Archive for the 'play' Category

Catapult Capers

Sifting through some old photos we came across one of our E-day activities:

Making catapults. The three teams had to construct a catapult using limited resources that would fling three objects, progressing in weight, onto a map of the desert island you’re friends are stranded on. There’s a catch though, on the map there were mountains, rivers, quicksand, forests and a campsite. You have to aim to get the objects onto the campsite and definitely not in the quicksand. You get points for landing your missile on the easy-to-get-at places.



Written by K9


The A kids (that’s us) built a mud hut this last summer.

The hut is now finished and we have fun playing in it.

We have built a roof so that when it rains we race to the mud hut.

There is an oven, a play one not a real one!

We have green potatoes and bran (out of the compost), leaves and bad tomatoes from the real garden.

We make bread, salads and mashed potato.

We have a marmite container that we pretend is soy sauce.

There is also a letter box and a garden.

a charming gentleman

(By Mama)

How can a Mama refuse such a polite request?

L7: Please may I go and keep my castle company Mama?

You really thought I’d say no seeing as you’ve been doing Lego nearly all day, didn’t you?
You really thought I might be more inclined to say yes if you were cute, didn’t you?

I’m coming downstairs now to keep YOU company too! I’ll be the horse, OK.


j12 here 

The other day I made out of a baby’s  formula tin a small boat frame. Then after I glued the sail in, I put a few layers of tin foil to make it bigger and better. It sails well.

“Adventures of an IMP” Part XVIII: He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best

Sunday 17 February 2008
6:30 pm was then that we planned revenge…


As the the time indicates up the top it is very early. We had come up with a plan last night. We are preparing everything while they are still asleep so they won’t hear us. Here is the plan:

  1. We take the rope that was the boys washing line and all the guy ropes that we can untie quietly.
  2. Then we tie these ropes together really tight.
  3. We then take one end of the rope and tie it very quietly to the little loops that hold the corner of the tent down.
  4. Next E10 holds the rope so that it doesn’t pull and make a big noise waking the boys up while First Mate takes the other end and climbs up the very tall oak tree to the top.
  5. This is the tricky part, pulling the rope tight enough so that it does not hang slack but not so tight that it pulls the corner of the tent up, yet!
  6. Once the rope is tight enough First Mate ties the rope to the top of the tree and and then passes the rope around the tree a few times, finishing off with a lot of stiff knots.
  7. The rope is then thrown down to Able Seaman who coils it while First Mate climbs up the tree next to the oak.
  8. First Mate then winds the rope around this tree and ties the rope up in a high branch.
  9. E10 then comes to help First Mate thread the boys shoes onto the end of the rope and tie a secure knot, leaving the shoes hanging just out of the reach of anyone standing on the ground.
  10. When the boys have just woken up we will pull the rope making the corner of the tent come up with a big noise, and let in the cold air.

All this has taken about 16 minutes and we are tidying up our tent and waiting for the boys to start talking so we can pull the rope and give them a surprise!

“It sounds like they are waking up now,” E10 alerted us.
“Best get over there and start pulling, but not a sound or a giggle for that matter!” First Mate cautioned.

We had decided that First Mate would do any of the talking because E10 and Able Seaman would just burst out giggling, but that we would all pull the rope at some stage.

The boys must be reading or something, because they are very quiet, First Mate thought to herself, but we had heard some one say, “Move over” so they must be awake. First Mate tugged the rope.

“Be quiet!” That was Second Mate.

Hearing this First Mate pulled even harder making a big shaking noise.

“Stop touching our tent, you’ll wake Captain and J12.”
“Are they asleep?” asked First Mate “and I’m not touching your tent.”
“We were asleep, but you woke us up and…” said J12 and Captain together. They sounded kind of grumpy and not quite awake. This time E10 tugged the rope.
“Would you please stop touching the tent.” Captain asked.
“I’m not,” answered E10 truthfully.
“She is telling you the truth,” Able Seaman countered.
“Well then how is our tent moving?” Second Mate queried.
“You might as well see for yourselves, but remember, it was you who started playing tricks!” First Mate reminded.

The boys opened the tent and because their tent was facing away from the scene they went to put their shoes on and have a look, but because their shoes were out in the tree they had to stand on the wet grass without shoes.
“Oh…you girls.” said Captain with a sigh and shaking his head he climbed up the oak tree to untie the rope. It was then that he discovered that the rope went back down the oak tree and up the next tree. He climbed up the other tree to retrieve his, J12’s and Second Mate’s shoes and then back up the oak tree to untie the million-and-one knots we had tied, all the time giving us dirty looks.

All this time Us Girls had been watching the proceedings gleefully. We were not the only ones who had been watching; J12, Second Mate, S7, Ship’s Boy and The Crew were also watching. Mum and Dad came over to see what was going on, we explained to them our trick and they went back to their tent. They weren’t going to help if we were playing a trick back on Those Boys.

J12 and Second Mate weren’t grumpy anymore and they now saw the funny side of the joke (probably because they didn’t have to climb a tree while they were still half asleep), but Captain did not see the funny side yet and he said to us
Why did you have to do that girls?”
“Because of the trick you played on us which, by the way, we thought was a very clever trick and we didn’t suspect that you were behind it until the last moment. And because we wanted to play a trick on you!” answered E10.
“Hmpf,” was all we heard from Captain.
“Doesn’t matter anymore,” said Second Mate.
“Doesn’t matter,” exploded Captain, “It doesn’t matter, because I climbed the tree and got your shoes for you and to untie the rope while…”
“Thanks!” said J12.
“Yeah, thanks,” echoed Second Mate.

Captain was starting to see the funny side, but didn’t really want to admit it so he started frowning as he does when coming out of a bad mood.

“So do you think that the joke is funny now?” asked First Mate nervously.
“In no way do I think that being woken up is funny, but the trick…not funny, but…clever!” said Captain with a smile.
“I think the same thing about being woken up and about the joke being clever, but I also think it is funny now. And you really were telling the truth when you said you weren’t touching the tent!” said J12.
“Me too,” added Second Mate, who didn’t like to be left out.
“Remember that saying He Who Laughs Last Laughs Best,” put in Able Seaman.
“And we got the last laugh!” added E10.


10:25 am

We have just finished breakfast, a fry up of bacon, eggs, hash-browns, sausages, baked beans and toast. YUM!
We are going down to the lake for one last swim, kayak, jetty jumping/wrestling. We are also taking a row boat named “WAIMANU” and a tractor tyre tube and some rope.
We had been in the water for about an hour having a naval-sea-battle with the kayaks and WAIMANU when Mr Edmond went back to the bach and returned with the Sunburst.
Now, every time we (the Bears) had been to the lake we had admired the Sunburst, but we had never actually sailed in her so this was to be a real treat. Just imagine to be taken out on the lake in her!
Going in the Sunburst lived up to, and I (First Mate) think that it, even exceeded my expectations.


I wanted to write this down, although I will never forget it. It was one of those once-in-a-life-time feelings.
Dad and I were sailing in the Sunburst. We had been tacking back and forth. The wind was blowing quite hard. You could hear the water rushing underneath the boat. We were on the homeward leg when a big gust of wind came along and we had to hang right out over the side so that the boat would not capsize. You were able to sense the speed at which we were rushing along. It was just wonderful!!!

In this photo is the Sunburst.

In this photo there is the Sunburst and WAIMANU with Second Mate who is Cream doughnutting/Chocolate chip biscuiting
Cream Doughnutting or Chocolate Chip Biscuiting. You choose what you like best, then you jump on the tyre tube and hold on to the rope. Then someone in WAIMANU will row while someone else holds the rope. Because rowing is sort of slow when you are not an athlete you don’t make much of a wake, but that doesn’t matter.
If Cream Doughnutting or Chocolate Chip Biscuiting doesn’t take your fancy or if you are one of the adventurous type then Wake-Boarding is the thing to try, but because the rowers can’t row that fast, you don’t get a much of a wake.
If you want to go faster you simply call out, “Where’s the wake?” or you can pull yourself faster by pulling yourself in by the rope. Lots of fun!!!!!
We stayed in the water for about 3 and a half hours!!
After that we started to pack up and have lunch. More packing up, packing down of tents and giving the bach a thorough scrub down. Then into we got into our family’s car/van and dove back to Auckland. We had a walkie-talkie in each car, so we used them till the bateries died. On the way home most of us fell asleep, we were that tired!
All in all we had a wonderful weekend.


“Adventures of an IMP” Part XVII: Possums?? No!!

Saturday 16 February 2008
7:00 am
The morning has started at an early 6:45 the kids all being awake by this time; though the adults are still sleeping. Captain has called a meeting (mainly to keep the noisy ones quiet).
“What would you guys do today if you could choose,” he enquired.
“Go swimming.”
“Play cricket.”
“Build a camp-fire.”
“Go to the glow-worms.”
Came answers from First Mate, E10, Able Seaman, S7, Ship’s Boy and The Crew.
“You see, we (J12, Second Mate and I) were thinking about doing a triathlon. Of course we would have to ask parents, but if we are allowed would you like to do it with us?”
There was a moment of silence as everyone thought about the suggestion.

After asking each other if they would do it (because if everyone else was doing it you wouldn’t want to be the only one not doing it) they agreed to give it a go.

Breakfast over, home-made-muesli again, Captain and J12 put the idea of doing a triathlon before Mr Hunt and Mr Edmond. Dad, who had just got a new watch, said to Mr Edmond, “Well I can be the time keeper and a race marshal, but you can take the honors of being Event Organiser, besides you know the area better than I do!”
Dad and Mr Edmond had no objection to the idea, but hearing that nine people wanted to compete Mr Edmond suggested splitting into teams: “For one reason in particular, you only have four bikes.”
Once the teams had been decided Mr Edmond planed the course out and said to us, “Announcements will be made in ten minutes and the race will start in 32 minutes at 10:00.”

Just so we don’t forget here are the teams with the name they choose. p.s. R=run S=swim B=bike

Speedy JEM___Whizzz’n Wonder___Quick As A Flash

The Crew_______S7_____________Able Seaman_________(R)
E10___________First Mate________J12________________(S)
Captain________Second Mate______Ship’s Boy____________(B)

10 minutes was up so the three teams headed back to the bach to hear the announcements.

“Welcome competitors to the all new

Lake Rotoiti Home-Made-Muesli Triathlon.

As you already know the order in which the race is going will be Run, Swim, Bike. However there is a slight age advantage to the Whizzz’n Wonder and Quick As A Flash team so I am going to introduce a fourth activity to give all teams a fair chance. This new activity will be star jumps, 10 for Whizzz’n Wonder, 8 for Quick As A Flash and 6 for Speedy JEM. Each team must do the number of star jumps at the end of the race on the finish line. Oh, and you have to do them in time with your team. Because this is a relay race the runners have to tag the swimmers before the swimmers can swim and the swimmers have to tag the bikers before the bikers can bike. One last thing, your team will be disqualified if
a) the swimmers go out from in between the kayak and the jetties
b) the bikers ride on the right hand side of the road
c) anybody starts before being tagged or before the starting pistol 🙂
Do you all understand these rule?”
We all did so Mr Edmond and Dad walked us around the course, after which Mr Edmond commented, “Feel free to warm up, but remember, the triathlon starts in 15 min; 10:00am.”

Photo taken two minutes before the triathlon:



“On your marks, get set, GO!” And the runners were off, Able Seaman in the lead until she got the stitch and S7 took the lead and kept it, The Crew was barely keeping up! They were running really fast and would be, without a doubt, tagging the swimmers very soon!


As our team mates rounded the last corner and came into sight we started cheering and adjusting goggles and urging our team mates on. First to be tagged was First Mate then E10 and then J12. We had to walk/run out into the water a fair way because round Gisborne Point there is a LOT of water weed growing and that makes swimming rather difficult. First Mate kept the lead all the way with E10 and J12 changing positions from time to time.


“Go on, keep swimming, almost there,” we shouted to the swimmers who had slowed down a bit. Upon hearing us and seeing us they sped up for the last bit and ran up to us bikers. First on the road was Second Mate then Ship’s Boy and lastly Captain.


Flying up to the finish line was Second Mate with Captain close behind him and Ship’s Boy who was pedaling for all he was worth.
Now for the star jumps, 1 2 3 go, jump..jump..jump.. we chanted to keep in time.

“Yippee! we’ve won!” called out Whizzz’n Wonder, happily.
“We’ve come second!” That was Quick As A Flash.
“And We’ll take third place,” said Speedy JEM.

“Well done!!” Everyone congratulated each other.
“That was so fun,” S7 said “Even if we didn’t win.”
“Whew, I’m hot,” said Second Mate.
“So am I.”

All of us being quite hot, we went down to the lake for a quick dip before lunch. This quick dip turned into a 2 hour swim!!!


2:30 pm
“Listen,” said Mum “I think there is a rugby game being played, judging by what I can hear.”
So the Dads took Captain, First Mate, J12, E10, Second Mate, Able Seaman, S7, Ship’s Boy and The Crew over to the rugby field where, as Mum had said, there *was* a rugby game being played. Actually there were two games; Auckland Maoris vs. Bay of Plenty Maoris Women and Auckland Maoris vs. Bay of Plenty Maori Men. We only saw the last 15 minutes of these games but as the four teams left another Auckland Maoris vs. Bay of Plenty Maoris Men started.
Able Seaman, who is only truly interested in watching sport if it means staying up late, went back to the bach with E10 to mix up some bread dough for “camp-fire bread” that we would be cooking over a camp-fire tonight.
Usually we roast marshmallows, but last year after roasting marshmallows the Edmonds were sick and since then they have not enjoyed eating roasted marshmallows!
Having watched a very tight game, Auckland Maoris won in the last minute, literally. We walked back to the bach where Mr Edmond took S7, Second Mate, Ship’s Boy, The Crew and A3 to collect fire-wood in the nearby forest.
After cleaning up the mess they had made E10 and Able Seaman joined Captain, First Mate and J12 who were wrestling on the jetty.
When Mr Edmond and the others returned with the fire-wood the bread dough was waiting. The camp-fire bread was a success. All we did was wrap some dough around a hot, green stick and cook over a fire. The hole that was left in the bread (where the stick had been) was then used to stick a sausage in. Yum!
While we were eating dinner Second Mate started to laugh.
“What’s so funny?” queried First Mate, puzzled.
“Gisborne’s fighting Allan-A-Gale,” came the reply.
Now, in case it has not been mentioned, we are camping at Gisborne Point and it is very windy!
Dinner is over and two games are being played; Chinese Checkers and The Amazing Moa Hunt.
“Dad,” said E10 “do you think we could go to the Glow-worms tonight?”
“Well,” said Mr Edmond, who had already been asked this question a few times before, “I guess so but ask the Bears if they would like to come with us.”
It is really dark and we are walking to where the glow-worms live. Up the hill and along the road. Across the road and up a hill where blackberries tend to grow. Slowly we were descending into a “valley” if you could call it that, no, it is more of a chasm than anything else. As we walked along we pointed out the few glow-worms we saw.
“I seem to recall there being more glow-worms last time,” Mum said.
Suddenly there were heaps of glow-worms on the sides of the chasm.
“Look,” said Ship’s Boy, pointing “a smiley face.”
E10 walked over to investigate. As she was standing there, torch on, she saw something move.
“Ohh,” she said “there is a lovely big spider over there.”
“Don’t worry,” said Mum, “I’m not afraid of big spiders.”
“But,” said Captain, with a grin that was too big, “Did you know that the big bush wetas like to come out at night?”
“Maybe we shouldn’t talk about that or you might just find a weta jumping down your shirt,” replied Mum.
As we were walking back to the bach there was a noise that sounded like falling acorns, but there would have been too many acorns falling so we stopped to listen. I can’t remember who said that it was a possum, I think it was J12, but suddenly all our torches were on and we were searching the trees for possums. Out of us all only S7 and First Mate saw the possum. Walking back, the big boys kept mentioning the possum.


We had been lying in our tent for about 15 minutes, whispering quietly, when the tarpaulin above our tent began to shake. Us Girls had been extra careful not to make a lot of noise (we had last night and had been teased greatly, mainly by Captain) and listening to Captain, J12 and Second Mate who were talking.
The tarpaulin shook again, this time for about 10 seconds.
“Strange,” whispered Able Seaman, “the tarpaulin is noisy tonight.”
“It’ll just be the wind,” First Mate reassured.
“So are the boys,” said E10.
It was true the same boys who had teased us for being noisy were now singing
Amazing Grace!
The tarpaulin shook again, stop shake stop shake stop shake stop…
“Is that you Dad?” called out First Mate. No answer. We started to wonder what was making the tarpaulin shake about. First Mate poked her head out of the tent and looked around. There was no one about except for J12 who came over to our tent and said,
“Would you girls please be quiet.”
“I rather think that it is you who is singing Amazing Grace, not us!” First Mate answered.
J12 went back trying not to laugh and as result a series of snorts could be heard.
“They are up to something,” said E10 as we listened to the boys laughing and then we heard Captain say, “Shhh!” and the tarpaulin moved again. First Mate looked out of the tent at the rope that was tied to the tarpaulin and coincidentally was the big boys’ washing line. Suddenly the rope was tugged and the tarpaulin made a noise. The end that had been tugged was leading into the boys’ tent, very clever!!!
After explaining this to E10 and Able Seaman we had a great big laugh!!!! It was really fuuny and the boys had got us fair and square.
This time Captain came over and said to us, “We asked you three to be quiet, we are trying to go to sleep.”
“Well you can go to sleep now because we now know it was you pulling the “washing line”.”
“No,” was the answer and then, “What did you think was making the noise, a possum?”
“No actually we thought it was the wind at first and then we thought it was the Dads.”
“Hmm, goodnight.”

It was then that we planned revenge.



“Adventures of an IMP” Part XVI: The First Day

Friday 15 February 2008
9:25 pm
     9:30 am. 
   N.W.N. winds. 
   Lake Rotoiti. 
Camping with the E's.

This morning First Mate woke up to the sun shining through the walls of the tent. There is something nice about lying in your sleeping bag all cosy and listening to the birds sing and knowing that you are the only one awake, it makes a great time to read the Bible!!!
When Able Seaman and E10 woke up the three whispered and made plans.
Meanwhile Captain J12 and Second Mate were reading and talking, every now and then a muffled laugh coming from their tent.
And in the tent where Ship’s Boy, S7 and
The Crew,
(because T3 and M5 make The Crew we have decided that when referring to M5 we will write The Crew in blue and when referring to T3 we will write in pink) had been sleeping, a conversation of all sorts was in full swing.
The Crew and Ship’s Baby were in the tent that mum and dad slept in.
A3 was with her mum and dad in the bach.

After discovering that both families had brought home-made-muesli everyone was eager to compare muesli. Both sorts tasted good!! Better than the shop stuff!!

“Why don’t we take the kayaks and SWALLOW down to the lake and have fun?,” Mr Edmond proposed.
No one disagreed with the idea, everyone hardly being able to wait to get in the water, (except the mums who don’t generally go in the water, except to save a drowning child, because they get too cold take their job of looking out for everyone seriously).
“Would any of you like to go in IMP?,” Captain asked.
A chorus of yeses rose so Captain suggested, “First and Second Mate seeing as you are already in togs would you mind getting IMP ready?”

After what seemed like a very long time everyone was ready and the procession started.
Leading, was The Crew, S7, Ship’s Boy and Baby and A3. Next in line was E10 and Second Mate pulling the two kayaks with First Mate and J12 bringing SWALLOW and IMP and bringing up the rear came Captain bringing countless life jackets and the adults.

Once the kayaks and boats had been parked on the grass beside a mountain of life jackets all the kids stood on the grass beside the jetty offering for each other to be the first on the jetty, (each intending to push whoever walked on to the jetty, off the jetty).
While we were standing there waiting S7 ran on to the jetty, along and off landing in the water bomb-wise, creating a huge splash!
Hmm….S7 was the first one in the lake and he had not been pushed or wrestled off, lucky him!
After this lucky entry the kids all tried to push the dads off. All that we achieved was to be pushed in our selves, but we didn’t really mind and it was lots of fun!

And as if jetty jumping and swimming weren’t enough there was SWALLOW to sail, IMP to row and kayaks to paddle.

Because a N.W.N. that measured about 25 knts was blowing down the lake it made rowing a bit hard, but the sailing went really well right up to last minute, almost, J12 and Second Mate were out on the lake 100 off shore when they went about and didn’t quite make it around and back into the wind, losing the wind as they did so.
“Would you come and turn us into the wind?” they called to the First Mate who was watching them from a kayak.
There was no need, for Mr Edmond who had also been watching, called out to Second Mate telling him to move forward in SWALLOW. It worked a treat and soon we were all back in shore.
“We got a bit nervous out there when we were just sitting there,” Second Mate and SWALLOW”s Skipper said.
“I could see it in your faces,” First Mate remarked.


11:00 am
We had all turned into ice blocks so we went back to get changed. When we got back the mums had HOT chocolates waiting for us, and that is one of the wonderful things about mums; they always know what you need most!
It had rained during the night and the tent where S7, Ship’s Boy and The Crew had been sleeping had leaked so their tent, along with the girls’ tent, was shifted under the trees and tarpaulins were erected above the tents so they would not leak.

2:30 pm
The rain has cleared and we have just finished lunch and dishes.
After a game of set E10 said, “Let’s make something that we can use,”
“Good idea…but what,” Able Seaman wondered.
First Mate, E10, Able Seaman and
The Crew sat there thinking hard when Mrs Edmond said to mum, “This table is too small for everyone this year!”
“That’s it, a table!” cried Able Seaman.
“Perfect!” That was E10
“But,” said First Mate, who was wary of the idea “are we allowed and do we have the materials?”
“Don’t worry,” said E10 who had just checked with her dad, “it is alright, we’re allowed to use some of that decking timber and these tools.” She said, dumping a hammer, a tin of nails and pens and a saw on the grass.
After some discussing the girls decided the table would be approximately 25 x 50 cm.
Soon the noises we were making brought all six boys to the scene, with enquirees as to what was being made.
“A table,” Able Seaman said and showed all who were curious.
It was not long before everyone was in the table making business.
While the older kids had been making tables A3, The Crew and Ship’s Baby had been playing with each other on the tyre and having a great time too!
Captain, J12, Second Mate, S7, Ship’s Boy and The Crew all made portable tables while First Mate, E10 and Able Seaman made a fixed table.
This afternoon was so hot that we all went back to the lake accompanied by IMP and the two kayaks. Someone (can’t remember who) said we should have a “naval sea battle”. This is how our naval sea battles go: we split up into two teams and board the kayaks. Each team has to try to keep their own kayak and try to capture the other kayak. Sometimes though both teams change kayaks (not intentionally) and then you have the job of recapturing your team’s kayak. There is only one rule that is ever obeyed; you may not board the other team’s kayak if you are standing on the ground.
This game usually takes a long time and a lot of team work to win and provides a heap of fun!
7:25 pm
“That was a d-e-l-i-c-i-o-u-s dinner,” Ship’s Boy said with satisfaction as he watched us doing dishes. Already we (Captain, First and Second Mate, J12, E10 and Able Seaman) are making plans that will mean Ship’s Boy will be on dishes tomorrow.
8:30 pm
At the moment Captain and First Mate, J12 and Second Mate, E10 and Able Seaman are playing a really challenging game; “The Amazing Race”, we are also writing in Ship’s Log…..Well done J12 and Second Mate. They won by six points. Now for BED!!

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