The Guide to Protecting Children’s Privacy and Property Online

Guide Schools smallerLike it, Loathe it or Love it, the Internet is here to stay. Digital doesn’t mean different and this quick guide shows how simple it is to keep your child safe while having fun.

Available as a zip file in formats suitable for kindle, Kobo and all devices which support PDF.

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Life, with Twins

Life with Twins smallerSarah Collins had everything she ever wanted. A good job, a loving family, a child and the husband from heaven. Her future felt bright and bountiful. Her hopes and dreams were just a small step away.

Then she found out she was pregnant.

With twins.

This is the diary of Sarah’s journey from reluctant mom to mom of three. It’s a familiar journey for families of multiples and it’s not a journey for the faint of heart.

It pulls back the veil of fog that envelops the first twelve months and takes you on the whirlwind ride that is life, with twins.

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Get Life, with Twins for Kindle

Get Life, with Twins for KOBO

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See How They Run Review – July 2013

Written by Philip King,

Directed by Cefyn Gauden

(Published; CHB Mail July 23 2013)

Laugh Out Loud

What do you get when you have a drama queen, a sloshed tattletale, a vicar, a bishop, a prisoner of war, a love-struck maid and a surprise visit from the past thrown into the most conservative of English villages?

Mayhem and side splitting madness.

And that’s exactly what ensued during the Waipukurau Little Theatre’s latest offering, See How They Run.

Philip King’s classic farce puts ordinary people into an extraordinary situation, adds one part slapstick humour to two parts one liner’s which over three acts brings the audience from polite snickers to laugh out loud fun.

There have been many interpretations of King’s original but under the direction of Cefyn Gauden the story remained true to form, relying on cleverly delivered dialogue and a superbly directed cast to carry the audience on a journey that starts with a scratchy version of God Save The Queen and ends in a room full of people held to ransom at gun-point.

The story is set in an English village with the unlikely name of  Merton-cum-Middlewick and opens with the newlywed couple of Vicar Lionel Toop and his wife Penelope dealing with accusations from the local busybody Miss Skillon concerning Mrs Toop’s usurperous decoration of the pulpit and wearing of trousers in the village.

How the play progresses from this minor incident to full on farce filled with mistaken identities, de-robed clergy, drunken bodies and war casualties is a journey you have to see to believe.

The laughs came easily as this fast paced three act rollercoaster screamed into action, but the chaos was never so overwhelming that the story or punch-lines were ever lost on the audience.

The cast worked together to create a thoroughly believable dynamic. Emma Walker and Owen Potter were fantastic as Mrs and Vicar Toop, and Mike Fleming was well cast as Lance Corporal Clive Winton, the real laughs came with the supporting characters. The comedic timing and personalities of Debbie Hart as love-struck maid Ida and Edward Carleton Holmes as the Reverend Arthur Humphrey lifted the play from a good farce into a true comedy.

A well put together play and a wonderfully fun evening.


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Making a Leap of Faith

(CHB Mail April 10 2012)

Father of two Chris Johnson is passionate about teaching but the former corrections officer is the first to admit that it has taken him a while to fulfil his dream.

“At secondary school in Waverley my father was a teacher, so I naturally gravitated towards this as a career choice” remembers Chris “but then I met Sarah and decided that whatever my future was going to be, it would be in Hawke’s Bay with her.”

Chris had been working for the Department of Corrections for nearly 10 years when Sarah told him of her opportunity to join St John fulltime. They had two children and Chris realised that if he ever wanted to fulfil his dream then he would have to take a massive leap of faith. “I simply told Sarah that I was ready to do this and from that point on everything began to fall into place.

“I chose to do my Bachelor of Teaching in Early Childhood Education because this is such a crucial time in a person’s development and because E.I.T offered a field based programme! The greatest growth in the brains occurs before children are five years of age. It is when they learn to walk, feed themselves, talk and read. These are the very basic foundations that will carry them through the rest of their lives. It is a process that is both humbling and inspirational to be a part of.”

Studying full-time was a challenge as Chris and Sarah tried to juggle study, work and children. “It certainly helps if you have a supportive network of people around you” advises Chris “the support from our extended family was particularly vital also.”

“One of the challenges with taking on study at this stage in my life was making sure that the balance between work, study and family was kept intact.

“When you have passion it is easier to fight the fear that comes with any big decision,” explains Chris.” “but more importantly, holding on to a life long dream and realising my potential is what drives me and makes my leap of faith so meaningful and worthwhile.”

Creating Opportunities

Creating Opportunities – CHB Mail March 27 2012

Hanne Hardy knows first hand the challenges that come from being a rural Mum with limited options available for the future. With her two children close to leaving primary school and a farming enterprise to look after Hanne had to take stock of what life had to offer.

Despite being fully qualified in Industrial Organisational Psychology, Hanne found that, there is little scope in this field in the rural sector. She made the decision to increase her skill base and is now three papers away from completing her Bachelor of Business Studies with an Accounting major.

“I started the degree because I wanted to be able choose what I did with my life once the kids were at secondary school” says Hanne “although I have taken on several jobs and voluntary projects I also wanted to be building a future that I was in control of.”

“I love being on the farm and I was already doing some of the book-keeping, but I wanted to understand exactly what the figures meant to our business. Doing a business degree majoring in accounting to complement my existing skills was a natural choice.”

Hanne admits that studying extramurally full-time has come with its own challenges “I have been doing 3-4 papers per semester, so with two children at primary school and the farming business to run I have had to be very disciplined with my time management. The hardest part has been getting enough blocks of uninterrupted time to get all my study done while making sure that everyone else has what they need.”

Some people think that it is hard to study without having a support group of other students, but Hanne is quick to disagree “the support from the Massey extramural staff has been fantastic. There are forums and support services available for those who need that connection with their tutors and other students.

“The best part about achieving this qualification is that it has opened the doors for me to keep learning and keep following my passion for knowledge. It is allowing me to have a career on my terms, not anyone else’s.”

Adult Students Transforming Their Lives through Study – CHB Mail

How many of you have had a dream since childhood? Or started life following one path and then felt the need to change it?

How many of you want to change your future or enrich your life but don’t know how?

While it is really easy to accept life the way it is, over the next few weeks we are going to meet some incredible people who have not let life dictate their future. They have chosen to go back to school and create a different outcome for themselves and their families, in an effort that is nothing short of inspirational.

Turning a Dream into a Reality

Julie Jensen has a dream.  “I have always been fascinated by how the body works and how it heals” remembers Julie “nurses have such an important role in that process, it was a no-brainer that that would be my career of choice”.

But Julie didn’t get to fulfil her ambition straight away. “I was very sports orientated at school and even if I could have made it academically, I didn’t have the self-confidence to follow through. I just figured that I’d get to it one day”.

When she left college, Julie’s dream was put on the backburner as she got on with the realities of life, including getting married and having three children.

It was only after her youngest child had started school and Julie was able to take a break from being a full-time wife and mother that she realized that if she wanted to follow her dream now was the time to do it.

“I realised that I could actually do this. All my previous excuses didn’t apply any more. I was an adult so my grades didn’t matter, I had life experience, self confidence and financially we could cope. At age 41 I also appreciated that this was my last chance”

While studying full-time towards her Bachelor of Nursing and travelling to EIT in Taradale five days a week takes some organisation, it hasn’t been as challenging as people tend to think.

“It’s no different to a family where both parents work – you all make small alterations to your life to get the job done” explains Julie. “In the scheme of things taking three years now to gain a qualification that will enhance our lives in so many ways in the future makes perfect sense.”

“I love the mental stimulation I get from learning, but most of all I love caring for people. As a nurse you get to help people when they are at their most vulnerable, no matter what their age. I feel so privileged to be there with the knowledge to help them through it.”

Fascinated with Fashion – CHB Mail

By Rachael McNaught

Published in CHB Mail – January 24 2012

Wendy Bongard has always been fascinated with fashion and in particular hats.

“I used to spend hours making clothes for my dolls, a passion that I followed all through my school years culminating in my tertiary training at the now defunct Fashion School of Tayloring and Design” explains the award winning milliner.

Having recently moved to Central Hawkes Bay from Timaru where her hats and fascinators were in popular demand throughout the South Island, Wendy has found the locals up here just as fashion conscious as their mainland cousins. She is quickly building a reputation as the go-to lady for head and hair accessories for every occasion. Her creations can frequently be seen donned for race carnivals, fashion shows, weddings, lead pony classes and any other formal occasion.

“Men’s hats are also gaining in popularity and while I was down South it was interesting to see the increase in orders coming from the Hawkes Bay around Art Deco Weekend. Being in Hawkes Bay this year to see the event is something that I am really looking forward to.”

Rather than sticking with one particular style each one of Wendy’s hats and fascinators is individually tailored for the person wearing it and the outfit that it is being designed to match. “My designs are a collaboration between myself and the client, some want a classically tailored piece, some want something that has a definite edge to it. With the range of materials and colours that are available now we really are only limited by our imagination.

Wendy’s fascinators and hats are hand stitched according to traditional millinery practices. “It is by far the better way to go” she explains. “I have seen too many gowns and headpieces get ruined by glue.”

Each article takes time and how much time depends entirely on the style of the piece commissioned. “A simple fascinator can take a week, but a complex, intricate wide brimmed hat can take a month to complete.”

“My passion is for creating a stunning overall picture that also takes into account the wearer’s personality– that’s what makes the process so special and rewarding.”