Wednesday, 29 April 2020

Interview with Hazel Eilken

Our intrepid reporter, Bella Prince, interviewed the lovely Hazel Eilken today, and discovered some very interesting facts about this rather awesome adult in our parish.

Bella: What are your favourite things to do?
Hazel: Weaving and pottery.

Bella: What did you do for a job before you retired?
Hazel: I was a Cook at Lincoln Hospital and also worked for the Land Army during the war tending the land/ farming etc.

Bella: What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
Hazel: I stole some pretty paper when I was very young and got into big trouble for it.

Bella: What did you do for fun as a teenager?
Hazel: Dance mainly – tap and ballet.

Bella: Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
Hazel: I’ve been to China twice.

Bella: Who do you admire most and why?
Hazel: Charles F Goldie – Artist. I met him once in person when out walking.

Bella: What do you do best?
Hazel: Weaving.

Bella: What is your favourite word?
Hazel: Blessed.

Bella: What was your favourite book when you were a child?
Hazel: Anne of Green Gables.

Bella: What has been one of your most memorable moments in your life?
Hazel: A good one - the freedom of running around in the paddocks on the farm when I was young. A bad memory was when my daughter died in a car accident.

Bella: What is the most difficult thing for you right now?
Hazel: Briskly walking to keep up with my children who walk fast! And vacuuming.

Bella: What lessons do you think the world can learn from the past?
Hazel: To be patient and kind.

1. Hazel (R) with Merilyn  2. Poster for Women's Land Army in WW2
3. Modern cover of Anne of Green Gables  4. Photo of artist Charles F Goldie in his studio

Monday, 27 April 2020

Sophia's ANZAC challenges

Sophia has been busy again, working on this week's challenges! 

She has completed Challenge #5 On the Road, Challenge #1 Poppy Painting, Challenge #3 Make a Poppy, and Challenge #2 Anzac biscuits. Wow! (I have to say, I'm very impressed with the look of her biscuits - they look a whole lot nicer than mine!)

I see that Sophia and Angie, Peatalisa, 'Emeline & Tevunga have all successfully completed this week's Quiz on Road to Emmaus.

Click here to find this week's challenges - remember, every time you enter you increase your chances of winning a scrumptious prize!

Sunday, 26 April 2020

Chalk Your Walk

Here is an entry for the # 7 Chalk Your Walk challenge - from Angie. I'm sure this will brighten the day of everyone who sees it, Angie! Great job.

Awesome Adults take up the Challenge!

Check out the cool egg-carton poppies, made by Phil Parton and his daughter, Catherine. They are definitely in the running for a chocolate prize, having taken up the Make a Poppy Challenge, Decorate Your Letterbox/Stand at Dawn and baked Anzac biscuits... not to mention leaving lovely comments on the blog! Go Team Parton!!!

Phil lives just down the road from us, and here is a lovely message we received from them this morning:

Thank you for the beautiful version of the Last Post during Stand At Dawn - we heard you from further down the street. All our immediate neighbours were also at our letter boxes and we all loved hearing it echo across. Dad (Phil) and I made egg crate poppies which are strung up between our letter box and our immediate next door neighbours.

Our ANZAC biscuits were not entirely successful (too crumbly) but pretty tasty. Not as flash as Dylan's chocolate ones. They look amazing!!

Loving reading the journalist reports on interviewing their grandparents too - please keep those coming :-)

Dylan's Anzac Biscuits

Dylan made some delicious chocolate Anzac biscuits... they look scrumptious! 

Saturday, 25 April 2020

de Groot Family's Peace Wreath

The de Groot family have sent in photos of their Peace Wreath, from last week's Challenge # 5 - MAKE A PEACE WREATH.

Yoshua has such concentration on his face, as he studies the cut-out hands.

I love the words in the middle of the wreath: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control... all bring PEACE.

#Stand at Dawn

 Our family got up early this morning, and together with many of our neighbours, stood at our letterboxes (in our bubbles, and remembering social distancing), for the #Stand at Dawn.

Izak wore his Air Cadets uniform, and Monica played 'The Last Post' on the saxophone - which was appreciated by the neighbours (although probably not by those who were trying to have a sleep-in!)

We decorated our fence with poppies, and wore felt poppies I made last night with scraps of fabric and buttons I found in the sewing box. Later, I tried to make Anzac biscuits, but I must have got something slightly wrong, as they were very crunchy (and just a little black on the bottom!) 

Has anyone else made Anzac biscuits this weekend? If you have, you'll have to give me some tips!

My failed Anzac biscuits and some poppies I found on my walk today.

Jokes from Sophia

I received this lovely email from Sophia last night, which brought a smile to my face. These were in honour of Holy Humour Sunday last week, and CHALLENGE # 2 - SHARE A JOKE. Sophia also sent in a photo of her family's Peace Wreath, for CHALLENGE # 5 - MAKE A PEACE WREATH.

Hey Mel these are my jokes:

Q: What animals need to be oiled?

A: Mice do… they squeak

Q: What is a good way to keep a dog of the street?

A: Put him in a ‘barking’ lot.

From Soph

Prince Family Peace Wreath

Friday, 24 April 2020

D.A.T. #6 | Anzac | Love Lives On

Welcome to this week's Digital Awesome Time!

This week, our story from the bible is about Jesus appearing to two of the disciples on the road to Emmaus. The disciples didn't recognise him at first, so got rather a big surprise when they realised the stranger was Jesus! You can read the story from the bible, or watch the two videos below.

The story reminds me that every day we make new discoveries, about ourselves and the world around us. Sometimes we discover new things about someone, when we thought we already knew everything there was to know about that person. 

Every time I go on my afternoon walk, I see God's amazing world shining all around. The trees, flowers, streams, the chattering little fantails flitting around me. All are reminding me of God's wisdom and power and beauty. And I think of God's most incredible love... that came to Earth to live with us. It is awesome to know that God's never-ending love is here with us, every day, in every moment.

Read the Bible : Luke 24:13–35
This week's story is from the book of Luke. See if you can look it up in your bible, or online and read the story together.

Here's a great video from the Bible Society, about this seriously surprising story:

Watch this rather different interpretation of the story :o)

Questions to Ponder
Where do you see signs of God's love in the world?
How do you show love to God's creation and to other people?

You might like to talk about this with your family, and email or phone me with your ideas.

Have a go at this simple breath prayer. Begin by breathing in and out, slowly and
deeply. Read each line slowly and quietly. Repeat the prayer several times.

As you breathe in, say silently, “Peace be…
As you breathe out, say silently, “with you.”

Then, as you breathe in, say silently, “Peace be…
As you breathe out, say silently, “with me.”

God's Peace goes with you. Amen.


#1 Poppy Painting

Using a potato as a stamp, paint some poppies. If you don't want to waste a spud, then just use a paintbrush or your fingers. If you don't have paint at home, draw some poppies with pencils, crayons or felt pens.

# 2 ANZAC Biscuits

Try making these delicious ANZAC biscuits to share with your family.

125gm Flour
150gm Sugar
100gm Butter
1 Cup Coconut
1 Cup Rolled Oats
1 Tbsp Golden Syrup
½ tsp Bicarb Soda
2 Tbsp Boiling Water
¾ Cup Chocolate Chips (optional

1.     Preheat oven to 180◦C
2.     Mix together in a big bowl flour, sugar, coconut and rolled oats.
3.     Melt the butter and golden syrup together in a saucepan.
4.     Dissolve the bicarb of soda in a small glass with the boiling water.
5.     Add the soda mixture to the butter and golden syrup (it will bubble up lots so make sure you keep stirring)
6.     Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the golden syrup liquid in and stir to combine. Add the chocolate chips if desired.
7.     Roll into balls and place on a tray lined with baking paper.
8.     Bake for 15 – 20 minutes

# 3 Make a Poppy
You might like to make a paper poppy. Here's a tutorial I found for an easy one. If you don't have red card, you could use white and colour it with crayon or pencil. If you don't have a pipe cleaner for the stem, improvise with cardboard, a kebab stick, or an actual twig from the garden.

#4 Decorate Your Letterbox / Stand at Dawn
Decorate your letterbox either with poppies in acknowledgement of Anzac Day, or alternatively with messages of thanks to those working in the health sector in NZ, or for any person or people you are grateful for. 

Because none of the usual ANZAC Day Services or Parades can go ahead this year, Jacinda Adern has asked us to stand at our letterboxes at 6am on Saturday and take a moment to remember.

The RSA and New Zealand Defence Force would like us to remember those who given their lives for our country. This is a time to pay respect and acknowledge the many thousands of our military people who are serving or have served, who are called upon to support New Zealand in times of war, conflict and disasters.

Take a photo of yourself / and your bubble, at your letterbox.

#5 On the Road
This week's story from the bible is about some friends of Jesus discovering something seriously surprising on the road to Emmaus. This challenge has a few options:

a) Make a road (you could use cardboard, lego, whatever) and take a photo of something or someone on the road.
b) Take a photo of a road in your neighbourhood. We'll see if we can recognise where it is!
c) Make a map of your neighbourhood, showing one of the routes you take when you go for a walk. Label the interesting spots you have noticed.

#6 Make a Jandal
Using paper, cardboard, or recycling a cereal box or page from a magazine... make a jandal like this one. 

# 7 Chalk Your Walk
Draw and/or write a message of kindness on your footpath in your street. It will be a nice surprise for people as they go on their daily walk. Take a photo of it and send it in!

Note: If you don't have any chalk, draw or write a message on paper and pin it to your fence, or to a tree nearby.

# 8 Go on a Gingko
A gingko is a Japanese word for a haiku poetry walk. Go on a walk... be calm... breathe... observe the moment unfolding before you. Take note of the sights, sounds, smells around you. You might like to take a notebook and jot down ideas as you walk. When you get home, try writing a tiny poem, to describe the things you noticed on your walk. Try to include adjectives (describing words) and details to really paint a picture with your words.

# 7 Road to Emmaus QUIZ
Read the story from the bible, or watch one of the videos above, then answer the questions in the quiz. Click HERE.

# 8 Be a Journalist
I'm putting this challenge from last week up again, as I think it would be really neat to get some more interviews up here on the blog. If you can't think of anyone to interview, send me a message and I can give you some people to phone. I'm sure they would LOVE to get a phone call from one of our Awesome Kids.

Phone an elderly neighbour, relative, or friend from church and interview them about their life. Have a list of questions ready. Some ideas could be:

What are your favourite things to do?
What did you do for a job, before you retired?
What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
What did you do for fun, as a teenager?
Where is the most interesting place you've travelled to?
Who do you most admire in the world, and why?
What do you do best?
What is your favourite word?
What was your favourite book when you were a child?
What have been the most memorable moments in your life?
What is the most difficult thing for you right now?
What lessons do you think the world can learn from the past?

Using the information you gathered from the interview, write up an article about this person.

Thursday, 23 April 2020

Easter Challenge Champion

The entries for the Easter challenges were all amazing. I continue to be impressed by the creativity and talents among our young people.

I want to make special mention of the awesome photography skills of Angie, the 'outside the box' (or 'outside the bubble' perhaps!) thinking of Mareijke and family, for their chalk cross on the footpath and Jack, who I am crowning Quiz-Master - as he has entered every quiz so far!

But this week, we have an overall D.A.T. | Chapel Street Challenge Champion! The prize goes to someone who has entered every single challenge in the Easter Challenge Week. She has crafted, coloured, constructed, created, quizzed and collected. Congratulations to our Champion of the Week...


Sophia's Easter baking: yoghurt bark

And the WINNER is...

Today we are announcing the winners of the Easter challenges.

First up, the Champions of the CHYPS Instagram Photo Tasks:

Challenge # 6 | Something Surprising
The winner is...
for his video showing his spectacular origami!

Challenge # 5 | Flatlay Photo of Favourite Things
The winner is...
Ella B
for her beautiful arrangement, including a bicycle, and a photo of her mum and brothers (bonus points for that,. Ella!)

And... drumroll please...

Challenge # 4 | Chain Reaction
In Second Place...

In First Place...
Dylan & family

Highly Commended / Don't Try This at Home, Kids!
Mr O'Keefe

Wednesday, 22 April 2020

Nana Deidre

Another of our Awesome Kids has become a journalist, and taken up the challenge to interview a family member about their life.

Sophia interviewed her Nana Deidre and here are the answers she got from her:

1.      What are your favourite things to do? 
Be with family and friends, reading, gardening and coffee.

2.      What did you do for a job before you retired?
School teacher.

3.      What was the naughtiest thing you did in school?

4.      What did you do for fun as a teen? 
Go to church camp.

5.      Where was the most interesting place you’ve been to?

6.      Who do you admire the most and why?
Martin Luther King - black civil rights leader.

7.      What do you do best?
Keeping in touch with friends and family.

8.      What is your favourite word?
Helping and kindness.

9.      What was your favourite book when you were a child? 
Little Women.

10.   What have been your most memorable moments in your life? 
When children were born.

11.   What is the most difficult thing for you right now?
Getting used to living alone.

12.   What lessons do you think the world can learn from the past? 
More caring of people and the environment.

Sophia (on the right) with her friend, Peatalisa

Sophia's Picnic

Sophia took up challenge No. 3...

Plan a party or a backyard picnic for everyone in your bubble. Make some invitations, decorations and plan and make some party or picnic food. Write a little about it and email it to me (photos would be great too!)

She made a picnic lunch for the whole family on Sunday! Great job, Sophia!

Our Papa

Challenge #4: Be a Journalist

Angie and Peatalisa took up challenge 4 and interviewed their grandfather to write this fabulous article. Thank you so much girls, and to your Papa, for sharing this with us!

Journalists: Peatalisa and Angie

Today we (Peatalisa and Angie) interviewed our Papa (grandad).

What are your favourite things to do?
He likes looking after our Nana who has dementia and is sick.

What did you do for a job before you retired?
He worked in the sea and collected fish from all over the world. He worked away from family- he says he felt lonely but he came in the holidays to make everyone happy and came with fish.

What was the naughtiest thing you did in school?
He and his friends drunk alcohol in High school.

What did you do for fun as a teen?
He played rugby union and he fell in love with it .

Where’s the most interesting place you’ve travelled to?
To L.A. America. He loves it there because his family lives there and it reminds him of his mum who has passed.

Who do you most admire in the whole world and why?
Jesus because when he was lonely Jesus was there to talk with.

What do you do best?
He says looking after everyone and making sure they are doing the right thing .

What is your favourite word?
Thank You.

What was your favourite book when you were a child?
The bible because when he was younger the schools in Tonga never had other story books.

What is your most memorable moment in your life?
His Mum and Dad just for taking care of him and teaching him well.

What is the most difficult thing for you right now?
It’s believing in Jesus,because every time he sits next to Nana she is not well he is losing hope that Nana is going to get better.He sits next Nana and prays for her and he just think it’s really hard for him to believe Jesus.

What lessons do you think the world can learn from the past?
To keep the past with you.

A haiku from Sophia

One of this week's challenges is to take a walk around the neighbourhood and write a poem about the things you notice. Here is Sophia's poem...

Sophia’s haiku: 

Autumn walking

I hear birds singing

I see bears in the windows

I smell barbeques

Sunday, 19 April 2020

Pass the Peace challenges accepted

Well done to 'Emeline, Tevunga, Peatalisa and Angie... who have completed two of the challenges for this week already!

Here is their Peace Wreath (Challenge #5)

Here they are on a backyard picnic (Challenge #3)

Awesome work, girls!

Saturday, 18 April 2020

D.A.T. #5 | Peace be With You

This Sunday is all about "Passing the Peace" and "Holy Humour Sunday"!

Jesus gave the disciples the gift of peace. We too, can share the peace of God. Usually, when we 'pass the peace' at church, we greet people with a hug or handshake, and say 'May the Peace of God be with you.' It is like a wish, or a prayer for the other person. We say it because we know God loves both of us. Then we invite people to pass the peace to our neighbours. 

Obviously, there are no handshakes or hugs happening outside of our bubbles at the moment. One of the ways people have been sharing the gift of peace (and joy!) with others, is by displaying a teddy bear in their window. I have seen the smiles this has brought to many faces as families have been out on their daily walk, getting some exercise during this lockdown period. It has helped people feel more connected.

We thought we would create our own Lockdown version of "Pass the Peace". The young people and their leaders from Christchurch North Methodist Parish and community have been working together on a very special video project. We hope you enjoy the end result. Here is our "Pass the Peace" - Lockdown Style!

Click here to watch the video on YouTube. Please share it with your friends, family and neighbours!

I want to thank everyone who helped make this video - you guys are awesome!

For many churches, the Sunday after Easter is celebrated as Holy Humour Sunday. The day is filled with parties, picnics, practical jokes, songs, stories and humour. Some churches have a 'Bright Sunday' celebration and call it 'Jesus is the LIFE of the PARTY!' It sounds like lot of fun and a wonderful way to celebrate the greatest miracle ever - the resurrection of Jesus.

Laughter has the power to move our lives forward, even in the midst of difficult times. So, it seems to me like it's great timing to celebrate Holy Humour Sunday!

Knock knock.
   Who's there?
   Lettuce who?
Lettuce pray.


Loving God,
Thank you for being with us, and loving us always, no matter what. Help us to grow in love and peace, as we follow the ways of Jesus. May we know your joyful presence in all of our lives.


Give some of these challenges a go! Email me to let me know how they went. I will post your pictures on the blog where I can.

Next time you and your 'bubble' are out for a walk, pay particular interest to your surroundings and take note of anything surprising or interesting.

a) Make a list of all the interesting things you see on your walk. Include other senses - what do you hear / smell or:
b) Write a poem about the things you notice in your neighbourhood.

Email me with a joke and I might share it on the blog. You could even video yourself saying it, if you like.

Plan a party or a backyard picnic for everyone in your bubble. Make some invitations, decorations and plan and make some party or picnic food. Write a little about it and email it to me (photos would be great too!)

Phone an elderly neighbour, relative, or friend from church and interview them about their life. Have a list of questions ready. Some ideas could be:

  1. What are your favourite things to do?
  2. What did you do for a job, before you retired?
  3. What was the naughtiest thing you did at school?
  4. What did you do for fun, as a teenager?
  5. Where is the most interesting place you've travelled to?
  6. Who do you most admire in the world, and why?
  7. What do you do best?
  8. What is your favourite word?
  9. What was your favourite book when you were a child?
  10. What have been the most memorable moments in your life?
  11. What is the most difficult thing for you right now?
  12. What lessons do you think the world can learn from the past?

Using the information you gathered from the interview, write up an article about this person.

Trace around the hands of everyone in your bubble. Create a Peace Wreath like the one below.

A dove is a symbol of peace. Make this quick and easy dove, using your hand:

# 7 - QUIZ
Show us how observant you were while watching the Pass the Peace video. How many questions can you get right?
Click HERE to take the QUIZ

I look forward to hearing from you!

Love, peace and joy to you all.

P.S. Here is a beautiful, friendly little piwakawaka Paul met in the park on his walk today.

Photo: P Koster

Friday, 17 April 2020

Easter celebrations

Marijke and her family chalked out a cross on a footpath near their home. Can you see Marijke's favourite bible verse she is writing?

Anaya and her little sister are enjoying spending time at home with their parents. I love the Easter rabbits!

Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Sophia's Easter Scavenger Hunt

Something white,
Something black,
something red,
something torn,
3 of something,
white cloth,
something new,
something empty!

Sunday's sundaes!

Rev Anne invited everyone to make and eat a sundae last Sunday... here are some delicious looking sundaes from Angie (left) and 'Emeline (right). Yum!

Crafty Sophia

On Sunday we put out some Easter challenges for you all...

Sophia is zooming through them, demonstrating her awesome creativity and enthusiasm! Check out the photos below where she has completed challenges 3, 4, 5 and 6! She has also entered the Easter quiz online Challenge #1 (click HERE to do the quiz!)

Apparently the scavenger hunt and baking are underway... great job, Sophia!

Challenge #3 Easter Hat
Challenge #4 Empty Cross
Challenge #5 Butterfly
Challenge #6 Easter Egg Colouring

Sunday, 12 April 2020

D.A.T. #4 | Easter Sunday Edition


Today is Easter Sunday! We hear the story of a surprising thing that helped Jesus' friends move from feeling very sad to feeling great happiness! We celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus. We use the word “Resurrection” to talk about Jesus being alive in a new way. 

On Easter Sunday, Christians in churches everywhere greet each other with words that have been used for hundreds of years. “Christ is risen! Christ is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

Check out the Easter Edition of Digital Awesome Time below... and make sure you watch it all the way through, to look out for our special guests!

A Prayer
Loving God, thank You for loving us so much that you sent your son, Jesus to show us how to live and love in this world. Help us to remember what Jesus taught us, as we celebrate Easter. Amen.

A Story from Belinda | I am Not a Worm (by Scott Tulloch)
Click HERE to watch Belinda and Dylan read this cool story, about a caterpillar. 
Seeing as we have some butterfly crafts this week, we were reminded about this rather funny story (although it has quite a surprising and not-so-good ending!) Anyway, hope it makes you smile :o)

Have a go at one or more of our Awesome Kids' Challenges for this week! There are prizes to be won! All the Palm Sunday challenges and these Easter weekend challenges are open for you to enter (closing date Friday 17 April 6pm).

1. D.A.T. Easter Sunday QUIZ
Click HERE to do the Easter Quiz

Make one of these delicious looking Easter treats, or bake or cook up something of your own invention. Share the photo (and recipe) with us if you can. You might even like to try making Dylan's meringues. 

Dylan's meringues (how-to video)

1. Line a tray with baking paper
2. Mix 2 cups Greek yoghurt with 2 Tbsp runny honey
3. Pour the mixture over the baking paper and spread with a spatula to about 1cm thickness.
4. Cover with sprinkles and/or mini Easter eggs or chocolate pieces.
5. Freeze for at least 3 hours.
6. Take it out of the freezer and cut into random triangular shapes.
7. Enjoy!

Easter Baking

Decorate a Biscuit

Make or decorate an Easter hat! Here's a photo from several years ago, of our very own Sophia, with her Easter hat made during Awesome Time. 

The cross is a symbol that reminds us of the sadness of Jesus’ death. The empty cross is a reminder that Jesus was and is no longer dead.

Make a cross, from branches, pieces of wood, cardboard, flax, or any other materials you can think of. Send us a picture!

A butterfly emerging from the cocoon is a symbol metamorphosis, transformation, hope and eternal life. Using old magazines, newspapers, bits of paper, paper plates, or whatever you can find around your house... make an Easter butterfly to represent new life. Don't forget to send us a photo!

You can find some ideas at this link:

Design, draw and colour your own easter egg hunt. Put the egg up in a window that faces the street, so everyone can enjoy it.

Try this scavenger hunt with your family. Either work as a team, or compete to see who can find all the items first. Check the boxes online HERE and send us a photo of all your items.

We look forward to hearing from you!

Easter Blessings to you and your bubble, and your family wherever they may be.

Spring Challenge!

Just a reminder that there is no Awesome Time, CHYPS or FISH until we are back at Level One. We are thinking of you all and hoping that it w...