Rory Gardiner's Webpage

23, Dec, 2013

December 2013 update

We would like to wish you all a Happy Christmas and a safe New Year.  May 2014 be full of love, adventure, good health, and laughter.  Thank you for continuing to support Rory, and our family, on his journey with cancer.  It didn’t end when he completed treatment, it is a journey for life.

December is a whirl wind month.  It began with Sam’s 14th birthday and ends with Auntie Teri’s 40th!  It feels like a rolling front of celebrations in between.

This week Colt had his 3rd birthday.  We celebrated with a trip to Brooklands Zoo and Pukekura Park.  Colt loves exploring the tunnels in the Fernery, and the new high enclosed bendy slide in the playground.  He blew out the candles on birthday cakes at Playcentre and Creche.  At Creche the teachers are very impressed he knows the words to Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’.  We attended the Creche Christmas party where there was singing and dancing, party food and Santa.  Colt had fun at cousin Mikayla’s 5th birthday a week earlier, but wasn’t convinced about the Hello Kitty theme, ‘girls stuff’.

Rory has completed Year 6.  I went to his parent-teacher interview.  His teachers said he is well behaved, intelligent, and trying hard to hold his own.  Numeracy is his biggest battle.  I also had a meeting with his 2013 teachers, and his new teacher for 2014 Mr Reynold-Rowe, to discuss Rory’s issues and how to ensure he gets an equal opportunity at learning as an Intermediate.  I was successful in securing a scholarship from the Child Cancer Foundation for numeracy tuition one afternoon per week with Clever Kids for the first three terms next year.  Hopefully this will help him.  Rory was nominated for the award for top Year 6 boy at Inglewood Primary which was won by his good friend Alex.  Both Alex and Rory will be the Year 7 boys leaders for 2014.  This was announced at the final assembly.  Rory didn’t even tell us he had an interview until after the fact.  He was shocked and thrilled to be chosen.  We attended the Child Cancer Foundation Christmas party.  It was a fun morning of games, a bouncy castle, Santa, lunch, and Mr Whippy.  Both Rory and Sam took a turn in the Detonator chair and the throws of lots of children hit the target so they were showered with balloons filled with water, slime and flour.

Sam celebrated his 14th birthday with three mates (Taylor, Daniel, Regan).  They went to the Aquatic Centre and the movies, and slept over in our lounge.  They devoured a mountain of pancakes for breakfast.  Sam enjoyed the school Central North Island camp for four days.  They attempted the Tongariro Crossing, but had to turn back because of bad weather.  The remainder of their time was spent kayaking, soaking in hot pools, visiting the trout hatchery and learning to fish.  There have been a couple of Canteen functions; a welcome to the new Co-ordinator Kat at a Thai restaurant for dinner, and the Christmas party for all the families.  This was put on by Wood Group M&O at the Oaonui Hot Fire Training Centre.  We were divided into groups for four activities; making a guy from overalls and newspaper, putting out a pot fire with a fire blanket and extinguisher, dousing a gas fire with a high pressure hose, and negotiating an obstacle course in a dark and smoke filled shipping container.  This was followed by a bbq, and a giant bonfire which went up with a woosh in the dark.  Fireworks rounded the evening.  It was great fun.  Sam has finished Year 9.  He got a very good school report, and at the Inglewood high prize giving passed most subjects with Distinction or Diligence.

We have had a couple of adventures.  One which goes down as one of our top experiences in Taranaki is Matapeka Falls at Mohakatino.  It is a two hour tramp, which finishes with a wade up a stream, and a 37m high waterfall cascading over papa cliffs.  It is a natural amphitheatre and the rocks are filled with fossils.  There is a narrow ledge so you can walk behind the waterfall.  As you look up it is breath taking as the drops appear to be falling in slow motion.  It is shocking and exhilarating as the cool spray hits you.  We all, bar Colt, ventured behind, and there were many whoops of joy and surprise.  Rory went for a dip in the pool at the bottom but flew out in a hurry, chased by a good sized eel who thought he might have been lunch.  We would like to thank Kevin Curd, and Ian and Barbara Gregory from the New Plymouth Tramping Club who made the trip possible.  We made a more leisurely trip to Curtis Falls.  The track enters the bush opposite the Stratford Mountain House, and there are ladders to climb into and out of the river beds.  When you hit the Manganui River you follow it up 10-15 minutes walking in the river bed.  Colt walked most of the way there and back.  We ate lunch at the falls, which were too cold for a complete dip, and Colt enjoyed throwing volcanic rocks into the water.  We also spent a relaxed afternoon completing the circuit of Lake Mangamahoe for Sean’s 42nd birthday.  He and Rory stopped for a trout fish while Sam, Colt and I went to get the car and feed the goslings on the way.

Catch you on 2014.  Lots of love  Leigh, Sean, Sam, Rory and Colt  xoxox