New Zealand

TJs 9th Birthday

Celebrated TJs 9th Birthday in New Zealand. TJ woke up with the sun. She made her way through the mist to the semi-visible car and gathered the gifts from the dash. The whole family piled into mum and dad’s tent and opened the first of her gifts.

The tents were still soggy with mist when we then packed them into the car  for a day of birthday adventures.

First stop was with one of Andrew’s childhood friends. She had 11 kids. She has been busier than us. Instant party! We thought one cake just wasn’t big enough so we made 3. Seeing as the theme was an “apple birthday” we decorated the cakes with apples.

Of course, we had an assortment of New Zealand sweeties.

Feeling a need to climb a mountain on such a momentous day we climbed up one of the many volcanos in Auckland.

After the long hike we went to the Allis Family’s house for more cake. Actually we were supposed to have just one apple strudel (Margaret promised to show us how to make an easier pastry from scratch). However, all the bakers were feeling festive so we ended up with 3 cakes. Elizabeth made  a blueberry and sourcream cake. Abi made half of a lemon cake. Luke made the other half of Abi’s cake chocolate. Then Margaret made a large apple strudel that we affectionately called “the slug”.

At the end of the day, TJ took great joy in recounting all 6 (or was that 5 and 2 halves) birthday cakes. She loves to count and what can be more fun to count than birthday cakes.


Me and My Piano


Today I got a special piano. I was playing it all the time. I tried it out in the shop before we bought it to see if I liked it. Everyone stopped to look at me. Even the man trying out a harmonica. I played “I have a dream” from “Mama Mia”. I didn’t make any mistakes. I liked my piano so much that I stopped to play on the streets as many times as my mum would let me. TJ



My Glass Friends

At camp Barcelona next door a funny campervan pulled up. It was like a real house except one side was all glass with no curtains. I made friends with all of them. My dad made friends made friends with the adults. TJ


The Scrawny Chicken

There was a funny chicken that went over the fence. There were naughty boys throwing rocks at it so me and mum and Abi and Liz went to save it. There were different ways for it to run away but finally mum caught it and put it over the fence with the other animals. TJ

Spain TJs Writing

Me and my animals

Me and my family went to a cool campground near Barcelona, Spain. It had animals and we camped right next to them. There were lots of animals. Like goats, and chickens and horses, and two donkeys, even sheep. I got to feed the animals. Goats like spaghetti. There was also a pool. There was a free bus to a big water park. Abi and Hannah got stung by a wasp at the pool in the campground. Abi said it was an evil wasp and was out to get her. This was one of my favourite campgrounds ever. TJ



The BIG Piano

We went to Germany to see our friends, the Simsons. They had a piano, A BIG PIANO. Mum taught me how to play the piano at their house. Me and my sisters were playing all day. Hannah got a mohawk there, too. I learned to play “I have a dream” from “Mama Mia”. TJ

Africa Food Germany

Cooking with Merci

Merci taught me to make Dahl today. It was cool. I liked making it. Here is the recipe for Dahl by Merci.


2 onions, chopped

2 tomatoes, chopped

2 green chilies, chopped

3 tablespoons fresh coriander

pinch of mustard seeds

pinch of white lentils

a few curry leaves

2 cloves of garlic


lemon juice

Cook the lentils until they are soft. In another pan heat up the veg. oil. After the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and white lentils. Watch out they pop when you add them. Next add the curry leaves, sliced onions, chopped chillies and tomatoes. Add the garlic too. Cook them together for 2-3 minutes (you can also add quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder to the mixture). Add them all together to the cooked lentils. Add salt and lemon juice accordingly. At the very end, add fresh chopped corriander leaves. Bring them to a boil. Remove it from the stove. Bon Apetite!