill-out" day after lots of outings and family get-togethers. Sarah and Amy persuaded Uncle Ed to join them in a game of Kiwi Monopoly (this was a Christmas present to Kim and Charles, but they thought they may as well get some use from it first!)
This took me back to my childhood, and many happy hours spent playing the British version of the game. Sarah proved to be the big entrepreneur, but Uncle Ed pointed out that she would be responsible for future global financial crises as she cheerfully lent money to players who could not afford to pay her back!
A game of cards with more cousins and friends during another family get-together one night was good, too. This was a good chance to get to know the "boy cousins" James and Stephen.
And here are some more special times - they keep on coming!
One day we visited Aunt Amy's - a very old house that now belongs to Matt, Anna and Amy's uncle. The girls were fascinated!
At another get-together, the kids were allowed to pull giant Bon-bons left over from Christmas. They had some really good stuff inside, but thwe jokes were no better than the usual!
Here the girls are all lined up on the grass, joined by Will and Lachlan and Roany the dog.
Any one for ice cream? Lovely with fresh passionfruit, and caramel bananas!
Anna and Sarah organised a morning tea, and rang around to invite friends and family.
Uncle John, Anna and Amy's Mum, brother Will, Tina and the kids, Gracie, and Uncle Roy and Aunty Sally were among the visitors.
More fun and games at a Christening party for second cousins Lachlan and Liam.
I am sure they will all look back on this summer as the greatest ever!