Bronwyn bought a mini water slide. It has a tube with holes along one side, so you get sprayed as you slide along. Rachael, Sarah and Bronwyn all tried it. I hung up the grass and mud stained swimming togs to dry...

Several people were away for Christmas day, so we had a big dinner round at Claire's on Christmas Eve. Followed by a smaller dinner on Christmas day. Today, we had lunch in the shade of my in-law's garden.

The lounge is looking tidier than usual for this time of year. I spent a lot of time tidying up and washing loads of clothes. I spent Boxing Day sorting out the spare room, and came across a huge boxful of 5 year old clothes, so Sarah will be pleased. I've put a lot of stuff up in the loft, but there's plenty more that could go up, and I think I might need more boards up there to put it on. I washed a foam mattress yesterday. I put it in the bath and squelched it with my feet. I then put it on the washing line and hosed it down. It's still damp.

Finished covering our arm chair. Now it has arms again. Or at least more than fraying foam and bare wood.

Spent a couple of hours this afternoon looking up funding sources, primarily for the youth project. I had to go into the city library, because they have an account with the directory of funding. Otherwise I'd have to pay by the hour, and it's not cheap. Now I have a long list of websites to look up and sort out.

It's hot and sunny, and likely to get humid. But there's a little rain on the way. I've been watering the garden. We have two taps in the garden. One comes from our tank. The other comes from the lake. I prefer to use the lake. It's smelly, but bigger.

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Yesterday, I gathered up five towels and hung them back up in the bathroom. When I got home in the afternoon, two towels were in Rachael's room, one was in the lounge and slightly damp, and two more were rolled up and arranged in a ring on the front deck. The ring was lined with a plastic sheet and filled with some sort of slimy substance of Bronwyn's concoction. Well, it was initially. The slime had migrated and was making its way around the deck. I gather the girls enjoyed the slime bath immensely.

Meanwhile, I've planned a few projects for Christmas. I've repaired the electrics on the Youth Group's trailer (the one they use to transport the ever-present doughnut machine), I've bought some tough cloth to repair one of our chairs, some boards to put up in the loft for storage space, and some cement. We're considering taking on a lodger to pay the bills, but first we need to clear the room (hence the storage space in the loft), sell the old junior bed and redecorate the room. The cement is to fill a number of holes in the concrete outside. Plus I'm planning to do some research to find funding for the youth worker that the church is supporting in the local school, and probably for the brass band too, since it's going to cost us a lot of money to shift the new building even if the building itself is free. Plus one of my plum cuttings has finally sprouted, and I need to collect seeds from the trees for next year's planting.

So I won't be idle. But at least the rest of Auckland will be on holiday, so I'll be relatively undisturbed.

Provided there aren't too many incidents with the towels. And the slime.

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Not long now 
No more parades, one carol concert, two sessions playing carols outside the supermarket. Nearly there. Bronwyn made herself sort out all the parcels and cards, and spent quite a bit at the post office. I'm going to need to work more overtime!

Rachael read her poem in the Christmas production today, and everything went smoothly, apart from when Mary and Joseph reached the Inn before the innkeeper had had a chance to get on stage. I had a helper keeping track of all the songs, DVDs, powerpoints and YouTube clips for me.

I'm looking forward to a quiet couple of weeks to catch up on everything. Won't last long. The brass band start up on the 4th of January!

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It's still Christmas 
Another parade this morning. Carol service tomorrow night. And another parade on Monday night. Then I've got a few nights off, and it's the final parade on Friday. The long one. It's over a kilometer, and we usually lose count of how many times we play the music. And lose a few music cards, shoes, bodies and trombone slides on the way. It's fun. But tiring!

I'm planning to do the coffee bar on the night shift again at Parachute, but this time I'll probably be going hard core and bringing a tent. I've found a silver one with a flysheet on TradeMe, which should hopefully be cooler for daytime sleeping. (I worked out though that it's better to split sleeping morning and evening to avoid too much jetlag). It'll be fun, provided I can find a quiet spot...

Christmas parcels are wrapped, but no addresses or stamps. Christmas letter is written, but not enough envelopes. We'll get there eventually, but your Christmas letters and presents will certainly be in good time for next year.

Another afternoon tea party at the old Kerr-Taylor family home in Auckland tomorrow. The Historic Places Trust are quite generous in opening it up to us for free. It's a huge old wooden house - they had ten children. Rachael loves exploring. Bronwyn offered to bring chocolate fudge brownies. Mmmm...

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Rather tired 
A rather full-on week.

The Henderson Santa parade and the Auckland parade went well, as did the church on Sunday, but I'm rather exhausted. At times I wasn't sure if I was still standing up. We were a bit rough on our first play through of the march on Saturday, but warmed up after a while. For Sunday, the church had been decorated as a throne room, and we all had to remove our shoes. We played a rather good fanfare on cornet and trombone, and then ... nothing happened. Apparently the computer was a bit slow in showing the video that followed.

It's going to be just as busy next weekend. I'll make a note to get more sleep in advance.

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