Wairarapa News : October 19th 2011
25 WAIRARAPA NEWS, OCTOBER 19, 2011 4080153AA 4113542AA The Peter Laing Memorial Trust Grants - 2012 The grant was established in 2005, as a memorial to the late Peter Laing, who was a farming and community leader in the Wairarapa. The grant is awarded annually; either as one grant or divided into several. The grants are designed to assist people within the agricultural industry or those entering the industry to acquire practical agricultural skills training. Criteria for the grants: Resident within the Wairarapa region or strong links with the Wairarapa • Focus on pastoral farming • Strong desire to extend knowledge and interest in agriculture • A realistic commitment to work in the industry • Applications close 4 pm, Friday 18 November 2011. Further information and application forms are available from the Peter Laing Memorial Trust Grants, c/- Masterton District Council, P O Box 444, Masterton, telephone (06) 370 6300. 403 High Street, Lower Hutt P (04) 570 0547 51 Main Street, Greytown P (06) 304 9339 TM Ukorng0Uchg0Ugpukvkxg0 Sanitising Systems for Spas pop in for poppits... 4092921AA The gift of family and staying strong Staying close: The Awa family, from left, back, Kyle, Jo, Aaron, Junita; front, Bailee and Brittany. It is almost 15 years since Aaron and Jo Awa started their family but even back then they talked about the things that were important to them as a couple and how they might best raise their children in a happy, loving home. Some of their earlier thoughts and values have never changed but over the years they have kept their eyes, ears and hearts open so as to pick up new ideas from other parents the Awas observed had admirable relationships with their own children. While it is obvious that Jo and Aaron thrive on being Mum and Dad, it is just as apparent that they love each other and have remained best friends. It has always been of core importance to them to maintain a strong relationship, to not lose sight that they are husband and wife as well as being parents. They not only spend plenty of one-on-one and group time with their four chil- dren but also make sure they take time out as a couple. They can now look back and feel satisfied that the whole family has and con- tinues to benefit from their decision to not lose sight of the impact a strong parental relation- ship would have on the children. Here are some ways the Awa family stay close: Date Nights Aaron and Jo still have dates where just the two of them spend quality time together. They also have dates with the children. Aaron might take out one of the girls on one occasion and Kyle on another. Another time Jo could take out another one of the girls. The venue might be the movies or the park to kick a ball around. Sometimes it might be as simple as walking a long route to get an icecream. Every date is precious one-on-one time that shows the children they are special. Eat together During the week the family eats dinner together at the dining table. This gives everyone the chance to talk about their day. Weekends are a bit more relaxed but even then every opportunity to eat together is used as a way of staying connected. One night a week the children decide what the family will have for tea. Mum and Dad get a night off because the children prepare, cook, serve, clean up and even do the dishes. Starting family traditions The Awa children are Kyle (14), Junita (13), Bailee (12) and Brittany (12). Before Kyle's thirteenth birth- day Aaron and Jo decided that the occasion should be celebrated in a special way. They had a family dinner but in addition Kyle was able to choose somewhere to go just with Mum and Dad. He also got to choose dinner and an activity. This has now become a family tradition with each daugh- ter looking forward to their 13th birthday. Camping and tramping The family tramp throughout the year and every summer they head to the mountains for camps. Mount Holdsworth and Kiriwhakapapa are favourite venues. Camping provides a low- cost holiday where the family can centre themselves and get back to the basics. Walks Like date night, different combinations of the family go for regular walks. When a walk involves one of the parents and a child, the environment is great for nice conversations. Family night Each Saturday evening every- one relaxes together by having takeaways for dinner, talking and either watching a DVD or playing board games. Although someone is occasionally missing the chil- dren prefer to stay home instead of going out, which is the desired effect, especially as the children are getting older. Goof around and have a laugh When the snow came everyone got outside to make angels and to have a fight. The family like to do spontaneous stuff and enjoy having a good laugh. Aaron believes it is good to goof around and there is much to be found in children seeing their parents occasionally being eggs. Jo agrees that home should be a happy place where everyone can be light, somewhere where the children want to be. Maintain a range of inter- ests and different friends The Awas encourage their chil- dren to get involved in a variety of activities. This not only keeps them busy but also sees them develop skills and have a wide circle of friends. If a friendship goes off track with one person or group it is not the end of the world. Parents, get to know your kids' friends Jo and Aaron enjoy getting to know their children's friends. By doing so they not only get to understand their own kids better, but also become trusted adults for the friends. Being able to stay con- nected with all the kids through having a joke might mean the youth will come to the adults with serious matters. Faith Being part of the Equipper's church is like being part of a big extended family. Individual famil- ies know each other well enough to trust their children in other's care. The church puts in a lot of effort to provide positive experiences for children and youth. A recent Red Carpet Night attracted 200 kids, all dressed to the nines and able to feel good about themselves in a welcoming environment. Faith gives the family a com- mon purpose, good ideas, better values, a sense of worth and ident- ity.Dads and husbands To finish this story we will end with this poignant thought from Aaron. One of the best things a father can do for his sons is to show them how to treat their mother well, which in turn will demonstrate to his daughters how they should be treated. By doing this, sons will learn to show love and respect to their partners and daughters will look for those same qualities in a partner.''
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